Saturday, October 31, 2009

Burned out, Hurt, and Exhausted – My last three Posts on PTSD

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Blog Post for today…
Burned out, Hurt, and Exhausted – My last three Posts on PTSD
As I read Scott Wisely’ s words on Wm. Paul Young’s Blog I was moved again.
Scott states…
“I am reading “The Shack” for the 2nd time. I read about 3 pages a day and cry alot. I am an MK and now at the age of 43 dealing with boarding school and all the abandonment issues that go with that. I've now been a tentmaker/missionary for 14 years in Papua. Lived in Pyramid for 8 years and now in Bokondini. We are burned out, hurt, and exhausted and here in the states to recover. God has used you in a powerful way in our lives. I have a zillion questions... much in re. to healing, forgiving and letting go of past hurts. God is doing a slow work and I am finding some answers from your pen. Thanks.”
I felt for Scott… deeply… symptoms that I know and have walked with different times in my life. I have been to Papua a few years back as well…a very long airplane ride… the Irian Jaya end of the great Papua.

I witnessed the deep effects of the hatred and the violence in that area as well. Yes there was much between the local tribes people – but the Missionaries had caught a belly full and tried to emotionally wound each other. I didn’t know the story until I arrived there… but then the story erupted after I left… until many lives were destroyed. And the people in charge covered it all up – because lives were at stake and money was involved. (But that is another story… yikes!)

Quite a while ago Brenda dropped off a book and asked me to read it. Inside the front cover she placed a
yellow sticky note that stated,

Murray –
This is your copy… I’d be interested in hearing your take on it.

The book was “The Shack” by William Paul Young.

On the front cover just below Young’s name is a statement by Eugene Peterson that states, “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good!”

I had read that part right after Brenda gave me my copy. Eugene’s words stuck with me – but I wasn’t ready to read it yet.

Two weeks I ago I started reading this powerful little book. I am not able to stop reading it. Oh yes it has had an effect on me. People around me have noticed a difference.

In so many ways my own journey in the last years has been a parallel to the story that is recorded here.

The very naming of my own new business, “Misty Hollow Carving”, is so similar to The Shack – that I was floored when I read this. In so many ways I was dumbfounded. How could a man I never knew and have never met – write such a similar story?

Could it be true that MANY people have walked this walk of Elijah – but are not willing to share their stories because of whatever!

Thank you Brenda… for a well times gift… and the impulse that you followed to deliver it as a Gift. But then you already know your part in my journey back.

A person identified as “Waynesydneyaustralia” wrote of his reading of The Shack…
Paul, I have a hunch from previous experience as a Christian Conference speaker that embellishing the truth, or even conveying fictional stories as true is not a big deal in American culture. In my culture though, Australia, this is seen as blatant lying. Your story is amazing and I have to say I enjoyed it but to convey, for what ever reason that it is true, and you certainly do, is very unhelpful, especially when there is theological implications. If the Shack was written and published in Australia this book would have received phenomenal criticism due to its misleading content. I do commend you on writing a great story however I criticize you for conveying it as true, no matter what the motivation was.

In fact I am just sorting through much of what people are writing to me and stating on this blog.

I haven’t yet completed the book… I keep reading over the parts that I love… that are so special right now… that I couldn’t have read one year ago. Now the time is right.

So if by chance I have knocked you a little off kilter with the last few days of posting… well – I am off kilter… and people that know me well have a hard time walking beside me sometimes.

More to come on The Shack..

And in case you haven’t read this part of the story… here is why it is called Misty Hollow…

Misty Hollow by Murray Lincoln

"Where’re you going Grandpa?” My short legs followed his stride through the tall golden grass out past Grandma’s garden. The grass was dry and shimmered in the sun. It led us to the edge of the farm yard that was marked by the fence line. Grandpa bent over and slipped through the fence wire and then held the wire down for me to scamper through. He still hadn’t answered me.

Then he said, “I want to show you a special place no one knows about. Want to come along and see?” My short legs quickened my pace as I followed him over the little rise up ahead. He was taking me somewhere special – his and my secret I was sure. The golden grass rustled as we walked along.

I was maybe eight years old. Mom and Dad had brought us down to the old farm from the city for this weekend – and then the kids stayed with Grandpa and Grandma while they got away for a few days down to North Dakota and Montana. My brother and sister were back at the farm house with Grandma.

It was just me and Grandpa. I was the oldest grandson out of all the grandkids – and grandsons were really important to Grandpa… better than the girls I was sure.

As we walked over the rise… suddenly down below us was the Hollow. That day there was a kind of haze, a mist that formed when the weather was just right. It hung in the Hollow.

The Hollow was carved out of the countryside by water running down from the Blue Hills in the distance. In the bottom of the Hollow was the “crick”.

It was maybe a quarter mile until we arrived at a special place in the Hollow where Grandpa stopped, sat down and just looked. He was quiet and so was everything around us. Only the never ending sound of the prairie wind was there – the forever wind. When you were down in the Hollow it was quiet with a peace that almost bothered young boys.

Grandpa simply sat there and savored it all. This was his quiet place and he was sharing it with me. He pulled out his pocket knife and began to carve on a stick that he had fetched from the willow tree. A slice here and a cut there, another few cuts over on this side… something was happening. A new “something” was appearing in front of my eyes. It wasn’t long before he handed me the brand new willow flute and said, “Try it.”

Amazing! From that small fresh branch he had quickly carved a willow flute.

Then something else happened that was even more magical. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pocket knife and gave it to me. “This one is yours. Try it and see what you can make.”

As I began whittling on a stick he gave me, he sat quietly looking over the Hollow. It was as if he had been here many times. It was his special place away from the noisy places in his life. This day he was sharing it with me. It was our quiet place together – just me and Grandpa, our pocket knives and the Hollow.

In my mind it was “Misty Hollow” and has remained that way for 56 years. Grandpa is gone now… and I am a Grandpa. And now I return to the Hollow every once in a while – in my mind.

In the past few years I was able to go back and actually see it again personally. The peace is still there and the wind is always blowing. Nothing has changed in the Hollow. The old farm is only a memory now. The row of bushes around Grandma’s garden are still there but there is no evidence of the life that used to live there, of the happy and sad days, of the noise of the house and the need to get out to sit somewhere in the Hollow.

Everyone needs a Misty Hollow. Over the years I have been able to find one wherever I have lived. I walk out to it away from the madness of my life.

About 10 years ago I joined some friends for a very early morning meeting on top of one of our highest hills. It was just before sunrise. Few people below were up yet. From the top of Amour Hill you can watch the beauty of the sunrise.

There to the east was the glowing ball rising again. Down below the mist had gathered in the dozens of Hollows that lay to the east. Each Misty Hollow was a place where some one lived. The smoke hung from some one’s chimney mixed with the mist of the early morning. It was so peaceful in the Hollow.

My Aboriginal friends told me that they believe these Hollows were made by the finger of God as he created the earth – making a special place for people to love – a place of peace.

Back to the Family Farm…
Grandpa went to the Hollow often. I imagine it was to escape the fact that the house was small and with 8 kids at the fullest time, there was always noise in his life.

When his first son was born a paraplegic, I imagine that is when he found the need to go there.

