Monday, December 12, 2016

Billy Hill - Bite Me Christmas

It is going to be a tough Christmas for Billy Hill - yet again.  So many people that Billy Hill loves that will not be celebrating it with him this year.  Mom, Dad, Cokey, Andy, Sonny . . .

Curious how his readers feel about this, Billy Hill poses a question to you:

What do you prefer, Thanksgiving or Christmas and why?  Actually, just what is your favorite holiday and why?

Billy Hill prefers Thanksgiving because, it is all the wonder of Christmas (sans the magic of Santa and elf on the shelf) but without all the commercialized crap and stress of buying presents and conjuring up a smile and a look of surprise and wonder as you open another package containing something you would never purchase for yourself in a million years.  Yet, we buy into the commercialization of Christmas every freaking year.  One year, Billy Hill is really going to do it, he is going to declare to the world "Do NOT buy me any gifts for Christmas cause I ain't buying you anything" and then just sit back and enjoy the turkey, deviled eggs and strawberry pretzel salad just like Thanksgiving.

One last question.  What is your favorite Christmas word?

Let Billy Hill give you a few examples to ponder:

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Noel, Santa, Snow, decorations, carols, presents, Christmas Tree, fruit cake, stocking, Grinch, The Night Before Christmas, candle light service, reindeer, Bethleham, figgie pudding, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Snowman, Peace, Holly, Silent Night, Mistletoe . . .

Billy Hill would like to hear what it is and why.  And as always, Billy Hill has his very own.

This is what captures it for Billy Hill.  But you see, the freaking commercialization of Christmas is robbing the JOY out of it all.  Let me give you a perfect example.  You see, Billy Hill likes to decorate for Christmas, not in a tacky way but in a redneck classy way.  And Billy Hill wanted his theme this year to be JOY.  And. a few weeks ago, at a local hardware store, it just so happens that Billy Hill found the perfect decoration to present this theme - a gargantuous JOY.  But, it was not for sale, it was just on display.  So, Billy Hill searched the Internet but he came up empty.  Well, Friday night Billy Hill stops in again to get a few other things and lo and behold, the display had a price tag on it - $1200.  "Well crap" thought Billy Hill.  So at that point he decided he was just going to make a big JOY sign out of wood, paint and Christmas lights, but as all of his grand ideas, he knew it would not come to pass cause he is just too busy.  But the clerk in the store saw Billy Hill taking pictures as a model and said that the display would probably go on sale.  Billy Hill said he would buy it for $500 and so, she took his number and said she would call.  As Billy Hill was in the checkout line with a bronzed Santa statute, the clerk approached him and said that the manager had one more display in a box and said he would sale it to Billy Hill at an acceptable price.  So, Billy Hill waits for 30 minutes until the clerk comes around wheeling a gigantic box that Billy Hill thought was a refrigerator at first but it turned out, it was his box of JOY.

So the 85 pound bundle of JOY was loaded into Billy Hills truck, money was exchanged and Billy Hill was off to the Billy Hill headquarters.  Well, as most things these days, Billy Hill is sure that this was made in China and, well the assembly instructions sucked.  Nothing seemed to fit where it was supposed to fit and everything was large and bulky and I am sure that the cars and pedestrians passing by found this to be quite a humorous spectacle. But three hours later, covered with glitter, two bleeding fingers, nearly frost bitten, Billy Hill plugs in the display for a grand illuminated JOY.  But by this time, Billy Hill was just pissed off that he spent three hours in labor, cussed out the entire country of China and most Chinese-Americans and Billy Hill had an epiphany.  This is the whole damn problem with Christmas.  See, Billy Hill just spent an ungodly amount of money for a box of JOY for Christmas and at the end of the day, he was totally void of JOY.  The JOY he purchased and assembled completely robbed him of his true JOY.  At least for the moment.  And so, once again he came to the realization that he got snookered by the commercialization of Christmas and totally lost sight of what the whole Christmas story is about - Glad tidings and great JOY.  So in penance, he retreated to his kitchen and made 60 breakfast eggrolls (yes, Chinese food as penance) for his Sunday School class and reflected on the words that a friend had sent him earlier this year:

Don't invest in things, invest in experiences because, the joy we receive from things quickly dissipates but as we reflect on experiences and memories, they just get grander and grander.  And so Billy Hill, re-centered and refocused vows that he is NOT going to let Christmas bite him again but, we shall see how he does cause we have 13 days to go yet.


