the life of an introvert….


It’s not easy when you are out walking your dog in the morning while it is dark.  You have your headphones on and you are jamming away, you can feel the music pumping, and you know no one is watching. You can play air guitar without fear that anyone is watching and fear of looking like a fool. It is a time to set your soul free and enjoy the moment, then a string breaks on your guitar and you realize that they just don’t build them like they used to. Then your mind spirals down into a deep well of thoughts about life and death and Tom Petty you went home too soon. I grew up listening to you and knew when something you put out was going to have a beat to it and in someways touch my insides with a word I could relate too.  I enjoy people who can awaken my inner self.  That raspy voice, that duet with stevie, the alice in wonderland video, and that confident riff that made you hold your head up and told me what song was starting on that old AM radio that I had. Ah, to be young again.

Memories, we all have them, whether they are good or bad, they are a part of the make up of who we are. I think I drag the worst of mine around in a suitcase and open them up when I feel shitty about myself. When I want to sit in my little pity party and feel bad about myself. I need to lose that one at some far away airport and take the return to sender tag off of it. There are the good memories also, the ones we cherish, the ones that put that secret smile on your face when you need one. The day your son was born, or the day Jesus revealed himself to you or the day your wife sneezed a big loogie onto your forehead and you laughed and laughed together. The days when everything went right and you felt on top of the world. I need more of those. The joy of knowing that you are loved. The things that put a smile on your face and made you feel good inside are the things you should remember most. Music for me can trigger so many memories. The sound track that plays in my head would make an awesome playlist.

Then there is a dark side to being an introvert. The thousands of conversations that plague your mind, why didn’t i say this, or why didn’t i do that? Always why.  Always questions without understanding. Nobody can really explain. The hurts that run through your brain, and the vows to never be in that position anymore. I never going to let so and so do that to me again. Then being the nice person you are, it happens again and again, and then it explodes into something really ugly and you ponder it hours later wondering how you allowed that person to do it again. There is some truth to when I get angry, i will shut you out. It is the easiest way i know to protect myself from the pain. For God’s sake, I need to build a wall. I could live in a castle with a huge deep moat and never let the drawbridge down,,,ever. Well as long as I have coffee and WiFi.

Then there is a side that so few get to see. That soft tender side. The side that helps me to love a puppy,  to be with my wife for thirty years. There is a compassion that gets trampled on way too many times. A loyalty that can crumble when broken, and observance of others and a constant updating of mental files of who’s naughty and who’s nice. I don’t want to let that happen again. I am not always quick on my feet, but can come up with a good idea, and to many ideas when given time to think.  I can easily get lost in a movie or a book and can growl like a sleeping dog when disturbed.  I can be my worst critic and can reach around and pat my own back.  I love to explore and discover on my own. The things that I treasure, some will not understand and just think it is old junk. When we die our memories will go with us, no one will know or care. Life on this earth will continue on and we will just be someone else’s memory.  As time passes we fade into some glory that will be long forgotten, we will not be in some history book. No one will remember what we stood for, or what passion drove us. No one will remember the work we did and what we built or tore down with our two hands.  We will just be a branch in some one’s family tree. The food we liked, or what made us sad. The core of our being will be gone.

These are the things I think about. I know that there will be a special place in heaven for me. A seat with my name on it. A coffee mug with my picture on it and a secret brew made just for me. There will be some there shocked that I made it in, and there will be others greeting me with open arms. There will be a great party the day I walk through those pearly gates. All that I endured will be worth it in the end.  We will worship the King together and watch the movie of my life. There is no shame in Heaven, so we will probably just watch the good clips, because all the bad crap will be edited out. Might be a short film. All my questions will be answered then. I am sure there will be a Q and A time. The treasures that are in my heart will be shared then, there will be thankfulness and tears of joy. I will look back at life and realize how short it really is, and all the dumb stuff that i worried about because I thought it was important. I just want to have more joy in the journey while I am waiting for that day.

