Sunday, December 31, 2017

Celebrate Freedom: 2017 year in review.

Celebrate Freedom: 2017 year in review. 

I have been blessed to be set free from my alcohol and drug addiction since 2015 due to my faith in Jesus Christ and my participation in the Celebrate Freedom Recovery Program at Rock Solid Church.  Since completing the program in June 2015, I have become active in the ministry by teaching on a regular basis. As 2017 began I was honored to take on the added responsibility of leading the men’s discussion group for our Thursday Night meetings. 

In response to the Opioid Epidemic that has had such an impact on our community this year and because of Celebrate Freedom’s desire to help more people leave their hurts, habits, and hang ups behind, the leadership team of Celebrate Freedom (CF) decided to expand the vision of Celebrate Freedom to go beyond our stated goals of recovery and discipleship to included community outreach.  

Previously we had relied on announcements at Rock Solid Church and word of mouth to let people know about our recovery program.  This year it was our desire to more proactively promote our group to the community at large and to support other recovery groups, organizations, and county agencies that were fighting the Opiod Epidemic and other problems that affect the community.  

I took on the responsibility to act as a liaison to the community and to promote Celebrate Freedom as a recovery option for the Columbia County community in whatever capacity I could think of. 

Our first course of action was to support and to become a member of Columbia Pathways to Recovery.  Columbia Pathways to Recovery (( is a Community Recovery Organization and advocacy group whose goal is “to educate the community about the substance abuse issues that occur in our community”

They have partnered with Chatham Cares 4 U to create a help line for those in Columbia County who seek recovery:
Columbia Pathways To Recovery / Chatham Cares 4 U Recovery Helpline
877-HOPE-365 (877-467-3365)
9am to 9pm / 7 days a week
Information, resources and referrals

Chatham Cares 4 U ( is the Chatham Police Department’s progressive community program that seeks to save and change lives of those with substance abuse problems.

             There is great work being done through Columbia Pathways to Recovery and Chatham Cares 4 U to battle the Opioid Epidemic that plagues our community and Celebrate Freedom fully supports their efforts.  

Since June I have attended CPR’s monthly community meetings, Project Safe Point’s Narcan Trainings, and various Substance Abuse Community Panel Discussions throughout Columbia County to educate myself and to represent and promote Celebrate Freedom as a recovery option for Columbia County residents. Celebrate Freedom designed a T-shirt and informational fliers to raise awareness of our recovery group and I tried to don a shirt and distribute our fliers at each event I attended. 

            In an effort to promote our program to the community at large I also represented Celebrate Freedom by wearing a shirt at various community walking  events in and outside Columbia County , such as, CPR’s Recovery Walk,  The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, The Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk, and Ferncliff Forrest’s Turkey Trot. 

            Celebrate Freedom was also represented by tabling at Taconic Retreat Centers’ Fall Festival and Hudson’s Winter Walk Event (at Rock Solid Church).

Celebrate Freedom also tabled at CPR’s hosted Marc Mero Speaking Event at Hudson High School where our team distributed various information and 100 Bibles to the community.   

Members of Rock Solid Church and Celebrate Freedom also represented the Hope of a Life in Christ by Collecting for The Salvation Army. 

I would like to thank the leadership team, participants, and the many volunteers of Celebrate Freedom that gave their time and hearts to share the hope that they know is possible through faith in Christ. 

We have been faithful in our efforts to promote our program and the hope that is found in a life that is transformed by faith in Jesus Christ.    It has been a great year and I look forward to serving Celebrate Freedom and the community at large in 2018.  

If you have any questions or ideas of how we can serve the community and promote our group in the New Year,  please contact me at

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Worthy of the Walk

An integral part of the Christian Faith is to live as Christ would have us live, to walk in righteousness, to understand who we are in Christ and to reflect that truth for the world to see.  While we are not worthy of the grace and mercy that God has given us in the gift of His Son and can never hope to earn it, we should recognize how fortunate we are and to continual turn toward God and attempt to walk in His ways.  We do this to give God the glory, to enjoy a life of peace, hope and love, and to show others that there is a God who loves them and is able give them hope for a new life on earth and life everlasting in eternity. 

