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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Blessed Easter to all!

A personal greetings and thoughts from me to my readers and my friends. Happy Easter!

Cast of characters

Wife Debbie



My mom was a professional musician for several decades and sang in several states, on radio and television and very likely would have had a shot at stardom if she had not decided to be a mom first and an entertainer second. Thanks, Mom! I inherited the singer gene and passed it on to some of my children. Mom decided to retire but I am simply on hiatus...

I was a professional musician for a very short time and was pretty much a dead ringer for Bob Seger in my mid twenties and was also a very good songwriter. Well, I was a lyricist who was not as talented with melodies. I had just begun down the road of being a rock musician when I had a couple of life-changing events and so the world was saved from or robbed of me as a front man for a rock band. I would not have gotten married had I not accidently fathered a child with a woman who was not strictly my girlfriend. Long story, but my first born was a mistake!

Many people in this position (I did not know her that well and vice versa) would have decided to abort the unwanted child. But Sara's mother and I decided that we would have the child and that in fact we would marry. I know that my despair at the complete failure of every humanist philosphy to explain the meaning of existence and also the total inability of mankind to concoct a Uptopian society had stifled the seeking side of my soul. I had decided to party hearty, become a rock star and do the whole girls and drugs and money thing for as long as the ride would last. Yet part of me had decided that if I had fathered a child I would marry the mother and try the family thing.

Then I became a father. Becoming a father changed me and very soon I was ready to finally listen to that still, small voice inside. It seems likely that becoming a father led me to become a Christian which led me away from sex, drugs and rock and roll and towards being a family man and a soldier yet again...this time with a new Commander in Chief. I know that I almost gave up on marriage and I almost walked away but my little daughter...I just could not leave her! When times were hard early on she was the glue.

Before long I was singing for God and spent many years singing in groups and bands and solo and in choirs and so on and so on. I concentrate on the teenagers for now but if I know God wants me to begin singing again the team at church would want me back. So I still used my singing talents even if not for money.

So on Good Friday I was driving with my wife and the two youngest kids (my other daughter and granddaughter and two oldest sons planned on attending the Sunday performance of the play) to the little church where my oldest daughter, my son in law and my two grandsons go. I took a wrong turn and we got turned around but finally I reoriented and we made it just a little late. My youngest grandson, Nathan, was waiting in the entrance way for us to lead us to our seats. His eight year old mind was set on the idea that Grandpa and the rest would definitely come and he was not leaving his post!

In we went, in time to see the chorus begin to accompany my daughter as she sang a song about Jesus just before he was taken away to be tried and killed. My Sara was All-State choir in her Senior year and had three gold and one silver medal as a soloist in high school (the silver happened when her piano accompanist did not show up and she had to try to sing to a tape recording with the rather flat and quavery voice of her choir teacher perceptible in the background.

Now Sara was had a lot of acting to do in the play. Jesus was never portrayed but rather the play focused on the people he had touched. Sara was also the only singing actor not holding a folder containing the music and words. (She told me that, since she had to do so much acting, the folder would interfere so she just memorized all the words. Of course, that is my girl). Her bright soprano voice rang so clear...I was transported back in time.

What would have happened had my wonderful "mistake" had not happened? Would I have ever had children? Certainly I would not have had the same children! Would I have become famous and wealthy and a typical celebrity shallow self-centered entertainer still touring the country in my fifties rocking out the same old songs? Would I have wound up in jail for possession or dealing in drugs? Would I have gotten in a big bar fight and killed or have been killed? Would I have become a homeless bum strung out on drugs and Irish Rose?

My eyes leaked tears. I was so grateful I had become a father and that Sara had been a blessing rather than a mistake. I remembered her tiny hand closing on my little finger and being the first thing her little eyes saw when they first opened! She grew up to be a star in high school, winning letters, National Honor Society, top ten student, scholarship offers and so on. She was, and is, smart and talented and sweet. I also understand that in many ways she was the turning point that sent my life in another direction. Her very existence meant so very much to me!

With grandson Nathan sitting next to me chomping on the piece of gum I gave him, I put my arm around my wife and she scooted closer in. My ten year old grandson DJ marched on stage to give his lines, barefoot in his first century robes. He is a appears the performer/ham runs in the family...He always looked his part and went naturally to his spots all the way to the end.

Amanda gets married to Dan Walker on May 29th. I hope I get to live long enough to see her in a play with one of her children. I hope my other children also find their long hoped-for mates and give me even more grandchildren! I want to see all my grandchildren grow up and be married. Debbie and I figure if we can hang around long enough to experience great-grandchildren we will have lived a great life.

But no, it has been a great life already. I am very blessed. I am overcoming my health issues and losing weight and business is beginning to pick up. But it is the love in my family relationships and also my friends and the youth groups teens and my is nice but relationships and love trump money.

I absolutely believe with complete conviction that God created the Universe and Jesus Christ willingly became the Atonement for my sins and, when I received Christ my dead spirit became living and my life was palpably changed. If I was told that I could have been the biggest rock star on the planet if I could go back and change circumstances I would refuse it immediately. Being me is just what I want to be. I love my wife so much that marriage is actually not hard work, it is easy. I love my kids and I am perfectly happy to have them live at home while they go to college and get ready to go out on their own. No fame, no comforts, no riches could possibly compare to the joy of being a son of God, married to my wife and Dad and Grandpa!

Amanda and Nathan/son (who I took for his first driving lesson Saturday) and Rob and Dave all live with us, three of them doing the college thing and Nathan still in high school. We have two fairly big dogs, a parakeet and two fish tanks. Our friends and their friends come by. It is a lively place, our house!

At Easter we remember that Jesus Christ did not just suffer and die for our sins, but also He rose from death and went to prepare the place for us to join Him in a life after this life. I have six kids and three grandkids. These are my blessings. My life is a joy in almost every way. Jimmy Stewart in "It's A Wonderful Life" came to see what I see, where the real value of life lies and it is NOT in money!

I do not prefer to try to scare people with Hell nor do I do a lot of selling on the concept of Heaven. I believe in the reality of both states of being. I believe every person will continue to exist after this first death because I believe when God makes a human he makes an eternal personality. But knowing God is not so much about fire insurance. Having a relationship with God, being led by Him and seeking to serve Him comes with so much cool extra stuff - I wish you could all know this. I wish you could all find the joy and rest of relationship with God. Know that I am praying for all my readers who do not know God that they - you - can and will meet God and know Him BEFORE you die.

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!


radar said...

Happy Birthday to my son in law, Donny! God bless you and I have to find something with an Eagle on it that goes with a new pool?

Hawkeye® said...

Thanks for sharing your testimony. God is good. (:D)

radar said...

All the time, Hawkeye! That is one small part of my testimony but no matter how much information I share about pre-God the conclusion is always the same.

WomanHonorThyself said...

happy HOLIDAYS my friend ~!:)