Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Choose!

Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.... 

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you ... then choose for yourselves whom you will serve, whether the gods of your own imagination who let you live whatever way you want or the socially-acceptable gods who tell everyone what they want to hear.


But as for me and my household ...

WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!

(Joshua 24:14-15, paraphrased for today) 




Click here when you have time to listen.  To really listen.  You owe it to yourself, to your eternal soul, to listen to this song at least once and to really think about what it says.  What do you have to lose? 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Is God Drawing Lines in the Sand? (updated)


It’s amazing and disturbing how brazen our society is in attacking everything about God and everything He created:  marriage, monogamy, sex, family, sexuality, the scientific reality of gender, morality, modesty, the value of a person, the right to life, the existence of "right and wrong," the Bible, Jesus, and Absolute Truth.  Not to mention God Himself, His very existence. 
 

We are destroying everything associated with Him (except nature – we worship that), and then we call ourselves progressive.
 

But you know what I think about it all?
 

I think that God is letting it happen because He’s drawing lines in the sand.  Through all these divisive issues, God is saying “Pick a side!  I am forcing you to decide which side you want to be on ... because I am coming back soon to take My people out of here.  So I need you all to decide:  Me or the world?  Which do you choose?"

At least I hope that's why He's allowing all this breakdown to happen, all this conflict and divisiveness.  Because if He's not - if He's not coming back soon - then God help those of us who choose to be faithful to Him.  We're gonna need it! 


Isaiah's prophecy

The path of the righteous is level;
O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you;
your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.

My soul years for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.

Though grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
even in the land of uprightness they go on doing evil
and regard not the majesty of the Lord.

Oh Lord, your hand is lifted high,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.

See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling
to punish the people of the earth for their sins.

(Isaiah 26:7-11, 21)

Weak Jesus?

As we head into the Christmas season, let's take a look at Who it's really about. 

(And yes, I said it ... Christmas.  And I'll say it again ... Christmas.  Christmas.  I have no problem if others want to say "holidays," but let me say Christmas.  Everyone needs to stop making such a big stink about everything, trying to remove any reference to Jesus from the holiday season.  Our society likes to think it's so tolerant and all, but it can't even tolerate nativity scenes or someone saying "Merry Christmas."  The way people get all worked up about this stuff, you'd think it was the end of the world or something.  Saying "Merry Christmas" is not the end of the world.  Trust me, when it's the end of the world, you'll know!  And when you're standing before Christ Himself, being offended about "Christmas" will be the last thing on your mind.)  


            “When Jesus said this, one of the officials standing nearby struck him in the face. . . . Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.  The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. . . . And they struck him in the face.”  (John 18:22, 19:1-3)

            Jesus, our Lord and Savior, didn’t do what we would expect a Lord and Savior to do, like we expect to see things happen in the movies.  When the soldiers were coming at Him, He didn’t raise a hand and blow them back with some sort of force, knocking them down unconscious.  He didn’t use fancy martial arts moves to take down a whole room of soldiers, leaving only Himself standing in the middle while everyone else groaned in pain on the floor. 

            No.  Jesus - our Lord and Savior, God in the flesh, Creator and Sustainer of all – took a beating.  He let Himself be mocked and beaten and spit on and dragged away and crucified.  And He didn’t fight back.  The strongest person in that room made Himself the weakest.   
 

Stupidest Thing I Ever Heard!

I was talking one day with an atheist friend.  And we were challenging (in a friendly way) each other’s reasons for believing what we do.  She, of course, said that she believes that there is no God and no eternity.  That we all just die and disappear, and the only lasting part of us is the effect we have on our children. 

And challenging her to really consider the possibility that there might be a God, I asked her, “What if there really is a heaven and a hell?  What if you find out in the end that you’re wrong?”

And then she said the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life . . .

Mocking Pigs

            “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who were going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God! 

            In the same way the chief priest, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.  ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself!  He’s the King of Israel!  Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe him. . . .’”  (Matthew 27:39-42)

            Jesus was always misunderstood by people.  Mocked and discredited.


God would never do that! Or would He?

God would never send a famine or economic distress to get our attention.

