You know, life is short, and we are such fragile beings. We sometimes get so wrapped up in the things of this world that we neglect to focus on important things like friends and family. There are so many sicknesses, diseases and people suffering it breaks my heart. Why do bad things happen to good people?
I just want to take the time to give some words of advice in this strange walk we call life. Stop for a minute, and think about the things that are most important to you. Have you called someone lately to tell them you love them? What good have you done with your life that impacts someone close by in a positive way? My dad has a saying sometimes when he preaches, “Give people flowers while they are leaving, not when they are dead.” There is a lot of truth in that statement, and it should echo in our minds.
If something life altering was to happen to you when you least expect it, would you be ready to accept it? What if you have been meaning to call up a long time friend to just chat with them an hour, and something happened to you that you never got that chance? Have you done something in your life today to leave a lasting impact on someone? Have you done all you can to help someone who is in worse shape than your own? I hope so.
It is my personal goal to be nice to everyone; to go out of my way to make someone feel special. I fail everyday, and I am just as guilty as everyone, but all I can do is just pick myself back up, dust myself off and carry on where I left off. Life is too short to be secluded in your own little realm of things. Reach out to someone, the Lord will bless you for your charity. If I were to pass on today, and you read this statement, than I have done my job online. Remember friends, life is a vapor, we’re here for a short while, and gone as quickly as we arrived.
I have been a Christian since 1994, and I honestly don’t regret every making that decision. It’s hard to put it words what it feels like emotionally to know that a living God is on my side, especially through all my adversity. I sin every single day, as we all do, but that’s part of growing and maturing. Without Jesus Christ as my Savior, many times in my life, I don’t think I could have made it. If you are lacking that “something” in your life, that peace, than I urge you to find God and make things right with him.
Remember, two dates on a tombstone; birth and death. But, it’s what you do with the dash in the middle that will leave the influence of how people remember you. God Bless You, Joseph Burke
FAITH AND TESTIMONY
I grew up in a small Kentucky coal-mining town called Neon. It’s the kind of place that during the late 60′s through to the 80′s was a happening place, but now is pretty much a ghost town with no real future other than a retirement community for older coal miners. It’s kinda sad really, but there are towns locally that have more accommodations than my home town. I come from a strong religious family in the Baptist faith, being that my great great great grandpa was a minister – all the way down to my father who is a baptist minister. My father also has been a coal miner now for over 35 years, and had many close calls in the mines, but thankfully someone upstairs was watching out for him. This area isn’t exactly rich with accommodations, but it makes up for it in the sheer beauty of these Appalachian mountains.
I attended high school at “then” Fleming-Neon High School in Neon, Kentucky. I Never heard much from my classmates after graduation, sad to saw I expected as much. It really saddens me about how the friendships we cherished for those 4 years in school have since long gone. One of the highlights of my life was just being in school and being a part of something and to this day, almost 10 years later, I miss that.
After high school I then went on to Southeast Community College in Whitesburg, Kentucky. There I earned my Associates Degree in Computer Science with a strong study in English Literature. I made some new friends at college, but kind of like high school, it faded. Kind of depressing in a way when you think about it.
I then found Blue Man Group, the world renowned trio of bald blue guys. I also found their online community of fans and became an instant addict overnight. Not sure if that is right terminology, but it will work. One of the greatest aspects in our lives as fans is being able to share common experiences, and finding friends you would never be able to find any other way. It’s easy to say the Blue Man Group fan community is unlike any other online community in the world. Sure, there is tons of online communities to become involved with, but some of them seem to lack that “something”.
When Blue Man Group first established it’s online community sometime around 1999-2000, who would have known then that a close knit family would evolve? Call it luck, or being at the right place at the right time, but I felt compelled to give something back to Blue Man Group. I created Blue Man Library and launched it on February 14th, 2001 with no real idea what I was doing, how to manage things or even run a fan site. It was all new to a lot of us. But the fans came, and slowly a community was forming.
In March 2009, I relocated to Orlando, FL to purse my career in graphic arts, design and media. I haven’t regretted one mile of the decision to move away. Florida has brought me great happiness and continues to be a wonderful place to start a new life. I now attend a local church in downtown Orlando called Christ Church of Orlando, and I’m still an active part of the Blue Man Group fan community being that the production has a show at Universal Studios Resort just 5 miles away. I am happily married as of October, 10th, 2010, and loving every minute of marriage.
So now, my journey has come full circle. I have found out who I am in life, what my purpose is and what my goals should be. It’s taken me 15 years to really find myself, and be the person that I am now. A lot of changes, and good people have blessed me with great influences. Many emotional challenges are an everyday part of life, it’s just a matter of how well you deal with your own shortcomings. I wasn’t the most popular in school, never was the best dressed, and I never was an athlete. One thing I was… “me”, and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. To all who read this; friends, family, old classmates and acquaintances, don’t waste a minute of your life living for the moment. Do something worthwhile, and find Jesus Christ. In this walk of life, I couldn’t imagine a brighter light leading my paths than Him.