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Thursday, January 16, 2014

A note from Radar about Love - I have had two great loves - TWICE!!!

 TWO LOVES?

I didn't know what "falling in love" was when infatuation first hit me.  You get the grade school crush and then from time to time you crush again and then it goes away.  I mean, everybody has to have had at least ten crushes from the time you were a single-digit midget until the end of high school, right? 

The level of crush tends to diminish over time.  So by the time I was reaching that good old 21 year old level I thought I would never have another crush.  I might be very attracted to someone, but no more every-single-second emotional roller coasters.  Those were for kids.

The I met a girl named Kathy.  Actually, I met her at a party and thought, yeah, cute girl.  But there was a girl who was aiming for me and I like being a target so I saw Kathy but it didn't make a dent.  Then later on she came in at my favorite dance club/bar.   The age to drink at that time there was 18 so her 19-year-old self could come in with a gaggle of girls...and us guys just happened to have a few tables all pushed together so we saw that group come in and snagged a couple of extra chairs and made room and they came sat down with us.  I remembered the girls from the party and was no longer even slightly interested in the girl who I "won" during a rigged spin-the-bottle - twice.  No way was I into her at all.  But this time I really got a good look at Kathy and I was very impressed, oh yeah, like every guy in the place was checking her out.  What the heck was wrong with me at that party, wow?  

But I played it cool.  I asked her to do a fast dance with me and when it ended, she told me it was her birthday and she wanted a kiss for her birthday.  I told her when she was ready to dance a slow dance with me, then maybe I would kiss her.  We sat and we talked and other guys asked her to fast dance but she turned down every slow dance.  I didn't ask her.  Finally came the last dance of the night and it was a slow one and I asked her.  She was far more gorgeous than she knew and fit into me like honey poured into a glass.  Oh, man!  I told her she could have her kiss now and she said that we ought to go outside.  We did and we kissed and worlds collided and we both knew it was the real thing.  Honestly, I probably was crazy enough to ask her to marry me right then and there but I didn't have a ring and the money to be able to support two people unless we scraped or she left school - she was going to a local college.  

We fought because I was an idiot who would develop green-eyed monster symptoms.  I wasn't used to caring that much and she was so sweet she would let guys ask her to fast dance when we would go back to the club.  I knew she liked hanging out with her girlfriends and then I would have her to myself and she told all the guys she belonged to me.  She only slow-danced with me.  She would come by the school at break sometimes and bring me something or just be there so we could sneak around the side of a building and kiss for five minutes and then I would go back to class and she would go back to her school.  All the guys in my classes were jealous because she was so pretty but I was not mature enough to handle the real thing and the Army still owned me, so shortly before it shipped me off I broke off with her.  I told her I would come back for her but then I got into bad company and figured it was better if I didn't come back.  The one time I stopped back in for a visit she ran to hug and kiss me and I had to keep going and felt so wrong somehow.

So a few years go by and I marry a girl and we have kids and things happen and she runs off and I keep the kids and the house and let her go find her right mind in another place.  I figured I knew true love once and nobody gets a second so Kathy was in my heart but not in my life.

Years go by and I am checking out the Christian dating sites and find a Debbie.  We connected with emails and then phone calls.  Finally we decided to meet, I took her to the Olive Garden.  She sharked a bite from my plate, we hopped back in my turbo VW and I kissed her right then and there.  Bang!  We were both Christians so we never did what you are supposed to wait for marriage to do but I think it was three months from first kiss to marriage?  Yes, I did find true love a second time and Debbie now owns the place in my heart that Kathy had always inhabited.  Kathy still gets a tiny back room in there but Debbie is the love of my life and she owns the place.   Twice in a lifetime?  Oh man, it makes up for all the bad stuff!!!

TWO LOVES PART TWO

Probably part of the problem with me and Kathy was that I had a love affair with me.  I was considered a good guy back then, but I was hiding a very selfish soul.  I did like people, but I loved me some me!!!  Oh, yes I did...being nice to people meant they were nice to you for the most part.  After I parted from Kathy a more selfish me began to come out and I began to hang out with some people who were less about being good to others and more about getting over on everyone else.  

A few years go by and I am in a gang of criminals doing things that could have tossed me in the Federal prison system if caught.  I have told my story ad nauseum so I am not going there again.  Let's just say that people who know me now find it hard to believe when I tell them the guy I used to be and I am pretty sure the guys (and girls) I hung with "back in the day" would never believe I became a Jesus Freak.

When I realized that Jesus really was the Son of God who lived in as a man to save all of us from our inherent sins and the various sins we'd committed, then I also realized that up to then I had been my own god and I had done a bad job of it!  I had lied to so many people, used them, taken advantage of them and especially I liked messing with people's heads just because I could.  I was a snake with no rattle, biting some and wrapping others up until I was ready to release them.  I was a rotten god of me!  I loved me some me and that meant I didn't do a good job of loving anyone else.

