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Incomplete and Untold

Posted in : stream of consciousness/random

I prayed for guidance,
To fill up my quiver;
Guess I should’ve trusted
More than just a sliver.

I thought that the patience,
Itself, was the test;
Eventually able to
Find me some rest.

Could it be just
That I, in fact, did not see,
What it was that HE wanted me to
Never see?

My perspective is heightened
After being so low;
Maybe needed something
In the past I didn’t know.

I blame no one,
Yet still blame myself—
Put that mem’ry back
Up on the shelf.

Shove it to the back,
Forget it—don’t wallow.
We still gotta get up
And shine all tomorrow.

I’ll take it in stride,
Tho’ my pain I’ll not hide;
Wond’ring forever,
“Will I make it?” inside.

This does not define,
It does not complete—
I’ll swallow the pain,
Wake up, and compete.

No one can know what
The future may hold—
Regardless, His Blood makes
Me forever bold.

That’s why there’s no fear
When things will unfold,
It’s just in their nature—
Incomplete and untold.

–Travis J




1-11-2018 Remembrance

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,stream of consciousness/random

1-18-2018 Remembrance

January 11, 2010.
Eight years ago.

That was the day that we learned my father had died.

I remember a lot of weird details about that day, and then there are other weird details about that day I *don’t* remember, too. A lot of it was blurry—like, not that I don’t remember any of it, cuz like I said, I *do*. But even some of the stuff I *do* remember was blurry because it was just so surreal that this was happening to us.

One thing I remember feeling—that I still feel to this day—is the feeling that the air has been completely let out of your world, never to really be let back in again. It still feels that way.

It feels that way because I actually *cared* about my father. I had a *good* relationship with him. So many people *don’t* have a relationship with their father, or they aren’t *real* with their father, and their father isn’t *real* with them. That wasn’t the case with my father and me. We said all we needed to say to each other. Nothing was left unsaid. Even though it still feels like the air has been let out of my world, ever since that morning 8 years ago when he died, one of the few little *crumbs* of peace to which I can hold is that things were not left unsaid between my dad and me. He and I had a few disagreements about a few things, before he died. But, it wasn’t really a lot. I loved him, I got along with him, I loved spending time with him. I *looked* like him (apparently—people say that), I *thought* a lot like him. I work a lot like he worked. We had a few ways we thought differently about things, but we both knew it, and we both moved past it. It was everything from a few disagreements we had in years previously that we did resolve and wrap-up, to long-term opinions about things that were never truly resolved (like how he was not a fan of my longer hair, the fact I listened to hip-hop music, the types of some of the girls he was aware that I liked, etc). But he went to his grave knowing everything I thought about him, I said everything to him I needed to say, he said everything to me he needed to say (I’m assuming, anyway, maybe I assume too much). There’s an obnoxious peace in that. (Incidentally, one of the other obnoxious pieces of peace to which I try to cling is that “At least I don’t have to watch him get old”. I’d rather he was here—but at least I don’t have to see him get old and decrepit, and I can remember him how he was.)

Our father wasn’t slop-sugar, he didn’t say-really-nice-lovey-dovey-things. He was a realist. He didn’t sugarcoat things. He also didn’t put up a mask and act differently around different groups of people and then also act differently at home, which is all stuff that SO many other peoples’ fathers do; and like SO many of us are tempted to do, as we grow up. But we shouldn’t be that way. It’s better when we’re not that way. The fact that my father did not put on airs, or put up masks, made me love and respect him more than almost any other things he did, could have done, didn’t do, etc.

Also, he actually didn’t particularly ENJOY talking about the difficult-to-talk-about-things, but he made it a point to make sure and let us know that we *COULD* talk to him, whenever we felt like we wanted to or needed to. And he didn’t just SAY, “ya know, you can talk to me if you ever need to” just so he could somehow check a box under “Fatherhood” and SAY, “well, I *told* ‘em they could talk to me”; no, he actually did it, and it actually made things better when he did talk out things with us. He’d give us his HONEST opinion on stuff, when it was one of those topics for which there are no easy answers. He’d tell us, “Ways he’d heard it thought about”, “What ideas for-or-against” it were, and then “How he thinks about it”, and then, we’d have to make our own choice. That was for the, like I say, more difficult life-things for which there aren’t the black-and-white answers. Certainly, when it was something we needed to talk about that *DID* have an easy answer, heh, you were gonna know what that easy answer was, haha.

