Wednesday, April 1, 2020
What was I doing when she died? I was on my way out of town to work in Hobbs, NM for the week. I do that a bit. Back in January, I calculated that I have spend 1/3 of my new job away from home. That of itself isn't easy, but by the Father's grace, I have been able. I could focus on the bad that is happening, or I could focus on the positives that I see around me. Someone once observed that I always see the positive, assume the best of a person as soon as I meet them. I believe that is accurate. What you focus on, you will see.
For example, when I first got that car back a couple of years ago, I started noticing other Malibus. To that end, there are 6 other Malibus in Las Cruces that is the same color as mine. One of which lives two doors down from me. Of those 6, one is tinted nearly as dark as mine and lacks the antennae, It is a near perfect clone. It is the same when I was wanting a Bronco. My kids ceased to be amazed at how I could spot a Bronco and know that I wasn't looking at the grill of an F150 or the shell of a K5 Blazer with minimal context. I still can.
Needless to say, I started driving a Malibu, and I saw Malibus everywhere. I wanted a Bronco, and now still can see Broncos everywhere. Oh, that desire was killed by my horde hauler, my Sequoia, of which I see a bit around town, including one that's the same color with similar sun damage to the clear coat on the passenger side.
Let me get back on point. I choose to look for the positive in others. I choose to look for the blessings in the storm because that's what Paul encourage the Philippian Church, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable - if there is anything praiseworthy - dwell on these things." (Philippians 4.8 CSB). We are to look for these things. I believe this is also for us to look to see the blessings.
And what blessings are there? For me, this hit me hard. I hate being a one car family. We were one car early in our marriage. She would drive the car to work in the day, and I would drive it to work at night. Sometimes, however, I would need the car during the day, and that found Carol walking home from work because I fell asleep before I would go in to work. I never thought I would see that day again. And now with us having a horde instead of being just a couple...alrighty then.
The car broke down 60 miles outside of Carlsbad. Carol had to come and pick me up. My roadside assistance didn't handle "more than 12 miles". Did I mention that Carol had to work the next day? We got home at 1 am. Now my company is great, but I still had the work to do, and I promised that I would maintain reliable transportation. The company, rightly so, couldn't help me, other than to allow me to claim the time I drove home as well as the miles Carol spent rescuing me. But that meant that I had a problem to solve. How does Carol get around Las Cruces while I am away? Or how do I do my job without my car?
As I waited on the side of the road, that was the first blessing. My car came to a stop along a road in what appear to be a saddle going up the Guadalupe Pass. That saddle not only has a beautiful view of the valley leading to El Paso to the west, and of the valley heading to the Pecos River to the east, but that saddle of a stop, I had 2 bars on my phone for service. Normally driving that highway, I would listen to my Pandora app offline since I couldn't get radio stations, and most of that highway has no reception. (One time, a few miles back from where I stopped, I saw a man sitting up on his big U-Haul trying to get a signal for his phone. Since I was on company time, I couldn't stop to offer help. But I am confident that he had help coming. The car carrier he was towing looked freshly unloaded.) I was not only able to call Carol, my boss, roadside assistance as well as my insurance agent, I was able to look up rentals. I figured since I was heading to Hobbs, NM, I could rent a car. Sadly, the rental store had a two hour window that began at 10 am, which was too late a start for me. So then I figured maybe rent a car.
Blessing 2 came on its heels. Carol had arranged with her co-worker to hitch a ride to work so that I can take my Toy to Hobbs. No problem. Then Friday the 13th came, and Carol was out of work. COVID 19 shut the schools down. Though it was part time, every bit helped. Now she didn't need but a ride for a couple of days and my taking the truck on Sunday through Tuesday wasn't a hardship so much. She still needed a ride to the store, that ride of course provided by a dear friend. Then Monday I received a call telling me that my TDY, and everyone across the board was cut short. I found myself driving between Las Cruces to Lordsburg to Silver City, to Truth Or Consequences. Monday the 23rd, we started home bound. I would venture out for interviews and records only as needed. So the blessing was that I was able to use my truck and the work changed so that we are not really affected by having only one vehicle. To this writing, since the 23rd, I have only needed to head into two three times counting tomorrow.
My job has been at-home traveling into public. Now it's changed so that I am at-home calling into public. So there's the third blessing. I am not putting myself at risk, except when I need to venture to the store for essentials.
And the fourth is that I received a promotion just a couple of days ago. The difference is that now Carol is unemployed, my increase covers what she was bringing in. She can now focus on her soap business, as well as making masks for those who want one.And she's made half a dozen to point. I guess there's another blessing.
