Yesterday before I went off to be part of the church at our local fellowship, I saw this and wrote it on my ministry page. Lots of people read it and shared it..
This morning I saw words being shed. Words of destruction and words of hurt. I saw the shedding of pain. I saw new words being spoken. New words of goodness, grace and greatness.Continue reading Letting Go Of Yesterday→
The pressure of community exists. It causes us to be better or worse. To step out side or to move inside. Whether we talk about the church community or we discuss the actual community we might live in there is a pressure of sorts.
Yesterday I read as a young black rapper opened up on the community of Ferguson. He came down on the side of “what are you doing, what are you thinking”. He chided them for not “policing” their own. With regard to the living condition he said “who is going to take care of if you don’t? If you urinate in the hallway how is that someone else’s fault?” Both rappers Pharrell and BoB were denigrated by their own for their comments and encouragement to take responsibility for their communities. Continue reading The Tension Of Community→
This is a longer writing. I wish I knew how to keep things short, but… What I have written is a “recording” of events that are occurring and steps that are necessary in a believer’s life. As much as I hate to admit it, there are indeed fiery trials. Our job is to listen to God, reveal His glory and move in the purpose He has established for us. Simple? Some are shaking their heads “no”. The biggest thing to keep in mind as you read this, is the body of Christ is important to our purpose.
[amazon template=thumbnail&chan=default&asin=B005C6FG0G]The last few days have been different for me. Not sure why. But as I have been putting together archives and older stories, testimonies and such I have been visited with a renewed sense of purpose. Let me be clear when I say I am not sure “what it is” entirely. Part of me feels like I have been relegated to a cave. With that left on the table…
I have cited the following story and teaching because I find myself back here every now and then. [amazon template=banner easy&chan=default&asin=B008TUE3WE]
Four lepers. Years ago my friend Jack Taylor shared from this passage 2 Kings 7. It is one of those teachings that never left my mind. “Can’t stay here. Can’t go back. Must go on. Got to tell somebody.” You need to read the story. Because the church clearly cannot be impregnated with the DNA of heaven and think it can go back or stay here. Impregnation connotes growth. Growth is a precursor to birth. And birth is a new creation. Your continued growth is because you were “born from above” and have to grow. Now the bigger question upon coming on such a collection of gems and treasures. (Like the lepers, their enemies had been scattered. You have authority as Jesus did over ALL the works of the devil. The devil is not strong but he is a liar. But you my friend are seated high above principality, rulers of darkness and all wickedness. It is time you TELL SOMEBODY.
Today I want to take a moment and talk about “you can’t stay here.” Sometimes when you are “up to your butt in alligators it is hard to remember that the purpose was to drain the swamp.” Too often we are going down the paths of life and interruption appears. It does not need to be the “elephant in the room” traumatic interruption, but sometimes it is just the “shoe string” broke. But depending on your focus and thought process it can stop you dead in your tracks.
Needless to say we have an enemy, but sometimes it is just life. Your car blowing up is not an attack if you never put oil in it. Regardless, you are stuck.
But I have found that often in our lives God changes His method of communication. He might take you from dreams to the word of God. Or from the word to listening for the still small voice. And that is hard. “Is anybody out there?!?!?!”
God never changes His purpose, but I suspect other things including His way of communication may occur. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing He may have to “force” us off the spot. In our “old language” we used to say that “comfortable” season was a mountaintop and now it is time for the “valley” experience. I do not believe moves on us to be uncomfortable but like having a child I think there is a dynamic of being in “one position” too long. Sometimes you may need to move. I am not saying once you were an evangelist and now you are not. But is it not possible God might want to hang out with you a little and allow for things to change or to shift? Now granted that is part of my experience and the experience of others but it may not need to be yours.
So where “can’t” you stay? How about you cannot remain a baby all your life? Or mine? How about the process of growing up is happening, “like it or not”? “Ready or not-here I come!” (Said all unborn children and the expression of God through you!) Perhaps you need to make a geographic? Perhaps the season of your job has met your needs but was but a step in the purposes of God.[amazon template=thumbnail&chan=default&asin=B005C6FG0G]
As a prophetic voice I see lots of words given and received. I also see that there are lots of “wow’s” while it is happening. But let me tell you when a word is “truth” it may mean your life is about to change. Joseph had a dream. He announced it. How many years did it take from the pit to the prison to the palace? How many coats (bearing identity) were lost in the process?
Everyone wants a great God word! I do. But in the process, you might not be able to go back. I am going to share the following story with you. Let me tell you what changed.
God’s purpose was being fulfilled in my life.
