Principle vs Emotion

Principle: The collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments.

Emotion: A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.

These two words describe how people react to situations or circumstances that confront them at every moment of their waking time. I’m my own study in this subject. Up until I collapsed from letting emotional response be the way I answered to situations in my life I could not control what would transpire in my life.

My blood pressure would skyrocket. My head would spin from the possibilities of what could happen. Anxiety ruled my every move. I started having anxiety attacks. Then at the age of 56 I crashed. Finally at the age of 58 I got help from a psychologist and went on medication and stayed on it for years until I found I was totally emotionless.

From that view of the world where nothing touched me emotionally I learned principles that were played out gave results that were reasonable and with wisdom I learned to depend on making logical decisions based on those principles. I could depend on doing so without an emotional response.

Then came a day about a year ago I decided to discontinue the medication because I longed to be able to feel emotions. I especially wanted to cry. Sounds crazy I suppose, but I did. I wanted the things of the world to touch me again.

From all this I could expand to a larger picture of this journey, but suffice to say I’ve found the balance of emotions and principles. I largely depend on principles to make my decisions in most all circumstances I encounter. In the past some of the circumstances I encounter now would have devastated me back then. Emotional responses have to take a back seat. I reserve emotions to help me respond to people’s needs or losses.

Emotional response enhances my responses through principles that gives me strong reason to ensure they have their situation alevieviated. This is demonstrated to me when I go to disasters as a Chaplain. The tornados that ravaged Kentucky and the surrounding states in December proved to me I’m on the right track. I cried over these people and their losses. But my response in principle was girded thusly to see that they had supplies and the tools needed to cling to normalcy.

My heart cannot express the depth of what I write in this post. It’s not really principle vs emotion so much as the balance of the two to make the soul and spirit of man mature more as the days go forward.

Don’t let your emotions rule you. Likewise, don’t let stone-cold principles give you the final answer. Learn to balance the two together.

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The Aging Process

Being 71 is a blessing, yet resigns me to my mortality. As I have written about in the past I was told I would not live past 60. No. Nothing about an incurable disease. My dad called it a genetic trait. I called it a family curse. That is spoken of in the Biblical sense.

I was not one to leave that alone. It is a curse that God broke by my submission to His will. God has all things in His control and can reverse generational curses when you submit to His will in your life. Don’t ever think for a minute you have to submit to anything less than what God has appointed to you in this life.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7

The enemy of your soul comes to steal and destroy and generational curses fall into the category of something stolen from you. Once stolen you are destroyed.

Don’t let the enemy of your soul talk you into believing a lie. My testimony is about a broken generational curse. Just one of many testimonials. This one however is probably the most important one in my life.

I would never seen ordination or acreditation. I would never have seen my book going through publication. I am just now in my ’70s seeing the fruition of ministry in my life. Had I not allowed God to break that curse I may have never seen these things. I would never have met and developed a relationship with the woman I was ordained to marry either. I would have never seen her ordination as a minister of the Gospel as well.

I just this week finished my second edit. I really don’t have any idea when the publication process will become a finished product. I just know I’ll still be here to see it.

The vested interest in this book is from the loss of a brother to suicide. If you’ve been in my position or considered suicide for yourself, this book may help you understand what’s going on and help you in some form or fashion.

So. The aging process has continued its march forward to when I do meet my end, but it has made me aware that as long as you submit your life to God, He will guide your steps and lengthen your years so that you may see fruit from your own labors.

I tell you from experience. Never give up. Fight, if you must, to move forward and don’t let go of what you may or may not know that God has for you. Surely as I type these words, I can safely say that all who reads my words has unfinished business here in this realm of being. Don’t let your time here go to waste. Become a servant and God will bless you with a sound mind and years of experience that will indeed help someone else.

You have value. Don’t let go of that statement. God didn’t send His Son to die on a cross to leave any less of an impression on mankind. If God did that, and He did, He saw that value in you. Please acknowledge that value in yourself and act on it. I feel that deep down in my spirit. God wants someone reading this to realize that today and every day this is read.

Relationship with God is all it takes. Aging brings wisdom. For that I am grateful.

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Anyone that follows the Lord knows that He leads us every day to meet people after we have had time with Him each day.

