Categories
Faith family Fear focus Life

Listening

Batman Says:

Sitting out on the deck early this morning before most of this part of the world wakes up, I closed my eyes and just listened. Ever do that? Just listen? Interesting what the result may be if you do. Because I was outdoors, and Peach and I live out in the country (not deep in the woods away from all sounds of man like I wish but, still country folk) I get to hear nature, sometimes mans noise butts in, but mainly nature. Early like this, there are still night creatures about but also the day crews are waking up and moving about. It’s a peaceful time, and the amount of nature that could be heard (probably could hear more, but for years of teaching shooting numbing my hearing 😳) night hawks, whip-or-wills (Chuck-will’s-widow more often) early morning Cardinals, Mocking birds and of course, the always present sound of roosters crowing, Horned owls, Barred owls, and Screech owls… you get the idea. All add their voices at one time or another, together or separate, frequent or rarely, and just listening to them relaxes me.

There are at times no sounds at all, it’s creepy still, the time of morning or night when as Sherlock Holmes put it “the powers of evil are exalted”. Times like these some get nervous or frightened, but as Don Williams sang “Nothing makes a sound in the night like the wind does, but you’re not afraid if you’re washed in the blood like I was”. Night sounds (early morning, too) can stir up fears in people, an involuntary reaction stemming back to the days when it was kill or be killed, and wild carnivores roamed everywhere, it also stems from man’s evilness to one another where certain elements prey on weaker victims. But in the here and now, the sounds I hear are stealthy, and then some are musical, neither cause fear as I have and still hunt the evil most refuse to acknowledge exists and fear little in doing so (“Fear profits no man” ..13th Warrior). Settling more in my comfy chair I hear leaves rustle, probably a mouse or mole looking for edible yummies, as I look up thru the live oak leaves to the crystal clear ink black sky with its brilliant sparkly lights (them is stars in case you didn’t get it) flashing colorful lights from far away. You can almost hear the trees talking to the wind and each other (probably wondering why we get to move around when they can’t) with soft subtle voices that you either believe in or don’t. If you believe, you can quietly hear the soft voices on the wind, maybe not understand them but you can hear them if you listen. Most refuse to hear those quiet voices from things in nature, especially those they hear when it is dark, and they do it out of fears. Fears of the unknown, fears others may not have heard it and would ridicule or belittle them, fears they would lose friendships or companions.

“Fear does not stop death it stops Life and worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles it takes away today’s Peace”

If you must fear, the fear should be that you have let God down by not following his word. (Squirrel ran by…apologies)

Listening teaches us so much more than talking does, and if most people would open their ears and close their mouths, they would learn tons and there would be way less conflict. So I sit, when I can, be it at home or at work (rare but I do sometimes get the chance) and I listen to what the world is trying to tell me. I hear the sunrise, I hear the wind, I hear Gods creations great and small. I don’t always understand them, but I hear them all, each has its own unique voice, some booming some barely perceptible. None of these would I be able to hear if all I did was talk. The gift of silence is often underestimated, but having the ability to let someone talk or vent, without interjecting, is a rare ability that more people need. Take the time to shut up and just listen, I bet you hear a lot and maybe learn to appreciate silence more.

“What’s that Peach? Sorry wasn’t listening” 😬

Categories
Faith family Fear focus health Life

Unremembered Forest Things

Batman Says:

When I was little (yes everyone I once was little and didn’t have adult cares, how long ago? None of your business cheeky bugger), I was born (not hatched or beamed down as some believe) in a very small country town. I was actually the only one of my siblings born in this small town, but my moms family was from there and we lived there a short while. We moved to a different place, not to far away from where I was born and made frequent return trips there, so much so when I was small, it was as if I never left. Many memories of those days are gone, lost or pushed aside by other information garnered over the many years of my life (no you don’t need to know how many!). Some are still there and pop up at weird times to remind me of something (I truly wish I knew what that was) and they sometimes linger about showing up off and onto annoy me.

Like my grandpa’s place where we stayed at times, he had a tater field and would pay us kids a quarter for whoever dig up the biggest tater (by hand of course). Even fonder memories were of visits to my Aunt and Uncles house (10 minute walk across one dirt road and a couple fields) where they had rabbits (for eating, sorry no pets) and a pond that I would spend hours catching and releasing bream and catfish in (unless my uncle said “keep’em we will eat them for lunch/dinner”). My childhood memories of these times were to me idyllic and I’m saddened that they slip out of remembrance only to pop up occasionally now days.

My grandpa, my uncle and sometimes dad if he were not off helping someone fix something (seems I remember him always fixing stuff for people when we visited there) would take me fishing on a river that ran thru our little town, and at this part of the country, separated two states acting as part of the state lines. When it was summer and it hadn’t rained much, you could basically walk the river for miles without ever getting past thigh deep (on a small boy) except for parts around stumps and widow-makers (underwater snags).these deeper pockets is where the “Stump Knockers” (google it) were hiding and where the lines from our cane poles were put to catch what we could then move on to the next.

