Tag Archives: The Classic Crime

Verse of the Day – Matthew 25:23

Matthew 25:23

Matthew 25:23

Are we good stewards with the gifts we have been given?

Sometimes I know I invest them and watch them grow and at other times I am sure I run and hide them in the dirt.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ’til tears rolled down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song
Sometimes, I indulge my every whim
And piece by piece, I build the cell I’m in
But, I only stay here long enough
To write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well, they must have been small, because I couldn’t seem to find them
So, I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that make your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well, they must have been small, because I couldn’t seem to find them
So, I took a leap off of the precipice

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

Eh-eh-eh, eh-eh-eh
Eh-eh-eh, eh-eh-eh (Sometimes I indulge my every whim)
(eh’s continue through next part)
Whatever the cost (Piece by piece)
Whether it works out or not (I build the cell I’m in)
Whatever the cost (I only stay here long)
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you I’ll follow you (Enough to write)
I’ll follow you with my heart (The saddest song)
Eh-eh-eh, eh-eh-eh
Eh-eh-eh, eh-eh-eh

Three Years Of Blogging – Where Has The Time Gone?

It seems hard to believe that it’s three years to the days since I set up this blog and posted that first post, 9.19pm, 6th October 2012, where has that time gone?

It’s safe to say I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, what it would be that I would find from it or where it would take me.  I’m not a writer, I never have been, I hated it at school, in my English classes in High School, most of my course work went unfinished and if I did finish it, it was usually the least I could do to get away with completing it, I hated writing and don’t get me started on my views of poetry back then.

It’s funny how things change you, I never believed I had a talent for writing when I started this, not that I do now to be honest, but something in that challenge I was faced with made me look inside and find something I never knew was there.

I’m not an eloquent person, I struggle to express myself at times, I am naturally quite shy and introvert, my personal feelings are mine and they stay that way.  But over the few months before I started this I had began to face those natural tendencies to keep everything hidden inside.  When I came to God earlier that year I had a choice, keep hiding and keep suffering or be open, let it out and find my healing.  I began to tell my story to people and find a way to deal with the internal pain of the situation I had found myself in.  Then when I started journaling I found another way to express myself, although only I read back my journals, they are my personal feelings, I found it a great release and a great way to become accountable to someone and something, even if at that point it was only myself.

Then I felt that challenge, that challenge from God to begin this blog, to tell my story and express myself.  It became another way to find healing and another way to make myself accountable, not only now to myself, but also to the great people who have taken the time to read, like and even comment on my writings, from people who have shared similar journeys into depression or alcoholism or others just followers of Christ who support and encourage, it’s been a great experience and I hope it continues to be that way.

My current series of posting daily poems based upon bible verses is still set to run until the end of the year.  I set out to do this at the end of last year, I choose seven verses at random every Sunday evening and as the next week passes I write and post a poem based on one verse each day.  Some days I may write two, three or sometimes four and then schedule them over the coming days, other times I write them each evening, based on my feelings that day.  Some weeks I link all seven, telling a story or they form a conversation with God through poem as the week goes on, each one different and unique, each one mine.

I love the feedback I get when I see a comment that says “I needed to read this today”, as some days I am not sure who I am writing for, I just feel compelled to write, I look at the verse and just start writing, if I have to think about what to write it feels wrong, if I write and it just flows, then it’s what I am supposed to write, I may not know why or understand where it comes from, but I know if I write that way, it’s spirit led, to get positive feedback is the icing on the cake, I just wish sometimes I had more time to respond and comment back.

The long and the short of it is, I’ll continue to write, as long as someone continues to read it.  I was planning on just keeping this poetry series until the end of the year, but I now feel I may do it all again next year, just keep picking verses and writing a poem based on them, what do you all think?

On another note, I started walking again last week, well for two days I did anyway, the first day my new trainers took the skin off my heel and then on the second day they did it again, this time turning my trainer into a bloodbath, it was a bit of a mess and still hasn’t healed properly a week later, although I did get out at the weekend.  Hopefully I’ll get out again this week, I really enjoyed walking again, there’s nobody else about at that time in the morning, great time for thinking and talking with God, my headphones in and my praise music on, I sing along out loud, there’s no one around and nobody hears me or at least I hope not!

