June 29, 2009
The Anchor That Holds You
the anchor that held me, my newly forming Christian faith nurtured in the hothouse of Hosanna Calvary Chapel Bellflower California
How do we sink into hopelessness? A thousand ways. It can be one terrible event or a cascade of sorrows. We’re knocked off balance, then taken down too far to just get back up. It’s not that you don’t want to climb out of it, it’s that you feel helpless to act, you can’t figure out how to get past a loss, how to get back on top of your life.
Heart and Soul June 20, 2009
I held the brightly painted cup in my hand, the flowers of spring... tulips, hydrangeas and hyacinths decorated the pretty breakfast bowls and plates. A set of two, for a pair of newlyweds, that never celebrated the intimate breakfast times I envisioned. A wedding gift from a lady I came to know well, a lady I resemble now more than ever... I shed a tear for her, and for all of the lost dreams, as I quickly packed the dishes into the for sale box.
I dont think I ever understood her, as she lived her contrary life, at least to the way of thinking for the rest of the residents of Midway street. Originally from the Northeast she came to California to work in aerospace. She had a lucrative position with McDonald Douglas, and was making six figures...
She took her savings and money from her inheritance and bought tiny house on Midway street. She planted all sorts of growing things, and lived to herself...
One day the job went away, her savings lost in the dot come bust. She was a college grad, but couldn't get a interview..she had made too much money, was too eccentric, hated kids, so no teaching...She borrowed against her house to make needed repairs and to feed herself... months went by, years went by, until the money ran out.
The bank took a long time to foreclose and evict her. She held sales of her family antiques and I bought a few pieces, which I have enjoyed... some I am selling next month in my own sale to help defer my living expenses.
Barbara had no family left and we worried about where she would end up living. My little house had no extra space at 689 square feet. Most of the other had several kids, one had three generations under a small roof...
As we were having the neighborhood meeting, we failed to notice a shadowy figure leave a house that was known to the neighbor kids as the "haunted" house where the scary man lived... the scary man was Robert, once an engineer at Boeing, he had a Bi Polar episode that was so severe he was declared disabled. He gave up his apartment and moved into the desolate house that had stood vacant for the many years after his mother's death. He left the house to ride his bike to the market once in a while, go to the doctor on dial a ride or Barbara would take him...
Tattered and disheveled, he knocked on Barbara's door. The next thing you know Barbara is walking around to the overgrown gate pushing in to flatten the weeds and they went to the back. Behind the house was a large attached semi finished sun room. a small bathroom and outlets for electric were already there and required a touch of work to make them functional. Bob offered her the room, rent and utility free, in exchange for a bit of yard work... She needed a home... He needed the comfort of having a friend...we certainly had shamefully not extended our hands to him, but we did now. We neighbors pitched in, patched the roof, renovated the bootlegged bathroom. I donated fabrics, blankets and a large roll of used carpet that covered the cement slab. Barbara cleared the brush and weeds, and we all took plants from her gardens and transplanted them all over the neighborhood, and in Robert's yards. She also planted a large vegetable garden that helped to feed them both.
Barbara eventually became a perpetual student. She got grants and student jobs that helped to pay tuition and kept gas in her pick up truck. She would pick up part time work in the college library. Truthfully she thrived in the new situation with the release of her house and the academic environment. Robert came out more and joined in the gatherings of the local menfolk on Steve's driveway in the evenings... clean shaven and patched clothing courtesy of Barbara. Like a pair of cranky siblings they shared the house... Ten years later they were still in this arrangement as far as I know.
Barbara had the Anchor of Community to help her beat despair. I had two other friends that at the same time went through similar situations one a friend at Hosanna, who struggled with mental illness, lost her aerospace job and then her home. She became a student, a boarder in one home after another, then she was able to get a few small jobs, and lived alone for a short time. A few months ago she emailed me. Life in California had become too hard financially so she moved to Nebraska, to tend an elderly aunt and lives with her.