God would never send disease to open our eyes to our bad choices and to call us to repentance.

God would never use wars or violence to cause us to cry out to Him.

God would never use a tornado, earthquake, or tsunami to draw our hearts back to Him.


God is not like that.  He is a soft, squishy, feeble, all-loving, ever-forgiving God who would never dream of punishing or disciplining or causing any kind of pain for us.  He’s all about catering to our requests and pouring out His goodness on us and allowing us to live life on our own terms, because we are the center of the universe, right?  We are the lords of our own lives.  Aren’t we?  

Surely, in this day and age of rampant sexual diseases, violent wars, economic recession, famines, natural disasters, devastating consequences of our choices, etc., none of this has been allowed by God in order to open our eyes to our need for Him. 

God would never do that!

Or would He? 


Most Terrifying Book of the Bible: Jeremiah

            Okay, there are other terrifying parts of the Bible, particularly when hell is talked about - being separated from God forever, eternal fire, weeping and gnashing of teeth.  But Jeremiah has got to be one of the most terrifying books there is.  Because it blows our Western idea of God’s unending love and patience out of the water. 

            Of course, we all know that God is love and that His love is unending.  And we know that He is incredibly patient, pursuing sinners over lifetimes and history so that He can draw as many people as possible to Him.  But we – especially in America – seem completely unaware of God’s justness.  We are all about His grace and mercy, yet we forget His wrath and discipline. 

 
             The thing is, we want to live the way we want to live, yet be able to call out to Him when things get too rough for us.  We want Him to step in at the last minute and save us, after we have had all the ungodly fun we can have.  We want to go our own way, but believe that He will spare us any negative consequences ... because, after all, He loves us. 

            And we think that this is really the way God works.  That because His love is so great, He will always step in when we call out to Him, regardless of how we live or how we treat Him. 



Saturday, November 18, 2017

Why We All Want There To Be A God!


I believe that - deep down - every normal decent person wants to believe in God.  They want there to be a God, no matter how much they might deny it.  And do you know why?
 
One word … justice.
 
 
Consider for a moment all the shootings that have been happening (and that’s just a tiny bit of the violence that is going on world-wide).  These men have shot up multiple people, killing many, injuring many more, ruining lives and destroying families. 
 
And then these cowards kill themselves or get shot by police.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Christian Polyamory?


It seems that there are “Christians” who are engaging in, supporting, and encouraging the idea of “Christian polyamory,” claiming that it’s ok to have multiple sexual relationships between consenting adults in a marriage.  And they point to the fact that famous biblical people had polygamous relationships as support for this view, while dismissing the biblical truth that marriage is to be between one man and one woman.
 

Hmm?  Sounds to me like a classic case of “Wouldn’t it be fun to read about the mistakes that other people made in the Bible … and then go out and make them myself, even though I read all about the problems and consequences it caused and even though I know that Jesus Himself said that marriage is between a man and a woman?”
 

God is love, but love is NOT a god



Our society doesn’t get this.  We have it backwards.  We have turned love into its own god, even redefining who God is, according to how we think love should look, act, and believe.

 

But love is not a god. 

But God is love.

 

Our view of God should not be based on how we define love; our view of love should be based on who God is, on how He believes and operates.

 

If we seek to understand who God is according to His Word, we will also understand what true love is.

 

But if we try to redefine God according to our own ideas of love, we will understand neither.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"Being human"

Struggling with depression or anxiety is often called "being mentally ill".

Why can't we just call it "being human"?

Battle of Wits? (repost)

            Some Christians seem to think that faith is a “battle of wits,” that it’s a Christian's job to beat everyone else in a debate about biblical things.  They act like it’s more about “proving and defending the Word” than it is about “living the Word.” 

            But it’s not about winning or about showing off how smart or godly we are compared to everyone else.  (This will make us repulsive to everyone else.)  It’s about helping each other, about coming alongside another person and lovingly putting our arm around their shoulder and helping them on their long, confusing, difficult journey of faith, the journey through life.     

