Category Archives: Religious Perspectives

Guess what religious belief I am!

A Papa K Archieve Pick: My Little Girl’s Poem


I wrote this poem over two years ago and it still brings a tear to my eye as I read it.  I remember having gone through so much emotionally back then and this poem really nails it.  It seemed perfect to add to this week of posts that I’ve dedicated to DLG:

 

As I sit here and hold you in the dark

And you sleep in my arms

I can’t stop looking at your beautiful face.

It looks so peaceful and calm

I can tell what great care God took

To shape the curves of your face.

The effects of the world have had no bearing on your look.

 

As I run my hand along the curve of your cheek,

Your skin feels as smooth as a ceramic vase.

You do not make a single sound,

For your dream must be a good one.

I rub my finger across your tiny eyebrows

And I think “I’ve never noticed how lovely they are” until now.

I continue to run my hand through your fine hair

And wonder how you could get any more picturesque.

I trace the outline of your perfectly sculpted ear

And think it’s a shame they’ll be covered by your hair before too long.

 

As I place my hand on your chest to feel you breath you let out a sigh.

It’s a sigh of comfort and of content.

A tear comes to my eye

Because I feel I have done my duty to comfort you

And I wish someone was there to comfort me.

Then almost as immediately as that thought comes to my mind

I realize it to be true.

 

You see, little daughter of mine,

There is Someone who holds me too.

He holds me close to His heart and knows I am a beautiful creation

He is always there and I am wrapped in His arms

Through this dream that is my life

He runs His hand along my cheek and through my hair

He listens to me breath in the same I listen to you

He stills His breath when I squirm

And smiles when I let out a contented sigh

He tightens His hold when my dreams become nightmares

And soothes me as I find my way through them

Tears come to His eyes

Because he knows how hard they must have been.

But He is there to comfort me through

As I will be here to comfort you through yours.

One day, many years from now, when I wake from my dream

He will still be holding me.

“Well, good morning” He’ll say,

“Tell me about your dream.”

 

It’s getting late now

And I wish these moments could last forever.

Because even as I hold you

You’re growing up too fast.

You won’t even remember these moments that we had

But I forever will.

And what you may not know now

Is that He holds you close to His heart as well

Because you are his beautiful child too.

 

Oh little child of mine

I wish I knew how you

Who knows so little

Could teach me so much.

From this dream and beyond,

I love you endlessly

 

Thanksgiving: A Time To Be Thankful… So Thank You


Before you go digging into your heaping mound of crap this Thanksgiving (that’ll take you a good five days to work off)… I think you ought to take a minute and reflect on what you’re thankful for.  Here are a few of the things I’m thankful for (in no particular order… just in the way they popped into my head):

1.  My beautiful, healthy, talented daughter

Can I get an “awwwwwwwwwww”

2. My beautiful, sexy wife

Can I get a “Hell Yeeeeeeah!!”

3. My wife’s boobs

4. AMP Energy Drink (which will kill me before I’m the age of 50 I’m sure of it)

5. That I got to meet Jackson

6. Kim Kardashian and my never-ending quest to make her aware I exist

7. My 113 followers on my Facebook page (but I could always use more)

8. My 264 followers on my Twitter page (but I could always use more) 

9. My new haircut (yes… I cut my hair)

 

                  BEFORE                                                    AFTER

10. For lullabies

11. That Josh Hamilton won the AL MVP

12.  That Bunny and I were able to get away to Boca Raton, FL and live it up a few months back

13.  That I’m officially “The Worlds Hottest Dad

14.  For GOOD BEER!!  None of that domestic crap.

15.  My entire family.  Even though we’re all  a little dysfunctional… we still all love each other very much.

16.  My Christian faith

17.  Just for boobs in general

18.  For this video:

It never gets old… 

19.  That I’m able to work from home and be with my daughter all the time… I’ll only get this opportunity once

20.  For all you readers and your continued support of my writing here at “Who Is Papa K”… so thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

———————————————-

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

No Words


He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  –  Matthew chapter 18, vs. 2-5

I actually carry a small list of Bible scriptures in my wallet that move me and this one is among them.  I like it because it illustrates that the faith of a child is stronger than most… and one that we all should strive to achieve.  While it is a fairly well-known verse and one that perhaps doesn’t strike a chord with more well-versed Bible readers it still rings true and offers me some kind of hope as faith becomes more difficult in our present times.

