I really don’t want to write about this, but historically the things I don’t want to write about are the things I must.
I hope it helps somebody and that’s worth the risk of people thinking less of me.
A great thing happened, then a not so great thing happened.
The great thing that happened is my lost cats were found.
Cinnabon and Marcel had not been seen (by me) since the fires that torched our area.
I looked for them often, but there had been no sign of either.
The other day, as I was pulling up to the curb, I saw my young neighbor walking with his mom…and bounding behind them was Cinnabon.
She bounded right into car with me and a joyous reunion took place.
She had moved in with the little cat whisperer while I was gone…and he reported that Marcel now lives next door.
I was relieved and grateful…but the grief I’d delayed dealing with came in floods….finding the cats was the last matter to be dealt with before I could grieve, now the grief was relentless and it didn’t stop with the trauma of the fires.
The last few years have been tough…financial problems, health problems, and lots of loss.
Sometime ago, years ago, I gave up.
I continued on here,continued to care for others, but took no care for myself.
I could patch it together enough to look “normal” when I had to…but I was buried, both mentally and physically.
My living space looked like something from one of those tv shows about hoarders…dirty, cramped, and toxic to body and soul.
Suddenly, I started grieving for myself.
I had become one of those those people Charles Bowden spoke of… “some of the dead are still breathing”.
God has given me enough light in the darkness to try to live again.
On the curb outside my house sits a rented dumpster.
I’m filling it with layers of junk…cleaning up here is like an archeological dig.
The lost years are all going away.
Once it is full, I will start work on my mind.
I tell you all these things to tell you this.
If you’ve given up, get up.
If you’re still breathing…you matter.
You matter and God still has a purpose for you…and that purpose is grounded in divine love.
“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12–13 ESV)
Healing happens in stages…take the first step.
The first step for some might be getting medication for a season or for the duration…do what you need to do.
If, like me, your pride caused you to isolate from those who love you…throw your pride in a dumpster.
They know, but no one can help unless you let them.
Get rid of anything…and anybody…toxic.
Life is hard, but life is good.
Make your own application…
rt: Kate Bowler
A blessing for believing your gifts still matter.
o God i feel disengaged, discouraged, and yes,
actually embarrassed that I even have to ask:
have I misunderstood entirely what i am good for?
o God give me some meaningful work to do,
where the gifts you have given me can do some good.
God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Spirit have mercy.
“take heart; get up,
he is calling you.”
God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Spirit have mercy.
“for it is God who works in you
to will and to do for His good purpose.”
blessed are we who have heard Your voice saying “Come, follow me.”
and long to be drawn more and more into Your goodness.
who invite You once more into the home of our very hearts,
to come and be with us, just as we are.
blessed are we, the poor in spirit, who sit and wait and listen.
o God, tell me plainly, what should i do?
speak to me in a way that lets me know that it’s You talking
and not just my own need or desire.
give me courage to strip away impediments–
any improper loves or misguided desires.
o God, grant grace to move freely, without the self-consciousness
that can misdirect or taint a good intention.
Show me o lord: what is the gift, the one that is mine to give?
for this time, and for this place.
blessed are we who ask You, God,
to do in us the work that needs to be done,
that we might do the work that You would have us do,
according to the good purposes You had in mind for us
from the beginning.
God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Spirit have mercy.
bless it. start it. flow.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Good word, Michael. Thank you.
Thank you, Josh…
This is good to hear. God bless you, Michael.
Thank you, Xenia…
Sitting here crying… Will write more later.
So glad to hear you are on a healing path. I know what that means. It means you are wounded, injured and burnt out. And you are starting a journey of healing that won’t be easy and will come with some steps forward and some steps backwards. Healing is a process. I say that because I don’t want you to get discouraged. One foot in front of the other, friend. You are loved and appreciated by many folks, my brother. We shall journey together. ❤️
Be careful, Michael. Cleaning up was how my daugter hurt her ack. She was shortcitting by walking out onto the carport roof to toss stuff in the dumpster – she slipped and fell off….
On the other hand getting rid of stuff, of clutter does seem to help ones frame of mind…
Today i was reading of our Lord sending His 70 missionaries – He told them to just go out with the clothes on their backs among other things – not sure i could do that
BTW, i tried two times to make a contribution on line and it wouldn’t go through ? ? ?
ack??? BACK! ! ! 😕
Thank you, Mike…you’ve been a good companion…
What’s so good about this (one of the good things, anyway) is that you aren’t just re-arranging your thoughts but you are making physical changes. I’ve found in my own life that if I just decide to think about things differently, the resolve will often disappear unless I begin making some physical changes, like throwing physical objects in the dumpster.
