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Worry Eviscerates Your Life.

I have always been a worrier. I don’t like this aspect of myself, and how many opportunities I have missed because I let my worry blind me with fear and doubt.  This is no way to live.  If I could just pause for a moment and say that I want to change the vowels in “worrier” and make it “warrior”. That is want I want to be, a warrior, one who stands up to the things in life, and is not defined by circumstances, or fear. God created us to live with freedom in Him, to not live a life of timidity, as Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7.

Worry does nothing to help us in our daily life. All worry does is help us to be unproductive, and obsess over things that are really out of our control. It has been a hard lesson to learn, and I am still learning it.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:34 not to worry about tomorrow. I think that it is one thing to look forward to something in optimism, but to dwell on uncertainties that have yet to happen, creates panic and worry.  I have had trouble in the last year because it has really been testing my faith and stretching me because I am still out of work, I have not paid my rent since November, and I have been legitimately afraid of losing my place to live. Yet, I am also trusting God (as Jehovah Jireh, my provider) to help me to find a job soon so that I can get back on track.

When things are out of your control, all you can do is acknowledge it, and continue to trust God. There are things you can do in the mean time live joyfully and fully so as to not let worry consume your mind. Be active. Stay in fellowship. Serve. Help out in a food bank. Volunteer in a library. Clear out your belongings and donate them to charity. Find a “meetup” group. Just being active keeps you from isolating yourself, and getting the “woe is me syndrome” because worry is turning into self-pity, and is eviscerating your life. You don’t have to live in such a way that promotes negative living.

I am learning about being positive, saying yes to opportunities, changing the way I think about life in general. Life is short, and we cannot be afraid to take a risk from time to time. Letting go of worry, and other negative qualities can really change your life from having a poor perspective on things to accepting and facing life’s challenges more boldly. In the Old Testament book of Joshua, God tells Joshua (1:9) to be strong and courageous. It is not that we are with out fear, as Mark Twain might say, but our courage is our mastery over our fear.

Live boldly. Take a step forward. Live the moment and trust that things will work out for the better. (This last note is a reminder to me to have hope and not be discouraged.)



When you are sick-

There is a stomach bug floating around the cities near where I live. It is also cold and flu season. I had my flu shot a couple months ago. However, I don’t know if it will be effective. Additionally, I think my problem is a combination of sinus infection, and my annual upper respiratory issues. I have tried to combat my stomach discomfort by drinking Kombucha (Lemon Ginger), and it helps a little. I have had some fever, and it is only just starting to feel like it is diminishing. My whole body ached and felt hot today. Not fun. Something my grandfather told me years ago that helped him when he had a cold or the flu was he had a shot of bourbon. That stuff  will kill just about anything going through your body. Natural health, probably not, but it has worked for me.

When I get sick, I am usually very miserable. I was today. It was wet, and rainy outside. We need the rain, but I am one who desires the sunshine. I probably would not do well in colder states. And, I think I have just been spoiled by all of the sunshine we have had in Southern California. I slept for a couple of hours this afternoon, so I really didn’t get to see much of the day today. On the plus side, I had a few friends I play Wordchums (similar to Scrabble) with on my phone.

The thought of food really just makes me feel nauseated, so I did not really eat today, except for some soup. Broth I can handle. Solid food-Um-not so much.

I would write more, and I just want to say hello, and good night. I know I won’t sleep much, and as pedestrian as this entry might seem, I felt like I should just write something. I am actually under a lot of stress too. I wanted to add that stress can make a person sick. Although, in my case it is just amplifying my ordeal.  I might talk about what I am going through in another entry when I am feeling better and can think more clearly.

Stay healthy. Good night.


Live Intentionally.

It is 2018. It is a new year, and with the new year comes new ideals and ways of seeing and living. I have made some new decisions, and one of those decisions is to not live in fear. I have spent a good part of my adult life not taking risks and being afraid to venture out. I have come to realize that at mid life, I can no longer live in a world where negativity, toxic relationships, impoverished circumstances leave me feeling uncertain, and afraid to live life. I could go on. Life is too short to live waiting for something to happen that might or might not happen unless you get out there and make it happen.

That last thought creates conflict in me. And, conflict is good. It pushes me. I need to be motivated. I need to push my limits. I need to realize my passion, my mission, purpose, whatever you want to call it. One of the hardest things for me has been to let go of ideas and dreams I once felt I had a clear path for. I do not know if those opportunities will ever return? I only know that I cannot focus on yesterday, or too far into the future.  Mindfulness has been a large contributing factor in the way I have begun to change and see things. This simply means being aware of what is going on around me at any given moment with a sense of calm and peace. I does not change who I am in Christ, but it does reinforce what I believe and how I live. And, living intentionally requires purpose, discipline, commitment, focus, and just showing up.