Sometimes the faith of a child does nothing but re-energize my need for spiritual fulfillment.

I’ve written a few times about a young boy named Jackson who, not even a year ago, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.  A cancer also known as DIPG, it is (in layman terms) an inoperable tumor imbedded in one’s brainstem which, pending a miracle, gives its victim a maximum of only two more years to live. 

Jackson remained strong in his Christian faith even as the steroids he took made him gain an unusual amount of weight and his sickness gave him terrible nausea, pushed his left eye at an odd angle and as his chemo made him overly tired.  His strength through it all weakened my knees a little and brought a never-ending barrage of lumps to my throat.  Not too long ago, I wrote about how our most recent meeting during Bunny’s birthday moved my faith to new heights.

With the nature of the disease he was fighting and the timeline the doctors had given him… I often wondered if each time I saw him might be my last.

As it turned out, Bunny’s birthday was indeed the last time I’d see Jackson.

Last night, twenty minutes before midnight, Jackson lost the battle he fought so bravely.  He was approaching his seventh birthday.

I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how, as a parent, you’d survive the death of a child so innocent and pure.  Words escape me and there is nothing I feel I can say or do to ease the unimaginable canyon that has been carved through the souls of his family.  I feel I can only write and tell the small sliver of the Earth’s population who read me what an effect Jackson had on me.  Although he lived only six and a half years and spent perhaps only four hours of those years making an impression on me and countless others… I have no doubt his life had an incredible meaning. 

The last thing I told him amidst giving him a hug was that I loved him… and I’m so glad that I did.

I have no doubt that Jackson will make the most beautiful angel…

———————————————

If you’d like to offer words of encouragement to his grieving family, read more about Jackson’s life or want to watch videos of him during happier times, feel free to do so at Jackson’s CaringBridge website or at his website: JacksonsMiricle.com.

Guest Spots And Hangovers


Alright… so I partied it up last night because my Texas Rangers WON their ALDS matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays and are going on to play the asshole New York Yankees for a chance to play in the World Series.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am and how much I regret downing a whole bottle of champagne and a six-pack last night.

My guess is that Ian Kinsler probably feels it too…

Anyway, I’ve guest spotted on two separate blogs today just to show you my versatility.  The first is a really really cool blog called “The (Virgins) Guide To Baseball“.  The timing of this post is impeccable because it’s a piece I wrote about brainwashing handing down my love for the Texas Rangers to DLG.  I’m really proud of the article… even if you hate baseball I suggest you read it because it’s about more than just baseball.

Secondly, I guest spotted on “Defining The Undefined“.  This blog is run by a young man whose on the path to getting married.  He writes a lot more serious than I do about marriage, love, religion and the like.  I took the opportunity to guest spot there and submitted a piece about my faith which is very important to me.  He’s a fairly new blogger too… so hop on over there and give him some love.

So… I’ve got some good stuff in store for everyone over the rest of this week.  I’ve just gotta get rid of this hangover.

GO RANGERS!!!

Some People Teach You Things Without Even Trying


I wrote a while back about a young boy named Jackson.  Jackson has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor imbedded in his brain stem that is impossible to remove with surgery.  Since January of this year… they haven’t given Jackson more than two years to live.

For my wife’s birthday the other night, we went out with a few friends to this pizza joint and Jackson joined his Aunt Megan (a good friend of my wifes) for the festivities.

Jackson has been through a lot.  The tumor has pushed Jackson’s left eye at an angle.  The steroids he has taken have made him gain weight.  The chemo he’s had to endure has made him tired.  I can’t imagine how the mind of a six-year-old could wrap itself around the seriousness of his condition.

Yet… he’s entirely calm.