A long time ago I read a short story that had an impact on my life, maybe everyone’s already heard it but to make a short version of it:
There was a woman who lived in a trashy house. Everything was dirty, crowded, and in disarray. She was miserable and resentful. One day someone randomly gave her a rose. She found a vase in the mess and put the rose in it, only to see that the vase was pretty dirty. She washed it, and set the rose/vase on her kitchen table, which was so cluttered she couldn’t see the rose and its beauty was diminished. She set about clearing the table. Now that the table was clear, it highlighted the remaining mess in the kitchen so she set about cleaning the kitchen. No need to tell the rest of the story as the ending is obvious: step by step she got her life in order.
I was so impressed by this story that I wrote an (unpublished) novel about it.
Yes, what Mike E just pisted.. . AMEN
Treys doing the heavy lifting…thank God…I’ll check the PayPal when I get home
pisted? Blush.. POSTED! I give up
Michael, was trying to use my VISA on your PayPal – worked in the past ? ? ?
BTW, does using VISA discount the amount you receive?
I think it works…visa doesn’t take a cut. I’m running about but I’ll check when I get home.
I hadn’t heard that story, but I will amen it..,
If Bowden was here and sitting on your porch, he would hug you…I know I would…
Haunted and disturbed by what was witnessed on the border between the US and Mexico, a reporter stated:
“I live in a time of fear and the fear is not of war or weather or death or poverty or terror. The fear is of life itself. The fear is of tomorrow, a time when things do not get better but become worse. This is the belief of my time. I do not share it. The numbers of people will rise, the pain of migration will grow, the seas will bark forth storms, the bombs will explode in the markets, and mouths fighting for a place at the table will grow, as will the shouting and shoving. That is a given. Once the given is accepted, fear is pointless. The fear comes from not accepting it, from turning aside one’s head, from dreaming in the fort of one’s home that such things cannot be. The fear comes from turning inward and seeking personal salvation. The bones must be properly buried, amends must be made. Also, the beasts must be acknowledged. And the weather faced, the winds and rains lashing the face, still, they must be faced. So too, the dry ground screaming for relief. There is an industry peddling solutions, and these solutions insist no one must really change, except perhaps a little, and without pain. This is the source of the fear, this refusal to accept the future that is already here.
“We think velocity is new, change is new, and this vast tumult and wave of fear is new. And we are wrong. There has never been firm ground for our lives and our only balm has been a forgetfulness of the changes we have endured.”
From: The Writings of Charles Bowden
As we’ve already talked, I’ll just say, “well done”…
Good to declutter in many ways. Spiff things up.
I’m loving this!
There are several areas in my life where I have almost given up. They will not be mentioned here, but one I will mention is that I never would’ve married if I had given up on dating.
Also some things I had to give up to live, and in many cases having to give up daily, etc. Pride. Self-sufficiency. I take meds, most likely will for the rest of my life, and that was a blow to my pride and self-sufficiency.
Michael, I’m a bit new here, but i feel so much for you. When I was a child, we had a fire in our house. The fire crew was just getting the last of the worst of the debris out of the house and into the curbside box when I got home from school (my mom thought it was better to keep my sister and me at school when she learned of the fire). My first thought was my two much loved pets-a doxie mix and a ginger cat. They had been rescued, hiding together in a closet. As bad as the fire was, and as devastated as we were, having two living pets gave my whole family hope that we would make a new start. i pray that your new start will be sure and steady, just like my family’s recovery was. “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)
Warms my heart to hear this, Michael, I’ve been lifting you up in prayer.
I glad you found your kittehs!
Send that dumpster over when you finish. The second one…
Bless you Michael
I get this is demonic of me, it might well mean my eternal soul, but some in the evangelical community have convinced me I don’t have a soul, other than what is under my foot or in my shoe. Others have convinced me I don’t want a soul but that is another post. I had a cat, this cat comforted me through the loss of a sister and a mother, now I understand that is disgusting and God will let loose is eternal wrath on me for being weak and needing but that cat saw me through. The poor cat was tormented with fleas and she was always itching I tried to give her a bath and she was so afraid she had a response. The person at the SPCA tried to comfort me but this wonderful cat suffered a type of stroke and it damaged her. I will never forgive myself and I don’t want God to forgive me. It was not that much water and I tried to be careful but I failed. I wept, as disgusting as that is, true believers never weep, they overcome, they deal with it, they move on, etc.
So I have taken up helping the strays in my area giving them food, water, and hanging out with them on the porch late at night. I admit I love cats and they give me great comfort. I pretty much understand that will lead to my eternal perdition as true followers of the Prince of Peace should never need peace. Michael help me out, where is this good news, I have not found it, it’s not good news it actually is rather awful news for the vast majority of humanity.