Now Jesus has changed me,  God the Father has adopted me and the Holy Spirit lives in me and directs me.  I am not a robot, I just changed gods from me to the real God.  It has taken years of Bible reading and prayer to see things I needed to revise and to ask forgiveness and also give it, but the biggest change was instant on the inside.  My wanter changed what I wanted.  I wanted to stay away from drugs and drunkeness and brawling and hurting people and playing with their heads.  I was determined to be a God man and that meant as good a man as I could be.  I wanted to help other people find the amazing and awesome GOD that had changed my life.  My love of God had been usurped by the love of me, but now God was my Lord and the me had to be put well behind.  I try to love others and I want to love others.  This is the miracle, not just having fire insurance, but being God's child and friend and servant and it is much, much better than anything any drug or sensation can be and I ought to know.  I had tried just about anything and everything but Jesus but now I belong to Him!  Anything or anyone else is pretending to be the real thing.  There is only our Mighty Creator God the God of the Bible and all others are a pretense or from ignorance or plain stupidity...or perhaps in some cases pure evil?  Hope you will find the Real God before it is too late! 

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I want to thank the Piltdown Superman for posting on this blog while I deal with terrible pain and no hope but another operation.  Trying to get caught up on work and learning to live with the pain and just hanging in there while I wait to get in line for a VA hospital and surgeon to fix me up.

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Now I will tell you what I told my friend, Bob...and so I will change the font color to differentiate from the top part of the post.

I prayed to God Saturday morning that I would go on fighting and fight to live and not die, I would battle to get that new knee and I would work to keep my family in our house and food on the table. After I did, I had the urge to read the Bible, as if the Holy Spirit was telling me to be a Christian, turn off the television and go to BibleGateway and read a chapter NOW. I just read the entirety of the Psalms that was excerpted even as I thought (while navigating there) that I hoped it wasn’t a long Psalm that day! It was Psalms 118!!! Go read that Psalms before you end your day please?

Anyway, I read it through and then decided to read it again, this time out loud to my three dogs. They liked that. My wife had gone out to find the manger scene from Christmas in the snow so she could put it in the crawl space and two of my sons were at work. So here is where it gets good – we NEVER go into the crawl space – but she opened the door to the space and saw water!!!!!!! I now know the outside PVC pipe (very large so I thought it would never freeze) had indeed frozen and the sump pump killed itself trying to push water through solid ice. The space is about five or so feet from floor to ceiling but only about 18 inches below the bottom level of our tri-level home at the door end. It is a bit deeper all the way back at the far East side of the crawl space where the actual sump well is. So the water was a couple of inches above the sump well at that end and so water had only crept maybe five or six feet towards our crawl space door. We had been in a blizzard and now rain had fallen and all that snow was melting FAST!

Knee or knee not, I had two sons at home and the bottom level of the house was in danger! They did not know anything about sump pumps and sump wells but my little wife fairly easily got herself back there and answered all my troubleshooting questions. I realized what had to be done. I called the hardware store that was thankfully still open. I threw on a hoodie and pajama pants and sped to the store, bought a submersible sump pump that was powerful but not huge and a long rubber tube that was, like the vacuum hose on our Kirby, made with steel wire within to avoid kinking. The tubing was small enough to fit inside that big PVC tube that went out to the outlet, designed to emit water into the gravel kennel we have in a fenced area of the backyard. So I sent the two guys into the crawl space with jobs to hacksaw off two inches below the turn from vertical and the horizontal at the turn of the PVC to the horizontal. Then they installed the pump as I suggested (by this time the water is halfway to the crawl space door) and it began to work. They put as much of that tube into the horizontal PVC pipe as they could force in and duct-taped it there thoroughly. I sit on a small bucket and turn on the lights and look in morning and evening and Debbie yanked off the outside PVC so just the outlet was there thus eliminating freezing risk. 

If I had not prayed, would I have read Psalms 118 and would Debbie have decided to go find the manger scene buried in the snow? If not, by the time we were in bed Saturday night the water would have begun to flood the downstairs and we would have at some point discovered that the downstairs was being flooded…danger to wiring and furniture and EVERYTHING down there! Disaster and how much of it could be replaced by insurance? How much in the way of stored stuff in the crawl space, kept off the floor, would have been destroyed? But God sent me to the Bible, my wife out in the snow to find something buried so she could put it in the crawl space where she spotted water where there is NEVER water! Now all is drying out. Sure disaster but for God…God knew and He made sure we knew. Not coincidence.

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