He and his Aunt Megan joined us at our table this early evening and Jackson was beaming at his newest work of art: a cross that appeared he had cut out and colored with a few different shades of blue and red.  It was only several weeks earlier when we had joined Jackson and a few of his friends at his mother’s house for his “Birthday of New Health!”  You see, Jackson said that God told him that on THIS day… he was going to be getting healthier. 

I’d always been impressed at Jackson’s faith.  The faith of a child is always humbling for me to experience because they’ve been untarnished by the workings of the World we live in.  I don’t know what his conversations are like with God… but I’m positive they’re better and more frequent than mine.

My eyes were drawn away from Jackson’s cross for a moment to a necklace that his Aunt Megan was wearing.  It was a medallion displaying a tree and underneath its root system there was a tiny yellow dot.  When I inquired to her about the necklace she said, “Oh this is Jackson’s necklace!  It’s a tree!” (the tree of life I’m assuming) and then pointing to the yellow dot she said, “And this is the mustard seed!  Are you familiar with the mustard seed quote in the Bible?”  I was indeed familiar with it:

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move. –  Matthew 17:20

As a Christian I’ve never been one to bombard other Christians, non-Christians, agnostics or atheists with my beliefs as to how we should all live our lives.  I’m not an aggressor and I don’t ever intend to be.  Rather… I hope that the way I live my life is witness to my faith.

After spending two hours with Jackson… I realized I’m not doing that good of a job!

While our situations are vastly different he deserves more of a right THAN I to be completely pissed with God!  His brain tumor could potentially end his life!  My stress and self-loathing are completely self-generated!   Who has the more serious issue here!

Yet from Jackson’s lips there is no ill will. 

After the pizza place, we all went to Baskin-Robbins to get some ice cream.  Jackson wanted to ride in the car with Bunny, DLG and I… I’m assuming because I’m the coolest dude he’s probably ever met.  On our way to Baskin-Robbins, Jackson chatted away about what his favorite music was, what school was like and how he felt.  DLG would try to add her two cents in her own inimitable way and Jackson would nod approvingly.

Once we arrived at the ice cream store and made our way in to the facilities, DLG reached for Jackson’s hand and said, “I want to hold yo hand!”  Jackson obliged and they walked into the store together.  A short while later, DLG put her arm on Jackson’s shoulder and said, “Jackson… I love you!”  A lump formed in my throat.

I don’t know what Jackson thought… he wasn’t saying much at this point.  In fact, a few minutes after that he begged for Megan to take him home because he was ready to go to bed.  Before he left, I made sure to give him a hug.  I wanted him to know how much he meant to me, how much I’m pulling for him and how much I love him too.  His “mustard seed” faith has moved mountains of worry, stress and guilt from off my heart.  His faith has made my faith stronger.

Jackson’s speaks to you without saying a word.  He’s truly an incredible little boy.

Read more of Jackson’s story here.

I’m Feeling A Bit Fluffy


Day THIRTY(!) of 30 posts in 30 days (holy balls I managed to do it!)

——————————————————–

So, here I am on the precipice of finishing the challenge I made to myself one month ago.  You know what?  There isn’t a lavish parade stampeding by my door.  Ed McMahon didn’t raise from the dead to give me $50 million dollars.  I didn’t suddenly realize I could speed up my heart rate fast enough to bend a bullet around Angelina Jolie’s face (that’s Wanted… in case you hadn’t seen it). 

None of that happened.

In fact… I feel a bit fluffy.  No, I don’t mean I feel overweight or a little pudgy.  I mean that over these last 30 days I haven’t really written a lot about things of relevance or things that I look back on and say, “Hey… I wrote the shit out of that topic!”  In the past, I may have taken me two or three days to get a post together.  This gave me time to formulate my thoughts, organize myself, take pictures, scratch my balls… whatever.  These 30 days (in amongst everything else I do) consisted of me busting my ass to think of something to write about every day!  I must say, it got a little overwhelming and I’m looking forward to not posting something every single day.