No Masks Allowed! (repost)

 

 

 
 
           I’ve talked in other posts about the need to get real with God.  But I think that we Christians also need to do better at being real with each other.  Why can’t we Christians just admit that we are broken, hurting people too, that we are sinful and need help? 

            Why do we act like we can do it all on our own and like we can handle everything with grace and style and a smile on our faces?  Why do we spend so much time and energy polishing up our outsides?  To earn approval?  To make God happy and proud of us?  To impress others?  To feel better about ourselves?  To look better than others?

            Honestly, all we are doing is hurting everyone.  When we are not real, we miss out on a genuine relationship with God and others.  We don’t get the help and the healing we need.  We exhaust ourselves.  We keep others and God an arm’s length away.  And we make others feel like they are “less than”. . . because they struggle while we “have it all together.” 

            We are “unsafe” because people feel judged, condemned, and shamed in our perfectly-polished presence.  Why would they confide in us or seek our help when they feel like we couldn’t understand, like we are “above” them, like they have to feel ashamed of their brokenness and their struggles, like we expect them to be polished too?

            Why can’t we just be real about our heartaches, doubts, fears, shortcomings, weaknesses, and pain?  Why can’t we admit that we, too, are human?  Why can’t we even admit that to ourselves?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Weight of the World (repost)

 
 
 
 
 
 












                                                  - Heather K (Joshua 24:15, Psalm 46:10)  


(reposted from https://lovehealme.blogspot.com)

Broken People (repost)

            “Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  (Mark 2:17)
            “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

            Jesus did not come to call to the righteous, to call those who are spiritually-wise in their own eyes . . . because they think they earn their way to heaven with their good deeds and proper living and spiritual wisdom and polished outside. 
            No!  Jesus came to call the sinners, those who are broken and hurting and who know that they need Him and that they could never earn their way to heaven.  And God loves us sinners enough to send Jesus to die for us. 
            And no one needs to polish themselves up to be worthy of that love.  It is there.  It is free.  It is yours for the taking.  As long as you know that you need it but can never earn it. 
            It’s not about being “good enough.”  It’s just about accepting the free gifts of love and forgiveness and grace that God offers to us while we are still sinners, before we clean ourselves up. 

Valleys and Mountaintops (repost)

            James 1:2-4:  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”


            I think many of us know well the ups and downs of life.  In fact, we may have spent more time in the discouraging valleys than on the wonderful mountaintops.  We may have had our heart and spirit squashed over and over again. 

            Yet through the trials and heartache we learn this important lesson: This life is not all there is and this world really holds nothing for us. 
            Through the pain, we learn to live for eternity, not for the delights of this world.  We learn that our joy and strength and purpose are found in the Lord, not in anything this world can give us or do for us. 
            And these are eternally important lessons to learn.

Falling Apart at the Feet of God (repost)

            “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  (Psalm 34:18)  

            “Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.”  (Psalm 9:10)


            Having grown up with a biological dad who had almost nothing to do with me and two ex-step-dads who I lost contact with eventually (one after a really, REALLY messy divorce) and a current step-dad who . . . well, I am just too old for a new dad . . . I have never really felt like I belonged to a dad, like I really mattered to one. 
            I grew up always feeling like the outsider, a step-child who didn’t quite fit in or have a place to belong.  I never felt like I could be myself with a dad, like I was fully loved for who I was.  It was always just a matter of time before they left. 
            And this caused a terrible fear of abandonment and a fear of being a burden to anyone.  It caused me to lean only on myself and to polish up my outside so that I earned love and approval and acceptance.  It caused me to always keep my distance, to keep walls up around my heart to protect it from being vulnerable, being hurt.  It caused me to always feel like I was on the outside, looking in.



            And I didn’t know that I was doing this with God, too, until a series of trials crushed my confidence in myself and taught me that I was not as strong and capable as I thought I was.  I learned that I couldn’t do it all on my own, like I was used to doing.  I learned that I really needed God.  Not just wanted Him, but needed Him.  Desperately needed Him. 
            I wasn’t used to needing a father.  I tried not to need a father.  Fathers let you down.

