Update: Time off, Reading, Writing, Publishing

It’s that time of year when I see muskrats on the lakes.

Time Off

I’m getting over a month off from my painting work. I’m loving it! I feel I deserve some days off after forty years in the business. Painting is hard work, especially those ceilings. Today I’m getting my hair cut and meeting with my son at Olive Garden to celebrate his birthday and just to see him.

Reading Beyond Biden

This book, by Newt Gingrich is quite good and well documented. He is so smart and really on top of things—for his age. It’s nice to have a book like this to get accurate information about what’s happening in America and what we need to do about it. I’m learning so much about wokeism and related subjects. Newt also Has a lot to say about getting people back to work and off of welfare. And you know, he did that when he was the Speaker.

My New Book:  The Tribulation

As is always the case, I learn so much by writing. I am really enjoying writing this book. I work on it every day—about forty-fiver minutes a day. In this book on the Tribulation, I am concentrating only on what I know to be true from the bible, and will focus on the Tribulation itself—that is, all the suffering of the seals, the trumpets, and the bowls. I am not going to worry about the order of things or to spend much time on things I don’t understand. I am just going to emphasize strongly those things that are clearly laid out in Scripture; and that the Tribulation is definitely coming soon for whose who are not saved!

Publishing

I’m a self-publisher and I suppose that’s the way it will stay. But I’ve been thinking lately that I need to make some changes. I love writing, but I hate all aspects of publishing; selling, marketing, all of it. So, I have been praying hard on it and looking over all my options. There are so many self-publishing companies I could use, or to do it myself. I’m feeling quite upset over it all and need to calm down and trust the Lord. He reminded me two days ago of a verse, Romans 8:32: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.” A wonderful verse. God gave His Son to die for me. How will He not also give me all things. That is, God will certainly give me everything that He wants me to have, everything that is good—good for His purposes and also good for me. So, if I keep trusting Him and follow His will, He will set me up with whatever He wants me to do as far as all this publishing nonsense. Oh, I still have a bad attitude about it. Hopefully, He will change that too. 

My Update: Work, Writing on Martyrs, Retirement

I think it’s time for another update. I’ll try to be positive, though I am having a few problems.

My Present Job

I’m a retired house painter, but I still do a little work. The job I am working on now is not going well. Actually, I thought I was finished, but when the owner got home (from a vacation) and looked it over, she was not pleased. I very rarely get complaints, but she had plenty. What went wrong?

Well, I’m not going to tell you everything, except to say that she let me know that I am not a perfect painter—as I sometimes think I am. I am feeling quite humbled. I have a lot to do over (second coats). I had Thanksgiving and today off, and Saturday I will try to finish up. My prayers this morning were three-fold: that I would do the work well; that my mind would be at peace and I will not worry about it; and that she (the owner) would settle down and not be so upset with me—to also be at peace.

Thanksgiving Day

My sister’s first husband invited me over to his house. He is a good friend, so I was excited to see him and his two kids, also to see some of his family I have never met. It was such a good time being together and making some new friends.

Reading and Writing about Christian Martyrs

I’ve been reading and blogging on Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. It’s been a struggle for two reasons: The reading is so difficult; the translation from that time period (about 1500) is not good. I will try to find a more modern translation. Also, though it is very inspiring to hear how the Martyrs believed and endured suffering, it is troubling to hear how evil things were in the Catholic church and how they were, and still are, so blinded by the devil.

I am also at the same time reading and writing about the coming Tribulation. I am now wondering if the Tribulation martyrdom will be a return of the same Catholic inquisition. I think it may be, but worse! I am so happy though, to know that when they die they will immediately be with the Lord and will be forever rejoicing with Him (as a few Revelation passaged tell us).

Old Age and Retirement

I don’t want to bore you or complain about things, but I do sense that my emotional make-up is breaking down. Maybe I should read a good book on retirement. I know that I need to learn how to relax more, etc. I don’t want to just sit and vegetate. But maybe there are some changes I need to make.

Well, that’s all for now in this update. I wish you all well—you who regularly follow my blog. And I will keep you all in my prayers.

Update: Life Changes

Church change. I have been praying about this and churning it over in my mind for a few months. And I finely now have made the change. I feel a little sad about it—not to see certain folks regularly. But I feel I must move on to what I think is the right move. I’m not going to talk about the reasons, but there are doctrinal reasons. So, I feel that I am following the Lord, but yet I am sad. I feel a peace about it. Yet I know there will be struggles, and I must endure them and push on.

Working less. This last summer I worked much more that I figured I would. And I was suffering in the heat—90-degree heat for many days. I think I have to push myself to slow down. I have resolved to take more days off between jobs—I’m a house painter; semi-retired. And I will take only easy jobs. I will not quit working completely, because I really like what I do. But I also like days off and having time to write and read more, etc.

