i gave blood Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

last weekend. i really enjoy it actually. giving blood. i've never been too squeamish about blood or needles. in high school i always volunteered to give blood when the blood banks came around every year. what could be better right? you got out of 2 for sure...maybe even 3 classes...you got free cookies...and you're helping people out. what could be better? anybody with me?

well...to be totally transparent with you...i have to admit that i hadn't given blood in many many years right up until last summer when a friend of mine was coordinating a blood drive for her church. i signed up because it reminded me of my fond blood giving memories from my high school days. what i didn't consider was that the blood banks had gotten a lot more sophisticated in their ability to retain donors. because almost 4 months later (the minimum amount of time before you can give blood again) i got a phone call...actually, i received about 4 phone calls asking if i'd come back in and donate. so i finally scheduled a date over the phone and not a minute after i hung up....my cell phone buzzed with a new email. "thank you for making an appointment to give blood!"


anyway. my day came. i showed up. i gave blood. ate some cookies...a lot of cookies actually. got the bright blue arm bandage. done. what came next really got me though. as soon as i walked back in the door to my house, i looked at my phone and there was another email from the blood bank. at first i thought that i had finally found a flaw in their system...like they were trying to get me to schedule another appointment or something. but when i read the email i saw something very different. it said....

you are our hero! thank you for donating blood.

wow. it's amazing how good it feels to get thanked huh? that got me thinking...(dangerous)...the nurse said maybe 10 or 20 people on average will benefit from my blood donation. 10 or 20! a lot right? to get my blood donation, they called 4 times, gave me cookies, sent 2 emails and at the end of the day, that effort will help 10 to 20 people. they even emailed to thank me right after. but there's someone else that gave blood too...only HE didn't need a reminder email. and HIS donation helped all of man kind. everyone. JESUS CHRIST gave HIS blood...all of it...freely...for the benefit of us all. i believe that.

listen...i'm not saying that donating blood isn't a good thing....cause it is. but the truth is...i'm no hero. but i know that HE is. the question is...have i thanked HIM lately? have you? maybe it's time we did.

less of me...

posted by jeramy on 02/09/2010

less of me... Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

so, i took a day off yesterday...well...from blogging at least. honestly, i knew what i wanted to write but just couldn't wrap my head around everything that had happened in the last week enough to put it into words. but, i'm going to try....

on monday last week, in the midst of my 100th blog post contest, i met bronwen healy. bronwen is an incredible women, with an incredible life journey (and it's not over yet), that has made the choice to devote her life to help those that have walked or are walking where she's walked. she began a non-profit called hope foundation where you kind find more of her story. she's also written a book called trophy of grace that you should definitely pick up.

bronwen was here with her amazingly talented friend caitlyn turner, all the way from australia to speak at our church. they'll be traveling all over the states for the next 4 weeks. god is blessing their ministry tremendously, and it is incredible to such a small part of what they did here.

the thing that really resonated with me last week was something bronwen kept saying..."less of me and more of you....because on my own i can't be trusted." i realized that in most things in my life...i only really trust god once i've figured out a "logical" way that i'm going to proceed. is that really trusting god?

so, i started this morning....first thing....saying "less of me lord and more of you, cause on my own i can't be trusted." i really believe that he's got better stuff for me then i could ever come up with alone. more protection. more favor. more security. but more then what i get out of it...i say it because he deserves it. and i don't. i know that.

posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 10/08/2008

uncertain times Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

so what do you do in uncertain times? do you ignore the impending doom? do you freak out? do you begin to develop an alternate plan? what do you do? maintain? do more? do less? what do you do? perspective is always good....to evaluate your position to those less fortunate or the ones that have already been through the ringer. overreact? stay focused? what do you do?

clearly, questions go hand and hand with uncertainty. our innate human desire to be in control at all times drive this quest for answers and clarity. it's easy in times of rock solid stability to say things like "hang in there", "keep your head up", and "don't give up" to encourage people around you. but it's not so easy to say to yourself.

fear of failing....yourself and the ones you love can so easily paralyze you from moving...or even from simply holding your present ground. but deep down...there can be excitement in that moment of fear and instability because it indicates that change is near. a crossroads is coming close, that just might change your perspective enough to usher in the new season.

so don't lose heart...ok! time is uncertain, and not one of us really know what life has in store for tomorrow. all that we can do is make the most of the time we have today.

posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 07/10/2008

"Faith without deeds, is dead" Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

A lyric from Brook Fraser's 'Albertine'. Sharon and I and some of our closest friends went to see her play at Cafe Du Nord in SF last night. WOW. Amazing! This was the second time Sharon and I had seen her there. An acoustic performance last year....but last night she had a full band with her (well...partial...full...band). She was great! First off, we had about the best seats you could ask for. It's a pretty small place...but if you make dinner reservations, you get a seat! WhooHoo! Side note: I had a veggie burger in light of my wet suit diet. So...because of our seats, we didn't have to continue trading off, massaging each others feet to prevent them from falling asleep. Nice comfortable, good view...good times.