The weather hasn’t been that great, but I did catch a few good sun rises over the last few weeks, mainly on my way to work, below I share the best of them.

Band Of Gold

Band Of Gold

Breaking

Breaking

Between Morning Clouds

Between Morning Clouds

Beyond

Beyond

Golden Reflection

Golden Reflection

Across The Morning Sky

Across The Morning Sky

Morning Highlighted

Morning Highlighted

I have a few plans for more writing over the next few months, firstly I want to bring the “My Testimony” section up to date, I covered as far as New Year 2014, so I have the last couple of years to bring it up to now, I intend to finish that and then start on a new series which chronicles my whole karate career, starting from my first class in October 1980 (thirty five years ago this month) to coming out of retirement in this year’s National Championships. It’s not your usual story of a karate instructor or as dramatic as the Karate Kid, but it been such a big part of my life, 35 of my 41 years, that it has shaped parts of my life and who I am, I’m looking forward to writing that.

But for now, I just thank you all for reading my ramblings, thank you for following, for liking and your encouraging comments, believe me, I may not respond all the time, but I read and appreciate them all, so thank you all once again.

This is the song where it all started, this is the song I was listening to when I felt that pull from God to tell my story and start this blog, this song reduced me to tears on the morning of 6th October 2012, it started this journey into the unknown and I am so glad it did.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ’til tears roll down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

Sometimes I indulge my every whim
And piece by piece I build the cell i’m in
But I only stay here long
Enough to write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wisedh was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
‘Cause I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that made your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
Because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
Because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

Verse of the Day – Hebrews 10:36

Hebrews 10:36

Hebrews 10:36

Following a face to face conversation earlier this evening with a fellow recovering alcoholic and discussing our respective journeys, I was reminded that mine is one of perseverance, I have to keep taking the bumps and bruises, but rise above them all and keep waiting for His perfect timing.

I WILL WAIT by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I will wait

I used to let you fight
(fight for me again)
but now I stand alone
(will you fight for me again?)

I will wait

Will you fight for me again?

Will you fight for me?
(again)
Will you fight for me?
(again)
I will wait for you
I will wait

Whatever Happened To Touché Turtle?

I have to admit, but I can at times be the master of random references, things in my mind work in a weird way and my collection of obscure knowledge just explodes from my lips.

When I’m teaching karate this tends to happen a lot, my classes are mixed adults and children, but predominantly full of kids.  I tend to take the higher grades which have been at the club some time, so they know me, I know them and more importantly they know my obscure sense of humour.

Yesterday’s class brought about one of those moments when the kids look at me with a blank expression, that look of “What is he talking about, he’s gone mad!”  Yet the adults smile as I provoke a memory of their youth.  I can’t remember what it was that brought the thought to mind, but I referred to a movement that one of them made as looking like…  Touché Turtle!

As I say, I was greeted with blank expressions and then the response, who?

Touché Turtle

Touché Turtle

It seems kids these days have never heard of Touché Turtle, what?  You’re kidding, right?

Even worse, they had never heard of Jamie and the Magic Torch either!  Although I wouldn’t expect my overseas readers to remember that one, it was shown here in the UK in the late seventies, classic cartoon!

Jamie & The Magic Torch

Jamie & The Magic Torch

Having seen some of the rubbish cartoon’s my kids watch, they should bring the classics back, I mean Fish Hooks, what is that all about?

YOUNG AGAIN by THE CLASSIC CRIME
We never get it on the first time
We never get it right
So we wander through the desert under cover of night
Looking for a fire that can bring us to life
seen a lot of bad in a short time,
so we’ve lived in spite
yeah, we boarded all the doors to the good outside

but you only get as old as the callous on your soul
and if you let the darkness grow, 
you will get hungry for more
until it consumes all

Oh, to be young again
To be confident and charming and believe it never ends
Oh, to be young again
I want to feel like I am closer to the start than to the end

I’ve been walking on a fine line
Between wrong and right
And it’s taken me to places I knew better to go
Put on a lot of faces at the theatre shows
Behind the curtain I am not a nice guy
I live with spite
And my bitterness compounded by the kids in the crowd
So innocent and open as they sing it out loud

There’s nothing you can do to stop from aging
All you have is this day
Every thought is a blessing
Every breath that you take
Everything outside of right now is illusory
It’s not real
The past, the future, they don’t exist.
All you have is now
Is this enough for you?

