Soon It Will Be Autumn

What a difference a couple of months can make!

I officially retired on July 1,2017.  I guess the word itself implies that one no longer works, but in reality, it is nearly impossible to sit at home and do nothing and expect to live very long and enjoy good health. I took a long vacation for a month or so and actually achieved a few things that had been sitting on my honey-do lists for a long time. But was convicted about sitting around and getting fat and feeble. I mean it’s one thing to be old and wrinkly, can’t be held responsible for that, but fat and feebleness can definitely be avoided. So we decided that we were going to get busy and work at losing some weight and get ourselves into better shape. After all, if we can’t pick on our grandkids, what good are we?  Now every morning we go for a brisk walk. Meemaw goes one mile which is one lap around our neighborhood, and I walk two miles. We definitely feel like we are getting a lot stronger and fit, and due to the fact that we are also back on the low carbohydrate way of eating, we have also shed a few pounds. We will know in a few months if we have been successful, but we are pretty determined to make a positive change. 

Change is also a word that describes retirement. I now work two jobs. Well, almost. I work four or five hours a day as administrative assistant at our church and help to put legs on everyone’s wishes. Makes Fridays a pretty busy day making sure PowerPoints and bulletins are all at the ready, but I truly enjoy the work there. The almost refers to the other job that I am learning. It is driving a school bus for our local school. There are a ton of laws and requirements that I have to learn in order to be turned loose to drive these precious little people to and from school.  I. Am endeavoring to do my best and learn all that I should so that I can do a proper job. So if everything goes as planned, I will be working early in the morning for a couple of hours, then spend a few hours at church, then close my day with another bus ride. Sure is a whole lot better than slaving for the truly ungrateful people I worked so hard to please at my last job. 

Other than those jobs, I have been getting requests from other churches to provide special music for their services so that fills weekends too. Love it when I have a lot to do. I keep mobile and actually LIVE my life, not be a spectator. 

Pray for us as we go through the changes that are in front of us, that we will bring glory to the name of Christ in all we do. 
Until next time, God Bless 

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Retirement

When you go through a life change, you get a chance to look back and look retrospectively at your previous chapter of your life and it prompts you to ask some poignant questions regarding how you lived and whether you made a difference in the lives of those who spent time with you. Was the effect positive?  Mostly you have to answer whether or not you blasphemed the name of Christ. Did you cause others to distrust your testimony? Were you an avenue for life? or death?  In a sentence, did you ,” in all that you say or do, do all to the glory of Christ? ITim 6:1 calls us to respect all masters we are servants for.

I am in this vein right now. After working for thankless masters for several years, did I inject too much opinion or negative sarcasm for them to still see their need for the love of Christ.

Retirement in and of itself is a bit scary with all the changes that come with it, but along with the changes comes time to look inside and affect a few other changes too. The desire to take more time with my family, my wife, and all those friends and acquaintances who have been neglected because of the busyness of life. So many have gone on to their eternity. What all did I miss?

One thing I know for sure is that I have a strong desire to honor Christ in the time He has afforded me.

I trust His care for sure but also need His guidance every day. I want to serve Him to the best of my abilities

So here’s putting off the things that are behind and pressing forward toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:14

 

Officially Cranky

Well today I was called rude and cranky. Could it be true?
Went to our Sunday chicken place to get some chicken for lunch after Sunday church. Usually we get the meal but I was just not in the mood for all the extra stuff. We like to use chicken because the leftovers make lunch making pretty easy for the week. I can make some pretty tasty chicken and noodles with just a leftover breast that works well for two people. But today I just wanted chicken, cole slaw and some green beans. No biscuits, potatoes, gravy, fake butter, fake honey… just chicken, slaw, and beans.
After ordering, the girl on the other end informed me that I would receive all the extras and gave me my total, to which I said, “Please just chicken slaw and beans. Give me what I order, not what you decide I should have.” With that I was invited to drive to the window where a manager waited on me.
I asked her what I was getting since I still was not sure I was going to get what I had ordered. She then informed me that I had been rude to the girl on the intercom. I promptly apologized and clarified that all I wanted was 2 slaws, 1 green bean and an eight piece bucket of chicken. I got my chicken and a new sack, that I assume was introduced without the fore mentioned stuff, and I got my chicken slaw and green beans, paid my bill (which went up because they probably had to figure what to do with all the other stuff in the first bag) and left.
End of story, right? Not quite.
Apparently my wife agreed with the girl behind the speaker. Seems she thought I should have just taken whatever she wanted to sell me and keep the peace.
So now I know what rudeness really is. It is expecting others to listen to you and then respond accordingly.
I forget that we live in this millennial snowflake filled society that cares so little for others but speaks so sweetly.
Rudeness is expecting others to courteously pay attention to you when you speak, the same way you do for them.
In order to adjust my ways, I think I will start cooking from scratch right here at home. I can cook these snowflakes under the table anyway. From here on it is steak, liver and onions, hamburger steak for breakfast, chives in my scrambled eggs, and plenty of pepper jack in whatever I want to cook.
But I also guarantee you, that if you ask me for scrambled eggs for breakfast, that will be exactly what you will get.

