During trying times.

FOLKS, SOME OF YOU HAVE ASKED TO KNOW A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT MYSELF. SO HERE IS A TRUE STORY ABOUT MY LIFE THAT WAS NOT SO LONG AGO…JUST MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BOX OF KLEENEX HANDY…

As the title of this piece states, I find it interesting that we each handle life’s problems in different ways, with no one way being better than another, but that choice is always the driving factor. Each one is as unique as the circumstances that brought us to the thought in the first place. As for me it is as if I were jumping from rock to rock in the middle of a fast moving river with rapids, trying to stay balanced and focused for the moment on the thought at hand.

While using this form of metaphor it at least to me serves to be the best way to describe certain events that come to our minds when we are in trying times. The symbolizing of a rock as a thought from our past experiences and or circumstances and then jumping from rock to another rock symbolizes how fast our minds can go from one subject to another, as we try to center ourselves with the thought or emotion at hand, balancing ourselves for the next step or leap of faith that will hopefully bring us, peace of mind and or a since of balance or even direction.

The thoughts maybe about friends or family members who have past away, they could be about a special pet that was in your life or even an event that was memorable and all that it may entail. It is because of these thoughts that they should stir up feelings, and emotions that become the focus of that memory. When thinking about such profound and memorable events in ones life, I have noticed that it usually always seems to deal with the emotional side of that thought, or rather that something has influenced the thought that now presents itself in the form of emotion. This by itself is just thought but when the thought is driven by emotion then it is this emotion that motivates action which can cause one to change direction or the path of ones life and give it clarity and focus and meaning or even purpose.

The one that crosses my mind and touches my heart this time was brought on by watching an episode of 7th Heaven, when Happy, the pet dog is in the veterinary hospital. This episode reminds me of Miss Colleen, my pet and companion. She was a beautiful dog of Irish wolfhound and Black Labrador decent. She was in many ways the most genital, loving, devoted, trusting companion anyone could have wanted, and I was lucky enough to be her companion as well. We made a good team, we were meant to be together at that point in our lives together. Everyone who ever met her felt the love and grace that she emanated. Even folks who did not care for dogs or where afraid of them, took a liking towards her, she truly was a very special animal and defiantly one of a kind; she literally was my best friend.

My daughter (Automa), and granddaughter (Truvy) getting a quick shower from Miss Colleen.

Anyhow, to let you folks know I was not and could not be with her in the final moments of her life and as for that I will always hold a bit of guilt in me for the rest of my days. But let me explain, at the time she was put to sleep I was in Florida, handing the final requests of my mothers estate do to her passing away just two weeks before. I was do to leave Florida the next morning after an arduous week and a half of running all over the state but then choosing to do something special for one of my nephews (Steven) and his girlfriend and soon to be wife (Chelsea). That was to take them to meet up with two of my nephews buddies that are in the U.S. Navy, and that they were only in port for a 24 hour furlough for the first time in over 6 months at sea. It was with great pleasure that I was able to help my nephew hook up for the day with his pals giving them a day out on the town rather than having to hang out on base. After all, they deserved it for protecting my family and our life style here at home besides I am a veteran of the US. Coast Guard and I could relate to their needing a day out. But even though we all were having a bit of fun letting off a little steam from the trying times in our own individual lives, the evening would be nothing more than memorable to each of us for the rest of our lives.

That one common memory would be and will always be, the passing of Miss Colleen, for we listened on a speaker phone as my friend (Sabrina), who just happens to be a veterinary assistant, gave the injection that would take her life. In the background we could hear my daughter (Automa) sobbing as she held on to Miss Colleen and as she tried to talk to her letting her know that she would be missed and loved, very much and then thanking Miss Colleen for being part of our family. While on the other hand I was thinking and feeling the whole gambit of emotion that most people would have felt and that was that as much as I wanted to see her one more time, to hold and hug her myself, to touch her face with my own hands and feel the love we had for each other which you would have seen in her eyes and with her demeanor, to let her know how much I loved her and would truly miss having her around and that I appreciated her loyalty and companionship to me. I realized that it just was not meant to be. We all could tell the very moment that Miss Colleen took her last breath as she passed way. I have to say that there was not a dry eye in the truck, for we all were in tears and were swept up with the emotion of what had just taken place.

Yes, I did have a choice and I thought hard about having my friend (Sabrina), try to keep her alive for at least another 48 hours but then reality set in and I thought of her, Miss Colleen, instead of myself. That choice was made do to the constant communications with (Sabrina and Automa) during this period. I was very knowledgeable about the pain and suffering that she was experiencing do to the Lyme disease transmitted from a tic bite she got while I took her for a walk on the battlefield just a few weeks prior to her illness. Then including the many trips back and forth to the animal hospital over the past two weeks, the countless days and nights she must have felt that I did not care about her because I was not there with her in her hour of need and suffering. All the personal care, and professional attention and the drugs and the blood transfusion that (Dr. Mark, Sabrina’s husband) gave her.The several times that my daughter and granddaughter were there to visit her while she was in her cage or placed in a small room so that they could show her some love and attention.

For the anguish I personally felt being separated from her during this time in her life just hoping and praying that she would somehow pull through and knowing that I could not take having another pet put down. See Miss Colleen was the first dog I had rescued since I had to put my Alaskan malamute to sleep some 19 years before. His name was Sire Teddy Bear or Sire for short. But no, I had to make the decision to go through with the euthanasia procedure the night before I would leave Florida knowing that within another 20 hours from that time, I would be home.

