“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him [God], and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
These are interesting times that we live in and I personally believe that the Bible holds the answer in how to navigate our lives through perilous and trying times. With that being said, I do want to state that I am not in the category of Bible thumper as I personally do not believe in telling anyone how to live their lives nor have I done that with anyone over my lifetime. The quickest way I know to get into an argument is to discuss either politics or religion with just about anyone, and in our very heated political election year of 2016 here in America, it is even moreso now then ever before, so I don’t discuss either. However, blogs being what they are (and they can be anything the blogger wants to make of them), my blog is clear about my faith. I make no apologies for what I believe, but I don’t force my beliefs on others. A faith built on force isn’t faith at all. Faith is lived out, not shouted.
My religious upbringing started with my mother who taught me about Jesus Christ from the time I was a small child, and also from a church I attended from the time I was born where my family was involved. Over the years and once I became an adult I drifted away from formalized religion in my 30’s due to the tightrope of legalism found in many churches at that time, and it was certainly not an uncommon occurrence (e.g., leaving the church) among my generation–the Baby Boomers. I came back to church in my 40’s to find megachurches were in full bloom across the American landscape. However, even during those years where I drifted from formalized religion my faith in Jesus Christ remained strong due in great part to my mother’s own experience and influence. And, while legalism still has its strongholds today, the megachurches I’ve experienced haven’t been a caricature or stereotype of how Christianity is often portrayed in the mainstream media and by the pundits who like to negate anything resembling religious beliefs or faith as being hopelessly archaic or worse yet, irrelevant.
A little about me: As a card carrying member of the Baby Boomers (my birth certificate puts me in that category), I am the middle child born between two brothers. Our parents divorced in the 1960’s before divorce was commonplace in our society. My “coming of age” years occurred during the hippie revolution, and I was never particularly good at being a hippie as I wasn’t into drugs or casual sex (two of the basic ingredients for being a successful hippie). I have worked since my high school years but since I didn’t have the money to go to college after high school (and I really wanted to go to college), the U.S. Army had a two-year enlistment at that time, so I joined in order to get the G.I. Bill so I could go to college. During my brief stint in the U.S. Army, I went from E-1 to E-4 in rank in one year, and I also earned an “Expert” badge firing the M-16 during Basic Training (I had the second highest score in my company, and I had never fired a weapon in my life before my M-16 training). After Advanced Training (AIT) in Virginia, I served the rest of my time in South Korea. After I received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army, I went to college on the G.I. Bill.
Using the G.I. Bill, I earned an associate’s degree (A.A.) in Art in 1979. A few years later I complete a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Art and Design in 1985, and a few years later I completed a master’s degree (M.S.) in Education (specifically “Higher Education/Student Personnel Services”) in 1991. In 1992 I was awarded a one-year Doctoral Fellowship in Higher Education/Adult Education, and I completed all the requirements with the exception of the dissertation for a doctorate (Ed.D.) in Adult Education. Finances kept me from completing the doctorate.
I have worked my entire life starting back in high school, and starting in the mid 1980’s I worked in higher education (colleges and universities) beginning in 1985 while completing my bachelor’s degree. Since 1990 I have worked specifically in the area of Student Services at colleges and universities in three different states. In 2008 I accepted a Director position at a “for profit” institute (all of my previous years in higher education were in the “nonprofit” setting) that didn’t work out, and I lost that position in April 2009 after having worked successfully in my professional field for over 20 years. Losing that job coincided with the major economic downturn in our country that still has approximately 95 million people either unemployed or underemployed here in America to date (see June 2016 article titled, “Record 94,708,000 Americans Not In Labor Force“ at this link). However, at this point in time I am now in the “retirement” age range.
On a personal note, I was engaged twice but I was not in love with either guy so I didn’t follow through with either wedding. Divorce is all too common in our society today and I didn’t want to become a part of that statistic, so I’ve been holding out for love to show up. And I haven’t given up on it showing up yet, either.
This blog originally started out as an effort to tell my own story about integrating my faith with my unemployment experience, but it has blossomed into so much more. It is about a witness–my own witness–to the power of Jesus Christ to change a person, and what that change has meant in my own life. But the real story is not about me; it is about Jesus Christ and how he can totally change a person from the inside out.
This page was originally created on December 28, 2011; it was last updated on December 25, 2016.
YouTube Video: “God of Wonders” by Third Day:
Photos courtesy of me