A very good Word for today….

This is Matthew Henry’s commentary on Jeremiah 2:13.

There is in Him an all-sufficiency of grace and strength; all our springs are in Him and our streams from him; to forsake Him is, in effect, to deny this. He has been to us a bountiful benefactor, a fountain of living waters, overflowing, ever flowing, in the gifts of his favor; to forsake Him is to refuse to acknowledge His kindness and to withhold that tribute of love and praise which His kindness calls for.

Those who forsake Him cheat themselves, they forsook their own mercies, but it was for lying vanities. They took a great deal of pains to hew themselves out cisterns, to dig pits or pools in the earth or rock which they would carry water to, or which should receive the rain; but they proved broken cisterns, false at the bottom, so that they could hold no water. When they came to quench their thirst there they found nothing but mud and mire, and the filthy sediments of a standing lake. Such idols were to their worshippers, and such a change did those experience who turned from God to them.

If we make an idol of any creature – wealth, or pleasure, or honor, if we place our happiness in it, and promise ourselves the comfort and satisfaction in it which are to be had in God only, if we make it our joy and love, our hope and confidence, we shall find it a cistern, which we take a great deal of pains to hew out and fill, and at the best it will hold but a little water, and that dead and flat, and soon corrupting and becoming nauseous. No, it is a broken cistern, which cracks and cleaves in hot weather, so that the water is lost when we have most need of it. Let us therefore with purpose of heart cleave to the Lord only, for where else shall we go? He has the words of eternal life.

What a night…….

Last night Meghan and I went to town to pick up a few things, she wanted to go to the drug store and I needed to go to the grocery store so I parked in the middle and I told her I would meet her when I was done.

I finished my shopping paid for my things and headed over to the drug store. It was dark and the lights in the parking lot are horrible, I was parked on the side of the store. As I headed across to my car I stepped off the curb and the next thing I knew I was falling to the ground, it was cold, wet and very dark. I had no idea what I even tripped on but down I went. IT HURT – I tried to break my fall with my hands and they ended up bloody and cut up, my knee was bleeding and I was laying on the ground. A young man that worked at the store heard me as I went down and came over to help me up. He gathered my bags up and helped me up.

I was shaken, upset and very embarresed!! He showed to the restroom so I could wash my hands and clean up the blood. It really HURT – the palms of my hands are cut and ashphalt in them, my knuckles scrapped open and bleeding and I could feel my knee bleeding. As I washed them off it was so painful, but I think more than anything I felt so stupid and like an old man that had fallen down in the middle of a parking lot.

When I exited the bathroom Meghan was walking in the store and I showed her what had happened and we decided to head home. I was so shaken and upset!!! So we head out and it’s very dark, raining and windy. There is about a 2 mile road on the way home that is very dark and very curvy. With the rain when the cars were coming towards me I could not see a thing!!! About the second curve I slowed way down becuase I was blinded by the oncoming car, I totally missed the curve almost ran another car off the road and ended up driving in the wrong lane. I must hand it to Meghan, I probably scared the crap out of her but she remained calm and just said “dad get in the right lane” as she said that I didn’t even realize I was on the wrong side of the road!!!

We get home and I show Diane and Adam my bloody hands and knee, explained what happened and they laughed – I don’t blame them but man it was not fun – I probably would have laughed too.

I did not sleep well all night thinking about what had happened!! Would it have happened 20 years ago? I don’t know but this is not good for a man’s pride, self esteem, or well I guess just his manhood. I HATE IT!! This morning my hands hurt so bad, but they will heal in time…….. as for my emotions……..

Just another day? IDK

2012 The Worst Year of My Life Yet the Best Year of My Life ~ part 1

The Worst Year of My Life and at the Same Time the Best Year of My Life

As this year closes out I like most other’s I start reflecting on the past 12 months. I imagine as we get older we reflect a lot harder and deeper. As I ponder on that thought I guess our lives have so much more meaning or at least we want to believe that.