I learned new messages about “leaning to my own understanding”.
My “comfortable” life was upset. (I am not saying God “did” this.)
Where I was going was different than what I thought.
I saw the fulfillment of many words.
His language to me changed.
I came to the place I could not “stay here”.
As “Nick at night” (Nicodemus) once asked “can a man return to his mother’s womb?” Sometimes you just can’t go back. You got to move on. That is what happened to Tina and I.
Like so many these days, I feel as my life is a quandary. Perplexing. I read the news. I look at the changing events across nations. I watch economies shift and slide. And in the midst of it, my natural self rebels at the changes I am forced to “go through.” Why? Because I am caught in the issues of the globe! I have watched my business change as other businesses have floundered and gone out of business. I wonder what is going on as so many do. But I trust God.A few years ago, my wife and I were the owners of a home. Two bedrooms up and 3 converted rooms down. The home produced income. A radio station paid for a small portion for their transmitter. We thought we would be there forever. A smaller home, beautiful views.
My then, handicapped son (God has healed him from the traumatic brain injury and given him a great wife!) was living there, as were my daughter and her three children (A newborn baby was one) and my youngest daughter. Family…
And then the enemy sneaked in. A contractor had been hired to remove the underground oil tank(Required by our insurance and mortgagor.) With in twelve hours of pulling away, my lower level was flooded. Three months of doing all that I could while I waded (Yes, pun intended!) through paperwork for insurance companies, etc., while I was working 24/7 to keep the water from the $50,000 transmitter. (In retrospect, I should have let the water destroy it. Had I let it be ruined, insurance would have had to kick in.) Finally respite came in the form of winter, drying up the water source. During the winter my wife and I gutted the destroyed living area. (Over $60,000.) That spring we had installed an inside drainage system.) We thought we had it knocked. And while we worked out of pocket waiting for insurance companies to step up to the table and did what we could, one night as I lay in bed I could not breathe. Black mold. The story goes on and on. (You can read about it at this Facebook link if you are interested.) The upshot was we lived off site for the next three years.
We devoted a lot of time and energy to this property. We never received a dime of insurance and spent all our savings trying to recover. We are in a a financial crunch as the result of it. 4 years later we still own the property, are trying to negotiate a way through with the bank, and may or may not lose it.
Why share a story like that? Because God is still Lord over our lives. He has not changed, was not surprised nor worried. And neither should we be.
Paul tells us in Philippians 4: 4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Only last year many lost their homes and their properties in tropical storm Irene. did I have compassion? You bet!
I am reminded of the story of David on the run. 1 Samuel 21 tells us that upon inquiry, he finds the sword of Goliath, wrapped in an ephod. Two chapters later, we see David wrapped in the ephod, while all that is stolen is restored. Sometimes we need to be reminded of a previous victory to get over the hump, the quandary we are in to see the restoration. In David’s case it was the sword that slew Goliath.
My wife and I have had some down days, even some down weeks over our nearly 20 years of marriage.
I did not see my youngest for three years, but as their mother was dying, they were restored to me.
Not long after we were married, I was hit by a taxicab and put out of business. 6 weeks later the Lord healed me.
We received a call one night that our son had been killed in an accident. Only two years ago we married him off to one of our lovely daughter-in-loves.
My youngest grandson had been given up for adoption. 28 days later he was returned to my arms.
Like so many, I could list many, many more. But the Lord is faithful and worthy to be praised. That scripture from Philippians has been worth it’s weight in “gold” to me over the last 20 years.
Some of you have faced death and won. Tell someone! People need to know that the Lord is still Lord over our lives. No matter what.
Each one of the came to the table. They had each been plotting against the company. They had been exposed. Brought out into the light. Their deeds had gone unnoticed for a very long time. One of them was the son of one of the executives. Life sure looked different from their end of the table. The local TV station was covering the end of their underhanded deeds. The company immediately saw their stock rise and their morale change.
The guilty men had for a long time worked behind the scenes performing acts of destruction and bringing pain to the company. Their reasons were many, but for the most part they “could” and that fueled them. As time had gone on what had begun as a game to see if they could get away with small pranks became a “no holds barred” war against the company.Continue reading The Spirit Of Freedom Real Conversations→
My wife and I were headed out to be at my mother’s side. She had pancreatic cancer and we were driving out there to say our good byes. We had loaded up the car and were headed out across Connecticut and into New York. I remarked to my wife, “what a beautiful day. Surprised we can not see any planes as close as we are to the city.” Little did I know a rest area would have folks gathered around the TV as the towers fell. My wife came out to tell me. I turned on the radio and we heard story after story. As we got close to Buffalo, traffic was backing up for miles and gas prices were soaring. People were reporting of looting and price gouging and even weapons being pulled. Continue reading Will They Remember 9/11/01→
Yesterday my wife came home at 6:50. In the car was the last stuff we were pulling from the house.
