It’s interesting how life unfolds. Even if you go to the same school from Kindergarten through your Senior year life unfolds. It’s a catholic (it means universal) statement. Mine did not unfold that way.
Dad decided he wanted to move from California to Florida to pastor a church. My mom submitted, and since I wanted to eat I went along with it. Holly Hill is a suburb of Daytona Beach. The move made sense because it was a bigger church, and it put us closer to my grandparents. It was also the first church dad pastored where there was a formal student ministry. They hired a youth pastor from Washington State, and he started pretty much the same time my dad did.
This church was the first time I heard Joe Beam. Landon Saunders drank coffee in my parents’ kitchen, and he is still a faith hero whose teachings move me. Joe Beam’s book Seeing The Unseen is a remarkable book about spiritual warfare, and Landon’s work about God’s man in the marketplace is epic. God is speaking clearly through both these men, and I’m not the only life they influence. I think about my friend Terry Olive when I think about Landon Saunders, and David Earheart loved to listen to Landon too. Like Jesus, Landon never married, and his theology has brought many closer to the Son of Man because of that. He has spent his life with unbelievers, and I can only imagine how many have become Christians because of the seeds he plants.
My nomadic childhood was one rich experience I’m not resenting so much now. I’ve not raised my daughter that way because, along with the wings God is giving her, I wanted her to have roots. She has developed some very deep roots no matter where she ends up as an adult. I’m proud of the work Carey and I have done in her life through the power of the Spirit. She is a remarkable Christian leader who is not easily swayed by the lies young ladies face today. That’s a dynamic statement that so many parents and youth pastors long to convey to our precious daughters in the King. I cannot imagine as a young man navigating life now with social media, much less being a young lady who’s platforms for image comparison are limitless. Oh that all of us from young to old come to know the incredible unconditional love of the LORD Jesus Christ. Satan is roaming the Earth seeking whom he may devour, but it’ll be over my dead body if he destroys my daughter. Hell hath no fury over a dad’s scorn. The prayers I pray year after year over my daughter stand in the presence of a Being evil is terrified of. It baffles me why Satan and his network don’t give up. They must not remember the struggle in Heaven. Joe Beam’s Seeing The Unseen is again his magnum opus I think for this very subject. Guess what I’m reading starting today? I read it at least once a year. It’s that important and good. I need to stockpile it to give it away.
I’m glad the “memoir” is going in this direction because right now the bad things in Daytona Beach are overshadowing the good things in my mind. I’ll leave it at that.
You don’t fight depression because of the good things. The bad things drive a mind to places God never intended it to go, and sometimes writing it out without writing it out is better than sleep or prozac. I got a good ten hours last night, mind you, but I’m just illustrating a point. I don’t want to spread unnecessary shit around because in light of my father-in-law’s death, the tornado and COVID-19 we don’t need one more damn thing to lament. Sorry mom. Those expletives are so much less compared to the damage I could write about in regard to our stop-off in Daytona. I’m obviously fighting an angry outburst, but it’s better I express it here. Expressing it out in Nashville traffic hasn’t gotten me arrested, and I’m trying to keep it that way. Satan is doing his best to destroy my family, but I write like King David. I lament sometimes with language that makes people squirm. I want to be pure and undefiled before my good good Father, and I know the grace of God teaches me to say no to ungodliness, and I strive not to use profanity. Sometimes grief and anger is raw, and it’s not very pretty.
Too many of us hide behind a facade, and when realness is called for we pretend everything is ok when it isn’t. If someone can’t handle it they can leave, and God will send someone who can share your grief. Don’t use that as a license to be a jerk, but know your audience. And learn from the times you over shared. Trust is earned, and not everyone cares. That’s our world in evil. It’s not what the Father designed in the Garden of Eden, but that ship has sailed. Act accordingly. It’ll be back, but for now we have to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
I’m going to close out this post because I know a “good” thing when I write it. You are near and dear to my heart for reading it, and I’ll see you tomorrow.