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It’s not Easy…..


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters……..Colossians 3:23

We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it……1 Corinthians 4:12

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need….Ephesians 4:28

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them..Hebrews 6:10

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false……Revelation 2:2

I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do….John 17:4

I was once a thief, taking everything that pleased my eye, and in my dream last night i kept finding all this money, piles of it underneath bleachers at this wild church out reach, it was like it fell out of people’s pockets and spilled on the ground for taking. It was weird because i felt like some belonged to my parents and some belonged to my grandparents. I could not carry it all. To find more, I had to work for it.

So speaking of work, I have been there for eleven and a half years.  so for arguments sake let’s say i worked an average of nine hours a day. which equals out to 2, 349 hours a year times 11.5 years equals 27,013.5 hours. 27,000 hours of helping people who were and are sick with some sort of respiratory issue. When people are sick, they are not always in their right mind. They are crabby and bitchy and demanding. When God said, I have a job for you, I never thought I would be doing this. You may not realize the amount of bull one has to endure when dealing with people. For an introvert, i take a lot of it personally. So when i woke up this morning I was thinking about my job and what God has ordained a person to do. The works that He has out before us. This is my lot for now in this period of my life. I have taken care of thousands of people, cried when some have died, and prayed over some, some got prayer without their knowledge. It was not always easy.

So if God put me into this position at work and prospered me, and helped me threw difficult times, why am I surprised still when I come under attack? You maybe I really am doing a good job and it is a battle. I can usually see through the bull when people us guilt and shame to try and motivate you to get what they want.  Also, patients lie, and so do their children. People will do anything to get their way. Old people can throw temper tantrums too. What’s even better are those who hide behind their phone and cuss and swear at you and tell you how worthless you are and what a shitty company you work for. Yet when offered the choice to leave, they stay. When people say the battle belongs to the Lord, have never been in this position. It is easy to say after the fact. When you are attacked by coworkers, that is the real surprise. I have put trust in these people and they just don’t seem to care about how you feel or your work load.  Well, i can still go home at the end of the day.

So to interact with people, you need a lot of the Spirit. Patience also helps. You have to go to the well and get filled up often. If people only knew how their actions affected others. Of course being an introvert, i can replay the scenario a thousand times in my head and still be wrong. Then feeling like I am the one to blame, or it’s my fault, or i can’t measure up to someone elses expectations will plague me and I will feel like a failure, again. People do not realize how much encouragement a person needs. Or how personal a person can take what they say and the next day they just go on like nothing has happened. This type of thinking has plagues me for decades. The millions of thoughts and feelings that have run through my head that something is wrong with me, or I am to blame. I am never going to live up to anyone’s expectations, but God’s. It is easy to play the introvert card and hide behind that way of thinking, because people are mean and cruel. I am tired of feeling like a failure, and when you bring it up and try to talk about it, it is like you have the plague and you just need to get over it, or quit living in the past. So you look for answers in any little song, or phrase, or person, always searching for something that will help numb the pain. I do not know why I am wired like this, I guess God needed someone like me in this place and time. So you find all types of coping mechanisms to just make it through everyday life. If you want to talk about real battles, i can tell you about them.  It is time to have a new thought.

The glory at the end of the trail is going to be worth it. I am going to run into my Saviors arms and grab Him by the neck and kiss Him and thank Him for everything. The tears of joy are going to flow and I will know what real freedom is like. There will be no more shame and guilt, no more sorrow and pain., no more worrying or struggling. There  will be freedom in it’s purist form.  I will have a new body. I can have that now even. So when you see me smiling in the mix of crap, you’ll know that I am in my happy place, with Jesus.

 

What is love,,,baby don’t hurt me no more….


