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.
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.
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:
– . . .(They) spoke the word of God to you; and consideringthe
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.
– . . . . 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
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 8:29 – And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath
not left me alone; for I do always those things that
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 5:3 –
nor 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.
Oh yeah. After twelve years of Corvettes I decided to go dangerously into the future with a Harley Davidson
I’ve ridden with a group this past Saturday on a charity ride for a portion of the Gold Star Highway for Mom’s of lost military family. I rode with a group called Sons of the Savior and the local Rolling Thunder chapter. As rough as some look they are good people. I’m beginning to take on that persona.
My vest has a few items on it I wanted. My memorial patch for my brother Mike is on the back. My Army unit patch and name tape came from my field jacket I was issued in Boot Camp. H.O.G or Harley Owner’s Group patch means I’m a member of that for at least a year along with the pin.
I now have around 500 miles on my bike. Tomorrow I ride up the road to Boneyard Harley-Davidson to have the seat changed out with a quick-release sissy bar and foot pegs for my wife to ride with me.
I’m getting used to riding and I’ve learned you have to be hyper-vigilant of others on the road with me. I’ve learned a lot with this bike’s handling. It’s the largest one I’ve ever had. I started with a small Honda Super 90 back in my teens. Then I rode Honda 150’s and 175’s. In my twenties I had a Yamaha 750 that actually belonged to my nephew while he was off in the Merchant Marines. I had that about a year. I rode my brother’s Kawasaki 900 and I thought I was going to die on that bike. It was big and I didn’t know the power it had. My Sportster is way more powerful than that one, but respect it. Still it’s not a huge bike like some are, but it’s massive on power to weight. There’s a model Sportster 883 that is the little brother to this one. Mine is the same frame size with the larger engine.
The bike is a great ride for me for now, but I’ve already started forming some thoughts on something more into the touring size with bags and faring and bigger seats for a more comfortable ride for distance.
My wife asked me a couple of days ago why I tell so much about myself on my blog. My answer is simple.
There are people in this world who have, are and will be going through things in life that can follow the spectrum of experiences from daily menial tasks to life changing events.
I know I’ve repeated myself in posts over time of one or more of my experiences. I do it in hopes of someone, somewhere will see it and identify with it in a way that only they will know. It may be they are experiencing something in life that I share that will let them know they aren’t the only one in this realm that has to go through something.
Some things that dramatically changed my life was being:
Drafted into the U.S. Army at age 19. This two years transformed me from a teenage farm boy into a young adult man that understood responsibility and whatever I did had consequences good or bad.
I got married at age 21. It took 37 years to realize I was perhaps a bit hasty in that decision. I was never in love nor was she. I tried. God knows I tried. We went through a lot together. We had two sons that I proudly call mine. It ended in divorce.
Divorce. One of the toughest, grueling times in my life. I went into severe depression and encounter the debilitating effects of anxiety attacks. It scared me so bad I had my cardiologist say I’d had a heart attack, but after tests the heart specialist said my problem laid with anxiety. Really, I believe God healed me in more ways than one.
Backing up to my late 20’s I finally made a commitment to follow after God. I experienced things that my Baptist past couldn’t fathom. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Life became a new realm. The Bible opened to me like a mystery solved every time I opened it and it still does.
After nightmares of selling my first house, we sold it and moved when I was around 31 to a new town with two small boys simply to attend a church so I could pursue the ministry.
After a failed business God placed me in another man’s business. That man sent me through hell for five years, but I learned retail and how to manage wholesale business as well. That and a few short lived jobs and I got a call from the U.S. Navy about a Civil Service job under the Veteran’s Readjustment Act. I stuck with that job for 28 years and retired.
After my first wife and I parted ways I lived with the woman I learned to feel God had meant for me for the rest of my natural life and likely beyond. She was and is a gift from God to save me from myself.
I’m more sane today than I’ve ever been at any time in my life. My journey with God has continued after a falling away. He has saved me from myself. I’ve never felt more knowledgeable of my place in Him than the last few months, especially. In February of 2019 I was ordained by my church and the state of NC as a minister. My wife is also pursuing ordination as an Apprentice in school for ministry. Even as I write this she is working on a paper she has due shortly.