I felt that it was the most humane thing I could do and the greatest physical act of love that I could give to her, as well as being the least selfish thing for me. How I thought and how I felt deep inside of me did not matter. All I could think about was what I was going through in the present tense. Trying not to spend much time thinking about how things were going to change, but not really knowing how or really caring about how my life in so many ways would be affected by these events to this point. By being kept in the loop of communications and knowing all of these things somehow all the while thinking I could handle the decision to do what needed to be done, not giving a second thought as to how I would feel or handle her not be home when I got back.

For a few moments I could only feel the pain of suffering that I was going through, that being the passing of my mother in Florida, a nephew in Ohio, my father in Texas and now my companion and best friend in Pennsylvania, 4 deaths all very personal and all in just two weeks time. Within another two weeks I would have to face the reality of one more death and that would be a dear friend and com-padre also from Pennsylvania making the total of 5 deaths to deal with. My heart was broken; my feelings were in turmoil and my emotions almost out of control. It was only by the grace of God and because of the respect and love from those in the vehicle with me that I maintained my composure. For that I will always be thankful to my family and his friends as well as my family and friends in Pennsylvania.

Everything seems to be intertwined with each other it is through these circumstances as well as my past life experiences that will have such a profound influence on who I am and what I choose to do with my life. The emotions I feel are real and the loss of them hurts deeply. Somehow I know I’ll be OK because time truly does heal and because of adversity comes strength to ones character. I’m sure I’ll be a better person when everything settles down and I regain control of my life.

But for now all anyone can do under these circumstances is to have faith, hope and love because these are truly gifts form God. The ability to except adversity and face it head on and to make the best out of a bad situation is what a lot of life is all about. What separates us from other men and women in this world that decide to follow a path that leads to self destruction is our ability to except and embrace change and how we perceive the course that has now become our path.

Folks say that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle all I have to say to them is that God must think I have very broad shoulders, because I feel the weight of the world pressing down on me in my life and I thank him for the understanding and wisdom that I have about life and for the enlightenment he has shown me through adversity and the ability to persevere. I also know that he must have something pretty big planned special for me to accomplish with my life just because of all the things he has brought me through.

I guess the old saying is true and that is that he is the potter and we are the clay. I’m learning patients and dependability but I am also ready to regain and embrace my new life. This ability or strength or insight should give us all the courage to rely on ourselves and that would truly be a gift from God and with that being said, it truly would be our very own and very personal Independence Day.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts and I hope you will explore your thoughts and memories with a new perception that brings you closer to where you want to be.Oh and one more thing, Valentines Day would be Miss Colleens birthday and yes she was a LOVE, puppy.

God Bless and Thanks Again,

Bishop Andrew

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Introducing Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry and the Universal Life Church of the Celtic Cross – An Affiliate Church of the Universal Life Church World Headquarters

Founded by Rev. Dr Andrew Manley, DD. Celtic Cross Ministry continues to thrive and grow while other Churches are on the decline stagnate. Brother Michael, Presiding Bishop of the Celtic Cross Parent Church, Universal Life Church World Headquarters, who recently appointed Rev. Manley to that of a fellow Bishop and also installed him as an exclusive member of the College of Bishops, attributes Bishop Manley’s success to his hard work ethics, innovative ideas and a willingness to embrace change to meet the demand of today’s society.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for the rise of the Celtic Cross Ministry is the many doorways Bishop Manley has;

Celtic Cross TV channel – http://www.youtube.com/1celticcrossministry

Celtic Cross Ministry Blog – http://www.celticcrossministry.wordpress.com

Celtic Cross Ministry Blogpost – http://www.celticcrossministry.blogpost.com

Celtic Cross Radio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/celticcrossradio

My Prayer Closet – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/universallifechurch

You can also find Celtic Cross Ministry on My Opera, Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, Spreaker, Audioboo, Google+, GoogleDrive, GoogleTalk, Skype and others

Celtic Cross Ministry Affiliations Includes:

ULCWHQ – Universal Life Church World Headquarters
AOCI – Association of Clergy International
IFCC – International Federation of Christian Chaplains
NACM – National Association of Christian Ministers
ULCCF – Universal Life Church Christian Fellowship
TGMCMA – True Grace Ministries Christian Ministers Association

Outreach of Celtic Cross Ministry Includes:

ULCCC – Universal Life Church of the Celtic Cross
CCCAA – Celtic Cross Chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous (Sponsor)
CHPPNA – Community Health Partners Parish Nursing Association (Chaplain)
HSS – Heart and Soul Stroll ( Bible Study Program)
NOPSS – Northern Ohio Paranormal Scientific Society (Spiritual Adviser)

The latest project of Celtic Cross Ministry – they are working on setting up a site called the ICCI – Independent Catholic Churches International

A special night to prepare !

Tomorrow is, Thursday the 3rd of May and that means it is the National Day of Prayer. So to honor that, tonight at 8:00 pm (EST) on, ( blogtalkradio.com/universallifechurch ) We will be doing our special worldwide devotional prayer service with special intentions. Then we will finally after three months of teaching and preparing folks to recite the rosary, will begin to actually pray the Holy Rosary with Mysteries. So join me in “My Prayer Closet” and be apart of an International Evening of Prayer on the Eve of our National Day of Prayer here in the America. You’ll be glad you did… Many blessing to you until then… Bishop Andrew