The Beauty Of Becoming

I make no secret of the fact that music forms a large part of my life, over the last few years I have received many messages through music. And even though I may not have heard the messages at the time, there were many songs in those dark years of mine that only now can I hear the message to me within the words.

I listen to a lot of music and nowadays it’s predominately Christian music or songs of some inspiration. Many times over the last 20 months has the right song played at the right time, lifting my spirits or breaking me to tears.

In fact often when I’m walking and things just don’t seem quite right, I just ask for a song to give me a lift, almost always the next song, if not a song after that, does the job.

Yesterday was a little different, when I set off for Church, I was tired after being awake since 4am, apart from half an hour’s nap, plus I think I was still carrying a little of last Sunday’s painful memories, the long and the short if it was I felt a little empty, something just wasn’t right.

So I prayed for a sing to lift me, but strangely it was one which I expected, what played was a song called “Worthless” by A Thorn For Every Heart, a little strange I thought.

Now I’ve listened to this song so many times, it’s a good song, but I have to say I’ve never really heard the lyrics, but yesterday they did speak to me and into my situation, it was almost exactly the way I was feeling last week and of course at the beginning if this journey, it summed up my feelings, this was a little hard hitting.

The next two songs didn’t really lift me, but they were telling a story, my story, firstly “Headlights” by The Classic Crime and then “Enemy” by Newsboys.

I didn’t realise until I prayed last night about what I was hearing on that walk, but when I asked I then understood, only then did I fully appreciate the last song I heard as I walked to Church, “The Becoming” by Jenny Simmons.

There is not a lot more to say, this song says it all.

THE BECOMING by JENNY SIMMONS
After the destruction
In the wake of every storm
The sun reveals the suffering
And all I’ve known is gone
Well I can take the rising waves
But when I’m washed up on the shore
Feeling just like driftwood
And nothing makes sense anymore

Jesus meet me
Be everything I need
In the waiting
In the in between
Jesus, hold me
And keep me from running
Cause I don’t want to miss
The beauty of becoming

Something new is growing
I can feel it come alive
In the dead of winter
Spring is on the other side

Jesus meet me
Be everything I need
In the waiting
In the in between
Jesus, hold me
Keep me from running
Cause I don’t want to miss
The beauty of becoming

Give me beauty in the ashes of this pain
Give me water in the wasteland, let it rain
As I wonder, in the darkness, be my guide
Oh Creator, oh Redeemer bring new life

And Jesus
Be everything that I need
In the waiting
In the in between
Jesus, hold me
Keep me from running
Cause I don’t want to miss
The beauty of becoming
No, I don’t want to miss
The beauty of becoming

Time For Post 300

So now I reach my 300th post and what do you talk about on your 300th post, well, as it seems so long ago I’ll talk about this Blog and that first post, “The Precipice”, even if it is just 233 days ago since the bottle was opened.

In that time I’ve made so many great friends over this Blog and hopefully I’ll make so many more.  What is amazing is that in that time and after over 1200 comments received on various posts, I have still yet to receive any feedback I would consider negative or derogatory, I have received nothing but kindness, support, inspiration and love, all of this from people I have never met and from people I probably will never meet, but I want you all to know how much your support, your comments and your likes mean to me.

This Blog has been a great source of release for me, it’s been therapy for me, to really delve into my feelings, it’s helped to find out some of the reasons why I found myself where I was, honest was what I have set out to be, to tell my story with complete honesty, I believed from the day I met with Gareth and Alex that it was the only way forward, the only way to truly deal with a problem is to admit you have it in the first place, not hide it or hide the key facts of it, I had been doing that for years, not anymore.

When I feel I can’t talk to people face to face about my feelings, I find I can write them, just let them flow through the keyboard and post on here, sometimes reluctantly, I know that I can say it with honesty without having to look anyone in the eye with embarrassment, but I receive the support and inspiration I need.

I didn’t expect that when I started this, I didn’t expect the level of support I have received, actually I’m not sure what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t what I’ve found.