I don’t know how everyone reading my posts feels, but when I’m not doing something, I’m like there is something inside me that is caged up wanting to get out. God motivates me.

The one most important thing I’ve found in life is that I am not the source of anything to anyone. But I am the conduit through which God flows and the whole reason for living for Him is to make sure I am open for Him to flow through me into other lives I come in contact with.

If all Christians could grab this one principle there would not be the struggles in ministry to build buildings, gather people, make programs to do this or that. The Bible teaches us to be disciples and to follow Him. I don’t feel to do anything else. If I am doing that, I am becoming the possessor of the mind of Christ where I think like Him and do like Him. My gaze is ever upon Him. The ability to maintain the open channel of communication with the Father gives me the knowledge I have not rights to claim anything for myself except that I’m His to do with as He pleases.

I suppose I’m trying to convey that in doing so, I cannot claim glory that isn’t mine, nor claim rights to any sort of acts or words spoken from my being to another. It is simply God having a clear channel through me to another to affect their lives, thereby changing them.

To me, this is important for all Christians to know. It’s the divine touch in someone else through human touch. Without the preacher, who will preach. Send me Lord. Send me.

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Easter Weekend

This Easter Weekend came suddenly upon me quite unexpectedly. It seems ministry is being offering me opportunities I have not ever had.

Since leaving the work-a-day world I’ve found God is increasingly given me people to minister to. One day it was a woman in a parking lot whose mother-in-law was found uncounsious on the kitchen floor and she was having a mental breakdown right in front of me. I spoke to her and prayed with her and I left her feeling strength to carry on the day.

A few days later I encountered a young man in church in the beginning of a panic attack. Having been in the same situation a dozen years ago, I took him to a quiet place and spoke softly to him to take deep breaths and slow his mind. In a few minutes he was able to tell me he felt better and he would go home and watch our live church service from there. You see, he was in our church service, but the attack came on him during the service. So I watched him as he walked home, which was close by, to see that he made it safely.

Another day recently I got a call that my CCW permit was ready and although I thought it was a bit early to get it, I went ahead and hopped on my bike and rode 20 miles to the Sheriff’s office to get it. As I was getting off my bike there was a friend of mine standing in the doorway. I asked why she was there she said she was bailing her husband out. He is also a friend of mine. While she was waiting for him to come out I inquired about my permit and was told it was not ready. I responded then that I was apparently not there for the permit, but that God got me into town to minister to my friends. The three of us ended up on the street corner outside the Sheriff’s office praying. I trust they will get their situation fixed.

Tuesday past I got a call from my neice that she wanted to talk. Seems after a long battle with severe allergic reactions to dialysis she’s found it necessary to stop. With less than 10% kidney function they put her into Hospice Care because if and when she goes downhill it will go quickly. I went to see her Friday and after some time listening to her I have to agree that she feels she’s doing what she only has on her mind to do. Transplantation of a donated kidney is out since all the meds she’s on her docs have told her it was unlikely her situation would improve. I left her with the thought that God is in control and this situation doesn’t have to go downhill, but by His hand can improve. I left her smiling and feeling able to face whichever direction she goes.

But to add to all these things, while I was talking to her I got a call from the daughter of a friend of mine telling me my friend, her mom had passed away Wednesday. I had heard about it through a mutual friend Thursday evening, but the daughter’s question was what gave me a start. She wanted me to perform the memorial service for her mom today. Of course I agreed. So I met with the family this morning and we talked out what we all wanted to do. Now, this evening the service is over and I sit her contemplating what God has for me next. Oh, I know He’ll give me something else to do and I will readily make myself available to do it whether I feel like it or not.

I’m finding my availablitity is being taken seriously by God. It is true that all you have to do is leave God an open door into your life through which He can flow through you to another to make someone else’s life better.

Your gift will make room for you.

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Some of you may have never dealt with depression. If you have you will know what the symptoms are

and when they are coming.

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. – Mayo Clinic

I experienced depression in my mid to late 20’s. I didn’t know what it was. I just knew God delivered me from it by proding me to recommit my life to Him. Once that battle was won, I felt as though I had entered a new world.

However, by the time I reach fifty-six years old I found myself suffering from anxiety so badly I was having panic (anxiety) attacks. They were so bad my cardiologist concluded that I’d had a heart attack. After a cardiac cath at Wake Med, the doctor came to give me the results by telling me I had not had a heart attack, but that I needed to learn to relax and lower my anxiety levels. That worked for a while.