Recently, my fellowship group finished reading a book by Erwin Raphael McManus called, The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life. I was skeptical about this book in the beginning, but over the course of ten or so weeks, the things I read, and learned really helped me to reexamine the way I live. Sometimes you realize there are people that will hold you back, and keep you from moving forward. Sometimes you will be in a situation where there is great risk, but the reward is greater. Sometimes you will realize that you cannot go at life alone, and you need to “find your people” or your “tribe,” as it is sometimes mentioned. This book helped me to realize that I cannot quit, that I cannot give up, that I must endeavor until the very end, and to live a life that is blessed, and full of love, and part of the community that God has designed. This book helped me to understand myself better, and to start seeing what I want to do in life. It is from this that living intentionally is important.

Creator, a poem.

by Kirk A. McConnell
©Cracked Coconut

As Creator pulls at my heart strings
I will let go of earthly things.
Religion, I do not want;
But a Savior I want to know.
As I learn and as I grow
My heart will sing of joy and love
And my King will bring
New life into this damaged soul.

From hereon in
Every arrow is meant for battle,
I must not quit.
My quiver is still full
As is my regret.
I must knock each arrow,
And draw my bow.
My aim is not steady
Without the Lord’s hand;
I will release the arrow at His command.
Victory comes at the last arrow,
I save nothing but a thought,
And wait for a final command
My house is on the Rock,
Everything else is sinking sand.

Rebirth, a poem.

By Kirk A. McConnell
©Cracked Coconut


It is the fire inside me,
It never went out;
So long as a spark lights up,
My heart will never wither,
Nor I die from frailty.
My life has been crumbled
From rock into sand and clay.
I have soaked in the flames
Of the Phoenix,
And the Potter has reshaped my soul,
And my being is
Lit anew.

2017, part II. (Movies, my escapism and rambles.)

2017, was markedly a year of movies for me.  I have always loved movies, and I enjoy pop culture. Movies are not only my escapism, they are a means to alleviate all of the other surrounding chaos in my life. If I medicate at all from life’s troubles, I do it with movies. I love stories, and I am particularly fond of Science-fiction, Action and Thriller movies. I enjoy a good comedy once in a while. Periodically, there are some good dramas. This year, Science-fiction won the lion’s share of my viewing. I am thankful that I can go to the movies. However, with the increasing prices, it has become harder for me to feed my escapism, and I have often had to wait and see some films when they release to Blu-ray. I am still waiting to watch Kong: Skull Island. I missed that in theaters.  I think I mentioned that I saw Wonder Woman in the theater, alas, I was mistaken. I saw it on Blu-ray. I did see Aliens: Covenant in the theater, and I liked it. It was not as good as Prometheus, yet, I liked the direction they took the movie.

This has been a year where movies on occasion exceeded expectations, or viewers were severely butt-hurt over their own delusions and grandeur of what a movie should have been. I am speaking of a very recent movie where fans were extremely outraged by the turn of events in Star Wars: The Last Jedi ( a commentary for another time.) Just a side note, even though I thought there were problems with The Last Jedi, I still liked the movie. Perhaps I benefited by going into it with little expectation, rather than relying on fan theories and ‘what if’ notions?

Money was sparse for me this year. I have been dealing with a disability from a car accident I had a few years ago, and I have not been working. This is why I go to the movies often. I have felt like I could do little else this year. Even though it is only a band aid on my emotions, I feel like it has allowed me to get out more and not isolate. I would be lying if I said this year was good. Contrarily, it has been much like the last several years, a clone of misfortune, disappointment in myself, hardship, and self-doubt. I am not saying this whole year was bad. I have had little victories, and good moments, too. There have been many times I have reflected and seen the growth in my life. And, I attribute some of that growth to movies because, I have made new connections, set new goals, learned to think more positively, decided on new directions. I see the coming year a great year yet to be.

In July, I saw Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a movie adapted from the comic books. Although this movie was long, it was a fun and fast action paced movie. It was really difficult to follow the plot at times, but I enjoyed the little love story that was going on. I felt like it was a movie about living fearless, and fighting for hope and love. In some ways, Valerian reminded me of The Fifth Element. I would recommend this film just to enjoy the visuals and awesome graphics. For rest of the summer, I do not think I got to see many movies at all, and I was short on cash.  I had a difficult summer.

