Who am i

  • Parents divorced when i was 2ish ~ custody battle lasted until i was 10 when i got to choose (?!?)
  • Suffered severe head trauma when i was very young, twice. This appears to continue to affect me (negligibly) still today
  • Lived in 3 possibly 4 places before even starting kindergarten
  • Was sent off to a near by Sunday School on a bus that went around our neighborhood, mom did not come with us
  • Once shattered a glass bottle with my hand in a play ground
  • Attended at least 3, maybe 4 Elementary Schools, 2 Middle Schools, 4 High Schools
  • Had to repeat the 6th grade because i wanted to be in the same grade as my best friend at the time
  • My best friend at the time became my friend only after i decked him because he called me "chicken"
  • My mother remarried once, and was divorced 4 months later
  • Her second husband was a bear of a man who spoke with his fists
  • My brother and i stayed with a Christian family for a few weeks where all i remember is getting my first King James Bible, delivery newspapers, eating liver once (yuck!), and being baptised
  • Severely sprained my ankle by pole vaulting down a hill
  • Lived in 5 places and attended 3 different schools during the 9th grade
  • The summer between 9th and 10th grade my brother and i were sent of to stay with our cousins as my mother no longer had a place to stay
  • That summer was the best summer of my childhood and had a profound affect on the rest of my life
  • Went to church with the mother of the guy my mom (and i) was living with
  • Pastor asked me how i liked the service (i believe it was Methodist), my response was "i didn't like the wine" - she never took me to church again
  • One of the cousins i spent that summer with was murdered a year and a half later
  • Dropped out of High School half way through 12th grade because most of my tools from my auto-mechanic class were stollen- should never have passed 11th
  • Except for the 2 years i lived with my father, and for the one or two years i went to a sitter's house during the week, i grew up a latchkey kid
  • I learned to make macaroni and cheese, cinnamon toast, because my mother was rarely home before 9pm
  • Attempted college twice before giving in to life's other demands
  • I've broken my collar bone, and a bone in my right foot.  Both of these were easily avoidable
  • I have scars on every limb, both earlobes, on my head and one eye brow
  • I have torn muscles in both shoulders, and my left knee does not like stairs
  • Apparently i cannot sleep deeply unless i have positive air pressure applied directly to my nose
  • When i joined the National Guard it was not because i wanted to serve my country, i needed a job
  • It took me almost six months of constant bothering of the recruiter to enlist
  • My initial enlistment was for 3 years active reserve and 5 years inactive ready reserve
  • I have three high points
    • The first - getting to fire a live TOW missile
    • Serving after Hurricane Katrine and Rita, and pretty much every other flood call out - I earned the Humanitarian Medal
    • And when i was awarded the Honorable Order of St Barbara medal
  • I retired after 22 years of service
  • The Guard was the main reason i obtained my GED
  • I was baptised at least once before i was born again (i was baptised after i was born again, during the winter of 1989-90)
  • For several years i felt a tugging to go to church and "church shopped" by looking at the outside of the building, but i never attended a service
  • While testing for green belt in Ta-Kwon Do i over heard a couple cancelling a Bible study, told them i was interested in attending, was invited to go to church with them
  • What i experienced at church that Sunday - they were meeting in a High School Auditorium and not a formal building, it was already 85+ degrees outside (it was August) and just as hot inside (no AC that day), people were raising hands and clapping - there may have even been people dancing during the "singing part", the preacher was so passionate that he was actually shouting during parts of the sermon, it lasted over 2 hours
  • I accepted Christ as my Savior the following Thursday only after one aborted attempt by a couple who were following up on my visitation card on Sunday night, and an almost aborted attempt that night
  • I was baptised a few months later and i still remember the incredible joy i felt when i made that public confession and acknowledgement that i was dead in my sins and i am raised into new life with Christ
  • I had a dream of entering a cave where people were diving off into an abyss, there was a 'shadow' of someone with me.  When Christ came to me and told me i didn't have to do that.  Both my 'shadow' and i left the cave into the sunshine - i later found out i had the dream about the same time as my Beloved
  • I met my Beloved on a blind date with a roommate of hers
I am all of these things (and many, many more), and i am none of these things (and many, many more).  One can read this list, and all of the other meme questionnaires and still not really know me.  Such is true of anyone else we meet.  We only reveal what we want to reveal.  There is only One who knows us, even better than we know ourselves (because we can lie to ourselves, and actually do it convincingly).

Never assume when it comes to another person.  People are dynamic, they are complex, and you are only seeing a sliver of what there is to know.  While i know Christ and follow Him, my brother is a professing wycan priest.  We grew up in the same house, experienced the same things (except he actually completed high school and joined the Army to serve his country as an Airborne/Ranger).  If you were to look at my brother and i side by side sans the religion part of our lives, you would give the edge to him.  He did the right things, said the right things, and yet we are vastly different (as stated by many a soldier who has served with both of us).  We have some similar personality traits (fiercely loyal is one of them), but we are most definetely not the same.

And, never give up on anyone.  Years after we were married, my Beloved ran into an old co-worker.  The had worked together before she was a Christian.  She actually told her that she never witnessed to her because she thought she would never become a Christian!  Sometimes it's timing, sometimes it's the person, or the place, but in the end if God is prompting you to witness to someone you can do it.  Perhaps it's not right.  Maybe you do have to shake the dust of your feet and move on.  But never fail to show the compassion and love of Christ.  You never know how the Holy Spirit is going to nurture the seeds you leave behind.  I cannot count how many people, how much time, was invested in my life before my spirit responded to my Savior's call.  My Beloved took a while to respond as well.  She was introduced to the woman who would be instrumental in leading her to Christ in college.  There first interaction was when my Beloved introduced herself and announced that if she needed any alchohol she was of legal age and could get it for them.

God sees the end from the beginning.  He saw us completely before He laid the foundations of the Earth (young Earth, Old Earth, Evolution over millions of years or all in seven days), before Christ was born to a virgin girl, before He went to the cross, before He rose again, and before He ascended to Heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for you and me.  Never give up on your friends, your family, or yourself.


Alise said...

"We only reveal what we want to reveal. There is only One who knows us, even better than we know ourselves (because we can lie to ourselves, and actually do it convincingly)."

What a profound statement right there.

Gonna' be chewing on that one for a while.

Beautiful post today John.

Jingle said...

wise mind,
u know how and why,
inspirational post!

Janera Jepson said...

Hi Samurai-
My name is Janera Jepson and I host the new Wednesday meme Wednesday Wickedness (http://jjatww.blogspot.com). Don't let the name throw you. We are a family oriented meme that's similar to Linda's Random Dozen. We base our questions each week on quotes from someone famous. This week is Frank Sinatra. Since Linda is taking time off I thought I'd invite you to play during the hiatus. We always post on Tuesdays (we're up now!) so players can play on either day. We hope that you will join us! :)