When times were really tough through the “dirty thirties” he likely walked there a lot too.

During the Second World War, when his one son was possibly going to be shipped out overseas – he walked there more often.

In his pocket was the same knife that he cut apples with, whittled his wooden sticks and also dug out the manure/mud from his boot treads. He cleaned the knife on his pant leg between uses…but that is another story about Grandpa…

Back home…
Wherever “Home” has been in my life I have always found and kept a "Misty Hollow" for me. In these past years I have retreated there often when the swirl of the business was nuts. When the human hurt around me is bigger than my soul can bear I retreat to the Misty Hollow again and again.

Today I welcome you to Misty Hollow. I haven’t taken many here – only my friends… and my grandkids.

After you spend some time with me… I hope you will find a Misty Hollow of your own.

~ Murray Lincoln ~
From William Paul Young’s Blog
Willie’s Personal Journey

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dealing with PTSD – Part Three

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This BLOG is sponsored by “Misty Hollow Carving”. You are welcome to visit Misty Hollow and see all of my carvings.

If you have followed the progress of my Web Site Yesterday Misty Hollow Carving’s Web Site hit a new all time record. It reached 11,751 hits in one month as of Yesterday! WILL IT GO OVER the 12,000 Mark today or tomorrow? So close I am holding my breath!!!!

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Blog Post for today…
Dealing with PTSD – Part Three

I know that as some have read the material that I dared to write over the past two days… there are many questions about MY PERSONAL SANITY. Too funny – really. The very ones that would drive you crazy – or rather have driven a person crazy… are the ones that go after you again and again. Some are even secretly reading this right now! Gotcha!

The soldier returning from a Battle Field experience will come home – begin to act out and possibly has some terrible home disasters take place. The RCMP Officer might get help now as his fellow troops own up to the misery that is there. The minister that has gone through the terrible experiences in his quiet work with the screams inside will perhaps find help as well.

My hope is that all of them will. I have.

You will know by now that my work was and is revolving around the Bible – the greatest Text Book, History Book, Wisdom Book in the world… and even much more than all of that. It lives for me.

When at one point in my life I struggled with the horrific reactions of “good christians” (small ‘c’ intended), I discovered a comparable story personally.

A very religious man, a God follower, kind of a Pastor… dared to mess with a lot of Powerful People. One of these very Powerful People even developed their own form of worship… and had planted a whole lot of other kinds of religious leaders that did what SHE wanted them do. Her name was Jezebel.

(BTW – have you ever noticed no one ever names their little girls “Jezebel”?)

In 1 Kings 18 you will read the whole story of the conflict and how Elijah does his God Stuff and God does His Stuff. I love the Face Off that takes place.

I have added the Links to the “Source” part of this post below – taken from new and better translation of the Bible called the Message. Don’t pull out your Bible – read the Link below.

Then in 1 Kings 19 (again Link is below) after Elijah has been declared the winner… and in Chapter 18 has witnessed some horrific, gruesome, and violent actions – supervising the execution of all of Jezebel’s ‘pastors’ – out runs a horse – through heavy rains… a long ways… then he collapses. He is in perhaps the worst recorded PTSD every shared in ancient texts.

His recovery takes time – is the first thing that I learned. His recovery is supervised by an Angel. His recovery needs lots of sleep. His recovery includes good food – in this case Fresh Bread and Cold Water. His recovery includes the sound of a babbling brook. And he recovers – slowly.

He still has an attitude problem that God works on.

Read the Links and then put yourself into the mess and misery. Then walk/run with Elijah util you collapse. Then heal alongside of him.

I did that when I rediscovered this amazing old man Elijah. And slowly I healed too.

In order to tell of the healing – you need to hear the hurt. Often however… most people don’t want to hear about the hurt – so they will never know about the healing.

Our systems in Christianity(the Church today) are constructed in such away that it is not really smart to put the heavy stuff in a Resume.

In the church of 2009 you need a Resume to be even considered as a Minister in a Church. If you won’t send one to tell of who or what you are… they will never consider you. You must be hiding something if you do not submit one???

Just prior to the period 1980 through 1985 there was no such thing as a Resume. I completed my first one in 1985 for a possible church position. I had no clue as to what to write down.

I didn’t dare tell about the abuse by the older missionaries in Hong Kong of the younger missionaries and the National Pastors. I mean these Missionaries were next to God himself. So I stated that our ministry was greatly blessed of God. Which really meant the Old Miserable Missionaries didn’t kill me or my spirit.

I didn’t dare write about the stuff I had witnessed while working in other important roles prior to that where manipulation and undermining was rampant in many levels of Church Leadership across Canada. Having worked in the “Very Holy and Head Office of All Things Pentecostal” I was “next to where God Sat”. So I bragged about what I had witnessed God do through our ministry at that level. Which really meant that despite the corruption and confusion – I had escaped the harmful affects and learned well how to use the same kind of tools – when in doubt that is God was really in some things – or not.

Some of my fellow ministers decided while leading major church ministries in different parts of the country to have affairs with women they weren’t married to, some decided to steal money – tons of it, some were involved in Crime, and some as men walked out on their families for other men.

I had seen it all and decided that I shouldn’t put in the Resume things that might hurt my future. I decided that I could say – I praise God in my life and ministry because I didn’t go the way these other dudes had. But that meant I had to tell what I had been saved from… and you would get sued for that!

This is a terrible admission to make for the whole world to read… instead of telling the real facts of what I had been through – I simple told the listeners what they wanted to hear… and that kind of Resume always did the trick.

What you did in the past, what you had witnessed, made no difference to most – because they simply wanted you to do it their way after you were hired. And if you didn’t – you could well be pulling a “Huge Elijah” and the pretty little Jezebel would get you.

Jezebel means business… quoting from 1 Kings 19
Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, including the massacre of the prophets. Jezebel immediately sent a messenger to Elijah with her threat: "The gods will get you for this and I'll get even with you! By this time tomorrow you'll be as dead as any one of those prophets." End quote

And the number one rule I have broken in this post and the other two before – “Don’t ever tell about what really happened!”

On Saturday mornings I watch my Granddaughter play football – along with a host of other folk. Very few talk about their religious backgrounds. Some know that I am retired minister.

I thought about these fellow football watchers… and wondered if I could or would invite them to church some day. That is a lingering thought… I am not sure where I could take them to show them what it really should be about. I will say that in 98% (allowing 2% for a possible change) there is little chance they will find the reality of God. I don’t doubt they could find God and will find God… he just may not be in church that day they attend.

I still attend to help me find a place to worship God – with people I love and care about… the two factors that are important to me. Yet when I am there the distraction is great.

I am on the other side of my PTSD – likely the PPTSD – that is the POST Post Traumatic Stress Disorder… having found some semblance of Order… and the very real God! Wow! What a trip it has been.

Again – if there is just one Pastor that reads this and realizes that they are not the only one… that has lived through Hell and Back – while trying to do Heaven’s work… It will be worth it all!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
Bible Gateway
The Message – Elijah’s Conflict with Jezebel – 1 Kings 18
The Message – Elijah’s reaction – God’s intervention – 1 Kings 19  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

PTSD – Part Two

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This BLOG is sponsored by “Misty Hollow Carving”. You are welcome to visit Misty Hollow and see all of my carvings.

