DJ Gorena

Life as I see it

Month: March, 2015

“I Don’t Like Organized Religion!”

I have decided that I don’t like Wal-Mart anymore because they are too organized. Every time I walk into one of the Supercenters, the aisles are clean and shelves are chocked full of items that are neatly stacked. If you go to the produce section of the Wal-Mart you will find all of the lemons together, all of the avocados together, and all of the bananas nicely placed on a tiered shelf. Then, when you go into housewares you will find all of the pillows, sheets, comforter sets and various sundries nicely organized. Oh, and let’s not forget the shoe department! Are you aware that they actually have all of the shoes organized according to size both for men and women? And that’s not all! They actually have sections in the clothing departments that are organized by men, women, boys and girls. I’m telling you that I don’t like organized department stores! I would rather that they just pile everything in the middle of the store so people can just fight over whatever they find in the pile. Now that would be shopping!

After going to Wal-Mart, I decided that maybe I just need to chill out. So I went to a Starbucks. But would you believe it? Their menus are organized! They have lattes, they have frappuccinos, they have teas, and they have pastries–and they are listed on the menu! Moreover, as I was about to order my no-water chai latte I discovered that they have a display of all sorts of breads and pastries. The breads are organized in such a way that you cannot order and pay without looking at just how stinking organized the whole display is. I mean to tell you that I don’t like how organized Starbucks is! Why can’t they just think about what they are doing and mess things up and leave things messy, dirty?

But that’s not all! I took my Toyota to the dealership to have it serviced. To my chagrin, when I pulled up to the service area, a service technician (I don’t know why we have to have titles! it seems too formal, too organized!) came to me with a clipboard. On the clipboard was an information sheet. He quickly took the VIN from just under the windshield on the driver’s side. He then asked me to step inside after telling me his name and telling me that he was “my service technician”, as if I actually own the guy or something. Then he proceeded, very methodically I might add, to take my information from me so I could have the car serviced. The next thing I knew I was being directed to sit in a well-lit, well-planned sitting area. It was organized! People were sitting there, watching an organized talk show on television, drinking their coffee and soda from the organized coffee and soda bar. Then…that’s right…then…there it was! A plate full of donuts and cookies nicely organized! At that point I thought to myself, “Methinks that everything around me is organized!”

So, with all of this in mind, I have decided that I am no longer going to go shopping at grocery stores unless they decide to disorganize their shelves. As far as Starbucks is concerned, until they don’t know how to make a good cup of no-water chai latte because of lack of training and doing things according to some kind of order, I’m going to refrain from partaking. And as far as my car, oh the nerve! It is beyond me that Toyota is so organized that my vehicle actually stops and goes depending on me pressing the gas pedal or brake pedal. How in the world can this car manufacturer be so thoughtless as to be so organized? Hmm? Answer me that!

Now, when it comes to religion…wait…all of the above is ridiculous. I know that God is the God of organization.

I think I’m starting to like Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Toyota again…


LIFE: 3 Circles

If you have not visited, you need to! There are a lot of exciting things going on with our North American Mission Board. The picture above is what was taught this morning at First Baptist Church of Leonard. We want our people to know how they can share their faith with this easy method of Gospel sharing. You can check out this resource at

Me and My Twin Sister

Me and my twin sister, Denise

Me and my twin sister, Denise

I was over at my twin sister’s home today. I am in the process of closing the sale of her house for her estate. It is a bittersweet time. It is bitter because she is no longer here. However, it is sweet because I know that her new home in Heaven is quite the best that she has ever known. She relocated from Frisco, Texas to Heaven on June 27, 2014 at 10:07 p.m. It is a night that I will never forget.

I have been responsible as her Executor to care for her belongings and all of the other things in her estate. She asked me to take care of things for her after she left us. It has been at times difficult and at times fairly easy to handle everything.

It has been difficult for a several reasons and it has been easy for several reasons. First, Denise is gone. She left us when it was time. She was a lady and knew what time was best because she was expecting to see Jesus Christ. She did–no, she is seeing Him.

Second, it was difficult because I retained an attorney and paid him a lot of money and he did not do anything for the probate. Then he decided to steal the $2,850 I paid him and to this day has still not returned any of it. I would suggest that before you retain any attorney in the State of Texas that you check them out with the State Bar of Texas or whatever state where you are retaining an attorney. He made it difficult because he failed to carry out what he promised and he stole $2,850.