Ok...Brooke. If you aren't familiar with her...well....you really need to be. She is a fantastic songwriter, singer, pretty good looking...the whole deal. :-) I first heard of her when playing one of her songs at church and as I was scanning youtube for more...i found this amazing clip! I watched it about 3 times...fighting back tears...completely sucked in by her song, her message, and the urging that God has given us all to stand for something greater then ourselves. It was exactly what I had been feeling, yet hadn't been able to articulate. The story of the song 'Albertine' is to long for this post, but I encourage you to dig a little and find it. In a nut shell, Brooke made herself available to follow God's leading in her life all the way to Rwanda where she met the survivor of the horrible genocide that occurred there in 1994. That survivor was a young girl named Albertine. At that moment, God compelled her to tell Albertine's story anytime she was on a stage. Brooke is a singer. You may be a plumber, or a banker, or a waitress, or an engineer....but the fact is that even those of us that don't identify ourselves as ministers, or missionaries CAN minister and help others. In fact...God has called us to do that.

So take this inspiration, and move. Don't be satisfied with serving yourself. The reward in caring for others is greater then anything you could ever gain by simply searching after your own comfort. Go! Move! Faith without deeds, is dead...

Take care...

posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 06/05/2008

"...I used to be old, and now...I'm new." Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

That's what my son said to me as I tucked him in bed last night. Yesterday I got the amazing privilege of baptizing him. It was pretty emotional. My parents had flown in from Arizona for the occasion. My sister was in town. And there I was with my first born child, helping him along in a monumental decision that he was making for himself. As I sat back and took it all in, I got pretty overwhelmed. Seeing the entire circle of life with my folks and sister, and all of my kids and my wife. It was a major memory, for sure.

Old, and now new. It indicates change....a reversal...a transformation. I don't think I'll ever really understand how God does that....but then again, I don't think it's my place do understand how. I do know that from the time I was a young boy I've understood that my life could stand for something bigger then anything I could do on my own. That God has orchestrated time and circumstances to bring me to a place of helping other folks....and in the process....myself. There's nothing better then serving other people. Loving other people. It's the best antidote for the downside of our human existence. I've learned that in small ways as I've grown up, and I'm so thrilled that my son has decided to extend that legacy. It's not us....but Him. We used to be old....and now we're new.

posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 06/02/2008

Weighbor Nave Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Ok...so yesterday, while having a wonderful relaxing afternoon with friends, I had a slight slip of the tongue. I was describing driving around our neighborhood and how you give the "neighbor wave" to your neighbors that you don't know so well...but that you recognize. Everybody with me? Only, it came out as "weighbor nave". Everyone laughed hysterically. I thought it was pretty funny too.

That got me thinking though....how come we don't know the people that we live so close to? Why do we drive right into our garages and walk right in the house? I was trying to see if I knew any of my neighbors names....I only came up with one. Why do we do that? Maybe I'm the only one...

So...here's the challenge....introduce yourself to one of your neighbors. If you've lived in the same place for awhile (like me), this may be a little uncomfortable because it will require a little humility as you admit that you don't really know their name even though you "weighbor nave" them everyday....but don't worry, they'll be equally nervous....because chances are, they don't know your name either.

Good luck! Turn a "weighbor" into a neighbor!

Take care.

posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 05/12/2008

Home Grown Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

My amazing wife went a photography workshop in Sonoma a couple weekends back with Me Ra Koh. For those of you that don't know....she's amazing. It was a life changing experience for Sharon and long over due I think. She was like a kid in a candy store. Taking pictures all weekend and learning about something she loves from someone she really respects.....it doesn't get much better then that. I had the privilege of going to dinner with Sharon on Saturday night with all the workshop girls (and brian) at this fabulous restaurant in Sonoma. Yum, yum, yum is all I have to say. But the atmosphere and company were by far the best part. So, I'm well aware that Sharon is amazing. Heck, it's why I fell in love with her. Seeing her grow and change over the years as we've had kids and maneuvered through life together has done nothing but endear her to me even more. But for her, to finally see in the mirror what I see when I look at her is the best thing ever! For her to really know that she can achieve whatever she sets her mind to and to know that she is special...well that's worth just about any cost.As parents we have a great responsibility. Not only do we have to protect our kids, feed them, clothe them, teach them right and wrong...but we also need to inspire them to be the best that they can be. The best thing you can tell a child is that they are special, and that they can be anything that they want to be, if they just put there mind to it and work hard. There are no boundaries....just limitless, untapped potential, walking around this great big world of ours in the form of small people....maybe a few big ones too. It starts at home...it grows from there. Take care....

posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 05/06/2008

Pretty....but broken Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Well....last weekend, my wife and I took a long weekend to our beach house in Aptos for a delayed 10th anniversary celebration. We had the whole family with us. Leaving the baby at home wasn't an option, and if we're bringing one kid, we might as well bring them all. We had such a great time. This is our third year going to the beach house, and all of us really seem to respond to the relaxed atmosphere, the waves, the sounds, the smells...it is truly our happy place. Most of the days are spent walking on the beach, or relaxing while we watch the ocean, playing games, eating....just good stuff.

On Saturday, we went out for a morning walk and the big kids began their tradition of collecting sea shells. We usually bring along a small bucket and the kids typically will have it overflowing by the time we get back to the house. Well...the collection of sea shells is a small bone of contention for me. You see....in our garage at home, are several buckets...full of sea shells brought from the beach from previous years. So you see, I've become a bit disenchanted with the concept of collecting the shells because NOTHING IS EVER DONE WITH THEM!!!! Ok, ok....I've got it under control. Any how, on this trip, my wife was "trying" to keep the kids collection down to a minimum. She made it very clear that they were to only collect whole shells. Not bits of shells. Only the good ones.

Our oldest daughter had trouble with this. She kept bringing cracked and chipped half shells to the bucket. Pretty much, anything she spotted, she attempted to pass off into the bucket. My wife would say, "NO...not those ones! They're pretty, but they're broken. We don't want those. ONLY THE WHOLE ONES!"

Well that got me thinking about our lives as human beings and how each one of us are broken, flawed, imperfect. Yet God in all of His grace chose to pick us up, dust us off and call us His own. Our worth doesn't come from how great we are...but rather from the fact that we're made in God's image, and that He chose us. Pretty, yet still broken. I'm so thankful that God takes the broken shells too. And that His bucket is never too full.

Cool...take care guys.


posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 04/25/2008

Walking....but not moving... Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Well....some of you know...but most of you do not....I started to learn to surf last year. I've been very bad about going out on a regular basis and as a consequence it feels like the first time....EVERY TIME I go out. I've always loved the ocean. I don't have a fear of drowning or being eaten by something...or anything like that...but I've got to say, the toughest part of "surfing" is actually getting out to the waves. I went out yesterday morning to Cowells in Santa Cruz and had a blast. I caught 3 waves....whoohooo and I'll tell you...the feeling of that water picking you up and carrying you is worth the hour and a half of getting beat up. It's the most amazing feeling. There were times that I would be paddling out to the break and it felt like I was standing still. I was exerting energy....but the energy coming against me was to strong and kept me from moving forward. In some cases it would even push me backwards. It's frustrating to be "trying" to work hard and having that sense (heck, flat out proof) that your own energy...your own strength is powerless to overcome that which comes against you. I needed something more. Like a seadoo or something. Something with more power then the wave. It's like that in life sometimes. We need more then our own strength. I've found that strength in God. This week, even in a really tough moment, I not only stood up in the wave, I actually moved forward! Pretty cool.

Cool...I hope you're doing well. I'll talk to you soon.


posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 04/01/2008

Weeds... Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

I hate weeds! Isn't it amazing that the things that we WANT to grow take so much time and energy to nurture, and the things that we DON'T want to grow seem to so easily take over if not properly maintained and cut back.

I recently spent the better part of a day...and a second day...and then a evening, cleaning up weeds, and I'm still not completely finished. I sat and watched them grow, knowing they were there, but thinking, "I don't have time for that....I'll get to it later". Then the rain came and I couldn't possibly go out in the rain and clean them up??? Then the sun finally came, and it seemed almost overnight, the weeds had simply taken over. They were tall. Their roots were deep. It was no longer "a nothing". This was a major problem. Not only did it cost my time, but now...because of how big of a job it was....I had to spend money to buy stuff to help me....AND...physically my body hurt from pulling the weeds out.

You see what I mean? It started as something so small...something so easy to take care of if I would only invest a small amount of energy...or better yet, just maintain on a semi-regular basis. I pulled away....and they took over. My advise as I sit here tired and sore, and having to start again....


Stay aware of the weeds...and pull them out when they're small...when their roots haven't dug deep into the earth...while they're still manageable. You'll be glad you did.

Take care...


posted by Jeramy Sossaman on 05/14/2007