Another friend who has had a nearly two decade struggle with employment problems health problems and a very difficult life. We dated on and off for a time...He was brilliant, a former sound engineer with A&M, and RCA, a graphic artist that repaired backdrops for the movie industry, as well as ties to aerospace, which is what he was doing when we were together. He too was hopelessly eccentric, uber conservative ...we'd have verbal knock down drag outs over topics like speaking in tongues, eternal security and previenient grace. We desided we were unequally yoked dispensationally, and remained friends...He actually attended Woody's and my wedding. Once they closed the now infamous "skunkworks" in the San Fernando Valley, K. never had work in aerospace again. He worked odd jobs, sold things, and was badly injured in an accident. His injuries untreated because he had no health insurance.
He now lives in Death Valley with a long time roommate, in a home they bought for 4000.00 off ebay....Both men never married and are now retiree age and painfully disabled.. these three people have God as their anchor...I never understood their pain, their inability to cope, but I do now. And I am sorry that I failed to reach out to them when they needed me
I have hopes of finding work even still...I haven't given up hope. I too have an anchor that holds me...the understanding that God loves me, and will withhold no good thing from me, I just need to pray, trust, and go forth seeking the will of God... He is the anchor that holds me in the middle of the storms of life, and will be the Steersman that brings me homeWill your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.
Priscilla Owens, 1882
Labels: California, Family History, Friends
June 28, 2009
Isaiah 55- Streams In The Desert
Summer Stream, Little Sugar Creek, near Bella Vista AR
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Labels: Bella Vista, Scenic Arkansas, scripture
June 25, 2009
The Man In The Shattered Mirror
Butterfly free...The Butterfly Farm Branson MO
I don't write much about celebrity, as I have had a life times fill of it... I have known a few individuals personally over the years, was privileged to have known a famous brother and sister duo who grew up in our town and were launched to stardom by my music instructor (I dont say who they were because their very name is copyrighted and I do not have permission to use it in any way)The tragic death of the sister was flat out due to her inability to cope with the increasing pressure of celebrity... She acted out to try to deal with the stress and it killed her. I was 17 and her death haunted me and my friends as we considered music as a career path. My circle knew that none of us were "all that" and became wives, accountants, teachers,engineers and artists of other kinds.... But as far as I know most of us still love music and remember school girl dreams
As I wrote in June of 05, of Michael Jackson
I thought then that he wouldn't live to see his children grow up. How sad that his life was so messed up. Yes he did a lot of it to himself but he was also disturbed, troubled by a horrible upbringing and lots of abuse.
His music was the soundtrack to my young adult life and often when I think about that time I hear tracks from "Thriller" in my head. Michael Jackson had an amazing talent. No matter what this is true. Noone had ever done the things that he did and he changed popular music forever...
As consumers of the art of these performers we forget the human side, and how God loves them too and perhaps the broad road of pop icondom is the hardest one to overcome, to come to a place of saving Grace... My prayer is that God would have mercy on his soul, and that we as Christians insted of blindly condeming what we see in the media, that we would stop and pray for these people that they would see beyond the blinding glare of fame, and know that without God nothing in this life is worth having...That life is short and fame even more fleeting, only with the help of God can one be strong enough to endure in the face of the pressures of public life. Or else you end up like The Man in the Mirror, a shattered life a shattered dream a promise unfofilled, talent wasted and ultimatly eternity alone... no amount of fame is worth that
Labels: Current Events
June 23, 2009
Moments of Maybe
My little house on Midway street Bellflower CA, since selling this house in 2001 I feel like I have been a vagabond, living out of a suitcase and a packing box...not finding a place of stability.
....Now we are being asked
to begin a journey
in which we have become comfortable...
Sometimes I wish God would just...
....stop doing this!...
I have a favorite chair...
My furniture fits in this house...
My dogs are familiar in this place...
I know how to find the things that I lose....
But... here we go again...
in the midst of all of
all of the mind numbing flurry
a remembered whisper
"Your favorite chair can be moved
and still be just as comfortable
You home is only a home
because I Am there.
Where do you think I Am going?
Being known is a matter of connection
not time or geography
And as for things lost...
Aren't they always?
When have I failed to find you?"
May we begin this adventure.
