AC180 Jinxed?

In 2007 a blogger friend and I had a vision. As we sat in my office putting together his blog, we dreamed of a blog where regular guys, christian guys, could post about their struggles. From that discussion, “AC180.com” was born (the domain has since been released and is used by someone else). Here was our original “about” statement:

What you find on this blog are the writings, musings, thoughts and posts of men that have all done a complete 180. We’re not perfect. Matter of fact, we’re not even close. We’re husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and friends. We struggle. We fail. We win and we lose. We like sports. We like movies and music. We love our wives and our children. We seek to live a good life.

Yet, like all men, we face a world and systems that challenge our intentions each day. We don’t give up or quit. We battle. We fight. We band together as brothers. We pray. We seek grace. When we fail, we ask forgiveness. At our core, we want all men to do the same. It’s the very mission and prayer of each of the authors and contributors ofac180.com

In the end we hope to hear “Well done my good and faithful servant”.

It is then that our mission will be complete. Peace.

Over time we would add several great contributors from across the United States. We became a community of men that leaned on one another, prayed for one another and shared a common bond. It was something special.

Then it began to happen….

One by one, the trials of life began to hit nearly every one of the founding members of AC180. The largest blow came in the form of stage IV cancer to the original partner that I dreamed this whole vision with. Shell shocked. Rocked. Forever changed.

I am fighting back hurt, pain and emotion as I type this. On December 21st, 2008, Stefan Tarapchak stepped into heaven. He left behind a legacy and his fingerprints are still all over the lives he touched. Subsequently AC180 would never be the same either. Our final post was announcing that Stefan had passed away. I still miss you my friend. I miss our talks, our dreams and the iron that sharpened me as a father, husband and man…

This morning I read that another member of the AC180 team suffered a heart attack this weekend. I am happy to report that he is going to be fine. 100% blockage in the “widow maker” artery. The doctors were able to catch it in time and he will be fine. It’s literally a miracle. Yet I cannot help but have this feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that another founder of this community suffered tragedy. This has been a recurring theme which started with Stef and has effected so many others as well.

Are we jinxed?

I wrestled all morning with that question. My answer came in a still small voice. Almost audibly I heard

No, you’re men. You’re men after my own heart. You’re fighting the fight and warriors get wounded. Some get seriously injured. Some may not make it through the war. Yet you are FIGHTING. Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Be men of courage, honor and integrity. Your lives will be influence today and when you’re gone. Never quit. I will greet you on the other side of this life with the medal you have earned. Until then, don’t let my work in others distract you from your fight. Encourage one another. Never quit.

AC180 wasn’t jinxed. AC180 is every man. It was a random sampling of a larger demographic. God never promised easy. God never promised safe. To those reading this, AC180 or not, don’t give up. Don’t quit. Encourage, support, honor, love and live each moment fully.

9 thoughts on “AC180 Jinxed?

  1. Thanks Aaron. I am touched by the timliness of this post. AC180 was, and still is, a blessing to me. Though I never physically met Stef, I think of him and wonder how his young family is doing. I pray they are well. Peace be with you, bro.

    David.

    1. Thanks David. This is exactly what I was referring to. After all these years, even though AC180 has long since been dormant, we still encourage one another. There was a bond formed there that anyone outside the original 6-8 guys just wouldn’t remember or understand. We’re sharing the journey even though many miles apart. Thanks for always encouraging and lifting me up through your comments. Keep fighting the fight my friend.

  2. you are SOOO right… us original dudes had a huge bond.. especially through our short time with Stef. Still wish I could have met him in person but I think about him all the time.
    I am glad that somehow or another we all still feel that bond. It did come to a head for me again with your possible move and praying for you, praying for Russel, you and Russell praying for me and now this craziness with Gabe.
    This was a much needed post.. and I still pray to be able to meet you and the other AC180 dudes in person some day

    1. Thanks Joel. You’re right. Even though the site has been dormant, the “conversations” still go on. They occur over email, twitter and Facebook. I think we even might lurk on each others various individual projects and pages and not even know. I know that’s the case for me. I read but don’t often comment. Thanks for praying for our potential move. I can say, with confidence, that we will all shake the hand of Stef again one day. Seeing how much we all still care about that site, maybe we should get the band back together one day….

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