Open Blogging

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63 Responses

  1. filistine says:

    I have been thinking quite a lot about the “How much stress do you feel?” conversations and am struck by how much stress is collectively felt about the present and short-range future cultural/societal/political challenges ahead of us. My thoughts have been regarding coping or management skills–rather than simply feel the stress, actively do something to soothe the stress somewhat, adopt a different way of interacting with the source(s) of the stress, or develop a strategy to engage with the source(s) of the stress that may fundamentally disarm or dis-harm it.

    There are certainly some spiritual/biblical strategies that people rely upon or suggest–prayer, fasting, worship, Bible reading, meditation, etc. I’d be willing to consider opinions about these, but wonder if the stress persists regardless of the use or focus upon these. What then? Is there a Christian, spiritual, Biblical strategy (or strategies) that would take one further toward relief from anxiety and stress? Are there application(s) of theology and orthopraxy that better equip believers for the days we face?

    Curious to hear. Willing to share.

  2. The New Victor says:

    Health insurance for me and the kids is going up $3144/yr in 2024. My share is about $10/yr now. My employer paying the balance. Kaiser HMO is a non-profit, but they are notorious for sitting on cash (billions). Not investing in mental health services for children is a recurring “scandal,” much exacerbated by the pandemic shut downs of schools. They lost a lot of mental health professionals who were fed up.

    The SEIU is also going to strike Kaiser soon which will affect all sorts of support services. The union is ostensibly concerned about serving patients, but they serve the union. At a local county run hospital, all of the medical device engineers are quitting because they’ll be forced to join the SEIU though their current contracts are better than what they’ll get with the union and they’re fine with their current pay and benefits. Healthcare is such a mess with too many rent-seekers.

    I might have to talk to the kids mom next year for 2025 and go to the higher out of pocket, but much lower premiums, HSA.

  3. The New Victor says:

    $10,000/yr.

  4. filistine says:

    TNV–I’ve been on an HSA plan for years, and the employer kicked in the $ saved on premiums toward my HSA card. Money set aside will offset a lion’s share of the out of pocket expenses unless there are lots of chronic health issues. Even then, you may feel more in control of your overall finances as it relates to insurance. I’d give it a good hard look.

    Now that I’m 65 and enrolled in Medicare A, I can’t participate in HSA any longer, but rolled over to a similar FSA.

  5. Michael says:

    fil,

    None of my current strategies are working.

    The only way I can relieve it somewhat is by pretending that I’m not seeing what I think I’m seeing and thinking of other things.

    That… doesn’t work for long.

    I think it possible that the next year will be the most calamitous since 1860…possibly worse.

    I study with every available moment to prove myself wrong…

  6. filistine says:

    As you read and study, are you finding the scripture speaks more to the present dark clouds, or less? Is it becoming more or less of a guide…

  7. Michael says:

    Fil,

    It seems so accurate it terrifies me.

    Once you blaze a trail through the OT prophets, then into the NT with all its warnings of end time deceptions…only then can you understand why so many …even the seemingly most intelligent and well educated…appear to have lost any moorings in reality.

    Then you begin to wonder if it’s you that has lost his moorings…

  8. Captain Kevin says:

    “Civilizations die from suicide not by murder.”
    Toynbee

  9. Jean says:

    When I was in law school in the early 90s, I looked at Bay Area law firms but they didn’t pay enough for what I thought would support a small family. A friend told me in the mid 80s, “Don’t sell your house, because you won’t be able to afford to buy it back in the future.” Boy was he right and I was foolish. California is super expensive.

    If the Kaiser registered nurses are averaging 95k/year in 2023, they have good argument that they are being significantly underpaid IMO. 95k is like 65k here in WI.

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    “An international community, Christ’s kingdom, while not incompatible with patriotism, tolerates no narrow nationalisms. He rules over an international community in which race, nation, rank and sex are no barriers to fellowship. And when his kingdom is consummated at the end, the countless redeemed company will be seen to be drawn ‘from every nation, tribe, people and language’ (Rev. 7:9).”

    — John R.W. Stott

  11. Officerhoppy says:

    I dunno….in the movie Terminator, the machines eventually ruled the world.

    I wonder if that will happen with AI. Netenyahu seems to think so.