Sometimes my grandpa or uncle would stop and stare off into the woods as if seeing something but try as I might I never caught what they were seeing. I asked over and over ‘what are u looking at grandpa /uncle ” and would get “nothin son” or “just looking”. My aunt told me later that they were seeing “forest creatures” and she would laugh. Now as a small boy this fascinated me to no end, but soon I would be off to other small boy things and it would be forgotten.

Fast forward a few years (again, don’t ask how many, it’s rude) and I spend as many spare seconds as I can in the woods or creeks, hunting, fishing, photography, just being outside with Peach, or whatever. This is my happy place, my forget all your troubles, relax and just “breathe” place. Took me several years to catch on but I think I finally get it..

People who spend time in the fields, forests, swamps and natural places will know immediately what I mean in a couple seconds, some others will also as there are other types in the world. Here you are, let’s use photography as the reason you are there in nature just as a for instance. Strolling along slowly maybe with purpose in mind of something to photograph or maybe not, then, without knowing why or even thinking about it, your focus is drawn to a area or specific spot, why? Did u subconsciously see something, was it a memory of something from a time ago, or something else?

I have come to believe in my own silly mind it is done with purpose and you were drawn to that spot where one of the Unremembered Forest things was, or had just been. Your mind saw it before your eyes could catch it and your vision focused on the spot it just vacated. Good hunters have a developed sense of where game can be found, same goes for good photographers and other nature lovers. We all have in us a Predator instinct, that’s why our eyes are set in front of our head and not out to the sides (look at a cat as opposed to a deer). This instinct does not go away, but now days it’s suppressed by societies belief that “hunters are evil” (sorry squirrel ran by).

When we were children and out in nature I believe we could see the unremembered Forest things, and they weren’t afraid to be seen, but as we get older and refuse to believe, they have become skittish and we only get to see the places they just were when we spooked them.

There are so many unexplained things in nature that scientist and nay-sayers roll their eyes at, doesn’t matter, I still believe. I spend lots of time outdoors, exploring the wild, and I am constantly being drawn towards things without knowing why.

Here is an example of not seeing what’s there, I took this picture without knowing why, the colors are ok, but I didn’t really think it was that awesome. I was drawn to it without knowing why, snapped it and moved on. As I reflected upon it later I recognized the image before my eyes, if you do not see an “Angel praying” then you need to get outside into the forest for several days to reset your brain before it’s to late.

Seeing for the first time in ages the hiding places of these “things” sometimes leads one to make up rationalizations for why we chose that spot to focus. That’s cool If that’s what you believe, who am I to try and dissuade your beliefs? Just like I chunk opinions of others who try and dissuade mine into the “bucket” with the other rubbish.

I call these things “Unremembered Forest Things” because I believe that when we were small, and well before our brains were polluted with things society thinks we should know, we knew these “things” be it creatures or something else. But over time we have forgotten them, only to be reminded every so often subtly by our unconscious mind, a tugging of your focus for no apparent reason to a certain spot, and hint of a smell, or whatever. Watching the stillness of a pond where no breeze is blowing, when suddenly there are ripples on the surface as if a stick was drawn across it, Water Faries dancing on the surface? Naw just the wind right?

In the stillness and quietness, I find my peace, and I find those parts of myself from my childhood I thought were gone forever. Sometimes I can just stand still in the woods, for hours at a time and be content. This refreshing memory inducing time is only ever bettered, when I have my Peach along with me. Peach gets it, she gets me to, she knows there are things we cannot explain, nor do we have to try, we should just enjoy them.

God has filled this wonderful earth with creatures great and small, and it’s up to us to “remember” them all, and to take time to go seek them where they are.

Hope you all enjoy this ramble, and it’s my wish that if you want to, you go into nature, and let your unconscious mind guide you, follow it, and see if it does not reveal some of the “Unremembered Forest Things” that you knew in your childhood years.

Did ya see how that last pick looks like it has a turtle in it Peach?”

Categories
Fear focus health Life life styles Uncategorized

Sense of Humor?

Batman Says:

Just curious, anybody remember what that is anymore? I honestly believe that most people have either never had one, forgotten what it was, or just are to persnickety to allow theirs to show up.

I have been called lots of things in my lifetime, funny, weird, gruff, grumpy, hardheaded, ok ok that’s enough, but I’ve always had a sense of humor. Mine’s a little off kilter, and sometimes ‘bent’ but most people that really “know” me, will tell you I have a great sense of humor, those who think otherwise may be acquainted with me, but they don’t “know” me.

