"You will show me the path that will bring me life, being with you fills me with joy, and when I am seated at your right hand I will enjoy pleasures forever." - Psalm 16:11
I've enjoyed the Narnian stories by C.S. Lewis since my college days. Never have I seen such subtle blending of Scriptural truth with fantasy. One almost wishes that those "doors" into Narnia really could be found just around the next corner or even in one's own wardrobe. I've marveled for years how Lewis blended simple and deep Scriptural truths into the very fabric of the stories. It's such a reflection of God's grace, that He could take a man so opposed to Christianity, and "drag him kicking and screaming" into the glorious light of God's redemption. Lewis, or "Jack" as his friends knew him, took all of the energy of his unbelief, and turned it over to God for Him to use as He saw fit. I can readily understand the terrible grief Jack experienced when, after just three years of marriage, cancer took the life of his dear wife, Joy. Yet even that period of grief in his life has been used by God to provide understanding and encouragement to those of us who have lost our own loved ones in the years since. Would that we could do so well with what we offer God when we give Him our lives.
(Click the picture to learn more about C.S. Lewis.)
I'm forty-seven years young, and a wee bit over my ideal weight. I wear my hair and shirtsleves comfortably short, enjoy my evenings long, and prefer my food very lightly spiced, my cheddar mild, and my iced tea very deep and cold. I don't do tabacco, alcohol, or drugs. I'm 6' tall, wear glasses, and prefer long walks and hikes to running shoes and health clubs. In the area of the fairer sex, I admire women who manage to combine modesty, sensibility, and beauty in their dress and manner; and I miss the woman who so graciously shared that part of herself with the man that she also shared all of her love with.
I enjoy reading books like Doyle's "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", Brian Jacques' "Redwall Abby" series, the continuing saga of "Star Wars", "Jungle Doctor Stories", and "Star Trek" books. I also enjoy reading Christian classics like "Little Pilgrim's Progress", "Mansoul" and "Robinson Crusoe" to secular classics like "Black Beauty", "The Little Lame Prince" and Jules Verne's wonderful stories. Yes, and C.S. Lewis' "Narnia Chronicles" and his sci-fi trilogy that starts with "Out of The Silent Planet". Some of my favorite magazines are National Geographic, Reader's Digest, PC World, Popular Science and some of the other Popular "Whatever" series.
I enjoy watching movies and programs that range from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Pete's Dragon" and "James and the Giant Peach", to Jeremy Brett's "Sherlock Holmes" and Costner's "Dances with Wolves", to PBS' "Wishbone" and just about any Abbot & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, or Danny Kay movie. Bing Crosby & Bob Hope movies are fun, too. I enjoy science fiction programs and movies also, but good ones are really hard to come by these days.
I also enjoy writing fiction and science fiction (PDF format file) stories as well as a bit of poetry, building and flying model rockets, building other plastic and metal models, especially 25mm gaming miniatures and terrain. Together, my son and I enjoy playing the Harry Potter and the Redemption Trading Card Games, mind-exercising computer games, caring for my son's Norns in the artificial life simulator "Creatures", and playing sci-fi military strategy miniatures-based games using the Hellion Universal Rules System (HURS).
The Hellion Universal Rules System (HURS) is NOT a role-playing-game [RPG], but a game with rules and tactics similar to historical miniature gaming. War, whether a game or reality, can be violent and dark. In order to play, I felt that I needed to create an army based on Christian principles. You may view the "fluff" (history) of my army, the LES (the Leo Ex Sphaera, "Lions of The Sphere"), by clicking on the "Lion" graphic below this paragraph. (Parents, please be advised that the stories may contain material that may not be suitable for young readers.) The book graphic, also below and next to the Lion graphic, will take you to our "Storybook" where both my own stories and poems and the works of other authors may be found.
I'm a single dad, with a terrific sixteen-year-old son. I believe wholeheartedly in the God-ordained sanctity of the marriage relationship, and in keeping oneself for the spouse of God's choosing. I don't like being alone, widowerhood does not sit well on my shoulders. Since I'm not sure of God's will, I'm waiting for God to show me which path to take, singleness or remarriage. This seems the best course to hold to for now. I believe in courting and not dating, a bit old-fashioned and unusual in today's world, but so is being a gentleman (or a statesman, for that matter!).
