Stale Perception

This morning a young lady ministered in our morning service to start the October theme of Phobias. Phobias are simplistically a form of unnatural fear.

Part of the explanation was directed into an area I found to explain something I’ve been looking at for some time. I’ve been wanting to understand how to handle or not handle a situation that has been ongoing for over ten years.

Since my fall from grace over ten years ago my family had cut me off from a meaningful relationship with my sons. In the last few months I’ve endeavored to redeem myself with them. Their response is in one daughter-in-laws words “If you were not my husband’s dad I would have nothing to do with you”. Upon a visit with the other son the other daughter-in-law said one word to me over the entire visit. That word was “Hey” in response to my hello. I know my sons are married to these women and they have to live with them. So be it. I beg that they keep the peace in their marriages. I did not go in there to cause a stir that would cause division in their unions. It was hard enough I left their mom.

Granted I was wrong in how I did what I did. During that time I was confused and burnt out from being so busy “doing” and not “being”. My Christian walk failed. My marriage failed. I failed myself. But I don’t walk around blaming anyone or anything for what happened. It happened. It’s gone into the past and it cannot be changed. My former wife and I argued constantly. Situations I found with finances, that at the time she managed, went south and when I inquired, she had no answer nor anything to prove where thousands of dollars went. She had become numb to me and I admitted in court documents to adultery because I sought comfort I could not get at home. Our marriage was done. We both failed. I have my suspicions of where the money went. Let’s just say it wasn’t anywhere in our house, goods or such. It went somewhere else outside our own need, wants or wishes.

My marriage was doomed months before the admitted failing on my part. I had already found money gone and was searching for ways out of my marriage via divorce, but knew money would be a big deal in the parting. I had not even met my cohort in crime, so to speak when this was going on.

Fast forward to today. Phobias. That unnatural fear I had brought me to depression and anxiety attacks. I was experiencing the fall of myself. My foundational self. I had grown up with the idea of once married, always married. That fear broke me. I could no longer bear the burden of it.

I spent time talking to my now wife who came from that incident. When it all came about she came to me and told me if I wanted I was free to go home and fix things. I told her the same. She had left her verbally and emotional abusive husband and I told her to go home if she wanted. After a period of separation we discovered we didn’t meet by accident. People can say what they want, but I spent many days talking to God about it. I argued with God about it. The conclusion was I did the right thing, but I did it the wrong way. I asked God a hundred times a hundred times what was I to do with this woman who had come into my life and all I could hear in return was “You will marry this woman”.

How this Phobia thing came to bear on me came to one thing. My relationship with my sons and their wives can be fixed by God and only God. The title of this post is the answer I came away with this morning. But it can’t be fixed until they refresh their perception of who I am now.

My sons and their wives have not talked to me in depth in ten years and still have the perception of me from of all things, ten years ago. They have no idea of the evolution of my return to God. The changes in me that came about from humbling me through the fears, depression and anxiety I experienced cannot be perceived by them. I came to realize there is a gap of nothing between then and now and they base all they know about me on stale perceptions of who I was once upon a time. Just like bread becoming stale, it isn’t just bad food. It can make you sick. I’m afraid those stale perceptions have sickened them to the point they cannot see me for who I am today. I’m am likely the most sane person they will ever know now. I don’t condemn people for their faults. I’ve suffered enough from my own.

If my now wife reads this she’ll likely say I share too much about myself, but I say what I say because my fall could or can help someone else avoid the pitfalls of things in their own lives. With age comes wisdom unfortunately and it can only be by growing older. The young suffer from wounds that could be avoided if they only sought the wisdom of the older of us who bear the scars of life already.

Stale perceptions can be the death of the holder. That is a fear I now have. I can only pray the ones who hold them can feel the weight of it and put it down and let themselves come to live in the “now” and build a future on that.

Posted in Christian, Divorce, Family, God's Calling, Health, Love, Memories, Old Age, Patience, Ponderings, Prayer, Sadness, Sobering Thoughts, Soulmate, Spiritual, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Investment, Spiritual Investments | Leave a comment

I Could Be Angry, But I’m an Adult Male

An open door appeared to me for an area of ministry to disciple men. It’s with a major Christian organization. But after one phone call from their representative his words, not mine, are come back and see us in three years. Folks, I’ll be 69 years old in a month. That’s kind of laughable.