I recently read John MacArthur's book on prayer, Alone with God.  I highly recommend it to all who are interested in deepening their prayer life and their relationship with Jesus Christ.

 Within it's pages, MacArthur shares scripture references that reflect how we are to walk as Christians and to demonstrate that we understand that we are worthy of God's calling.  I have taken those references and reorganized them and share them for you here.  I hope they will remind you of who you are in Christ and encourage you to "walk the walk", rather than just "talking the talk".  None of us are perfect but God is perfecting us (sanctification) and the more true we are to His ways the more we give Him the glory for saving us and giving us a new life and the hope to share with the world around us. 

Worthy of the Calling

A New Testament list of all that is encompassed in a worthy walk, for:

1 John 2:6 (NKJV)
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

·         Purity

Romans 13:13 (NLT)
13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.

·         Contentment

1 Corinthians 7:17 (NLT)
17 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.

·         Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight..

·         Righteousness

Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

·         Gentleness & Humility

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NLT)
2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

·         Love

Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma

·         Light

Ephesians 5:8-9 (NKJV)
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),

·         Wisdom

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NLT)
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.
16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

·         Unity

Philippians 1:27 (NKJV)
27  Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

·         Thankfulness

Colossians 1:3 (NKJV)
3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

·         Knowledge & Fruitfulness

Colossians 1:10 (NKJV)
10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

·         Patience & Joy

Colossians 1:11 (NLT)
11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,

·         Truth

3 John 1:3-4 (NKJV)
3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

I hope you find this to be an encouragement to walk the walk of a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you actively share that hope with the world around you. 

God bless you. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Forgive me Joel. The truth will set you free.

A few days ago, without knowing the facts, I offered Joel Osteen forgiveness. 

I figured that everyone is capable of making mistakes and perhaps that's what happened in Houston.  

With that in mind I wrote about the good work Joel Osteen does and the truth of the Gospel that he speaks about. I figured even if he had made a mistake, I would forgive him because Lakewood church was open and helping people. I figured it was never too late to do the right thing and help people.  

It turns out I offered forgiveness to someone who didn't need it.   Please click the link below and watch the video of Joel Osteen addressing his church and the public regarding the events in Houston.

This won't satisfy some people.  For them, I pray they put their faith in Jesus Christ because they have bigger problems than Joel Osteen.   

If you look at the good that Osteen has done and continues to do, if you listen to his messages about the hope of Christ to save people and change lives,  you will see they all point to Jesus.

Although I didn't condemn Osteen, I ask for his forgiveness anyway.  I didn't need to defend him.  I didn't need to forgive him. That's God's job.  

Friday, September 1, 2017

Oh Joel!

After the devastation in Houston, mega church leader, Joel Osteen has been the target of criticism for the failure to open the doors of his church and directing people to seek shelter elsewhere. 
Since then Osteen has opened the doors of his church and is providing help to those in need in Houston. 
Osteen is a target for criticism for his demeanor, his wealth, and the depth of the messages he delivers at his church. Osteen is commonly labeled as a “Prosperity gospel” preacher. 
I don’t know much about Joel Osteen but I probably know more than most who are sharing the negative memes about him (even after he opened the doors of his church to help those in need).    I have read a couple of his books.  I have seen him on television and I saw him speak live when He came to Albany New York a few years back.
Joel may have fancy suits and the content of his messages may grate on peoples nerves as too simple, sweet, or speak too much on people realizing their dreams and potential but I can tell you this: 

A 12 year old girl in Haiti named Sergeline Saint Hilaire has been receiving aid for a few years now and still receives aide to this day because of Joel Osteen. 

