This weekend

This past weekend was a chaotic cluster. To be fair, we had outreach this past Saturday and it was successful. We made contact with over 100+ people at Mineral Springs Park. It was everything that we hoped it would be. However, someone asked me if I was getting married. Privacy is an absolute in the small world that I inhabit.
This did not go over well for me. I ended up putting mileage on my boots as I walked around the park. Internally, I was seething. Do I want to get remarried at some point in the future? Absolutely. If and when we decide to get married as a couple, we can make an announcement for everyone at one time.
Then Sunday rolled around. I have been praying for a burden, and needed to consult with my pastor concerning the next step. As we spoke, I brought up ministry and divorcees. He brought up marriage (indirectly, I think.). What are the odds that two ministers would bring up marriage? Coincidence, I think not. However, marriage is still a long way off. If the time comes, then I will make every effort to be the man that I should be for her. I will not give up on the marriage, and I will always be supportive of my partner and her goals. That is all.

Emotional pain and goals for marriage

Do hurts heal? Physical pain heals, but emotional pain is more traumatic than physical injuries. Emotional pain scars our hearts, it makes us wary of people, and hinders us from moving on. This became a reality for me in October 2011. My divorce became all to real that day. My wife called me on a Sunday morning on my way to church and informed me she was leaving. That was almost seven years ago.  To this day, it is difficult to trust anyone. To wholeheartedly feel that someone will love me for who I am. There is no end to the questions and anxiety that comes from divorce.

Some people instantly seek another companion upon divorce. I tried it, things went sideways. Then I tried again. It got worse. I decided that love was not for me in November 2013. At that point, I decided that God meant for me to be single and a hermit. My intention was to completely shutdown my life. Existence became my focal point, not living. People would try to set me up on blind dates and I would end friendships because of it. Nightclubs were not my scene. One-night stands were a no-go.

Companionship was my goal. It seemed that it would not happen, so I became bitter and angry. The ex was my reason for my life sucking, and I was more than happy to blame her for it. It wasn’t her fault. She found someone and made herself happy. I refused to take charge of my life, and I did not want to pursue another empty relationship. I was out of church, but the Lord spoke to me one day while I was playing Elder Scrolls Online. He explained that my partner would not be found in Colorado Springs. I had not been to church in some time. Alcohol and prescription pills were my daily bread. “I am losing my mind.”  I thought nothing else about it until one day while I was riding around here in Mississippi.

Is everything perfect in my life? Nope. However, I have learned a valuable lesson from my time in seclusion. There is no danger of being hurt if you avoid relationships. Also, there is no joy. To me there is always a risk, but you can mitigate risk. You must make yourself happy. Almost seven years have passed since I got divorced. The wounds are still there. I get misty eyed when I think about the end of my marriage. When I consider all the hurtful things that were said, I know that there is no healing it. You must find a way to convince yourself that your life needs to be lived. It is what I did. One day I got angry. Rage poured out of me, and in defiance I roared that no one was going to dictate the terms of my life to me ever again. I refused to allow people to make me feel that I was not good enough to enjoy my life. Then I went out and took charge of my life. I may be broke, but I am doing exactly what I want to do. If I get remarried, then I will put aside this independent streak, and work to make my marriage great. I will treat my partner with the dignity that they deserve and try to be the man that she needs me to be. If I remarry, this time I will make sure that I never give up on the marriage or my partner. I will be open to not only listen but to understand the needs of my spouse. Until then, I will be me and hope that I can find something that resembles peace.

Friends and family day

This weekend is friends and family day at the church. It is time for the annual Old Codgers vs. Young people softball game. Time for me to realize that I am 45 and broken. If memory serves me well, there was a period that athletic competition was my lifeblood. Softball, football, soccer, tennis and basketball was sports that I excelled at. Then I joined the Army, and I added Rugby to the list. Competition is part of being a man. It is what drives us to have faster vehicles, do exceedingly dumb things, and the more blood that is spilled, the better the game.

Mind you, I will be chomping at the bit come Sunday. It will take every bit of discipline to not tear someone’s head off and throw it down the road. Nothing gets the heart beating faster than a solid hit, homerun, or double play. Losing is not an option. As General Patton said, “America loves a winner.” Then he said some more things from a speech that was given to his men. It is rather lengthy and vulgar. Therefore, it will not be quoted here. The point remains, no one likes a loser.

So, I will have to make sure that I am stretched out. Focus on good sportsmanship. Be content with whatever the outcome is. The shooting in Jacksonville, FL shows the price of a society that is given participation trophies. You either earn it or stay at home. In such things, it is vital to understand that it is only a game. There is no reason to lose our tempers, yell at each other and show our butts. None of us is a starter on a professional team. This is a time of fellowship, to get together and have a good time with our neighbors.

