NINE YEARS AFTER OUR LIVES WERE CHANGED FOREVER

February 18, 2016

Always smiling100_05502100_0599 Grief is an odd emotion to understand. It is deeply personal. It has been my experience that grief never truly goes away. It changes but it is always there.

Our family has continued to grow and too even blossom. I still don’t (completely) understand all of the whys. However, I am finally at peace with The Event.

To see the love and joy that is in our family now truly blesses my heart.

We will never forget that tragic night when we were notified of Buddy’s death. I can still hear and see it all in my mind’s eye.

I remember you Buddy. I remember you well, my friend.

“I have come to understand that, sometimes the Lord calls our loved ones home when they are ready, not when we are ready.” Pastor Tracie Baird

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THE SEASON OF LENT

March 11, 2011

Much has been written about the Lenten season  I don’t suppose my little ramblings will change much.

In my personal opinion the Church Doctrine of Lent has become a means of allowing many people who say they are Christians to pretty much do as the please throughout the remainder of the year.  However when Lent rolls around these same “sayers” will give up some food group or stop using some technology that consumes a portion of their day or heck, some may even practice acts of benevolence!  But what are these same people replacing those voids in their life with?  During any other time of the year if someone gives up a specific food group what is it called?  It’s a diet.  Right?  If someone takes a break from  technology what is that called?  Maybe a vacation?  If someone practices sporadic acts of benevolence what is that about?  Making the giver feel good about what they are doing?

On the other hand, when people determine that the Holy Spirit (not the calender) is calling them to change destructive patterns of behavior in their life and they obey His leading then there can be true, daily and lasting transformation(s).  The old has passed away…

I think if you approach the season of Lent with the view of “look how bad or slack I’ve been” the enemy has already won.  Guilt does not come from the Lord.  On the other hand, if you approach the season of Lent with the view of  “what daily changes can I make in my life to reflect the teachings of the Savior and too become more Christ-like” then you may be heading in the right direction.

So, are you being lead by the days on a calender or some Church Doctrine?  Or are you seeking The One Who created time?  The former leads to spiritual death.  The later leads to Life eternal.

The choice has always been ours to make.  Choose wisely.

 


Dr. Terry Jones

September 8, 2010

I will not presume to know if you have heard the Word of the Lord as it relates to burning the Qur’an. 

I pray that you are crystal clear on the Message that you have received from Him.  If you are 100% clear that this action is of the Lord,you (of course) must proceed.  However, if this is in fact from the great deceiver then I pray that you receive revelation knowledge to that fact.

Holy Scripture tells me that His ways are Higher than mine and that I can not understand the mind of the Lord.  I surely do not understand how burning a Qur’an is showing those whom do not believe in Christ the Savior that He IS the only way to the Father.  Neither can I understand how stirring up more hatred is His way.  But it is not my “job” to understand what you are doing.  It is, however, my responsibility to pray for those in places of leadership.  I believe that for a season that is you Dr Terry Jones.  Pray I shall.  I shall pray that you have the strength, discernment and wisdom to follow the leading(s) of the Great I Am.  I shall pray that anything short of completely following Him that He will “interupt” you from any and all disobediance by the means He deems appropriate.  I pray that you have longevity of life.

1 Corenthians 8:7-13 speaks of us causing our brothers to stumble.  Additionally in Ezekiel 34 the Lord Speaks of the shephards’ responsibility as it relates to them (the shephards) causing the sheep to “not be fed.”

My family has suffered the deep sorrow that can only be felt through the killing (by a Taliban sniper) of one of our loved ones.  We miss our American Hero terribly.

Please take a moment to read what I wrote of those early days.  A series titled “DEATH AT THE FRONT DOOR” (parts 1-3).  It has been a very difficult journey to love those whom I can not understand. But in the end I have come to bettere understand that He IS in control and He does not NEED (nor require) me to help Him with His plan.

I am to love and pray and when necessary “shake the dirt from my sandals.”