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Blog Post for today…

PTSD – Part Two

As a result of the post yesterday Diane English replied with the following – thanks Diane….quote..
“This was an interesting article(referring the post of Oct 28, 2009) to read because you remind all of us that people can suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder--or at least some of the symptoms, if not the full-fledged disorder--from so many other circumstances than we may be inclined to think about. Furthermore, explosive anger often can stem from untreated PTSD.

This clinical social worker, who happens to have a recently released book especially for couples impacted by PTSD, once worked as the Director of a Children's Church for an approximately 2000-member church.

As a social worker, I was concerned that this church had been too lax with regard to various things such as screening potential teachers. Indeed, they were putting the children at potential risk in several ways. However, as I put systems in place to essentially protect them from those who might take advantage of such an environment and do some children harm, I was amazed by how angry some members became. The minister and his wife had warned me that their church seemed to attract a number of angry people. Nevertheless, I didn't expect to be so quickly impacted by that anger. Maybe I should have taken more time to educate the members as to why I was attempting to do what I was trying to do? Perhaps they did not fully understand that there are people out there who will come into a church where they know others will try to be welcoming and accepting, and then they will pray upon their goodness? And those with mental health issues or personality disorders that allow them to do such things often can be quite charming.

Did they realize this, too?

Thus, while many of us might prefer to trust until we learn it does not make sense to do so, perhaps we should trust in God and no other—not until that trust is earned? By the way, I see this as quite different from living from a place of total distrust. But since sometimes you don’t get a second chance, it seems best to err on the side of caution. And frankly, shouldn’t the economic repercussions we’ve been experiencing around the world this past year or so demonstrate that Americans in particular essentially put their trust in people who were never worthy of it?” End quote

Though I have tried to connect the RCMP Officer or the Soldier’s PTSD to my ministerial experience – some will tend to say that it isn’t quite the same… because there is no blood and guts… no broken bodies… no pools of real blood.

My contention is that the horror that we as ministers have witnessed or been exposed to – with pressure being applied to your life in unseen ways by the majority of the congregation – it is JUST AS DEADLY in its impact on the emotional health and physical health of the Pastor.

There are no pools of blood or broken bodies… but tons of broken lives that drip emotional and spiritual blood all over the place – and spirits that were beyond mending… completely broken. They walked into my life to find safety, to find relief, to find a healing… then waited to see what I would do.

In one situation I was confronted with one very angry husband’s threats to kill his wife. She told me of his violence and I could plainly see there was no place for her to go. That night and for the next four nights my wife and I hid her away at our home so he, the good Christian, could not kill her.

He swarmed my office with daily visits looking for her… asking me to pray with him for her return home. I listened. But I lied to him everyday.

There was no woman’s shelter available in that place. Someone had to take a stand… and when it meant losing a good Christian, money giving person from our church – I made the choice. I lost of course. She went back to him and more beatings and threats. They left the church and “would never darken the doors of that place” again.

I couldn’t tell about what happened the next Sunday in my sermon. I repressed it. If I had spoken of it I would have been sued. I didn’t speak – simply bottled it up. Then when their friends asked why they had left the church… I couldn’t answer. People then blamed me for turning them off when they heard the man’s reply their questions… replies about how no one could or should ever trust me again!!!!

I saw the “blood” and heard the “explosions”… over and over again. No Bullets – No Bombs – just explosive lives.

Now I need to mention at the same four day period that she hid in our home – I also had to carry a family through the last minutes of their loved one dieing… and then to the funeral home for the arrangements… then the service and the deep agony that I cried at…too.

Then to add more weight to it all I prepare for a Wedding Rehearsal and conducted the Wedding Ceremony the next day… with the woman hiding out at our home.

Boom! Crash! Zap! Zip! Poof! Kaboom! Went my heart, my emotions, my physical…

For weeks afterwards I cried a lot.. I wanted to scream but no one would listen… and I prepared more sermons… to encourage more people with my shinning countenance on every Sunday Morning… and while doing that the Dear OLD Saints crossed their arms, glared at me because I didn’t sing THEIR SONGS… and threatened to stop giving their money if something wasn’t done about this PASTOR!!! – ME!!!!!

I wanted to scream like the RCMP Officer stated it – “JUST LEAVE ME ALONE… ! You can all go to a really hot place that you won’t be returning from anytime too soon! I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!” But I didn’t – I prepared another Sermon for next Sunday and kept hoping that we would make our budget next month – paying our bills and my salary.

A friend of mine by the name of David left a comment yesterday on this Blog… Thanks David… it was right on. Quote…

“Yep, been there experienced that. And yet people still say serve the system. The noble thing to do is cover up and shut up. Hey, if people really knew, the offerings would take a dip. O my.” End quote

I don’t doubt for a minute that David, Diane and me are not any different than a 100,000 other Ministers that have been through it all. David and I know that PTSD is real for the poor Shepherd of the Flock as well as the Soldier and RCMP Officers out west now.

But in reality – none of us want to talk about it when we are in the Battle Field… and when we are home – who would understand or care about what you have gone through.

Brenda… wrote yesterday… quote
“I think you've touched a nerve here, Murray. Personally, I'm really sorry you've been impacted, hurt in such a strong way. It might be somewhat reassuring to know that for most of us in the congregation, we had no idea of all the "dark" things going on.

I certainly have painfully learned to put my Trust in God & be cautious as the above writer said--but you know my story--

I hope & pray today is a better day for you.” end quote…

Thanks Brenda – you are kind. I am sorry that the truth hurts… and that you feel so deeply. This is one reason the Shepherd NEVER says much. How will every one react if you ever told the truth.

All of us have been impacted by whatever hurt has been there. I just talk about it… where others can’t or won’t. How do you put that on a Resume? Who would hire you if you dare tell the truth? The answer is NOBODY!

I have healed a huge amount over the years. I do shudder when certain people appear out of no where in my life today. There are some very bad memories to say the least.

I have added humour to what I do. Humour is one of my healing ways for my own soul. I laugh a lot!

When I saw the individual the other day… I shuddered… and then began to GRIN from EAR TO EAR… “Thank God I am not married to that!” Then I laughed out loud!

Again – if there is just one Pastor that reads this and realizes that they are not the only one… that has lived through Hell and Back – while trying to do Heaven’s work… It will be worth it all!  But this also applies to any leadership - any where any time!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

RCMP note PTSD in their ranks  

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  

Railway Spine 
Interview with RCMP Officer

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

PTSD and the Minister of a Church

Misty Hollow Carving
This BLOG is sponsored by “Misty Hollow Carving”. You are welcome to visit Misty Hollow and see all of my carvings.
If you have followed the progress of my Web Site Yesterday Misty Hollow Carving’s Web Site hit a new all time record. It reached 10,973 hits in one month as of Yesterday!

To help me promote my Web Site please copy this URL address and email it to someone today  

Thanks a million!
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Blog Post for today…

PTSD and the Minister of a Church
The reports that came on the TV News yesterday and then again today pointed to the PTSD that RCMP Officers are now facing with increasing numbers. More so – some one is now documenting what is happening with their officers.