Billy Hill here, I like it neat
JOY to you and your family

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Billy Hill Badassery Award 9 - Mom

You know, sometimes, like tonight, I really wish I could talk to you, I mean really talk to you like we used to talk, sitting on my bed in my bedroom, laughing, crying and just connecting for hours.  To see the life and understanding in your eyes, to hear your words of encouragement knowing that you are pulling for me and building me up.  Realizing the countless hours that you have spent in prayer on my behalf.  No telling what kind of a mess I would be in today had it not been for you.
Oh if I could just roll back the clock just a few short years to connect with you again.  Or even several decades to feel your hand on my back on a cold winter morning, waking me up for school as you sang "there was a boy, a little strange enchanted boy, who wondered very far, very far, very far from hoooooooooome"  Do you remember the time that I realized that was actually a Nat King Cole song and not one that you just made up?  No, you don't remember do you?  Because you are here but you are gone.  The intense love and understanding in your eyes have faded to just empty eyes that stare blankly at nothing.  I talk to you but I don't know if you understand anymore.  Do you know how much I truly miss you?  How I wish I could just have you living here with me, safe and secure, to take care of you like you took care of me.  My heart is crushed as I think about you wondering the halls of that home, not really knowing where you are, not really knowing who it is that is passing you in the hallway, or thinking about you sitting alone in your room just waiting as another day passes.

Your husband passed away this summer mom.  He was a great man, a war hero, a flawed but loving father.  But you did not even know it.  You just said "something seems to be missing".
You weren't just my mom, you were my best friend.  Remember that song I wrote about you?  "Behold my mom, she's sweeter than the sweetest song, she brings such joy to my heart.  Whenever I was in need, somehow she could always see.  So many times we sat and cried. I'm glad she's on my side".  I remember the last time I sang it to you.  You always got tears in your eyes and smiled so  grandly.
I know you did not want this to happen, you did what you could to prevent it but sometimes, life just happens.  But there has never been a cooler mom than you.  I remember the day that you told me that you did not like your name, Dolores, because it meant sorrow.  But then the day that I realized that it was really a variation of dolorosa, as in the via dolorosa - a distressing or painful journey or process.  The term used to describe the walk of our Savior to the cross.  A journey that was unbelievable painful and lonely for one man, abandoned by his friends, beaten beyond comprehension and forced to carry his own cross to his imminent death.  A journey that led to his death but that brought life, light, love and joy to the world.  That is what you have done also mom.  You have touched so many hearts, changed so many lives, breathed hope into so many hopeless hearts.
You are a vicious thief.
You have stolen my mom from me, from her friends, from the world.
I wish I could pick up the phone to call you mom.  I wish I could get my ass handed to me again as you whoop me at ping pong.  I wish you could come home.  I wish I could see you sitting in your chair working a crossword puzzle or reading your Bible.  I wish that we could talk again.  I really really do.  I wish I could tell you about the truly horrible year  that I have just lived, the darkness I have walked in, the sadness in saying good bye to so many friends that were dear to my heart, the fear, the loneliness, the brokeness and yet, in all of that, how God has sustained me.  I am probably still riding on the wave of your prayers.  I wish I could tell you about the hope that I have for tomorrow.  The new friends I have met and grown close to.  I wish you could meet them.   I wish you could have seen your grand daughter's face last Saturday when her soccer team went undefeated and she got a trophy.  She has been carrying it around with her all week.  I wish she got to know you like I got to know you.  Oh how I knew you mom.  Thanks for teaching me how to love, but mostly teaching me how to see into the souls of those around us and to have an overwhelming desire to reach in and bring comfort, even when we can't but to at least just stand with them and let them know that no matter what, you will be there for them.  You mom are truly one bad ass woman.  And I love you with every ounce of my aching heart.