Thank you for your kind words, folks.
I’ve been working straight through…had to get the dumpster for another day.
It’s getting there…
I’m very sorry about the loss of your cat.
My Chester died when my situation was at its worst and I damn near went under.
The good news is really good if you want to hear it.
I understand that religious folks have hurt you deeply…part of the human condition is that we will use anything,especially religion, to grasp power and control of other people.
Those people do not know Jesus.
Jesus wept with you when your cat passed and with me when Chester passed.
I believe I will see Chester and all my beloved pets someday soon.
The Christian faith isn’t about heaven and hell primarily…it’s about the recreation of heaven and earth and the final act of making heaven and earth one place.
It’s about the resurrection of the body and the restoration of all things.
It’s about the love of God in action since the Fall that will result in the total reversal of all that sin has wrought.
It’s about hope.
I don’t think it’s awful news for the vast majority of humanity…God is reconciling all things in Jesus Christ that He may be all in all…we have limited that reconciliation to the here and now, but I’m not so sure.
God bless you for feeding the strays…I will tell you that God sent them to comfort you…receive what they offer in return for a meal…
Brian, i wish i could get my hands on those religious hypocrites who infested your thinking process with lies….
John 3:16 and surrounding verses belong to everyone who is looking for The Truth
Trust God, not evil men – the wolves who drape themselves in slaughtered sheep hides
That’s a good response to Brian…
Brian, John 11:35. “Jesus wept.”
Whoever told you such things were ignorant at best and wolves at worst.
Brian—I’m sorry you lost your friend God gave you to comfort you. Please know you are dearly loved by God. His Heart is to save and redeem..not destroy. I’m sorry you’re hurting so badly. I’m adding you to the prayer list, friend. ❤️
I thank U for your prayers and kindness.
So good to hear you found your cats!
So glad you are hanging in there!
It’s been said before, yet, would like to say again, your ministry and presence, making it possible for the fellowship and dialogue and encouragement, support, validation that has been here over the years has been abundantly fruitful.. multiplied and fruit that remains..
Due to a generous saint here, years bygone..Scott I believe it was..donated a plane ticket I was able to use to join and meet Dusty in person for the very first time..for inner city ministry.. to also visit an aunt ,I needed to see whom has since passed…
Dusty and I have become the dearest of friends and prayer partners for over 15 years now..
Tho I lost everything . Marriage, family, ministry, church family…
Phoenix preacher and the saints who post never failed to be there…
You all were a lifeline to prayer, worship, fellowship,, when my faith was at it’s tiniest..
A true testimony to
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,
Nevertheless IT WAS GOOD THAT YOU (ALL) WERE ALONGSIDE ME IN MY DISTRESS.
I am ever grateful to you Michael, your ministry, and your patience endurance, steadfastness that held together the family at phoenix preacher!
I too have been going through a time where God is calling me to ” clean my closet”. Eliminate the clutter in my life.
Not fun..but neccesary
Not sure where the next adventure God will be leading me through..
Yet, I know, that because you chose to endure, stand fast and continue even tho you wanted to give in… Many many people have been blessed, uplifted and encouraged in their journey with the Lord on their darkest days!
I pray God blesses you with great efficiency, in your decluttering, that He fills you with renewed passion for the calling He has called you to..
May He bless you abundantly, you, your family and ministry exceedingly above and beyond all you have seen before !
Thank you ..thank you..thank you
For who you are, the stand you have made
For the platform you have given access to each of us to be a part of this unique family
Sister C – wow, there is a name out of the distant past. I hope you are doing well 🙂
Thank you…good to see your presence here again.
Let me know how you are…you’ve been missed!
Hey Sis!!!! We need you here. You are loved.
Michael, good words, good thoughts, good choices. I pray for you so often. Praying for God’s hand and guidance in all your endeavors . May He bless you beyond your expectations and dreams. May He send help and love when needed. As you have always been a light for Him here and in your home town. Amen
Much love big brother
A warm Hello to MLD, Michael and Dusty!
Let me say, tho I have been afflicted, God has abundantly blessed me and my children throughout the trials and tribulations.
You all were there when I needed you most ..with love , prayer and encouragement… Above and beyond all I could have asked or expected.
I miss you all..and Lord willing
Be able to stop in a bit more 🤗❤️
Thanks, Dusty…much love to you, sis…
Good to hear from you Sister C
Sister C, so good to see you again!
We used to agree on many things for wildly different reasons. 🙂
So good to see you!