One officer that was interviewed was/is assigned to a particularly dangerous section of highway where there are many fatal accidents… in some days he has had to investigate more than 3 – one right after another. At these accidents the scene is gruesome for the folk that have to unscramble the mess and work with the injured and already dead. The sights and sounds never leave you after you have been there – even once.

I have attended some of these accidents and was never the same again. I had nightmares for years!

PTSD is an anxiety disorder. In other words after being exposed to the situation that you had to deal with… your mind and even your body reacts in unusual ways following.

The RCMP officer stated in the interview that he felt very strongly afterwards, “I have times that I want nothing to do with anybody. Including at home. I just want to be left alone. Just… leave me a lone.” He said.

Wikipedia post about PTSD states – quote…
“Diagnostic symptoms include re-experiencing original trauma(s), by means of flashbacks or nightmares; avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma; and increased arousal, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria (both DSM-IV and ICD-9) require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (e.g. problems with work and/or relationships).” End quote.

* Flashbacks or nightmares
* Avoidance of Stimuli associated with the Trauma
* Increased arousal – difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, anger
* and “Hypervigilance”… which is…quote..
Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect threats. Hypervigilance is also accompanied by a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion. Other symptoms include: abnormally increased arousal, a high responsiveness to stimuli and a constant scanning of the environment for threats. Hypervigilance is a symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder. End quote

This is not new.

In the 1800s as Railway Travel was the main way to get some where else… there were many train wrecks and many people killed. Those attending or working in that industry would not want to travel or work on the railway after they came through these hours. The twisted wreckage from the flimsy train cars did the greatest damage to those that were left behind – it was called “Railway Spine”. And you can imagine easily here that it was a derogatory term used to describe the men that had lost their heart to work or go on.

I can certainly understand. As a minister I have witnessed this happening often. More so I have experienced it personally.

A fellow minister sat with me in my vehicle as we travelled to another city to attend a Ministerial Function – where we would meet many of our Ministerial brothers and sisters. It was to be a mini conference of sorts. Lots of schmoozing and stuff like that.

As we drove he told me of the most recent events in his life. He had lost his leadership position due to a series of very unfortunate circumstances. He had experienced great pressure in the church from those that opposed leadership – his in particular. While this was happening he was on a high with much taking place at the church – many ‘blessings’. Then there was a nasty situation where the law was brought in, he was charged and even jailed over night – then finally released. The charges were dropped, he was unemployed and eventually after spending about $350,000 in legal fees it was declared to be a non-issue.

Yes – read it again. It really happened and I know the man. Was he always correct in what he did? No – that was the problem – he tended to do what many people would do in his situation – he lost his cool – did some things that “were unbecoming to a minister of the Gospel”.

When that little phrase is laid next to your name as a minister – whether it be for telling a dirty joke, messing with a person in the wrong way or getting very angry and blowing your lid – YOU ARE A GONNER! Even a classy resume will not make any one want you after that.

Yes – there was more to the story. But the end result was that medical personnel around him declared that he was suffering from PTSD and he was helped by going through the counselling sessions with soldiers that had served in the Middle East now… with PTSD!

Imagine a Minister in a Church going through this kind of thing!

Was he the only one? No. In my term of being in Peterborough he was at least the third one that I have witnessed that went through the ship wreck of life after encountering horrific situations in their churches.

The situations were so impossible to deal with from a personal emotional level – and there was so much of it that the man simply had to receive special help so that he would survive.

In one situation there was a Pedophile – already convicted in a serious situation a few years before – that came into a church. The time line of the previous charges and sentencing was more than 5 years prior – making it hard to tell about what had happened… and illegal for certain people to share anything.

The Pedophile had achieved a position in the church as Sunday School Superintendent. The pastor and his wife found out that the man was stalking their own children. They enquired more about the man and quite by accident spoke with another church leader in the former community – and they found out the new Sunday School leader was not what he said he was. He was a convicted and very smart Pedophile.

They ousted him and made sure he was not welcome in the church any longer. He however was smart and worked into the lives of half the people of the church… The Minister was ousted and the Pedophile was welcomed back into the flock.

The minister and his wife knew me well and “escaped” from that setting with no help financially… to our city and hid away until they recovered… kind of… if you can ever recover from this kind of thing.

I cannot take time or space to tell you all of his story. Today this minister is no longer in a church… attends once in a while… has a very sick wife… and never wants to see the kind of thing that he has experienced in church again.

BOTH of these Pastors have gone through all the symptoms of PTSD. One got help and the other died spiritually.

I said I had witnessed three ministers.

I think I am the third. I have been traveling through a journey that is perhaps the most difficult that I have ever had in my life. It started 11 years ago – just after stepping into the leadership role at our church. It lasted until I was relieved of my duties in June 2008. But then it has continued to be dealt with ever since.

In 11 years I faced a number of difficult situations and life problems with people. One situation was very nasty with one man shown to be an abuser in his past… and having covered that with a super Christian appearance taking many people down with who he was. One couple that he deeply affected simply cringed and hid away. They chose to do certain things that were not good for them or us. Even writing this I cringe again.

This past week I saw them in the community. I couldn’t greet them. I hid away and walked away. I was sweating and tortured again with the memories of what had happened. I had nightmares the night following of the people that were involved in the daytime nightmare of a few years ago.

I have come to realize that even being separated from the “war zone” the battle is not over. It takes only one small sighting to set me off again.

What I have told you about is only one story of many that I have encountered in 11 years of being here. From young ladies telling me of the man in our church that sexually messed with them, to calls about former members that had done terrible things that the church could be held liable for, to one Christian hating another Christian, to a horrific scene at a Senior’s Meeting one time where certain members were out to destroy me and whole bunch of others… I have seen it all…in one church.

It is like being through a war zone… after many battles… returning home and then wondering why you cannot sleep at night.

I am sure I have experienced PTSD and it all happened at church. Yikes.

Murray, isn’t it a bit dangerous writing about it? I mean could there be any repercussions because you have told what has happened?

Not sure I have an answer about that one yet.

For 11 years I dared not speak about the abuse, about the sometimes illegal things, about the potential harm to people, about the nightmare of real harm that really happened… because I might lose my job… these powerful people might leave the church… and I might never get another church again…

Guess what that is all over now. I have been through the war zone… and witnessed nightmares that I can’t write about at all… and it is not over.

My greatest horror in my thinking is that there are good men and women that serve in similar roles that I have had… and are facing nightmares that no one knows about… all week long… and even as I write this… then they are expected to get another sermon ready to encourage the people in church next Sunday… and they are in complete shock and almost dieing… and they cannot lose their jobs because of mortgages, kids in school, car payments, a spouse with a good job…

These people are on the Front Line now… they need help. But if they ask for it… reach out to the wrong people… they will be asked to leave… and may never get another position.

The RCMP Officers that say too much are not looked at in a good light by fellow officers. There is a real negative to speaking up…. Or confessing anything.

In the old days after a train wreck… the ones that wouldn’t or couldn’t work again… had “Railway Spine”.

In the church when Pastor cannot face another day or this… he or she goes to the Doctor and talks it out… get some sleeping pills and get the next sermon ready for next Sunday.

