I keep going back to my father’s death. I go for a few days and feel stronger than before, then I have a bad day.
Around the first of this year I felt, that I had returned to my old form. The bad days were getting fewer and far between. I assumed I was doing much better. I had returned to bible study and was feeling much better. I was starting to cope with my father’s death.
It was about the first of this year (about 3 weeks ago), that I started posting on my other blog. I began posting about political and social items and began my usual satire, attacking pieces.
Until that point, I was studying the bible nearly every day; many days I got up between 3:30 – 4:30 AM and spent a good hour on bible study before getting ready for work. I remember feeling calmer then. I’ve lost that calmness.
The fact that it’s been 3 full weeks since the last posting on my bible study blog shows that I’ve failed in many respects.
The other night, I sat down at the computer and looked at my personal blog again. Then I looked at the photo of my father next to my computer. I kept going back and forth. While my father read all of the pieces I wrote, I’m sure he was certainly embarrased by some of things I said and items I posted.
As a writer of satire, it is your job to take ‘true’ items to the extreme. You don’t just mention something that might not be proper, you enhance it, mock it, embellish it, and take it to the extreme and to the point of nonsense. That’s satire writing, which most people don’t understand. People who are not students of satire, don’t really understand what you are doing. They think you are a nut case, an advocate of revolution, a racist, a sexist, or any number of other negative descriptions. In their eyes you are just that, even if, in your heart, you really don’t believe everything you’ve written. Satire is a different type of writing; I suppose I’m not that good at it.
A few examples – I’ve always gone after Bill & Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. With satire writing you carry everything to the extreme. Bill’s extramaritial affairs, Hillary’s just plain meanness, Ted Kennedy situation with Mary Jo, Jesse & Al’s not receiving religious degree (but proclaiming themselve ministers), their constant grabbing of a microphone and self promotion, their leaning on corporate America. In satire writing, the writer carries everything to the ‘n’th degree. You don’t let anything slide. Whenever Kennedy does anything you tie in the Mary Jo incident. Whenever Jesse does anything you bring up the fact that he never graduated from a bible college and bring up his illegitimate daughter. That’s what satire writing is. I’m though with it.
Do I truly believe that the above mentioned people are really ‘bad’? Certainly not. While I disagree with many of the things they’ve done and said, they are not bad people. Bill Clinton did much for this country as President. Hillary and Kennedy truly care about the people of this land. They might have a different perspective on how to achieve things than I do, but they are not bad people.
Jesse & Al care about people and their souls. While I’ve been quick to judge them in my satirical writtings, I’ve never written about how many people they’ve brought to God. I don’t know the figure, but I do more than it’s more than I have. From a religious point of view, they’ve certainly done more than I. I commend them on that.
Jimmy Carter is another example. I’ve always felt he’s cared more about people than any other president I’ve seen. I stand by my opinion that he should not have used Coretta King’s funeral as a bully pulpit to bash the current President. That was wrong. He should have only talked about how Mrs. King was so much a lady, a real inspiration to everyone in this country. He should have only talked about the accomplishments of her husband, a man whom I’ve always admired. Dr. King was a great speaker and made you think. Jimmy Carter will have to account for what he did, and I’ll have to account for what I’ve done in my life. We all have to account for everything when we die.
I’ve decided to return to bible study and to genealogy. They will be my outlets. I need to worry about myself, my life, my actions, my thoughts, my speech, my relationship with God. My time is better spent working on improving myself, not pointing out what I perceive as shortcomings of others through the writing of satire. That really shouldn’t be my place. Life should be about improving yourself, not attacking or going after those things you see wrong in others. It is not our place to judge others, even though everyone does this all the time.
We’ve all made mistakes and I’m included in that list. The big question after making mistakes is what do we do to correct them? For me it’s a return to bible study and the removal of the personal blog. Time on this planet is short. I should be doing something more constructive. I should be building things up, not tearing others down.
I kept thinking about my telling my father that I wanted to be more like him. While for the first 2 1/2 months after his death, I was making efforts to be like him; I realized that suddenly I had abandoned that goal. I was ashamed of that fact.
Therefore, I have removed my old personal blog and have put this bible study blog in it’s place. This blog has been in existance for a few months now, in another location on the website. I’ve just transferred it over as my main blog. I’ll be slowly changing this blog around to include some personal and other items. It won’t remain strictly a bible study blog. I could have kept this blog in its original place and have just reworked the personal blog, but I decided not to. I wanted nothing to do with the old blog. I didn’t even want to rework it.
I didn’t stay true to the promise I made my father, falling short over the last few weeks. I’m sorry Dad.
Time spent blogging can be better spent that what I’ve done recently. I can be reading and studying the bible, working hard to apply everything to my personal life. I can be posting bible study items that can help everyone. This can come in the form of a verse I’ve read in the bible, a passage from a book, or part of a sermon or teaching I’ve heard. I can be doing genealogy research and writing in that area. I can be helping others and helping myself.
That’s what I’m going to do. I’ve picked up my book ‘E.M. Bounds On Prayer’ and will start reading it again, applying the lessons within to my heart. I intend to spend time listening to Harold Camping’s ‘Open Forum’ radio show. I also intend to spend time listening to several lectures from Mark Moore.
Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage radio shows are being replaced by the AllWorship.com radio stream for Praise & Worship. Fox News & CNN will be replaced by other programming. The Conservative Chronicle will be replaced by the bible.
Scouring the internet for articles about something that the Clintons, Kennedy, or the others have done will be replaced by a return to genealogy. I have something to contribute to the genealogy research field, especially in the Orrell and related families. My many articles, books, and CD collections proved to be something worthwhile to help others with their own genealogy research. It has a positive, not negative effect as the personal blog did.
That’s what I need to concentrate on – the positive. Concentrate on the bible, it’s teachings, and applying it to my personal life is a far better way of spending my time. Becoming a better person is the ultimate goal. Striving to be a better husband, son, father, grandfather, friend, neighbor, co-worker, and citizen should be the only goal in my life. Helping others interested in genealogy research is a positive, not negative pursuit. It is those items that I’m returning to.
This has been a difficult entry to write. Admitting your shortcomings, weaknesses, and flaws on a blog for the world to see, is not easy.
Asking for forgivness is not easy; but I’m doing just that. Asking for others to pray that I continue on a better path is what I’m asking for – a postive path, not a negative path. A path filled with praying for others, praying for forgiveness, and praying for a better world.
Regardless of your individual religion – your God, wants just that.
I have a TV in my office. The news just came on. The same old stuff. I now have the same feeling that I had a few months ago, shortly after my father died. I just can’t watch the news shows anymore. They ran down a list of candidates for the 2008 elections. I turned the TV to another channel. I just can’t watch that stuff anymore. I don’t care what any of the politicians are doing anymore. I’ve again lost all interest in politics and what’s going on in the world.
In many respects this blog entry is like prayer; it’s like confession. It is good for the soul and I feel better having written it.
When I stopped my bible study I was in the 15th chapter of Matthew. Isn’t it fitting that as I open my bible, back to the point at which I stopped my study, I come upon the verse below?
Matthew: 15:11: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”