Today at 3PM, our home goes to auction. If you are interested in the long version, I posted that yesterday. Or you can visit the Facebook page to visit pics, etc..
Bottom line we did all that we knew how to do. Right up to the final “bell.”
If I learned one thing in the last five years there are a lot of good people in the world. Many who are content and willing to call me their friend.
There are a lot who took the opportunity as well to lie, steal and cheat while Tina and I went through this season of our life. Bless you!
This week my son came alongside to help out. Thanks Tyler! A friend Matt joined as well as various family. Over the years my friend Mike showed up , along with Joel and Robin to help out. My friend Dave from Barre and his crew. The folks from Village who joined in. And so many more.
There is a freedom that comes at 3. My best efforts will never have been in “vain.” Someone had a dream about me and the freedom that comes with this. I simply believe. (A balloon was tethered, but this week it was set free to travel.)
It is funny, last night I was thinking about the last winter I was working on the house. I was up there by myself, working on the second floor. The next thing I knew or remember I was laying on the cement below with blood on me, the ground and the snow. No recollection of anything. Called my wife to pick me up. She wanted to take me to the hospital. I said, “no Thanksgiving is tomorrow.” She was not impressed. I had a lovely weekend despite the headaches and headed to the ER on Monday. The sacrifice? Nothing compared to others.
So, the clock stops ticking today for us in Springfield. New life, new season.
Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner. Walt Disney
By the end of the week, all of our ties to the community of Springfield will be severed. Our home will be in auction. Through no choice, no fault of ours.
In 2008 my wife and I had moved to the next phase of our life with our home. We were readying for 2 apartments to add on our home for family to provide sufficiency to our lives. A 5 room lower level. A 2 bath, 4 room upper level. Complete with generator and income production. The meadow provided for our children and the grandchildren. We had just added a $20,000 septic system and were ready for the next stage.
The destruction of my home-I have made this considerably longer than the other parts and pieces, because it consumed so much of my life and what I was doing. It affected me spiritually, emotionally, financially and physically.
We had a home on a hill. 40 mile views, meadow, peace and we called it our own.
The state was asking us to remove the 2,500 gallon underground oil tank that was at the rear of the property. It abutted the foundation of our lower level. So, after going back and forth for a few years, my wife and I agreed. We did all the normal; bids, inquiry and information. We decided on the contractor. With 24 hours of the work being completed our lives were upside down.
Early in the morning my daughter came up stairs to let me know her room was filling with water. 6” of water and more coming in. Through the utility room, through the back wall.
When I think about the damage that was done to the house I have to say I go through all the emotions. I’m reminded of the times I would sit up on the roof with my kids just looking out over meadows, out over the Connecticut River and into Hampshire. I would think how cool is this? Even lying here now and thinking about lying on the roof and looking out wells me up with emotion. Times that are now memories, with seemingly no hope for more. I think about the barbecues with Jacob, Jordan and Mariah sitting at the picnic table eating dinner with us. Hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, all those things and I just wonder how much I have lost. In the midst of this, I remember sitting there the night the house flooded when my daughter came upstairs and told me there was water all over the floor and I remember the sinking feeling I had.
I always believed that a good father left a good legacy and I know legacy is more than just things. My personal plan was to put the addition on, have the property be income producing and be available for my children and their children to live on there. To have the house be debt-free and to be able to invest in my children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. I remember the first words that were spoken over the house where friend of mine Wayne said this is truly an “eagle’s nest” as he sat with 43 of us in the living room. I remember all the Christmas trees (14’ footers) and how I would be there and put these trees up and my wife would not look as I climbed up on top of the ladder and reached out over the Christmas tree. Our Christmas trees were sometimes so big that they did not even fit in the living room and they covered the door. I’m sad because I do not have the ability to have that type of Christmas tree anymore. Sad because I do not have the ability to even go out my front door and run into a critter. (I have had snakes on my deck, moose resting their head on my railings, turkeys and birds in the birdbath…) I’m angry because I live in an apartment now and every time the people downstairs smoke it enters into my apartment. Because of our financial situation I can even get another apartment. I’m not looking for sympathy or for you to feel sorry for me. That’s really not my thinking. My goal is simply to point out that in the midst of everything sometimes life gets interrupted as you understand. It messes with you.