This is way too many words for the ordinary person to read… over 2000 at this point. Sorry – ordinary person.

My hope today is that maybe One Minister in One Church that is facing a horrific situation – will simply know that some of the rest of us did as well… and now I can talk about it.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

RCMP note PTSD in their ranks
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Railway Spine
Interview with RCMP Officer

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Stupid Pastors and Stupid Pilots

UPDATE from Yesterday’s Post
BLOG Readers – I Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Yesterday Misty Hollow Carving’s Web Site hit a new all time record. It reached 10,643 hits in one month! This number was hit on the 26th of the month – 5 days before the end – with still more days left. Yesterday was also a Red Letter Day in that the number of hits average hits per day hit an all time record as well… 409! For the month the Highest Number of hits was 337 per hour in the first week… and the highest hits per day was 1067!

The boost happened because of you and my Friends on Facebook. WOW!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today’s Blog Posting…."Stupid Pastors and Stupid Pilots"

I have been caught by computer games at times and simply lost time. I mean it evaporated into thin air. A few times I have turned on the computer later in the evening – say 10 PM – and started a game… then looked up a ‘little later’ to see that it is 2 AM. Where did the Time go?

Two things have prompted this post today…
1.) Yesterday in Ontario the Law was changed to disallow the use of cell phones being held up to your ear while driving. It is still okay to have a hands free unit where you can talk with your hands on the wheel… no gadgets being held or key boards being played with.
2.) Wednesday, Oct 21st, 2009, two pilots flying a large aircraft and over shot their airport and destination by 150 miles. Apparently they were using their laptop computers and were engrossed in what they were doing.

There is a great comparison here… and a great story to dig into.

With Ontario’s new law coming into place yesterday just a few days after two pilots were doing completely ‘hands free’ while flying their aircraft at about 600 miles per hour – there is a link.

In Ontario there is an atmosphere of UYCPATT (Use Your Cell Phone All The Time) that pervades the atmosphere. That is also followed by the UYBATT (Use your Blackberry all the time).

I have seen it and I have done it. I am one of the many people that will have to change their habits – quickly.

While I was serving as the pastor of the church I tried to escape for a few days to get rid of some of the pressure that was there all the time. So with that in mind we booked a room in a small motel in Ottawa and headed up Number 7 Highway the 300 kilometres… about a 3 hour drive. It was to be a three day get-a-way.

We were about two towns away from Peterborough, a mere 20 kms, the cell phone rang. It was my secretary apologizing for the call but she had to do it. Sister So and So had passed away and the family was desperate to get in contact with me. The Funeral Home that was going to do the service three days from now was also wanting to talk with me because of the unusual things they had encountered as well.

So for the next two hours I talked on the Cell Phone on the way to Ottawa… actually it was closer to 3 hours of talking and driving. All the children wanted to speak with me about their mom. The Funeral Home needed some more information and asked if I was willing to do a special thing for them. They also had one more funeral scheduled for 5 days from that time and couldn’t get a pastor to lead that service… would I do this one as well?

In the old days with no Cell Phone I would have had the three day get-a-way and arrived home without even knowing there had been a funeral.

Cell Phones are vital to the work of some people.

Another Illustration…The Two Idiot Pastors…!
My wife and I were in the back seat of a quickly moving vehicle through the streets of downtown Toronto. In the two front seats were two ministers that were not saying too much to us… once in a while they would look down into their laps, laugh to each other and then look at the road ahead… then look down and laugh again. When we stopped at the red light both looked down. It was quiet and then one laughed… followed by a comment from the other one, “No way! You’re kidding!”

The light turned green and the car didn’t move… my minister friend was still looking down… I waited then finally said from the back seat driver’s position, “Green Light – lets go!” to which the dude quickly looked up and made the car jump forward… thank goodness there was no one in front of us doing the same thing!

What were they looking at? Both had new Blackberry Cell Phone communicators and were talking/texting back and forth to each other in the front seat! No kidding they were not talking but rather doing this all with two thumbs. Add to that they both had included another person somewhere else in Canada that was also stuck in his own traffic jam with his new Blackberry!

We had been driven in that vehicle all the way downtown from the edge of Toronto and on the busiest freeways in Canada with ONE IDIOT using both hands and all of his attention on his Blackberry! Both pastors do this often… work on these Blackberrys in between places of ministry!!!!

Talk about STUPID.

My wife suggested out loud what I was thinking inwardly, “I will never ride with that idiot again – ever!” And we didn’t. She raved on later, “I wonder if his wife knows he does that all the time? I wonder if he has ever done that with his kids in the car with him? I feel like calling the police about the idiot!”

The Pilots Idiots
October 20, 2009 high over Denver the Airbus A320 last made contact with a ground tower. It was ‘Northwest Flight 188 had departed San Diego en route to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport carrying 144 passengers, two pilots and three flight attendants.”

The statements made were – Quote
“The pilots said there was "a concentrated period of discussion where they did not monitor the airplane or calls" from air traffic control, though both said they heard conversation on the radio, the report said.

Neither pilot said he noticed messages sent by company dispatchers, it added. It said the men were talking about the new monthly crew flight scheduling system put into place in the wake of Northwest's merger with Delta Air Lines.

"Each pilot accessed and used his personal laptop computer while they discussed the airline crew flight scheduling procedure," the report said.

"The first officer, who was more familiar with the procedure, was providing instruction to the captain. "Neither pilot said he was aware of where the plane was until a flight attendant called the cockpit about five minutes before the plane was to have landed and asked their estimated time of arrival, the report said.

"The captain said, at that point, he looked at his primary flight display for an ETA and realized that they had passed" the airport, it added. After 78 minutes of radio silence, the pilots re-established radio contact with air traffic controllers, it said.”
– End quote.

To over shoot a target airport by 150 miles isn’t much when you fly at 600 miles per hour… a mere 15 minutes. But they were not paying attention for over 78 minutes – and hour and 18 minutes to be exact when one of the flight attendants finally was able to get their attention.

NOW PICTURE THIS… two pilots running their plane on AUTO PILOT… with both their hand and all of their minds on their laptops… two laptops… and supposedly engrossed in a conversation – actually a teaching session with the young guy explaining the new schedule to the old guy! And that took 78 minutes to do that! Either the old guy is really dumb or the young guy is a really bad teacher – if that really happened???!

My guess is that their machines were linked and they were playing a game… which may have been “World of Warcraft” or some other all engrossing game that sucks the brains out its players. Yes you can get on the internet way up high!

The big question is… how many other idiots flying their planes on these long hauls are playing games, or discussing their flight schedules?

If a pastor can drive through the heavy traffic with no hands – a pilot can fly a plane without paying attention at all! They are both idiots – first class stupid idiots that could have killed a lot of people.

I am all for the new law in Ontario. A whole lot of pastors will be changing their methods of talking and driving.

Yesterday our Granddaughter was listening to the TV report with me about the new law. She looked up and said, “Oh, Oh, Mom’s going to be in trouble…!” I replied, “Not if she gets a hands free model – or lets you do the talking for her.” Emma grinned.