Bouncing back to the day he died, one thing I remember is the way people treat you after they see you going through a tough time, where your dad dies, or whatever:

1) I remember that people are around you, and they KNOW you’re hurting. They *WANT* to say something, but they don’t know *how*. They don’t know *what to say*. They’re afraid they’ll say, “the wrong thing”. I get it. I do. But during those dark, dark days immediately after dad died, I remember times when I sensed someone was around me, and was sort of mentally offering condolences to me; I perceived it and picked up on it. And I remember having a distinct feeling of gratitude that they would care, and even put it off mentally, like they did, in a strong enough way that I just sort of perceived it. There were other people around, who were insensitive clods, who, I could sense, did *not* have the same sense of condolences, and so that was sort of a standard by which I became so aware of the people that *did* have heart-felt, sincere, unspoken condolences for me and for my family. So I’m grateful for the people who were around and didn’t-know-what-to-say, but I perceived they cared a great deal.

2) My boss, at the time, was not someone who I knew very well (at all), nor was it someone with whom I had ever *spoken*, I do not believe. But this man made it a departmental thing that I was going to receive a normal week’s-pay, during the week I was out when I was dealing with dad’s death, his funeral, those just-after arrangements and all that. He didn’t have to do that, I didn’t know him that well, etc. But he did. However many weeks later, I asked to have a meeting with him just to “thank” him for doing such a thing; heh, that being the first time I had ever actually spoken to the man, interestingly enough. He responded with the normal reciprocities when I told him “thank you”, certainly something to the effect of “you’re welcome”; but then he also said something else, something that sort of stuck with me and meant a lot. He said, “Sometimes ya just do the right thing.” He paid me for a week that I didn’t work. He just thought it was the right thing to do; even though I was just a bit of a cog-in-a-machine at that point. So I’m grateful to him for that.

3) There are a lot of people in my life who are not Christians; and there are a lot of people in my life who *are* Christians. And one thing I can confidently say is that during these dark days, I can distinctly feel like my family and I were being floated on prayers, and it, in a sense, sort of protected us, helped us pull through it physically, mentally, emotionally–*LITERALLY* and *ACTUALLY*. A close parallel is sort of like what medicine makes you feel like, whenever you’re sick, and you’re using medicines to treat symptoms. When the medicine works, you sort of feel like it’s just floating you through the sickness—even though you’re very much still sick—and you feel oddly alleviated….even though…’re aware ya still goin through the terrible thing. It was similar with the prayers and getting past the immediate time after dad’s death. I can actually say I felt lifted up and floated-through by prayers from folks; and that’s not something I take lightly or think about lightly, or label lightly, because, quite frankly, way too many Christians *overuse* statements like that when they *don’t* mean them, and it has thus watered-down these types of statements. So I don’t say it much; I don’t feel it much. But that time, I did. This type of thing you don’t quantify, and doesn’t translate into the world’s eyes or the world’s understanding very well. But, there it is.

4) There are also countless people who brought food to our house, and took us out to eat, during that immediate time after dad died. And I don’t see that as any small thing. It’s a sacrifice to do that for people who are grieving or who have just experienced a loss, and lots of people did that for us.
It was funny how many people attended my dad’s funeral. For such a gruff, no nonsense, jaded, skeptical, not-really-trustful-of-people, and not-particularly-super-extroverted guy, and for a guy who kinda “scared” some people (like our friends, growing up)—he sure touched a lot of lives.

And he wouldn’t even say it that way—“touched a lot of lives”. He’d say that’s too dramatic, or makes-it-sound-more-important-than-it-was. But he did. It’s true. We weren’t what you’d call an affluent family—we CERTAINLY ain’t had no money—he was not a man of any sort of “position” or “grand distinction”. But sure had a lot of people at that funeral and visitation..