Health issues. I’m finding that I’m having more and more health issues—because of my age I suppose. But it is also a challenge to concentrate more on good eating habits and regular exercise, etc. Nobody wants to be sick—unless you have a death wish. I know that much sickness in people is because of heredity. But we can’t use that as an excuse. We all, especially us older folks, must work extra hard to keep ourselves healthy—watch our diet, exercise, and deal with any illnesses. And I find that daily prayer is very helpful. I follow the Jabez prayer. Why not? He prayed that God would bless him and keep him from harm (1 Chron. 4:10).

Update: Book Reading, Book Writing

I can’t think of anything in particular to write on that would be enough for a blog. But there are a few things I’m thinking about that, put together, would give you an update of what’s going on with me. Let me first tell you about the books I’m reading. The book I just put down a minute ago is Nikki Haley’s book, With All Due Respect. It will never be a best seller, but I enjoy reading it. I liked her before I started reading it, but now even more. She has a good character and I loved how she stood up to the people at the UN over their disrespect for Israel. I also love how she stood up to Kelly and Tillerson over their divisiveness against President Trump. It was refreshing.

Another book I’m reading is a very large book, The Presidents Fact Book, on all the Presidents and also their wives. It is very interesting and kind of fun to read. It’s a book that I might read again, because it is so loaded with valuable information—a good book of history; and we need to learn history before it is lost, because so many crazy people these days want to destroy our history.

As I refill my coffee cup, let me share my thoughts on a possible next book to write. Actually, I’m just finishing my latest two books: one entitled, After the Rapture: What Happens On Earth and in Heaven After the Rapture; and another book on my life story, which I don’t have a title for yet. I’m presently self-editing them, then I will write an intro for both of them, and then go through the publishing process.

So anyway, I’m already thinking of what my next book project will be. My most enduring thought is to do a book on a book of the bible. I don’t consider myself a biblical scholar, so it wouldn’t be a book of any great depth. My thought is that I need to be more in the word, so I thought that a writing project would help me get there. One thought would be to writing on the book of Revelation. I kind of wanted to write on the Tribulation anyway, so maybe that would be a good option.

Another idea is to delve into a book like Ephesians. I know that would be quite beneficial for me—for my spiritual life. I think I might enjoy getting into the Greek, doing word studies; and also, getting into the history of those times; and just determining what the main themes of the book are. Mostly, I would hope that the writing would bring me closer to Him, and that my thoughts would be constantly on Him and His wonderful words of grace and truth.

I find that since I am more and more retired, and that my painting jobs are fewer, I have more time now to do whatever. I pray that that whatever is well spent. Retirement time can be foolishly wasted. I pray that that won’t be true of me.

My Retirement Years: Work, Writing, Kids

I officially began my retirement in 2015… so I’m five years into it. A few things remain the same, but most things are a little different. I’m intentionally trying to slow things down, relax more and enjoy what is left of my life. I’m still painting, but not as much. I sort of feel like I can work as hard as I always have, but I know I’m getting older, so I made the decision to get rid of all my tall 32 ft. ladders (I recycled them). I just work now with a 20-footer. Besides not doing high work, I have also cut down on my hours. Instead of 8 or 9-hour days, I limit it to six hours; and I also take a 3 or 4-day break between jobs. But I want to tell you that my work is just as good as it always was, maybe even better. Since I’m trying to slow things down, I’m paying more attention to details. I love my work and also my faithful customers; and I will be working just as long as I can hold a brush and do a good job.

As for my writing, I think I am writing more now than ever. I have more time to write and I think I’m even better at it. I guess the more you read and write and experience life, the better you get at it. At present I am just finishing up my book After the Rapture, and I am also almost finished with this book on my life story—although I haven’t thought of a title for it yet. What’s next? I don’t know, but I’m sure God will nudge me to write something. I have some ideas but nothing solid yet.

Another area of my life that is constantly changing is my relationship with my kids. They are all adults now and their families are multiplying. I already have seven, almost eight grandkids. They came so fast. Justina, the oldest of my children, age 35, is married to Rusty, and they have two kids. They live in Virginia and they both work as nurses. Anthony, age 33, is married to Crystal and they will have two kids in a month. They live in Bloomington, just a half hour drive from me. They also are both working at very good jobs. Joshua, age 31, is single. I keep telling him to remain that way—ha! He also lives fairly close to me and we get together as much as we can. Abigail (Abi) is the youngest, at 29, and she just had her fourth kid. She lives in Texas with her husband Aaron who seem to always have two or three jobs going.

I really love my kids and pray for a them, but I don’t really know them that well. I put the blame mostly on our divorce arrangement, not being able to see them except for two hours a week. But I can’t put all the blame on that. I really could have worked harder to see them more. I could have fought for it, but didn’t. I’m not real sure why. I have sort of a hermit-like nature. I naturally don’t have a great desire to connect with people, not even my own kids. It’s my own selfish nature.

But I still have hope that things will get better. I think we all are working on connecting more—texting and even calling. And I think the more we pray for each other the better it will be. I also want to make regular trips to see my kids and grandkids in Virginia and Texas. That would be good—for them and for me.

Making the most of the Pandemic

Fish practicing social distancing.