Crank at you later.

God Forced His Will On Us

Been a long time since I updated this blog.So much has happened in the past 2 years.  God has placed me at at new job, for one, and has made it possible for Vickie to become a stay at home wife and grandma (Meemaw). 

So many times we have prayed, “Lord lead us in the way we need to go for Your glory.” and He always seems to make His will known.  Sometimes I think our weaknesses often make us unable to see His leading.  It seems that He has to force us to do things instead.

After being laid off at one job for nearly a year, He moved me to another job.  As a person on unemployment is required to do to receive benefits, I had registered my resume at the state level’s unemployment office. Considering the rate of unemployment rising so fast, we held little hope of any positive response from the resume, but the call came from a temp service that they wanted a fresh resume because they thought I might be a good candidate for a job opening they were attempting to fill.  It would be a “long term temp” job, but it was more than enough to meet our budget requirements at home, and a lot more than we were receiving in unemployment benefits for sure.

The resume was sent and they forwarded it to Ball Corporation in a nearby city that makes cans.  Pop cans, beer cans, and other beverage cans. Well, Ball said they would like to interview me so I went, and lo and behold, they wanted to hire me…. for more money than my old job.  

Here is how God FORCED us to see His will. Well as it turns out, one thing that you are required to do to receive benefits is to Look For A Job and as well to Accept a Job when it comes. Our choices included saying NO to the job and also losing our unemployment benefits in hopes that the old job, which was a few minutes walk away, would call me back to work. Or to say Yes to the new job and accept the considerable pay raise and drive a few miles to and from work each day. Even more, if we said yes to the new job, we would also be eligible to get a severance package of a few thousand dollars from my last job. No decisions.  We were in a position without choices. God had forced His will on us in a way we could easily see.  We thanked Him for showing us His way and took the job!!

I often wonder what might have happened if we had been walking this earth in our own strength, without God by our side making our way clear.. removing obstacles, or placing things in just such an order that would guarantee our benefit.  How could all of the elements have come together without His divine providence?  What if we had relied only on our own understanding of our situation? our own limited wisdom? or just dumb luck?

We thank God even more these days having seen His miraculous move in our lives, and wait with anticipation to see what His next move will be.  We long not only to see his face, but also to be in His perfect will in every breath that we take, every step we take. May He give us the strength and determination to reach that high and lofty goal each and every day.

Some Things Bear Repeating

PECANS IN THE CEMETERY


On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.

‘One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me’ said one boy.. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, ‘One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.’

He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.

‘Come here quick,’ said the boy, ‘you won’t believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls.’

The man said, ‘Beat it kid, can’t you see it’s hard for me to walk.’ When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.

Standing by the fence they heard , ‘One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.’

The old man whispered, ‘Boy, you’ve been tellin’ me the truth. Let’s see if we can see the Lord.’

Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, ‘One for you, one for me. That’s all. Now let’s go get those nuts by the fence and we’ll be done.’

They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the kid on the bike.

SMILE, God Loves you

Where Does The Time Go?!

Wow!  We are nearing the end of summer and have not posted at all.  What a summer it has been!!

The new job takes way too much of my time, working 12 hour days and then having to go in on my weekends to do overtime.  Barbershopping has had to take a back burner after just getting started.  Church has been in danger of the same and that just won’t do.  I have been fortunate to have been on night shift for the summer, so chusch has still been on our weekly schedule, but I may have to find a different job by October in order to be able to attend regularly.  Not to worry.  I would quit in a minute.  The most important thing in my life is Jesus Christ.   Jobs come and go, but He is Forever!!

We had a wonderful summer of family this summer too.  Kris and Megan came home for a couple of weeks and Joel took time off work too, sowe had the whole family here at once. It was such a blessed time too.  To see all of the kids building the family relationships and the boys back together again too was a real treat for this old man. We hated for the time to end, for sure.  Great fireworks too!!!

Then Vickies nephew and niece with her family came for a couple of vacation days to reunite with family here.  It was great to have them here too.  We saw lots of her family as they came to visit the family from Georgia.

Will update this post soon with some pictures.