Here we are, another glorious day to be alive. With so much to be thankful for, where does one even start.  To be glad to have a place to lay my head each night, or to have food to make my belly even bigger. To love and be able to love in return. Well some don’t choose to love. They would rather choose to chew your ass out over the phone over some piddly crap or try to lord over you with their title and tell you that it is your job, not theirs. Whatever has happened to saying you are a Christian and being it? What is being a Christian even mean anymore. Listening to a few good songs on the local praise and worship station, maybe watching some evangelist on the television and giving a few bucks to a local church? It seems like it is so watered down from what it could be. Do people even read their bibles anymore? Is it more to it than that? What about praying? It seems like such a cliche, how do you know they do, and what if God says no?  How do others know what is best for me? How can a Christian say one thing and do another? It seems like Christianity has more rules than the Old Testament. What if I don’t want to do my walk like you do? Does that make me wrong? Am i going to hell fast then? What if I want to protest the way you do it, but still love the Same God?  If you have a degree, does that mean you know what is best for me?  What if I went to the school of hard knocks, does that mean I know what is best for me? There is always someone who tries to shove their way of thinking down your throat, and I am no better.

I have found that it is good to have certain people around. As an introvert I am always watching and picking up on stuff. I see your habits and quirks, I see what’s missing. I have tried to help some, but I have noticed that they think they have arrived. Arrived to what I do not know. They are here to show me how not to be in life.  Maybe that’s why I don’t have too many friends. I wonder why my wife has stuck with me for almost thirty years? When I look at myself all I can see is what I did wrong, and what went wrong. It’s like I deserved to be punished. Oh Oh, another spanking. I would hope to believe that their is something good in me.  Jesus came to set me free, when is that going to happen, and what does that even look like. How can I be compassionate and loving to others, when I don’t even know how to be that too myself?  Some days I feel like I have wandered so far away from being a Christian that I could not even find my way back. Then there are other days where I am crying out for help and mercy.  God just show me a sign, send one person, do something,,,,,,,,

Meanwhile back here on planet earth, I find myself still clinging on to hope. Salvation is mine, but I want so much more. What is really going on in my mind and my heart. Am I turning into some critic who wants to shy away from humans? There seems to be a price to pay for just being yourself. At times I have felt so far from who I wanted to be to who I am know, that I have forgotten the dreams that I did have only to try and plow through the nightmare of everyday life. If there is one thing that I have noticed is that people are going to do and say what they want.  They do not care who or what is in their way. If they trample over you to get ahead, they don’t really care as long as their are satisfied. They proclaim that they are Christians in one breath and crap on you with the next. Not caring on how you feel. So yes, I withdrawal and put up a wall, for God’s sake, I do need to protect myself. My heart cannot take too much more. I guess I am a Christian because I feel the need to be loved unconditionally.  No strings attached, can people even do that anymore?

If you read this please let me know somehow. I am feeling self conscious and discouraged. I find myself wondering if anyone reads this. I can’t stop writing though, it is kind of a creative outlet, or a place for me to vent. Nobody ever said life was easy, if they did, they where lying. Life is hard, people are cruel and nobody is right all the time. Going to heaven is starting to look better and batter everyday.  I can see why I need more and more of God everyday.

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes….Matthew 6

God’s in there……


Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Sweet child o’ mine…….

That’s where I’m at.  Is it a new season? Out with the old and in with the new? It ain’t even New Years Day.  It has been an interesting summer anyway, well maybe not, it was a far better one than the last one. Things change, perspectives change, and the way I see the world is changing. Values change, and my team will probably not go to the Super Bowl again. Protesting the flag and the National Anthem, I can never figure that one out. Or changing history and doing away with Civil War statues, that is really making a statement there, dumb asses. Ooops, maybe that will offend someone. No matter where you go or what you do some one will take offense or find fault in what you do and have a better way of doing it. Thank God I am an introvert and avoid such people. How do you love your neighbor when He’s an ass? It is hard to be a Christian in such a modern day society. Well at least we are not being persecuted and hunted down.  In my opinion,(not that it matters), there is just not enough thankfulness anymore. What ever happened to good old fashioned kindness? Has it been replaced with, “It’s all about me”, mentality? Heck I don’t know. I think people are afraid of the school of hard knocks. Sure I would like it easy for a change, but I don’t even know what that would look like. It is always the hard way.