Blessings to you as you remain obediant to His Calling.

https://mssc54.wordpress.com/our-american-hero/


Some of Our Experiences These Last Four Years

February 5, 2010

My wife and I are each in our early to mid 50s and just adopted a five and seven-year old brother and sister.  We have three bio-daughters.  Our eldest married with a four-year old son and is due to have our third grandchild in four days!   Our middle daughter is widowed (Afghanistan, that’s another story for another day) and they have a three-year old boy.   Our youngest (bio) daughter is working  and going to a local community college (the jobs is in her career field at a local hospital).

We know the family where our “new kids” came from.  Their bio parents just wore their family down with promises of we will quit doing….. we will get our life on track, etc.  The family was so put off by these two (insert negative adjective here) that when it came time for the Department of Social Services to remove the (then) two and four-year olds the maternal grandmother actually said to either put them in Foster Care or in the orphanage up state.  That’s when the mom asked DSS to check with us to see if we would be willing to care for them while they finished getting their act together.  Originally it was only supposed to be for a few months but weeks turned into months and months turned into years.    After more than a year and a half of failed drug tests, court appearances and failures to complete court ordered Anger Management classes my wife and I began to pray about the next step.   Eventually it became clear that the Lord has placed us in relationship with this family as His back-up plan for these innocent children.  So we talked to our girls and we all agreed adoption is what the Lord would have for us to do in this season of our life.   Now keep in mind we received these children under the state’s safety plan.  Which means our home is a safe place and we don’t get any money from anyone.  So automatically we needed to come up with money for pullups, wipes, extra food and all the things young children need.  The big one was the $800 a month in child care!  Ouch! 

We originally got involved with the family when our church called to ask if we would be willing to help out a single father who was raising a four months old infant.  We all talked about it and since my wife is out of school for the summer…  So we would go and pick her up at 6:15sh and bring her back in the evening about the same time.  Some times we would keep her over night and on weekends.  Not only to give him a break but we had come to love the little  baby girl too.   That was the summer of 2002 and we had no idea how providential that summer would be. 

Eventually we learned that the reason the birth father had the baby on his own was because when mom was PREGNANT with the baby she got so drunk that she ran over a guy and killed him!  What a beginning for this little girl!  So mom get’s out of prison when the girl is two, they seem to get their act together, get married, start going to church, start saying all the things people want to hear, she gets pregnant and dang if the little boy isn’t born addicted to drugs!!  Now remember, because she was drinking and doing drugs during her first pregnancy, she killed an innocent pedestrian!  But I guess that’s not a big deal because DSS let her take the baby home under the supervision of the birth-father.  Did I mention that birth-father has already confessed to DSS that he has a cocaine problem?  Unbelievable! What do you think would have happened if these two children were little puppies?  And you know what else?  The birth-mother was still on probation from her previous vehicular homicide conviction!  Why wasn’t she violated and sent back to prison?

Anyway, the birth-father says he didn’t even know the birth-mother was doing drugs (he should make a good supervisor) so he is a bit ticked off.  He won’t have anything to do with the little infant boy and I think he (the baby boy) spent most of the first two years of his life either in his crib or play pen. That is complete speculation on my part.  But I have been around a bunch of two-year olds and when he came to us he was very withdrawn, walked with his head down and barely made any sounds much less speak.

The bio parents did not passed a  drug test in three years and both were convicted (again) of domestic abuse in October of 08.  But if you ask them they will tell you “I love my kids”.  Okay, really?!  I guess I can throw in the reason Social Services finally decided to remove the children is because mom got caught driving drunk with the kids in the car!  Heck, she’s already killed one person driving drunk!  Now she has the kids in the car driving drunk!!!  I mean what does it take?  But she loves her kids?!  Right.

Anyway, I will give the mother a little bit of credit… but just a little.  It took her a few years but  eventually she relinquished her parental rights.  No one has heard from dad for quite some time.  He hasn’t been around much since the judge ordered him to take his pay stub down and sign up for child support.  That was October of 06.   But he loves his kids too!

We went to court on July 31, 2009 for a trial to decide if the dad’s parental rights will be terminated.  Everyone says it looks like a slam dunk, but I guess you never know.