It has been easy at times because I know what Denise wanted me to do for her estate. She wanted everything taken care of before she was translated from this life to the next. She took care of all of her bills. The only thing that was needed to be paid after she passed away was her funeral expenses. She gave me strict instructions for her cremation. She did not want anyone to see her in the shape that she was in at her death. She was thin, eaten alive from the cancer that ravaged her little body. But there was something about the look on her face. She kept looking to the east while she lay on her bed. We would try to move her head to the side to help her comfort, but she would moan and groan when we attempted. It was my Dad who recognized that she kept looking to the east. He said, “She’s looking for Jesus! She’s waiting for His call home!” That eased the pain that the rest of us were feeling knowing that the inevitable was upon us.

Since Denise left us, it has been difficult because I used to call or see her at least once a week. It has been difficult to not hear her voice. Frankly, after she died, I cannot hear her voice even in my memory. It breaks my heart that I cannot hear it. I have tried to remember her voice. I wish that I had some messages from her on my phone still, but I do not. This has been difficult for me because she was a close confidant to me. She cared for me and for my family. She wanted to help in whatever way she could. Denise was always concerned for me and she loved me. And she knew that I loved her. After all, we would tell each other that we loved each other often. She was my 1/2. Until I see her again, I am just 1/2. When I arrive in Heaven, then we will be a whole again. That’s how we have always seen each other.

It has been easy because I know that Denise is not hurting. She was hurt deeply by her first and second husbands. Quite frankly, I wanted to hurt them for doing to her what they did. No details are necessary for this part. They hurt her and treated her poorly. I understand that at times she was difficult as well. All of us seem to have our moments. I always wanted to help her with them but she never asked me. I wanted to speak with them about their attitudes and actions, but she never wanted me to do or say anything. So I did not. She would seek advice from me about herself and what she could do to make things better.

I also know that she is not hurting physically. She was in a lot of pain towards the end of her life here. The cancer had spread from her mesentary to her liver. She had nodules of some kind that showed up on her left lung. She was tired all of the time from the chemotherapy. She would feel sick to her stomach and had issues the last six months of her life. A few weeks before she passed, the last time she was in the hospital, her tummy was so bloated because her system was shutting down. Fluid had built up on her stomach–a lot of fluid. She could not pass anything and she had to have a peg tube placed in her stomach to drain the fluid buildup. She was so sick. I remember going to the hospital and the first night after the tube was inserted there was about 3,000 cc’s of fluid drained from her stomach. She no longer has these issues.

It has been difficult because I remember Denise’s sense of humor. When we were kids, she would come into my bedroom and I would inevitably kick her out of my room. She would refuse to leave so I would begin to drag her out of my room. She would begin to laugh which in turn would cause me to laugh even though I was trying to be a sore head about the whole ordeal. She would latch on to whatever she could and I would have to yank and pull her away from that piece of furniture. Then she would grab something else and I would have to yank and pull her away from that piece of furniture. This went on and on until I was able to finally get her to the doorway. Then she held on to the door jamb and I would have to free her fingers from holding on there. She would be laughing so hard and of course I would be as well, but she was out of my room! I would then close the door and she would open the door. I would yell at her to stay out of my room. With her toes right at the borderline of my doorway, she would exclaim, “I’m not in your room!”

When we were kids, after the movie “Annie” came out, during the days of the wigs, all my family were in the den watching a scary television show called “Night Gallery.” It was a Saturday evening ritual. We would watch “The Carol Burnett Show” and then “Night Gallery.” Comedy and consternation all in the same evening. At any rate, my mother had a blonde Afro wig. Denise had been in mom’s closet while all of us were in the den. She put the blonde Afro wig on her head, jumped into the den from the steps that went to the formal living room, and scared all of us. When we finally all looked at her, she began to tap dance and sing, “The sun will come out tomorrow / Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow / There’ll be sun!” We could not help but all laugh. It certainly helped me to cope with “Night Gallery.”

This has been a difficult week. Thinking of the adoption of our two boys this week, I think she would have been so thrilled to have been at the courthouse with us. No doubt she would have taken the whole day off from teaching her second graders to be with us for support. I know that she loved my two boys. I know that she loved my wife because she would always tell her that she was her favorite sister-in-law. I know that she wanted to be there when the adoption was finalized.

It has been a hard day for me being at Denise’s house. It will be the last time that I am there. Her home is sold and the closing is on Thursday. I will never see her sitting in her recliner in her living room. I will never go over there to visit with her just to talk. I will never see her memorabilia from the latest Dallas Stars game she attended. I will never have to deal with her Cocker Spaniels again. I will not be able to hear her voice again.

All though it has been difficult today, I know that one day it will be easy. There will be a day when I will see her again clothed in the glory of Jesus Christ. There she will be totally radiant. Her face will be smiling brighter. Her voice will be proclaiming the blessings of the Lord. Until then, I will have both easy and difficult days. And until then, I will take her cue and just praise Jesus Christ!

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