As I  search for answers in this life, I realize that there are a lot of people who think they have an answer for everything. How do you know whose is right and who is full of B S. Just for example, let me tell you about a lady who lives down the street. She minds her own business, keeps her lawn mowed and does not cause a ruckess. Yet she continues to feed the squirrels corn. Full ears of corn are thrown out daily. These squirrels drag this corn every where. There are corn cobs all over. These same squirrels are also planting this corn all over. Storing it up for winter, as squirrels do. They plant corn in your flower pots and your yard. Our flowers have been dug up many times and it can be quite frustrating. There is not a house in this area that does not have corn growing up in their lawn. In fact some yards look like corn fields. I see it every day when I take the dog for a walk. I just have to chuckle to myself.  She thinks she is doing the right thing by feeding these squirrels, but she does not see the damage that is being done in everyone else’s yard. I have resorted to using the Red Ryder on these corn planters. you’ll shoot your eye out with one of those.

People can be the same way, they keep offering advice, a little bit here and a little bit there and the next thing you know they have corrupted the way you look at life. I am always leery of some one who has to get their two cents in on everything you do or say.  I did not know that they were such experts on my life. Sometimes you can tell how people are if they can run a ratchet strap or not. Not every thing is on google.

My role at my work place has changed a little. I am not at the front desk anymore, or the front line as I think of it. The place where the phone is answered first and the place where the customer attacks first. A place where you have to have your guard up.  Because people are cruel and rude and think they are entitled, by the way the customer is not always right. I am in a back corner office where I can quietly work on paperwork. I do deliveries every couple of days, but I also make sure that orders are taken care of. I actually kind of enjoy it now, it’s like a breath of fresh air. When I was at the front I found myself very unsure of all that I did, making sure things were done right. Always asking question, very dependent on some one else. Now that I am not at the front, I have found that some one is dependent on me.  That I have to have the answer to all the problems.  I realized that I knew it all along. That the answers were in me all the time. That I actually did know what I was talking about.

What I am saying in all that is that is the same way with your walk with Christ. The big difference is that He is inside you. That He is your confidence. He will give you the right answer, it has been inside you this whole time. He has never left you. It isn’t a one and done kind of thing. I found myself doubting my faith, convicting myself because I haven’t cracked open my bible for a while, or gone to any church for a number of years. Kind of feeling out of touch, maybe having my own little pity party. Then realizing it has still been with me all this time, that I still pray and talk to God. He does understand me and gets me just the way I am. He works with me through the changes, not forcing them upon me. There is a better response when things are done out of love rather than forced down my throat. After all it is a good thing that God isn’t human.  As the old song goes, “If you love me let me be, if you don’t then set me free”. There is no control or selfishness in heaven, why should there be some here on earth.

row row row your boat….


Joe's Garage Logic

So You start out on dry land. You accumulate what you can and learn what you can. Trying to collect knowledge of how to survive in this new world. Rules and regulations are thrust upon you. You feel like you are taught to conform to a society that needs to grind out a financial gain. Taught what you can say and cannot, what to think, and how to act. You strive for some type of independence, but the rules change the older you get. There is always someone who tries to tell you what to think and what not to think. There is a hierarchy that never ends. A lording over you that judges what you do and don’t do. Are you doing it their way or your own. If it is wrong then it’s your fault. If it’s right some one else will claim the credit. It gets more…

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Good Morning Mr. Phelps…….