    AI scare the poop out of me

  12. Michael says:

    AI is dangerous, but the least of my worries.

    The institutions are failed or failing, the economy serves only the wealthy, and the people are deeply deceived.

    What happens in the next year could be revolutionary…

  13. Muff Potter says:

    Maybe we need Arnie and Sarah Connor to save us from AI.

  14. Officerhoppy says:

    Muff
    Do you think that will work? : ^ )

  15. stirling bart says:

    @Michael, like the looks of this forum. Your recent comments caught my eye.

  16. Linn says:

    Duane,

    Thank you for the post. I always appreciate Stott’s perspective.

  17. Pineapple Head says:

    Thank you John Stott! (and Duane for posting.)

  18. Terry says:

    I like how this open blogging is kind of a continuation of the previous post, with a few thoughtful additions. This is a community that has a healthy freedom to talk with one another.

    The present day doesn’t have me stressed, as in anxious or worried. What I’m experiencing is a combination of weary and vexed (think Lot). I’m weary of being served the same divisive news garbage every day, and I’m vexed by the levels of wickedness I’m exposed to.

  19. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael, that is both sad and scary.

  20. Officerhoppy says:

    Slow day on PxP

  21. Michael says:

    I’ll have something up shortly…pretty uninspired these days…

  22. Tim says:

    I am an ER nurse in a large hospital in Indianapolis. I can attest to the article Michael posted.

  23. Michael says:

    Tim,

    Thank you…there doesn’t seem to be any solutions in sight…

  24. Em says:

    i just went to the ER in Wyoming! Let me OUT!
    no sleep the whole night

  25. Michael says:

    Em,

    What happened?

  26. Officerhoppy says:

    Before my retirement 2 years ago, I’d been in full time ministry as both a Musician or lead pastor for about 35 years. After I retired, I took a break from going to church. Problem is, after 2 years of only sporadically attending services, I stopped going all together.

    Why? I’ve done some inventory and soul searching. Here’s what I think.

    I still believe in God but have grown weary of church attendance. Partly because while there is music in services, very little worship takes place. Rather than be spiritually satisfied that I gave God “the glory due his name” (Ps. 29), most of the songs are about intended to build me up in my faith, and motivate me, and others, to continue on. There is room for that, but worship, IMO, is about exalting God, and giving him glory.

    But I also have difficulty sitting thru a sermon. Most of them are about telling me how we are to live and function as believers; 3 keys to effective prayer, how to witness (yes I’m evangelical), why aren’t you sharing, Christ, how to be a good loving Christian husband, wife, or child. Some are explaining certain theological issues, or theological perspectives.

    I don’t mean to sound arrogant but after 30 plus years of crafting sermons, and going to church nearly every Sunday for 53 years, all the sermons kind of sound the same.

    I’ve thought about it and if I were to preach again, I think I would approach my sermons from the perspective of a marriage counselor.

    By that I mean, Christians are identified in scriptures as “the bride of Christ” (Eph 5:22-23). Since we are in such an intimate relationship with Christ, a majority of my sermons would be on improving, helping, clarifying that relationship.

    I’m struggling in my relationship and I know others are too. We don’t need another “how to” sermon, but one that builds my relationship—which, btw, affects behavior—with Christ.

    I’m in my 49th year of marriage (to the same woman). I didn’t get this far without working on my relationship, working thru issues and disagreements. And I tend to think that in the long run, since following Christ is about relationship and not religion (so they say that we need to spend more time focusing on that relationship.

    So, I’d approach preaching more on building and developing that relationship

    Am I wrong?

  27. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I try very hard to focus on the person, work, and teachings of Jesus.

    As I understand the Scriptures, relationship with Jesus is very dependent on obedience to His teachings.

    That doesn’t negate abundant grace…but it’s grace for when we fail to be obedient.

    We are expected to try…

    I find very few listeners for what I have to say…and believe if I live more years, I’ll find even fewer.

  28. Officerhoppy says:

    Appreciate your approach to preaching. But I wonder if we have a distorted view of what our love for God and his love towards us looks like. I think for us humans, love looks like a feeling —. And if believers leave a service feeling good—, But I think love toward God, at least on our part, looks more like devotion, dedication, and willful obedience or submission (though I struggle often times).