You Might Have Trouble Accepting God's Love If ... (repost)

            As I said in the previous post, I had trouble embracing God’s love because I never felt “good enough.”  I never felt that like I deserved to be loved, like He could love me for me. 
            But I wanted His love.  So I kept busy trying to make myself “good enough.”  I tried hard to pray right, talk right, think right, and act right.  But none of this earns His love because His love is free and already available to us. 
            But if I couldn’t believe that then I couldn’t really live in His love, because I was too busy trying to earn something that could never be earned - something that could only be accepted by a humble heart that is willing to reach out and grab ahold of it, as the free gift that it is. 

Unearnable Love (repost)

(As we head into the holiday season full of discouragement about the condition of the world, I'm going to share some of the most truth-filled, "hope-filled" posts from my other blog, https://lovehealme.blogspot.com.  May they help people find God in the midst of a messy world.  These posts were written for Christians, but there's a lot of hope in them for everyone.)

            One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in my spiritual life (and in my earthly life) is to let myself be loved by someone . . . by Someone. 
            I come from a very dysfunctional home.  A bio-dad and two step-dads by the time I was 8.  And then another step-dad (after a very messy divorce) when I was in my late-20’s.  I didn’t grow up with my bio-dad or his family.  I didn’t even really meet them until my teens.  And then after that, I’d see my grandparents, uncles, and cousins about once or twice a year, sometimes less.  And I’d see my dad and half-siblings once every several years or so. 

            I never really felt like I belonged to a dad or had a place in my extended families.  And this feeling carried over to my relationship with God.
            I didn’t know it earlier in my Christian life, but my relationship with Him was based on fear, not on love.  I desperately wanted to please Him not because I loved Him and valued His love for me, but because I was afraid of “doing it wrong,” of being displeasing to Him, of failing Him.  I never really felt like I belonged to Him or mattered to Him, like He could really love me for me.  And so I felt like I had to earn His love and acceptance and grace. 
            I didn’t really know how to let myself be loved by Him because I didn’t feel like I was worth loving.  And I didn’t understand the unconditional nature of His love, that I don’t have to be worthy of love because He loves us anyway, as we are.  And so I kept myself busy trying to earn His love . . . when what I really needed to do was simply accept it for the free gift that it is. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Sure Way! The Only Way!


            While niceness, kindness, and goodness are wonderful, necessary qualities to have, they are not the way to heaven.  What kind of a God would He be if He hinged our eternal resting-place on a notion so vague as “how nice and kind and good were you”? 
 
            But God’s way is not that vague, always making you wonder if you’ll make it into heaven or not.  His way is clear and sure and specific:
 
            “ ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ 
            They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved . . .”  (Acts 16:30-31) 
            “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. . . . ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”  (Romans 10:9-10, 13, emphasis added)

            It’s that simple!  Don’t complicate it!

Another Shooting

Another shooting ... at a school, among other places.  An elementary school.  Several injuries and deaths, innocent children hurt (not sure if children were killed or not).  But my heart is breaking for all the violence and hatred there is in the world these days.  And my prayers are with those children, those families. 

And, oh, how I pray that Jesus comes back soon to usher in the end, to begin making all things right again, to put an end to evil.  And until then, I pray for revival.  Because something's gotta change ... or we are going to destroy ourselves and all sense of goodness and hope and joy.

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.'  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus."  (Revelation 22:20)


Under Construction

I wish we all came with signs on our backs that said “Construction Zone:  Work in progress.  Please be patient and pardon my dust.” 

If we did, I think the world would be a nicer place because we’d all be a little more kind, gentle, gracious, and forgiving with others and with ourselves.
 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Forgiveness

God is much more concerned with where you’re going than with where you’ve been. 

Accept His forgiveness, let it make you free, forgive yourself, and “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  (John 8:11)  
 

Headed for Trouble

A thought that always leads to trouble:  “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.”  (Deuteronomy 29:19) 

When your way isn’t God’s way, you’re headed in the wrong direction.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

To Christians in America:

If everyone loves you all the time and never has a problem with anything you say, do, or believe ... you're probably doing it wrong!
 

When Your Moral Compass is Broken

If your moral compass is spinning wildly, if it doesn't point True North, you’ll always be lost!

