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Road Noise - Life one mile at a time with business owner, author, and professional artist, Michael Blackston

A life journal podcast from the viewpoint of a Christian husband, father, author, professional artist, and business owner. Topics range from opinions about every day family value issues and spirituality to helpful tactics that help make life easier and beyond. Michael is a southern story teller and cherishes the opportunity to help others through their struggles by sharing his own experiences. You're invited to come on along and join him in learning to live life one mile at a time.
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Now displaying: October, 2016

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Oct 28, 2016
Dealing With Death And Loss (Part 1) - RN 055

"All say 'How hard it is that we have to die' - a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live." - Mark Twain

How do I deal with death or the loss of a loved one?

Death is something all humans have in common. At some point, we will all face it, whether we are dealing with the loss of a loved one, or our own deaths.

Two areas to consider:

   Finding peace in your own mortality

   Dealing with the loss of a loved one

Finding peace in our own mortality

Casues of anxiety - FEAR

Fear of the unknown – The Afterlife. Figure out what you believe and don’t be satisfied until you’re convinced.

Fear of pain and turmoil. It will be what it will be. It may be quick and painless; you may not even see it coming, or it may be uncomfortable, even painful. Unless it’s something you’re currently going through, there’s just know way to know. Don’t let a fear of this control you. While we should try to be safe and use caution, we should still live and enjoy life. Living in constant fear of what might happen is not living at all.

Fear of who we’re leaving behind. People can and will find a way to survive. The always have. In order to leave a great legacy, don’t just DO for the ones you love, but TEACH them so that they may carry on your knowledge after you have passed on.

Fear of leaving things undone. Prioritize the things that are the most important to you and start there. It’s all you can do because you are just one person. If it’s really important work, appointing a person you trust to succeed you will help.

 

Dealing with the loss of a loved one

Recognize these things:

Death is a part of life. It happens to us all.

Cherish and savor the moments with the ones you love. Do it now so that you can have great, strong memories later.

It’s okay to cry. Man or woman, young or old, tears are sometimes needed. So don’t allow yourself or anyone else to tell you not to cry for as long as you need to. Everyone deals with loss in their own way.

Grief is a season and will pass. It is a part of finding closure. Like crying, allow it unless it begins to control you and negatively affect you in a permanent way.

Ask yourself what they would want you to do. Most, if not all, of your loved ones would tell you to move on after a time and not allow their passing to be the end of your life.

Time eventually heals. Time has a great way of helping pain to fade, while allowing the memories to remain. Take comfort in that.

 

The issue of heaven and hell, or “Will I ever see them again?”

That is a question that can only be answered individually. For me as a Christian, I firmly believe in the life, sacrifice in death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the one and only way to eternal life. That is good news for me as I deal with the loss of fellow Christians, and bad news for me as I deal with the loss of those who have rejected Christ. I understand the intolerance in this belief, but it is my personal belief system. As far as your comfort on this side of death, it will depend on your personal beliefs. I was asked my thoughts on these subjects by a listener, and so I have to be truthful. However, just because I believe this way, does not mean that I don’t respect your system of belief. We don’t have to agree. But as for me, the issue of heaven and hell is real and final.

These are deep, sensitive issues. They are hard to handle, especially when sharing them with someone who is worried about their own mortality or someone who is dealing with the loss of a loved one.

In the next episode, we’ll talk about how to help others deal with

 

Oct 21, 2016
Radio Days - RN 054

"Basically, radio hasn't changed over the years. Despite all the technical improvements, it all boils down to a man or a woman and a microphone, playing music, sharing stories, talking about issues - communicating with an audience." - Casey Kasem

What is it like behind the scenes of a radio station?

I can answer that question because much of my time right after high school and for years forward was spent behind the control board and microphone of a radio station control room. The things that happened during those times and the people I met were, and still are, responsible for a large part of who I am today. Here is just a sampling of stories about four people from my Radio Days.

Kevin. Taught me a great deal about being a good jock and how to deal with listeners and fans in a friendly way. Kevin has passed on, but his memory and his influence will always be a part of me.

Sandy. My #1 fan. This wheelchair bound angel taught me so much about unconditional love and to this day remains one of the most profound influencers in my life. She used to call me her Prince of Late Night. Maybe now I can be her Prince of Podcasting.

Michelle. The pseudonym my wife took on during a time that she secretly worked for two different radio stations at the same time. One of those stations had her live opposite me just down the road during the same day part.

Joe. From the moment we first met, Joe and I have had a strong bond. He is my brother in Christ and a stable voice in my ear.

This week’s Positive Review: Michael’s Arts and Crafts and Hobby Lobby art supply stores

What are your thoughts and stories? Call the voicemail line at 706-408-7456 or email me: feedback@michaelblackston.com

Oct 14, 2016
What Do I Do When People Let Me Down? - RN 053

“Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word.” - Sir Laurence Olivier

It’s a fact of life and one we cannot escape – disappointment by the people around us. There isn’t a way to avoid being let down from time to time, but there are ways to make the experience one that can be learned from and there are things we can do to ease the pain and find a silver lining.