Why the statement to come back and see us in three years such a deal breaker? After hanging up with this younger man, I sat there is disbelief. The dis-qualifier was I’d only been in my present church for less than three years. He did ask me why I’d left my last church. I didn’t want to say why. I didn’t feel it was any of their need to know, since it had to do with ministerial indiscretions by the pastor. You can draw you own conclusions, but that doesn’t qualify as a reason to disqualify me for leaving and having been in my new church home for only a year. Oh, one other thing. I had not been directly in oversight of a men’s discipleship ministry.

Let’s look at the background. I was heavily involved in a ministry for 30 years as a student for ministry, a teacher, a minister of the Word, Care Pastor, Deacon, Worship musician, and now an ordained minister, along with various ancillary ministries that made that church a vital entity with a sizeable yearly budget that was likely well above any other church in our immediate area. Our pastor was a published author. Fifty of his books were printed in-house and it was one of my duties to see they were kept in print. I’m not going to toot my horn big. I was merely an integral part of a larger entity. The body as a whole. I simply filled my part. Just to note, at least eighteen of his other books were published by a major publishing firm in Pennsylvania

I’m simply saying to the lack of understanding of a younger man, that I’m filled with life experiences he has yet to know. In order for me to recognize God in my life I have to say that He and He alone is responsible for me being where I am today. My response to His calling and knowing my worth in Him plays an important role for me. If not for Him, I am nothing, but in Him I am worthy. I have what it takes and not having been directly in a men’s ministry or not having been in my present church for at least three years does no disqualify me. Please, please, please don’t think me haughty. I know better. I tremble at the thought of being that. I fear that God would have something to say to me about that if I were.

By all rights in my family’s eyes I should have already been dead and gone. But by the grace of God go I. So, I can only take this closed door as not the avenue by which I am to travel in this life.

Posted in Abundant life, Christian, Christian Mission, church, Family, God's Calling, Old Age, Possibilities, Respect for Life, Sobering Thoughts, Spiritual, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Investment | 1 Comment

What’s Going On?

Lately, things seem to be off kilter. I’m not sure just what it is. But let me start with a bright thought.

Yesterday was my followup with my Urologist. Okay. Don’t get the TMI icon out yet. Give me a second or two of read time.

For about two years I’ve suspected an infection that would come and go with a two week regimen of antibiotics. My PSA number had been slowly rising during this time. When this test is administered it’s usually taken as an indicator of prostate cancer, but I knew better. Normal is less than four, but it had gotten to five. Seriously though, it isn’t a concern until it gets much, much higher. Something more like 20 is a grave concern.

But I’d had a real battle with the symptoms during the last bout and after antibiotics, my FP doc says I needed a specialist. This seemed to take longer to get in with a specialist than I’d hoped since the pain and discomfort was ongoing.

Finally I got in and the tests showed I needed a longer range of antibiotics Cipro was prescribed for a month. when I went back my PSA was down from five to three point eight. It was in the normal range for the first time in over two years.

This concluded that I had been walking around with a low grade infection for the entirety of the past two years. So to be sure I was given another one month regimen of Cipro to kill off any residual bacteria. I’m feeling much better and I feel I am on the way to normal for the first time in a long while.

During this past few moments the title of this post has been on my mind and my wife walks in, sits down and says to me that something is off and has been for a few days. I concurred.

God is doing something for us. My bank account is in the toilet at present and my seemingly not caring attitude should make me astonished. But I’ve learned to put my trust in God and I know something is in the making.

A couple of weeks ago I was installed in the leadership of our church as the designated go to person for visitation. I’m called the Visitation Chaplain. My first week consisted of three visitations. This week one of our members was admitted into a large hospital an hour away and I was prepared to go and was told the family requested no visitors. I was sad to learn this evening he had been on life-support and had succumbed to his illness. His visitation at the funeral home is tomorrow evening, so my wife and I will be there. Such is the world I live in.

Okay. So I took a break in this post, but now to finish.

The season of change is still in the air. I don’t know what it is. Why should I feel this way? I found a door tweaked open only to have it closed. This will be written about in the next post.

But God is indeed making changes.

Posted in Christian, Christian Mission, church, God's Calling, Ponderings, Possibilities, Spiritual, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Investment | 3 Comments

The Hug

Hugs. I never experienced them growing up. What is a hug? I did a quick research and found there is a list of types of hugs. Namely 11 from one particular place I

The Schumin Web » Phew! The whole place smells like Sharpie…

looked. I didn’t know there were so many. But this isn’t a posting of hugging research. It’s about one in particular.

Once upon a time when I was a teenage, I was out working the farm. I was plowing a field off a short distance from the house when I was signaled to come to the house. It seemed my mom had taken off to somewhere unknown to us. She’d ran away. Why?