Humor is a stress release I think, and helps us cope with everyday stupidity. Before you get sidetracked, I’m not talking about laughing or joking at someone’s distress, I’m talking about not being afraid to laugh out loud at something you find funny. I have found in my career as a person who deals with other people’s problems, that most who have a sense of humor, are easier to work with than the naysayers and “the sky is falling” kind of people.

Meeting people on the street and having conversations will quickly tell you which type you’re dealing with, which should tell you how the conversation is probably going to wind up, example:

I was at our City marina in the dock masters office (small building out by the fuel dock where reservations are taken, fuel is paid for, dock hands relax for a couple seconds) getting my morning coffee, and of course because the world is losing its proverbial mind over a flu-bug, only one customer at a time is allowed in the office at a time. I saw a man headed up the ramp towards the office, so I opened the door and was going to leave so he could conduct his business. I said “mornin, come on in I don’t have any diseases”, which anyone with a sense of humor would have thought was funny, the dock hands did who were there and it was said with a smile and a sincere greeting. This fella chose to be an *ss and replied “prove it” as he was pulling up his face mask (which by the was was a dust mask not one rated to stop this junk). I stopped on the outside of the door holding it for him, and replied, again with a smile “if I got it, it just happened talking to you as I just got my test results back and they were negative”. This person was a sailboater, who had been staying at said marina for the past few days, so I asked “soooo what essential reason do you have to be here on your boat instead of quarantined at home per the Governors orders?” again EVERYBODY but this person knew I was being funny and could care less. This person turned pale, stammered and shuddered for a coherent answer that was plausible, and failed miserably, all he had to say was “I dunno” and went about his way, but since he chose to be an *ss I let him dangle for a while before smiling and wishing him a “nicer day”.

I went about my job and when I stopped back by later to fuel up one of the dock guys was still there and thanked me for “putting him in his place” as apparently he was rude to them the entire stay. Wasn’t my intention, I was honestly being humorous and I meant the “good morning and have a nicer day” greetings, but this person chose to be rude.

A sense of humor will get you out of more pickles easier than any other thing I know. If you cannot laugh at yourself, and laugh with others when they laugh at your goof ups or silliness, you are in for a long sad time in life.

Somewhere along the way it apparently became unpopular to have a sense of humor, probably some group someplace decided that they were offended by people laughing and quietly it has gotten pushed aside. Y’all are way too serious in this day and age. Happy people are more productive and make better employees and customers, why not spread humor instead of hate, good feelings instead of bad? Being paranoid does no one any good, being humorless only makes people not want to be around you, or if they are, they are mostly guarded and aren’t the people they are normally.

People without a sense of humor are such bores, I mean seriously, who wants to be around someone who can’t find it n themselves to laugh sometimes, no matter how serious the job or occasion.

I read this stuff someplace:

“Laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner”

The above quote I read someplace about laughter and it’s benefits, I new it was good for you but until I read that I had no idea the extent. Here, check this out:

“Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system.Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.

Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.

Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.”

(Sorry can’t find the actual article to give them total credit for the above quoted info)

Who’d a thunk it? Simply giggling and laughing can have so many positive benefits.

Someone find that sailboater with his goofy mask and tell him a funny joke will ya, he could certainly use a good laugh.

You can stop laughing now Peach I finally figured the remote out”

Categories
coffee Faith family Fear focus Life life styles Time management

Range Day

Batman Says:

Today, today was a good day, with many things accomplished, some partially, others put off till another day. Today started with a perfect breakfast of Bacon and eggs cooked to perfection by Peach. I used the French press to make a batch of Black Rifle “Coffee or Die” coffee (yes, that’s a thing here). Showers, load the truck (watch Peach go back inside because she forgot her phone), head to the range for a class with one of our long time clients and she is bringing her daughter for the first time.

Great range session, I think some new skills were learned and I believe all had a good time. Peach and I try and be attentive to clients needs and wants at the range and tailor training specific for them, this one is a photographer, often off on her own. She is a super shot (trust me on this, she’s really good) so we worked on scenarios where she was photographing and had to drop the camera, draw and shoot, all which after a few slow repetitions, she did with moderate speed, and excellent skill. Her daughter who also is a great shot and safe gun handler, shoots a rifle with skill that would make some tough guys stand up and take notice (I did, as this was the first time meeting her), both mom and daughter made the morning very fun.

Backtracking a bit, I have been teaching people to shoot for a long (very very in case you must know) time, I am a NRA pistol instructor, a Police firearms instructor, a Class K (can give armed security guard firearms classes) instructor, and give Concealed Carry classes ( CCW classes to Law Enforcement and Military families are always free thru Peach and my Company). All this is done as a side to mine and Peach’s full time jobs, we do it because we feel people need good, safe and friendly training and the two of us together, do our best to give it.