I also want to set something straight for you readers and myself as well:  I’m a God-fearing individual.  Perhaps I don’t make that statement enough.  I realize that I curse at times on my posts, I post pictures of my wife and Kim Kardashian (well done God… well done), say things like “scratch my balls” or “punch my testicles” or “I like boobies” and talk about my past that consisted of a lot of boozing and partying.  Truth of the matter is… I’m not worthy of the love God displays for me.  I’ve been incredibly blessed and that hasn’t been without living through times where I felt like dying. 

I don’t feel that writing a scripture passage after every post or having a moral message after every story is particularly endearing to some of my readers who may be atheist or agnostic.  I want to reach out to those readers as well.  Just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean that I can’t scratch my balls, think Kim Kardashian is hot or talk about my past in a light that may be humorous.  I’m not Mr. “Moral Majority” and certainly don’t want to come across that way so I talk about what I want and hope that my occasional post on my faith or my marriage or being a father can reach out to the masses in some small way. 

This blog rose out of the ashes that was my life for a while.  I was dead.  I was lost.  I was sincerely hurting.  “Hands To War” came from that.  My blog title actually comes from scripture!  Psalm 18 vs. 32-36 to be exact:

It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.  He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.  He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.  Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

When I was crumbling in my depression, it was He who helped me out.   This scripture resonated with me.  He helped make me strong.  If it had been up to me I would have literally died… and I mean that.  I feel that lately, I haven’t credited God with everything that I have.  So that’s what I’m doing right now in this post.

Quite frankly people, when you read this blog, you’re reading me… stains and all.  I use Hands To War as my creative, emotional and spiritual outlet.  It’s up to you whether you want to read it or not.

—————————————————————

Thanks for reading these last 30 days.  I hope you can look forward to more posts to come (just not every day).

My First Guest Contribution


Day fifteen of 30 posts in 30 days

——————————————

So for those of you who thought I wouldn’t make it in the blogger world (all zero of you)… eat my butt.

I’m guest contributing over at Real World: Venus Vs. Mars today.  I volunteered to write about my experiences I’d gone through with depression.  I think I encapsulated everything pretty well… in fact I’d say it’s probably one of my better pieces.

So if you care about me at all… then click the link and make a comment if you please:

Venus and Mars

Or click this for a direct link to the post itself.

My Heart Aches


I had something lighthearted in store for you tonight but it seems that there’s been a little issue requiring a bit more of my concentration at the moment.

The angel who gave me life, also known as my mother, wound up in the emergency room tonight back in my home town.  When I was a much younger boy and my mom would travel out of town (that wasn’t very often), I would cry myself to sleep in fear that I’d never see her again because “something would happen”.  I see this now being the precursor to many of the fears I have in being a father but nonetheless to get a phone call like I did tonight from my sister will do nothing short but momentarily take your breath away.

She appears at this moment to be fine and will be fine but it was a scary moment nonetheless.  If you get a chance, she could use a few prayers directed her way.

If you look hard enough… you can see that halo (on her… not me).  I thank God every day for her.

Let Go


If you’re a new reader of mine… you know I’m a ball of stress A-L-O-T.  I’ve even been officially diagnosed with a (sometimes) seemingly overwhelmingly crippling form of OCD.

Before I became a father… I had more humorous form of the OCD condition i.e. checking locks on the door incessantly before bed, checking and re-checking to make sure everything was off before leaving the house, having to drive back home to make sure the garage door was not left open, etc. etc. etc.

When a baby human… not just any baby human… MY BABY HUMAN was added to the mix my condition mutated into a much more horrifying thought process that dragged my mind to the pits of despair and back again… continually.

I never knew depression. 

I never knew anxiety. 

I know them very well now.

I want to protect my little girl and ensure the safety of her soul, mind and body.  I want a signed document delivered to me that DLG will leave this Earth as a 100-year-old woman destined for the biggest castle in heaven while leaving a legacy of love behind her affecting the lives of millions.

I know that document will never come.

And therein lies the problem with my OCD condition.

I’ll never know the answer to every question.  I’ll never know the end to every story.  I’ll never be able to figure out every problem.

And it drives me fucking nuts.