In 2012 I turned 60 years of age; I struggled with this changing of the decades in my life on so many levels. I worried that my youthfulness would just disappear, I worried that the end of my life is closer as I read the papers of so many men and women my age dying, not to mention my old high school friends that have passed away, and my brother in law Mike who I’ve known more than 45 years passed away. I worried about my life and what I would leave behind for my family, friends, and loved ones, not as in material things but knowledge, wisdom and experiences from my life that I can teach my sons and daughters.

Funny I have lived most of my life for myself, pleasing me, doing what I want, and making myself happy. On the outside people saw something different (the last 25 years) and I built on that, creating a “life” around me that made me look good, while the on the inside I was disgusting, selfish, self-centered and full of pride!

In 2012 my life came tumbling down, everything that I’ve done, worked for, loved was lost. My position as the lead pastor of NHCC that I held for over 11 years crumbled right before my eyes. The respect of men and women whose lives I was involved in on just about every level one could think of was crushed. My marriage was ripped apart at the seams with a feeling of no hope and it being over. The woman I was married to was crushed hurt, damaged, bruised, and broken beyond anything I had ever imagined. My children who loved and adored me found themselves questioning everything, the life they knew was ripped from them, the father that they loved and adored was shattered, their spirits crushed. My grandchildren even questioned who I was and what I was.

In my community that I lived for over 17 years I was a well known man – now a man of disgrace, a liar, a deceitful man and one not to be trusted. A black mark on the community that I loved, the church that I loved and so many people that I loved.

I have been stripped down to nothing, my pride has been broken, my life has become an open book for the most part, all my sin, secrets, thoughts have been exposed for the world to see. I can hardly bear to see anyone that I knew from the church or community that knew me as “pastor” the shame is still so great and heavy on me.

I can’t even begin to speak of the pain of this in my life. I was not playing a game with the church or people, I loved being pastor, I knew that God called me to this place and to the people I was involved in. I was so blinded and so tangled in “self” that I didn’t really see or realize what was taking place in my life. I knew it but didn’t see it. I know that is hard to understand but that is the way it was for me.

Unless someone has gone through things they really don’t get it and I’ve learned this lesson in my life. It’s a good thing for me to learn for the future as I interact with people. It’s a good thing to learn as I go through this, it helps me not be judgmental on the way people treat me. I’m told by some “it’s your own doing” and man that is true! I will never deny that or try to hide that, I did it all. But even in that the brokenness, the hurt, the pain is still real. For months I did all I could do just to breathe, to take the next step. Some will never understand that process and it really doesn’t matter for the most part. BUT, in the scheme of life it does matter and I will forever be changed by it and forever will try to teach this. The truth is; man is so good at being “God” in human situations, in human brokenness, in human fragility, in the act of sin and dysfunction. Jesus shows and teaches “unconditional love” in ALL THINGS with ALL people, does not matter the circumstance. The ONLY time Jesus would condemn would be to the one with a hardened heart and one who refused to change, break, and repent. A lesson the people of God need to learn. I know I have, I know I will never be the same again when it comes to people messing up, falling down, falling into sin, etc.

All of this has led this year, 2012, to be the best year of my life!!

 …….to be continued

The purpose of this blog

I need a place to express myself, share my thoughts, my experiences, my life as I go through the fires of life.

I have a story that threads through my entire life and now at 60 years of age I am trying to change the course of my life and go out strong, a man of integrity, love and hope. Leave a legacy to my children and grandchildren.

This past year has been a crazy year – I will share more and more about that but one of the things that has impacted me was a letter I received from my daughter and one very similar from my oldest granddaughter. The way they saw me was NOTHING like I’ve seen myself through my years on this earth. It angered me, it frustrated me, then it broke me and I decided to take a look at myself, the life that I’ve built and lived in.

So, I’ll write when I have the urge to write, share what I feel the Lord will have me share. It may be raw at times, but most of all this is for me.