So back to today..

Peach took the time today to do a little shooting with her Glock, and I did my best to help her do it right. She is already a good shot, and more important, she is SAFE WITH FIREARMS any time she handles them. Peach has a “block” issue, I’ve come to recognize this when she shoots. She is such a perfectionist that when a bullet does not go EXACTLY where she thought she was aiming at the point of trigger break, she gets frustrated and unconsciously blocks out any instruction.

At this point I’m going to point out an old saying I heard someplace “a husband should not try to teach his wife to shoot”, why? Because it can, and often does, lead to hurt feelings or worse. My personal belief is that if your relationship is a strong one, and you (that means you husbands, or boyfriends) can show superhuman patience and kindness, all the while smiling and being gracious, then by all means then teach them to shoot (yep, your prolly right, hire someone else). Ok back to the “block”….

Patience and repetitive skill sets will get you past the “block”, as stated earlier, Peach is a good shot and has the right mindset for self defense and for sport shooting. She wants to improve and wants to shoot more than we do. So today started what I hope to be a recurring theme of getting us out there shooting more together.

Today’s only issue with shooting for Peach was rounds impacting lower than she thought she was aiming. I could see the muzzle dipping at the point of trigger break (some would call this recoil anticipation but that was not why she was doing it). Peach’s issue wasn’t recoil anticipation it was lack of trigger time with this new gun, which has a firmer trigger pull. I had her dry fire (first time without her knowledge) and she immediately saw the muzzle dip. We worked a few times with dry fire and letting her use a bit more finger (leverage works no matter how small the lever) and after less than 5 minutes, the dip was gone. Live fire and she was back on the money, now after each reload she was still sending a few rounds low, but she recognized it and concentrated on the trigger break and front site and it all came together. She wanted to stop after one particular round of shooting, but me being somewhat obtuse ( think I used it right this time Peach) I had her shoot one more magazine, and I just stayed back and out of the way. Six rounds in the 2″ circle was the result, Peach was happy and I was happy for her (always try to end any skill contest on a good note).

None of this will mean much to a lot of people, it will offend some, and some will get it. Today was a “good day” for Peach and I and I hope it was a “good day” for you all as well.

I’m going to end this post with a hopeful request..

Say a prayer for their safety and give thanks for their sacrifices, and if you see a Soldier or a Police Officer tell them you appreciate all they do.

“No peach you cannot shoot an apple off my head no matter how good a shot you are”

Categories
bible Faith family Fear focus health Life life styles Music Procrastination

Letting go

Batman Says:

Ever get one of those things you did or didn’t do stuck in your head? You know what I mean, the annoying kind, the should have done differently or completed or that was stupid kinda thing.

We all have them, we all hang onto them way longer than we should. I think it’s human nature to dwell on the coulda woulda shoulda’s (funny, I thought I was making those words up but apparently not) and sometimes we can’t help but do it. We let the things get in our head and we have a hard time getting them out.

I stopped doing it, hanging on to them like I used to. Once we did or didn’t do a thing, it’s over, it’s gone and we cannot change it, so there’s no sense letting it effect whatever we are doing now or are going to do. If it’s something you can redo better then by all means go for it, but if it’s unchangeable, then chuck it in the bucket and move on. I’ve come to the conclusion that wasting my time worrying over what might have been or what I didn’t do correctly, is just that, a waste of time. We are all only given so much time, so we should spend every moment living the life we were given, not dwelling on mistakes or misfortune.

Since I came to this conclusion, I have actually felt better and been less of a grumpy guss (technical term for pain in the a**), not that I am often but I did have more moments of grumpiness than normal. I like me better this way and it makes the job I do more tolerable. I prefer this way cause Peach deserves a not so grumpy me hehe and cast iron skillets hurt (just kidding good grief y’all don’t read nothin into it, joke, humor, funny).

There’s a verse that I found (stumbled on watching a youtube music video featuring Mercy Me singing “Bring the Rain”) that seemed to fit with this letting go problem, because if we are honest we don’t let go because we are silly and apparently like to suffer and stew over things we cannot control.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18 KJV

If you read this verse with your mind and heart open, these silly things we feel we must hang on to, reveal themselves to be of no consequence and therefore they are easy to let go.

Anywho, that’s how I see it, and I’m happier for it.

“Thanks for watching the video with me for the millionth time Peach”

Categories
family Fear focus food health Life life styles photography

Hummingbirds

Batman Says:

Hummingbirds, cool little creatures that buzz around almost always unnoticed by us clumsy humans. Beautifully colored feathers, wings beating 900 bazillion miles per hour (don’t go there, they beat really fast). One of those funny little birds that does it’s job (pollinating) without a care what we think.