Billy Hill here, I like it neat

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Billy Hill Badassery Award - remix

What is the line between badass and bully? And is there a line betwixt the two and then, where in this continuum, if it is a continuum, would an assault and battery fall? You see, being a badass himself, Billy Hill finds that he hangs out with quite a few badasses as well. So, one of Billy Hill's badass friends told Billy a story the other day. See, he was meeting a friend of his for lunch, most likely another badass I'm sure, and Billy Hill's friend had arrived early.  Well, since Billy Hill's friend's friend had a limited time for lunch, he decided that he would stand in a vacant parking spot and save it for his friend. Fully aware of how unwelcoming such an action is, especially during the lunch hour on a busy road, Billy Hill's friend said that he just buried his face in his mobile phone to avoid the disgruntled skunk eye looks from passing cars. And then there was this ponytail dude that pulls up, rolls down his window and says "hey man, could you move I want to park there". Billy Hill's friend said that he kind of smiled at ponytail but thinking "some kinda moron you are" and then he replied "no dude, saving this spot for a friend of mine". Ponytail said "you can't do that, it’s against the rules". Obviously a millennial. Billy Hill's friend said he responded by saying "There ain't no rules buddy, it may be rude but there ain't no rules, just move on and find another spot". Billy Hill's friend said he then turned his back on ponytail and gazed further into his mobile phone to just end the encounter.

Now is when things get interesting.  Billy Hill's friend said he was a bit startled when he felt Ponytail’s car pressing up against his thigh as Ponytail was forcing his way into the parking spot, clearly at the expense of Billy Hill’s friend and Ponytail was clearly unaware of who he was dealing with. And just a word of caution, if you are going to act like a badass, you better be one cause if you are opening a can of whoopass but you ain’t got a spoon, your just a moron . . . . or a millennial. Billy Hill's friend said he looked eye to eye with Ponytail, whose window was still down and he "calmly" said "I am gonna drag your ass out of that car and beat the living s41t out of you if you do not get out of this parking spot". Ponytail said that he would call the cops if he had to, and Billy Hill's friend just laughed cause there was only one person that broke the law at this point, and it was wearing a ponytail and whining about how life is unfair. So about this time, Billy Hill's friend's friend arrived at the scene, assessed the situation, jumped out of the car, dragged Ponytail by the ponytail through his window and beat the living s41t out of him . . . . well, no that did not really happen but it could have. Instead, Billy Hill's friend's friend just pulled into another parking spot about 4 spots down, which Ponytail could have gotten had he not decided instead to stick his hand up the hole of a hornet's nest. And so, halfway in the parking spot with his car firmly pressing up against Billy Hill's friend's thigh, Ponytail thought he would roll up his window and actually get out of his car. This was a very bad decision on his part  because it takes a few minutes for boiling blood to chill down. So, out of the kindness of his heart, and an effort to not land back to prison . . . again, Billy Hill's friend just made sure that Ponytail understood that he should not and would not be getting out of that car for a little while - - - and that is about all that needs to be said at this point. We will just say this, Ponytail sat in his car for a bit to just enjoy that wonderful parking spot and bask in what was clearly a victory for him because, he still had all of his teeth and his ponytail, all of which were on the line had he stepped out of that car.

