“Life” happens when you are making plans!!!!!

“Life” happens when you are making plans!!!!!

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Let’s face it – we all have plans for the future – whether it be the immediate future or the long-term goals that we so dream about. Marriage, children, buying and or building a home, buying a car, you get my drift. Anyway, just when you start dreaming of what you want to do – “Life” steps in and changes are made. Just look at the current weather situation in Florida. We are planning a vacation to the Keys in the near future but what if it would have been this weekend or next weekend? Monies would have been paid, time taken off of work, “plans” made all for what? Just to be rearranged, cancelled, or even lost. The fact remains that yes we make plans but plans are made to be changed. Just because you get pitched a curve ball doesn’t mean that your life is over or that it is the worst thing in the world. Think about all of those people in the Caribbean that were planning on – well – tomorrow! Their tomorrow will never come and their families will be asking themselves “what could I have done different”?

I have a very dear friend that, on and off over the years, we have kept in contact with each other and from the very first day that I met Mike Holland, I knew there was something different about him. Something strange! Strange in a good way though – the type of strange that you don’t see any more in this day and age. I was working as a Rent-a-Cop – a Security Officer at a local Mall in Henderson. This was all before I went to the Police Academy in 1990 to become a real Police Officer. I had been working there for over a year and was tasked with training all of the new hires and getting them acclimated to their surroundings. Mike Holland was hired on and he and I were assigned onto a shift together. Over the course of the next few weeks, he and I worked together and I learned a lot about him. For one, he built and worked on computers and from what I remember; he was quite brilliant at it too. Secondly, he had a religious upbringing and was very family oriented. Mike was an avid firearms nut and had a sense of self-sufficiency about him. He and his father later opened a towing business in the Lickskillet Community and ran that for some time.

Mike later joined the Marine Corps and served his tour of duty with them and learned many valuable lessons and skills which he transitioned into his civilian life when he got out. I am proud of and thankful to him for serving our country and doing his part for “our” freedom. Now Mike had this “thing” about him – he carried himself as “just a dumb ole country boy”  NC Redneck and never tried living above his means. Always treating others with respect but if you ever crossed him or done him wrong, you would definitely know about it – he has always been a straight shooter. You see, Mike is very intelligent and very well-educated but he interacts with people on their level. He was able to speak to the average person so that they would understand exactly what he was saying and he had a way of explaining himself to where you could understand it.

Mike married his high school sweetheart Kim and they had 4 beautiful children together. Since the beginning, he has always been the spiritual leader of their home and they have always, and I do mean always, helped out others in need. Since day one, he has lived his life to serve God and his fellow-man. After the military, Mike has held many jobs, some at the same time, but he has always worked in serving people in some form or fashion. From being a Law Enforcement Officer, a Licensed Private Detective, a Pastor, a counselor, a chicken farmer and countless other jobs,

Mike has learned a thing or two about people and he tries every day to teach you about what it means to be a servant of God. He truly lives what he preaches and leads by example. No – he is not perfect and he will be the first one to say it but at the same time, he knows what it takes to be highly favored by God. We have all been exposed to the “Instruction Manual” – Gods Holy Word – at some point in our lives – he just happens to follow it to the best of his ability.

Mike and his wife Kim are always taking in people in need of shelter, heck he even volunteers his services to the homeless shelters and other places in the area. He has taught his family how to be self-sufficient, growing their own gardens, raising their own chickens and farm animals; he is even a licensed beekeeper and harvests his own honey. His children help him in every task required and he does his very best to teach them what it means to help others. peoplehelpingpeople

Now I have given you a good example of what Mike and his family do on a daily basis but what I need to explain to you is what he does aside from all of that. Mike is always going around to the elderly and making sure they have what they need to survive, he constructed a food truck to feed the homeless and hungry, he has cut and donated firewood to those who needed heat in the winter, he has Pastored to the lost in the prisons and he has traveled out of state to help others – all at his own expense. Just this past week in the wake of the Texas flooding – he, along with his family and friends, drove a caravan of supplies out there to donate his time, money and supplies to those in need. All to what end? Not for the fame or fortune but for the Glory that God himself will reward him with. Salvation and that leading others to God is the way that it was meant to be. You see Mike believes in the Bibles’ teachings not as a suggestion, but as a commandment from God. A requirement and guide on how we are to treat one another.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

Now to ask you this – is your life worth more than anyone else’s? Is how you live your life now able to help anyone other than yourself? What about those who were planning on but never got the chance to see their tomorrow? What if that was your Mother or your brother? What could you have done different? What will God think of you now?

