Long Overdue Update

So it’s been a while since I updated anything on here. Life gets busy. Here are the highlights of 2018.

I sold my house in January and moved to Georgia for a 9 month Army school. (WOBC)

I learned to track my eating and lifted weights for 7 months which resulted in me loosing 20 lbs and getting stronger.
I can bench 225lbs, squat 170lbs, and deadlift 325lbs on my best of best days.

I graduated Honor grad (2nd in the class) from my WOBC course at the end of August.  I’m a fully qualified 255A and up for CW2 next May.

I received a promotion at my civilian job to Information Security Manager.  Yes I’m that IT security nerd. But it’s fun stuff!

We moved back to Overland Park, Kansas over Labor Day weekend.

The kids are back in school and I’m back at work this week. We are getting settled into our new house and new routines quite nicely after a busy, busy 3 weeks.

Amy and I joined the crossfit gym across the street from our house. It’s fun and challenging.

I learned that property tax is done differently in KS vs MO.

Moving is expensive, even when you save and plan for it. So many small things you have to buy.

More updates to come later.  Follow me on twitter @derekcreason for semi more frequent updates and Amy’s instagram stories are probably the most up to date of our random day to day lives.  We are having a blast living life and embracing this new chapter of our lives including new job, new school, new church, new neighbors, new community, new gym, new friends, new drivers licenses, new car tags, and some of our favorites to include same friends, same chiefs fans, same awesome KC metro, same KC BBQ, and more! Be sure to say hi or come over and see the new place!

Until next time, Stay positive and embrace challenges. Or some other motivational quip….  🙂

Later,
Derek

Bonus: Random pics from my phone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a Podcast!

That’s right. I have launched a podcast.

One more place to share my thoughts on whatever. From movies, TV, and music, to news, politics, faith, IT nerdery, and more. Listen in for fun and try to decipher my attempts to be creative, witty, funny, and engaging in an audio format.

Below are the links for iphones and androids or pc!

Itunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/derek-creason/id1362333204

Pocketcasts:
http://pca.st/nw95

Anchor.fm /derekcreason for computer browsers.

So go listen and subscribe and send me your feedback! I hope you enjoy it.

Later,
Derek

Nothing else matters but the Gospel

This weekend I had the privilege to attend a conference at church. It’s aim was to get men to focus on God. To stop being fence straddlers and live for Jesus. Part of me was dreading it earlier in the week, and another part of me was encouraged. It was exactly what I needed in this busy time of my life.

Time for a confession: I imagine some of you may be like me. You’ve come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but you’ve gotten busy due to life and compartmentalized Jesus away. I’ll give Jesus this day or that relationship, but not my work friends. Or I’ll give Jesus this money, but that side income shouldn’t count for tithe because I want a new xyz.  I’ll work on developing this relationship because it’s easier than reaching out to new people. I can flirt with this sin because I can handle it unlike others. I can act one way with one group of friends but pretend God doesn’t exist with another group of friends. And on and on it goes. We rationalize it away in our mind.

I’m guilty. I’ve gotten complacent. I’ve gotten lazy. I’ll amen the sermon on Sunday, and be telling people where to get off at work the next day in no uncertain 4 letter terms. I’ll rationalize it all away with the best of them. “I’m still doing pretty good.” “I’ll talk to them about Jesus next week.”

Except I don’t.

When I get distracted and busy, I live like hell. Sure I’m a decent person, but you wouldn’t know from any of my actions or words that I’m claiming the name of Jesus. Then I let my failures beat me down and talk me out of witnessing. For FAR TOO LONG.

NO LONGER!!

God kicked my butt this weekend. I needed it so bad. I’ve gotten so distracted and lost focus of what really matters. The saving power of the Gospel is ALL that matters. Not my job. Not selling my house. Not my career. Not my four kids. Not my stress and anxiety. Not my marriage. Not my studies. Not my Army career. Not my money. Not my wants. Not my level of physical fitness. Not my Ego. Not my need for affirmation. None of those things matter. I’ve let all of those take 1st priority at some time and not kept God in focus. Sure those things are important to manage and attend to, but I hadn’t been putting God first for far too long. I had just let life consume me and I was barely treading water while my heart grew dimmer and dimmer from not focusing on God.

So I’m starting afresh. I don’t care about the outcomes anymore. I’m giving it all to God. I can’t keep trying to fix everything myself. Only God can do the fixing in my heart and yours. I’m not ashamed to claim Jesus as my Savior. I want to tell you about it as well. I don’t care if I loose my job, either my civilian or military career, my church friends, my work friends, or my family members. And trust me, being a husband and father of four children, giving my career,(my livelihood, my method of providing for my family) over to God was not an easy task. He wants it all. He’s waiting to meet you right where you are if you’ll just turn from your idols (no matter how well intentioned they are) and come to him at the Cross.

