Mercy Church in a Garage, Really?

Q: Why is Mercy Church starting in a garage in Olathe, Kansas?

A: Simple, we are starting over as a church and we want to conserve our resources. And in order to re-group we (Elders and Staff) felt we should start small and see just where God takes Mercy Church from here. Yes, it's going to be ridiculously awesome crazy at first, but this will give us an idea of just what to prepare for as we move forward.

As many of you know, Mercy Church has a 13 year history in Kansas City. Originally starting in Olathe, Kansas in 2003 as Olathe Life Fellowship, then in 2009 changed name to Mercy Church, then in 2010 moved to Prairie Village. And now June 2015 we are moving back home to Olathe ... to start all over, in a garage! But we are in good company, many a great organizations (pictured above) started in a garage, faced hardship, loss, failure, bankruptcy yet went on to change the world.

The good news is we haven't filed bankruptcy or anything, but we've fallen on hard lean times and it's only up from here for Mercy Church. I hope you will join us in the journey of Mercy moving forward!

Zechariah 4:10 "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand." NLT

I am sure you remember the Sunday School story of the five loaves and two fish from the little boy that were brought to Jesus? Instead of despising the boy’s small lunch, Jesus caused the small lunch to feed more than 5,000 people with 12 baskets full of leftovers! Friends, whatever you are building right now in your career, ministry or business, don't despise the day of small, humble and seemingly insignificant beginnings. (I am preaching to myself now!) Involve Jesus and allow His provision of favor, wisdom and power to multiply and grow whatever little things are in your hands. See them as your very own “five loaves and two fish” even when people around you mock and belittle you. Learn to disregard such people and lay your little before Jesus. While you and I have no power to supernaturally multiply, Jesus certainly does!

Blessings to you!

If you are interested in joining Mercy Church on this journey, here is the info?

Sunday, June 7 - 10:00 am
16272 S. Lennox St. Olathe, KS 66062
(913) 390-1200

A Growing Faith

I was enjoying a great cup of coffee at Kaldi's Coffee on the Plaza here in Kansas City the other day when someone recognized me and proceeded to ask me some questions about faith and spirituality. I always enjoy those conversations!

The Question: 
If I want to grow spiritually, what should I do?

My Answer:
That's easy; and you can start today! I will admit this will seem elementary, but I can promise you the things that are easy to do are easy NOT to do. Many many Christians are failing to do many of the things I will put here. But if you do them your faith will grow so far beyond what you would have ever thought it could. I will admit though, each of these things must be done, you can't skip any of them. Now, don't get legalistic here or overwhelmed! It's the principles behind each thing that are important, and you can think outside the box of just how to accomplish them.

It's like a marriage; there are things you must do to have a healthy happy growing relationship with your spouse. But, it's more the principles behind each thing we must do that is important not just the thing itself. Make sense? Some people, even well meaning (though mis-informed, and even mis-led), feel that some of the things I will list here are "too legalistic"... and I believe they are ONLY if you make them that way. You don't need to make them legalistic. They can be what you do as an expression of your love and appreciation to God! In other words, I don't do these things to get God's approval or to get God to love me more or even to stop God from killing me. I do what I do because I love and trust God, and all that I have is His. Period. And that is how we all should live and love! And keeping in mind this is a journey, not a destination ... this is the path I am on, not perfect, but moving in the right direction.


1) Read the Bible. (Study)

Listening to Bible would be the same. Depending on my schedule I do both.

Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

2) Pray. (Meditation)

Simply communication. Talking and listening.

Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

3) Give. (Generosity) 

  • Giving Financial (Contributions)

It's unfortunate, but many Christians get hung up on this one issue for one reason or another and miss out on a level of blessing from the Lord that is theirs if they'd only obey.

I do believe and teach in 'Tithing' giving a tenth of your earnings to your local church, though I am also okay with people being givers of a regular amount whatever % that is. I've heard some people who reject the 'tithe' teaching to only find out that it was because they don't give anything.

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  

  • Giving Time (Volunteer)

I feel, at least from my personal experience, Christians (and even those who do not consider themselves Christians) do a pretty good job here. I have people ask, "well isn't giving my time like giving money?" And the answer is - no, it's not. Giving of your money takes way more faith, trust, love and commitment, hence the reason it's so difficult for people to do. And why people make every excuse under the sun not to give, even so-called 'Biblical' excuses about "the tithe being an Old Testament thing ... and we don't have to do it." etc. All an attempt to feel better about what we do or don't do.