God spoke to me this evening about a shift in the spiritual winds in my life. I have not had a relationship with my two sons that I can say is good. One hasn’t really spoken to me in the last ten years. That changes this week. I’m flying out to the west coast to see him and his family. Part of that weekend will be just him and me. It’s God ordered to be this way.
My pastor spoke to me this past Sunday that the leadership has decided to appoint me to the Visitation Ministry, which means I’ll be actively interacting with people who are likely in crisis. I was a Care Pastor in one of my previous churches. I’ve never sought leadership. It pursues me. The churches in between the Care Pastor time asked me to be on the Board of Directors and the one prior asked me to be a Deacon.
Backing down to my first church in the late 70’s I was approached to be a Board member, which I staunchly refused, but they said I would be whether I wanted it or not till the next election. As a Care Pastor I was ordained as a Deacon and was in several ministerial positions including music, IT, printing materials and teaching classes as well as preaching.
I started Civil Service as a Medical Records Technician in the base hospital, eventually retiring as the command’s Personnel Security Manager.
I was also groomed to be a supervisor with DuPont when I worked there in my 20’s. I didn’t ask for that either. I later waylaid that by taking a voluntary layoff after I had moved 75 miles from there.
One thing I’ll say here. I never thought of how things would intermingle during my lifetime to cause later things to happen. I worked for an insurance company for a year selling life, accident, health and annuities. That parlayed me a position in the hospital billing office as the Contact Representative for Medical Liabilities and the fact that I was a legal clerk in the Army played in that as well, because I had to deal with attorneys and insurance companies to procure payment for services rendered due to accident and product liabilities.
My foray into business on my own netted me a job as a retail store manager and then a wholesale warehouse manager.
My love for music and teaching myself to play drums put me into a praise and worship band for some 25 years. I never planned on it, because I had pretty much put those thoughts away until I was offered the possibility. I never took a music lesson and I’m still attempting to learn to play saxophone.
I’ve had many things happen that may help someone. I’ve had health issues arise that are most disconcerting, yet I’ve dealt with them. Blood pressure, diabetes. About the diabetes. I went on a diet and lost fifty pounds three years ago and I’m no longer diabetic. That and my BP now runs too low so far as I’m concerned.
With all this said in some form of disarray as you’ve read is my life in a nutshell. I’m here with an ear to bend or a message to read. I will not turn away someone with a need to unload. I don’t condemn for any issue in life. God had taken away condemnation in the law of grace. Not only has that been taken away, but also our shortcomings have been forgiven and forgotten. I’ve found that last “f” word is the hardest for mankind to do. People can muddle through forgiveness and succeed in many cases, but to forget the past I would say is the hardest thing to do. Since 2009 I’ve slowly watched the past before then slowly fade into nothingness. My life before then can be remembered in some fashion, but the effects of it have no hold over me anymore. I don’t hate or even dislike my ex-wife. I don’t hold grudges. Life’s too short for that. I hope for her to find someone who loves her as much as my wife now loves me. That is without conditions. I know I’m short-tempered sometimes, but it still comes out of frustration with the little things God and I are still working on to overcome. I will succeed. I will overcome.
My attitude is to stay positive. Don’t look back. You can’t walk forward from looking at what you did. You have to look forward at the possibilities still in front of you no matter how daunting the future tasks look. You can do it. Stand. And when all else fails. Stand.
I think we were all once the one out of the 99 in a way. We were lost and He came for us. Once I saw Him coming for me, I heard His voice and I called out to be found. He put me on His shoulders and took me into the fold. I’m content to know I’m not seeking Him. What is said here is true in the blog post I am reblogging. We have to settle down the looking and seeking. If you hear His voice, He is apparently in your life. What I seek now is to know more about Him. I no longer seek Him. Now I want to know more about Him.