Most of my time is taken up with being a dad, household stuff, and work. I recently finished up a three year plus position as a full-time specialist in a hobby store ("downsizing", what a country!) The job had it's ups and downs, but on the whole, I'm glad for the experience (and a pound wiser.) I'm now setting up a new business in sculpting and resin casting. It's called "Casting Fool & Son", and if the initial feedback from clients and customers are any gauge of success, this may be just the ticket for me. The label "Toymaker" has a nice ring to it. :O)
The MELAS Online Network, the Internet-based support group that I founded and directed to help folk dealing with mitochondrial myopathies and related disorders, celebrated its tenth anniversary in July, 1999, and one month later, it's end in August. The work load and expenses of administering the MELAS Online Network were difficult to maintain, and the attacks of a few folk who were not pleased with my efforts to help others in the mitochondrial community were detrimental to my family's well-being.
(The stress resulting from these attacks, coupled with the huge Internet-related workload that the attacks spawned, began to affect my health. Then, my son was injured by a particularly vicious and thoughtless "joke" emailed from one of these folk to another of their group. I believe that the "joke" ecard was not intended to be seen by myself or my son, and that the jokester did not realize that the ecard company's website would send me the ecard receipt. An explanation a bit more in depth on this subject may be viewed by visiting this webpage.)
Sometime in 2001, I was informed by one of the owners of one of the most popular of the mito-related support forums that I was persona non grata on their listserv. I was also informed that I could not subscribe under my real name, but that I would be allowed to subscribe under a false name if I was circumspect in my use of the list. I was not comfortable with this arrangement, so I eventually founded an open listserv of my own, the "MitoDragon".
Way in the past, on one of my own listservs I shared a story about my feelings on "fighting back" at mito disorders. I used a dragon-related allegory which was picked up by a few of my detractors, and the word "dragon" was turned to use as a disparaging term for myself on various mito-related listservs and forums. Little did they know that I happen to like dragons. <smile> Hence the name "MitoDragon", and the unreferenced link on this page.
I believe in the salvation of one's soul through the shed blood of Christ Jesus, God's Son. That no amount of good deeds or works can ever bring us into God's presence for eternity. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and personally like to use the New International Version (Copyright © 1984 International Bible Society) for my studies and worship.
(For the record, I do not endorse or use the TNIV, "Today's New International Version". A new, gender-neutral translation of the Bible by the International Bible Society (IBS), published by Zondervan.
A PDF file format publication by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) titled "A LIST OF TRANSLATION INACCURACIES PRIMARILY (BUT NOT
EXCLUSIVELY) RELATED TO GENDER LANGUAGE IN THE TNIV)" is available from the CBMW. Click on the name of the document in the preceding sentence to start the download.)
The trial of Karen's illness and all that it has entailed, has made my weaknesses very obvious to me. I have a great deal of healing to experience, and certain strengths to develop. For a very long time, except for visits to ascertain the likelihood of a particular church becoming our new church home, my son and I did not regularly attend a local church. I had discovered the heartache that some of the most deep and terrible hurts in life can come from those who claim kinship to you in Christ, and I found it difficult to risk facing those hurts and disappointments again.
I felt that we had been abused financially, and the most incredible misunderstandings arose during my wife's 10-year illness, and subsequently at her death in 1992. Karen Ann died from a very rare and often misunderstood disorder called the MELAS Syndrome. I firmly believe that every pastor should be required to take, at the very least, a course of study in "Understanding General Medicine" and "Psychiatry", and be made to read every one of Dr. James Dobson's books twice!
We are currently attending a local PCA Presbyterian church where we have been kindly received by the folk there. It's nice to be somewhere where we can learn, serve and fellowship in an atmosphere of love and spiritual soundness. Interestingly enough, I became a believer as a child, while my family attended a PCA church back home. I received Christ as my savior at a PCA Bible camp.
