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... to one man's walk with God.
My father named me after two disciples etched in glass at my parents' church. When I was four, we moved to the Greater Boston area where I was raised. I was painfully shy in grade school. I went to parochial school until Junior year of high school, at which point I switched to public school so I could see what it was like. It is very nice having girls around. I obtained a BSME from Tufts University. During college, I also studied abroad in England at the University of Sussex. This changed me forever: I've desired a slower pace of life ever since. I am thankful for my parents' sacrifice to send me to a good school.
After college, I traveled with a friend, Biscuit, around the U.S.A. We landed in Seattle and after two months I drove back home, wounded. Back in Boston, I eventually got a good job in Engineering, but felt I needed to prove my worth through drawing cartoons. I started drawing cartoons with a college friend and housemate. We'd draw cartoons to make each other laugh. After a while, he dropped out and I renamed the comic strip to Toon in'...
Toon in'... documented my community and life with friends. Toon in'... was fueled by marijuana use and very late nights. On Saturday, February 22nd, 1997, I became psychotic. I honestly felt like I was dying, so I prayed to God like I'd never before. He saved my life while I ended up in a hospital diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which I still struggle with today. Almost instantly I started drawing cartoons about God. After the psychotic experience, I became very depressed for a year and a half. I ended up going to a Church near home and found out who Jesus was, and how close I had come to eternal death. It wasn't easy going through all that, but I am so thankful God saved me. I got a view of eternal death and for me it would have been drawing cartoons about myself forever in the darkness of my unlit bedroom. I learned that Jesus is Lord, and that He died for my sins and rose again to bring me eternal life.
Throughout life, God has blessed me with many things. I've traveled to 39 out of 50 states. Although I doubt I could live anywhere other than Massachusetts, I enjoyed Wyoming and Alaska. The Midnight Sun is amazing to see, and people are very eccentric in Alaska. I've also visited Europe many times: Menton, France is my favorite. As of this writing, I've held 43 different jobs. I've bounced around a lot too, living 22 different places since I was born.
I've raised $29,387.11 for different charities over 18 years. The Walk for Hunger, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, the Overnight for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Run to Home Base to support our troops are just a few fundraisers I've worked with.
I am very proud that I obtained my Associate of Science in Graphic Design - Print from Mount Wachusett Community College in 2011. Although I suffered long depressions each semester, God taught me not to quit and I earned a 3.84 GPA and won the Curriculum Award for highest GPA in my major. I graduated with Highest Honors. I started my own freelance company called, "All for the Lord."
It has been a tough life in some respects. I attempted suicide in 2005 and left Engineering because of that in 2007. I ended up on SSDI (Social Security Disability) for Bipolar Disorder I. During my time in the wilderness I worked many, many part-time minimum wage jobs or less. In 2012, I was unemployed for six months straight and lived off Project Bread food pantries. I ended up in low income housing for over a year. Taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes taught me how to live within my means and save money. I started paying for cars in cash. I bought my first one for $1,500, a 1995 Toyota Corolla that lasted two years. The Mass Rehab Commission and the MassHire Career Center paid for CAD and CNC training, which eventually landed me back in Engineering in 2017. Once back in Engineering, I got off SSDI, something that less than 1% accomplish.
As I gained momentum, all my family relationships improved. I never expected that, but had I known it could happen I would have prayed for it. As of this writing, I have seven nieces and nephews. I am the favorite uncle. After the ten year gap, I returned to Mechanical Engineering in 2017. Engineering is less competive and more lucrative than Graphic Design. The bump up in salary and a flexible employer allowed me to follow my dream of making music. I took the Electronic Music Production classes at Cambridge based MMMMaven. This taught me Ableton Live and I composed some killer music, available at zedek.com. The process of making music is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
Throughout it all, I have seen the Lord's faithfulness to me. God saved my life at a point where I could have died. And since then, at every step of the way, God has worked to help me trust Him more and given me a more peaceful life. Things still alarm me, but I have like zero static in my life with other people. The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1). I have found this to be increasingly true in my life as God frees me from all fear. When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone's way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them (Proverbs 16:7). These things may seem foreign to you now, but grab hold of the Lord and see if He just doesn't improve your life too.
And so that you know, the way to salvation is simple:
It's been a fun life and it is looking like it is going to continue.
All artwork copyright 1996 - 2019 Jim Bures. All rights reserved.
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