When you choose to surrender, to give up the game, to give up the dream of trying to resist the Truth that is true about you always, you will become a mere channel, a mere conduit. You will become no more a seeker, for you will have decided to have found. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 72)
We do not want to remain seekers forever; we want to find. When we open ourselves to the God within, we put ourselves in a place where we can declare that we have found. And this is very sweet indeed. Much of our reading has been seeking behavior. We have wandered in and out of treatises, ancient advice, channeled writing. This has not been wrong; we had to find something that would speak to our hearts. But if we don’t want to remain seekers forever, never to find, we…
Good morning to you. This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice in it. My feet touched the floor and I stood up and walked in health first thing at four o’clock.
Any day my wife works (I’m retired), I get up at four and prepare a breakfast of scrambled eggs as the starting point of what I know she likes. She either wants them plain and adds salsa to them. Or, she’ll tell me to make them with bacon bits and cheese Either way she’ll get a sausage patty with it. She’s working on the keto diet. No toast.
I make my breakfast, too of a fried egg (softly done) with cheese and sausage patty on toast. Of course we have coffee. I make a 12 cup pot, which equals about six in reality. I drink one and she takes the rest to work for her morning.
Now too get to the point of the subject line. I take several meds a day to function. I’ll be sixty nine in a couple months and years has taken it’s toll on my physical body. Family genes and other issues ensued in the need for my taking care of myself. This, to me is delaying the inevitable by several years. Some of you know from past posts that my family (especially the men) weren’t known for long healthy lives. None made it past sixty.
During my missionary trip to Kentucky I had time to reflect on where I am heading in the remaining years of my life. God woke me up a couple of mornings to talk to me. They were good talks. He reminded me we have “this treasure” in earthen vessels. That being Him, that His power will shine as Him, not of us. In order for Him to be seen we need to be the magnifying glass that projects Him.
The second morning God and I talked about the mission of all Christians to go into all the world and deliver the gospel to every creature. I got stuck on that word “creature”. Upon looking up that word I found it was alluding to everything created. The word creature here is a feminine noun. Most all of nature is creative via reproduction of its own kind. We are sent to redeem creation. All of it. Not just mankind. That just opened up a wider, broader range of thought. After all, the first Adam was given dominion over all things to name them and tend to them, both animal and plant. In doing so he was propagating the life of God as He had given to Adam in the garden. The first Adam was a powerful man, given he was created to begin with in God’s image. Then he fell and lost those powers.
But through the life of Jesus Christ and his fulfillment of the law of sin and death, He brought back that power to mankind. Hence comes the commission to us in Mark 16:15-16. Go read those verses again with a renewed approach to what is said.
Then comes my reason for the title of this post. Ten years ago I fell deeply into mental exhaustion being diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety attacks. The first psychologist I went to said I needed long term care, but he was moving his practice and I would need to seek help elsewhere. This advice I took and ended up in care for a few months. I was prescribed Zoloft. It’s side effects and small but effectively flattens the emotional response to most any situation. This side effect is the one that has followed me for the majority of the last ten years.
While on this missionary trip God talked to me about putting this drug behind me, so I could regain my emotional side. There has been many times in the past that I should or could have felt sadness to the point of crying or joy to the point of a boundless response. I had gotten to where I had trained myself to accept situations simply based on the merits of what it was without an emotional response to it.
I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now and since coming home I stopped taking Sertraline (generic version of Zoloft). Yesterday was my wife’s and my fourth wedding anniversary. We didn’t do much of anything special other than the most important thing we could do. That one thing was to be with each other for the day in whatever we did. We did ride into town and had lunch early and picked up a few groceries. No biggie stuff. We came back by the home and dropped off our stuff and road to another county and scouted an RV camp site. We were very encouraged about what we saw both by the way the place is maintained and price, so we determined we will take a weekend soon and go there.
What let me know I’m passed the side effects of the drug came after we got back. We grilled a couple of steaks, cooked some squash and sliced up a cucumber for each other and had a wonderful anniversary dinner while we watched “Until Forever”. My wife and I had a good cry at the end. It was a sad ending, but the movie is an excellent Christian production of a real-life situation a young man and his girl went through while he battled leukemia. I cried, deeply affected by knowing this was a true story and the events were real as it was shown by home movies of them at the end during closing credits.