So I’d encourage you, repair your relationship with your parent, if you need to. Don’t leave things unspoken. Because I have the *peace* that I have about NOT leaving things unspoken with my dad, I can begin to try to stomach what the *OPPOSITE* would feel like, if he and I *did* still have things unspoken. And that makes me a lot sick—even though it wasn’t the CASE for he and I! Don’t buy that LIE that “you have time to work it out”—your tomorrow is not promised to you, and their tomorrow is not promised to them. Quit lying to yourself and choosing the easy way out by avoiding doing what you know you should.

Also, don’t take things for granted; like, people in your life, *or* stuff. Do whatever you have to do to put yourself in a mental state where you appreciate the things and people you have; that you are a good steward to them and with them.

Because if you don’t do what you need to do, in order to humbly appreciate these people and things, and not take them for granted—something may take a drastic turn in your life and *force* you to know how to be grateful. But by then, it may be too late.

Don’t you wish you would’ve just done it when you had the chance?

This was rambly. I’m not really sorry it was. There’s good stuff in there, so take note of it; like, whether you’ve had a parent die yet or not; whether or not you’re “young”.




Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,poems,stream of consciousness/random

A time of transition,
A time of respite―
When all’s going well,
Seems it’s not going right.

Lost and confused―
Yet ready to go―
It’s all just because
I don’t know that I know.

One day it’s up and
It’s all going well.
Some days it feels like
Being quite dragged through hell.

First things are up,
Next thing I know, they’re down―
Sick to death of being
Mentally tossed around.

At the end of the day
When I’ve battled and fought,
“Is it all a big waste,” My mind haunts,
“Just for naught?”

Will it be this?
Will it be that?
Demanding my way―
Like a common spoiled brat.

The only repose―
Only rest for my soul―
The remedy for where
In my chest there’s a hole,

Is to sleep and remember,
To stop and to rest,
Things I cannot control
Default to Jesus.

―Travis J, MBA

1.00 AM,
June 20, 2015



You Have to Find Out

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,stream of consciousness/random

“Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.”
–Ephesians 5.10

There’s something to be said for the Lord’s revealing things to you, yes. But there is ALSO something to be said for being a person who takes it upon himself to take a PROACTIVE approach at FINDING OUT God and His ways.

See, the moment your mind “gets it” and you at least BEGIN to understand God’s ways–much like a BABY’s learning about growing up–you begin to think, you begin to feel, you begin to operate, you begin to love on a higher level. And when I say “higher”, I don’t mean in the sense of being “ABOVE” anyone else. The fact remains–literally every one of us on this earth are in the same boat. But you begin to simply operate on a whole ‘nother level.

So don’t just “try to do good”, don’t just “try to be a good person”, don’t just memorize commandments or rules–God’s OR Man-made ones–don’t just simply “try to live by them”. Learn Who Christ IS, and your acting like Him will happen NATURALLY. It will be an outgrowth and just be who you ARE, you won’t HAVE to “try to be better person” because it begins to happen naturally more and more as you continually learn and understand HOW He is.

But it takes your learning about Him–it takes your own efforts of trying to find out Who He is. “Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5.10). It *will* change your life. It *WILL*. “Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.”
–Ephesians 5.10

–Travis J


Rise Above the Terrible Economy

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,stream of consciousness/random

Don’t lock yourself into this pessimism in which the media–left-wing OR right-wing–tries to tell you the country is being stifled and, by extension, *you* are being stifled from ever having a chance at the “American dream”. Rise above it. Make your own rules.

And it was funny to hear Rush, in the following, today, because I’ve been thinking about this myself, lately. You know, you can use the bad economy and tough times as an EXCUSE and just drop your head and complain and whine and moan how “times is hard, times is hard”; *OR* you can figure out a creative way to follow your dreams, make money off of it, thereby choosing NOT to be part of the sluggish economy. YOU have that freedom. YOU have that right.

(This is all a paraphrase)

[Rush Limbaugh, to a young 18-year-old caller today]: And what do you tell your young friends/peers who are these people that have given up on believing that they can attain the American dream nowadays because the economy is so bad?”

[18-year-old caller]: I try to articulate the message clearly and plainly that they actually CAN go out and work hard and great things can happen…America was once a great country and it still can be..that’s how things got to be as good as they WERE, it was people’s being creative, following their dreams..”