I, for one, think this is an excellent attitude to have. Imagine if more people were focusing their attention on what they were doing, instead of worrying about what everyone else was doing. I mean think about it, if we are honest with ourselves, we would realize that we probably are worrying about other people’s job performance, their personal lives, how they dress, or their opinions, about 90% of the time. It bothers us how others do things, don’t do things, say things or not, voice their opinions or not, when instead, we would be more productive and be happier if we only worried about ourselves. I’m not talking isolationism, I’m talking about paying attention to your wants and needs, instead of being upset that “Bob or Susan” got a raise or promotion when they “never do anything”. Focus on you, the right people will know who does what eventually, and if not, I bet you will still be happier, concerning yourself with your stuff, instead of others.

Be like the hummingbird, eat drink and be happy just being you.

Yes Peach I know I need to refill the bird feeders…”

PeachandBatman.smugmug.com

Categories
bible Faith family Fear focus health Life

Living a Life of Duty

Batman Says:

Hello my friends, going a different direction with this post, hope y’all don’t mind, but it’s been weighing on me to talk about this even if it’s a small audience. Who knows, maybe somehow the right person or persons will find it and it will help.

There are people, ordinary everyday people out there, that do something extraordinary. They don’t do it for the money, glory, fame or recognition. They just simply do it because something tugs at them inside and they answer that calling. These people live a Life of Duty.

Soldiers, Police Officers, these are the people I’m talking about, and let’s see if we can explore why, and if not why, let’s see if we can find ways to let them know we appreciate their sacrifices.

I’m a Veteran, I am also a 25+ year active duty Police Officer, I know these sacrifices and I salute anyone that has or is either, you are my Brothers & Sisters in arms, and I know…

No one tells you about all the things that surround you when you are in one of these services, military service people are sent to God knows where to perform tasks that would break a normal persons heart and soul to go through. Sometimes fighting night and day to stay alive, far from home while the world continues to spin and your civilian friends party and carry on with no clue what you are living through. Missing family and always in the back of your mind focusing on the one thought that helps get you through, the thought of going home when your tour is over. And when you finally do get to go home, you realize you no longer are the person you were before you left, you have seen too much, felt too much, to just brush it all off and pretend you are you. So, if your able and are one of the lucky ones, you shove the bad into that dark place in the the back recesses if your mind and you mentally build an impenetrable wall to keep it from escaping. You pick up your life and carry on as if nothing happened, you live a happy life and are complete.

But if you are not lucky, or are not able to force the bad into a box and wall your mind up around it, you are tortured by the demons that haunt your mind. These souls desperately search for help, from pills, from a bottle, from wherever they can. They often find the “official” channels are made so cumbersome and full of people that only care if you fill out the appropriate form, that they cannot get past the front desk. The V.A. Is FULL of non caring people that ONLY care that they get their weekends off and a steady, easily earned paycheck. There are though, Angels in the V.A. who despite the red tape, and bosses with their forms, truly care and are devastated to know they didn’t help someone who needed it. The Veteran that cannot get help, often self medicates with one of the earlier mentioned items. Some find solace in other Veterans and groups who get together and listen, share horror stories, cry on each other’s shoulders and maintain the bond created in difficult times.

Will leave it there for a couple lines while I share a conversation with a friend and fellow Veteran I had recently. This Veteran served in Iraq on the ground door to door, and came home, ok but not completely, the demons kept creeping out, and he would self medicate with alcohol to keep them at bay. Just as he came through it, and could start to keep the demons in the box, tragedy strikes and his son, also a Veteran who served in Afghanistan, after struggling with depression, self medicating and not getting the help he needed from the V.A. took his own life. This pushed my friend back into a spiraling fall and only by the Grace of God and his own strength of character, did he emerge from. Every day is a reminder to him of his son, and he fights on because he knows to give in would hurt more people that he loves.

Now back we go, the above story is true and I only found out all of it from my friend last week. It brings home tragedy of a friends loss, and brings to light for me the fact that there are so many Military Veterans that NEED help. Take the time to tell a Veteran, don’t just say “thank you for your service” say “Thank YOU” and “Is there anything you need that I may be able to help with?” I’m not talking about offering money I’m talking about offering compassion, it’s worth all the money in the world to someone that thinks no one cares.

When I became a Police Officer back in 1994, things were different. For the most part citizens liked the Police and what they stood for. Things have changed, not all for the good, some as a result of bad decisions by Police Officers, some by the media bending the truth to sensationalize a story to get ratings. I became a Police Officer at the age of 30, so I had had several jobs, been around the block a few times and was considered one of the old school cops. We told you how we felt about something honestly and if you needed arrested we arrested you, if you needed someone to vent to, we let you vent (verbally), words can hurt but it’s temporary and not life threatening. I cannot tell you or guess how many times I stood and talked to someone that was irate and genuinely wanting to cause trouble, that eventually calmed down and after a while, changed their attitude ( by the way the surest way to tick someone off is to tell them to “calm down” trust me on this).