Our world is about to change radically.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Report: Stray jet's pilots were on laptops

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today may be the Day – A Personal Celebration

October 31st, 2008 was the launch of Misty Hollow Carving – my brand new Wood Carving Business! WOW what a leap that was! I headed out into a direction that I had never been before. What an adventure it was.

Today… just 5 days short of the Oct 31, my Web Site is about to push over into a new record area. At this moment it is sitting at 9715 hits for this month. It only needs another 285 hits to go over the 10,000 hits per month. So far the site has been getting about 380 per day… so today could be the day!!!! Wahoo!

I know… I know… it is personal thing and not everyone gets that excited about the things I get excited about. Sorry… I think it is the “computer geek” in me that gets twisted a bit when stuff like this happens.

In the computer Web Page World there are some amazing people that can do all kinds of kinky things with code – and take time to be just a little more creative than anyone else… they have photos coming from one side and the other – photostreaming that blows me away. I mean these things are so cool!

When I sat with one of these guys he was ready to sell me his ability. He looked at my Web Page and kind of cleared his throat with its simplicity… and kindly said… “This is interesting...” Having my Web Site on his Computer Monitor beside his Web Pages was kind of embarrassing… HIS WERE DEFINITELY PRETTY and MINE WAS PLAIN…

“This is interesting…” can mean – “Who did this for you dummy…? It is too old and too simple to be any good for anything…! I feel sorry for you… did your grandson design this…?”

As we stood their in front of his machine and he talked about what he could do for a certain heavy price… I nearly choked. If I had to pay that I would have to carve 100 Celtic Love Spoons, 50 Santa Clauses and about 25 Teddy Bears’ faces. Did I look rich or what?

The promise that it would look better! He was probably correct with his assumption – it definitely would have more fancy stuff on it.

Being a business man as he was… a great sales man… able to create some insecurity in the customer’s heart and mind… and then explain what he could do to relieve the insecurity with a whole new design and plan… He was good.

At the right point he was about to make the “closing” and point out the one last thing that was the “killer part” of his presentation.

He pointed to the fact that most people’s Web Sites are taking a huge amount of time to develop, maybe even by a teenager that doesn’t know what he or she is really suppose to do, and are getting very few hits per month at the end of it all.

“Most people don’t realize that it is the amount of hits per month that count. Often these home grown pages are less than 45 to maybe 150 per months. Can you tell me how many hits you have per month? How many people visit your Misty Hollow Carving Web Page which I noticed is not called Misty Hollow Carving but rather” he stated/questioned.

I kind of sputtered and wasn’t sure if what I was about to say would be good or bad. At this point I wasn’t too proud of my Web Page. I looked at him and said slowly – with kind of question in my voice… “I think it is about 8,000 per month – or maybe that is an average of 7,500. Something like that – I think…”

His sales spin stopped him in mid air… he popped his head up at me and asked again… “No how many HITS does your Web Site get each month… not in a year… a MONTH?”

I thought that I had made a mistake… and then carefully stated again, “I think it is about 8,000 per month – or maybe that is an average of 7,500. Something like that… I know one month recently it hit about 8575 but that was a high number and I wasn’t sure if it was correct or not.”

He looked at me and said slowly… Your Web Site gets 8000 hits per month!? Your kidding – right?!?”

“No – I think that is right. I checked it a few weeks ago and that is what was stated in my Control Panel”

I told him that not all the hits come from Peterborough but rather from all over the world.

Today I checked these out and it said that this month visitors to my Web Site have come from Greece, France, Malaysia, Australia, Germany, US Educational, Singapore, Brazil, US Government, Peru, India, Ireland, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Lithuania, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, China, Seychelles, Egypt, Old style Arpanet, and Israel as well as all over Canada and the USA in general.

I would seriously like to go back to talk with him again in a week or so and tell him that I hit over 10,000 in one month.

Maybe it is MALE thing… but it would kind of be fun to do it.

I know there are some other things that I should do to my Web Site but it is the time issue that is the problem. Maybe I do need the dude with all the knowledge to help my Web Site .

The best part is that the Web Site has produced new orders that have more than paid for Misty Hollow Carving’s Web Site

Now having said all that…
Perhaps today you can do something for me. If you would be so kind to Copy/Paste this string into an email to say a dozen or so of your friends… - I could hit another record in a very short time… maybe even by the end of the day.

And if all goes well – I will receive some new orders for this Christmas season. I do need more new orders for Misty Hollow Carving.

Celtic Love Spoons as a Christmas Gift are super. I have a number ready to go… only $40 plus $3.20 Tax – and then shipping to wherever you want it to go… A BARGAIN…!

Then I have developed a “Recession Santa” that has a very small stomach with his belt tightened… but a smile on his face. He is also only $45 plus $3.60 tax…

Thanks a MILLION for your help to tell people about my Misty Hollow Carving and

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Folksy Wisdom that Makes Sense

“When God leads you to the edge of the ‘cliff of life’, trust Him fully and let go. Only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly!”

I am not sure who made that statement first but it is one that stops me in my tracks. It says what I believe or have come to understand – placing the thought into crisp and clean words…that I can understand.

The best part is that someone has lived it… and it kind of applies in our lives.

Folksy Wisdom comes from down to earth people that have learned from hundreds of mistakes in a life of long living.

In my 65 years of living I have had many instructors in early School, College and University… and in a lifetime of work. There have been some that stand out as very amazing… usually they are older… and definitely wiser. There have been a few as teachers that are very young… with no experience other than they had read more books than me… had a good degree and were placed in a classroom with new students that didn’t know any better.

An Old Physics Teacher in our High School told of his days on the farm mending the fences. Along with him was his faithful horse that plodded along beside him carrying the material that he needed to repair the downed barbwire fence. Behind the horse was a simple kind of slay – called a “stone boat” that carried the extra fence posts that might be needed.

As I listened to his story that day I could identify with the fence that needed to be fixed, I had gone with my uncles on the farm to do that. I knew what a “stone boat” was and helped lead a horse by pulling his reigns.

The Old Physics Teacher told how a storm came up and the lightening was flashing everywhere… rain poured from the sky… and all around his cowboy hat and off the brim as he sat on his horse who plodded along slowly along the fence line. The horse was a faithful friend to the Old Teacher.

His horse was acting restless as it walked along. I think he used the word ‘jittery’. As the Old Physics Teacher looked up past the horses head he could see small sparks/lightening bolts coming from the tip on the horse’s ear. They were parallel to the barbwire fence which was made of metal… it ran up and down along the entire length of the field … which had the highest trees standing next to the fence… and the shy was full of lightening – everywhere.

We sat spell bound as he told how the horse was picking up the highly charged electrical flow from the fence and the air… and he realized that sitting on the horse made him the highest point in the field… a lightening strike was possible. He dismounted the horse and walked beside it all the way back to the farm house.

“And today I want to introduce you to the power of electricity”, stated the Old Physics Teacher, “Your lives will never be the same after you consider the power of electricity and what it can do for you!”

I was so ready to study that subject after the Old Physics Teacher wrapped my imagination with his Folksy Wisdom.

He retired about two years later – what a loss. A new young guy with black rimmed glasses took over the program. Cool guy but dumb! We asked him about the horse possibly having little lightening bolts coming from its ear and he simply went, “Humph, I have never ridden a horse how would I know!?”

