Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I am truly blessed. Last night I was thinking back on my life and all that I have been through. I coudn't help but come to the conclusion that the Lord has blessed me richly in my life. This doesn't mean there haven't been hard times along the way. It just means my blessings have way outweighed the setbacks. You see, I have been blessed with many talents. From a young age, I have always excelled at basketball. I recall a moment when I was in fourth grade and we were in a basketball tournament over in Clear Lake. We were set to play a team that looked to be at least a couple of years older than our scrawny little team. Luckily, they showed up late and we were given a little head start. There were eight players on their team and we were given two free foul shots for each player before the game started. My dad elected me to go and shoot the sixteen freethrows. I made fourteen. Now this isn't a regular occurance with fourth graders. Most kids my age would be lucky to make four. As I got older, although I didn't mature as fast as others (I think I weighed under 100 pounds until I was in high school), I always possessed my knack for shooting the basketball. Slowly my body decided to get with the program and proceed through maturity, and by my junior year in high school I had become a pretty good basketball player. I ranked in the top three in three pointers made in the Houston area both my junior and senior years. I played an integral part in helping my team reach the state semi-finals my junior year (as I look back on that season, I can't help but think we were living in a dream. No responsibilities, no worries. We practically ruled the town.) I was all district three years in high school (first team both my junior and senior years) All county first team both years. I even got my picture taken and put into a magazine for the pre-season all-state team my senior year. I was all-tournament for the 4A classification when we went to Austin. I had my fair share of colleges calling and sending all sorts of stuff. To add to my basketball "stardom" I was pretty popular and was even crowned home-coming king. For reasons unknown to me today, I didn't really pursue basketball after my senior season, but I'll leave that to another blog entry. Even though I really didn't give a full effort to school, I graduated in the top ten percent of my class. Through college I continued playing basketball recreationally, and coninued to excel at it. I was given the gift of basketball. Looking back, I didn't really work that hard at it either. It was a gift. A blessing. Same goes for academics. I never really applied myself, it just came. Today, surrounded by an awesome family, all-star parents, a great wife, and the most perfect kid in the world (with another on the way) I continue to be blessed beyond measure and I am truly grateful.

Now, shifting gears. I wasn't the greatest basketball player or the smartest guy around, but I was talented nonetheless. Thinking back, I can only imagine the number of people in this world who would give anything to have the life I have lived to this point. This disease has made me take a step back and really ponder these things, this crazy thing called life. I know it sounds weird, but I am thankful for that. I can't help but think that God has thrust the weight of ALS on my shoulders for a reason. Maybe it is so I can reach the full potential of who I should be, to understand His purpose for me in this life. Heaven knows I haven't reached it to this point. Maybe it is a lesson to not take things for granted, as I have my whole life without thinking about it. I can convey to you one thing I do believe and know to be true - this is happening to me for the greater good. Because He is Good. It may be for reasons unknown at this time, but for good nonetheless. Pain is not always bad. Sometimes it must be endured for as I have stated - the greater good. As much as we don't like to think about our lives on this earth ending, they will. And either way the number of days we spend here will only be a fraction of a speck in eternity. We must understand that. Working to become closer to God, who we will spend eternity with is the main goal for us when we are here. Maybe this disease will help me to understand that. And for that I am blessed.


  1. This is good Josh. Having you as a brother has always been a blessing to me.

  2. Joshua Dean - you are an inspiration to all who know you, and now with this blog I'm sure you will inspire those who wish they knew you better. I being one of the latter. I love you and am truly honored to be your cousin.

  3. Josh, I think this is an incredible thing you are doing by starting up this blog. I enjoy reading this and now Im a so called FOLLOWER, LOL. I feel I have been blessed just knowing you for this short time and Im glad you too are part of our family (through Jake). I still remember one of the first times we met when Joe took me to yalls county fair and we saw Kevin Fowler, haha, it was fun. Well I truely believe that GOD does things for a reason and he has far better plans for you in your future!!! Its so exciting to see how he will use you in his plans. I just want you to know that I think you are a great guy, brother, son, husband, and dad. And I cant wait to meet the new baby :) It will be so fun watching all the babies play together. Next Christmas will for sure be CRAZY!!! Well I guess thats all for now. I will check back later. Bye Bye :) Mom and Dad will also be reading and posting stuff but it will be under my name prolly.

  4. Josh, I realize you don't know who I am. I graduated high school with your wife. I just want to say that your blog moved me to tears. I have young children myself. Your attitude is incredible, and inspiring. I will be praying for you and your family.

  5. Josh,

    I am glad you started this journal. It is indeed a journey that we will all share with you. I believe that this journey will make all of us have a closer walk with God and with each other. That is a blessing we can be grateful for. People who read your testimony will be encouraged and inspired. That is a good thing. I am very proud that you have the courage to share your experience with others. You have a gift of insight into the feelings and emotions that one experiences when faced with a difficult situation. We should use the gifts that God has blessed us with to help others.
    How about them Lions?

  6. Josh -

    I remember when I was in 8th grade, I too exceled in basketball and was what I called myself, the "Josh Butler" of Jr. High basketball. Leading the district in 3 pointers made and attempted. I will never forget when our coach asked Jones to bring the Varsity team in to watch one of our games. Our entire team was excited to show "The boys going to State" how we did it across the street. Ya'll showed up to the game and I was playing decent, up until the point where I threw a behind the back pass that would eventually would land me on the bench for showing off... A few weeks later, we had a fire drill that would put the entire Jr. High School on Warpath to send ya'll off to go fight for the State Title. You had a whole town behind you, but not just as a team, but as a group of individuals that had become great citizens as well as role models to the youth around town. It is funny how things begin to change through the years, from watching you play , to being your teammate on the recreation court. I am blessed to have been able to be a fan and a friend. Although, it will be hard to get over the fact that you are a Red Raider, and I believe that Crabtree was actually out of bounds...

    Todd C