DLG doesn’t understand what I’m going through and when I’m going through it I don’t let her know.  I play and roll around with her, I tickle her and throw her in the air, I smash play-do and color with markers despite the fact I may have a sad look hidden behind my eyes.  She knows me as the same daddy regardless of what emotions I may be going through… and that’s the way it’s always going to be.

During a recent struggle of mine, I was snuggling with DLG during our night-time ritual of bedtime stories, prayers and singing songs.  While rocking her and worrying enlessly admidst some of her aimless blather she so commonly displays on her way to dreams of helium balloons and pools full of books she looked up at me and said this: “Let go. Let go.” 

There’s no way she knew that what she was saying might have tied into what I was feeling… but it did.

It’s not even that what she said wasn’t something that was especially new to my thought process.  But coming from her, the one of whom I worry about incessantly, was all the more real.

Her four words told me this: I need to realize there’s only certain things I can control and the rest I need to rest in the hands of God.  Worry and stress that lead to depression and anxiety does not prevent whatever your worried about from happening.

Can a meteor fall from space, smash through my house and reduce us all to smithereens?  Yes.  Does it help to worry about it?  No.

This was an example… I don’t worry about meteors smashing us to bits.  I’m sure there are probably those out there that do.

DLG’s demeanor, occupation, marriage partner and even her fate were written long before the Earth was much more than a glimmer in the eye of God.  I, unfortunately, have no control over this.

What I do have control of is this: LOVE.  There is not a day that goes by where I don’t hug and kiss her and tell her I love her at least 100 times.  I feel as though I’m especially called to do this.  Love evolves into many other thing i.e. a responsibility to take care of yourself, take care of others and treat your fellow man as you wish to be treated. 

Every day that goes by, she grows a little more independent.  One day, A LOOOOOOOOOONG time from now, she’ll be completely independent from me and her mother and the one thing I’ll be able to control at that point is just loving her unconditionally, trusting that I raised her well… and letting go.

Sounds a little like Someone else doesn’t it?

I never knew love until I knew them

A Serious Moment


Because of the way I am, I always prepare myself for something catastrophic every time Bunny doesn’t call me at the regular times i.e. when she wakes up, when she and DLG are on their way somewhere, etc.  The thought that enters my head is, “I hope everything’s okay.”

The other day, my cell phone rang at work at an unusual time when I wasn’t expecting her call.

My thoughts raced and upon answering it, her voice sounded grim: “Honey, I just got some devastating news.”

I came up with a blank.  Her voice wasn’t rushed and scared as if something had just happened to her or DLG.

“You remember how I told you that Meggie’s nephew just got diagnosed with a brain tumor?” she said.

Earlier in the week, Bunny got some absolutely heart wrenching news from a friend of ours that the reason her five-year old nephew, Jackson, was having trouble seeing was because he had a brain tumor.

Bunny continued, “Well… it’s inoperable.  The tumor is imbedded in his brain stem and it’s impossible to remove with surgery.  The doctors are giving him, at most, two years.”

Jackson was diagnosed with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). 

For me, despite not really knowing Jackson aside from meeting him once or twice, this news seemed to slice through all four chambers of my heart, “I didn’t even know that five-year olds could get brain tumors?” I thought to myself.  “How could a little boy who hasn’t even experienced life AT ALL be subject to such a horrible thing?”  The thoughts consumed me… and I won’t delve into them all.  I can’t even imagine what it must be like for his family.

I know a lot of people read my blog with different religious backgrounds, different beliefs, different denominations or perhaps no belief at all.  But I’m here to ask you… keep Jackson Cash in your thoughts and prayers.  I wasn’t even in the room when the doctor gave the awful timeline… but them are fightin’ words people.   Nothing is impossible for God.  Nothing.  If a doctor says “two years” I say “F that doc!!  We and The Big Man Upstairs can BEAT THIS THING!!!”

You seriously need to go to Jackson’s website and put his precious face with his name.  Write something in his journal… I know it would mean so much.

Pray for the F-ing tumor to go back to the hole it crawled out of.