When Osteen came to Albany, he encouraged those present to sponsor a child through World Vision.  ( I wasn’t exactly the giving type back in those days but I did it and continue to do it. 
I can also tell you that Joel Osteen preaches from the Bible and typically invites his audience to say a prayer that will put their faith in Jesus Christ, the only one who saves.  I know Joel Osteen may appear to be phony as a 3 dollar bill but he shares the message of hope found in Christ.
 Maybe he is phony and he is only in it for the money.  If that’s the case He will face serious consequences one day. Only God knows the hearts of men.  
In the meantime, Osteen may have made a mistake in how he handled the crisis in Houston but he’s helping that community now.
He’s human and makes mistakes. He may rub people the wrong way.  However, I know Osteen preaches enough of the gospel to save people and he does works that helps people. 
I have made a lot of mistakes in my life that I have been forgiven of and as a Christian I will pass on the gift of forgiveness to Joel Osteen. 
Regardless of his faults, Osteen is more than likely providing more help to the people of Houston than those who are sharing negative memes about him. 
For those who would like to give to the people of Houston, donations can be made to the Red Cross (
or World Vision ( 

Those without sin cast the first stone…   Anyone?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Life with Christ - The Best Life

Every morning I read the Bible.  Today I came across the following verses in Psalm 84:

Psalm 84:10-12 (NKJV)
10  For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
12  O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

These words reminded me of some advice I heard from a elder from our church.  She's in her eighties and hasn't always been a Christian. She told me about her life of hardship and struggle before and after coming to faith in Jesus.  She told me that life is hard but life with Christ is the best life.  

Some aspects of my life are a continual struggle but when I look back of the darkness and confusion I used to walk in and consider the continual hope and wonder that I have know since making Jesus my Lord and Savior, I know without a doubt that life with Christ is the best life.  

Friday, July 28, 2017

Hope for the Opioid Addiction Criss

It’s been a long time since I have written in this blog. I have completed writing a book based on Catskill Mountain Christian Center’s Pastor Robert Engelhardt’s preaching I learned so much from the first 36 messages that I transcribed from his On Fire Radio Podcasts and I encourage anyone seeking the Lord to listen to them and the many messages that are available that surpass the initial 36 messages.  You can search On Fire Radio on I-tunes or go to  to listen to them. (Update - check out the mt4christ247 podcast - subscribe today by going to the podcast links on 

            I submitted the book and an accompanying study guide to Pastor Engelhardt and he generously agreed to co-author the book and to facilitate getting it published.  He has submitted the work to his editor and I patiently wait the day that it is published.  The project was a complete work of faith on my part and now I will trust the Lord to do with it as His will determines, come what may. 
I have also been blessed to be taking an increasing leadership role in Rock Solid Church’s recovery program, Celebrate Freedom  

 (Update - We have transitioned to Christian Discipleship which should be the core of successful recovery- We still meet on Thursday but have opened our doors to every one who wants their freedom in Christ - the New ministry is Community Freedom. )    
I have been teaching from the Celebrate Recovery program and from my personal experiences every three weeks and recently have been entrusted to lead the Men’s small group discussion session following the weekly teaching.  I praise the Lord for this opportunity to give back and to proclaim the hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.  With a desire to bring this hope to more people in the Columbia county  area, I have been attending Columbia Pathways to Recovery meetings to make the community aware that we exist and that we are available to offer the hope of a new life to those who struggle with hurts, habits, and hang ups.
Columbia Pathways to Recovery (( is Community Recovery Organization and advocacy group whose goal is “to educate the community about the substance abuse issues that occur in our community”

They have partnered with Chatham Cares 4 U to create a help line for those in Columbia County who seek recovery:
Columbia Pathways To Recovery / Chatham Cares 4 URecovery Helpline
877-HOPE-365 (877-467-3365)
9am to 9pm / 7 days a week
Information, resources and referrals
Chatham Cares 4 U  is the Chatham Police Department’s progressive community program that seeks to save and change lives of those with substance abuse problems. (Update - Chatham Cares 4 U has been discontinued) 