As I looked back over those last twenty-six or so months I can see God’s faithful hand.  As sad as it is, for some reason it’s easier (for me) to recognise His faithfulness when it comes to finances.  How sad is that?  Coming up with the extra eight hundred dollars a month for child care in those early months was a challenge but it was always there.  I remember that first Christmas someone walked up to me at church and handed me a check for four hundred dollars and said they wanted to make sure the kids had a good Christmas.  I knew what he meant so I didn’t go into my spill about what Christmas was all about.  Then some time in 07 the transmission in my wife’s Buick Regal went out.  So since my son-in-law had been killed in action in Afghanistan that same year she began driving his Dodge truck.  It sucked the gas and that was when the gas was over $4 a gallon too!  You will never believe what happened next.  Our “new kids’ maternal aunt and uncle, who by most standards are a bit affluent had an 02 Chrysler Town and Country with AM/FM/CD/DVD/PLAY STATION II/monitors in the head rests, a thirteen inch TV that folds down from the ceiling, leather and wood trim throughout with less than seventy thousand  miles… they gave it to us!!  Well that’s not EXACTLY true.  My dad died about eight years previous to this and we had just gotten back (I mean within two weeks) from the six hundred something miles one way trip to visit my mom.  Since my dad’s estate was in Louisiana and their law is different it took some  time to settle the estate.  I have five siblings so after all was said and done my part of my dad’s estate was eight hundred twenty-four dollars.  Before these people gave us the Chrysler Town and Country they said something like, “We want to give you guys the van but we have had some work done on it at the dealer (they were going to sell it) and if you can come up with the money to pay the dealer we will give you the van.  Guess how much the dealer bill was?  Eight hundred dollars exactly… but it needed gas so we put the other twenty dollars in the tank!

Honestly, at times I do wonder… what do people who retire do with their lives?  There is so much excitement and challenges in raising children.  You have to stay active (both mentally and physically).

After all what did Jesus say, “Let the little ones come unto Me.” (my paraphrase)

I have often heard our pastor say, “God’s will done God’s way has God’s provision.”

The adoption was finalized in December 2009.  We are still waiting on all the necessary paper work for the legal name changes, etc. but life is good.  Our youngest daughter is currently taking dance  and has her first recital in May.  Our son is currently playing flag football in with our local Recreation Department.  I have been the oldest daddy on a few field trips and I look at those 20something year old parents and sort of smile to myself.

We pray that He continues to provide and that we do our best to hear His voice and to be obedient to It.


Prophetic word.

February 4, 2010

My local church is a nondenominational church.  One of the criticisms that non denominational churches get is that the Senior Pastor is not accountable to anyone.  I understand, of course, that we are ALL ultimately accountable to the Lord but some people need to know that their church leader is not just out there doing willy-nilly whatever he personally chooses.  Some pastors have taken advantage of their position of authority and “wounded” many souls.  I am very pleased to say that I completely believe that my pastor is obedient to the voice of the Lord and that he also submits to his pastor’s guidance.

Some years ago my pastor wisely recognised his need/desire to find himself (and ultimately his “flock”) a pastor’s pastor.  He is involved with a group of other pastors who meet (via conference call) on a weekly basis.  Periodically our pastor’s pastor (Pastor Rod) comes to visit.  Pastor Rod (ironically) is from the same Cajun home town that my mother is from so when he comes to visit and speak/teach I can easily understand his sense of humor and relate to his stories. 

Last month when Pastor Rod was visiting our church he prophesied over some people.  Not everyone but most (I think).  The following is the word he had for me and my Mrs.

**I WAS VERY CAREFUL TO TRANSCRIBE THIS VERBATIM.  I MAY NOT HAVE PUNCTUATED PROPERLY BUT THESE ARE THE EXACT WORDS.**

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 2009 – Pastor Rod

 