In November, I saw Thor: Ragnarok and The Justice League movies. I enjoyed both films. For me, Thor was the winner this time, but I am biased, as I am a huge Thor fan. Justice League fell short at times as it was slow at the beginning, and it often felt like there was a lack of cohesion with the relationships of the characters. It was a great film, but it was daunting at times. However, I felt Justice League was better than Batman/Superman: Dawn of Justice. I really think DC is better when it comes to their animated features rather than the epic blockbuster movie. Marvel often seems to almost always “up one” with DC.  I am still thrilled because the Thor and the JL still made November a really good month for me. There were other films in November, but these were two I picked to see.

In December, this month, all of the long awaited anticipations came to conclusion. I went on the Thursday release to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. (Spoilers! If you have not seen it yet, do not read beyond this, as I will be sharing thoughts and details about the film). Star Wars: The Last Jedi (TLJ for short) was a phenomenal movie. I liked it. You will undoubtedly hear from many hardcore fans that TLJ was a flop, and that it was a terrible movie, and that Rian Johnson made a terrible film, and it did not feel like a Star Wars movie. It did feel like a different Star Wars movie. It felt like its own story, one that was being established for a new future trilogy. I could be mistaken. The things that happened in TLJ were not enough for me to be enraged. Even Mark Hamill was quoted as much as saying that “It is just a movie.”  He basically said that if you were going to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi to relive your childhood, you would be disappointed. With that summary in mind, I think many were disappointed, but for different reasons.  When Luke battles Kylo Ren in an epic scene, Supreme Leader Snoke is dead (supposedly) and Kylo had given himself completely to his rage, Luke shows Kylo that he does not really need his lightsaber to fight him. Luke is actually on Ahch-To, not Crait. I was not expecting Luke to die in this film. I k new he would die, I had just assumed it would be in Episode IX when JJ Abrams takes the directorship of the final film. How Luke dies is more of an homage to past Star Wars films like Obi-Wan vanishing or Yoda fading. It is something I think that is important for the film to move forward and to prepare viewers for future stories where somethings have to end, and “Endings” seem to have been solidly established in the film as were new beginnings.  I was greatly shocked when I saw Luke vanish after looking at the twin suns from Ahch-To. It was an “Oh-my” moment. I know many people are unhappy with this in the film as other aspects of the film left people disappointed, but I actually felt that it was a fitting closure to Luke’s character. I just hope Mark Hamill will get to return as a force ghost. —

I think, as I saw Rogue One in 2016 to close out my year, Star Wars: The Last Jedi closes this year out for me with a more somber note. I will still be a fan, and an avid lover of all things Star Wars. In closing, I did get to see National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation shown in theaters for a limited engagement. It was great to bring out all of those awkward feelings again. I was never truly a fan of Chevy Chase, but he had his moments in this film. I liked him best with Goldie Hawn in Foul Play and Spies Like Us. I just think this year, it was cool that the theaters were showing older films for $5, and I could see  and appreciate some of the films that helped shape my adolescent years.

I know I sometimes ramble and get off-topic (purposely), and popcorn is random, too. One of my goals for the new year is to see as many movies as I can and write about them, and be more focused.

If you are reading this, I wish you well, and a Happy New Year for 2018.


2017, Part I. (Movies, my escapism.)

I blinked.


This year has gone by fast. I feel like I started this year off strong, and regardless of my circumstances, I am finishing strong. One of the greatest things I learned this year was not to let my circumstances define me. I am continuing to endure difficult circumstances, poverty and uncertainty. I refuse to let such things bog me down or dictate the course in which I am to live. Defiance is not how I live, yet, in this instance, I think it is okay. Who needs to let negativity and toxic feelings overrun one’s life?

I want to say that this year was good, and that it was full of successful and prosperous moments, but I would be lying. In fact, this year was full of difficult choices, difficult moments, heartache, grief, and loneliness. In contrast, there were many good moments, too. I had many occasion to find time to give thanks, and to praise God for his goodness and provision. I can also say, this year was full of escapism, as well.

In December of last year, I saw what was one of my now favorite movies, Rogue One (A Star Wars Story). I will likely talk about this in a future entry, and I just want to mention that it set the cadence for the number of impressive movies I would see in 2017. I love movies. I have always loved going to the movies, (not for the noisy people who bring their noisy children or plastic crinkling, wrapper opening, popcorn breath smelling annoyances,) but for move my love of cinematography. It is hard to find a quiet theater anymore, near where I live. However, this is not what I want to talk about. The following are the movies that I saw over the course of 2017, and briefly my thoughts on the excitement each movie provided for me.