And so, what is the point of sharing this story? If you see someone standing in a parking spot to save it for someone else, be disgruntled, flip them off, say something under your breath, and then move on. Don't be a ponytailed millennial cause you may just end up going to work with soiled pants. Now Billy Hill's friend was not proud of himself whatsoever, and admitted "I wish I had not done what I did done cause'n it cain't be undone" (he does not really talk like that, Billy Hill just added it for effect). And Billy Hill and his friends do not encourage the use of force in confrontational settings unless one's life is threatened (albeit running a car into a fellow certainly is pushing that envelope) but more than that, what is important to learn here, and this is for all you whining millennials and other entitlement ponytailers, can be summed up by the wisdom of Jim Croce "don't pull the mask off the old lone ranger and you don't mess around with big Jimmy Walker, especially on 42nd Street"

Billy Hill here, I like it neat (and be safe out there it is a crazy ass world)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Billy Hill Badassery Award 8 - Billy Hill himself

Yes, it may be self-serving and maybe self-centric and maybe egotistical but, Billy Hill has a funny story to share and his good buddy @docevans007 has encouraged Billy Hill to share it.  Now, saying that @docevans007 is Billy Hill's good buddy is a very mild statement compared to what he really is and in fact, @docevans007 is more a badass than all of the badasses that Billy Hill could accumulate together.  And he is one of those guys that you just know, when the smoke clears he is going to still be standing their beside you, and in fact, he was.  But anyway, I digress.

See, Billy Hill inherited this golf cart from Billy Hill Badassery Award recipient number 5, yes, his dad.  So, Labor Day, he had great friends over to munch down on Billy Hill's ribs and chicken wings that were created on Billy Hill's Jimmy (that is another story) and to partake in some dang good Sangria.  After the crowd dissipated, Billy Hill loaded his offsprungs onto the Billy T golf cart and headed down the road to Baskin Robbins to all partake in malted milkshakes.

Now, to appreciate this story, you have to realize that Billy Hill lives on a road that has 35,000 cars come by everyday.  Now, if you figure most of the cars are coming through during the day, then about dinner time (which is when the Billy Hill crew were going malted milkshake hunting) you can imagine that the road can be quite busy.  And it were.  So, with two kids handing on the back and one in the front seat with Billy Hill, they pulled out onto the road and began meandering toward their malted Mecca.  It is about 4 city blocks to get to Baskin Robbins and on the way, the Billy Hill crew was passed by a police car, as well as several dozen other cars.  The malts were purchased and the crew climbed back on board to sojourn back to the homestead.  Now, as Billy Hill moved into the turn lane to pull into his driveway, he hears his daughter say "Uh oh, dad, a police man is behind us and his lights are on".  Looking into the rear view mirror, Billy Hill confirmed this was the case and thought "man, I just want to drink my malted milkshake in peace".

Billy Hill pulled his cart into the driveway and the police man followed closely behind.  Now, what transpired next is absolutely true and Billy Hill wants to make it clear that he is a fan of the first responders and the thin blue line.  They have a tough job and put themselves at risk all the time.  They are heroes and they all deserve a Billy Hill badassery award.  But sometimes, even heroes have a bad day and, well this guy must have had one of those and unfortunately, it was about to get a little worse.

As Billy Hill emerged from his golf cart sucking on his chocolate chip malted milkshake, the officer emerged from his cruiser with much disdain as he flippantly said "and just what in the world do you THINK you're doing!?!?!".  Billy Hill politely replied "just taking the kids down the road to get malted milkshakes .... officer".  And again, in his special "tone", the officer said "while I can APPRECIATE how FUN that must be (as he looked down his nose at me) you CANNOT drive a golf cart down the city streets of this town".

About this time, Billy Hill had had just about all of the officer-tude that he could handle and so, in a very respectful manner, but one that made it clear that this was a lecture and you sir are getting schooled, Billy Hill took a drag off his chocolate chip malted milkshake, swallowed followed by a prolonged and well pronouced "ahhhhhh" and said "sir, actually that is not correct, you see, as long has you have this caution triangle attached to the back of your golf cart, like this one here, to indicate that you are a slow moving vehicle, and if you use proper hand signals for turning and stopping, then it is perfectly legal to drive a golf cart down the streets of this fine city as long as it is day light, which it is, and then, if you have brake lights, tail lights and headlights, you can also do it at night time".