Their Facebook page states: “Any person who enters the Chatham Police station to request help with their addiction to opiates shall be deemed “a participant,” and will be immediately screened into the Chatham Cares 4 U Outreach Initiative Program. If a participant entering the police or safe place requesting help is in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia (needles, etc.), the items will be seized and marked for destruction, but the participant will not be charged. Officers having contact with participants entering the Chatham Police or designated safe place will be professional, compassionate and understanding at all times. The attending Officer will immediately notify the Police Chief or his/her designee that a participant is requesting help with their addiction, pat down the participant for drugs or weapons, and then take the participant into a private room or designated area.”
Chatham’s program was inspired from the success seen in Gloucester, Massachusetts where “Police Chief Leonard Campanello developed a revolutionary new way to fight the war on drugs by doing something about the demand, not just the supply. Under his plan, drug addicts who ask the police department for help will be immediately taken to a hospital and placed in a recovery program. Gloucester’s, and now Chatham’s, program also works “to remove the stigma associated with drug addiction, turning the conversation toward the disease of addiction rather than the crime of addiction.”  They “work directly with treatment centers to secure scholarships and fully-funded in-patient programs for addicts while working with police departments, pharmacies, and families to put nasal Narcan into as many hands as possible, recognizing that while it is not a panacea, Narcan can save the life of an overdose patient and give that person another opportunity to get into treatment and fight their disease” ( ).
             There is great work being done through Columbia Pathways to Recovery and Chatham Cares 4 U to battle the opioid addiction crisis that plagues our community.  It is our intention at Celebrate Freedom to offer those who successfully complete detox and rehab a program and a community that can give them a purpose and a hope to leave their addictions forever in the past.   Celebrate Freedom has joined Columbia Pathways to Recovery as a member to support their efforts and be considered as another pathway to recovery for Columbia residents in need. 
            Beyond the work I have been doing at Celebrate Freedom, I am also pleased to report that I have joined Rock Solid Church’s Jail Ministry team.  I have gone into the Columbia County Jail on several occasions preaching of the hope for a new life that is available through faith in Jesus Christ.  I have had the pleasure to teach and counsel the men in jail of the possibility of a changed life through their faith and have offered the Rock Solid church community, its food bank, and Celebrate Freedom as resources they can utilize to change their lives after their release.   Our jail ministry has borne fruit as I can testify that some of  those who had spent years in prison and in and out of jail are now standing with me in our church services, and at Celebrate Freedom, committed to the new life that their faith in Jesus Christ has given them.   
            So long time no blog but as you can see I have been busy.  It is my intention to be more faithful in writing in this blog for I have been greatly convicted to share the hope that I’ve found that seems to be lacking in our modern society. 
            I encourage all who read this to press into their faith and to get involved with their church and the community at large.  Christians need to show the world that we care and that there is hope for right now and for eternity in Jesus Christ. 
            I have included links to Columbia Pathways to Recovery and Chatham Cares For U and encourage you to support their efforts and to follow their examples for those in other communities. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Spiritual Progress - By Faith Alone

( Photo Credit:   

One thing that I have learned in my journey of faith is that our spiritual progress is not based on our belief, our need, or our deeds.  Our spiritual progress is according to God's grace and is based on our faith.  

To believe is one thing, to have faith is to have trust in what you believe and to exercise that trust with the way we live.  

You can believe a chair can hold your weight but having faith in that belief is proven by your willingness to sit in it. When you do, your faith is rewarded. You gain the benefit of being able to rest in the chair.  

In the Christian life we test our faith through reading His word, through prayer, and through our service and obedience.  If we are faithful in these disciplines, we are rewarded with the fruit of the Spirit.  Try it and you'll begin a journey into faith that never ends.

I was moved to share this little message by a devotional by Derek Prince Ministries which I have included here:

"Faith in God’s Goodness

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.     NIV

     If I were to ask you what’s the most important thing – what’s the thing that’s essential if you are to lead a life that’s pleasing to God, I wonder how you’d answer.

     Would you perhaps say: being religious, going to church, giving money to charity, keeping the Golden Rule, abstaining from sins, from immorality, from drunkenness, from things like that? All those things may be good, but none of them is the one essential thing for pleasing God. The one thing that God requires in all of us, the one thing without which we cannot please Him, is faith. And that faith is expressed in two ways.

     First of all, we must believe that God exists. Most of us, I suppose, in our hearts, really are aware of that. But beyond that, we have to believe that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. You see, faith is, ultimately, faith in the goodness of God – in His reliability, in His dependability – and without that faith in God’s goodness we cannot please Him. It begins with believing in God and in His goodness. That is the root and the source of all true success and the life that pleases God."