I stopped my med. Now I trust God to help me maintain this stoppage for the last time. It’s not my first attempt to wean off it. Hopefully it’s my last attempt. I can now feel and not just make mental note of an event.
Hey ya’ll. I’ve had a lot more going on that I have ever anticipated. I’m a school bus driver and been on a summer route a bit, but more than anything else, my wife and I were planning a mission trip to Kentucky to deliver food and supplies to families that lost the only viable income from coal companies pulling out of the hills.
I’m back from there now and the ministry I work in has me mowing lawns for folks who can’t for one reason or another. Mostly elderly and single mothers who can’t afford to pay some else to do it for them. I also mow the church lawn, which is about three acres. And then there is my own yard as well that I have to mow as well.
This post is written to summarize the trip to Kentucky, though.
We left for Kentucky on Sunday morning, July 7th. We arrived there late in the day, just before dark. We set up our living quarters in the church and pastor’s home for the week. There were 34 of us from my church. Kingdom Culture Church from Richlands, NC is a very God centered church with the motivation to help people see Christ in this earth.
Monday morning we sorted the huge trailer load of clothes, canned goods, toiletries, shoes and such. A group of us struck out for Lexington in three trucks, including myself to buy food such as pinto beans, rice and such other things. We spent the majority of the day there and came back with over $3000 worth of goods.
That evening, I came into the church and laid down briefly, but God kept spurring me to get up and do what was needed for the evening after dinner. So before dinner I found some help and we started putting about two to three pounds of beans in freezer bags from the 50 pound bags, so we could distribute portions to each person, family or group equal amounts. Others saw what we were doing and started doing the same with the rice. We had 18 to 20 50 pound bags of each to divvy up. We got everything bagged and organized to go out the next morning.
Tuesday morning we load up with hygiene items in bags, can goods bagged up and the dry beans and rice. We load up in our five trucks and vans with all 34 of our people and start out. Our pastor said for those of us who are inclined to do so to perform security measures for the rest of the crowd, so I’m a CCW holder. There were about five us armed. The areas we go to are full of drugs, drug dealers and even drug lords live in the area.
The second stop we got out and had about four or five ram-shackled mobile homes. Only one actually looked livable. Still, as I stood in front of the deck while the rest delivered food, I noticed a nice healthy marijuana plant growing right in front of me that was about chest high. On the way back to the trucks a group of women found a woman strung out on drugs in an old shack. They tried to trade food for her loaded syringes, but she was not giving up her drugs. It was so sad.
I’m summarizing, so not everything I saw is written here. But one other place we stopped was a house with nine children being taken care of by one woman, who had taken them in because their parents were on drugs. In her side yard was a van with tarps on sticks off the side of it where a woman and her son were living in. Neither place had power or running water. This was the case with many places we stopped.
We had to bring our own water in bottles and jugs, since the water in the area is contaminated with coal particles that has seeped into their water supply. Over time drinking it would make one sick and if bathed in over time would turn your skin blue. Most every creek and river we saw ran so muddy it was not clear any where I looked except down the hill behind the church and still it wasn’t totally clear.
We had church services on Wednesday night and Thursday night at another church where a young girl in a wheel chair rose up and walked for the first time in over a year from a disease that had taken away her ability to walk.
We visited an area by a river where homeless were living. We fed them, cut hair and rendered first aid to one who had been assaulted the evening before. There was so much there that I don’t have time to write it all down. I’ve already cried while writing this over the pictures I’m going to put with this post.
We also visited a homeless shelter for adults, boys and another a home for girls. In all it was a very busy week. I wish I could write it all down here, but I am getting emotional about it. I know I’m going back again. This time with my wife, who was unable to go because her daughter in law was having her baby that week.
Saturday morning we left very early and I got home before one in the afternoon. I was glad to get home, yet my heart aches for those we left there is those hills of Kentucky.