God gives a good chuckle when you are making plans. After all – He has the final say-so in these matters!

If you get the chance – check out Mike Holland’s efforts and life at giftedfaithful.org

You just might be glad you did!

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Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU…..Part Two

Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU…..Part Two

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In the United States of America, we have so many different ethnic groups and by rights, we should embrace our heritage. I understand that the People of Color went through a period of Slavery, yes it was an awful time for their ANCESTORS! From the time I was about 10 years old, I have lived in the South. So by rights I am a Southerner. But does that make me a Racist – does that make me responsible for Slavery? Does that make me hate Black people? No it certainly does not! I choose to respect others, and love all people. And in my faith – as we all stand before The Judgement Seat of Christ – we are all one and the same – His children created in His image who must answer for our own actions – not the actions of our family members.

I have attended Black Churches, White Churches and the Preachers and Pastors all preach the same thing. Now I get it – I am but one person. I cannot and do not speak for all of the White people. But I can tell you this – there is just as many Racists in each Ethnic Group as the other. Skin Heads, Panthers, White Supremacists, Black Live Matter, White Lives Matter, Chicanos, and Latinos,

All People have some sort of Heritage that is associated with them. It should not define us as people. In this part of the world it is Southern Heritage.  Perceptions of the Confederate flag depend upon context. At a national cemetery or national battlefield it is seen in the historical context of the American Civil War. At popular re-enactments of that war’s events, or in films like “Gettysburg” or “Gone With the Wind”, it is seen in a theatrical context. In the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard” the flag on top of Duke boys car has been seen as a symbol of a non-racist Southern spirit by millions of viewers internationally. To those 70 million of us whose ancestors fought for the South, both Black AND White, it is a symbol of our family members who fought for what they thought was right in their time, and whose valor became legendary in military history. This is not nostalgia. It is our legacy. The current attacks on that legacy, 150 years after the event, are to us an insult that mends no fences nor builds any bridges.

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It is obvious that some racists have appropriated and desecrated the Confederate battle flag for their pathetic causes but we must never lose sight of our Heritage. As Christians we fly the Christian Cross – does that make us Racist? We as Americans fly the American Flag – does that make us Racist? So where does it start and where does it stop – It begins and Ends with You. You and only You can choose to love or hate. You choose to like and dislike, to hear or be heard. You choose to start or Stop. Where do you fit in?

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statement Tuesday calling for the removal of more Confederate monuments. He also said that “I don’t pretend to know what it’s like for a person of color to pass by one of these monuments and consider that those memorialized in stone and metal did not value my freedom or humanity,” he said. “Unlike an African-American father, I’ll never have to explain to my daughters why there exists an exalted monument for those who wished to keep her and her ancestors in chains.”

Furthermore, Cooper said that “he will also urge the legislature to defeat a bill that grants immunity from liability to motorists who strike protesters”. Really?? What the Hell are you thinking Roy Cooper? I mean that is a BS way of copping out. Talk about Not Standing up for what is Right. You are supposed to be our States Leader. Enforce the enforceable, defend what is right. Clearly, what these people are doing and have done is illegal. They should be arrested, charged and held responsible for their actions. Instead of bowing down and trying to be popular so that you may win another election, take the high road, do the right thing and do your job. These people need to realize that there should be a time in their life that they have to grow up. Realize we are not who we were 100 years ago and that the people of today have learned a thing or two over the years. I’m sorry if you are offended that I don’t like you – but wait – you don’t like me either – it’s just a fact of life. Get over it and get on with it! Try to rush my vehicle and beat me out of it and watch what happens – you will get run over. I’m not going to stop my car, let you break my windows and pull me out, beating me to near death – and neither would you Mr. Cooper! Our Government needs to quit being an “Enabler”.