Have Faith in the promises of God! Read His word and apply It to your life. 


bless all who read these words of encouragement.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

His Grace is Enough: Resurrection Sunday 2017

His grace is enough.  

When I heard the gospel message that saved me back in 2010, I couldn't believe it. 

In my denomination I knew Jesus died on the cross to pay for the world's sin but the teaching and preaching I heard never taught me that the work that Jesus on the cross was enough to cover all my personal sins.  I was convinced that I was a sinner. They were good at teaching that.  I thought I had to be good to get in Heaven and I knew that I wasn't good so I followed my own selfish desires and forgot about the God who was powerless to do anything but send me to hell.  It was a hard dark road for a long time.  

But then I heard that Jesus did in fact die for my sin, sins past, present, and even future.  I was relieved and immediately said the prayer that saved me.  

His grace was enough!  

After I got saved I resolved to follow the Lord as much as possible even though I was still a drunk and sinner.  I started to read the Bible and saw that Christians were not supposed to get drunk... I was confused.  I thought I was forgiven.  

Well I was and God's grace would cover my sins til the day I died but I Am God's child now.  The Holy Spirit was in me and the same old drunkenness and sin wasn't as much fun. I felt I was doing wrong!  I drank for 25+ years and never had a desire to quit.  But  now I did.   Even though I knew God wanted better things for me I thought it was impossible to change. In 2015, my church started a Recovery ministry, I knew it was for me. I signed up and the rest is history. I'm over Two years sober today.  

When I saw that God was willing to do the impossible in my life, I said "What's next?"

Now I'm close to completing a book I have been writing based on the preaching of a local pastor.  God has healed me in more than one way. I'm out of debt. Life is good.  I am living the new life that is promised to believers in the Bible, a life of hope and victory over sin and death. 

On this Resurrection Sunday, I just want to thank God for what he is doing in my life and I want all who should read this to know that God loves you and He is willing to do the impossible in your life too.

Believe and Christ and follow Him.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Reasons I didn't. Suicide: Personal History.

Reasons I didn't. Suicide: Personal History.

            This weekend my teenage children marathon watched the Netfilx series, 13 Reasons Why, which focuses on the reasons that surround a teenage girl’s decision to end her own life.  The series is really well down and I recommend parents watch it with their kids and to talk to their kids about suicide and what’s going on in their lives so they can express the reasons that we live.  The series has some graphic depictions of violence, sex, and drug use and in recommending it I wasn’t sure at what age it would be appropriate.  The series reminded me of my own life and the conversations I have had with my own kids about suicide.  I try to be an open book so they can know what life is like.  Sometimes I don’t realize the impact what I’m saying to them has until one of my stories is repeated to me.  At those moments I have an odd mix of shame and pride as I try to re-qualify what it is I said and how “it wasn’t like it sounded” when in fact it most likely was.  

At age 13, I was a mess. I wasn’t athletically skilled.  Whatever moments of glory I had on the baseball field in my youth were not translating after age 12. I had some real moments of failure and embarrassment on the ball field that made any desire to play baseball totally disappear. I found comfort in food and had bottomless hunger at times.  So I was chubby or just plain fat.

I liked to play football and spent a lot of time playing it in the neighborhood. I liked it enough that I decided I would try to play pop warner.  I signed up but back then I was over the weight limit.  It was highly embarrassing because my older brother managed to make it but I didn’t.  So that ended any desire I had to play any sports ever.  

I think it was the summer before middle school that I and a friend in the neighborhood were so dissatisfied with our home lives that we both had the idea to just run away from home. I had ideas about jumping on a freight train and just leaving it all behind.   My friend ended up moving away and we lost touch pretty quickly.  Neither of us ran away as far as I know, not geographically anyway. 

I was at that transitional stage in life between elementary school and high school where hormones and emotions are running wild, where you’re no longer a little kid but you haven’t gotten past puberty entirely.  It also was a time where the friends in the neighborhood had all but disappeared.  A few had moved away and others were lost in childhood vendettas.   We also all went to a new school where I either got separated from the few friends I had, or we grew apart.

