Pastor Jeff’s Full Blog Posts
Like being mortal.
There is a scene in the 13th Warrior where they are preparing to sleep knowing that they are going to meet a arch foe later in the night.the Arab ask the Norseman, “How can you sleep at a time like this?” The Norseman replies, “God set the length of your life at the time you were born. Go hide in a hole if you like, but you won’t live a moment longer. Fear profits a man nothing.”
My dad died when he was 78 and his died in his 40s… and the Strong men do not have long life spans as a rule, it seems. I am 66 and a 1/2. So to say that I am going to live as long as my dad, would give me about 11 1/2 years.The Bible says that the average age is 3 score and 10 (that is 70 years for you non-biblical mathematicians). And then it says and if by some strength a little more. So I being the generous person I am I give myself maybe 20 years.
Charles Dickens’ character, the Spirit of Christmas Present, said to Scrooge, “Our time is limited so we try to do as much good as we can in the time that is allotted to us because one day we won’t be here any more.”
Now dwelling on such dreary subjects makes people think you are a fatalist or suicidal. I am neither, but it helps me keep a proper perspective on just how temporary life in the mortal realm is. Plus how close I am to graduating into the real realm of immortalness.
I would encourage all of you to set aside some time and meditate on the subject and walk down the paths that make you uncomfortable and discover why.
In the last 6 months of my tour of duty with the United States Army, I was assigned to a funeral escort squad. My job was to be present at the place where the body(s) were to arrive, sign for them and then stand guard over them until the unit arrived with the vehicles to transport them to their respective funeral home. During those 6 months, I signed for and received into my custody and protection some 428 caskets. I say protection because there were some anti war groups who would steal the bodies and use them in a protest march.
So far this year I have had many funerals of many friends and it is only the middle of February………I hope this will not be a repeat of 1971.
I had just dropped my beloved off at the Marriott, she is helping her best friend run a table at the Oricon convention. I am heading for the Hawthorne Bridge with a radio show blaring. It is Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and I am laughing so hard I am almost in tears. My wife had left the window down just a little, and inch or two, the truck has a good heater, but if it had not been for that lowered window I would not have heard the plea in the center span on the south side of the Hawthorne bridge.
At a quick glance I saw what appeared to be a half naked old man waving his arms and yelling for help.I also saw that there wasn’t any one behind me so I stopped and backed up about 50 feet stopped and hit the flashers and got out. He is shivering violently and is half naked and I put him in my truck. Portland PD shows up and I explain the situation. The officer calls for an ambulance and we moved to the east side to clear the bridge. The ambulance shows up and we put the ol’ guy on the stretcher and the ol’ guy thanks everyone for saving his life. The ambulance said they were going to take him to Providence and off we went.
His name is Bobbie Gentry, he is 82 and lives on the street ‘cuz he only gets $350 per month social security after they deduct medicare. He had a camp near the bridge until these two gutter punks came, tore everything up and stole his wallet and his pants and boots. I asked him if he was a veteran and he said he was. So I made a call and when I left there was a VA rep with him filling out paper work to 1.) replace his ID, 2) get him into a room at a VA senior center, and 3) it seems that Bobbie is a disabled Veteran twice over. Once in Korea, and once in Vietnam. Has several medals also and whats more a pretty good pension coming that he didn’t even know about. The rep asked him how he survived on such a small pension.
Bobby grins an almost toothless smile, “He knows,” he says pointing at me, “ask him.”
“By faith in Christ,” I said.
Bobbie nods, and says “Yup.”
So I said my good byes. An Bobbie pulls me into his arms and whispers, “Thanks for saving me twice you’ll always be in my prayers and thoughts.”
I walk back to the truck weeping tears of joy. Not often one gets a hug from the Lord…….
There is this fellow vet who flies a sign on SE Washington next to the 205 overpass. I usually give him a couple of bucks when I see him. Today I saw him but not at his normal spot, he was on the overpass and he was talking to this girl and as I drove by I saw she was on wrong side of the rail.
My friend looked at me and gave me the sign that she was going to jump.
I pulled over hit the flashers and came towards her. “LEAVE ME ALONE! GOD TOLD ME TO KILL MYSELF.”
While she was yelling at me my friend moved closer.
A woman pulled up with her window down. “Call 911″ I said, “tell them we have a suicide attempt in progress” and she put in the call as she drove off.
Now while she was yelling at my friend, and I got a couple of feet closer. She turned towards me and I said “God does not want you dead. If He wanted you dead he would not ruin someone elese’s life by having you jump in front of their car. He’d just make you stop breathing. Besides why would he let His Son die for your sins and promise you life and life in abundance. No it ain’t God you’ve been hearin’ kid its the Devil. He likes to make people THINK they’re hearing God when it’s really just him. His whole gig is to kill us all off.”
“I don’t believe in the Devil,” she said.
While I’m I talking, I am very slowly creeping forward and my buddy is doing the same, It has been almost 2 hours and no police, finally we figure we are close enough and we make our grab and pull her back over the rail and she is kickin’ and screaming and she is no small woman. Finally I just sit on her and pin her down annnnnnnnd then the cops show up. They put her in zip ties and then a ambulance shows up and she is loaded up and whisked away…………
The police took our statements but never told us what took so long for them to get there.But one of the paramedics told me she’s down this before and this is her way of getting some attention, he guessed.
So tell me, somebody, where is Iron man or Spiderman or Mr. Incredible, because I am getting too old for this stuff. My arms and back are aching something fierce.
I have over the years identified myself as Celtic and I wear a Celtic cross. It is the cross with the circle that surrounds the intersection of the cross. Many folk come up and hold it and look at the intricate knot emblazon upon it’s surface and some are curious as to what the circle stands for. Is it a halo glorifying Christ? some ask.
So if ye be wondering about the circle, here is the way of it:
It is a reminder.
There was once a day when Jesus was sitting and a group of mothers came with their children to see Jesus and the disciples being full of themselves block the way and began telling the mothers not to be bothering the Teacher with a bunch of …….kids. But Jesus, being Jesus and you know hep to his surroundings, rebuked the disciples and said let the children come to me.
Then he blessed the kids and their mothers and then He told his disciples that any one who would stop one of these little ones from coming to him, that it would be better for that person to tie a mill stone around their neck and jump into the deepest part of the sea.
So the circle that surrounds the intersection of the cross is a reminder to us about not being and obstruction but rather a funnel and some times a sieve.
Why a sieve? Well that will be answered on another time.