[Rush]: Have you told them that they do not have to PARTICIPATE in this economic recession, etc.?”

I am living this out in my own life NOW. I run and operate my own company. I make money with it. My company is an extension of my own talents, my passions, what I enjoy doing, etc. Because I am growing it on my own, I have a second job in which I “moonlight” in order to make extra money while I grow my primary company. This means I have to work a couple of jobs, but you know what? The payoff is tremendous. I am in the process of positioning myself such that while I certainly am not 100% exempt from economic conditions, I have the sovereignty to do whatever it is I want, no matter what slack-jawed journalists, politicians, and crony-capitalist types TELL me I have to do or tell me how bad-off my nation and my life are now, or how bad-off my nation and my life will be in the future. That option is empowering.

Find a way. Be creative. Make it happen. Ask questions. Monetize your talent. You wanna wake up one day when you’re old and wonder what would’ve happen if you DID..? Or wouldn’t you rather try for sure?


You Know or You Don’t

Posted in : poems,stream of consciousness/random

If you know
Then you know;

You can let me know,
And we can let it go.

But if you don’t know,
Then don’t suppose,

Just let go and don’t control;
Let’s not pretend and show a show.

We’ll live, we’ll do, and talk, and so–
Eventually we’ll have our know.

–Travis J

Sort of thought of it earlier in the night, around 8.30 PM, but just wrote it out now, at like 10.45–11.02-ish PM



Not a Waste

Posted in : poems,stream of consciousness/random

Dot every “i”, cross every “t”,
But still it don’t matter with what is to be.

There’s things you control and things that you can’t—
Don’t let your thoughts kill you, and run all rampant.

“Quit you like men!” Stand up and be strong;
When you’re confused in the day and nights are so long.

Huddle together—I’ve got you, you’ve got me—
We’ll cut our losses, move on, and tell the world our story.

—Travis J,
2.25-ish AM


You Can Be Confident

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,stream of consciousness/random

Genesis 49.20a, “Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good…

You can rest in that. You can rest in that promise and you can be confident in that promise–you can rest in the same principle as this one, as it is also found in Romans 8.28. You are a child of God, and no matter what happens, you can be confident in this promise. Whether someone’s ill actions toward you bring you down, or whether random acts of this fallen world bring you down–you can rest and be confident in these promises.

–Travis J


7.15 PM-ish


2012 Resolutions

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,stream of consciousness/random

“New Year’s Resolutions” haven’t usually been something I do because I kinda always had a philosophical block against them. But last year, I *did* do them. Click here to check out last year’s: . And I accomplished them, pretty much. Like I said last year, I’ve never much believed in putting much stock in “New Year’s Resolutions” because I honestly make it a daily goal to meet goals–both long and short-term goals–so I don’t often have a lot of things I’m “trying to work on”. But I certainly do have some. We all do.

Here are this year’s:

2012 Resolutions

1 ) Love, and ALLOW myself to be loved, both

2 ) Don’t take as much BS from people–personally or professionally

3 ) Don’t second-guess myself

4 ) Clean up my language (case in point: #2 on this list haha..)

5 ) Remain true to myself and don’t sell out–personally or professionally

6 ) facebook LESS

7 ) Remain humble and remember that the Lord God has played a huge part in causing my circumstances and my environment to give me the opportunities to use my free will to get where I am and attain the things I have; it’s been a combination of both Him and His influence, and then also my utilizing my resources well. It is both. It is not only me.

8 ) Slow down, have more down-time, do nothing more often

9 ) Call, text, or message a random friend/family member/acquaintance more often, just to honestly see how they are doing

10 ) “Go for it” more often, with things


Wither We Do, Wither We Don’t

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith,poems,stream of consciousness/random

You tap the soul out of the life,
Our joy we derive, it becomes strife.

I learned your ways, I must admit,
At my need, pull tools from your kit.

What am I saying–what is this tripe?
Our brains are soft, for picking, ripe.

Off your effects we cannot stave,
And our spirits become enslaved.

Though deep down you’re dark as night,
I can’t deny you still bring light.

You make me mad, you make me free,
Someone use the pin of honesty..

— Travis J


I'm very big into education, and my energies are devoted to inspiring this desire for education into other people--at home and abroad.

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