There was a lot of stress in going to middle school. Not only did I have to adjust to new people in class, back in my time, being bullied or beaten up was a real concern.  Fights were not common place but certainly not unheard of.  I was a fat kid so I wasn’t necessarily safe from insults or teasing.  I got my fair share in the neighborhood and at home.  I remember, early on in 6th grade, a kid giving me crap while we were in the boy’s room, in front of other kids.  I was bigger so I grabbed him and put him is a wrestling hold I had seen on T.V. until he begged to be let go.  The other kids saw it and after that I was never really bothered again. 

From that and other squabbles in the neighborhood, I guess you could say I am not innocent in terms of being a bully.  After that episode in the boys room though, I never put my hands on anybody again.  I like to think that I didn’t like the way it made me feel.      
            I was lucky in that I wasn’t picked on but I didn’t really have anything going for me so I didn’t really have any close friends.  So I know what it’s like to be lonely and frankly, when the alternative is to be an object of negative attention, loneliness can be okay. 
            So that’s the picture of me between 5th and 8th grade.  Somewhere in that time frame, probably around the time I was thinking about running away, I thought about killing myself.  The turmoil of life seemed to be too much and I figured I would get my Dad’s gun that he kept in his top dresser drawer and shoot myself in the head. 

            I remember one time, I think I was 13, going into my parents room and taking the revolver out of his dresser drawer, holding it in my hands.  He had a mirror on his dresser and I saw my reflection holding a gun with an anguished look on my face.  I don’t know if it was loaded, 99.9% sure it wasn’t, I never pointed it to my head, I don’t think.  Contemplating ending my life scared the daylights out of me.  So I put the gun back and I don’t think I ever touched it again. 

            I was in a state of turmoil in those days and I remember making threats to kill myself and my parents getting angry and they were very adamant that I was not to kill myself or even talk about it.  I think they may have said something close to “We’ll kill you if you kill yourself!”  Or “We don’t want to hear any of that stupid talk!” 

            As silly as it seems, I think I needed to hear that.  No matter how they said it they conveyed the fact that suicide was something that I was not to do.  So if it was the fear of death, subsiding hormones, or my parents’ warnings, I obviously didn’t kill myself. 

            I’ve told my teenage kids these stories to show them I know how hard it can be growing up. They have shared that the kids can be just as mean as they were in my day and have both felt like they were made fun of and had times where they felt isolated without any friends. 

            A few years ago my son Brennan, was in middle school (the wonderful years for all of us I guess) when he decided that homework was just something that he wasn’t going to do and sitting at his desk in class didn’t appeal to him either.  So he bad grades, and was getting detention for disobedience, and had even walked off the school grounds a few times. 

            On one occasion he told the faculty at his school that he wanted to die.  The school did the right thing. They called the cops and sent him to the local hospital for a psychological evaluation.   Brennan had no actual plans to kill himself.  He was being an angsty teen with issues with authority. The staff was required to keep him for a certain amount of time and his mother had to pick him up.  So he had lots of time to think about what he had said and what he was doing. 

            I took the door to his bedroom off of its hinges after that because we couldn’t “trust” him to be alone.  We talked about it, a lot. The troubles with the homework and discipline didn’t go away immediately but the next school year Brennan changed his ways.  He says that he decided for himself that what he was doing was stupid and hurting himself.  Since then he’s gotten good grades and has started participating in drama and has a decent sized role in the next musical production at the end of the month. 

I realize there is a lot to respond to in reading this. Lessons to be learned:

Lock up your guns.  Kids know where they are and they might know where the keys are too. Just saying, kids are smart. 

Talk to you kids.  Share your experiences so you’re not just a “parental unit” from the planet “Boring”. 

As dumb as it may sound, Tell them suicide is punishable by death!  Just kidding, express to them you love them and that they are not to take their own lives.    

Discuss that choices and actions have consequences that may have a farther impact than they think. 

Basically, we have to be there for our kids and treat them as human beings who may be going through the toughest times of their lives, human beings that need to know there is hope and love for them at home, and human beings that need to know there is reason to live and a future where things get better.