Racism exists in every Ethnic Group in the USA. Red, Yellow, Black, Brown and White. It is not just something White people or Black people do. Sadly it is something that unites us. We share this in common. But again, shave off all of our skins and see if you can tell the difference.

Ok, so now if you have read all of my last two posts, I’m sure that you have already formed your own views and opinions about me – you probably think that I’m a racist, a hater, an activist. Well you would be sorely mistaken. I love Black People, I have Black people in my family. I love Mexican People, I have Mexican people in my family. I love White people, I am white. I love me and I love you! So what? If you peel off your skin and peel off my skin – we are just the same! We are people – we are the Human Race!

It is 2017 – don’t you think it’s time we all grow up and learn to get along. Yes we all have different views and opinions but this is exactly what Martin Luther King once preached about. Equality, Love, Understanding and Forgiveness. God Bless the USA and God Bless its People!….. which hey – includes YOU!

Peace Love and Understanding

The Krail Legacy – A letter to the youngest generation of the Krail family……….

The Krail Legacy – A letter to the youngest generation of the Krail family……….

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What started out as a chance meeting between teacher and parent and then what transpired from that became a small town local friendship. We learned more about that gifted teacher, that friend, in such a short time and what clearly comes to mind is a Passion for others. We learned that life is short and in that short life, we must live – and love – to the fullest. Not only was he a Teacher, but he was a Friend. Thanks Dave!

Shortly thereafter, what we thought was a sudden and unexpected tragedy, was soon found to be a selfless act of trying to protect others and not wanting to burden them with his impending suffering. Through great sadness and uncertainty, we were thrust into a family’s anguish, and emotional turmoil. As Christians and as a friend to Dave, we stepped up and provided anything and everything that we could do to ease the pain and help out in those trying times. That is where this story takes a wonderful and amazing turn – We met the Krail Family. The Mother, the Father, the brothers and sisters were all devastated at what had happened but even in those sad times, there was a bright light that seemed to shine through.  We were there when they came to take him back home, we were there when they said “farewell”, we were there for the late night phone calls, and we were there to discuss the details and the sharing of memories. We were there to share with the family our side of the story and what an impact that the “Teacher” had on his “students”.

After a very short period of time, we became more embedded into the Krail Family, and we learned just where that Teacher had received his gift. As an outsider looking in – One of the first things that I immediately noticed about the Krails is the family bond. Sure every family has its arguments, its disappointments and bumps in the road but one thing that always remained – that Family Bond of Love.

We learned of the childhood memories and stories depicting the simple acts of kindness, the constant sharing, the competiveness – striving for greatness, the eternal love and forever companionship that this family had for each other as well as for the ones that were fortunate enough to share in this time and experience. Now I am not trying to sugar coat any of this and like I said before, every family has its issues but in the grand scheme of things, you would have to admit, that it truly has been a blessing to be a part of such a wonderful family.

We have been able to look at pictures and hear stories of the family just doing simple ordinary family stuff, we have had the chance to be a part of and make memories with some of you as well. We have watched the sadness and pain and we have seen honor, pride and integrity shine through. We have also learned that through loss, there can be a sense of achievement. There can be a strength that comes from that type of loss. I am a firm believer that “What doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger”.

Looking at the big picture, we really didn’t “lose” anything – we received a great blessing instead. We all know that our time on this earth is limited and we never really know just how long we have here. We must concentrate on what we have, not what we wish we had. Everything has its season. Everything and everybody has its own time. We must make the best of the time that we have. Live Strong, Love Freely, and forgive often.

So to the youngest generation of the Krail Family, my greatest wish for you is to remember where it all started. Remember the Family Bond, the Love and the compassion for one another. You come from greatness and to greatness you will ascend – not just in life but through living. There is truly nothing that you cannot achieve if you simply follow through.