1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. 

Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

4) Go to church. (Community)

"Hey, you can be a Christian without going to church Timmy!" Yes you can! And you can also be a human without bathing, but you would smell much better if you did! Ha ha!

What typically happens to people is they have some falling out with someone at a church, then they get out of the habit of going. It's easy to do, and easy not to do. I get it! And frankly I could write a book on this topic alone. But let me just argue the point with this thought; Nothing bad can come of attending church, especially one you like and it a good fit. I mean seriously, you going to let some disagreement keep you away from fellowship with others and faith? That would be childish! Anytime you get a few people together there are going to be issues. It's just life. Life is messy from time to time.

I have been attending church weekly for 45 years now and I wouldn't change it! If I could go back I would still attend church every single weekend. And I am committed to attending church every weekend until I die, no matter the disagreements I have with people in the church or out of the church.

One last thought here, and I apologize ahead of time to those of you who don't attend church! Another important factor in attending church is helping to balance out whacky beliefs we have from time to time. This isn't always true, but I find it to be so many times; when Christians don't attend church their views can become a little out there. And they need community to help keep their feet on the ground. I think the reason for this is that people crave "spirituality" and they take in whatever they hear, therefor they are like that verse in Ephesians 4:14 that says: Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 

Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

5) Small Group. (Friendship & Fellowship)

As a pastor I encourage people to get involved in a small group. The reality is that many people are in a small group already, they just don't know it. And just maybe all that's needed is a little more intentionality, as it relates to "spiritual growth", but the people are most likely are already around you. And by definition a small group is just that, a small group. So if 3 people are meeting together regularly, then boom there it is - ingredients for a small group.

It's difficult to force friendships. Let's be honest here, not everyone gels with everyone else. We've all met those people who you feel you have known your whole life, it's easy to talk to them, interests are similar, goals, ideals, etc. all seem to be easy things to talk about. But then on the other hand we've all met those people who just make you wish you were deaf. Everything they like you hate. All that to say, find a few people you can related to, gel with, and forge some solid life-long friendships.

Little side journey: Good friends aren't those who are always there, but those who lead you and encourage you to greater heights of integrity, character, love, forgiveness, and faith. If they are gossipy, hateful, negative, divisive ... run away! Fast!

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

6) Diary. (Journaling)

I was encouraged many years ago to keep a diary. I have been good at times and bad at times at keeping up with it. But when I do it's such a joy to pen my thoughts, my struggles, my disappointments, my prayers, etc. I think it to be a valuable tool to spiritual growth. Plus it's something that will be given to my children when I die, so they can see my life parts of my life as I journaled them and get a glimpse of me by it.

Habakkuk 2:2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it."

Summing it all up:

I would like to add that not only are the things mentioned above important to DO, I would also encourage you limit or discontinue all-together things you know you shouldn't be doing. Make sense? If you are cleaning out a pool, but continue to throw dirt in as you clean, you will never get the pool completely clean and in the condition you wish to have it.

I sincerely hope that you have a kickass 2015!

Navigating Religious Diversity

I'm the founding pastor of a wonderful church in Kansas City named Mercy Church. We are an Non-denominational christian church. We are what you would call Evangelical, though I find that we are unique in many ways, especially in our approach to theological differences and our position on some social issues in culture today. We allow for *theological differences, even on our leadership team. From my personal experience this is very unique.

I remember going to church as a teenager, even young adult, where if I was going to volunteer I had to fill out and sign a form on the 17 things the church believed that I must believe too (not all the things were even theological) before I could volunteer. This form was required to be re-filled out and signed every year. And what I later learned is that most people in that environment just checked "YES" and then signed whether they agreed or not, it was just easier that way. I could not do that, it seemed to me to be an integrity breach to say, "Yes I believe that" when secretly I did not believe that.

At Mercy Church we have nearly every religious background present. We have Jewish congregants (not messianic either), a couple people from a Buddhist background (still practicing), a Jehovah's Witness (which if you know anything about JW's they are not allowed to be a part of anything other than JW churches) ...we even **had an Atheist attending for a year. This is fascinating to me, especially since we teach from a Biblical perspective a Christian message of hope through Jesus Christ and Him alone. I believe it to be our loving approach and the way we allow for questions, discussions and differences to exist while maintaining unity in faith. I believe in a loving God who understands all our journeys, no matter where we are.