My first and middle names can be combined to mean: "Who can be compared to God's Gift?" or "The gift that cries, 'Who can be compared to God?'" Personally, I believe that nothing in life is ever free, that everything in this life has to be paid for by someone, or by something, else. Someday I will know the reason for the price that my son and I have paid, and it will finally make sense. Someday my name will be more than just a label for this flesh in the Shadowlands. Even if it has to wait for Heaven, someday I will be whole; and I will be what I was created to be.
One thing I have learned for certain in this life, beyond any trace of doubt. God is capable of leading us into, through, and out of any sort of trial or trouble. Yes, we may feel weak, and even faint when overcome by our weaknesses; but we can always depend on Him to be there with us. He'll never leave us alone, not even in the darkest night.
I'd like to add a few words on a topic that I had not realized could become a focus for this "autobiography".
I recently referred a friend from an email listserv (mailing list) to this page. This is someone with whom I had really enjoyed Internet-based converation with, and I wanted to give them an opportunity to know me better. I was surprised, and deeply dismayed, when this friend wrote back that they were greatly offended after visiting this page.
After a few messages back and forth between us, it became apparent that the offense wasn't really because of "who" I am; it was because of "what" I claim to be, a Christian.
I was dismayed (and to be honest, a little offended) as this friend explained that they had assumed that my claim to my faith in Christ meant that I hated them. What I learned then, was that my friend was a transsexual, someone actively practicing a homosexual lifestyle; and that they had been verbally abused, and threatened, by people proclaiming themselves to be Christians.
My friend told me how so-called local believers in their neighborhood had been actively persecuting the gay community there. One fellow purportedly left a handout of "jokes" at homes in the neighborhood that included a suggestion that genocide was a solution for the "gay problem".
<sigh> Wouldn't you think that, after all of the persecution that the body of Christ has endured throughout the ages, that believers would be able to easily avoid becoming the persecutors themselves?
Granted, there are as many militant zealots out there in the gay community as there are militant zealots in the body of Christ, and as there are militant zealots in the non-Christian community. Some folk will focus their hate into violence no matter what society does to discourage them from directing violent acts towards others.
There have been terribly violent and hateful acts committed against members of the gay community by non-gays (though, to my knowledge, usually not by believers); BUT, there have also been terribly violent and hateful acts committed against non-gays by members of the gay community.
Whether the acts are simple harassment, or hateful acts designed to humiliate and degrade the victim, or acts designed to intimidate through fear, or the terrible acts of stalking, physical attack or murder; every one of these acts are wrong whether the instigator is gay or non-gay.
I know that there are believers who love the lost as much as Jesus himself does. I know that there are Christian ministries dedicated to reaching homosexual, and heterosexual, communities around the world with the Gospel. But why, WHY must we always have that small number of hate-filled believers who actively drive the lost AWAY from Christ through their focusing on a lifestyle instead of on the person?
I made an attempt to explain to my friend that though our choices of lifestyles were mutually exclusive, I still hoped that we could be friends. Now before some self-righteous Pharisee reading this starts foaming at the spiritual mouth, think about Christ's life while he was here on earth. Who did he visit with? Who did he minister to? Who did he seek out and show compassion and love for?
It certainly wasn't the religious leaders of his day, leaders who were bigoted and self-righteous, practicing the very sins that they preached against and punished through their "churches". Jesus reached out to the poor and to the downtrodden, to those who no one else in society would touch or even recognize as a human being.
One cannot reach the lost with the Gospel unless one is willing to do as Jesus did. One has to love them enough to see past their sin and to see the person that God wants to redeem and make his own.
Do I believe that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong, that to choose it is sin? Yes, I do believe that this is what God teaches us through his word, the Bible, as much as I believe that any sexually-related act outside of marriage is sin, regardless of the gender of the participants.
Do I believe that it is right for a believer to focus on a person's sin instead of on the people themselves? No, for a believer to do so denies the very essence of what makes a person a Christian, someone who has the living God inside of them.
Because of the sinful acts of a few people who purport to be members of the body of Christ, and a misunderstanding, I've lost a friend and possibly the opportunity to share my faith in Christ with this friend. Should you read this, and understand its message, then pray that God will reach the combatants on both sides of these issues with his grace and mercy.
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