Sunday, June 19, 2011

I got an email just a few minutes ago.
My son.
He didn't want to discuss the dead dog - which I don't blame him, I had just written him an email about it since that dog has been in the house since he was 8 years old. He wished me a happy Father's day, said all campers had "been saved" and that he only got a half day off today and it was almost over.

I was happy to get a few lines from him. A short phone call would have been a bit nicer, but I'll take what I can get. Umm, I will say that even when I was traipsing around the country as a missionary, I still called my mother once a week. I got a hold of my dad whenever I could. Call me a momma's boy, but I think it important to stay in contact with whatever family that wants to stay in contact with you. I could not, however, call from Mexico so there were extended periods when I couldn't call home. There was also a lot of problems I found out later that were created by it.

My oldest brother, at one point in time, was very upset with me at a Christmas get-together because his company didn't know where I was and had their "people" out searching for me. This made no sense to me, whatsoever. I had absolutely nothing to do with that company, had never worked for them and therefore had no clue what he was talking about.

The time in reference was a period of an extended period of travelling around Mexico, preaching, where only a few individuals that I knew had a semblance of the general area I was in. I wasn't trying to isolate myself, the circumstances extended themselves to cause that situation to be created. They were, apparently, attempting to find me IN Mexico. Lol. If they had found me, what were they going to do? Tell me to go back to America? I would have told them to bug off.

I don't know how they would have found me. I was in areas without electricity, telephones, cellphones, even running water.

Frankly, I loved those periods of my life doing things like that and I really want to get back into it.

You don't think that I am starting to go back to church again for a calculated reason? My missionary days and the days of doing some fairly wild stuff through the church locally has me longing for such again. I am leading a rather boring existence and it's time to change that. I will undoubtedly be going to church on Wednesday for the special guest speaker. I believe in current day prophecy, mostly because I have operated in such and have seen such first hand.

I have 2 completely conflicting things going on inside of me and it's a battle, to say for sure. It's all about church and the things that happened and the thing that wants to happen in my current attempt to get back into the mainstream of things.

I'm just saying that I am dealing with a great, internal conflict.

The ending of that conflict? Well I'm not there yet. But it should be an interesting ride, if nothing else!

Church

It was far more of a struggle to actually go into that church today than it was last week. I actually drove past the church, down a residential street, into another one, etc etc etc while going through this ridiculous mind-game/war about church, pastors and the abuse of people in churches, in general.

I forced myself to pull into the parking lot, where I saw with the car idling and AC on, of course, for several minutes before I shut the thing off, got out and walked through the doors.

2 individuals were there, both greeted me warmly. My issue isn't about this church, it is about my history with church and the situation with my ex-wife and my now ex-pastor. It has toyed with my senses about this particular subject for years now.

This whole scenario may sound ridiculous for a reader with a totally unattached sense of view of the situation, but, so it is with all of us in different arenas of life experience: there are issues in all of our lives that we probably have foul memory of and possibly haven't actually passed through the dark tunnel to get to the light at the other end.

I'm somewhere in the darkness of the tunnel and frankly, I don't see the light at the end of it yet, but I figure somewhere along this 4 week commitment of going to church, I might at least see a faint glimpse of it.

Well, I entered the "sanctuary" what they simply refer to as the auditorium and quickly found a seat and sat down. Oh, I will freely admit I timed this out: the service was only a couple of minutes from starting before I got in there. Yet, fully 3 people approached me and called me by name, remembering my name from the week before, that was impressive to me. But I still felt and feel completely out of place and totally uncomfortable there. Which is none of their doings or fault, this is my own issue and I am trying to work through it.

An hour of worship and a bit over an hour of preaching and praying. A card given out to all the dads with a magnetic strip for your refrigerator and a $5 gift card to Starbucks. Okay, I sort of liked that. Did I give in the offering? I don't know that I have ever consciously decided to go into a church service without the intention of giving at least something. Last week, I had my offering out but I wasn't paying attention and they were done with it in less than 2 minutes. This week I did not let the opportunity pass by and I made sure it made it into the basket.

So, I left. The pastor stopped me on my way out. Wasn't really looking for that kind of interaction, either. We exchanged pleasantries and he said he recognized me from somewhere. I also recognized him during the last and this service but could only get a faint glimpse of where I had seen him: on a stage somewhere with a bunch of other pastors and other types of clergy, it was undoubtedly a conference. I haven't been to a conference in at least 7 years, though, so I don't know and he couldn't place it, either.

That was it. I will try and force myself back next week. I might even try to force myself there on Wednesday, when they are having some sort of special speaker in.

My mind was totally off of the Father's Day aspect after church and I had forgotten that I had planned to have a nice steak somewhere, instead coming home and making an open faced chicken platter with gravy. Tasty and didn't even think about the steak until I started writing this entry. No loss. Red meat isn't good for you, right? lol

I haven't heard from Caleb, a bit disappointing considering he's my only child and it is Father's Day. A 2 sentence paragraph in an email would be better than nothing. I called my dad at about 7:30 this morning and we had a nice conversation.