Michael the boudin man.  God we thank you for Michael.  This is your wife?  Your wife?  Bonnie is your wife? Your married?  35 years that’s a long time.  That’s good.  She’s good to you, yeh.  Yeh, I married Mary, I married her when she was 11.  Yeh you married…yeh, no doubt about it, beautiful women marry ugly men.  Holy Spirit we anoint them, in Jesus name, in Jesus name. There’s fresh oil coming (from heaven).  There’s fresh oil coming Michael.  I’m just…I just hear this word.  God says I’m going to take the wildness you had in your old life and I’m going to anoint you to be a wild man in the House of the Lord, to to be anointed to take authority over the powers of darkness and set the captives free.  In Jesus name.  In Jesus name.  And, and God I just hear the Word of the Lord as Michael gets close to the authority of the House, come under good, come under good support him.  There’s a spirit of prayer on your life and God wants to increase it in days to come to come under your pastor to under gird him with prayer in Jesus name.  Let’s hear this word for both of you.  Deacons in the House.  Servants in the House.  In Jesus name serve the tables, go to the pastor and pastor whatever… pastor you’re getting ready to build a new building.  God is going to anoint your hands to work out there and to help and to be a labor in the field in Jesus name. 

 

God bless this woman.  God increase her in days to come, in Jesus name.  You are not a reject. You are not a nobody. You are a somebody in God’s Kingdom, in Jesus name.  You love folks not the Lord says come forth and start lovin them. Just start reaching out to them, in Jesus name the enemy has tried to keep a bushel over your life.  I just see a spirit of rejection.  Intimidation has tried to  come against your mind… hey, I can’t do anything.  God says you can, I’ve anointed you to do, I’ve anointed you to be in Jesus name.  I see the gifts of helps inside of you, to be a helper in the House of the Lord and to use these hands to serve the table, in Jesus name.  I see you spreading out food at tables.  I see you serving people.  I see you loving people with the love of your hands and your heart in Jesus name.

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I think when these sort of moments happen in our lives it is important to make the time to get the recorded message and to transcribe it.  That way you can read over it time and again.  I think this enables one (or at least me) to more easily see the path and to recognise that when certain moments appear it was not by happen-stance.  It is important (to me) to recognize the Divine Order over/in my life!

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UPDATE

February 4th, 2010

This morning has begun as a most challenging morning.  I was looking back through some of my earlier posts and “stumbled across” this one.  I sure needed to hear this again.  I think I’ll print it out, laminate it and keep it in my Bible to regularly review it.

Since this prophetic word was spoken over me we have adopted a five-year old boy and a seven-year old daughter (they are biological siblings).  It was forty-two month process but God was faithful in every way to see us through all the necessary legal hoops.


Prayer, obediance and benevolance

August 2, 2009

As I have looked over many blogs I have noticed a common theme in some.  A sense of almost despair.  Perhaps even feeling helpless.

I have been in that season more than once myself.  The thing that has helped me  most is conversing with my Lord.  I say conversing because a conversation involves more than just talking and reading a list of all my ales.  Conversing involves listening too.  Perhaps listening more than speaking.  

I think some (maybe even most) people don’t get that part of prayer.  Either that or they may spend so much time telling the Lord what He already knows that they leave very little time in their busy schedule to be still, quiet and listen.  Listen with their heart.  Listen needing to hear.  Listen expecting to hear.

When I read of Jesus the Christ and His times of prayer I see that His chosen times were most often in the early morning or late evening.  I think that is because the noise of the world is mostly silenced at those times.  I could be wrong but that’s what I think.  He even gave His disciples a specific time for them to watch and pray with Him.  One hour. 

Could we not each tarry one hour with the Lord?

It is also my personal belief that prayer should be audible.  Sure God can read our thoughts but Holy Scripture is replete with verses about the power of the tongue (the spoken word.)  Hey if nothing else think of praying out loud as letting the enemy know just how defeated you know he already is.

I was speaking with a friend of mine some time ago.  She and her husband were befuddled because I slipped by their home and left a sum of cash in an envelope on their door. 

Every once in a while I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to me to do such things and when I am certain of the amount and timing I simply obey.  I figure I would rather err on the side of benevolence than hording.

However, this whole concept was foreign to them.  They couldn’t think of accepting it.  Sure they believe in “Karma or whatever you want to call it.”   Sure she prays too.  Of course it’s usually when things are in dire straights but she prays.  So I want to say to her (but I didn’t) “Look you have a son, what if the only time you could get him to talk to you was when he was in dire straights…. and you had absolute power to put him in those dire straights; What would you do to get him to talk to you?”  Seems simple to me.