(True North = Jesus!)
 

To Those Who Believe Morality is Subjective:

“So, you’re saying it’s wrong to have views about what’s right and what’s wrong, is that right?”
 

Tofurky

Tofurky: A product that made God say, “Now there’s something I never thought of!”  (Just speculation.)
 

Tolerance?

Original definition of tolerance (my paraphrase):
“Agreeing to disagree over our differences while maintaining respect for the other person as a fellow human being, being able to live peaceably among those who are different from us.” 
 

New definition of tolerance being forced on us:
“You must never offend anyone.  And taking it further, you must condone, support, and encourage everything that everyone else says, does, or believes, or else you will be labeled an ‘intolerant, narrow-minded hater’ and you will be taken to court and we will destroy your job and reputation.  And if you have any lingering convictions or views of "right and wrong," we will continue to relentlessly beat them out of you have until you fall in line with our current values and positions.” 
 
Which one do you think is going to lead to more chaos, fear, interpersonal problems, and a breakdown in society?
 

Open-Minded or Empty-Headed?

Sometimes "open-minded and progressive" is really just code for "lack of common sense and conviction."
 
 If you open your mind too much, it falls out!
Don't let "open-minded" become "empty-headed."

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Feminism Nonsense!

(Oh, how we love nonsense in our country!)

We women are fighting so hard to be like men, to downplay femininity, to be perceived as more masculine, to overtake any "men's realm" we find.  Because it’s “cool” and “progressive” and “strong.”

But do we not realize that we are not “leveling the playing field” so much as we are destroying ourselves, the things that make women special?

Women can be strong, too.  And they don’t have to be like men to do it.  Trust me, I know.  I've had four children, one by c-section and three by natural, drug-free homebirth (with over 15 hours of labor for each one).  And then I work in the home every day, all day long.  No pay.  No vacation time.  No weekends off.  No bonuses.  No overtime pay.  But I do it because my family and I value my position, my role.  Even if the world doesn't. 

We women can be strong and capable and accomplished in our own ways.
 
We can be strong in our feminine grace.  We can be confident in our nurturing temperaments.  We can be proud to be a wife and a mother, taking pride in caring for our husbands and families while he goes to work all day to support us financially.  We can make our men feel good about their maleness, instead of treating them like a threat.  Instead of getting insulted, we can be honored when a man cherishes us for the women we are, when a man lovingly takes care of us, looks out for us, opens the door out of respect for us. 

To be treated like a woman is not necessarily an insult.  We don't have to be offended by everything out there all the time, by every little perceived slight or difference or "barrier."  We don't have to prove ourselves or our worth to anyone.  We can be confident in who we are and in the differences that make us unique. 
 

But no … what has feminism taught us to do instead?  

Friday, November 10, 2017

More Gender Nonsense!

Okay, so about 40% of Americans in a recent survey say that gender isn’t determined at birth. 

Hmm?

Hmm? … Let me think about that a minute …

If I say that a horse isn’t a horse, that it’s really born as an unspecified species and that, if it wants to, it can grow up to be a squirrel or a dog or a cow … does it really change its “horseness”?  If I say that my chromosomes are not human chromosomes but eagle chromosomes, does it make me an eagle?    

Does denial or wishful thinking change reality?
 

We can live in denial of reality, but our beliefs don’t change reality.
 

(It’s funny … but living in denial of reality used to be called “crazy.”  Delusional.  Now it’s considered hip and progressive and celebratory.)
 

The thing is … our X or Y chromosomes are not just in our reproductive organs.  They are in every cell of our being, along with the rest of our chromosomes.  And that’s just basic science.

You can take many steps to change your body and you can identify with whatever you want to, but you can’t change the deep-down, chromosomal, scientific reality of it all.

You just can’t.
 

I know people want to show support for those who want to change their genders, but is spreading scientifically-false ideas the way to help.  Do we really hear what we're saying - that gender isn't real, that our chromosomes and reproductive parts don't make us boys or girls?  Do we really hear ourselves?  And do we really believe it, or are we just afraid to take a stand, pressured to appease a society that is hell-bent on destroying anyone who gets in their way and who dares to tell the truth?  Or maybe it's that we just want to sound hip and progressive and "open-minded," like the big-mouths out there who are so forcefully vocalizing nonsense.  (Open your mind too much and it falls out!)  