The Officer glared at Billy Hill and then went to his "old faithful" move "can I see your driver's license?".  Billy Hill started to say "actually sir, you do not need to have a motor vehicle license to operate a golf cart on the streets of this fine city" but, instead he was so excited that he could whip out his new triHOLD Ultimate Wallet (yes free commercial to whoever you are) and quickly flip his license out as smooth as Raylan Givens pulling out his gun, that he let it go and flipped that license right out.

The Office grabbed it and disappeared into his cruiser.  And THEN the chatter began.  Billy Hill's local offsprung sat in silence with eyes wide open and pale faced.  Turned out later she was afraid Billy Hill was going to be hauled off to jail, or back to jail - whatever.  The youngest offsprung was eagerly asking if she could go and talk to the Officer.  Billy Hill said "no!, you never approach an officer in his car when he is running a background check, you always stay put and keep your hands in the clear and don't make any sudden movements (like pulling a BB gun out of your pocket, or even a banana for that matter).  Billy Hill also runs a consulting service for moronic hoodlums to teach them how not to get dead when they are being stupid and breaking the law.  The middle local offsprung, who is all boy, was just saying "cool" under his breath and soaking the whole experience in.

A few minutes latter Billy Hill was finishing up his chocolate chip malted milkshake (which by the way is ONLY second to the Cheerwine milkshake available at a local restaurant in this fine city, so shoutout and thanks to a classic city friend of Billy Hill for turning him on to that).  The officer emerged from his cruiser for the second time, but this time with a much different demeanor.  This time he smiled sheepishly as he strolled over to Billy Hill and said "I stand corrected, sorry to have bothered you sir, enjoy your day."  Well, that gained Billy Hill's respect right there, I mean, if you have to eat crow, you may as well enjoy it with a little bit of gravy.

As the officer drove away, Billy Hill wondered if, the he noticed the big sign out in front of Billy Hill's office that said "attorney at law".

But not to waste the moment, Billy Hill gave a lesson to the offsprung (after he got his oldest local offsprung to quit crying).  You see, while you should always be respectful to those in authority, you should not always assume that they actually know what the heck they are talking about.  Clearly this fine first responder had not read, nor probably ever had the need to have read and most likely was not required to have read that portion of the law.  But Billy Hill had.  I mean, Billy Hill is crazy but he ain't stupid enough to go driving down a city street in a golf cart with out first making sure he could, especially with some very fine Sangria on his breath.  So yes,  be respectful but don't swallow everything hook line and sinker.  As the late Larry Norman sang "you gotta love everybody but don't be blind, cause some folks just wanna mess your mind".

Billy Hill here, I like it neat.

Billy Hill Badassery Award 7 - Mipso

So, Mipso becomes the first ever band to obtain a Billy Hill Badassery Award.  If you have not heard and/or seen these guys (and Billy Hill means "guys" in the Chicago style non-gender way of speaking as in "use guys") you are totally missing out.  If you ever needed to be convinced that SOMETHING good could ever come out of UNC, well these guys will do it for you.

A friend of Billy Hill's turned him on to MIPSO several months back by sending a link to what has become one of Billy Hill's favorite songs - A Couple Acres Greener.  Click on the picture description below to check it out, like Billy Hill, you will probably be sold on these guys before they finish the first course.
 Mipso: Music in the Lobby
Music in the Lobby: Mipso

Now, Billy Hill snuck out of the office yesterday at 2:45 and headed up to Greer SC to see Mipso at the Spinning Jenny venue.  It was a great night with mixed reviews by Billy Hill and Billy Hill just wanted to talk about it and to give recognition to this awesome group. 