The legacy continues…………………….with you!

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My Outstandingly Amazing Day……

My Outstandingly Amazing Day…….

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So yesterday was my lazy day, I set about doing odds and end chores around the house and just piddling around not in any one direction but you know, staying busy. I had a doctors’ appointment earlier and had a little extra energy to burn so I thought that I would work outside for a bit. It was such a beautiful day, not too hot and not cool but somewhere comfortably in the middle. The sun was out and it just felt like an amazing day. I guess partly because I had gotten a good report from my doctor.

I was mowing the lawn and doing a little spring clean-up around my property.  After about an hour, my daughter said that she wanted to learn how to cut grass on the Zero Turn – I thought, hey, why not, she’s 13 now. So I put her to work cutting grass in the back part of the yard while I trimmed up some overgrown limbs and bushes. Ivy looked so grown sitting on that mower with her sunglasses on, laid back just enjoying being able to ride and do grown up stuff helping her dad. This was awesome in its own right but this is not the highlight of my day.

After about 20 minutes, I see my neighbor come half-trotting across my property with her 16 month old baby boy draped across her arms, legs and arms dangling like a limp dish rag. The look of terror that was on her face spoke volumes and I knew in my mind that something was terribly wrong. Without being able to hear a thing over the lawn mower, I dropped my loppers and begin making my way over to her. She immediately handed me the lifeless body of her son and screamed “Please help him” – “Please help me, I think he’s having a seizure and isn’t breathing”. I guess years of training took over but I kinda remember looking at the child as if to do a quick trauma check – his eyes were rolled back into his head, no rise and fall of his chest and he was turning blue around his eyes, lips and chin.

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Half checking for a pulse, I flipped the boy over onto his stomach cradling him in my left arm as my right hand began to firmly pound on his back – I began walking up towards my house. I knew that we had to call EMS and after what seemed like a couple of minutes I felt his chest inflate in my hand and I saw some discolored fluids come out of his mouth. Still not making any sounds and struggling to take a breath, I flipped him over once again and I saw his eyes open a bit but still very weak and rolling around. I flipped him back over again and resumed my light pounding on his back until I felt a little more comfortable that he was in fact taking in a decent breath of air. All of a sudden I heard the most wonderful noise of all – he took a gasp of air and started to cry.

At that point I knew he was going to be fine until EMS got there and provide any treatment that he may need. I handed the child back to his mother and had them sit down while she patted his back and rocked him. EMS seemed to get there relatively quick – they grabbed the child and took him into the ambulance. Living in the country, we are used to the ambulance having to come from the other side of the county and a 15 to 30 minute response time is nothing new but they seemed to have gotten there so fast. Actually, there were two ambulances, a first Responder and two Deputy Sheriff’s to arrive all within 15 minutes. After a few more minutes, the ambulance and the mother of the child were well on their way to the Hospital and my Wife and I were standing there looking at her three other children that had been left behind with us.

We made contact with the Grandparents and the father of the child and alerted them as to what had transpired and that we had their other children there with us. As the day progressed, we kept in contact with the neighbor and were kept abreast of how the child was doing. As it turns out, the child was running a fever of a 103 degrees prior to the incident. According to the mother, the child had a seizure from the high fever and then from what I gather, he had aspirated on his mucus and phlegm which had caused him to quit breathing.

So now, hours later, the child is back at home sleeping blissfully and I am relaxed on my catnapper taking in the whole experience thinking to myself “wow – did that just really happen”? As I told this story to my son who had come in later on in the day, he responded with “wow – you’re a hero” – I thought to myself yeah right but at that same minute, I felt very proud of the fact that I was there at home to be able to help this family. All those years in Law Enforcement, my only motive was to help people and I was lucky enough to have helped many people during my career – but this was something special. This was Outstanding and Awesome to say the least. I went to bed knowing that I made a difference and that in the eyes of my children I was in fact a hero…………

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ZEKE