Time to “turn it up” with my 2017 theme song, as we go “Over and Over”

It would appear this year’s theme, Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, was all too true.  We all appeared to be in the fight of our lives, with many of us, and those we loved so much, not making it to the end.  For me, it was a year of transformation on a fundamental level.  I had long said the “old John” was gone, but never knew just how of who I used to be was still left.  This year ended that with swift, decisive blows.  My dark side came out in grand fashion in so many ways, but it was all part of a release and acknowledgement that who I had been for so long was someone never wanted to be again.

This year’s theme song is a little late in the selection, only because it was hard to decide one which matches how 2017 is shaping up to be.  It is about both completion and renewal.  Many things in my life are now looking to bloom anew, and many of those I once counted as close friends have parted ways with me.  What was in the past must be left there, and there are so few songs which combine the themes of loneliness and sadness with healing and profound hope.  Fortunately I found one.

I have to hand it to the Goo Goo Dolls, they really do know how to hit a home run with their music.  My theme song for this year is their hit Over and Over, which really does hit on all cylinders.

The music is loud and rocking, the lyrics are meaningful.  Here is just a taste…

Love is all you want, but you never gonna feel the same.

It’s hard to be yourself when everyone around you’s changin’

Open up your eyes and you’ll lose yourself again.

And we go over and over and over again

Are you lost in the past thinking what might have been?

You’re here and you’re now, start it over and then,

Take it over and over and over again.

TURN IT UP!

So damned true about 2016 for me.  I was stuck in the past thinking “what might have been.”  Those days are over.  I’m done being stuck in the past.  Now I can focus on a new, bright future.  I’m taking risks the likes of which I have never taken before.  I’m done being safe.  I fought and scrapped in 2016.  This year was the fight for my life, and I was so right about it.  Rather than just a superficial fight for freedom, this turned into a fight to change myself into someone I was meant to be.  The battle was between myself and I, and many people were hurt in the process.  I am sorry for this, but now I have a chance to start over and start again, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

This song will be the theme playing in my mind whenever I need inspiration.  When I need to remind myself why I left certain occupations, choices, and people in the past, this song will be played.  I’m dedicating myself to being happier, more alive, more mindful and more “in the moment.”  This year will be devoted to finishing what I started, as well as working to the best person I can be, whether through helping others, fighting for worthy causes, or memorializing the sacrifices of others.  This year is about completion and new beginnings, and this song will help drive me in that direction.

So, as the Goo Goo Dolls would say, TURN IT UP!  Happy 2017 – as my fellow author and dear friend Jessa Harris would say, let’s “make it amazing!”

The dot-com has landed

After months of planning and deliberation, I pulled the trigger on the upgrade to this site.  After over three years, I have turned this into a dedicated “dot com” blog and with that comes some major changes in the works for 2017.

The same great content will be on this site, but with serious firepower added.  Expect to see video and audio blogs, a new online store, and links to some of my favorite things.  A special post will be coming sometime after Christmas detailing some of the changes in the works, as well some exciting content which will be exclusive to this blog.

So buckle up.  You got in my head, the ride just gets wilder.

Let the Fallen Rise in Memory: Sign the Petition to Rename Hurricane Field for the fallen Americus and GSW Police Officers

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December 12, 2016 Atlanta Journal-Constitution front page, showing the article reporting on the memorial service for Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr.  The service for Officer Jody Smith of GSW Public Safety will be held this week, also on the university campus.

As Americus and the State of Georgia mourn the loss of Officers Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith, ways to commemorate their sacrifice in the name of serving and protecting their community are now being considered.   To that end, a petition on Ipetition has been set up calling on Georgia Southwestern State University, with the approval of Governor Nathan Deal and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, to rename Hurricane Field, the home of GSW State’s NCAA Division II Baseball Team, in honor of these officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.  Further, it also calls for permission being granted to place and appropriate memorial to all fallen officers of Sumter County, Georgia on the stadium grounds.

The goal of this petition is to collect 3,000 online signatures to show national, global and community support for this proposal.  While it is, ultimately, the decision of the University and the Board of Regents, this proposal is believed to be an appropriate way to commemorate the sacrifice of not only these officers, but all who died on the thin blue line in Sumter County.

As of 9:48 PM ET on December 12, 2016, over 150 online signatures have been collected.  We ask for signatures of support from not only Americus and Georgia, but around the nation and the world.  Please, show your support for these officers being remembered for their sacrifice in the line of duty.

Americus Officers:  How YOU Can Help – UPDATE!

UPDATE:  the YouCare fund is at $7000 of a $10000 goal!  Please donate what you can!

The killing of Officer Nick Smarr and shooting of Officer Jody Smith has rocked the city of Americus and the state of Georgia.  Both officers were shot in the head.  This sort of thing simply doesn’t happen in Americus.  For so many of us who either have direct ties to the city, Georgia Southwestern, or are simply wishing to help out, it may feel like there’s nothing we can do.
Finally some good news:  we can help!

Below is a link to a YouCaring page set up to accept donations for the families of these the heroes.  Please, give what you can.  Both of these families need our help. 

Click here:

Americus and GSW Officers Family Fund

A very special Bentley Northwood

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In honor of the memory of Officers Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith, Bentley Northwood and friends will be taking the rest of this week off.  Next week, Bentley, Cat, Jimmy, Cassidy, DeVane, and Pat will return.  This week, we honor the memory of fallen heroes.

You may also notice two things:  the two untouched filled glasses, a symbolic memorial to the two officers lost.  Also, the dark red patch on all Jacob’s Pub sweaters has been permanently changed to blue in honor of all fallen police officers everywhere.

Please keep Americus and Georgia Southwestern in your prayers.  Thank you for reading.

A call for prayer and healing in Americus

Americus grieves, a city in pain

For it lost one son today

This town which sits upon a hill

A community of vast collective will

Now its citizens mourn and cry

For one of their finest has just died

Their college, a beacon of wisdom and strength

They too have come together to pray.

We do, indeed, know the killers name

We hope for capture or surrender in shame

A town so close, so bonded together

This is a storm it too shall weather.

For you see “Americus” is the man

Its female counterpart the continent it spans.

For as Americus the city now prays with great zeal.

We call upon our lady, AMERICA, to help it heal.