For the most part the people we dealt with were not the worst of society, don’t get me wrong, on any given minute anyone is capable of anything. One of the most calm and well spoken people I have come across had just killed a man for “disrespecting” his camp. But I hold no grudges, people make mistakes daily and most try and put it behind them. I go by the motto “Don’t judge a man by how he falls, judge him by how he stands back up”.

Leaping forward in time the Officers are from a different generation, the new replacing the old, as it’s always been, but…this new “millennial” group of Officers, despite being competent and confident, lack the ability to take criticism, cannot talk to people and are always in a hurry to be someplace where the action is. More than once in my career I have been told “you can’t talk to millennials that way” or ” you don’t know how to talk to millennials”. Maybe so, but I know how to talk to people, it came to this job with me, and it came from years of life experience“, something you do not get from a book or video. I am lucky that I had firm but fair parents, that taught right from wrong, taught manners (I still say ma’am and thank you, I still open doors for people, I take my hat off around ladies and inside) but more than that, I was instilled from a young age a coping mechanism for any and all problems, and that is a faith in God, and that he knows and will provide me with the answers and comfort I need, when I need it.

Now this past paragraph may sound like I am bashing millennials, and this is no means the case. There are two points I want to make, if I can, one is if a person would just listen more than talk the answers would present themselves, and the second? Follow along…

Being a Police Officer has taken a drastic change over the past 10 years, we are no longer respected by the populace, as we once were. This is partially our fault and partially the fault of outside influences beyond our control. Police Officers are having to contend with situations that they are not trained on and that are more military in nature than civilian. Ambushes, terrorist attacks, these are things Soldiers are trained for and these are the things that if you survive, leave scars mentally. These scars, are put in the box with the demons from the homicides, the sudden deaths, the drownings, the suicides, as well as the media constantly finding flaw in every thing we as Police Officers deal with in a manner that they don’t agree with. Today’s Police Officers are being killed at unprecedented rates, but worse, they are unable to keep the demons in the box, and sadly they are committing suicide at rates way higher than ever. These young men and women, are the newer Officers mostly, with an average of 5 years on the job and find they cannot cope with what they have seen, done, and been accused of, alone, and do not know where to turn. They self medicate, and when that fails, they resort to the only solution they think they have left, suicide. I’m not saying that just because you fall in the millennial “group” and you’re a Police Officer, you are more likely to commit suicide, I am saying that it seems to me that younger (in time) Officers, that haven’t developed the coping mechanisms, who do not think they need to listen, who do not believe they need God in their lives, are walking a thin line, without the safety net that seasoned Veterans who have life experience have.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you read this and know someone that you even faintly may feel like they are in trouble, get them help. Do not just let it go, if you can’t help tell their boss, their parent, wife, friend or family member, do not let them try and face it alone.

I have been and always will be a Soldier (once a Soldier always a Soldier) I have been and will always be a Police Officer, and I know I may be called to make a sacrifice that few can make in order to protect the “sheep from the wolves”, that’s the choice I make daily when I put my uniform on. I can cope with my demons as I have the Armor of God, and I let him guide me in times when I am feeling weak. I have the most beautiful and loving wife in my Peach, and nothing on this good earth is going to keep me from annoying her for another 50+ years.

I chose to live a “Life of Duty” like thousands before, and thousands will after, praise them when you get the chance, we are human beings also, with the same wants, needs and fears, we just chose to put them aside to protect you all from the evil in the dark places you choose not to believe exists.

To my fellow Veterans, and my fellow Police Officers, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, if you are feeling weak call and I am there, hit your knees and ask God to show you the way, his way may not be what you want, but it will be what you need.

“I don’t believe in God” “it’s ok, God believes in you”

“God does not care who you were son, God cares who you are”

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”

Categories
Faith Fear focus Life Uncategorized

Don’t Leave the Path!

“They heard his voice come faintly: “Good-bye! Be good, take care of yourselves–and DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!” — Gandalf to Thorin and Company in The Hobbit, by J.R. Tolkien.

Peach says:

In October of 1983, I discovered two wonderful things, that were meant for the rest of my life! J.R.Tolkien, beginning with The Hobbit, (thanks to my Mama) and Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies! I found the recipe in our local newspaper that month, when I first began The Hobbit! I learned to make the cookies while reading the book. The two are intertwined in my mind along with the fall season. The memories of that fall are good! Both of these would be shared and dearly loved, year after year, with my Batman and our sons!

We both read the books every year. We always get something new from them. Last year, something stayed with me. It just has not gone away. It seemed so very much analogous to life, and most especially life in Christ.