Our primary membership is made up of mainline Christian denominations, with a heavy splash of Catholic, Methodist, and Baptist. A true melting pot of religious diversity. And I love that. I never set out to start an all Republican-Voting Baptist-Hymn-singing church. (Nothing wrong with being Republican or Baptist or singing Hymns! Just sayin!) I wanted a church that would rally around the two main messages of Jesus, which is found in Matthew 22:37-40 where Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

1) Love God!
2) Love People & Love Yourself!

And in my 20 + years of ministry I have finally come to except that not every church needs to be like Mercy Church. We are who we are, other churches are who they are ... we need all flavors to be about fulfilling the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ in this world, and that's to "Make disciples!"

Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ..."

For me, more than anything, I want Mercy Church (and my life in general) to be a reflection of Jesus' love for all people! I want Mercy Church to be a place where anyone and everyone feels loved and accepted; whether they are Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist or from some other religious group.

*Theological Differences: We are a Christian church, so when I say, "theological differences" I am referring to what falls under the acceptable Biblical views and positions of our Christian faith. Make sense? Frankly, views that have been argued over and discussed in the church for thousands of years. I think it's a bit prideful for one group to feel they have all the answers and have God all figured out.

**Had: He eventually accepted the message of Jesus, though we never pressured him, ever! One Sunday he just confessed to me that he decided that everything I was teaching was good, and that he finally felt the boundaries that were keeping him from faith came down. And like I said, we never made him feel like he didn't fit in. I actually found his atheism fascinating.  

Christmas Eve @ Mercy Church

I would like to personally invite you to one of our two *Christmas Eve services at Mercy Church this year being held on Wednesday, December 24 at 7pm and 9pm


7457 Cherokee Dr.
Prairie Village, KS 66208

(Northwest corner of 75th and Belinder Ave)

7:00 pm - Communion Christmas Eve

In our 7:00 pm service we will be taking Communion during the service as a part of the worship. We have what is referred to as an "Open Communion" which means you do not need to be a member at Mercy Church to take communion. Of course you are not required to take communion. This is also the service we will be offering a program for the children in a separate area from adults. 

9:00 pm - Candlelight Christmas Eve

Our 9:00 pm service will be the classic Candlelight service. We can not guarantee everyone will get their own personal candle, but each family will get one for sure. Everyone will be in the main sanctuary together for the entire service. There will be no childcare provided for this service.


We also would like to invite you to join us after each service in the Fellowship Hall for a time of great conversation with friends and family as well as enjoying great coffee and some snacks! 
Please feel free to BRING a favorite Christmas Snack to share!


No. There is no dress code at Mercy Church. That said, no speedos please, even if they are a Christmas themed! Ha ha! On a serious note, you will see people wearing suits, others in jeans and t-shirts, so just come as you wish.

*Both are services will be exactly the same except for the element of Communion and Candlelight.


I am super stoked about Mercy Church's theme for 2015: IMAGINE MORE! So what does it mean, Imagine More? *Real quick, before you skip over this, the last paragraph is for you! Even if you do not attend Mercy ... so if that's you, skip down and read!

In 2015 at Mercy Church we are going to IMAGINE MORE ...

  • More people coming to CHRIST!
  • More people getting BAPTISED!
  • More people LIVING their faith boldly!
  • More people SHARING their faith freely.
  • More MARRIAGES restored!
  • More parents being BETTER parents!
  • More HELP for the broken.
  • More people being SET-FREE from addictions!
  • More people living GENEROUS lives!
  • More PRAYERS for the hurting!
  • More children coming to KNOW and LOVE God!
  • More people in our community HELPED and SERVED!
  • More, more more ... of whatever God wants in 2015!

Mercy Church has undergone some major internal changes in order to position ourselves for sustained growth. For example we have established an Elder Team of 7 Men and Women to help with the spiritual health of the church, and a Trustee Team of 3 to help with the business side of Mercy. We have also added a NEW person to our teaching team, Chris Nicolosi, he and his wife Heather will be joining us January 4, 2015 as our Discipleship Pastor. 

*Just for YOU! What are you imagining for your life moving forward? This is the best time of year to be thinking about that you know! Do you have the job you really want? Are you working the hours you really want? Is your marriage going like you want? Is your family going like you want? Is your life going like you want? Do you have the friends you really want? On and on we could go ... what in your life is what you want? What in your life is NOT what you want?

