My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the month “January, 2015”

Welcome To My World

Hearing Loss Symbol

Hearing Loss Symbol

Leviticus 19:14
“Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.

“English is my second language, I have no first.” quote from me, Steve Pettijohn

Unless you had a hearing loss or deafness from a very young age, yet born to hearing parents; this may not fully make sense.

The relationship between a family member and I has taken a strange turn in the last few months. This person has entered my world.

Brief history. One of my first memories was sitting in a chair getting my hearing tested. When they found that I could hear the beeps well, they tested my IQ. When they found my IQ was good, well… they didn’t know what to do with me. So they sent me through lots and lots of speech therapy. In the 1950s and 60s no one knew what was going on. But because I can hear beeps, I made it through 14 years in the military. It was eleven years ago or so, I was finally told I have an audio processing problem. (That explains a lot)

Now fast forward. In August 2014, this relative went from a mild hearing loss to deaf in just a few days. And of course she was greatly bothered by this, and scared. She said she thought she understood hearing loss, now realized that she never had a clue.

Now I find myself in an odd role of leading her through ‘the world of not-hearing’. She would say this and that, and I would answer back, “I know. That’s normal”. She complains that nothing sounds right. She has a difficult time understanding people. So I sent her some of the articles I have written in this blog to help her out.
Afterwards, Her: “I don’t know if I can learn to do what you do.”
Me: “You can do it.”
Her: “I don’t know, I’m a lot older than you.”
Me: “I know you’re older than me. But you can still do it.”
Her: “Everything sounds the same to me.”
Me: “Yea to me too. Like B, D, E, and even the beginning of ‘October‘ and ‘awful‘ sounds the same. I also have trouble with ‘pen‘ and ‘pin‘ and many other words. Now you see why I had so much trouble learning to spell. You can’t sound out the words if they all sound the same.”
Her: “Oh yeah.” (I can’t believe it. NOW she understands? After all these years?)

As time goes on, she is going to learn a lot about my world.

I know from being with others who have grown up with a hearing loss, my experience is very typical.

So now what? I have never thought of myself as disabled because of my hearing loss, and I still don’t. She is experiencing a great drop in audio volume. Once she gets her cochlear implant the volume will be high again, however because of the implant her audio processing ability be different than ever before. At that time her hearing will most likely be much better than mine again, but because of her new audio processing difficulties she may need me to help her adjusting to her new world. The world I have lived in for nearly 60 years.

Could I be of service? I don’t know. To me this so strange because in my mind, I am not disabled from hearing loss.

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Like The Truth?

Do you like hearing the truth? Don’t be so quick to say yes. If there is bad news, you wouldn’t like it. Who would?

Ford Courier – photo from Bing

Ford Courier – photo from Bing

In the 1970s Ford Motor imported a small truck from Japan. It was called the Courier. Then in the early 1980s Ford started building their own small trucks called the Ranger in America.

Ford Ranger – Ford Motor website

Ford Ranger – Ford Motor website

One day, maybe in about 1983 or so a friend bought a new Ford Ranger and was showing it off. I said something like, “Nice truck. Made in America.” He quickly said no, and that it was Japanese. We argued about it until I told him to open the driver’s door so I could show the sticker with the country of origin to him.

He said “NO!” Why? I wondered. I couldn’t believe it, but he said he did not want to be proven wrong. What difference did it make where the truck was made? Knowing where something is made does not hurt anybody. Cars with American, Asian, and European names are made all over the world. So what? Many American cars and trucks are made in Canada, Mexico and who knows where. And for awhile if you wanted the only full size pickup truck made in America, (I could be wrong about this) you’d buy a Toyota, which is Japanese. So why this guy didn’t want to know where his new truck was made, I’ll never know. I find it amazing. Though it’s really not a big deal.

Another amazing story is a few years before that, I was working for the railroad. We had a few women working there, repairing the box cars. Everybody worked in teams of two. Two men, two women. However because of an odd number of women, they had one woman working with one man. Things were going OK for awhile until rumors started.

Someone had started the rumor that these two were getting very interested with each other. But I knew that wasn’t true because I and my teammate were working just a short distance from them. But the rumors and the gossip continued.

Finally the rumors were that the man’s wife came to work and started yelling at the other woman. And most of the people believed it.

What’s interesting was the way the work area was laid out, there were eight other teams around these two. That’s sixteen people only a few feet or meters from them. Yet even though no one of had seen any of this, they were still happy to believe a lie and gossip about it. Why? Why do some people seem to love a lie?

I am reminded of a few things in the Bible. One is John 8:43-45 where Jesus is talking with the people a says that the devil is their father. And that he is the father of lies. That they can’t believe the truth.

Also John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Which brings up of course Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Now I know these passages and the two stories I told earlier are very different in subject matter. After all one is spiritual in nature and the other is not. But… I wonder if the two may still be related.
That’s my thoughts anyway.

The Worthy

Mark 13:13
And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Once about twenty years ago I was “let go” from work for some very vague reasons. The owner of the business knew I’m a Christian. And it bothered him as he was doing some unethical business practices. The two of us would take turns working every other Sunday. One day he came to me and told me he was letting me go because he’s tired of working so many Sundays. I told him that with me gone he would have to work every Sunday. He had no comment. I was the only mechanic there and getting rid of me would not only increase his work load, but also hamper the business. But it seemed that getting rid of a Christian was more important than his livelihood.

A few years ago, me and two other guys had a temporary job upgrading computers in an office building. Both of them knew I’m a Christian. And I knew from the start that one of them didn’t like Christians. We would work with two of us on one floor and the guy who didn’t like Christians, volunteered to work alone on the lower floor. Near the end of our work, the guy who was working on the same floor as me, found out that the guy who was support to be working alone, wasn’t working. In fact not only was he not working, he was fraudulently signing my name, saying the work was done. The true friend told me, then told our supervisor.

People, this that I have gone through is nothing compared to what others are beginning to go through here in North America. And here in North America this is only child’s play compared to what is going on in other parts of the world.

Recently I’ve learned that this Blog was has been read in places where Christianity is illegal. Imagine just from reading what I write, some of our brothers and sisters in Christ risk arrests, torture, prison, and even death. I am greatly humbled at the thought of these very brave brothers and sisters in Christ would even consider what I write worthy enough to read.

I have been a mechanic for many years. I also have been trained in electronic technology and computer networking. And I have worked in these fields as for our Lord to the best of my ability, and also spread the good news. (but I know I could do much better) My hope and prayer is that when the time comes for prosecution in the United States, (and it will come) I will be able to show such bravery as our prosecuted brothers and sisters. I pray that my friends and family would do the same. I am at awe at the strength and grace our Lord gives them.

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas

Yet I’m afraid that some of us in America will not endure. I am reminded of the parable told in Matthew 13:3-9 and is explained in Matthew 13:18-23. I’m concerned about those who will fall away at problems or persecution. There are some who back down now, just for being teased. And yet I know that in the end our Lord will be greatly pleased to tell others “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Matthew 10:32-33
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

My wife and I will keep praying for our prosecuted brothers and sisters in Jesus name.

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