They each finally understood and grudgingly accepted the money.  She called me back a couple of days later and said that her husband had asked her; “Hey, wasn’t that the exact amount we spent last summer to by that lady an air conditioner?”  Yep it sure was.  Then she called the very next day.  “You won’t believe what happened today!”  Hubby’s aunt that never had any children died and they just got a check for exactly ten times the amount I had given them.

I have a computer program QuickVerse 6.0.  I found this and thought it fit nicely.

6. GIFT AND THE GIVER

For the real good of every gift it is essential, first, that the giver be in the gift—as God always is, for He is love—and next, that the receiver know and receive the giver in the gift. Every gift of God is but a harbinger of His greatest and only sufficing gift—that of Himself. No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best: therefore many things that God would gladly give us must wait until we ask for them, that we may know whence they come. When in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things.

George Macdonald, Second Series, “The Word of Jesus on Prayer”


Adopted, blended family?!

June 20, 2009

 I’m just so confused about what to do.  I mean we want to allow our two “new kids” to have access to their biological cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents but at this point our little girl’s counselor says NO WAY!  

Bless her little heart she is still so confused.  A few months ago there was a big incident which I wrote about  (https://mssc54.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/i-hate-you-yuore-not-my-mommy/). 

Our little girl goes to therapy twice a month for an hour.  We’ve had both children for thirty-seven months now.  For the first year her counselor would come to our home every Monday morning and “visit” with her from eight to nine.  Now, at this point, she has “graduated” to a twice a month schedule.

Here’s the most recent quandary.  One of her maternal aunts asked if the kids could spend the night a couple of weeks ago.  Although this aunt is the sister of our new kids’ biological mother they have been pretty good at not letting bio-mom have any contact what-so-ever.  However, on this particular sleep over night our little girl’s eleven year old cousin somehow brought up bio-mom during prayer time.  So much so that when our little girl came home the next day she came up to me with a huge grin on her face and said, “Daddy, I know how to spell my other mommies name!”  Then she blurted out the proper spelling of bio-mom.  What’s even worse is that she began talking about bio-dad by name!  For about a year now she had been referring to bio-dad as “that man.”   So now she not only knows how to spell bio-mom’s name correctly but also now remembers what bio-dad’s name is!

The aunt and uncle don’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation.  “It was just a mistake.”  Well “just a mistake” had our little girl writing a letter today in her counselor’s office saying that she’s sorry her other mommy is sad because she can’t see her.  The counselor told us that she feels guilty and responsible because bio-mom is sad!

So extended bio-family just slips into their life whenever it’s convenient for them, stirs up there little hearts and causes more psychological issues and doesn’t even say “sorry!”  It was “just a mistake.”

I guess we will have to go back to how contact was in the early months.  They can talk to them on the phone while we are on the extension listening but to give them unsupervised access is out of the question.  Needless to say there won’t be any more sleep overs for a very, very long time… if ever.

A couple of things that really ticked me off:  I shot off an email to bio-aunt and  uncle.  Mater of fact here it is.

To be honest I’m a little confused and more than annoyed that “L” came home telling me that she knows how to spell her other mother’s name.  That’s never happened here and has not come up for quite some time.  Not even during to her regular hourly (weekly) counseling sessions she returned to about six weeks ago.  And talking about Gene too!  She told us (and her counselor) that she couldn’t remember “that man’s” name.  Now she spends the night with you guys and she comes home talking about Mary and Gene!!  Great!

 
I’ll just be brutally honest. I want L and P to be able to continue a relationship with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents but if it will serve to further confuse her as to who her ONLY parents are we’ll have to reevaluate that.
 
Just to be clear, I’m more than a little ticked.
 
Michael
So then bio-aunt responds:
If you are confused then ask questions.  If you’re ticked and you are, ask yourself what is at the root of the anger.  After you’ve calmed down please call me and we’ll discuss this. You might ask L how she knew how to spell Mary. There’s a perfectly good reason.