In the book, there’s a point in the characters’ journey, that takes them, (Thorin and Company) necessarily through a very daunting, disagreeable, sort of mysterious and fraught with many unknowns, path through a very dark wood.

No question about it, what they needed was on the other side. There really were no better or more safe alternatives. It must be done. Further, their safety blanket (as I think of him, in this instance) Gandalf, has to part company with them at the entrance to the forest, as his mission is taking him on elsewhere for a time. They hope to rejoin in the future, if all goes well, which is by no means altogether certain.

The dwarves and Bilbo are warned by two strong figures, authority figures I’d say, that for NO reason should they stray from the path. That the path, though taking them right through a dark, dangerous and mysterious forest, filled with disagreeable things, the path would lead them THROUGH and OUT, if, they can just stay on course.

They are warned by Gandalf, (after quite an impressive warning by Beor), “Don’t stray off track!–If you do, it is a thousand to one you will never find it again and never get out of Mirkwood, and then I don’t suppose I, or anyone else, will ever see you again.” — Gandalf just before saying his good-byes to Thorin and Company outside Mirkwood Forest, The Hobbit, by J.R. Tolkien.

I find this so similar to life. Our actual journey through a fallen world. Where, though we do have the Word, The Holy Spirit, and even Jesus…on the INSIDE (which is far more than Bilbo and Thorin and Company had), there is no visible presence of Jesus every day as we trudge through our own personal Mirkwood.

We would love to have Him where we can SEE Him, side by side as we make our way through the dark and wild path through the trying world, heading to our Promised Land, One Fine Day.

The path in their Mirkwood has a darkly flowing stream. Filled with enchanted water that is said to cause them to lose their senses. So, in other words, tempting, but forbidden, and potentially deadly. Surrounding them on both sides are creatures that are darkly oppressive and unknown to them, initially. Gandalf would surely be greatly missed.

In our lives, we have all we need to stay the course, yet even still, our human frailties make us wobbly on the course! The dangers at times, encroach on our journey, and seemingly, they know just the right times to try to trip us up.

Regardless of the darkness of the world, or our personal Mirkwood, we have advantages that Bilbo did not. The Word is powerful and living, and stronger than any two-edged sword! And we have it! We have it in spades! Greater is He that is IN us, than he that is in this fallen world!

In Ephesians 6, we are reminded to ‘Put on the WHOLE ARMOR of God…’, going on to name many pertinent pieces of armor, for we traveling pilgrims of Christ.

Two in particular weigh strongly on the way through our Mirkwood!–The Shield of Faith, by which we are able to EXTINGUISH ALL THE FIERY DARTS of the enemy, AND the Sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God!

Psalm 119:105 states ‘Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.’ He IS our way through our Mirkwood seasons!

The best thing about our times of darkness and trial? We are never truly alone. We are never unequipped. We do not camp in Mirkwood. We travel THROUGH Mirkwood. We are promised that He always causes us to triumph. Hold on!

Yes, there are dangers. If we get off course of what we know is true and good, we risk falling in the dark waters of forgetfulness and losing our way altogether!

But, we have our Shepherd, who is much more worthy than even awesome Gandalf! Gandalf would be the first to admit it!

Our Shepherd will leave the 99, so to speak, in order to go find the one lost sheep, and bring him back to the fold and on the path! With rejoicing!

We have the inner compass, GPS guidance system, of the Holy Spirit, to bring to remembrance the Word of God, to caution, to illuminate, to encourage and comfort us. The Bible calls the Holy Spirit, the ‘earnest‘ and also the ‘seal‘ of our salvation. The earnest being like the deposit you pay to hold something until it’s redeemed (when Jesus comes for us) and the seal being a preservation device keeping us intact until final delivery! So powerful!

We have the tools. We have His Promise. We have His Presence. Mirkwood is not for keeps! It’s temporary, we are only passing through.

Proverbs 4 has a wealth of verses that speak to the necessity to stay focused on the path ahead, but, the BEST part is the conclusion of the thoughts, with this promise: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” — Proverbs 4:18! That’s us! You and me! If you are in Christ, you have all that you need, and full assurance of getting to your Promised Land, He won’t fail you!

As I close, I want to share a few verses from Proverbs 4 to think about this, and urge you to read The Hobbit! It’s a good time to read, Y’all!!

“I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When you goest, your steps shall not be straightened; and when you runnest, thou shall not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” — Proverbs 4:11-15

Thank you for sharing this with me! Hit us up in the comments! Batman and I really enjoy connecting with you!!

God bless you and keep you!

Categories
Faith family Fear focus health Life

Enough

Batman Says:

Enough!!

People are losing their minds over a freakin flu bug, it’s a FLU BUG people they have been around for freakin ever!!