In truth though, I will be trying to win. Losing does not sit well with me. So, let’s bring our “A” game and teach these young’uns about softball!

Time

Today, many memories have appeared throughout many of today’s conversations. Every memory may not be pleasant; however, they are memories nonetheless. My mother and I like to reminisce about my brother and my childhood. There is no shortage of memories that abound from that period. Thomas and I were always into something. Our adventures ranged from us performing science experiments with the chemicals in the bathroom to opening our own investigation firm.

The days were short, and little did we know that they would pass so quickly. If we had known, no doubt we would have cherished them even more. Time is a precious commodity. Once we have spent it there is no taking it back, no reclamation point, no do-overs. Hence, the importance of making every day count. Fear often steps up to hinder us from living our lives fully. The fear of taking certain actions, of failure, of trying to accomplish what others insist that you can’t do. Then there is the fear of living.

Fear should embolden us.  It should motivate us to charge headfirst into the opportunities that present themselves. We only get one shot at living. The Reaper will keep his appointment with us. Until that day, our lives should be lived, memories should be made, time should be spent with people who make our lives better. No one on their deathbed says that they wished they had spent more time at work. Regret seems to be reserved for time that they wished they had spent time with others.

As much as I wish that I could make a case for those who insist upon working themselves to death at jobs that don’t appreciate your efforts, I can’t. We all have skeletons in our closets that we don’t want others to see. It is no different for me. There are things that I will carry to my grave that I will never share with anyone. However, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying my life. Life is meant to be a journey; however, journeys are more enjoyable when you have company. Loosen up, take risks and eat the fattening food. Regret nothing, and sample everything.

Death of John McCain

John McCain has passed away. Sixty years of his life, he dedicated to the United States. First, in military service and then as a career politician. While it is sad to see or hear someone has departed the mortal coil that binds us here on Earth, we all have an appointment with the Reaper.

McCain was not one of my favorite politicians. He was suffering from brain cancer, so I do not wish to speak ill of the dead. At times he was very confused on certain matters that he should have had clarity on. Five years he spent as a prisoner of war during Vietnam. There are vicious rumors that he sang like a canary but there is no empirical evidence that supports that claim. Unlike Jane Fonda who blatantly betrayed American troops in the same dump.

As we go about our busy lives, whisper a prayer for the McCain family. Prayer can lift us up when we hit rock bottom. We should always keep each other in our prayers. Comfort can be hard to come by when confronted by the loss of a family member. As the McCain family grieves over their loss, perhaps we should add that the Lord is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous runneth into it and is safe. Our understanding may be limited but God has all the answers. God bless you in your time of grief.

The little foxes

I grew up in church. Raised a chandelier riding, pew jumping, aisle running Pentecostal, reading the Bible was a must. Every night, my dear mother would sit down with her two boys and quiz us on our reading. Sometimes, it was the Book of Proverbs. “Where is it better to be, then to deal with a brawling woman?” Other nights it would be Acts. “What are the steps to salvation?”  We spent hours testing our knowledge of Biblical facts against each other. As we grew older, we spent less time reading and testing each other. Then my brother got married, and years later I followed suit.

The passage of scripture that references the little foxes always stood out to me. Why isn’t it big sin that ruins the vines? I suppose that we always look for the big sin. We don’t want to willing fall into the trap of the enemy for a lack of noticing it. However, the little things are what trips us up. For me, it is my temper. Things can be fine, and then I am a walking timebomb. It is never going to a juke joint, drinking alcohol with the boys, chasing wild women, it is never the big sin that gets me. It’s always the little thing that you never notice until it is done. The little sin will send you to hell just as quick as going to a strip club.

Many friends of mine have a problem with Christianity because of the supposed hypocrisy of always falling for the little sin. Will God not forgive us our sin? Of course, He will. However, when we constantly fall for the same sin, it becomes a choice. In some ways I am fine. I attend church, try to help around the church, pay my tithes, and try to be faithful to prayer meeting. Things are usually great Wednesday night, and Sunday. While the rest of the week it seems that I find a way to struggle. When you pray through on Sunday, you better believe the devil is going to be there to tempt you and try to make you trip.

How do we avoid the pitfalls of the little sin? The Bible references to watch and pray. If we are faithful in prayer, then we should be able to avoid the trap of the enemy. However, we are human beings (this is not an excuse). We make mistakes. Reading our Bible limits the enemy, combine both and you are good to go. If the enemy is fighting you tooth and nail, then you know that God has a tremendous blessing that He wants to give you. It seems that the closer you get to where you need to be, the more the devil throws at you. Keep the faith, march on and God will bless you. Ensure that you put on the whole armor of God. Or as the passage of scripture says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these other things will be added unto you.”