Well now, my problems with my computer seem to have been addressed and I am ready to continue. It is a problem with those of us who never had instructions in the first place and have no children at home to keep us abreast of the changes that seem to be happening constantly, while we remain asleep at the switch.
I have nothing in mind to say, except that it might be time to tell you of the events in my life over the past few months. Had no idea that a change was due, but it happened - "in spades" as I used to say.
Starting where it all started, living with my grandparents, church was never an option. I was "in church" for virtually all of my first seventeen years. Not that I learned anything other that a few of he old songs and... well yes, I did enjoy reciting, standing in front of the church and reciting the monologues that seemed to go well with the congregation. At 85+ years of age, I still do although the monologues have long since passed away, to be replaced by heart felt testimonies.
When I joined the Air Force - technically Army Air Corps in those days, I continued the "habit" on Sundays more often than not. Not that I can recall any certain spiritual experiences. When I returned to the States, after four years in the Far East, I would learn that wearing a uniform to civilian churches was a certain "chick magnet" and it beat hanging out in bars, competing with the much better paid civilians.
Leaving the Air Force to enter college, I soon discovered that the Georgia Tech student body seemed to spend their Sunday mornings at the First Methodist church in downtown Atlanta and I joined in. I discovered a love for Church music from the Sunday evening; I even remember Harry Armstrong as the leader of the song sessions. I remember the name of the Pastor as well, but I really do not care to mention it as I still recall listening to his counsel in personal conversations I had with him. It was. however, an important past of my past as I wound up married to my first wife who I had met in a adult Sunday School class. We tried to stay connected, but as time wore on, my interest waned and eventually, we had stopped attending church and then, there was the separation, leading to a divorce.
Leaving Georgia and heading for California, I almost forgot about God and church. I got much more involved in the bar scene and was - more often than not, too "hung over" to get up and go to church.
Noticing, however, that my new life style was leading nowhere, I decided I might be better off if I started back to church and - I discovered another wife. This time I was more serious about church and I began to listen more often to the sermons and the lives of our friends. Based on my own standards, I thought I was doing well. I knew as much about the Bible as my friends, but the fact was I could not seem to get involved in reading it, much less studying it. And the more I was convinced that I was finally getting "ahead" in life, the further I moved away from God and involvement with church. When my life seemed to swirling into yet another marital crisis, I tried to enlist the wisdom of friends and the Elders in the church I was attending and got lost in what seemed - to me, their convoluted logic. Then, I began to realize how terribly lost I was and seriously sought help.
Those of you who know me better, know that I would experience a dramatic encounter with God on my journey to find help with my life. I left my "old" life behind and started in on a truly new life that would erase most of the old thoughts on what life should mean to His creation. I was amazed by the fact I suddenly seemed to have an interest in the Bible and spent hours, not just reading it, but studying it as well. I was living in the YMCA across the street from the public library and I found an interest in a study of religion as it agreed with everyday living, but always, challenging us to draw closer to God so as to "improve" our lives. It began to take hold in my own.
I paid much more attention to the sermons I was hearing - three times a week, and how they were affecting my life and the lives of my new friends. I found a real disparity. I thought perhaps God was leading me to serve Him as an ordained Pastor or other "official" functions in the church. And then I realized the Church was not at all interested in people who had been divorced as I had been, twice. It made me wonder, but the fact is, such attitudes merely strengthened my resolve to continue walking with the God I knew had, as a matter of fact, rescued me from the pits I had dug in the preceding years.
Such revelation was almost forty years ago. In the meantime, I concentrated on what I was continuing to learn from the Bible and from the events of the day and what a fascinating experience it has been. Eventually, moving to Tennessee, I experienced a series of miracles in my life. When I arrived in Nashville, on the very first day, I found a "job" in the local Rescue Mission - a job I had been seeking - in vain, in Orlando where I had lived for the previous several years. A month later, I received a phone call from my (only) sister, telling me that she was in the area and would like to see me for a visit. We had not even talked in some twenty-five years. She knew where I was because of the faithfulness of an uncle. Then, I realized she and our mother had also moved to the Nashville area within days of my arrival. We would restore our relationship that continues to this hour, one that had hardly existed the years before our renewal. Eventually, after our mother had passed away, we would live together until she moved back to California, but we are still in constant contact with one
I found another wife and moved to Cookeville, TN, where we lived in love for almost seven years until she suddenly passed away and I was left - alone, in a city I hardly knew.
But as if to prove His power in the life of an individual, He began a move that still thrills me to this very hour. First, He "connected" me with a Pastor friend I hardly knew and introduced me to another friend who has since that day, played an extremely important part of my life. The Pastor would introduce me to a church that I claim to this day, "loved me back to life" from the funk that seemed to overwhelm me after my wife's passing.
And then, an even greater manifestation of the His miracle working powers would occur, to be the subject of the blog to follow. Stay tuned