I promise to hold on to you
if you will hold onto me
Let us give thanks together
For God, through Jesus Christ
has held us and will hold us forever!
from the unpublished poem "Re Appointment"
by Rev Sara Bainbridge, 2009
It seems that many of us are in the midst of change, I hear this from people I meet in the grocery store, and on temporary jobs and interviews. Between the economic changes due to reductions in income, job changes and enviromental shifts... as things deteriorate economically, for example because homes are foreclosed on your block your own house doesn't sell and you lose it and have to move... or a company closes and this has trickle down effects...
Friends of mine are expecting new babies, or are caring for parents with Alzheimer's... Some are taking family members in because they need a home, and others are giving up their homes, because they can no longer afford to live on their own, or cannot manage the home they have for some other reason.
My situation hasnt changed. I had a glimmer of hope that I had finally landed a job... really a dream job. I had had four interviews..passed the credit checks, a man had flown in for Kansas City to interview me and was enthralled at my story of building my jewelry store in the hostile economic climate of Hawaii. For this Jewery Executive it was his dream lived out... He wanted me on his best team... in the store in Fayetteville.
But the sales numbers for May were not up to par and his goal of expanding the sales force to increase the sales from 2 million to 2.35 million in this mall store were not justified. My hire got shot down by the numbers and people above my and Steve the distric manager's paygrade... I was devestated.
So I called my landlord, who is very sympathetic, but this situation is difficult and if I dont have a source of income by this time next month, he is going to put the home back on the market. I gathered that I would be allowed to stay until it sold but then I would need to get out... The problem with this is that I have to keep the utilities on and frankly I cant afford it...if I were working this wouldnt be an issue, but then I would be staying on at the cottage... as it stands I am going to have to be out soon, or employed...
I have temp work for this week. The pay is low but it will fill my tank and pay the phone bill this month. I worked for FREE last week for a day at one of the best transportation firms in the country... their home office is here in Springdale. It was in the Carrier Compliance dept, and I was taking faxes of Certificates of Authority and insurance binders, and updating carrier data. This is very important to keep updated because should coverage be canceled, and they use this carrier by accident and there is an accident, no insurance, and the company is in deep trouble. It was boring and well, not nice work, but I was glad to be there and show them that I was efficient and knowledgeable. While there I was interviewed by two managers who said that should they have a slot I would be considered ... They are still on hiring freeze and will be for 60 days but this gift of helping out was a seed sown. If I could go to work for these folks I could retire at this company...they are that amazingly great. But in the near term I have not too much lined up....
Several housing solutions are still under discussion I know that God will make a way for me. I am going through all of my stuff with ruthless abandon, hopeing and praying that God will send buyers for my things when I have my sale in July. I received a report from Woody that we have a pending offer on our home, I wont see any cash from that but it will be a load off of my credit report... no more late payments on that loan...
In these "moments of maybe", an expression my pastor used this week to describe the what ifs of life... These What should I do's of ordinary time...I sit and wonder. I love my home, but should I fight to keep it...Hasnt fighting gotten me to this place of penury. Pushing God to do what I want? I dont know I wonder sometimes but in truth, I am in this wilderness so I can learn to trust God with ALL of my heart. My friends with spare rooms and open hearts havent forgotten me and neither has God... So I will wait.
Another thing I am pondering. God made me just to love me, and for me to love Him in return. He will with hold no good thing. I must hang on to that as I ponder being in the "midst of maybe" myself... New doors will be opening. I must be ready to cross over the thresholds
Peartree Cottage swathed in Summer Green Bella Vista AR
Labels: Bella Vista, California, Family History, Friends, Pear Tree Cottage, Poem
June 22, 2009
The empty pulpit First United Methodist Church, Bella Vista AR"A friend is you needs answered"
... Kahlil Gibran
I found this wonderful quote a while back, which I think sums up the feelings of many in my church at the departure of our Pastor and friend, David. We wish him and his family well in their new appointment, and will miss them terribly... A sermon seemed an appropriate send off even though it was written 700 years ago, by one of Italy's great preachers of the day, Blessed Simon Fidati, of Cascia...