Love,

K

Later bio-uncle responds:

Michael I know that you are upset. I just heard about it tonight. L  brought it up when she was praying. She prayed for you and B then she prayed for her other mommy and daddy. That is how it all  started. That was with E when the 2 were praying before going to bed. Have you found out what happened? Have you even asked what happened? I really want to know if this is how Jesus would handle this situation? S

Are you friggn kidding me?! WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? You’re asking ME what would Jesus do?!  Coming from the biological aunt and uncle who when their niece and nephew were four and two years old would rather let them enter into Foster Care or a state run orphanage then to alter their life and take them in and raise them?!!

My (calmer) response to the bio-aunt and uncle was this.

S:

After carefully considering your and K’s response I felt as if one last response may be in order. K and your letters indicated a couple of things that deserve some clarification. It basically revolves around two things you mentioned.

1. My anger
2. What would Jesus do

First, to be clear, my irritation is not rooted in any selfish, carnal, or immature reaction. It is rooted in what is best for two children whose biological parents ejected them from theirlives because of their selfish, carnal, and immature actions. This isn’t about you or how I may feel. It is about them and what is best  not okay or good but best. Their lives are not “normal”. They are being put back together again and to be candid, everyone needs to develop some sensitivity to that concept. B and I deal with this on a day to day basis. We are talking about therapy, counselors, lawyers, DSS, judges, and it seems a little disingenuous to me that you havedifficulty understanding why that would be a sensitive subject to us. Maybe it was time you got “put out” with the people who created this situation and exercised a little bit of attention and grace to those of us who are “in the hunt” with regards to these two children’s lives.  In fact, if we had not stepped up and did as Jesus told the disciples one day “let the little ones come unto me” I dare say that none of us would know where L and P would be today.  They would be with strangers, somewhere in the United States and we all would be left to wonder the rest of our days what ever became of them.

Secondly, what would Jesus do? Are you really so blind as to ask a question like that? Are you really so self-consumed that you cannot see that you have faced that very question on numerous occasions (regarding L and P) and did not pass the test. Do I have to list the ways that you have disqualified yourself from ever asking that question? If this didn’t involve L and P, I could almost laugh at the sheer hypocrisy of that question. Their very extended family who conveniently enters and exits as time permits…asking the C’s…what would Jesus do? I think you may need to seek the Lord on this one more than I.

Having said all that, I do think there can be value in L and P maintaining a relationship with some in their biological family. However, we are the parents. Period.  This is a big, sensitiveve topic in our household; not because of our personal insecurities, but rather every health professionals’ opinion is telling us that the relationship with their biological parents is harmful. You and K are going to have to decide how you will handle this appropriately and develop better strategies of keeping L and P on target from where their support is really coming from. It is time you all made the attempt to get in the game on this one as well.  L spent the first year of her life without her “mommy” only to have her suddenly appear then over the course of the next three years of her life to have strangers (DSS) remove her from her parents twice before we were finally asked to take them.  Imagine you are a little two or three year old girl and haveto wonder if each time these “strangers” came to visit your home if they would take you away from your mommy and daddy….again.  S you can not imagine the psychological, emotional and yes even the physical problems that continue with L to this day because of the extensive neglect she suffered at the hands of those who professed to love her.  This isn’t about you…it is about them. And because of that, I will be ever vigilant to defend the defenseless.

What is really sad, is that all you or K had to do was say, “Sorry Michael, we’ll try to catch these moments and bring better direction to it”. It would have all been over and I would have had incredible respect for you both.

I guess I will take your advice and keep asking, “What would Jesus do”? I feel like I have the fruit to show I have done exactly that. Will the cardiologist check his own heart too?

Standing for the innocent.

Michael
You know in a divorce it is pretty easy to determine what everyone’s role is.  But in an adoption case like ours where the bio family did not want their young niece or nephew and the maternal grandmother actually is the person who told DSS to put them in Foster Care or the orphanage and the bio-parents then asked DSS to ask us to take them….
Well, the lines seem blurred at times.  But for now I have decided to draw the line with a Sharpie marker.  It’s going to take a very long time for the line to fade this time.
Any suggestions or experiences would be appreciated.
Thanks for reading.