I want to encourage you, Reader, to look for the blessings. It is hard. With all that is hitting us from the media, from social media, it is so easy to see the fear. Hear me, I am not saying to downplay the COVID 19. Play it smart, play it responsibly. But personally, I am tired of all that I see that I have tuned out anything COVID related. I want to encourage you to tune out the negative and look to our Father. Yes, it's scary. God never promised that the storms wouldn't hit us. He never promised that He would only give us what we can handle. I can't handle the storms. I am not big enough (last checked, I am pretty BIG). But the Father wants you to look for him. In John 6 beginning verse 16, the disciples are in a boat, rowing in a storm, and are scared by something they saw. Jesus then calmed them, and THEN he removed them from the storm. In Acts 21, the Father warned Paul, gave Paul advanced warning of the storm that was heading his way. Yet Paul told the Church in Corinth that in Paul's weakness, God strengthened him. To the Church in Rome, Paul gave this promise, "God will work all things to the good of those who love Him." - Romans 8.28.
And finally, to make a long post short, which is a little late now, all storms pass. Again, this storm, like others before it, shall pass. Looking to the Father, focusing on His love for us, you'll soon find this storm finished.
Hey, thanks for reading along. May the Father's blessings shower richly upon you.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Thank you for reading this post. I would like to introduce you to my pet project. I will write this in a question/answer format. Feel free to leave your question(s) in the comments, or email me at DeerStreamEnterprise@gmail.com.
1. How did you come by the name, Deer Stream?
Family is important to me. So when it came to naming this, it was an easy selection. My name is Gaelic translated as deer in a field. My wife's maiden name is Nordic that translates as oak by the stream. So take the first noun of my name, deer, and second noun of her name, stream. (Oakfield is common. And developing an email address for this, so are things Deer Stream, apparently.) That is how Deer Stream Enterprise came about.
2. When and how did this idea come about?
I was working for a company before it went through a restructuring. Because I was moved down to temporary status, I began looking for other work. But my work, though a social services nature, was deemed by many potential employers as not. It was medical field. Odd. And the same employers also deemed ministry, of which I have over 25 years experience, as not, as well. Many jobs that I believe I would fit, I didn't because of the lack of specialized education. So in a night of frustration, back several months ago, I started toying with this idea.
3. Why don't you work on one of those specialized degrees to remain in social work?
Let me answer this with a story from one of my ministries. There was a woman who wanted to be an educator in the public schools. At best, she was only a substitute teacher. So in hopes that she would become a full fledged teacher, she earned her bachelor's. None of the local districts would hire her. She then was advised to get her masters. She did. She still wasn't hired. So keeping to the advice of making herself appealing, she went and earned her doctorate. I met her when she was 63 years old with close to a 6 figure debt. She wasn't hired because by this time, age had become a factor. I don't want that gamble. If I am going to to advance my degree, it will be a degree with something I have a passion. Helping people is my passion. Listening is a strength. Therefore, the degree I will seek will allow me to become a counselor. Concierge Counselor seems to be the better plan.
4. What does this enterprise actually do?
I am a minister who is a tent-maker by trade. That means that the church doesn't pay me, but I still serve the church. In order to help the church, I have taken many jobs, in retail management, acting and producing, car sales, other sales, teaching, tutoring, optical field, medical field, and even property management and planning.
What I likely will do while going back to school is tutor, drive for Lyft and Uber, network funeral homes for assistance with bereavement, likely network with businesses that are in food industry or in cosmetology for servicing their bladed equipment. I will even sell for you if you have a product that needs to be sold.
5. Since you are with a church presently, why not umbrella under the church?
There are a few answers to this question. The first being that though funerals and potentially weddings do fall under the church, by keeping it apart from the church would protect the church should I do or say something that's not taken well, or is misconstrued. Another reason is that the with the networking for blade honing, and as an independent salesman, I need a business license to operate at the Farmers Market and for tax purposes. This, if I'm in error (except the FM, which they require as per their written policy), I'd rather safe than fined when it comes to taxes and conducting business. Finally, being apart from the church allows it to be portable.
To conclude: I hope that I was able to answer some of the questions. If there is something else you'd like to know, then please ask me in the comments or email me at the address above. Since this is a new venture, I will likely modify this blog posting from time to time. Thank you for reading about my project.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Being that I am a preacher, I look at things from both sides. I see a spiritual side that often is overlooked. We are in a spiritual war. We tend to only see the physical because we cannot perceive the spiritual.
Yet Paul, the apostle, gives us an indication of what might be happening
No, I am not saying that the man of lawlessness has been revealed, but I am seeing that our time is increasingly becoming more and more lawless. It seems to have begun with the war on our peace officers, our veterans, our military, and our heroes who place their lives on the line for our safety, our security. We are in a crossroads in history.
And I want to encourage you with this. Stand firm in your faith in Jesus Christ. Let us pray for those who serve us. Let us encourage them when we encounter them. (I always ask if I might take their cruiser around the block. One officer actually let me. But all of them tend to smile and have their day brightened.)
Let us continue to fix our eyes on the finish line, of living for Him who saved us.