Every couple years there’s a great sickness that’s gonna kill us all, and what happens, a few people (relative to the population of the earth) die from it, some get sick, but most suffer anyways. Not from the supposed deadly world ending flu bug, but from the morons in charge of every government, business, and sales force, you get the idea. They listen to the “Sky is Falling” rhetoric and start restricting everything from socks, to how many people can go to the bathroom at the same time. Of course the people working, well they can’t slow down productivity, or be paid worker’s compensation for catching the flu bug, even though if they do catch it, it’s 99% certain they got it at work. Nope they get to stay home, not get paid, use up any sick time they might be lucky enough to have, and if it runs out, sucks to be them.

The overzealous way we approach stupid problems is endemic of todays society, overreaction has become the norm, let’s don’t restrict the movement of the most likely to be affected group, let’s restrict the movement of EVERYONE just to be safe.

Now I am sure there are those who remember, SARS, MERSA,SPANISH FLU, ROTO VIRUS, AVIAN FLU… I could go on for a few pages but you get my point I hope. Each of these were the “Plague of the Year” and we were all gonna suffer and die from them. Welp, we are still here, yes people did get sick, some I’m sorry to say did succumb to the sickness and pass away. But not near as many as we have always been told would. Panic mongering by the moronic people in charge causes way more damage than the “Killer Flu” of the year ever does. I am just fed up with it and you should be also, if you need to be told to stay home if you feel sick, or to wash your hands after doing things with them, then my friends you have a lot more issues than the stupid “Plague of the Year”. I’m going to give a couple statistics (I hate statistics but this just shows the hype and bull crap being pushed by the morons in charge and the media) :

As of 9 Mar 20, based on information from the CDC, and Johns Hopkins University :

56 people daily die from Covid19

1027 die from seasonal flu

82 die from yellow fever

162 die from rabies

247 die from measles

Do I need to go on??? How many times have you heard about Yellow Fever for goodness sake? And more people die from it than this stupid flu bug.

Mark my words, when this passes, and it will until the next “world ending sickness” pops up, and not near as many people die from it, the “Powers that be” or “MORONS” in charge will pat themselves on the back, saying without them the would would have definitely ended.

It’s time to stop and say Enough is ENOUGH!!

If I offended you by this post it wasn’t my intent, my intent was to let you know that just because the MORONS in charge say it, does not necessarily mean it’s true. Put your trust in God, practice good basic sanitary skills like you were taught as children, chances are, you will be fine.

Have a blessed day…yes Peach I did wash my hands

Visit;

PeachandBatman.smugmug.com

And peruse some of Gods creations captured by us on camera…enjoy

Categories
bible Faith family Fear health Life life styles

Peace

Batman says:

I have been thinking a lot lately on what makes me truly happy (besides you Peach..and snacks). We are all different in this great big mixed up messed up world we live in, and each person I’m sure has their own answer to the ‘what truly makes you happy’ question. Couple days ago I found out, what it was for me, and it’s really so simple that I’m surprised it was so hard to find.

Peach and I love being outdoors, walking, biking, fishing, hunting, trapping, photographing oh well you get the idea I hope. I grew up much like most country folk, playing outdoors, wandering the woods observing and learning from God’s creatures in the wild, funny thing, Peach did much the same thing. Playing out in nature until we were either called or whistled home by mom or dad. All through my youth I was lucky to live where I could go into the woods and reset some internal clock, and set off on another adventure. Early adulthood, the same thanks to the U.S. Army and the National Guard. Later in life I still wandered the woods only this time it was with the Love of my life my beautiful bride “Peach” who together with, I have fished, hunted, trapped and traipsed through all kinds of country, be it mountains, swamps, oak hammocks or whatever. While doing this, Peach and I, we grew closer to each other and also we were in the place I found “peace”. I didn’t really know this, all I knew was I always enjoyed being out in God’s creation, away from city noise, human influence, anything but the quiet of nature. I didn’t know this until Sunday afternoon when Peach and I were in the hunting club. Not hunting, just walking the fence line and checking trail (game) cameras. I’m not sure how we got on the subject, but I had us stop and just close our eyes and ‘listen to the silence’ of nature. No phones, no cars no airplanes, just nature. Now there is no real “silence” in nature, there are always natural sounds, wind, trees, acorns falling you get the idea, but for those few fleeting seconds, I realized I found my “peace”. It was right where I’ve always known, but forgotten to look, the place that since I was old enough to walk I’ve been drawn to, God’s wonderful creation, the natural world. I realized at that moment in time, I have never been more at peace at any moment, than I was when I was out in nature, away from the noise and rat race of society. Funny thing is, took being there with Peach, to remind me.

I don’t know the scriptures, or the fancy words, I know each of us has our own place to go to be truly at peace, for me, it’s away from mans footprint, on a jaunt thru the woods, no words necessary, holding hands with the Love of my Life that God blesses me with…mine forever…my Peach