Then at the age of fifty-eight, I had a major meltdown. I’d grown to find myself losing my sense of direction in life and was making very bad decisions that cost me my marriage, church life and so much of my sanity. I ended up being diagnosed with severe depression with anxiety attacks. I was seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist and was on meds. Then came along the woman who is now my wife. She was the gift God gave me for my recovery.

The strange thing is that working out of my depression found me realizing that the woman that was my first wife was a mistake on my part. I should never have married her. To be brief, way back when I was going with a girl that I loved, but I found to be insatiable and when I was drafted during Vietnam, I was taken away from that bad relationship. Then my first wife was introduced to me as a blind date. I found her to be a haven since her sisters ran wild and lose and she had vowed not to be like them. I concluded that her vow was good for me so I proposed and we married after I got out of service. I never really got to know her well though. I worked jobs that kept us apart most of the time and it wasn’t until my fifties that I began to doubt my young decision. When we separated and I started talking with my psychologist I came to understand my hasty decision as a young man was not good. I know my sons probably don’t like this if they read it, but I can say both of them are upstanding citizens that contribute to society. I can appreciate them far above most of their generation. But that marriage should not have been.

During that depression in my fifties my psychologist called my new woman that became my wife was more like a “shiny new toy” and I would lose interest. I’m not sad to say that she has been with me for going on thirteen years now and I could not do without her. She was not the shiny new toy my psychologist indicated by his opinion. We have a solid relationship. It’s not perfect, but we talk to each other about everything and resolve it one way or the other.

So. When I started writing this post a few days ago, I was feeling depression creeping up on me. Do you know what I did? I got my wife and myself into the car and went to town and did some shopping and did stuff together. Oh. And we talked. It got me out and away from the creeping little foxes that came to steal my joy that morning. The rest of my day was wonderful and I got some things done I had been laying aside for weeks or more.

Never let yourself sit and stew in that pot of depression. Get up and get out there. Do something. Keep yourself busy. You cannot afford to allow your mental state to be eaten alive by evil, negative thoughts. Fight for your life. You can control it. It’s up to you. You create your own destiny and it starts by telling the creepy things to step aside. Talk to God. He’ll tell you the same thing I just told you. Do you know why? Because that’s what He told me.

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Simply Salvation

I’ve started writing another book. It’s titled the same as this post. What I’m feeling in this writing is to explain the simplicity of salvation.

As I started the book I found myself wanting to focus on the Good Shepherd by introducing Him to the reader from the 23rd Psalm. I opened up with the nature of the shepherd by explaining it to people with an inviting picture of the Savior. We tend to throw around a lot of Christian terms. I find them already passe’, if not outmoded. I consider them thrown around so often without explanation that we just let the terms “salvation”, “savior” “baptism” and such flow right past our thinking without stopping to seriously consider the import of these very important life-giving terms.

I cite a concern of mine in the term baptism. It seems in my circle of church folk that several people seem to think being baptized several times to be okay. I guess that would be okay if it were truly meaningful, but I think it’s becoming a bit abused. There is this thing Baptists quip about in there churches that so and so got saved “again” this past Sunday. How does one get saved every other Sunday? The idea of being born again is a once in a lifetime event. Rededication would be a better term I suppose if it is truly expressed, but it has become something of an inside joke with Baptist to be saved in every service practically.

I was baptized three times, yet each time I felt a sincere need, not so much for myself as it was that my wife and I be baptized together into one flesh. My dad questioned me when I was baptized the second time as to the first baptism’s effectiveness. It was a cutting remark I’d say as he thought the need for only being baptized once was only right. I tended to agree with his assumption, yet for some reason felt the need at that time. Since that second time I met with divorce and found my life in shambles. I won’t detail that out except to say I fell into darkness and walked away from my Christian values.

With the help of God’s unrelenting love for me and His gift of a woman that became my second wife, I have recovered. Our walk (and I say all three of us, God, my wife, and me) has become a solid foundation. Upon that foundation was a pressing need for a new commitment, so my wife and I were baptized together. I have no doubt there will never be a need to do this again.