Here are 5 things you can do to handle the pain of being let down:

  1. Take a deep breath (or several) – literally. Breathing feeds oxygen to the brain and helps it function at its best. You’ll need this to think clearly and logically about the situation.
  2. Find a positive. The old phrase “Every cloud has a silver lining” is, in my opinion, true. Find that silver lining and focus your energy on that. Make lemonade out of your lemons.
  3. Take a brisk walk. It’s a proven fact that exercise releases endorphins into your brain that trigger happiness. Beat the blues by chemically charging your mind with a better outlook.
  4. Create something new. For me, making something is uplifting to me. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, give it a try.
  5. Decide to forgive and love anyway. The bible says to love your neighbor. It helps you to take the high road. You have the blessing of having done the right thing and the satisfaction of having closed the issue yourself.
  6. Pray for them. For spiritual people, prayer is a big part of getting past being let down. We never know the full story behind why people behave the way they do, but God does, and He is the One we go to for that supernatural involvement. There may be struggles at home that are the cause of a poor attitude. Pray blessings on those who let you down and ask that God intervene on their behalf.
  7. Move on; Don’t wallow in self-pity. Holding on to the negative stuff only churns up mud in your life. Let it go and be done with it.

It’s all about flushing away the negatives. Follow these 5 points, and hopefully, you can see brighter days if someone lets you down.

This week’s Positive Review:            Bayer Back & Body

Don’t forget to get in touch with me if you have anything to add or a story to tell. Contact me via the hotline at 706-408-7456 or via email: feedback@michaelblackston.com

Oct 8, 2016
Christmas On A Budget - RN 052
"Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice." - Dave Barry

Should I start Christmas shopping now?

I have a good reason for doing a Christmas episode in October. To those who know me, it’s no secret that I would do Christmas 365 days a year. That’s no exaggeration. I love it that much. But Christmas can be a strain on the pocket book and when that happens, it’s not so fun.

I’ve put together some ways I think you can do Christmas on a budget and help ease the burden, if that’s what you need, allowing for a stress free and enjoyable holiday season.

Here’s how to do Christmas without breaking the bank!

I’ve broken the process down into three categories:

GIVING

  1. Start early. During the 2015 Christmas season, I made some much business for myself and waited so long before starting to get things done that it came and went before I could say “Jingle Bells”. So for 2016, I made the decision to take it easier, go slower, and start earlier so that when the actual Christmas season officially rolled around, I could soak it in and savor my favorite time of the year. Getting you list together early and keeping it in front of you will help with that. Go ahead and budget out some of the easy gift purchases a little at a time so that you’re not doing it all at one time.
  2. Thrift stores. They can be wonderful places to purchase nice items for pennies. I had the idea of developing a theme for the person I am buying for and looking for items that fit that theme to put together into a gift basket, all retrieved from thrift stores. For instance if your person is a sports fan, look for items representing their favorite team.
  3. Make it yourself. Adding the personal touch of creating the gift yourself means you put thought into it and will be special and usually costs a fraction of what you’d spend at a store. As an additional touch, add a personal note or short hand written letter telling them a special message from the heart.
  4. Your time. Some people, especially the elderly, don’t need much and will get plenty of essentials like soaps and shampoos and perfumes from everybody else. Those things are great and they are needed, but most often you can give the gift gift of yourself – spending quality time with them – and that will mean the most.
  5. Food. I didn’t mention this one in the episode, but I add it here because it’s a good idea. Do you have a cooking specialty? Cakes and cookies, etc. are a wonderful way to give of yourself if you have the knack for it and not a lot of money to spend.

RECEIVING

  1. Ask for gift cards. While this doesn’t necessarily help with your budget ahead of time, it can definitely help ease the financial burden of the after Christmas pocket book blues. Just make sure it’s appropriate., as in if someone draws your name and asks what you want.

CELEBRATING

  1. Your time. Not to be redundant, but make yourself available for celebrating with others. Your time may be your most valuable asset, but it actually costs nothing dollars-wise.
  2. Spread it out. Don’t blow all your yuletide steam in one weekend or a day or two before Christmas, trying to cram it all in. That just causes more stress and tends to be more expensive, too. Plan your celebrating out over the whole month of December and as I said up top, savor the season. By making a plan, you can get out ahead of your spending and schedule activities and venues that cut the costs without sacrificing celebration.
  3. Thrift. Gifts aren’t the only thing thrift stores are great for. Most of them are chock full of decorations and art that are MUCH cheaper than going to your closest chain store to make your home holly-jolly.
  4. Start a tradition. They can be cheap, fun, and meaningful. The thing that kicks off the Christmas season for our family is getting up early on Thanksgiving Day and putting up/decorating the Christmas tree while we watch the Macy’s Parade. This year, we’re planning on putting our heads together and creating a brand new tradition as well. Perhaps your could build a brand new tradition every year and add it to your celebrating.

Christmas doesn’t need to be – it shouldn’t be – a chore or stressful. All it takes is planning ahead and in doing so, you’ll find your holiday experience to be richer and one that will enable you to focus on the reason the season was begun in the first place; the birth of our Savior.

This week’s Positive Review: The QT chain of convenience stores

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