I remember the first year I fought hard to save my house. I spent two whole months working hard. We were waiting for insurance that did not come. For respite and help that did not materialize. My wife would tell you nearly we spent 24/7 pumping water out of the basement waiting for the “rescue.” Making sure pumps functioned, that water went outside and not back into the house. I was so thankful when my friend Mike showed up and offered to watch the house for 24 hours and we could just get away.
I remember the installation of the drain system the next year and the financial costs. $10,000 for the interior and $13,000 for the exterior. (Pumps, lines, etc..) For what? Even as I went to the house this week the basement was soaking wet after all that investment. What do you do with that? The last few days I’ve been up at the house or sorting through the boxes. As I walked to the house I see the grass that’s not mowed, the lawn that’s just out of control and the skeleton of the new structure we were trying to put into play. As I entered the hallway and I saw the books on the shelves in the clutter in the hallway a part of me that feels out of control. I look at the bench where children and grandchildren sat, putting on their boots, taking off their shoes. I look in the kitchen were so many meals were made by both my wife and myself. I remember all the friends we entertained at our dining room table as we looked out over the mountains.
At one point I couldn’t take going in any further so I went back outside and I walked around the property. I looked at the donkeys that our neighbor puts out in our meadow. I see the woodchuck crawling across the field. And I hear the birds singing and the geese honking. I climb up on the deck and I remember all the parties all the coffee I had in the morning all the afternoon meals with friends. I remember the moose that came up and put his head up on my deck as I petted him. I remember the turkeys that were out on our container one day scaring the life out of me. I remember my son Matt chasing the turkeys across the meadow. I remember Amy on Easter weekend playing baseball with the family and my daughter Cass practicing archery in the back. I even remember the hard times where lightning wrecked our well and we had to pull hundreds of feet of plumbing out in the meadow. I remember playing King of the Hill on the back hill. I remember teaching my children and my grandchildren to sled. I remember the neighbors that would walk by each day greeting us. As I walked around the house and I looked at the apple tree and the hammock that was there.
I also recognize my life is so much simpler. I don’t have a lawn to mow or a field to hay. I don’t have leaves to rake or trees to prune. I don’t even have a garden. I really missed it. I remember going out in the garden sticking my hands in the soil picking peppers picking tomatoes and just enjoying what I had. I remember taking my grandson Jacob out into the meadow as they mowed field and the times that my grandchildren spent on tractors. I remember walking down to the pond with them looking at the frogs and ducks. I remember a lot of things. I remember very few of the difficult times to be quite honest with you. I don’t remember the fights or the sicknesses or any of those things.
I walk back in the house and I go downstairs just to see part of our basement that held the transmitter where the local radio station paid us to rent. I also remember replacing the furnace after the flood. And how thankful I was for good friends like my friend Andy. I walked to the room that had been my son Tyler’s room. I remember watching him recover from his injuries. The next room was my wife’s office. And next to that was the room that my daughter and her children lived in after she made this decision to kick her addictions. The room next to it had alternated between my daughter Cass and my son Matt. It was in that room that my son found the love of the father and his own father and he gave his life to the Lord. It was in that room that my daughter Cass lived after the death of her mother. As I looked at the utilities I thought about all the dreams and plans Tina and I had for this house I cried. I walked up the stairs and thought about all the stuff that I had wanted to do; room for my tools, places to store things, dreams. One of the greatest things about our home was the fact that it had one and a half baths and allow the student lives the family with little friction in that area.
I walked into the office where I spend my days creating websites, developing newspapers, putting my thoughts together. Across the hall was my wife and I and bedroom was in that room Lord spoke to me so many times. The cathedral ceilings allowed me to watch the stars or the sun depending on the time of day as I would meditate on the goodness of the Lord. I thought about all the friends that had stayed with us over the years. Friends in ministry and friends that were downtrodden who just needed a place to crash. The thought of them and even the ones he slept on in our field. I always thought we would be a place of hospitality. I thought that we would get this house to the place where would be debt-free. That people would be happy to visit. That Tina and I would be able to do all the things we felt we were called to do. When our house was ruined became to a screeching halt in our lives. Vacations stopped, holidays changed and we found ourselves moving all around as we tried to salvage the lower level but we never received any insurance from either the contractor nor our commercial or residential insurance. We fought hard for but it just seemed like everything worked against us.
The following November we realized that black mold had crept in horrible home we were forced to move out and wound up moving to an apartment in that apartment served us well but we still made every attempt to salvage the house. We went back up there in the spring and we began to work on the house. We started to knock out the sheet rock and realize the whole house had become a black hole.