The Old Physics Teacher’s name was Mr. Cury and he had stirred me deeply to love all things in Physics.

Another saying came my way…
“What you don’t know never hurts you; it’s what you suspect that causes all the trouble.”

Do you remember sitting in your living room when your teenager didn’t come home on time? It was at that moment that this folksy statement became a part of your life.

Or maybe it was the time that the doctor had some Lab Tests run on your personal being… the wait time for the results was the longest 10 days that you ever could imagine.

A few years back my wife and I waited on my test results for the cancer that the doctor suspected. With the symptoms that I was showing it was possible. That 10 days period was about 25 years long. We sat in front of his desk that day and he opened the file… his eyebrows raised… and then he smiled… “You are clear… no cancer… only a small problem that will be taken care of easily.”

Another bit of Folksy Wisdom that a very old person first stated to me relates the following…
“It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you down so much but the small stone in your shoe.”

When I first heard that I had been laying out all my problems to this very old Pastor that had retired along time ago. As I sat in his quiet living room with the large clock’s pendulum swinging gently behind him… his words penetrated my mind and being.

Then he said, “God knows all about the mountains – he created them… and he made each little pebble… which he may just have placed in your shoe to slow you down.” Then he smiled.

The clock ticked away the minutes as I sat thinking about what he has said…

A more recent thought to remember came not long ago… in an Old Person’s magazine…
“Happy are those people who make their homes in the hearts of friends.”

WOW! That is what has happened this past year for me. God gave me some amazing friends that have allowed me into their hearts… I set up my home there and stayed. Maybe I will stay forever. I love it there. There is no guile… no falsehood… no Bull. They just love you for what you are.

The amazing thing is when I looked into my heart today those special friends are nestled snugly inside my own heart.

It is at that moment that you know that these friends are there for you when the mountains are too great. I mean when your own life is tipping over… they tip with you… it shakes up their home as well as yours… because they live inside of you!

The final one that I keep close to my heart…
“The Best Sermon is a Good Example”
It may be the hardest one to preach… but does it ever bring results.

Over this past year through the struggles and the pressure… I have been in contact with some other ministers… in fact some have come to do whatever they could around me. Some were great and some were well… not great. The not so good ones said one thing and did another… turning and running when I couldn’t even stumble forward.

All I need to know today is that I do my best… and God does the rest.

Another folksy wisdom bit…. Have a wonderful day.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You just have to know what a “Whale Tail” is all about

Yesterday just after lunch we started to laugh. It was my wife first that burst out laughing and then I joined in. My mom had not yet caught it.

On Oprah, the TV Program that comes to us one day later than when it actually happens, the person being interviewed used a brand new term for us old people. Oprah was doing a special segment on new “CJ” blue jeans that cost from $140 to $199 US…ouch!

The special term about these jeans is that it eliminates the problem of “whale tail”.

When the dude first made the statement we both looked at each other and I said, “Did you hear that? What is Whale Tail?”

No sooner did I ask it than he answered the question.

“Whale Tail is when the woman’s blue jeans pull down at the back with her bending over front wise… and her panties pull up and out to show the Whale Tail.” He went on to explain that some women don’t like the “Whale Tail” affect and most blue jeans produce that affect as they are not fitted properly for the wearer’s derriere.

Now there can be nothing greater to make terribly spiritual readers of this Blog gasp at a Minister explaining, writing about and/or pointing to a “Whale Tail” on a woman.

I mean how in the heck does a Minister ever notice a “Whale Tail”? Or why would a Minister even look at a “Whale Tail”? Shouldn’t Ministers be resistant to looking at “Whale Tails”? Aren’t they able to resist the temptation of starring at “Whale Tails”?

If you deeply spiritual people think or ask these questions – you are nuts! I, as a Minister, see “Whale Tail” all the time – even in church! The only time they seem to disappear is under the well clothed outside winter wear… but they appear the minute the gal takes off her coat inside.

“Whale Tail” pretty much appears everywhere in our community – all year long and we are far, far, far from the ocean of any sort!

It has bugged me to no end since about 2000.

Believe it or not Wikipedia has a great write up on it… quote…
"Whale tail is the Y-shaped waistband of a thong or g-string when visible above the waistline of low-rise jeans, shorts, or a skirt that resembles a whale's tail. Intentionally or unintentionally, a whale tail is exposed above the trousers mostly when sitting or bending, or even while standing. The frequency or occasion depends on the style of trousers, the style of underwear, and the way they are worn. Flashing whale tails became popular in the early 2000s, together with the rise of low-rise jeans and thong underwear."
~ end quote.

So I am not so crazy… thinking that this was a new accident and these poor women(or their families) couldn’t afford better clothing! This is actually a choice!!!

The Wikipedia goes on to state… quote…
"Specially designed trousers like low-rise jeans or hip-huggers and higher cut thongs lead to greater exposure of the whale tail. The trend was also associated with the trend of sporting lower back tattoos. The word was selected by the American Dialect Society in January 2006 as the "most creative word" of 2005. Specially designed rear spoilers for Porsche 911 and other automobiles are also known as whale tails, as well as the tip a certain kind of blood vessel. The concepts of visible panty line, buttock cleavage, and sagging are closely related to the whale tail." end quote
Visible Panty Line… yes I have seen that too.

Buttock Cleavage… hokey mokey another new term… but you can see that too… and I thought the girl had just gained too much weight sitting in McDonalds all the time…

Sagging…WOW – new term too… described by Wikipedia as – quote – “Sagging is the practice of wearing pants or shorts below the waist so as to reveal some or all of the wearer's underwear, this is also referred to as Low-Riding in the UK.”

And further… “Sagging is commonly reported in the media as having originated from the prohibition of belts for prisoners. Belts were banned because they could be used to commit suicide by hanging oneself, to strangle others, or as a weapon in fights. In the early 1990s, hip-hop artists popularized the style.” End quoteNow by this stage of the Blog the wonderfully spiritual people have been turned off so bad that they may not read again… ever! “Butt” they will see it next time in the Mall and understand… what they see they now have a name for it…. instead of shaking their spiritual heads with disgust.

The next time YOU see it YOU will be able to name it… and realize that these dear folk have worked hard, spent considerable money, and planned it carefully to have a GOOD WHALE TAIL – for YOUR BENEFIT! I mean THEY CAN’T SEE IT – YOU DO… it is done for you… all of the SPIRITUAL PEOPLE and NOT SO SPIRITUAL PEOPLE…

My guess is that they love hearing older folk gasp… and they grin when we gawk.

First - These young Whale Tail-ers are going to age. And when they do what a site this will be. As they bend over their “Depends” will be doing the Whale Tail as well… but with a pair of panties showing!

Every senior I know that wears Depends – the adult diaper – doesn’t really give a ding dong if they Whale Tail or not. One old guy that I see at the senior’s home and sometimes in the hospital hallways has taken off all his clothes and his whale tail is well… showing.

Seniors have Whale Tailed people long before they gave it a description!

Second – Sagging was not invented in prison… or by rappers… or by fashion people. They cannot take that away from us old people. Most men I know are already “sagging” way before the teens lowered their knickers’ rise.