It is nice to be on a little vacation, the everyday hustle and bustle of dealing with people. It can be draining mentally. You try to help and kill them with kindness and you are just left with wanting to kill them. It is not easy being an introvert with easily triggered emotions turning in your brain. I want to care and help, but some make it difficult to do that. The demands that some people lay on you makes you want to get revenge. Hurt them as much as they have hurt you. It is hard to believe that we need a place called hell because some sure want to make it here on earth.  So I had a conversation with God about this whole ordeal. I told Him how much I would like to get revenge and make someone elses life miserable for a change. Sure I know all the scriptures about turning the other cheek and blessing them.  He says to me two simple words,”Just Pray”. How simple is that. I can do that quietly and know one needs to know. In away that is the best kind of revenge, it takes the burden off me and it gives me a reason to smile. So if you see me smiling, I am secretly praying the God will bless you.

Along the same vein, last night I had this dream that I owned this big building. In this building there was a lot of rooms, and in these rooms there was a lot of work to be done. I was a super hero in my dream and I needed a side kick. I interviewed a man and He was up for the task. The building was full of people, so our first mission was to get all these people out in safe and calm matter. There was something wrong with the building so it had to be evacuated. It was flooded with unfinished paperwork. The people did not know that we were helping them. We saved everyone. The next thing i knew I was flying and saving people from some terrible person. This person had this terrible vortex in the sky and was ready to start sucking people up into this terrible spinning tube that had arms to grab people. I was in the middle of saving some one and knew I would have to come back and defeat this person. He was my arch enemy and I knew I could beat him. All I could think about was saving the person I was carrying first. I kind of felt dread to fight my enemy, I thought I had defeated him once already.

I was listening to Graham Cooke the other day. He was talking about two battles that we are always fighting. One to get free, and another to stay free. How often have I gave up after the first battle thinking that I have arrived, that I can move on to the next thing in life only to have it rear it’s ugly head and attack again. It is a hard battle to stay free to me. There is always a fight ahead of you. If you have tasted the freedom the Christ has given you, you will do anything to keep it. It is like finding that treasure in a field. Protecting your freedom is important. The enemy will use any one and any thing to knock you off your game. Some do not even know what they are doing or how their actions offend and effect you.  There are some who say they are Christians, yet sure do not know what that word means.  Who am I to judge tho, I am sure that there are times that I have forgotten also. That doesn’t mean that I have quit trying. The best answer I can give is to keep following God, keep your eyes on the prize. I am the one who has to give an account for my actions here on this earth. I won’t be able to explain why you did what you did.  I try to be responsible for myself. I find it is easier to just distance myself than to deal with some one elses crap. Life is to short to continually take bullshit from some one, to be their dumping grounds.

So your mission, if you so choose to do it, is to pray for those who choose to be your enemy. For those who try to control and manipulate your day. For those who dump on you. All I can do is pray, they will never know what hit them. God will turn every curse into a blessing. If you see me smiling, I could be praying for you…….

Get back to the garden and set my soul free….


Come and see, taste His goodness and you to will find that God is good all the time.  No matter what happens in life, you cannot escape His goodness. It is not dependent on anything you say or do. You could run away and it will be there waiting for you. His grace and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. All I can do is sit in awe and be thankful. Every stinking day, it never changes. On my good days and on my bad days, His love for me never waivers. It is like a constant flow that can never be shut off. It is not based on what I do or who I am. When I struggle it is there, when I am smiling it is there. Never judging me or condemning me. There is no pain or shame, just a constant flow of love. It is incredible to see how much He cares for you. If we promote anything in life it should be of His love. If we imitate anything it should be Him. We are called to be Christ like, I have not seen a list of examples where I should not be. Everything is in Him and flows from Him. There is nothing that He does that is not rooted in love.

