Category: Emotional Issues


There is one thing on my to do list that I cannot seem to get done: FIND A JOB! I have been looking for a job since mid-2007. Not constantly, though, because I have had to scratch and claw working as a painter/handyman/home improvement contractor/ or whatever else I could do to earn money, for 4 solid years. But during the down times I searched the Sunday paper, online, networked, etc. to no avail. I’ve never seen it like this. I have not been able to pay my mortgage payment for about 2 years (or is it 3?). And it is only $419.22! I live in a trailer park with a rent payment of $375. I have never NOT paid this. But now it is beginning to look like I may miss my 1st park rent payment in over 9 years. The reason I have not been thrown out of my home (and I don’t know this for certain) is that there are so many other folks who are unable to pay their mortgages, who have MUCH higher payments than I, that I’m not even on the radar screen of my mortgage cpmpany. I am also in arrears in my property/school taxes…and have been for a couple years. In fact, I am a good 2 years behind. I have been forced to participate in payment plans in which, if I were to be late with just 1 payment, the sheriff might be called to “vacate” myself, Linda, Amanda…all of our belongings…and about a dozen pets onto the street. It doesn’t feel good.

I have told everyone I know how badly I need work. I have refused to apply for Social Security Disability, in hopes that I can find a job I enjoy, not too far from home, and that pays just enough to cover the bills with a little left over.

UPDATE: I applied for SSD benefits in November. I was denied. I appealed in January. I am still waiting. I have no prospects for a job, or work of any kind. My taxes are due, my rent is 10 months in arrears, and I am still trying to believe in my country, the human race, and my Heavenly Father. But it is getting extremely hard…

 

 

When my son attended kindergarten in 1990, he came home after the very first day saying some big kid was picking on him whenever they were in line together. It seems this kid, let’s call him Kevin, thought it’d be funny to kick my son, Joseph, from behind, repeatedly, while waiting in line. I wanted to help my son, of course. But I didn’t want to have adults involved in it quite yet. I believe it is better to let the children resolve things first. And I thought the best scenario would be for my son to defend himself. After all, most bullies aren’t counting on this.

 

I told my son, “The next time Kevin kicks you, grab hold of his foot and just lift it towards the ceiling. This kid will fall down and bust his head open. And he will never pick on you again.” THE NEXT DAY, Joseph came home and told me that Kevin started kicking him again while they were in line. And that he did exactly as I suggested. Sure enough, Kevin went down like a load of bricks and busted his head open. “Now, Kevin wants to be my friend,” Joseph said. And from that day forward, nobody picked on my son…in that school. A few days later, I walked Joseph to school and I saw Kevin: This kid was twice the size of my son! And he walked like a gorilla, too.

 

 

One of my earliest memories:

I was three years old at the time. I hear the squealing of a car’s wheels out in front of our house and stood on my tip-toes, pulling myself up by the window sill, to try and see what it was. My father was drinking. He saw my efforts and thought he’d help me out…He says, “You wanna see out that window, Boy?” Then he proceeds to throw up the sash, grab me by my ankles, and hang me out the window by my ankles…or was it one ankle…I can’t remember that. I only remember screaming like a 3 year-old until he brought me back into the house. Oh yeah, we lived on the 2nd floor. I estimate I was about 25 feet from the ground. But, to a 3 year-old, it seemed like 100 feet. As it turned out, our next door neighbor ran over our family pet, Midnight, whose tail then had to be removed. Ahhh, early childhood memories…

 

Christianity or Competence? by Chuck Colson

A few days ago I was on the air with Los Angeles’s outstanding drive-time host, Frank Pastore — a keen worldview thinker. Frank told me his phone lines had been burning up over the comments made by a prominent evangelical pastor who said that presidential candidate Mitt Romney belonged to a cult.

Should Christians vote for a Mormon? Is Mormonism a cult? Let me say right off: These questions are an enormous distraction in an important presidential campaign. The secular media is using the pastor’s comments to paint evangelicals as bigots. The Chicago Tribune is calling this “hate speech.”

 I want to say this to every Christian listening to my voice: Let’s stop criticizing candidates for their religious convictions.

And let me make a few things, as my former boss used to say, perfectly clear.

 First, there is no religious test for public office. If you don’t believe me, check out the Constitution of the United States, Article VI, Paragraph 3. The public statements of some evangelicals that they wouldn’t vote for Romney because of his Mormonism would cause the Founding Fathers to spin in their graves.

Second, as voters we are to choose the most competent people to be God’s magistrates to do justice, restrain evil and preserve order. That’s what the Bible calls for. And in our country, where we have the precious liberty of choosing our leaders, we are responsible for picking competent men and women. See Jethro’s advice to Moses in Exodus 18. While choosing men to help him judge the people, Moses was to select first of all competent men. Those men were also to be godly — that is, men of good moral standing and character.

Third, let me answer the question that is causing so much angst. Is the Mormon faith Christian? No. It is not. There are significant and un-reconciled doctrinal differences between Mormonism and Christianity, like the sole sufficiency of Christ and the exclusivity of the Bible.

For me to say there are such differences in not “hate speech.” To deny that there are differences would be disrespectful of the truth claims made by Mormons and degrades my own truth claims. No one in good conscience can do that.

Having said that, there may be no other group of people I appreciate more as co-belligerents than the Mormons. They are stalwarts on life, traditional marriage and religious liberty issues.