We stayed in that apartment for a little over a year and that we needed to move again we moved to a one-bedroom apartment in another part of town. That following spring we made the decision to purchase an RV to put up on the property so we wouldn’t be spending all her money. But our best efforts to get everything done were constrained by the amount of money and stop the flow of water in the basement area which should never had problems before. It was at that point we ran through the final parts of our savings and all the money were able to borrow. We spent the next winter living in a duplex and survived but it was at the end of that time that my wife just looked at me and said “honey I can’t do this anymore.”
Over the last week I began to go through boxes. Sorting stuff, removing stuff that been damaged by water and mold. I found the box that had some of my grandfather’s things including stirrups and a cannon ball from when he was in the calvary. I just remembered my grandfather and all he did me.
It was a memory opening time. I look at the computers that I’ve never had the opportunity to remove pictures and letters from. One of those computers has nearly 10 years of daily writing. I looked at the bookcases that had my dreams, my inventions, the reminders of my childhood, my children’s childhood and my grandchildren’s childhood. I looked at the file cabinets that contain all the information of all the years. I went into our bedroom and I looked at boxes of books, boxes of tapes, boxes of CDs and all those things. I looked up and saw the large pile of LP records from the radio station. I walked out in the living room and I sorted through things. I found pictures of my children, pictures of my ordination with my wife Tina. I looked at the pictures and I was reminded of all those people who are not in my life anymore. Some of passed away in some of moved on.
I recognized even in the interrupted process the process. I looked at the knickknacks, the little rocks my children had given me, gifts, birthday cards, Father’s Day cards, anniversary cards from children and friends. I confess, I just want my life back!
There’s not much more to say about it. I’ve gone through anger, sorrow, sadness, happiness, joyfulness, and the full gamut of emotions and. I am not angry at the people that hurt me, or wounded me or even took advantage of me. I’m angry because they do not see how it could ever be restored. My wife and I spent all those years planning, initiating and implementing everything we now. I would say it’s not fair, but I’ve never believed that life is fair.
Even now I remember all the nights we sat outside playing music, worshiping God and thanking him for his goodness. And thinking how awesome it was to be able to play my music the way I like it… Wow! And I found books and tapes and CDs, pictures, knickknacks and I know those are only temporal things so to speak, but every one of them is attached to my heart in some manner. To say that’s not godly is an insult to the very world that God created. How many times a day did I sit in a chair, talk to a friend, pray for my children and not know that God was in the room.
Well at some point in the next few weeks, everything will be moved out of her house, and someone else will take over the property and begin afresh. They will come in with their dreams, new thinking, and hope. I pray for whoever ends up with the property that they are blessed as my wife and I were blessed. I pray that if it’s a business they prosper. I pray that if it’s an individual that a hopeful spring will come forth in their lives and the blessing of the Lord will be upon them. I pray for the blessing of the Lord to be upon those that took advantages of us over this season. I’m thankful for those here in New Hampshire who received us into their midst. Friends and family with church and community..
I remember the first year I moved to the community that we lived. I never thought I would stay. I thought it was stop on the way to where we “were going.” It was shortly after my accident. (I had been hit by a taxicab and the Lord had restored me.) We moved to Springfield Vermont. We found a 3 bedroom apartment with a two car garage and a large covered porch. Kitchen, dining room, two living rooms and a fireplace. But 6 years later we were still there! And we decided to purchase our home. To become part of the community. And we did.
So here we come to the final week. I cannot begin to explain how difficult this is. Frankly, it is making me a little ill. Last year we did everything we knew how to do to resolve things with the bank. Their final response was a lawyer calling for the foreclosure of the home.
I know me. I will never want to go back. Never want to talk about. The rumors are flying, the accusations being made.
5 years ago my wife and I visited Village with the idea we would “visit.” My wife and I had ministered there regularly years before. Like many places, change had been in the “air.” So, imagine my surprise to find out upon leaving, that my wife and I felt the same way. We were not going back. There was just something up. It did not feel like “home.”
5 miles later and the Lord told me, “oh, you are going back.” Frankly, I was having a hard time with it. 40 plus miles away. An hour of driving. 35 people and the only children were my friend Mark’s. Less than week later, I heard the audible voice of God talking to me about Village, while riding my motorcycle minding my own business. (I wanted to move to Texas!) Two weeks later our home was destroyed. So began a nomadic life. (That stage ends July 28th this year.)
4 years after our first visit, we moved to Keene New Hampshire to put ourselves in proximity to Village.
Today I share with Village what God has been talking to me about. Seems kind of funny. I cannot imagine being somewhere else. It is not what I chose or would have chosen.