Friday, October 30, 2009

twtpoll :: What Christian music act would you like to see come to Milwaukee? (via @JonKurozawa)

twtpoll :: What Christian music act would you like to see come to Milwaukee? (via @JonKurozawa)

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Explanation of the $1 Michael W. Smith Tweet

OK...I know there must be a lot of confusion about the Twitter messages I have posted at @JonKurozawa about my wife Holly, her chance to sing in the choir with Michael W. Smith and the request for $1 donations.

Let me first state...this has nothing to do directly with Michael W. Smith or anyone associated with him. I am thrilled that he is offering the opportunity for 100 people to join him in his choir at the concert at NIU in DeKalb, Illinois next Saturday.

The reason for the $1 donation is request is slightly complicated. My issue is with TicketMaster, who charge outrageous fees on tickets to any event they are involved in.
Michael W. Smith was offering discounted tickets to those singing and their families (a great deal) but the $6 service fee PER TICKET is ridiculous.

Holly wants me to bring our two oldest kids to see this once in a life time opportunity for her...and I agree, but when the price goes from $48 up to $72 in an instant, plus the driving, meals, etc...well lets just say it's tough.

Holly has made numerous sacrifices for me in our 13+ years of marriage, allowing me to do and do things I have wanted to do (sports broadcasts, MPTV auction and more)...I want to give her this chance. She works hard 24/7, 365 days out of the year as the mother of our 4 children...I will not deny her this chance.
The other issues...well i will be 100% transparent....those of you that have been following me know we have had major issues this year with our van. It went back into the shop again today. Another fun expense.
Secondarily you all know I have been working with the Milwaukee Wave, a great organization, with wonderful people to work with. The catch, as anyone that works outside sales knows, its a commission based job which means no money until you bring in money. I am fine with this, but it's a tough time to get sponsorships when the economy is still unstable.

All of that being said...that is why I was asking for 72 of my twitter friends to donate $1 each via Paypal to help Holly go to sing in the Michael W. Smith concert next Saturday. If you do not agree with me, I am sorry to hear that. I do everything I can for my family to be happy, be successful and to have fun. People have gotten annoyed with my pitches for Boy Scout wreath sales and Girl Scout cookie orders, but I am trying to help my kids be successful!

Thanks to everyone that is helping to make a dream come true for my beautiful wife Holly! The same blessing will be returned to you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Challenges, battles and working towards victory

Everyday we are faced with challenges, some greater than others. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or what your circumstances are…you will face challenges.

Throughout my life I have been faced with many that have been debilitating, heart breaking and soul shattering, but no matter how bad things were I was always able to make it through.

For many years I thought it was my will to survive, stubbornness or just good fortune that would help me make it through the difficult times. Let me tell you…none of these is the case.

Anyone that has know me for at least 5 years knows the struggles that I have faced…mostly work and money related. 10 years you get a greater understanding. The few that have known me longer than that no how deep it goes.

Through all of this there has been one constant…not a close friend, not a dedicated family member, but someone much more important…Jesus. OK there I said it. I know it, I believe it…through everything Jesus has been walking by my side. When I have stumbled, taken missteps, fallen down, dragged around, kicked in the mud…you name it Jesus has been there.

Conversely on my highest days, when I have accomplished little and great things…guess what? Jesus has been there too. When I have doubted HE is there. When I have praised and gave thanks HE is there. No matter what HE has always been there.

Why am I sharing this? Because I know many people who are down, feeling lost, wanting to give up…asking “Why is this happening to me?” I have been there, more times than I care to remember. Remember one thing…Jesus is there waiting for you, but HE will not open the door for you…you have to do it yourself.

Everyday I still live with challenges…struggles with work, struggles with money, struggles with family…but no matter what happens, I cannot get down on myself, get angry or be filled with doubt. I have to put my focus on Christ Jesus…that HE is there for me…but I need to reach out to him in the good times and the bad.

2009 has been one of the most difficult that I have faced. Fighting to save a job early in the year, while trying to figure out how to stretch every penny. Losing that job in the spring and trying to figure out what the next step is. Waiting for week after week for unemployment benefits to kick in, praying that we would be OK. Wondering why no one will interview me for a job, despite dozens upon dozens of resumes sent out. Finally having a job offered that I love, but struggling to make sales, find new clients and make money.

Sound like a familiar story?? I am not asking for sympathy because I know there are many others worse off than me and my family. I am thankful every single day for the job I have, the house we live in, the clothes we wear, the van I drive, the food we eat…for our health and safety.

I tell this story as a reminder to myself that I need to continue to push forward with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ…to continue to walk by faith and not by sight…to continue to battle forward no matter what the enemy may place in front of me to deter me, to slow me down. Also I do this to encourage those of you that have lost hope, are feeling more downs than ups.

The only one that can hold you down is YOU…no one else. Turn your attitude into one of a winner and no one or nothing can stop you…but friends, you must walk with faith, grace and mercy. We can make our own decisions, chose the direction we go, but we do not ultimately have total control. Our paths have been laid out for us, our destination chosen and each chapter of our unique stories have been written, long ago.

The author…The Father…the creator of all things…GOD.

If you do not agree…I am sorry for that. If I have offended you…I do now apologize for this is my belief…in my mind, heart and soul.

Walk in faith, walk in the light…continue to move forward.