To sum up, I’m with Luther, who reportedly said that he would rather be governed by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian.

Now I’ve never publicly endorse a candidate, and I’m not doing it now. But I would personally vote for a competent nonbeliever who would protect life, liberty and marriage, before I would vote for an incompetent Christian — or even a competent one — who would not stand for those overriding moral issues.

Our ultimate decision has to be based on what Augustine taught. We must live obediently in the City of Man as the best of citizens, doing our civic duty, which includes voting responsibly, as a reflection of our primary citizenship in the City of God.

Where does this leave us? Come on: Stop talking about the candidates’ religion. It’s distracting and it marginalizes Christianity in the public debate. Let’s continue instead to work to advance the Kingdom of God and pick, to the best of our ability, a candidate of competence and sound character who will preserve order and promote justice in our land.

I find lately that I am happiest when I am able to do or give something to someone else, expecting nothing in return, and for no other reason except to bring God glory…

 

If Jews didn’t exist, the world would single out some other ethic group to blame everything on…like the Russians…or the English. I, for one, respect and bless the Jews whenever I can. One of my deepest fears is that the U.S. will turn its back on the Jews in their darkest hour. Ever since I learned that God said, “I will bless them that bless thee…and curse them that curse thee…” to Abraham referring to his descendants, I have felt obligated to maintain loyalty to their race. I certainly wouldn’t knowingly bring harm to, or even badmouth a Jew. Having said these things, There is no denying that the Jews are different. Practicing Jews are the first to admit they really are different from any other race. But their really not a race. Some would argue they are not even a religion at all. While they have a national identity, they are more distinct as a culture. And I believe the Western free nations must stand behind Israel, come what may…

 

I grew up in an alcoholic/abusive home. As a child, I was terrified by my father’s tendency to physically abuse. Actually, when he was intoxicated, he was more likely to be “nice.” And his abuse was not confined to my mother. My mother stayed with him for about 18 years. She finally left him (and us 4 boys) with barely a shred of her soul and sanity left. Prior to her leaving, my father used to look me in the eye and say, “If your mother ever leaves me, I will make your life a living hell.” I guess it made him feel better, or something. A few months after my mom left my dad, he threw me out. I didn’t argue with him at all…I just left. Within seven years of leaving my father’s home, I married an abusive woman.

I guess what I want to share is this: I think it is a waste of time speculating about “subconscious activity.” People stay in abusive relationships for several reasons, I think: First, negative bonds can be very powerful…even more powerful than positive ones. It is generally true that women tend to try to “fix” their “broken” partner. It’s a lifelong project that almost never works out for either partner. Secondly, as unpleasant as suffering abuse is, it activates the “fight or flight” response, which releases adrenalin, dopamine, etc. into the bloodstream. This can be highly addictive, as any extreme sport enthusiast, or jogger can attest to.

I’m going to break my own rule and speculate about the heart of man: On some level, and there are so many levels that are affected in an abusive relationship, the “victim” may feel like they deserve to be mistreated. This is especially the case if they have been abused in the past. I think there is a part of us that thinks we need to fix that which was broken in our previous relationships. We may even set ourselves up in an attempt to re-create our earlier situation. I thank God that I am no longer in an abusive relationship. But I am even more grateful that I never abused my 2 adult children as they were growing up. Although, to be honest, for just about their entire childhoods, when I was disobeyed or disrespected, my first instinct was usually to spank them. Many times, I remember feeling as if I was trying to hold back a locomotive, all by myself, while resisting this tendency to abuse. I firmly believe that, if I had not invited God into my life, this would have been a completely different story.

Here’s another story about my growing up in Hamilton…

Fish Pond Bob’s Pond

Big Dan Golombowski and I were very good friends. One summer evening we went to the back-field to split a case of beer. By the time we finished it off, it was dark. In addition, it was very hot and the humidity was high. It was the night after the day Fish Pond Bob finished work on his new fish pond. He worked his ass off to fill it with plants, and whatever it is that people do to fix up ponds. We were about as drunk as you can be, and still be able to walk and talk! When we spotted the pond, we both got the same exact idea, at the same exact time…”it would feel really good to put our tired, dirty, hot feet into the beautiful water.”  So we did. But then we decided to wade through the pond. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It was not our intention to damage his property. But after we walked from one end to the other, side by side, we turned around and there were all kinds of plants and roots and crap floating on top that hadn’t been there before! We were not sorry cause we knew what he had been doing:  We knew Bob was actively luring young girls into his van. He would make real friendly…give them beer, wine, and we had heard, even drugs. Then he would take pictures of them! As far as we were concerned, he was a piece of dung. So we just laughed about it and put our shoes and socks back on. Just as we were walking away, the flood lights on Bob’s house came on!

The back door opened and Bob started hollering! He was so angry! We slipped away easily through the darkness. But we could still hear him yelling most of the walk home. He was screaming like a banshee…Mainly, I think, because he had JUST put the finishing touches on his pond that very day! I think it took him weeks to design and build. And I’m sure he spent plenty of money on it, too. Later, he really tried to get the neighborhood kids to squeal on us. I mean, we made no effort to conceal it from anyone. But there wasn’t anybody foolish enough to talk. And this is what I learned through all this…BEWARE OF WHITE MEN WHO LIKE PHOTOGRAPHY AND DRIVE A VAN…

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