The first baptism was entirely for me. My soul needed to show that outward evidence of the inward work of God in my life through Jesus Christ. This last one was intended for joining into a covenant with God with my wife and me as one. It didn’t seem so much as the original reason as it was for a display of covenant with God.

This book will likely be a good bit bigger since I am feeling there’s a lot to explain to get the simplicity across. This sounds kind of complicated, but it’s not. I hope to show people that don’t think they have a need to be saved just what the need is. Man has a hollow spot in their being from the first Adam that only the second Adam can fill. This will be explained in the book.

I’ll stop here, but I must tell you one thing. If you are a Christian, God wants you. You are valuable enough to send His Son to die for you that you may be saved. The value you hold is found in the sacrifice God gave for us to regain fellowship with Him. Don’t ever think you are worthless. Never.

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I don’t normally look at my stats, but lately I’ve become more curious as to where people that do visit

this page live. Granted I have only a few followers, but I am amazed at the power of the internet. There are those that come from just about every major country in the world that view what I write.

I don’t take anyone that does look at this old man’s writings for granted. I only write by inspiration most of the time and when I don’t write it’s because I don’t hear anything of value to write. I will say sometimes my writings are a shade cloudy from the attitude that I have at the moment so the thoughts may come out a bit off, but there is a hidden meaning in there somewhere.

My previous post about being ready to minister the Word when we are out and about should be of value and I didn’t want to “expound” on it. All I did was say it and leave it there. Be there and be ready when the moment comes is a precise thing for God.

The woman I ministered to in the parking lot at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store was having a really bad day. She had left her home for work. She teaches in a setting with children ages 3-6 years old. She could not do that with the frame of mind she was in at that moment. So God in His infinite wisdom had me to go get breakfast for my wife and sister-in-law. I learned from the meeting as well as the woman was ministered to.

My learning is that I am now much more in tune with God that at any other time in my life. It’s my realization of that that gives me a gained confidence that I am able. I became the vessel through which God poured His favor upon this woman. I wasn’t the answer. I was the conduit. God was the answer.

This woman received what she needed for the moment. She commented she thought I was her dad and was avoiding her. She stated he was in fact avoiding her lately and that in itself is hurtful. To add to that her mother-in-law was found unresponsive in her home the prior day and was in the ICU at the hospital expecting her to not regain conscousness. She is not expected to live. I have not idea of what else she might be experiencing, but to see the turmoil her mind was in tells me she is dealing with more that just those two things.

God doesn’t have to tell me the details. I don’t have an itch to know. All I need to know is that I delivered the Word to her this morning and that He activated those Words in her spirit. All I told her was that peace and comfort are her portion. All she has to do is receive it. I believe she did.

When you are out each day all you have to do is be aware of those that are placed before you. Be ready or to paraphrase it “instant in season and out of season”. You may feel nothing directly, but you will as soon as the moment arrives. Do you tune your spirit to activate or be sensitive to what God is doing? Do you surrender yourself to be and do as God leads?

You are a statistic by WordPress’s viewing my page, but the most valuable statistic is do you respond to those in need? If one of you practices this valuable ministry, your reward in heaven grows.

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Just Be There & Be Ready

My wife’s sister and I rode out to the Pig to get breakfast for for the three of us. As I pulled into the parking lot we heard a horn blow, but I knew it wasn’t for me. As we parked a young lady pulled up behind us, got out and came to my window. I got out and she started apologizing for blowing the horn because she had thought I was her dad. I told her no need to apologize.

Then she started crying and told me her mother in law was in the ICU unresponsive and not expected to live. She thought I was her dad and was ignoring her. She was a basket case. I put my hands on her shoulders and told her to look at me. I said it’s okay. I began to pray for her in the parking lot while she sobbed. When I finished praying I talked to her that God is in control and peace and comfort was hers. More was said but we left her as she went off to work. God puts you where you need to be for someone today. You don’t have to look. Just be there and be ready.

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Believe in Tomorrow

I started out today doing taxes. I realized when I saw how much I owe I thought about how far God has brought me in life. It’s a non-issue anymore. I would have cried, struggled, and fought with the number I saw. God has built into me the faith, patience, and general maturity to deal with it.

But how did I get to this point? By seeds planted into my soul over time. I believe those seeds of yesterday were the seeds of “tomorrow” back then.