    Theology is important. The “how to sermons” necessary to our survival as Christians but more time, imo, should be spent just fostering a better understanding of the depth and width of God’s love for us but also, our relationship to him- especially for struggling Xtians and there are more of us out there than we think.

    I also think a bit more humility and vulnerability from the pulpit is needed. As scary thought as a pastor, but necessary- me thinks

  29. Alan says:

    Hoppy,

    You break my heart. We seem to be parallel in age, marriage experience and ministry but when you write posts like that one, and you often do, it mystifies me. And frankly it makes me very sad for you. There is much more than you describe in Christ and his church. I am sorry you did not find it.

  30. Officerhoppy says:

    Alan
    I’m not sure that much of what comes from the pulpit isn’t “snake oil”. I’ve tried for 53 years to connect with the God of history.

    I’ve preached that God is a promise keeper. But not all things work together for good. Much of what I hear coming from pulpits is more influenced by culture than truth.

    This was posted on FB by a pastor’s wife: “Your prayers will send angels that can reach your kids”. I don’t think it works that way.

    I know what the Bible says. But my experience is, in most cases, Godis a no show. An absent father

    Yet I am hanging in there trusting He saved me. But I’ll have to wait for more-even rebuke and correction.

    But I truly thank you for your concern for my well being. You said, “ there is much more than you describe in Christ and His church”.

    Can you tell what it is I’m missing? Something substantial? I respect you and your perspective. I’ll listen to what you have to say.

    A lot of what I’ve seen in the church world is based on symbols rather than substance. And faith, nothing more than having a positive mental attitude.

    You also said (and I appreciate your comment) “I am sorry you did not find it.” Is it my job to find him? I thought it was his job to search for me?

    My experience clashes with the promises of God. Consequently, While I truly wish my relationship with Him was more solid, my faith is a bit tentative.

    I don’t expect much from him other than salvation and eternity. He doesn’t owe me that yet in his mercy he rescued me. I’m thankful for that. But after years of trying, I’ve learned to not expect much more.

    But like I said, you’re way smarter than me and you are free to rebuke me but please offer sound alternatives

  31. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    One of the things we both lack is an expectation that prayer is a viable communication in this life.

    I confess this leaves me feeling hopeless short of the eschaton and leaves me struggling to offer hope to others…it is one of the reasons I’m considering my own exit from the work…

  32. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    You get where I am at (prepositional phrase, I know)

  33. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I think I get it.

    I’m fortunate in that my Anglican tradition has such a strong theology of prayer that it keeps me in the general vicinity of God…but I truly wonder if my words matter…

  34. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael and Hoppy,
    Same boat. I continue to request prayer and to pray for myself and others. But that proverbial ceiling seems awfully thick.

  35. Captain Kevin says:

    Em???

  36. Officerhoppy says:

    Kevin
    You da man!

  37. JoelG says:

    Keep asking, seeking and knocking guys. Don’t ever give up. Here’s some encouraging (I hope) words from Buechner:

    “According to Jesus, by far the most important thing about praying is to keep at it. The images he uses to explain this are all rather comic, as though he thought it was rather comic to have to explain it at all. He says God is like a friend you go to borrow bread from at midnight. The friend tells you in effect to drop dead, but you go on knocking anyway until finally he gives you what you want so he can go back to bed again (Luke 11:5-8). Or God is like a crooked judge who refuses to hear the case of a certain poor widow, presumably because he knows there’s nothing much in it for him. But she keeps on hounding him until finally he hears her case just to get her out of his hair (Luke 18:1-8). Even a stinker, Jesus says, won’t give his own child a black eye when the child asks for peanut butter and jelly, so how all the more will God when his children… (Matthew 7:9-11)?

    Be importunate, Jesus says not, one assumes, because you have to beat a path to God’s door before God will open it, but because until you beat the path maybe there’s no way of getting to your door. “Ravish my heart,” John Donne wrote. But God will not usually ravish. He will only court.

    Whatever else it may or may not be, prayer is at least talking to yourself, and that’s in itself not always a bad idea.