That's it. These last 2 Sunday's of church have been - unbelievably - such an inner, emotional turmoil that I find myself drained at the end of the day rather than rejuvenated after going to an uplifting church service. I'm going to have to get past this, somehow.........

Sunday 6/19/2011

Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there who are raising children of whatever age!

Okay, it's not a big holiday, but it's worth noting and giving a moment's time to. I am going to treat myself to a dinner that I would not normally partake of just because. My son turned 18 last month, graduated High School, is working, going to go to college. I think I can say I did my part to help him get there.

One thing of notice that has happened since all the police visits to both mine and my neighbor's house. The barking dogs? I rarely hear them at all now. This has been my complaint since the beginning. It has been my complaint every time the police came over to my house after they were called by these stupid neighbors inventing stories and making up lies to, apparently, get me into trouble with the law.

They put up sheets of galvanized metal, leaned them against their side of the fence and keep their dogs on the other side of the house now. I hardly ever hear a peep out of those dogs at this point. Those people apparently thought I would just back down and "go away" and in the case of a person like me, nothing could be further from the truth.

I am just as entitled to peaceful enjoyment of my property as anyone else and there is NO way that police coming over to my house with attitudes after hearing complete, fabricated lies from my neighbors were then or are going to now intimidate me into backing down. If anything, it just gets me that much more the riled up. I still can't believe those police officers reaching over the gate, removing the lock and entering my back yard. I'm not sure they had the legal right to do that, especially considering there is a doorbell button out there and further that I have come out every single time they have showed up to "discuss" this situation with them. One thing is for sure: they completely stopped both entering my back yard and even coming over here once I called the precinct and complained about what I considered to be borderline police harassment.

The "only" problem left is the 2 idiots down the street: the neighborhood "bully" and his buddy across the street, the 30-something year old still living with his parents and a meth-head. However, even that situation has diminished greatly after I threatened to go to court and get an injunction against both of them. It's quite easy to do, too. I have resolved that if they offer up one more round of bull**** to me, I am going to head down to the JOP's court room and file for injunctions against both of them. Oh, the situation also reduced exponentially after I called the police and told them that the bully had threatened my life over.......cats.

So that's my neighborhood update. The place across the street is up for sale and if history is any proof of sale-ability, it will be in that condition for some time to come. A person with money to spend could buy that property and sit on it until the housing situation recovers -that could be years of course - and then resell the property for 4 or 5 or even more times what they paid for it.

That is, of course, the problem: you would have to sit on that property for probably years before it ever turned a profit. I was mildly interested in it as a rental property, but the house would take too much work to repair it into rentable condition. Only if they were offering a truly smoking deal on the place would I consider buying it.

Another option I have in this neighborhood is to pay up the taxes that some property owners don't pay. After 3 years, you can basically take the property as yours if they don't pay up. If they do pay up, they have to pay you back plus some absurd interest rate. Either way, you get something in return for your "investment".

I called my dad this morning and wished him a happy Father's Day. He sounds like he is doing well and he and his wife are settling into their new living arrangement in Tucson. Tucson is a relatively short drive and I can start visiting them on day trips here and there. Probably about 100 miles from my house, maybe a bit more. The speed limit once you get out of town is 75mph, which you can push to 80 and from what I have seen, DOT won't bother with you. They could, of course, but I haven't experienced that. The point is that I can be there in less than an hour and a half. It is not, however, a "beautiful" drive of any sort. It is nothing but desert from here to there, excepting Picacho Peak, which is an interesting mountain jutting up out of the desert floor that has some history of being the scene of some war conflict, well here is the copied and pasted text:

"Picacho Peak’s most noted historic event occurred on April 15, 1862, when Confederate and Union scouting parties met in the Battle of Picacho Pass during the Civil War. This was the largest Civil War clash to take place in Arizona."

As for my deceased doggy, I am pretty much over it already, usually doesn't take me long to get over the death of a dog, even if I have had it for a decade or more. Lynnette - not so easy. We were discussing getting another small doggy - however, this dog would be their's, not mine and if they ever left, they would either have to take the dog with them or I would find a new home for it. I do not want another 4th doggy. In my current range of dogs, once the 2 Danes die out - just being realistic here - the most dogs I will ever want at one time again is 2. 1 is okay, but when I'm not home, dogs tend to entertain each other instead of getting into trouble digging up things and basically engaging in property destruction out of boredom. If I get a dog from the Humane Society, you can always take it back, even years later, that way I am not stuck with a dog that is not mine and I have never really gotten to know.

Church starts in 45 minutes and yes, I intend on going. I am still not very comfortable with it, at all to be quite honest, but I am making the attempt with as good as attitude as I can muster and hope my mind frame changes about all of it. I promised myself to go 4 consecutive Sundays in a row and unless something happens to change that, I intend on keeping the self-made promise. The church is a 5 minute drive from here and is very lax on dress - people showing up in blue jeans and T shirts. I don't have a problem with others doing that, per-se, but it really isn't my style. I like to dress up for church, but today? Maybe for just one time in my life, I might go in blue jeans but have a nice shirt on.

With that, I bid you a........

G'day.

ben

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