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.
I was just sitting down to my computer and I play Christian music 95% of the time and the song by Hillsong “Starts and Ends” began to play and the phrase “Lay your burden down” caught my attention.
God knows how I feel. At that moment it caught my ear. I was feeling somewhat burdened by life. I’ve always felt I had to be in control of everything around me to in order to have stability.
Lately, I’ve been changing my thought patterns to rely on God to take care of me and just do as I know is necessary. I hope I’m conveying this correctly. God has been building in me the tangible work of faith and hope. Faith is an important component of our knowledge of God.
Faith relieves us of the burdens because in it we lay down our cares for this world.
One thing that concerns me is that lately I’ve been dreaming of friends and relatives who are deceased. I take these dreams to have meaning.
The one I had last night was of a school friend with whom I went through all twelve grades with. She died several years ago, but I don’t know the circumstances. She was always vivacious and happy.
The last time I saw her was not long after we had graduated. She had married and had just had a child. I went over to see the baby and her and we talked about good times and her funny story about how the doctor said he wanted to talk to her about birth control. Her response was she didn’t just want to talk about it, but do something about it.
In the dream it was just before our class reunion and she came to visit me at my old home place. She came with one of my brothers. She looked okay, but as the dream progressed she started looking distressed. My brother told her they had to go and as she came past me on the way out I noticed her skin was growing ashen and a vein was standing out on her forehead. Her hair greyed. I told her as she left that I hoped to see her at the reunion, but somehow I knew that was not possible. Just a small side note. The brother that told her it was time to go is also deceased.
I started these type of dreams about a week ago and I’ve felt strangely different in my wake times.
I know for a fact I’m beginning to lean more on God. I am forever thankful for what He has been to me. He has been gracious and giving. He is truly my source. Bodies grow old, but the mind has not aged. It is forever learning and growing. My spirit is stronger now more than any time in the past. Who I used to be is forever fading into mere memories of who I once was. I have a strong sense of who I am transcending into.
He has told my wife and me that we have things to do still. We’re preparing to go on our first mission trip together. The people we will see are desperate, hungry and lack about every convenience we take for granted. And they live right here in our own country in the coal mining communities of Kentucky. The mines are closed and it has left them destitute. Drug lords have moved in, yet they can’t even afford to buy drugs, so they make Drano their drug of choice. Teenage girls sell their bodies to make money for food for their families.
I think in some way what I’m experiencing is preparing me to handle situations that we will encounter. I have to lay down my burden in order to see theirs more clearly and untainted by my own issues. I have to see them with God’s eyes. My heart is beginning to feel their burden. The tears of my spirit are beginning to flow for them.
Appointment now (beforehand) of your future. It’s a guaranteed action into the future of the believer if they follow after the knowledge of that calling or
appointment. It develops hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), This comes from Eph 1:18 Amp
Predestination is, most times, is looked at as a fated future that will happen regardless of what path we take. Well, that may have a ring of truth to it in a way. God’s path for an individual is charted by His calling on that life.
In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will Eph 1:11 Amp
Then there is “free will” involved. The individual has choices. So how does this play out?
“O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river.”Isaiah 48:18
“All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power.”Ecc: 9:10
The Bible also says: “The plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage.” Prov. 21:5
Free will is a precious gift from God, for it lets us love him with our “whole heart”—because we want to.
He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’Matt 22:37
I love the description of “commandment” in verse 36. It says of it as an “authoritative prescription”. Just what the doctor ordered, I’d say. I’m going to leave that for you to go back and look at.
God does have a plan for your life. To me “plan” is another way of saying predestination, yet we have free will to make the choice to follow it . . .or not.
If it is unacceptable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Jos 24:15
I chose to follow God, because I know His plan will bring peace to my life and because I want to. So by my free will my life is predestined or as you could say, planned out.