Looking on line, it was not clear if the show at Spinning Jenny started at 7:00 or 8:00 but, after eating a just OK a steak at Rivera's there in Greer (note they had a very limited selection of Bourbon but the menu was decent, just did not like the sweet sauce they put on my steak) Billy Hill strolled over the the Spinning Jenny venue at 6:45 to find an empty parking lot and a sign on the door saying they would open at 7:00.  So, Billy Hill strolled around the park and a graveyard for a bit then headed back to the venue.

A few folks, including Mipso were bouncing around inside what was a very neat looking venue.  Billy Hill got the great privilege to talk with Joseph Terrel before the show.  Great young man and Billy Hill had to take the opportunity to ask Joseph about the lady in the green shirt that appears in the hallway of the above-presented picture and video.  Billy Hill was glad to learn the Joseph was as confused about what in the heck she was doing there as Billy Hill was.  I guess it was a total video bomb and well, there is your 15 minutes of fame ma'am.  Oh, and while we are on the subject Billy Hill talking with Joseph, thanks for opening with "A couple Acres Greener" but did we not have an agreement before the show that you were going to play "Captain's Daughter"?  I know we did not shake on it but I certainly thought we had a meeting of the minds :)

Right before the show, Joseph walked by and said "I hope you enjoy the show".  Of course Billy Hill said "I know I will" but, that was before . . . .

You see, as usual, Mipso knocked the top off it with their great sound, performance, great balance of adding a personal touch between songs and played a few of their new songs that will be coming up on a future CD release.  And Joseph comes out rocking on an electric guitar! In addition, Libby as always was exuding that certain .... je ne sais quoi.  You just have to go see them in concert and see it for your self.  When asked when that CD would be released, Joseph said "that's a good question".  The new songs demonstrated that they are certainly not a one hit wonder group but rather, they have a deep well of great products.

But this Spinning Jenny venue, a little disappointing.  Not in the venue per se, it was rather cool with a great history but, the acoustics were not all that great and their bourbon selection was nonexistent. And kudos to who ever did the mixing for Mipso, they did a great job on balancing it all out and keeping the over modulations to a minimum.  But the big problem with the venue was the peeps.  You see, once the show started, most of the folks stood up and went to stand in front of the stage.  Billy Hill has no problem with that and if he wasn't so dang lazy, he would have done the same.  However, what these yahoos then proceeded to do was talk, at loud volume, the entire show.  Now, if you want to talk and listen to music in the background, go to a bar.  But Billy Hill believes that when you go to a "concert venue" you should just shut the hell up and listen cause nobody drove 2 hours to hear your cackling laugh while you are talking to your friend.  Ok, enough said.

Joseph, Jacob, Wood and Libby, hats off to you.  Every time I see you, you certainly leave my life "a couple acres greener".  And for that, Billy Hill gives you the Billy Hill Badassery award.  Looking forward to seeing you in Asheville in November and I am telling you world, if you do not go and see these guys you are missing out.

Billy Hill here, I like it neat

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Billy Hill Badassery Award 6 - Random Citizen on Sidewalk

Billy Hill was driving down a busy street in his neighborhood this morning, coming back from a client meeting and a short stop to visit with a friend, and he sees this older, skinny gentlemen with an Owen Wilson shaped head (if you know what I mean) walking up the sidewalk.  Well, not just walking, he was . . . maybe parading?  Yes parading.  But all by himself, at least from what the naked eye could see.  Not sure what HIS mind saw, who knows, he could have been the freaking Grand Marshal of the Fuck You brigade.  Sorry if that language offends you.  Note, that is not an apology for using it I am just sorry if it offends you because it is really a universally wonderful phrase but . . . well let me explain what is going on here.  