I’ve gotten in the practice now of picking up my breakfast and coffee at some fast food place, getting a newspaper, and then parking at this place near a walking trail where people walk by. I like to wave and greet them. Yes, we can still wave from a distance. We need to make the most of this pandemic.

My Work: House Painting

This is my work truck. I had a small painting job at this location.

My work. It’s been a while since I had work. But I’m retired. I started a house painting business in 1981. At the beginning it was just me and one employee—a good friend. We had no contacts so I had to advertise. I put adds in the local newspaper, and I also made small, half-sheet fliers to distribute. Sometimes I distributed them by hand, door-to-door, with help from nieces and nephews. Other times I paid to have them delivered as an insert. That kept us busy, just busy enough.

The summers were good, but the winters were spars. After the first couple years I hired more help. That was fun during the summer time, but during the winter months I had to lay them off. There was just not enough work. So in the spring time I usually had to rehire and retrain people—because the ones I had before, had gotten other jobs. But then there were a couple guys who kept coming back—the faithful.

Well, I don’t want to bore you by giving you a year by year run down. But there were some interesting stories to tell. Working with a crew of guys is always fun—but sometimes aggravating for me, the boss. I remember, one of my guys would always call me Boss, or Boss man. I hated that! Because I didn’t think he was genuine. Yea, I had some characters—all different. Those were the days.

I retired when I was 63, seven years ago. But I didn’t totally stop working. At first, I cut about a third out of my hours. Today my hours are cut about in half. I have never had so much work that I was able to save a lot. So I figured that with my Social Security payment I still need to work some.

But you know, I really think it’s for the best. I like working a little. At 69 I don’t feel much like working full bore, but I think its good for me to work a little. And I like seeing faithful clients. I have some clients that I have done work for, for over 30 years. For some of them, I have painted their entire house 4 or 5 times, or more. Some of them call me for work almost every year. And I try to call all of my clients once a year, just to keep in touch—but of course I will ask them if they need any painting. Out of about 30 calls I get roughly one job out of it.

 I’m waiting for someone to call me right now. I am ready for a job. A small job. This retirement at times sucks! All I do is sit around writing, blogging, reading, and doing my chores. Other things too, and it’s getting very routine. I need a job. I’m getting too lazy.

I’m afraid retirement for me will never be typical—like rich folks. You know, traveling and golfing and going on cruises. I will have to keep working as much as necessary to have enough in savings for when I get too old to work. I have to keep a tight budget. And it will always be, for me, a life of trusting God. That sounds good to me. He will provide and keep me joyful.

My Retirement: Life Is Slower These Days

This is the trail I walked on just after I wrote this post.

My retirement. Let’s see. Where to start. Life is a little slower these days. Everything is in small increments. I plan it that way. I am 69 years old. I have been officially retired since I turned 63. Or was it 64? Actually, I’m only semi-retired. I still work a little. I have had a residential painting business since 1981, and I occasionally get calls from faithful clients. I am proud to say that most of them still like me and know I will do a good job for them—so if it’s a small job, I don’t mind doing it. I can always use the money.

It’s Saturday morning and I’m at Perkins, trying to decide if I should get pie. I may not be able to resist—even though I had a great breakfast. Yes, pie would be good. Pie and coffee. Ah, life is good. God is good!

Now that I’m on the subject, I will share my breakfast schedule. I don’t know why, but much of my doings is scheduled these days: my eating, my time, my jobs, my duties—everything. I like to think ahead and know what I’m doing. I guess it makes me feel more secure and in control. But I know that as a Christian I must also leave room for the Holy Spirit to lead me. So I will not be too set to my to do list.

 So my breakfast schedule is this: Saturday is Perkins, Sunday is coffee and doughnuts at church, Monday I will eat at Panera—Coffee and steel cut oatmeal, Tuesday at McDonalds (cheaper), Wednesday I will eat oatmeal with fresh pineapple at home (I make it), Thursday and Friday are a little more flexible, but I usually go back to Panera again. And when I go out to eat, I always stop at my favorite gas station to buy a newspaper, and I usually bring a book too. I do most of my reading when I eat.

I don’t think I mentioned that I am single—divorced. But I’m happy to be single. It gives me more freedom to do what I want to do. I don’t think I’m a selfish person. I like people. But I also enjoy living by myself.  I regard it as a gift of God; and I think He has called me to it.

I was reading this morning from Psalm 139:5, how God has enclosed me behind and before, and He has His hand on me. He not only keeps me safe; He keeps me feeling secure, and I know that He is always near me. He takes me gently through the different phases of life. He knows what I need, and even gives me things (services) that He wants me to do. He keeps me busy doing His work.

Mainly, I think that the service He has given me is writing. For the last 30 years I have been writing as a self-publisher. I also do blogs. I have two other blogs going besides this one. So writing keeps me very busy, and I am glad to be doing it. I don’t make much money on it, but I’m still glad to do it. It’s the Lord’s work and I know that the benefit people will get from it will be my heavenly reward. It is now filling up my heavenly treasure chest. Well, I think this post is finished, and I didn’t even have pie. But I feel fine—very content.