In the days and few weeks leading up to this I knew my mom had been dealing with a check my dad was supposed to get in the mail and apparently had, but her story was that she’d misplaced in at someone’s home on her Avon route down a road that had washed out from recent rains. That check was supposed to pay our mortgage for an entire year. That was how my dad had it set up seeing we worked the farm and crops came in during the fall when we made our money.

After this wrangling had gone on for some time it finally came to a head when it became apparent that the missing check had taken a different path than the story presented to the family.

Something had happened in her family upstate that required the amount of money the check was for or there about. She had used it for that, but I’m ahead of myself.

My dad was beside himself with a mortgage to pay and the love of his life missing. It took a couple of days, but his sleuthing about found her hiding out with her sister. With a huge weight lifted dad went to get her and bring her home.

I was out somewhere when he came home with her, but when I came in my mom gave me a hug that about squeezed the life out of me. I knew she was sorry for what she’d done, but as evidence of why came to light we all fully understood and forgiveness was only right. To all of us it was a matter of a major life event that had been averted and we all bound ourselves to see it through. My dad negotiated the loan payment and we were able to meet the need.

But the hug. I was never really hugged while growing up. It was like a given that the family loved one another, but displays of such a thing as a hug was not a part of it. I just toughed it up and figured this was the way life was.

Even when I married the first time my first wife never hugged. In fact she didn’t like being touched. No time. The non-hugging status just carried over from my youth and I thought little of it.

When I divorced I found something that is very important and I’d been deprived of a very important part of life. Human contact. My now wife is a touchy-feelie sort. Not only hugging but holding hands while doing most anything from sitting on the couch watching a movie to walking around while shopping or for just a walk around the neighborhood. People have actually stopped and commented that there should be more of this with couples, to which we agree.

Every night before we go off to sleep, my wife and I will spend what we call, well, hugging time in bed at least. It’s the touching that counts. I’ve learned an important lesson with my wife. Hugging is this to me. It’s a transference of spiritual energy between two souls. I have felt it so many times with my wife. I crave to feel the energy she feeds me through our bodily touch. It’s not sensual. It’s spiritual. She’s a blessing to me in so many ways and the gift of God to me.

But above all the hugs I’ve ever had the most powerful remembrance I have is that hug my mom gave me when she’d returned home. It told me she loved me, she wanted forgiveness. It spoke of not wanting to let such a thing happen again. It begged for me to love her back. I always loved my mom. It never made any difference even with all her shortcomings. That hug left and indelible mark on me for my entire life.

I didn’t know why though until I met my second wife. The hugs I got from my mom afterward and my wife brought me to the knowledge of unconditional love. My mom had no idea how that worked, but my wife did and I covet the hugs I get today. It lets me know I’m loved without regret or condition.

If you don’t hug, please find it within yourself to find out what it means. It brings an intimate connection. On all levels.

Posted in Abundant life, Christian, Family, Health, Human Touch, Love, Memories, Mental Health, Soulmate, Spiritual, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Investment | 1 Comment

School and Beyond

I’m a bus driver. Yes. A school bus driver. I load up with middle and elementary school students starting this coming Monday morning for another year. It will be my last year driving. I set a plan to drive only three years. No more. The end of this coming year I will be only a few month shy of three, but the end of the year in 2020 will close out this run for me.

Why would I put a time limit on it? Because I feel God has given me a limit and He has a plan for me during this school year that will broaden and open a door to a ministry He’s prepared for my wife and me.

I have prayed God show me because I feel no indication of what that is or I should say I’ve not seen it before of late. Just as I was coming to a complete loss of what I’m to do He answered me. After all, it’s His timing I have to abide by. My whole life has been molded for these coming day.

My pastor came to me and indicated they want to set me in as a part if not the lead person for the Visitation Ministry for our church. At the same time, when I bought this last motorcycle God showed me something else to coincide with that door. I’ve been stymied by my ease in buying a bigger bike. God showed me something I had not anticipated.

I was conversing with my cousin and found out he is a member of a motorcycle association called Light Keepers, CMA or a chapter of it in his area. He contacted the one in charge of the chapter here locally and I’ve been invited to join. I will attend my first meeting this coming month. I feel there is much to accomplish still in this life and I hope this avenue will offer me that opportunity. In order for me to do this means something deeper. My health has to be tip-top to ride. God has blessed me with that. I rest in it.

What does all this mean? I have no idea in the pin-pointed aspects of it all, but I’m here to serve to the best of my ability. The walk continues.