And yes, some of you who know me from different aspects of my life will scoff and say, “See, he’s no better than me. Those Christians are a huge hypocritical joke.” And you’re absolutely right. I am a hypocrite. I am a sinner. I am flawed. Massively. I struggle with sin. A lot. I fail A lot.  Only by God’s grace can I say, “Yes I’ve messed up a lot and majorly at times.” But I give that to God. I would point you to the cross and the gospel of Jesus. He came to Save and heal the sick. And it’s not a one time thing. God is continually working in us to make us better after he saves us. When you can finally put your Ego to the side and accept God’s forgiveness and learn to forgive yourself as well, it’s ok to be a flawed human and tell others about Jesus. I don’t think he would want a perfect person to tell about him anyway. It might come off as snobbish.

Acts 20:24 says “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.”

May our lives point others to the gospel.

I am no longer ashamed. I will work to be bolder and share Jesus with others. I’m starting with admitting that online which is a big part of our lives and personas we present to others. I want to be authentic. So ignore and block away if you must, it won’t hurt my feelings. I will shake the dust of my feet and move on. I would love to talk with you about Jesus. The bible commands me to be ready to share. So I’m going to be ready. That’s scary for an introvert like me. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I urge you to seek out Jesus if you don’t know him in your life. Starting with these verses.

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin id death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:9 – That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be Saved.

John 3:16-17 – For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

It really is as simple as those verses explain. Believe it. Confess your sins and turn to Jesus. Have Faith the Bible is absolutely true. Even if you don’t understand it all yet. Learn to study it and live by the principles it provides. Find a Bible believing church and have fellowship.

If you have questions or want to talk, please reach out to me or others. I would be happy to do my best to answer them or guide you to better resources than just myself.

And Finally, if you are already a Christian, and you find yourself off the path, distracted, bogged down in the business of life, parenting, work, disease, hurt, and more. Find a way to get away from that all. Reset your priorities and focus on God. Start living the great commission unashamed. Our purpose is to glorify God. Not have comfortable middle class lives and cool church friends. Tell people about Jesus as if their eternal resting place in Heaven or Hell depends on it. Because it really does. We often loose focus and don’t consider the reality of hell and the eternal separation of God that it is. Read up on it. It’s real. All we have to do is tell others about Jesus. God will do the work and the saving. No need to worry about the hard stuff. Leave that to God. He can do amazing things in your life. If you’ll just let him.

I pray you will find the Love of God.

-Derek

Project Sunken Treasure

You probably didn’t notice or care. But this site has been down since August 22nd. That’s 8 weeks to the day.  That was a rough day as I woke up to 8 inches of water in my basement.
I learned a few lessons that day. Here are a few of them.

1. Don’t store your computer tower on the floor.
2. Don’t put your hard drive in the lowest bay in your computer tower.
3. Your backups of your computer files should not be on the computer next to your tower.  (I wasn’t quite at the 3 – 2 – 1 backup rule.)
4. You’d be surprised how much junk you store in your basement that you don’t need.
5. Throwing away your stuff is emotional. (It was my junk!)
6. Thank God for insurance.

So despite that major setback in life, things have been crazy busy and the world drives on.

Project Sunken Treasure is the complete restore of my website from cached pages on the web. The hard drive was toast. Completely underwater.  A company wanted $1800 to try and recover files from it. But now my site is back live on a new linode server! I’ll be working to push out new updates and more content as often as my busy life will allow me to. Click the icons to the right or at the top or bottom of my page to interact and follow me on all my various platforms.

Here are some of the things I’ve been up to and some upcoming things.

1. Benjamin is now almost 9 months old!
2. I attended WOCS in April – May and appointed to Warrant Officer in the Army.
3. I traveled to Brazil in South America for the first time for a week of work.
4. My refrigerator quit working.
5. I’ve been busy packing and cleaning getting ready to put my house on the market in November.
6. I’m moving to Georgia for 9 months of Active Duty school for my Warrant Officer MOS job early next year.
7. I’ve still got 2 trips tentatively on the calendar and I’m looking forward to the holidays as well.
8. LetterboxD is an amazing social network for movie nerds and tracking all your movies you’ve watched. Connect with me over there!

As far as my list of goals for the year, I’m about where I expected to be. I’m behind on the reading and writing ones, but making good progress on the career and physical health ones.
Having 4 kids and planning a house move means I really spend all my free time just doing logistics. Food, daycare, school, work, projects, travel, etc are always on my mind. The two most useful tools I have are Google Calendar and You Need a Budget (YNAB) budgeting tool.  Click here for a discount! They are both very useful for making sure things get done on time and not breaking the bank.

And finally, here are some photo dumps from my phone. Mostly of my kids because honestly that’s all you probably really wanted to see anyways. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later,
Derek

Meet Benjamin Joshua!

On Friday January 27th, 2017 at 12:32am, My 4th child was born. Benjamin Joshua Creason. He is a pretty cool little kid and he is doing well. Both him and mom are back at home and settling  in nicely. Here are a few pics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As many people know, I like to keep the names of my children a secret until they are born. This is usually for a few different reasons. Mostly its just fun and adds to the excitement.  For our 4th child, we chose to honor some soldiers with the naming  of our son. Here is the meaning behind his name.