"A friend comes to the rescue in time of need,and if he is aware of the truth of friendship, he directs his friend just as if he were himself and puts his own members at his disposal if he has lost his. A true friend is better than a treasure, for he is not vulnerable to thieves and robbers. A friend is a lighted coal, and if placed beside it, it can rekindle a dead one. A true friend gives more attention to friendship than to the person that he is disposed to be friendly. For indeed, the person often disappoints, but the friendship is always the same. If a friend looks on a friend as the highest cause of friendship, he never can bring about a separation, even thought the person's bad behavior had deserved it, but he will wait for an improvement, or when the wrong doing merits it, for a suppression.
A true friend is a vehicle upon which the mind of the other friend invisibly carries,
and the friend is carried, and it is remarkable to see how from the two of them there emerge two who carry and two who are carried. Christian friendship, which alone indeed is true, is a glorious crown of good deeds and gives trust in life, a protection and a staff supporting even those who have shown weakness, a sure refuge, a haven from the seas, release from prison, freedom from slavery, an invaluable abode of divine protection, a tower of safety, a vineyard of joy, an ever fertile field, a pleasure garden of consolation, a repository of perfumes, a full storehouse, a apiary of honey... a mirror of brightness and an intellectual vision, a bride by one's side whom the comfort's of life are shared, a pious mother, an obliging attendant, a ready handmaid, a convenient body guard, a favorable bathing place, a spring of living water, an unsleeping guard against evil, prudence in the midst of good...
a bond with life...
Christian friendship is very broad in its generality, for it is extended to all without exception or distinction, and with those with whom one cannot share one's life along the way one hopes rather to achieve this in the fatherland of heaven. One can move in this direction also though certain knowledge and frequent communication or through outstanding virtue, because virtue itself is indeed only another name for that which is the greatest of the virtues, that is love. But what is true friendship if not Christian love? For if true friendship is exchanged between God and us, between human beings and angels, between human beings and human beings, true friendship then is love.
Godspeed my friend, and don't be a stranger.. our eyes already hunger for your face...
Labels: Friends, UMC
June 21, 2009
1 Peter 5:1-11 Departing Thoughts To A Faithful Shepard
The Outdoor Chapel Mt Sequoyah United Mehodist Conference Center Fayetteville ARShepherd the Flock of God
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Labels: Emmaus, Faith, Friends, Scenic Arkansas, scripture, UMC
June 10, 2009
Prayer of a Common Man
Final resting place... Church of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross KY
Daddy put in his forty years,
got his gold watch,
and then they sent him home.
I never knew what a struggle was like
until I cried tears on his stone.
He was just a cog in their wheel
lived and died on the layaway plan.
But Lord hear the prayer of a Common Man.
Is anybody out there?
Does anybody care?
Life takes its toll on the heart and soul,
but I’m doing the best I can.
Lord hear the prayer of a Common Man.
A little girl needed braces bad
and it cost a couple thousand bucks.
She has a beautiful smile
but it’ll be awhile on my new
used pickup truck.
This house of cards I built
is mortgaged to the hilt
and its sinking in the sand.
Lord hear the prayer of a Common Man.
Is anybody out there?
Does anybody care?
Life takes its toll
on the heart and soul,
but I’m doing the best I can.
Lord hear the prayer of a Common Man.
I’m not looking for charity,
I just need some clarity.
I’ve got people counting on me.
And I’m tired that’s all
I’m up against the wall.
Lord hear me when I call.
I know your up there.
I know you care.
Life takes its toll
on the heart and soul,
but I’m doing the best I can.
Oh Lord hear the prayer of a Common Man.
Lord hear the prayer of this Common Man.
I am constantly reminded that I am not alone in my quest for stability, both personal and financial. The whole country seems to be in a mode of anxiety, and concern. I cannot remember the 70's being this crazy as the Recession and Inflation cycles made life so very difficult for many people then. There were plant closings and runaway inflation, high interest rates, and taxes... There were a lot of poor people, and even more now. Many of these people were the ones screaming for "Change".... Well we have change for the worst, and for so many like myself, where the funds are running low, the frustration level is enormous. I wonder if we will see the riots and upsets that go on in other countries... but perhaps I am off there. My friend Norma, at the blog Collecting my Thoughts has a great post on this subject
... I try to limit my news watching and newspaper reading, because the spin doctors are working as hard as they can to ratchet up fear so that the Powers That Be can do as they will. For the life of me I cannot understand how the Government
can just buy and sell businesses, tell businesses how to run themselves and how without any oversight by lawmakers all of this takes place... I am not an expert in any of this. Frankly I don't think there are any experts in the house running things...