    Talk to yourself about your own life, about what you’ve done and what you’ve failed to do, and about who you are and who you wish you were and who the people you love are and the people you don’t love too. Talk to yourself about what matters most to you, because if you don’t, you may forget what matters most to you.

    Even if you don’t believe anybody’s listening, at least you’ll be listening.

    Believe Somebody is listening. Believe in miracles. That’s what Jesus told the father who asked him to heal his epileptic son. Jesus said, “All things are possible to him who believes.” And the father spoke for all of us when he answered, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:14-29).

    What about when the boy is not healed? When, listened to or not listened to, the prayer goes unanswered? Who knows? Just keep praying, Jesus says. Remember the sleepy friend, the crooked judge. Even if the boy dies, keep on beating the path to God’s door, because the one thing you can be sure of is that, down the path you beat with even your most half-cocked and halting prayer, the God you call upon will finally come.”

  38. Officerhoppy says:

    Joel
    I appreciate your encouragement.

    Einstein said “ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”

    My experience with prayer is that I’m just talking to the wind. It has virtually no or close to no results. To continue to pray getting no results is tantamount to doing the same thing over and over again expecting some sort of result.

  39. Alan says:

    Simply put Officer I do not understand Christianity devoid of the active experience of God here now, daily. The mystery of prayer is not collecting answers but walking with the one who showed himself to be sufficient in every question. I know nothing of an absentee God nor do I wish to become instructed. The apostolic witness to Christ is of his presence, voice, help, engagement. It is as you said above like being married. Very much like that.

    This is my genuine response. My anguish is as real as yours but never once have I ever been alone. Even in my suicidal ideation he is there. The boomers were flooding to church. I was falling into Christ. The church came revelationally later. He bid me love her and made it impossible to do otherwise.

    You served and stayed and now you’re gone wondering what you saw in it all. It makes me sad. No rebuke, but the Christ you called upon and bid other call upon is the living One. It isn’t the Bible that keeps me it is his breath. You spoke above of not meaning to sound arrogant. That is my position now.

    Grace and peace.

  40. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    That is an awesome quote…thank you!

  41. JoelG says:

    Hoppy, I see myself in your struggle to be “good enough”. I’ve always felt like an outsider to the Church. But I’ll be crushed if I don’t think He hears my prayers as I make myself known to Him, in all of my ugliness and lack, and ask for mercy. As Alan said, if I get no answers but know He’s present with us day by day, well that’s as good as it gets.

    You are all an inspiration. Don’t lose hope.

  42. pstrmike says:

    “The mystery of prayer is not collecting answers but walking with the one who showed himself to be sufficient in every question.”

    Well said.

    I think the content of our prayers, the motive for our prayers, tells much about what we truly believe about God and what our relationship with Him consists of.

  43. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks Alan
    Unfortunately, my experience with God is not the same as yours.

    I have prayed and asked Him for more.

    I believe in God and I know I am saved. I would be a fool to not believe in him. But as I said, I expect nothing more from him. Any success I had in ministry or life are a result of my own efforts. I thank Him for the ability to do the things I have done, and I hope my efforts give him some measure of glory. But if I am honest, I sensed no divine involvement.

    Joel
    Thanks pal!
    You said “… if I get no answers but know He’s present with us day by day, well that’s as good as it gets.”

    If someone makes a promise, I expect them to follow thru. To merely have god present with us day by day, but doesn’t keep his promises, after years of trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, I’ve just don’t trust him.

    The fact that he is mysterious, may be a way of politely excusing him.

    If I told you I was going to do something but didn’t do it, you may forgive me once, twice, maybe three times. But after years of broken promises, I’d guess you’d lose faith in me.

    I feel alone

    I liked it when I was naive and “dumb”. I have cried out in prayer and reached out in an attempt to move closer. But all I get is his answering machine. I’ve left messages, but no call back.

    That’s my experience. I wish it were different, but it’s where I live.

  44. Alan says:

    “I believe in God and I know I am saved” what does that mean? How do you know? What kind of knowledge is this? You profess belief and the rest of what you say is unbelief. Which you blame on God accusing him of doing nothing. You even claim that ministry was your work alone. I do not understand this. I also am speaking sincerely. You ask us to challenge you so I am not going to hold back… well frankly I am but not completely.