You see, this man had his right hand stretched way up into the sky like he was picking apples from the branch of a tree that was just out of reach.  Up on his tiptoes and trying to reach as high as he possibly could.  And his right hand was clenched white-knuckle tight, all except for the bird of paradise, the middle finger, you get the point (Billy Hill pun).  And he was thrusting this in the air, and waiving it around with such vigor that at times, I believe his feet may have even come off of the ground.  He was thrusting it towards the heavens, towards the businesses on the road, towards the passing cars, basically at the entire world.  It was one huge Fuck You to the entire world.  Billy Hill had to laugh, and laugh loudly Billy Hill did.  

Billy Hill wanted to stop to take a picture, he almost turned around to do so but, Billy Hill has a very important rule that he strictly adheres to:  

If you see a man walking down the sidewalk of a busy road with his hand stretched way up in the air and his middle finger is extending from a clutched fist that he thrusts and waives around violently in all directions NEVER EVER stop to take his picture.  

This rule has served Billy Hill quite well thus far.  

But Billy Hill flipped the finger right back at this gentleman, not to show disapproval of his behavior but really, just to acknowledge that Billy Hill knows where he is coming from.  Sometimes you just need to tell the world to Fuck Off.  Take your broken, fallen, evil, hating, mean, non-comforting self and just Fuck Off.  

You see, this has been a tough year for Billy Hill as well.  Having experienced a horrible collapse of his family, losing a great friend and father figure to cancer in September, then losing another great friend to cancer in May, then losing his father in June, having his nephew-in-law (a great bourboniser) in the hospital with a weird thing going on with his head causing him to black out, and then just recently losing another great friend in a drowning accident that left a young wife and young kid without him, Billy Hill gets it.  In fact, seeing this man was almost a gift from God for Billy Hill.  He sort of needed that, a reminder to pause from time to time and just tell the world to Fuck Off.  And so random citizen, Billy Hill grants you the Billy Hill Badassery award.  Thanks for the moment.  

And, not to exit this post without a great opportunity for an education, do you know where flipping the bird came from?  Well, Billy Hill does.  Here is the story:

The use of raising the middle finger actually began back in medieval times.  French warriors would cut off the middle finger of British archers because, that was the finger they used to pull the string back on the bow.  And so, the archers who replaced them would stick their middle fingers up in the air to mock the French showing them that they got their finger and that they are going to launch an arrow through their ocular cavities (yes the French were assholes even back in medieval times, some things never change).

So you see, it is not a bad thing and if you are offended, you should relax, find a quiet place somewhere where no one can see you and just raise your hand in the air and lift that middle finger and say "Fuck You spouse that divorced me and wiped me out financially", "Fuck You dad that treated me like crap", "Fuck You person that has abused me and made me feel bad about myself", "Fuck You you mean Fuck", "Fuck You random stranger that keyed my truck", "Fuck You people that are making bourbon outside of Kentucky", "Fuck You death", "Fuck You cancer", "Fuck You Islamic murderers".  It can be therapeutic.  Don't get stuck there mind you.  Remember you have a God that loves you perfectly and is quite aware of what you are going through and understands.  And even if you have to say "Fuck You God" which many of us have had to do from time to time (and if you never have, then count your blessings), He is big enough to understand and love you even through that.

So, random citizen, Billy Hill does not know what you are going through, where you have been, what is hurting your heart and why you may feel lost and alone.  Did you lose a friend?  Did you lose a family?  Did your shoelace break?  So often when people are hurting we try to say words to comfort them but really, you never know what to say because you never really know where they are at.  So, let people hurt, let them grieve, let them process in their own way without judging them and just let them know that you are standing right there beside them.  Every experience, every hurt, every pain we go through makes us better - if we let it.  As Howard Hendricks said "There is no garbage in the Kingdom of God".  He will use everything in our lives for his Glory, even a PG rated blog post.  

Billy Hill here, I like it neat.  