We are like those in the Old Testament, all doing whats right in our own eyes..., and we have for a long time,We stopped living as or forefathers did, in a Godly fashion and have taken for granted the blessings given to us by God. While things are good, this is thought to be OK, but now that things are not so good we want a King to rule over us, just as Israel did, years ago. Read....
Fist Samuel Chapter 8
Israel Demands a King
1When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel.2The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba.3Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.
4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah5and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.”6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord.7And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.8According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you.9Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
Samuel's Warning Against Kings
10So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him.11He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots.12And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.14He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants.15He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants.16He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men [fn1] and your donkeys, and put them to his work.17He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves.18And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
The Lord Grants Israel's Request
19But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us,20that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”21And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord.22And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”
We will be like all of the other nations, living in a Socialized, nationalized over taxed and nanny stated suffocation. We will be enslaved to the government in many ways. While I resent the excessive intrusion we have seen in recent days, I am a supporter of change in the healthcare system, and going to a flat consumption tax so that everyone pays a fair share. But I have a real problem with the nationalization of industry, the banking system and agriculture ( a reality since the farm subsidy programs were put into place back in the 30's) but it is not up to me, or to a single party... it is not something we can change without a radical change of thinking among all people in our country. The fruits of the labors of many Americans are not adequate to pay for basics of housing medical care and retirement costs. Solutions will have to be sought for those who work hard but are beggared by a medical emergency costs. A flat tax would bring in enough resouces to pay for the programs that will provide a safety net for those that are trying to take care of themselves.
I meet more and more people in this long strange journey that I am currently on. People that are really trying to be self sustaining and not taking advantage of the system. People like myself that are looking for work, but dont have unemployment due to loopholes in the rules, or other factors. People like me that need some assistance to keep gas in the tank and the phone on, so they can seek employment. Getting food from food pantries is a great blessing but I have an abundance of good food to eat, what I need is a stipend so I can keep my internet on. Many countries provide a small living allowence to everyone who needs it. I think we need that here in the US as well.
We need to start caring about the common man, not about corporate executives who ran their corporations into the ground, or bloated institutions that have long ceased caring for its customers, employees or shareholders...
On a positive note, the news ran stories about families taking in the chiildren of other church members so that the kids would stay out of foster care...and closer to home, families taking in out of work singles and couples to keep them off the streets. I have several people thinking about the logistics of this sort of situation for me. I have a number of promising leads working with regards to employment, sadly none of them will pay enough for me to keep the cottage even to rent it at the current price, let alone buy it.
I will take any job that I am offered. I know that whatever God provides for me will be enough for me...its up to me to find a way to live on that amount. It seems to be the way of the world these days...the way of the common man
Labels: Faith, Kentucky, Pear Tree Cottage, scripture, working
June 07, 2009
Psalm 50~ Let Me Praise The Living God
Stormy Pastures Near Centerton AR
The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
before him is a devouring fire,
around him a mighty tempest.
He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! Selah
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.8Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes
or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
and you keep company with adulterers.
“You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother's son.
These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
“Mark this, then, you who forget God,
lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture
June 05, 2009
Living in Fourth Day
Spring Rainbow Centerton AR
The message of the First Day on The Walk to Emmaus was the Grace of God, each Talk, while focusing on different themes, helped you understand how God's Grace works and how you could be a more fruitful person by opening yourself up to God's grace.
The Second Day is is often called the Jesus Day. Jesus is presented as a model for your life and living, through the various talks and acts of Agape. You are invited at that point to make a deeper commitment to Him.
The Third Day or the Sending Forth Day You are challenged to adopt the the vocation as a Christian, to be Christ in the World, through the adoption of various practices disciplines and commitments to a life of piety and devotion, persevering in that life until we are united with Him eternally.
Until then, we live in Fourth Day... It is the journey of faith that continues the rest of one's life. It is the living out of what it means to be a disciple and follower of Jesus. It is about being real, being accountable and being willing to trust Him in all things...