  45. Officerhoppy says:

    Alan
    I believe to salvation.
    I’ve confessed in my heart that Jesus is Lord as the scripture says
    I’ve chosen to walk in His ways because it’s the right way to live and further His kingdom on earth.
    But I don’t know if he is as involved with his creation as we’d like to think
    My experience with Him is different than yours. I wish I had your conviction
    But in my case there is much confusion

    If you could answer my question about what I am missing by way of experiencing Christ in this life, I would greatly appreciate it.

    If you could a

  46. Josh says:

    I unfortunately relate all too well to Hoppy. You are not alone, not because I know that God is with you or anything like that, but because there are many of us staggering around in the dark just like you.
    Thank you for being brave and truthful.

  47. Michael says:

    This is such a difficult set of questions that we’re not even supposed to ask them.

    The fact is that many of us feel like Gods unloved stepchildren…my only explanation for it is that I must have misinterpreted the data which allowed for such high expectations.

    I’ve learned to live with it for the most part…I do well until age and pain wear my defenses down for a season.

    What I find most difficult are the questions of others…two friends who suffer much asked me the same question the other day at different times…yes, they asked why….but they both said “this redeems nothing”…we have to believe that suffering has some unknown redemptive value…maybe it does.

    Damned if I know…

  48. Alan says:

    I could not settle for a distant deity. The God who saved me gatecrashed my life and transformed my inner man. He made me new. Religion pressed me to settle for a life of moral reformation which became unbearable. I began a search for the God who saved me. He is immanent and constant. He is ever-present. He could not promise that woman a river and give her a pond. He could not promise new covenant life and give us new covenant law.

    The God who saved me now matches the one I follow, “he supplies the Spirit…” and endless source of life. And my life is just as filled with illness, frustration, opposition and struggle. He does not come to make it easy but to make it possible. He cannot call upon his people to “overcome” and condemn them to do so by self effort.

    I am pressed to ask that question, “Did you receive the Spirit when you believed?” I did and could not settle for one single encounter but a river. It is the force of the river that forms the life.

  49. Josh says:

    Yeah, Alan, I’ve spoken of that God often but don’t know him personally. If there is something I haven’t received, it is because he has purposefully withheld it from me. I have begged for his presence, intervention…any sign of his existence, and the response has been silence.

    If I refused to settle for a distant deity, my only option would be atheism. The God that I have devoted my life to is distant. At least for this season in life.

  50. Officerhoppy says:

    Alan
    Thanks for that
    Yes, I received the Spirit when I believed. At least I think so

    Given your experience of God “gatecrashing” your life, I can understand your enthusiasm.

    But mine is different. I only settle for a “distant deity because that is what He has chosen to do- be distant

    I don’t want to settle for a distant God!
    That’s the subtext of all of my posts…I want a real relationship with the God of history and the Bible.
    But for what ever reason he has chosen to remain distant despite my prayers and pleading for Him to be otherwise.

    On one hand, I am angry with him for being so distant
    On the other, I am envious of you and your experience

    I accomplished ministerial things under my own effort because if I didn’t, nothing would get done. I felt/feel God is an absent father in my ministry. So I was left to my own devices

    Again, I believe in God. But he seems to be a little arbitrary in who he chooses to relate to. So my question still is, is he as involved in His creation as we think He is?” I dunno
    My experience would tend me to say “no”. But yours, obviously, says otherwise.

    I do have a relationship with Christ but it’s not always “peaches and creams” as they say. Mine is tenuous, but it’s still ,a relationship.

    Is it possible to have an intellectual relationship with Christ or does it require I always get the Holy Ghost goose bumps every time I think of him? I dunno.

    btw my route to Christ began as a Lutheran. I was confirmed at 18.
    I received his forgiveness in 1969 at a Pentecostal revival. I didn’t and never have spoken in tongues.
    I attended an A of G college in Sou Cal—Vanguard
    While there I attended Calvary Chapel services as well as an A of G church
    I became a police officer after college. Did that for about 12 years then felt “drawn” into ministry. So I became a Cc pastor
    Attended some classes at Western Seminary on preaching
    Was tutored in Greek by H. Wayne House (I probably have the equivalent of 1 year)
    After 20 years as lead pastor of CC Salem, then returned to my home town as associate pastor at a large church here in Medford

    All the while I was in ministry felt alone. But I was determined to hang in there thinking things would get better. But they didn’t

    So I began to wonder what a relationship with Christ actually looked like.
    I’m still wondering and looking

  51. Officerhoppy says:

    Josh
    We crossed posts! but you took the words right out of my mouth!
    I couldn’t have said it better.
    Our only alternative is atheism. But I’m not willing to go there either

    I appreciate YOUR transparency!