Is this really what we've been reduced to, denying basic truths?  (And where will that kind of thinking lead us?) 

Let’s stop spreading the false idea that gender isn’t determined at birth, that there is no such thing as boys and girls.  Instead, let’s just more accurately say that people can do whatever they can to alter their bodies and to live as the gender they want (I'm not condoning it, just saying it happens), but it still doesn’t change the fact that we are all born with a pre-determined gender.  That boys and girls are real.
 

I'm truly concerned for the generation of young, trusting children who are going to be raised on that kind of nonsense, that they are being told to accept false facts as truth.  I'm concerned for what that will do to their minds, their morals, and their belief in basic truths and in "right" and "wrong."  

And I am concerned about what it will do to their self-esteem, to their thoughts and feelings about their own sexuality and about being a boy or a girl.  Being told over and over again by trusted adults that their gender doesn't matter and that it isn't real is going to have some distressing, unintended consequences on the hearts and minds of trusting, innocent children.  Just you wait and see! 

(Could this not also lead to a huge increase in the number of "gender confused" people?  People who wouldn't have been confused had they not been told over and over again that it's normal to be confused because gender isn't real?  Or, let's be honest, people who deliberately dabble with being "confused" because it makes them seem hip and they get praised for it, thereby making it seem more common than it really is, resulting then in even more gender confusion?  Not that there are not some genuinely "gender confused" people out there, but aren't we as a society responsible for creating more of it, feeding this confusion to the public, and making it grow?)


[And you know what ?  They’re correct that our gender isn’t determined at birth. … It’s determined at conception.  Oh yeah ... I just went there.]

The Screaming Centipede

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 


(Okay, it probably wasn't screaming.  And it probably wasn't as big as a mouse....
 
It was shrieking and it was as big as a possum!)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Warding Off A Panic Attack

As I’ve already written about, I had a panic attack last summer for the first time.  As anyone who’s had a panic attack knows, they are horrible.  They wreck you inside and out, and then leave you feeling fragile for a long time after.  I’m still feeling the effects of this “fragileness” and I’ve noticed that I don’t eat as much as I used to before the attack.

Anyway, as I reflect back on that attack and the unsteadiness I’ve felt since then, I realized that there are several factors that contributed to it.  And I’m going to summarize these factors (some are variations of others) and give possible ways to deal with them.  Maybe someone else can find a little help in these and ward off a panic attack, stopping it before it overtakes them.

Miss You, Tom Petty!

I heard a Tom Petty song on the radio today.  And it made me sad.  It always does.

Not so much because Tom Petty died (which was sad and unfortunate), but because he always reminds me of the step-father that left.

This was step-dad #2 (after my bio-father and step-dad #1).  He was my step-dad from when I was about 7 until my late 20s or so.  He was the closest thing I ever had to a “daddy.”

It’s because of him that I started liking Tom Petty to begin with.  My step-dad liked him, partially because my step-dad’s best friend in high school looked just like Mr. Petty.  (And he really did, too.  I saw the pictures.)

And then his best friend was killed in a car accident in high school.

That made me sad to think about.

In my late 20s, my mom and step-dad divorced.  And he left and moved to another state.  (I don’t blame him.  It was a terrible, messy divorce.)  And I never heard from him again.  (I heard he got hooked on heroin again, like he was when he and my mom met.)

For a long time, I thought of him every day.  Every tall, dark-haired person with glasses reminded me of him.  Every conversation with my mom made me think of him.  (Probably because she kept talking about him and all that went wrong.)  Every holiday or family gathering reminded me that he wasn’t there anymore.

It’s now been about a dozen years or so since I last talked with him.  And I don’t think about him as much.  But I do think of him every time I hear Tom Petty on the radio.

And it makes me a little sad for all the changes in life that I never wanted. 

But I still like Tom Petty.  And I always will.  Because he meant a lot to my step-dad.