I do not remember seeing anything before March of this year, unless it just was not memorable, in that case I won’t worry about a mention. In March, I saw Logan (aka Old Man Logan, aka Wolverine in Marvel Comics). This movie was simply awesome. It was a nice contrast to the portrayal of how Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) was depicted in other X-Men related films. This film portrayed an older Wolverine, and a weaker healing factor, and a surprise daughter, taken from a sample of his DNA. In the comics Laura is known as X-23.  As I write this, I feel like I just want to keep this simple, so I will not be going all “Fanboy” sharing my thoughts about these movies. The film basically takes place in the future of Logan’s life, after many of the familiar X-Men related mutants have died or been destroyed. We are left with an ailing Professor X, Logan, Laura, and a handful of other remaining mutants. I felt positive about this movie’s portrayal of Logan’s journey and endgame.

After seeing Logan, I was eagerly awaiting Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, which opened in theaters in April. I loved seeing this movie. It was a great second story for the characters I had come to enjoy reading in Comics. I especially loved the opening sequence with a young Groot dancing while the rest of the Guardians: Starlord, Drax, Gamora, and Rocket were fighting a nemesis. The movie was comical, as it was entertaining and exciting the whole way through. I loved seeing Zoe Saldana as Gamora ( I have loved seeing her as Uhura in Star Trek, and only recently learned that she also played a dancer in the movie Drumline (also a really good film)). If you have not gotten to see Guardians of the Galaxy (either film), I highly recommend these films.

In May, I don’t remember seeing any movies. A shocker, I know. There were several really good films I wanted to see this year and I missed them. I am so thankful for Blu-ray Discs. One of the things I discovered this year is, my local library has a ROGO (Rent One/Get One free) for check out. When new videos arrive, they are $2 for a seven day rental. On Fridays, this is bonus because of the ROGO, and I have been able to watch many movies I missed and have gotten caught up this way. I think that this is a great service at the *library, and I will revisit this thought in a potential future entry on the “Importance of library service in a pop culture driven world.”[Working title].

My life is not all that exciting. Movies, as I have mentioned are my escapism. And, I feel it is important to emphasize that I am passionate about going to the movies.

In June, it was DC versus Marvel versus Hasbro. June marked an exciting month of more heroic movies.  I had missed Pirates of the Caribbean V, in May and had been short on money, so I just promised to see it on Blu-ray, and I did. It was a good movie. But the movie I liked most, in spite of Transformers: The Last Knight being an enjoyable film, it fell short for me. I did not like the way Optimus Prime was portrayed in the film, and there was not enough meat to the story, even though I liked the medieval twist. Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot ( I think I love her now,) portrayed a heroine for a new era of comic book  readers, geeks, nerds, feminists, and movie goers. I love hearing Gal Gadot’s Israeli accent, as much as appreciating her beauty and strength in the movie. Wonder Woman is supposed to represent strength, justice, beauty and virtue, something I think that is sorely lacking in our world today where we take those things for granted. To tell the truth, I have loved Wonder Woman since I was a boy when Lynda Carter portrayed Wonder Woman ( I do not know so much about the Cathy Lee Crosby version).  DC sometimes falls short in their Heroic movies, and does more superbly in their animated features. However, with Wonder Woman, all I can say is “Dy no mite” (after Jimmy Walker, comedian). If you have not seen Wonder Woman, I highly recommend this film, and I do not think you will be disappointed. It was a great movie, full of excitement, and it sets things up a little for The Justice League movie.

I will continue more about the movies that made my year in part II. However, I want to close this entry with Spider-Man: Homecoming, which I saw at the end of June. I enjoyed seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was a fresh portrayal of a younger Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. It reminded me of a cross between the Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel’s classic Two-In-Ones. This movie was exciting, and Michael Keaton did a great job as the Vulture, the film’s villain. Sometimes I wonder if Disney is tainting Marvel’s creativity as far as films are concerned. And,I sometimes think that they care more about making money more than being true to the characters and stories. (I am not hating on you Disney, I am just a bit conflicted by the way you do things with characters and stories- more on this when I talk about The Last Jedi.) With regard to Spider-Man: Homecoming, it was an exciting movie full of great sequences, humor, and conflict. It was a movie devoid of Peter’s uncle Ben, and replaced with Tony Stark aka Iron Man. In previous incarnations, Uncle Ben taught Peter that, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I think this film still portrayed this but with the father figure, and mentoring by Tony Stark. Some would say this is Retcon-ish, and is not widely accepted.  I just enjoyed the film. Sometimes it is important to reinvent characters in order to free writers up with new ways to tell their stories and usher characters in for a new generation of readers and viewers.

Coming Soon: 2017,  part II (Movies, my escapism continued).