  52. Michael says:

    So much of this depends on personal experience…as it should, to a degree.

    The thing we forget is that the Bible encounters we read of and long for were actually few and far between…most of Gods people have felt abandoned at one point.

    I can’t complain too much…God made cats and mine make life worth enduring…it’s enough, I guess.

  53. Officerhoppy says:

    Amen Michael

    God gave me a wife. She makes my life worth enduring…..and a dog. Who I know loves me unconditionally. 🙂

  54. Alan says:

    The intellectual is not the opposite of the experiential. The discovery of truth is thrilling and experiencing the Holy Spirit is not goose bumps. Sometimes it is terror. Thinking is my primary spiritual discipline.

    You’re a psalmist, at least it seems so if you are a musician. David, who was filled with the Spirit, experienced every measure of emotion and yet he psalmed his way into resolution. He sang his faith which is both proclamation and petition. It healed him over and again.

    You express a large measure of praying and not getting through. That will not stop me from saying to you listen and see if he can get through to you. Then sing it. If you cannot hear him in the wind then be true to you CC heritage and hear him in the word.

    Join the Hebrew doubters “22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” Heb. 12:22–24.

    You have an inheritance that is unclaimed as you profess your unbelieving belief. Be like David and confess your pain and move up to the celestial city. Psalm your way into the holy place.

  55. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I used to focus on what God hasn’t given me…and that just made me a bitter person.

    I’m grateful that I’m still here.

    The other piece for me is that nothing explains the human condition, our past and our future, as clearly as the Bible does.

    Jesus towers over everything…while being kind enough to give me enough.

  56. Officerhoppy says:

    Alan and Michael
    In your above posts, you’ve both given me some practical things to think about.

    I appreciate that

  57. Alan says:

    Officerhoppy,

    When is your 50th? Where did you meet? She must be very special. We will hit 50 next May met her in Jr Hi. Married her after she turned 18. They have to have something amazing to live through a lifetime of church work with us.

    I imagine you could help a lot of people with marriage. Might be something there for you.

  58. Officerhoppy says:

    Alan
    We met in college. We were married in a Presbyterian church Laguna Beach, Calif on the 23 of August in 1975. I was 23 and she was 21.

    My wife is amazing too! She’s a school teacher. She retired but went back to work in the class room three years ago. She truly is my helper. I truly don’t deserve her.

    Thanks for asking about us and my hats off to you and your wife.

    You mentioned we were close to the same age. I turn 72 in November. Dang I hate getting old! Hurts too much.

    I appreciate your input. I don’t want to be alone. With God’s silence and inactivity, I feel like I lost a friend.

  59. JoelG says:

    Hoppy,

    I’ve read that “…Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his, To the Father through the features of men’s faces.” (Hopkins)

    I’ve read that “He is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.” (St Paul)

    Seek Him in His creation, in your neighbors, in the “least of these”, at the Communion Table.

    I sound like a broken record, but keep asking, seeking, and knocking. He is as close as your heart, I believe.

    “The heart itself is but a small vessel, yet dragons are there, and there are also lions; there are poisonous beasts and all the treasures of evil. But there too is God, the angels, the life and the kingdom, the light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasuries of grace—all things are there.“

    – St. Macarius

  60. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    You are posting some really good stuff…

    I sound like a broken record and an odd record at that…but I’ll say it again.

    I have a hard life…a pretty joyless and pain filled life.
    I also have cats.

    I know the love of God through them…I have no wife, no money, and a very few close friends that I rarely or never see because I can’t leave my mother alone.

    I give thanks for the companionship that I have and see it as a gift from God…and that keeps my head above water.

    Find Him where you can…

  61. JoelG says:

    Thank you for that Michael. You are a blessing.

  62. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks Joel

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