Monday, May 30, 2016

Billy Hill Badassery Award 5 - Billy T. Smith

On this Memorial Day weekend of 2016, Billy Hill extends a thanks to all those who have fallen to protect a nation that so many, externally and internally, have tried to destroy.  The soldiers that left behind the comfort of their homes, the hugs of their children and spouses, the smell of bacon cooking in the morning, running water and a soft bed, entered into extreme circumstances, some of which every next breath they took was a gift.  But today is a day to recognize those that did not come home, but rather those that gave their all so that all of us in this country can maintain the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  And for the most part, as those soldiers lay on the ground breathing their last breath, and those that were not even aware of the approaching end, they were not thinking of the color of our skin, the religious beliefs we embrace, the morality of the people back home, the lack of appreciation that so many would show, etc.  They were fighting for our nation as a whole and for each of us as equals.

And I know that while today we honor the fallen and we have Veterans day to honor the living, many people don't understand that there is more to death than just breathing your final breath.  You see, many soldiers died in battle but yet, did not physically stay behind.  Young innocent men and women died to their innocence and came home different people.  Yes, the kids ran out on the tarmac to hug their returning dad or mom but, it was not the same person that they had hugged goodbye.  You cannot go through the hell of war without dying in one way or another.

And so, without distracting our honor for those that have fallen, we can also honor the "falling".

So, as I sit here this morning while Billy T. Smith is in a hospital bed in Tennessee fighting for his life, yet once again, I take a moment to issue him a bad-ass award.  And although just like all of us he has  his shortcomings, he nonetheless left this country as a young innocent man with a wife and three little children, and returned home a year later but yet, really he did not.  He would soon find that the Agent Orange that was showered upon him in Vietnam would begin to deteriorate his nervous system, robbing him of physical capabilities far too soon for his age.  And also he returned with a soul filled with memories of countless soldiers that laid with their heads in his lap as he comforted them with prayer and encouragement as they drifted off to join the ranks of the "fallen".

Billy T. Smith was an Army Chaplain and his fellow soldiers described him as a foxhole chaplain.  He refused to stay behind at camp in the comfort and safety of his tent and chapel, but rather hauled a communion set all over Vietnam to meet with the soldiers on the battle field lines, to bring them words of comfort and encouragement, to bring a little bit of home to them.  As a recipient of two purple hearts, it was clear that he was dedicated to his mission.  Below is a picture of Col. Chaplain Billy T. Smith baptizing soldiers in the South China Sea during the Vietnam War.  He is a tough man, not only surviving Vietnam, but also a quadruple bypass and struggling with the loss of feeling in his extremities.  And today, he once again is soldiering up to push back death and say "not me, not today, not this time".

The words of the song "The Reverend Mr. Black" always brings tears to my eyes"

He rode easy on the saddle, he was tall and lean
First thought nothing but a streak of mean
Could make a man look so down right strong
But one look in his eyes, you'd know'd you was wrong
He carried a Bible and a canvas sack
The folks just called him, the Reverence Mr. Black.
He was poor as a beggar but he rode like a king
Sometimes in the evening I could hear him sing:
"you gotta walk, that lonesome valley, you got to walk, it by yourself
nobody else, is gonna walk if for you, you gotta walk, it by yourself"

Well if every I thought that man in black
Had a yellow streak up and down his back
I save the notion for the day
When a lumber jack came in and it wasn't to pray
Cause he kicked open the meeting house doors
And he cussed everybody up and down the floor
And then when things got quiet in the place
He walked up and cussed in the preachers face
And he hit that reverend like the kick of a mule
And from my way of thinking it took a darn fool
To turn the other cheek to that lumber jack
But that's what he did, the reverend Mr. Black
And he stood like a rock, a man among men
And he let that lumber jack hit him again
And then with a voice just a quiet as can be
He cut him down like a big oak tree when he said:
"you gotta walk, that lonesome valley, you got to walk, it by yourself
nobody else, is gonna walk if for you, you gotta walk, it by yourself"

Well I followed him that day and I don't regret it
And I hope I'll always be a credit
To his memory, for I want you all to understand
The Reverend Mr. Black was my old man.

Billy Hill here, I like it neat