I realize we can't control everything in our lives, some things just are what they are and all we can do and should do is get the right (winning) attitude about it. But I think more is in our control than we want to admit! We just hate having to make changes, come on, am I right? I am right! We want to lose that weight, but we just don't want to start actually thinking about what we eat, or getting a gym membership, or, or or ... too much work we think. Well it's true, 'living the dream' does take some additional effort initially, but once you are flowing that way its the same amount of work.

Bottom line: I want to challenge you to IMAGINE MORE for your life in 2015! You deserve it! 


A Guide for Dating After 40

1) *Take Time to Heal.

It's important to take the time necessary to deal with the loss of a Marriage/Relationship, especially if it was a lengthly marriage/relationship. You can't share life with someone for 10 years, get divorced and be over it in 2 weeks and be ready to be back on the market. Take time to heal from the hurt. If you don't, you are only bringing baggage into the new relationship and that isn't good for anyone.

The unwritten rule is 1 year for every 10 years married. So if you were married or in a serious relationship for 15 years, that means you should wait 1 year 6 months before hitting the dating world. But this rule isn't a hard and fast rule, it's more of a guide.

* This applies to those who have been divorced, or have had a longterm relationship go bad.

2) Learn from Your Mistakes.

Let's face it, typically in any break up 2 people are at fault, maybe it was 70% him, and only 30% you, but both should take some ownership in why it fell a part. So, learn what was your part of the mess, and grow and become better for the next relationship. For example, if in your previous relationship you would run and hide from conflict, therefore nothing was ever getting resolved, learn not to do that the next time,  because it doesn't work! 

3) Know What You Want and Don't Want.

Don't settle for someone you know down deep isn't a fit for you. It's not worth the heartache for either of you. Be patience. Write down the things that are non-negotiable, the things that are important to you, the things that you prefer, and finally the things that are negotiable. I am surprised at how important Religion, for example, is to people and then they throw it all away because their in-love! In my counseling practice that never works out very well.

I teach that you should FIND yourself in a relationship, NOT LOSE yourself! 

4) Get Out There.

I meet so many older singles who just work all the time and never have any fun or give themselves free time to meet people. If they don't want to be with anyone ever, that is totally fine! But if you are wanting to meet someone at some point then it is important to get yourself out there. Let people know you are available, in a tactful way of course! Don't be weird or creepy about it.

This might mean signing up for an online dating service, taking fitness classes, joining an athletic team, take some classes, being an active member of a local church community, etc. 

5) Don't Be Desperate.

Nothing is more attractive then a confident person, and nothing is more unattractive than a desperate needy person. Ha ha! We've all see those types! Be cool, and just be you! 

Too many times when I counseling someone who is over 30 and dating they are consumed with the whole idea of "finding Mr. or Miss Right" and that is the wrong focus,I teach you should work more on "being Mr. or Miss Right" rather than looking for Mr. or Miss Right. Make sense? Be you, be happy ... then when the right person meets you he/she is meeting the real you and when they like you, it's good because it is the real you they like, not the person you were trying to make them believe you were.

6) Pray for God's Guidance and Wisdom

Even as a Christian, who would say they believe in prayer, forget this very important "dating" component. Ya know, it makes sense to get God's thoughts on a perspective partner I would think. We all need God's wisdom in dealing with life, and dating is something I believe God is very interested in helping us with.

Your Life Matters!

Slay Your Inner Demon (1 of 3)

"We all have inner demons to fight. We call these demons 'fear' and 'hatred' and 'anger'. If you don't conquer them, then a life of 100 years is a tragedy. But if you do a life of one day can be a triumph." - Bruce Lee (From the Movie: Dragon) 

One of the things we all deal with is, what many refer to as, our "inner demons." Whether these are born of insecurities, things we lack, irreversible past treatment, deep dark desires, unmet needs, unquenched thirsts, or simply fears, they are real. Many people are tortured daily by their demons and if we let them, they will drag us down to the pit of darkness, despair and eventually, if we give in, they will lead to our destruction. Even if you do not give in to them they often work as a distraction, keeping us from the life God desires for us.

So, what you and I want to know is what the freak to do about it? I mean, how can we not let our demons ruin our life?

Side note: I can hear in my head someone saying, "Just denounce them. Don't acknowledge them, then they won't get a foothold in your life." I'm sorry, but that's just so ignorant, in my humble opinion. That's like ignoring or not acknowledging when the doctor says you have cancer. Also, I am uncertain if we can ever completely rid ourselves of our demons. And when I say "demons" I am not talking about an actual demon, but rather our carnal selfish flesh, our sinful nature - the part of us that wants to do whatever the hell we want, when we want and with who we want. You understand? I am not talking about demon possession. That's a whole other teaching.

