Filed under: faith, Fire Fighters, Uncategorized | Tags: Alchoholics Anonymous, ATHEISM, Chief, depression, Fire Service, God, love, Nature
I have been going through some tunnel times. I seem to be much better at getting a second interview than I am at getting a job. I am sick of being broke, church giving is down, it rains a lot, my aches have aches, and I am generally miserable. Worst of all i spent a lot of time this week with Johnny. Johnny was my assistant Fire Chief for about 5 years back when i was Chief. he saved my rear in a figurative way a couple times, and I think God used him to save my life once.
The reason spending time with Johnny put the icing on my depression cake is that he has become a practicing alcoholic. johnny is 7 years younger than I, but now he looks 10 years older. his hands shake, his face is lined deeply, his legs can hardly hold him up. His dad died of alcohol in 73, his pretty younger sister dies about six years ago, same thing. I love this man, and just know he is on the way out. I have tried praying, preaching, and invites to AA. Without a Damascus road experience he will go the way of his family. I don’t see John often, but every once in a while, in the dead of night he will stop by, drunk as a skunk and smelling worse, to reminisce and wake me up. It only happens two or three times a year.
I was with Johnny because he called me Wednesday, his mom had passed away. He needed his Chief. I was with him as much as I could be. We went to the funeral Mass at The Holy Redeemer. His mom was a strong Catholic, but it didn’t take for John. They have a new priest, and I enjoyed[90%] of his homily. Their beautiful building with its vaulted ceilings is a lot different from, Dayspring’s drop ceiling plainness. I hear they are going to sell it, and as much as I would love to preach there, i just don’t see that happening. Very Christ centered. I stayed with him for the burial and the little dinner after. We sent over a ham and some buns, it is about all I can do. I can’t reassure him, or promise reunion, he is not a believer. he told me that this existence is Hell. His theology is really wrong, but he is strong in his disbelief.
Anyway, the Godlessness of the situation brought me to a dark spot. I have to watch my self. I have been really depressed in the past, and if I let my Gospel armor loosen, and if I do not take care of me and walk closer to God i can get so down i can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I took a hike with son in law Mark, [Eutychus to us] , and took some pictures and walked the blues away. It lifted me, may you enjoy. These are from the Seven tubs Recreational area in my home County of Lucerne.
So how can you stay depressed with such natural glory around? How can i be down when God has taken me through the tunnels of cancer, and pain, and paralysis? Do I think God retired? Am I silly or simple enough to think that He who started a good work in me will nor complete it? Being around people who have shut out God really runs me down, being around God and His works is my prescription. Hope you like the photos!
Filed under: faith, Reaction | Tags: A.A., addiction, Alchoholics Anonymous, worship style
My family and I have done some traveling through the Christian wilds of northeastern Pa. There was a span of time where we visited quite a few different churches bringing the gospel message and singing blue grass and Southern gospel music. The kids were never overly impressed with any of the church families . Now, I will grant you , my girls are a rough crowd. They are very critical of “Holier than thou” and have a built in hypocrisy meter that goes off with great sensitivity. [ I just can’t imagine where they get it.]
Often times we would drive home with me being the apologist for the group we had just left. Usually the conversation revolved around one or two of the group who exhibited highly judgemental behavior, or in some other way played the ‘competitive Christianity’ game and managed to offend my young daughters in some fashion. In reality, it is not hard to offend young girls, they are sensitive to even implied abuse. I am not really sure the oldest girl ever healed from this duty fully, as she still thinks 99.9% of all the Christians she meets are worthy of her disdain. We are working on it.
When the youngest daughter came in last night and announced she had discovered a group filled with humble hearts, seeking God, changing lives, and showing the way to Christ I was honestly surprised! Far more common would be here coming home saying, “You will not believe what I just experienced, and they call it a church!” Last night she was energized in prayer, rejoicing over changed lives, humbled by broken spirits, and warmed by love of others in this group and their love of a living God who is active in their lives.
Last night my daughter attended on open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.