Drawn from the book "Day Four... The Pilgrim's Continued Journey", by Robert Wood Chapter four "The Message of Emmaus"...
Pastor David..."So Hoku, where are you living now?"
Hokulea... "I'm living in Fourthday..."
Pastor David..."Thats a great answer..." he gave me a weak, weary smile, turned and walked away to his vacated office...
I am being called brave, courageous, a living saint even... I kid you not, but really all I am is a very frightened woman, who has been in some very bad spots at times in her life, but the one she is in now is pretty darn bad. But the truth is, I cant stay long faced for too long, it causes me to get wrinkles that are un needed and unwanted.... Staying down leads to a negative energy that will ruin any chance that I have to turn my life around. Even though things are as bad as I have ever had in my life... I need to smile and be glad for what I do have.
I have my health. People say I never looked better. I have my sobriety. I dont talk much about it because I was never a true alchoholic or addict, but rather I made a chioce that these things were not for me and I choose daily to live, feel and experience pain rather than numb it with addiction... I have a great home that I really want to hang onto. I have my Abigail... the cutest little mutt-let a gal could ever want. I have a good vehicle, skills in demand. I have opportunities I can at least apply for. I had lady call me to help her and is paying me by the hour, another gal got wind of a part time job that while doesnt pay much, exposes me to the sorts of people that may have a need for a person on their staff. Agencies are aware of the need to get me something and resumes are out there... I have a huge number... hundreds of people praying for me, and dozens of people who have committed to being there for me. I am obligated to call anyone of them if I feel too overwhelmed...and yes it it pretty overwhelming at times...
I know that if I dont get work soon I must make some very hard choices, some that might be pretty disagreeable, but I need to do it. I am holding out hope that I will get some work and that I will get to stay on here. In the mean time I am cleaning out, throwing out and selling items Im not using....Im getting ready for a move...and if I dont need to move, my load is lighter and my purse is fuller.
Should I get work it will postpone moving, but not take it off of the table until I feel secure in that position. This could be a while considering how things are in this world. I may need to move into a cheaper abode no matter what.
But until I know anything I will try my best to stay in Fourth day. That means not being overly concerned about the future... Plan yes but dont obsess...cry yes but get up and do something. Tell people what your needs are so they can gain the blessing of helping you, but tell Jesus as well... Prayer, the Word and worship... I sing all of the time, pray all of the time, and want to put God in charge of everything that I do...
When its all said and done... Wither I look back on this while living in NW Arkansas Texas or wherever, I will praise God for bringing me through... In my house, or living in a new place, living with friends or my family... I know that God is with me and has not left me. I write this to remind myself of this true thing. Yes there will be down days, days that feel hopeless, depressing days... But there are also ecstatic days, days full of promise and days filled with hope... I laugh a lot, hug the puppy and hope that the next phone call will be the one I have been waiting for...
Keep praying people... something is about to happen I just feel it...
Labels: Abigail, Dreams, Emmaus, Faith, working
June 02, 2009
Too Many Nevers
Afternoon Surf... North Shore Oahu
Post started 5-29-09
"When you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to you mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart..."
Frederick Buechner, "Whistling in the Dark" with a hat tip to Rev. David Fleming
Its been a really tough week...maybe one of the toughest weeks of my life. I just cant hardly believe that so much is going on at once. When I pause to think about it The torrent of greif, fear and sadness floods over me. I dont know how long I can continue this way, I really need a break, and God is the only one who can help me with that...
There have been "never again moments" all week long... every day I have had some and the tears have been non stop. Is this good? Maybe... The grief release is probably just what I need right now.Well Hoku, I have had word that the Tribunal is set to do a final consideration at the Magesterial Court in Oaklahoma City, its a formality, and I am certain that you will get your annulment....
and with that, Monday was the end of my marriage to the Engineer. While this was a much sought after situation my heart twinged just a touch at the thought that in this life on earth or in heaven we were never truly married in the eyes of God or the church. For I loved him, like I have loved no other... he was fun and exciting and it was never a dull moment. I can still see his bright blue eyes and hear him calling to me with terms of endearment, something Woody rarely did. We have been apart 20 years this December yet it seems like only yesterday that we were together living yes not the life God would have had us live but we were in love and I have missed that all of this time...I doubt that I will know such crazy love again
and I long for it sometimes when I hear the wild child I was howling in my soul....I know this is very hard but no matter what we are going to forclosure on your home...you need to figure out how you are going to make the payments because if you dont there will be additional charges, to the tune of thousands of dollars...