To go to what I really need to say is this. Many people today fear there is no answer to their problems. They have reached an end with no answer in sight.

When the end seems the only solution, such as I deal with in those considering suicide, all we need to know is tomorrow will be a better day. Simply plant a seed today for that better tomorrow.

From a counseling standpoint, if we are encountering individuals standing at the brink of considering an end to their madness it would be wise to know we cannot change the made-up mind of some, but we must plant seeds in whatever way we can to counter their intentions. If we talk someone back from the edge we did it by planting seeds of thought that instantly spring up. That seems a tall order on our part, but we have to be their answer in God’s stead. We are given authority to speak into lives and we must realize our words are the fertile ingredient to cause the spawning of life in those we speak to.

We cannot just throw seeds of thoughts at someone hoping for growth. The seeds we use should be well-chosen hybrids for that particular situation. That’s where we should be the conveyance by which our yielded spirit hears God. We should be picking the right words to sow as we hear God speak to us. God’s power in the seeds we convey has the work of miracles in them to change hearts and minds. That is why we need to be “prayed up” as is said by the old-timers of the faith. We must also remember we don’t do anything. It’s our yielded heart that conveys the living Words of God that causes the seed to work. It’s not our glory, but only His.

Lives are in the balance. There is a hurting world out there and we need to pray to the end that we are able to hear and speak (plant) those Words God speaks to us to each particular situation without any fetters to hold them back. They must be as I said “hybrids” to each person’s situation.

How many of you have already picked up on this as prophesy. Yes. It is exactly that. But there need not be “Thus saith the Lord” hung on the front of the Words we speak. I’ve spoken to many people as if it were just a part of the conversation. If I felt to do so I would more pointedly look them square in the eyes and gently force them to connect with me. Most times they will and they will know that I mean what I’m about to say. I simply want to know the seed got into their soil. Oh, this conversation could go on and on, but I believe I have got the point across for today.

Be constant in looking for those in need daily. Start that day with prayer in as much as is necessary for you to see them and read them in however God shows you. If you plant a seed today it gives the individual a “tomorrow” to look forward to. If you can hear it, it gives you a tomorrow to look forward to as well as you have found purpose by giving someone else purpose.

Posted in Abundant life, Biblical teaching, Christian, Christian Mission, Common Sense, Follow God, God's Calling, God's direction, God's Guidance, Hope, Love, Maturity, Mental Health, Mission Work, More of God, Patience | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book Deal

I am between jobs for a bit and I’ve had time to polish up my manuscript for my book. Oh? You didn’t

know? I signed a book deal with a major publisher to publish my book. It’s not a big book. But my publisher told me for the subject I’m dealing with it didn’t need to be big since some of my audience will likely not want to read a thick book.

The title is “Suicide – Satan’s Killing Field”. It deals with suicide from the aspect of going to those in need of help whether it be a distant thought to their immediate crisis. I’m a Christian and a Chaplain so my approach is from a Christian viewpoint. However, there is a difference in how I approach it than most may think.

In my training as a Chaplain, I found it described as the “Ministry of Presence”. My approach is to introduce myself and then listen. To best describe it I will illustrate by the first time I encountered someone. It wasn’t a suicide thing, but it was an elderly lady that was attempting to salvage the remains of her home from a tornado. The day I stepped into her home she had lost her husband the year before which was exactly one year earlier. She had a daughter with her helping pick up what belongings she could muster. Now she had no husband or home. I sat down with her and listened while she poured out her heart.

So, to listen to anyone in crisis or otherwise is the best ministry a Chaplain can do upfront in a conversation. People in situations like I encounter come to me like a pressure cooker. When a Chaplain presents themselves it tends to cause people to release that pressure and it will come out all at once and we are prepared to listen and take it in without preconceived notions.

My book lays heavily on the side of presenting Christ to all. It is to seek and save the lost. Suicidal people are so close to ending their lives when at the point of crisis and I speak on how to start with someone in a conversation by listening. From that assessments can be made on how to approach them in conversation to talk them back from the edge.

The field I speak of is two-fold. One side shows the negative aspect, and the other shows the positive aspect. The book will be out more likely in about five months. It will be on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble and other such outlets. If you are interested in a copy I can take requests now. Just not orders. The cost will be determined at a later date, but I can say it will be worth the read.

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