I set out with a lot of ideas for posts and preparation for my posts, some of those posts were within the first few weeks, although a lot of the preparation was never completed, some of that work is still going on behind the scenes.  Only a few of the post I had written in the early days haven’t been posted, they are still stuck in my drafts folder, when I returned to them sometime later I realised they were rants and put others in a bad light, when really I was the bad light in my life, no-one else, I am responsible for where I found myself and how things turned out, I made the wrong choices and I must learn to live with them, not seek to blame others.  Other ideas are still to be written, most of these are just a little about me, my work, my karate and family, background information really, I will get around to these at some point.

It was while walking that I started thinking about doing this blog, over a few weeks I had ideas for posts in my mind, then I actually started typing up a number of them, but they sat there a little longer, I just couldn’t make that step to actually starting this, I liked the idea of sharing my story and hopefully inspiring others, but was a little apprehensive about taking such a huge step about being so open.

So on the 6th October 2012 as I returned from a walk a song came on my iPod that broke me down, it was like a slap in the face.  I took a look at my journal entry for that day, I pointed out to myself that I had actually taken a walk up that hill that morning, thinking about what I could do with a blog, seemingly already celebrating what I hadn’t achieved, but the lyrics of the song said:

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

It was true, what were my accomplishments, at that point I couldn’t seem to find them either, maybe it was time to take that leap.

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you with my heart

Then these lyrics changed everything, on hearing this I knew it was time to stop deliberating and go for it, whatever the cost, just go for it, it was a message I couldn’t ignore.  I returned home to start creating this site, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, I wrote a post called “The Precipice” named after the song which had inspired me that morning and took that leap.  Sometimes when I listen back to this song, it still moves me to tears, a song of both beauty and power, it still provokes a reaction in me every time.

Again, I’m so glad I did, I set out to inspire and give hope to others, I hope I’ve done that over the months, but more importantly, I’ve been inspired and been given hope in my low times, thank you all.

And would I want to be to be any other blogger, as today’s Daily Prompt asks, the answer is quite simply NO!!!

So there is only one way to finish a post here on the Bottom of a Bottle, that’s with a song to inspire, a song that generally but not always compliments the post, well this time I return to the beginning and the song that inspired me, enjoy.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ‘til tears rolled down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

Sometimes I indulge my every whim
And piece-by-piece I build the cell I’m in
But I only stay here long enough
To write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that make your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song 

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you with my heart

Inspired by My Own Early Hope & Determination

This past week, I have taken to reading my journal each night, the journal started on Monday 19th March 2012, so I read each day one year on, it’s interesting to see what I was thinking and indeed doing in my early days of recovery, I was still drinking at this point a year ago, granted a lot less, but still a few days to go before that night in 29th March 2012, when I made that decision that enough was enough.

So 52 weeks ago these were my feelings on the first Friday of my recovery;

“Once again up, fed, showered and shaved, ready to face the day.  Work was good again, karate was okay, some little brats in the first class, but I was tired, worn down by the past couple if weeks.  I got home and ordered a take away for the kids and Victoria, it wasn’t until later that I realised the thought of drinking never crossed my mind, u got myself a pint of water when I got home and that was fine with me.  Again, another prayer as I listened to “Healing Begins” then off to sleep, got some retail therapy planned for tomorrow, to get rid if more of the ragged clothes I wear.”

It was not one of those days that I can say I can remember or particularly stands out, the entry was less than half a page, just simply to the point, but quite obviously my mind set in terms of the drinking is beginning to change, through prayer I was learning to master the urges, my main problem was drinking at home, the wine and whatever I could get my hands on, it certainly looks like this week that begun with a five pint and two bottle bender after contemplations of suicide, would move through meeting Gareth, messages from God, beginning a relationship with God through prayer and on to mastery of a habit that had previously consumed me.

When I look back at these pages, over the coming weeks, I know I will find so real raw emotions, some of these will be hard to read back, but still I find them interesting and actually inspiring, after the depression that fill my being earlier this month, these words inspire me, that through everything that was wrong at that time in my life, hope and determination seemed to be at the forefront of my thinking.

Another song that I listened to this morning is “The Beginning (a Simple Seed)” by The Classic Crime, another great song for you all to enjoy.

If a simple seed gets just what it needs
Then a redwood tree can grow
Up to a hundred feet for the world to see
And endure the sleet and the snow
But if my whole life was wrapped and priced
I wonder what the tag would show
Cause every time Im close to the holy ghost
I always seem to let her go
I let her go
I let her go
(The Beginning (A Simple Seed) by The Classic Crime)