How I (finally) forgave

If there were a meter by which to measure introversion, I’d register in the hermit zone. That means few people other than my wife and father know me well. While I prefer it that way, it’s often frustrating, especially where sharing my faith and talents are concerned. Not surprising then that I blog, journal, and post my original tunes on the web.

From time to time the Father has given me a friend with whom to break bread real and spiritual; someone to listen, offer wise counsel and encouragement. A friend is one of God’s greatest gifts as we make this pilgrimage through life.

The wounds from a friend can be trusted; but an enemy will smother you with kisses (Proverbs 27:6).

lovecoverssin

Love covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8)

A true friend will point out an issue, that on my own I’m blind to or simply refuse to deal with. Anger is one such issue. Decades ago, a friend observed when it comes to dealing with anger, I do a “slow boil”. Eventually that simmering pot of upset within me would boil over and I became “hell on wheels” in dealing with every unjust situation or person who had wronged me.

Upon that all-too-familiar battlefield, the grace and peace of Yeshua takes a stand against the scars and injuries I’ve accumulated over a life time and the wearisome struggle to forgive those who inflicted them. These issues, together with the all-too-frequent Continue reading

Still in love

Gone are the days when I could wile away the hours playing my guitar; responsibility trumps making music. More than a hobby or profession, playing is a means to work out what I’m feeling when words elude me. With everything I need to do in caring for my elderly father and working with my wife to make a home for us, there is no more telltale sign of self neglect, than the dust buildup on my guitar. So when our wedding anniversary rolled around this year, I took my wife and my ‘girlfriend’ Roseanna* to Orcas island.

deck

A place to reconnect

The ferry out of Anacortes to the San Juan islands affords many awe inspiring views as it weaves between the islands. Secluded on 80 acres, our room at the B&B overlooked a working sheep farm, from which the comforters in our room were made. Fresh eggs are collected and served for breakfast together with ripened fruit from the orchard. There is no television in the room; it is a place for rest and to reconnect. Continue reading

Facing our greatest weakness, together

1988 was the first time I lost 100 pounds. I’d dieted before and lost as much as 40 pounds but this was the big one; the diet to end all diets. Reaching my ideal goal weight according to a medically accepted height to weight table, took 10 months on a pre-packaged meal plan with rigorous daily exercise. Naturally, when I reached my goal weight, friends and family were thrilled and wanted to celebrate my success with a festive meal. Here and there I slipped a bit, all the while reassuring myself I could balance out the pounds gained by cutting back “next week”. But next week never came.

lightheadednessA year later, I had regained all the weight and then some. Compliments ceased and my self-esteem nose-dived. When finally I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I hoped it would be the solution to my obesity. Sadly, the pounds so easily gained with a slow metabolism, didn’t come off when I began taking Synthroid®. At least I had more energy and my frequent bouts with lightheadedness, caused by very low blood pressure and a slow heart rate, subsided. Still it saddens me that 5 or 6 doctors over as many years didn’t suspect thyroid problems in a chronically dizzy and exhausted fat man with the resting heart rate of a marathon runner. Continue reading

I pledge my marriage to Christ Jesus

This is a follow up to I pledge my head to Christ Jesus (link).

A year ago last October, Karen and I relocated from IL to WA and for several months we attended a small independent country church. Though we intended to go only to meet other believers, we soon found ourselves ensnared by church politics and involved in a number of church programs. The church politics came to us as gossipers and busybodies tried to enlist our support for their church issues. Church programs were something we saw the need for and volunteered while others were at the request of church leaders.

weddedhandsOn several occasions one of us informed the other that we’d have to cancel our personal plans because we’d been “volunteered” for a church job. It seemed like overnight that the peace and contentment we’ve known while involved in home fellowship these last 15 years turned to strife and contention with each other as various church jobs began to trump our time together. Blessed retirement turned to labor; in fact, people used scripture in manipulative ways or pleaded on our emotions to conscript us.

The issue came to a head 1 week before our wedding anniversary Continue reading