The disaster of last tuesday is still haunting me...Not only am I losing the home Woody is living in but I am losing my home because I dont have the resources now to keep going here. two houses two homes... two people homeless. Its unbelievable. But I saw this coming last year...there was a part of me that hoped that Woody would feel the fear, the pain I felt... What a fool I was because a man that is numb from the chin down wont feel anything no matter what. Woody told me that afternoon that he no longer loved me that he felt nothing and that he didnt care that he didnt feel. Later on he called and tried to comfort me. But the emptiness, the lonliness and the loss... that I am losing a home and a husband sent me into a tailspin. I am also losing a false security, a false life really, that I held for years and I will never know that sort of comfort again"Oh Hoku, she made me not tell you... Jean was like that you know. She was private to the extreme. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in March. She said she called you at Easter, that was a goodbye call. She went into Hospice and died peacefully this morning. She had very little pain..."
Aunt Betty Grace, was so upset, and I cried my heart out. Aunt Jean was 90 and full of days. I know she was with the Lord, and with her beloved Peter. But I will miss her. She was a living link to my father and his life. In the years since she regained the ability to be in touch with us, (she struggled with very severe mental illness most of her life...
)she shared bits and peices of a different life and a different time. Most of all I hear words that ment a lot to me. She would remind me that my Dad loved me. I heard it more from her than I ever heard it directly from him
I cried not because I wasnt informed but because I cannot remember a word of that last conversation, and I took it for granted that I would speak to her again. I always told her that I loved her, and yes, the "never" of not being able to tell her that I love her again is a bittersweet. The Judge:"This divorce is being petitioned on the basis of non consumation...
Ms. Kealoha...how long were you married to Mr.W?
13 years, sir...
You have my condolences, and your freedom upon the end of his hearing. You petition is granted..."
I dont think I need to elaborate with regards to my relationship with Woody. We are both glad that this is over and that we were couragous enough to tell the truth with regards to my resons for a divorce. The statements on those divorce papers belie the good times...the adventures, and the experience that we had.
There are those in my life who say "good riddance" but Woody is not trash to be thrown out. He is a broken person. He is a lost person, and sadly he has no one to help him. So its my hope to help him find some resources this week while I am looking out for myself. I wont be at peace if I think that Woody isnt in a safe place.so I am hoping to find him an advocate at the VA to start his disability paperwork.
I also have begun to work on the Magesterial Annulment for Woody's and my marriage. I may not actually need the same type of paperwork because I was technically never free to marry him in the first place, by cannon law.
The "never" is that while I was never a wife in fact, the divorce ends the waiting the praying the hoping that God would somehow repair the brokeness, and make the relationship into what it should have been. It makes me sad that this did not happen, it is not going to happen and by being honesst about it now I am free to find happiness where I will. They know...For we all believed what my Father told us all one night in our living room... we were still in High School and one of our friends asked him if the women in his life still ment something to him and Dad said "yes" "If you truly loved someone and you think about them then they and their love for you and your love for them never dies"...
In my friends moving to Pine Bluff, my confronting the idea that I may need to move to Texas and not see my friends here in NW Arkansas again, the "nevers" regarding my quandry are enormous There have been too many "nevers" to confront this week. Please pray for my state of mind and for my job search. Having employment would go along way to improving my peace of mind....
6-2-09 There are a lot of people praying I can feel it as I move through my days. My mental state is a lot better. I am processing the grief, allowing it to register, but not impede my progress... in other words I would love to roll up in a little ball and stay that way but I cannot. I choose to survive this and that means action. I had 4 interviews yesterday including one out of the blue that is so amazing, that if I get this job it will be a dream come true and a LOT of work. But I am ready for that. This of course would resolve my housing situation, however because things are iffy still please pray. I have two different housing situations possible and the third being staying in place. Will know more in a few days.
Labels: Faith, Family History, Marriage, Personal Growth, Relationships, Woody, working