1) Know Your Demon - What I mean is that we should know what our struggle is; know your enemy. I think most of us do know what our demon is - whether Lust, Pride, Fear, Insecurities, etc. When you know your demon, you know not to give in, and you know it's not God speaking to you. Make sense? Know what voice belongs to who. Many times all this takes is a little commonsense. I find the Holy Spirit to be a HUGE help in knowing and identifying my demon.

For example: I know that when I feel like skipping church, its the Devil speaking to me. I know God wouldn't be asking me to skip church, and I know that the Devil isn't going to encourage faithful church attendance. I know when I feel like being selfish and not supporting my church financially, it's the Devil. I know God encourages generosity. (I am sure there is some one who would like to dispute this obvious point, but I am speaking generally here ... of course we all know there are always exceptions to most rules. But frankly a person who would want to dispute this is only attempting to justify why they are stingy and not obeying God. People who are generous would agree with this principle 100%)

Let me continue; I know it's not God telling me to run off with some other woman and leave my wife and kids. Duh! But how many of us know people who have done this and have actually claimed it was God? But even commonsense would tell you that is something you should not do, but it happens all the time. I could go on with example after example, but you get the point. Know your demon!

2) Don't Obey Your Demon - This seems so easy, doesn't it? But it's a lot harder than it sounds, huh? How many times have we considered doing what our demon is asking us to do. Even with the above examples? It's strange how the demon can make something that is so wrong seem so right. Our demon makes it seem like such a great idea, saying things like, "You deserve it" or "You don't want to miss out on that ..." or "It will make you so happy ..." and so many other tempting one liners. 

I have helped people through these very struggles and always thought, "how can they not see that this is so stupid" until I faced some of the very same demons speaking to me. Wow, it's real, and not always easy when you are the one wrestling the demon. Often the craziest thing can be so tempting.

What I have learned is so very helpful here, is to have good trustworthy friends, who are people of character who you can go to and they can confirm for you, "dude, that's crazy! Don't do it!" Then your response should be, "Okay, I won't!" I can't tell you how many people have come to me about something I have said, "Dude, that's crazy! Don't do it!" To only have them go ahead and do it, and later regret it.

1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

To Be Continued ... 

2014 Easter Reflection

Wow, we did it! Another Easter successfully accomplished! Easter does stress me out a bit, not in a bad way, in a good way. It’s an exciting stress, if there is such a thing. For many it’s the one church service they will attend, and I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to preach the Gospel Message clearly so it’s not lost on the hearer.

Our church has a history of doubling on Easter. So whatever we run on a normal Sunday, double that number and that is our Easter! So, as you can imagine it’s a bit crazy getting ready for it. I am so proud of the Mercy Church community! Our Dream Team, those who volunteer, rose to the occasion and did a great job making sure everyone who attended feel welcomed and loved. I received several emails from first time Easter attendees, here is just one:

Pastor Timmy, 

I attended church Easter Sunday for the first time with my roommate XXXXX. I grew up Catholic & have lost my interest in church within the last few years. My roommate suggested I go with her & see what it was like. I enjoyed your service very much. I felt so welcomed & did not feel "lost" during the service at all. I really enjoyed the Church's freelance style while at the same time being organized. I had a great first time experience & want to thank you for that. It’s refreshing to attend a service that was about ME as an individual yet still centered around God. I really like what you guys have going on, & I will definitely attend in the future. 

Thank you!! - Emily 

Easter, to me, is a forecast of what is to come for our church. Or at least what is possible if we will be faithful with what God has already given us. It’s a glimpse of what could be or should be for Mercy Church if we will all rally together and cease the moment! I believe that every Sunday can be Easter!


For those who were at our Easter know that we had a power outage right as service was to begin (only on Easter, right!) and our Worship Team Member, Scott Nance played his violin marvelously to entertain the crowd while we scrambled to get the power back on. And thanks to Dustin Matzek, a Dream Team Member, we found the switch and got us back on! It was a interesting start to a service, but all ended well! 


Several people prayed a Prayer to dedicate and/or rededicate their lives to Christ on Easter, and that’s what it’s all about – getting people to commit their lives to Christ! Amen!