Posted in Abundant life, Christian, Christian Mission, church, God's Calling, Harley Davidson owner, Mental Health, Mission Work, Motorcycles, Patience, Ponderings, Possibilities, Salvation, Sobering Thoughts, Spiritual, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Investment | 3 Comments

Well, It Happened Again

So. I bought a Harley Sportster 1200 on the 25th of May. They told me I could trade back my bike back at the price I paid for it if I did so within a year of purchase. I rode that bike for about five hundred miles since the purchase and got used to it enough to know it was an outstanding bike, yet a bit unstable in heavy big vehicle traffic and wind. It wasn’t unmanageable, but I thought someday I’d get a bigger bike.

Well, I had ordered almost $900 dollars worth of add-ons for the bike and finally found the time to ride up to the Boneyard Harley dealership to get it installed. They took my bike in the back and I had plenty of time to look around. I found it. A Harley Davidson FatBoy FLFB 1700cc (104 cu in) wide-tired road hugging Wicked Red, fittin’ the seatin of my pants bike.

Again, I didn’t go looking to buy another bike no more than I did the first time I went there. Yet, here I am now with that bike. I can’t go back there people. I might end up with a trike next time.

Posted in Dreams, Harley Davidson owner, Motorcycles | Leave a comment

A Good Leader

I’m awake tonight here at 3:20 am. God woke me up. Actually I felt my wife’s hand rubbing my arm and my little Sarah, my Papillon, was being a bit fussy tonight. Whatever the case I lay there thinking about something I read on my Facebook newsfeed.

God's Call To Leaders - Big Valley Grace Community Church

A friend posted a short piece by Thom S. Rainer. He is an American writer, researcher, speaker, and current president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

What he has to say is true, but he gives all the earmarks of what a bad leader is. We all have seen our share of leaders. Some of us have more years at watching leadership at different levels and different methods. But if I may, I’d like to use a different approach to how to recognize leaders.

I was once told the best way to recognize a counterfeit $100 bill is to study the real thing. When I researched the “how to’s” there are several things to look for. If they are not present, then when looking at another, the bill is fake. I prefer to study the real deal. Anything else will stand out like a sore thumb. Then it stands to reason there likely are so many variations contained in a fake bill that one would get bogged down in distinguishing one from the other.

My first look at true leadership is that of sacrifice, not privilege. Anyone who aspires to true leadership must know first that they are at the calling and bidding of God. Several didn’t want that yet God called them, then equipped them for the tasks. One of my first notable leaders tried to avoid it by coming up with excuses why he was inadequate. Moses told God he could not speak fluently. Why, I wondered. Here was a man who was brought up in the house of Pharoh. Educated in probably every way as an Egyptian. How did he find himself in leadership if he felt inadequate?

Some of the things I look for in leadership are:

Hebrews 13:7 – . . .(They) spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

A true leader will always consider their conduct in speech to you and you should do so as well. It’s called witnessing to the Spirit in both. If your spirit doesn’t feel right, it’s time to walk.

Hebrews 13:17 – . . . . they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

The leader will always have your best interested at heart. They do it because they have the responsibility to God that you present yourself accounted for by them. They will always direct your ways towards God.

Titus 2:7 – . . . in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,

They are always giving the people examples of Biblical principle in deeds in the purity of doctrine. Their projection of Christ from their lives should be foremost in all things in order that those they lead can easily see God. Jesus did all things He saw the Father do and did it.

John 8:29And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

Another study that I learned from a while back is that the Bible is truly about the redeeming work of Jesus, but His leadership was predicated on the fact that He was always pointing to the Father. His fulfillment of reconciliation finalized the ability for all mankind to do as He did. Without that we could not have that intimacy with the Father.

I Peter 5:3nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

With age comes wisdom. This principle was worked into me many years ago. As a husband I recognized for my wife to grow and flourish I must not lord over her, but give her direction and encouragement. Direction is instruction. Encouragement is only true when it coincides with freedom to practice the instruction. My wife has taken great strides in her spiritual growth over the last few years as I’ve done so and I’ve kept my spiritual hands to myself and let her grow for herself. It’s like a child who learned something new out on the playground and then runs back to show the parent their accomplishments. As I’ve watched my wife grow in God, I smile and her new-found abilities in freedom to learn. She’s now studying the Apprentice Course in church that will lead to ordination in three years.

If all of us want to know true leadership study the true leader. They will encourage you and send you out to work the Biblical principles they instill in you. They have no care for themselves. Their satisfaction is knowing they have propagated the Life of God in you as any good husbandman would tending a field. He can only plant and water. In doing so he can then watch as God brings forth the increase.

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