Benjamin.  Benjamin’s 1st name was in honor of a fallen soldier named Seargent First Class (SFC) Benjamin Wise. SFC Benjamin Wise died January 15, 2012 from injuries sustained in combat days earlier. You can read a pretty in depth expose’ on him and his family and watch a 4 part video here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/2014/01/18/one-family-two-sacrifices/


I asked a friend of mine who knew Ben personally and had deployed with him to tell me what he meant to him.

“Ben was what I would call, the personification of the quiet professional. He was my team leader in the scout platoon way back when, and he never really yelled much. At times I wondered if shit hit the fan if he’d be any good, but he was, much more than others. When he decided to go SF (Special Forces), he didn’t make a big deal out of it like most others, he just did it. If people saw him working out or rucking afterwards and asked him why, he just said he was training for selection. He didn’t lie about, but he never boasted about. He was one of the smartest people I know. He got 18d (Special Forces Medical Sergeant) which is retarded hard, and his language was Mandarin Chinese, the hardest language to qualify for. Even when I saw him in passing up in Washington, he remembered everything about me. He genuinely cared about people. I’ve had leaders and friends I’ve looked up to, and every single one has failed me. But he never did, and he is still my role model as a leader, soldier, and father. End state: smart, empathetic, quite professional, good God fearing man.” – SFC Joshua King

My Response to Josh was that he “Sounds like an awesome guy. Everything we could hope and strive to be as leaders ourselves. I’m bummed I never had the opportunity to meet him.” Josh agreed as well and stated, “Yah, if I ever had a boy, he’s what I would want him to grow up to be. Doesn’t necessarily have to be in the military, just have that work ethic and personality.”

SFC Benjamin Wise had earned the following awards and medals.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze star Medal, the NATO Medal, three Army Commendation Medals , three Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, four Iraq Campaign Medals, three Afghan Campaign Medals, Global War on Terror Service Medal, two Overseas Service Ribbons, three Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal.

Benjamin’s first name is in honor of a great fallen warrior. An American Soldier, through and through.

Benjamin’s middle name is Joshua. This is in honor of my best friend Sergeant First Class Joshua King. I have known Josh since we were both in kindergarten. We grew up together, although most often far apart by many states. We always stayed in touch through the years and visit each other often when we are in the same town for a few minutes at a time. I got the opportunity to be his best man at his wedding. During my toast to him and Luana, I got to explain a little bit of how Josh’s leadership has been an example to me. Now I can expound on it some more here.

My friend Josh joined the Army right after high school. He is still in and serving proudly. He has deployed 3 times to Iraq and is prepping for his 4th deployment. He has also been a Drill Sergeant and earned his Sapper tab. He recently was promoted to Sergeant First Class (E-7). While I was off at college earning my undergrad, he was working his way up through the infantry gaining experience in Iraq.

Josh is a super fun and easy going guy. He’s a no nonsense get the job done kind of guy who loves to be silly and crack jokes along the way. He embodies two aspects of character that I strive for. Bravery and the Never Quit mentality. If you ask Josh, he would probably deny having these traits. He would just say that he’s doing his job and embracing the suck. Josh continues to go when called for deployments. He is an 11B which is an InfantryMan. For those of you who don’t know, the Infantry have the hardest job in the Army. They get to do what other people don’t want to do or wish that they could do. He’s gone to Iraq 3 times. He’s fought in many battles. He’s lost fellow soldiers.

Josh has also completed some very tough schools in the Army. He became a Drill Sergeant and passed Drill Sergeant school. He passed Sapper school. He has attempted others schools such as Ranger school and Selection (Special Forces) and not quite achieved those goals he has for himself. This aspect is where I have learned much from him. I have had many conversations with him after he failed a high speed school such as Ranger school. I asked him, “How do you deal with failure? Especially when you wanted it so bad and trained so hard for it? Josh’s answer was simple. He said, “You give yourself a day or two to completely mope around, feel sorry for yourself, be sad, be mad, whatever. Then you get up the next day, and get back at it.” The mindset was simple. Experience setback, even major life or career setback,  get over it, and get back up and go again. I have watched Josh experience this a few times for a school that he really wants. It has been devastating to him at times. But I also saw him get back up and go to work the next day and do his best to achieve the next tasks that are given to him. That is the essence of the never quit mindset I spoke of. To get back up each day and start again. No matter how good or bad the previous day was.

Josh is also the bravest guy I know. None of my other friends joined the infantry and did 3 tours in Iraq. Josh would just say he was doing his job and got to shoot cool weapons. But it takes some courage inside of you to volunteer for a dangerous job like that and then to go out and do it over and over again. His willingness to serve and his ability to go do a very difficult job was one of the reasons that 8 years later, I went and enlisted in the Army myself. I hope to honor his bravery by doing the best that I can and learning to exhibit a never quit attitude during the hardships I face in the military. He is an excellent Non-Commissioned-Officer (NCO) and a leader as well a great friend to get to know.

Both SFC Benjamin Wise and SFC Joshua King are great men who love God, their families, and their brother’s in arms. They exhibit extremely high class character traits that I hope and strive to achieve in my personal life. In naming my son after them, I hope to honor them and remind myself to teach my son how to embody those character traits as he grows into a man.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13

Later,
Derek