Personally it happens all the time… specially after eating too much! I have to hitch my jeans up or I will lose them… Sheesh!

Third - When this Whale Tail idea progresses among the women… it will be soon taken on by slightly older women… I already have witnessed this among the ‘40 somethings’ NOW. It is when the ‘50 somethings’ and ‘60 somethings’ try to mimic the young Whale Tail… a whole new era will come – “Whale Tail with a Horizon”.

What is “Whale Tail with a Horizon”? That is when the stretch marks are added to the visual background to the whale tail and consider it sexy.

This past week when a waitress that served us had a whale tail… I looked away. But in that other direction there was a rather over weight lady sitting with her back to us – mid 40s – with a very large whale tail…oops look away… butt her tattoo was kind of funny as it peeked out one side of her whale tail.

Dealing with whale tail at 65 years old in 2009 is a brand new problem for me.

This post is far too long. Sorry – but I figured you just had to know what a Whale Tail is all about.

Hey – have a great day and for goodness sake keep looking up – way up!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanks a Million – It Really Worked!!!!!!

What a difference a year makes. It is so important to take time to reflect and yesterday was that kind of day. There was plenty of reflecting on my part.

One year ago I was 4 months on Employment Insurance and struggling. I was also ¾ of the way through my first month on the O.S.E.B. (Ontario Self Employed Benefits) where I had been working through the month of October 2008 at the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC).

Each day I had been in school and trying desperately to get a handle on the idea of building/writing a Business Plan.

It was at this point that I was invited along with the other SEB students to attend the “OSEB Fair” held at the Evinrude Centre.

I toured the displays put on by different, new, SEB companies that were now conducting business in the community. These people each were successful in their own way.

I confess that I had a lot of questions about the process that I was involved in. Not so much about the program or process that the Northumberland Group had run – but rather about me and my process. I saw what these folk were doing and then thought of what I might do with my new “Misty Hollow Carving” business that I was setting up – and about to launch in about one week’s time.

The Business Plan was almost done… but the confidence was not yet written into my heart. I had about a billion questions as to whether this adventure I was launching would work or not. Insecurity yep… lots of it! Frightened to death – you betcha! Not certain of what might happen – all the way! I was very new to a world that might accept me or might reject me.

Stepping back and looking at what had happened in the prior six months to last year’s October 2008 – I had been almost leveled in my ability to do much of anything.

The church that I was pastoring had to “let me go” – and I headed into E.I. for the very first time in my life. In all my working years – 44 of them I had never, ever been unemployed. It was a scary time.

Another person that I had trusted, promoted and worked hard for raising quite a bit of money – with a hope someday of my working for a salary in “his organization/ministry”… simply discontinued the “arrangement” with me. He informed me one dazzling morning that it wasn’t going to work in his eyes and “Poof” that was over. I was fired from a job that I almost got… sheesh!

But that little diversion in life, as hard as it was to take, was perhaps one of those best things that ever happened in the year. I was free to do what I felt my own heart was telling me to do. Within a very few days a completely new organization/ministry came to life – one where I could see the vision and opportunity grow as God led me.

I was not only free from long and hard board meetings at the church, but now was also free from someone else’s ideas of what should be done in my life – that made no sense at all.

¾ of the way through October 2008 it seemed that I had been hammered by two Christian ministries… left to hang out and to dry by myself. Both had their reason for doing what they did… but at the time it made no sense at all to me!

But that is where the wonder of it all is. God was in charge of my life as never before. It was not a committee, or a foreign body that knew nothing of what was happening here, or some miserable financial practice or policy that controlled me any longer… it was the same “Old Boss” – God – that had led me into each of the other areas… leading me away from the “old way” of doing things.

My failure had been that I trusted men rather than God. I believed what was promised and what was supposed to have happened would happen. And it didn’t. Crash Bang Boom it had been over. And through it all God had rapped my knuckles in a gentle way and said “Follow me I show you a much better way”.

Today one year later I can testify that this is exactly what has happened in every way.

Misty Hollow Carving was launched at the beginning of November 2008 and it took off. Yesterday as I took part as one of the New Businesses being showcased I was so blessed to be there! The folk that came by the table that we had were very impressed. New orders were given and great interest expressed in future possibilities of working together. I met dozens of new people that I would never ever have met sitting in the church office or working as a pastor…. as I had done over the previous 10 years in Peterborough and 24 years in other places.

And guess what! I had witnessed the miracle of Misty Hollow Carving making money and fulfilling goals. Misty Hollow Carving is a reality and is growing quickly in opportunity and blessing. The Business Paln worked even through a recession!!!!

Oh… and the other completely new organization/ministry came to life days after the other involvement dropped me…. has blossomed to become an Ontario answer for the need that is here. It is difficult to explain all the possibilities of this ministry in this posting.

This new ministry that grew in parallel to the growth of Misty Hollow Carving is entitled “Ontario Provincial Chaplaincy” and as I serve in this voluntary ministry role as the Chaplain. It has been amazing what has happened.

As the Chaplain in this new organization I reach out to, I pray for and I support the Provincial Members of Parliament at Queens Park in Toronto. The MPPs are key people in our provinces as our elected leaders. It is my privilege to be there for them.

I cannot tell you all the stories of what has happened between myself and the MPPs. But I can tell you that it has been excellent and the work and support and encouragement that has come about has developed a deep respect in our relationships.

Unlike other similar ministries where much publicity is made out of the contacts that are happening – Ontario Provincial Chaplaincy doesn’t need that mode of work. What a difference it has been from the old way of doing the ‘business’. And what a relief I feel inside of me.

One Pastor that brought me to his church to share with his congregation openly admitted that he had… “never had a fellow minister come and say that he didn’t need our money!” Oddly enough they kindly gave us a “gift” to support the traveling that I do now.

As I attended my Misty Hollow Caring Table many people came by to talk. They didn’t need me to talk about what I was able to do – how many amazing things that I have accomplished this past 12 months… they needed to hear and feel that someone was listening to their story.

One man lost everything in a disastrous loss of his job. He was well paid and had a good history of working at a real good job in a certain company locally. Another company bought this smaller firm that he had worked faithfully for. They then ran the company into the ground – destroying everything they had worked for… waited just the right amount of time… then declared bankruptcy… AND NO ONE GOT ANY SEVERANCE PAY. They all got NOTHING.

He was ¾ of his way through his SEB program and was about to launch his new business. In his working life at the small company he had bought a small apartment of some sort… and in doing the job of the landlord he fixed all the things that would break, took care of the grounds and the buildings inside and out. Guess what? His new business is all about Property Management!

He was only one of many that I talked to about their new businesses. All were a little shaky and somewhat unsure. I listened with new ears.

365 days ago I was the same. What a difference one year has made… what a huge difference!

Finally I thank Winston, Brenda, Terry, Marion, Ron, Tim, Norma, Jack, Vivian, Alberta, Pat, Susan, Marilyn, Wendy, Dana, Bruce, Anda, Bill and about one million more that believed in us when I stopped believing. What you folks did was give me HOPE. It worked – it really did!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
The Mayor of Peterborough - Paul Ayotte, along with the MP and MPP came by to thank us all for what we had done for our community - GO FIGURE!