Midlife Crisis

I am 44, and they say a mid-life crisis happens sometime between ages 40 to 60. I had never giving it much thought until a year ago, and I wouldn't call it a “midlife crisis” for me anyway, but more of a ‘midlife reflection’. I find myself thinking about the future far more than I ever did. Like; what am I doing with my life, how am I making a difference, am I leaving a legacy, things aren't  quit going like I had envisioned (not bad, just not what I thought) I think often about the retirement plan I don’t have, and the kid’s college fund I don’t have. I'm thankful I have a lot of happiness in my life that helps to balance out the things I wish were different.

We have all heard those horror stories of people making crazy decisions during a “midlife crisis” and ruining their life, and the lives of their kids.  And that’s no good! So I guess if nothing else I am blogging this to encourage you who, like me, are in the midst of a “midlife reflection” time, please don’t do anything stupid! Keep your head screwed on straight; keep doing what you know is right. And if you don’t know what is right (common during this time) confide in a trusted level-headed friend to help you not completely throw your life away in the middle of an emotional storm. I would even encourage professional counseling to help talk through the things you are wrestling with if necessary.

Almost every person I talk to who is my age, they are thinking about the same things. So it’s not some tragic time, but rather just a phase in life when you start to realize you aren't 18 anymore, and that you don’t have your whole life ahead of you. Most people in their 40’s have lived over half their life and are thinking, “crap, I better get my sh-- together.”

If you are a young person just getting started in life I can tell you one thing, and that is if you will make plans now for retirement, kid’s college, etc etc. it will save you from much of what I talked about here. The good thing for me is that the things I did invest in in the first half of my life are bringing me great joy today; my marriage, my kids, my faith and living a purposeful life! If I didn't have those things, I am not sure what I would do.

Live life so you will have very few, if any regrets! You'll be glad you did!

Good Grief Another Day

As many of you know I am blogging some of my experience dealing with the loss of my little sister, Kimberle Rae, who passed away a little more than 3 months ago from the time of this post. And though I am doing good, considering, I still have my occasional moments of sadness, regret, grief, achy-heart, and loss, yet I continue on with life. I must. We must. It would be completely selfish not to. She would want that.

I hesitate to share this, but if you know me you know I am not afraid to tell-all! Ha ha! It’s what makes me me, the one and only. But, I have been going through much of my sister’s stuff in order to help lift the burden from my parents who already have heavy hearts dealing with her death. Many of her things are in boxes in my garage and the other night I decided it’s time to go through it. Much of it I am going to donate to the Safe House for battered women, but all the Hello Kitty Collectibles I am going to sell on e-bay and craigslist. So I bundle up, it’s cold, I go to the garage with a glass of wine and Michael Buble on the iPhone and start going through it all, there is lots of stuff! I come across a pack of her Cigarettes (Marlboro Reds) and I think, “ya know what, I am going to smoke one in memory of my sister” and mind you, I don’t smoke. I mean, I don’t smoke Cigarettes; I smoke Cigars and never inhale. Anyway, picture this in your mind, I find a lighter and light the thing, take a puff and about die of a coughing fit, while holding my glass of wine, a Hello Kitty Purse swinging from my shoulder, a Hello Kitty Bracelet on my wrist, a Hello Kitty Ring on my finger and a pair of Hello Kitty slippers on my feet … ha ha! If only she could see me now! She would have been proud! It ended in tears as I was overcome with emotion over the time I wish I had to spend with her, but can’t.

The space between my sad moments is getting larger and larger, thankfully. I, of course, will never forget her, but the sharpness of the pain is decreasing with each passing day. If I am sad, I let myself go there, unless I am with people who don’t know me. I do not believe that stuffing the emotion is good, but I also do not think it’s good to always live in the sad moments. Does that make sense? I mean there is so much more to my life and even her life than her death. She lived 40 years; there are so many wonderful memories to fill my mind and heart with. Not to mention I have a wife and 2 kids who need their Daddy! And I can’t think of a better way to honor her life than to live life to the full!

I think it’s important when we have a loss of any type to work through it in a healthy way. Don’t build a home there; you can pop up a tent there from time to time, but not a home. Move through it. That is what I am learning; keep moving forward. And sometimes that is a conscious choice, because your feelings want to live there and will live there if you let them. You cannot live by your feelings in this life, and those who do many times wind up behind bars or in a padded room and I don’t want to be in either place.

As I have mentioned before, it is a comfort knowing she is in Heaven that one day we will be reunited. That brings me much peace. You may be reading this having recently faced a loss, I am so sorry! I know it’s hard, and it hurts and sometimes you feel you can’t even breathe. Just keep breathing, keep moving! And if you’d need me and our prayer team to pray for you please let us know –