I have been going through a period where I have been questioning my own faith. I have searched my heart and wondered where i was at with my relationship with Him.  I have found that I have always believed, still throwing those little prayers out there and seeing them answered. Finding it hard to believe that as horrible of a person that I can be, that I am still one of the beloved. That know matter what happens in life, His love for me never changes. For this I am truly thankful. People may come and people may go, but His faithfulness endures forever. He is like that BFF that never wants to leave. The Holy Spirit wants to do everything that you want to do and always shows me a better way, when I ask. I have often wondered where those brilliant ideas come from and most of the time they are from Him. You know, those thoughts that just pop into your head and make you feel like a genius. Then There is Jesus, what can I say, who else would sacrifice themselves so you could be free. Then come and want to hang out with you afterward. His love never changes. Once you have accepted Christ, where else could you go?  All you have to do is believe.  He’s not human, and doesn’t treat you like people do, well some anyway.

Being a Christian is not all this rules and regulations. Not a list of do’s and don’ts.  It is not a get out of jail free card, but an opportunity to be loved.  To come as you are and be accepted just the way you are, baggage and all. He does not say to get ride of your crap and get your life together and then follow me. He says to come as you are and we will work on your baggage together.”I know you have a lot, but trust Me, it will all work out”, says Jesus, “I want you, I died on the cross so you didn’t have to drag that around anymore”.  “To Me, you are important just the way that your are”, Says God, “With my love, I will transform you and soften your heart”,,”the days of getting beaten up by yourself are done, no matter what others my say or do to you, I have got you.”.

Christ came to set you free, don’t allow other’s actions or thoughts control and manipulate you. It is just between you and the Father.  If people don’t accept you for who you are, shake the dust off your feet and move on. You are who God says you are, not what other people say or do to you. You are a much loved child, a co-heir with Christ. You are entitled and have every right to be loved. He will not abandon you like people do. That is my fear, that I will be abandoned, and people do it all the time. I too am guilty of it. At times I feel like it is all my fault, and it is probably not. People cast shame and guilt, but God never does.  You do not know what I have been through in my mind, the thoughts that are never shared, the fears that I harbor, or the way that i perceive life. What makes me angry, or what makes me cry. What I find humor in, or what makes me sad. God knows everything about the way I tick and He still says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. While others sit back and judge motives, God smiles and nods lovingly. He knows the plans that He has for me, some days I also know, and some days I wonder if this was part of the plan. No matter what happens, God has it all under control,  that’s why He is God and I am not.

Rebuilding Burnt bridges….


Joe's Garage Logic

When I was back in high school, I was kinda a trouble maker. That was a lifetime ago. I lost some close friendships because of what was done. Today I found myself thinking about regrets. I don’t regret so much that I made the mistakes, I regretted that I couldn’t make amends. Reconcile those lost friendships. I don’t want to live in regrets anymore. Finding myself wishing that I coulda, woulda, shoulda done something. How many times do you find yourself wishing that you wouldn’t have burnt that bridge? Or it becomes to late to make amends. Words lost and arguments forgotten. It really doesn’t matter whose fault it was, or you can’t remember why you held a grudge in the first place. Bitterness sets in deep and forgiveness is miles out of reach. You may find that you wished you said I loved you more, or i could have…

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sign, sign, everywhere a sign…


When I started doing this my intention was to encourage and hopefully point people toward the Lord. Instead I think it has been turning into a big whining and complaining session. I have been anti people and anti myself. I have not been the Man of God that I should be.  I have been kind of negative and for all this I apologize.  So please forgive me. I have been thinking about what I write while laying wide awake in bed. It has not been very helpful or encouraging.  I won’t take offense if you quit following this blog.  I really don’t have an excuse for any of it.

Years ago I was given a word about writing a blog and making videos about walking with God,. I think I took it and ran in my own direction and it turned into something, what I am not sure of. A bitch session, or a vent session, or something to that affect. …Philippians 2:14….”Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.”

So where does one go from here? Good question, maybe take a break, who knows. Maybe some prayer. Some soul searching, who knows, if God tells you. let me know. Only a handful read this anyway, and I have to confess that it frustrated me also. I think my vision was bigger than what I thought.  What I had planned and maybe what God has planned are two different things.