The fall

      I have to start the OT portion of this in the beginning. We all know the beginning of the Bible. God created and on the eighth day he took a nap. He made something from nothing and on the eighth day he said; “Dude, I need a nap.” Makes sense and if you were in the same situation you would say the same thing. The cool thing about creation was that he created us in his image to live perfect lives in harmony with Him.

    The problem with that was satan. He was cast out of Heaven because he wanted to be greater than God. He rebelled, was cast out of heaven and his jealousy ruined everything. Satan had found a way to manipulate Eve by  confusing her. Genesis 3:4-5 is satan telling eve that by eating the fruit we can become like God and have the knowledge of good and evil. With that knowledge came free will which satan himself had possessed as a cherub. With free will you can either accept or reject God and satan knew this.

     By confusing Eve he was then able to manipulate her. That’s exactly how satan operates. He makes evil things look pretty good so that after a while we begin to question God a little bit. Through his jealousy of God satan was able to use the one thing that kept us tied God and use it against us. Satan knew that the tree was his way to get back at God and he saw Eve alone in the garden and he manipulated her into eating the fruit.

      Once Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit we had a choice to rebel against God.In a sense we could become like God. Satan succeeded in separating us from God through Eve. Satan knew that once the forbidden fruit was eaten he would be able to convince people that he was truly like God. It worked. God eventually became so angry he decided  to destroy the world that he created. The sin that satan had introduced into the perfect world that God created broke his heart so he sent a flood to destroy it.

      The problem was that the flood may have destroyed the world that God created but because of free will and the knowledge of good and evil there was still sin. Even though the world was destroyed the very people who God created to worship and respect him were still rebelling. You also have to understand that because of sin we were suddenly separated from God so that created a problem for those who served God, and led holy lives.

     Our sins had become so great that God needed someone to redeem us of those sins. He began to send prophetic visions of a redeemer, someone who would shed his blood so we could live eternally. This savior would die so that we could live. The blood that was shed not only paid for our sins but for the sins of those who led holy and righteous lives. When I delve into those visions it’s amazing how God loved us enough to say; “I got this. Someone is coming to save you.” That’s love. Our free will could suddenly save us? How is that possible?

     In the New Testament we see that the messiah that was prophesied in the OT was in fact Jesus. This was God made flesh and his goal was to bridge the gap that separated us from God. A flood may not have defeated satan or eradicated the sin that permeated and still permeates this world but the blood of Jesus set us free from that sin. The one thing that kept us from God was suddenly eradicated.

     Once Jesus paid our sin debt we may die but we still live eternally. You still have satan who is in fact the lord of this world and he’s still trying to confuse us into thinking we don’t need God or creating these theologies that seem to represent God but truly don’t. Some of these prophecies are amazing because it’s God telling us to hold on I have something planned that’s going to blow your mind.

      Reading these prophecies that God gave these prophets gives me a deeper love and respect for not only God but also Jesus. Despite his anger at us for turning our backs on him he loved us enough to give us a way to get home. Through Jesus we have so many lessons and ways in which we can lead our lives but we continue to allow ourselves to be manipulated and led away from the gift that God has given us. Satan thought he had beaten God but God has the one thing satan doesn’t. Love.

Studying The NT (Sorry New Testament)

      I can never ever do anything the easy way. I thought okay, I’ll read the New Testament and acclimate myself with The Bible. I have yet to read the entire NT which I’m sure will surprise people. I have read the majority of the books mind you just not all of them one after the other. Does that make me a bad Christian? I can’t answer that because there are other traits I’m sure other more stoic Christians would actually latch onto. The Christian metal, the absence of a suit when I go to church on Sunday and that’s just a few things. I consider myself a Saint as should all slaves of Jesus Christ. Yes, I also consider myself a slave to Jesus Christ. I’m sure some are saying that Dr. Peanut has truly lost his mind and I would agree to a point. The point is after deciding to read the NT it dawned on me that as a Christian I’ve truly missed out on some really amazing stuff that actually went over my head. The importance of King Jesus’ arrival foretold in the OT (Old Testament). In order to truly understand who Jesus was as a Savior, as a Messiah, it’s important to study who God said he would be, and what he had in store for us as followers of Christ. We know a lot about what Jesus did but the Old Testament prophecies were all about the announcement of a Savior coming to redeem us. Not only was his arrival prophesied but so was his death. I’ve been a Christian for a couple of years now but I never claimed to be a Biblical scholar but the idea that I could truly study who Jesus was, and in a sense is it would enable me to be exactly what Jesus expects me to be. I need to be humble, loving, graceful and above all have a clear understanding of what being a Christian is all about. How exactly will this blog look and how exactly will I begin it. I just did. I will try and refrain from calling Jesus a righteous dude but He is. How many people can you say would truly die for you? He arrived in this world to redeem us, to give us eternal life and he did this willingly. His whole purpose was to free us from the bondage of sin yet sadly so many people are still slaves to sin. My goal is to be as simple as I can because let’s face it a lot people talk really big and some people just need thing simplified. I think we all know who Jesus was, what God essentially sent him to do but I feel that these OT prophecies will inspire us to study God’s word and draw closer to Christ. I am really excited to do this and I have no idea how long this will last or even if it will draw in new readers but I hope it helps people who have yet to crack open a Bible and accept Jesus Christ as Their personal Savior.

      As maybe a side not some of the things I ‘m beginning to see are words that I’ve tried very hard to ignore. Unselfishness, what? really? I just started being selfish and there’s also humility which is something I struggle with along with the whole love people. Love is something I really struggle with and I realize that these are hurdles that Jesus have showed me in order to strengthen my faith a little bit. It shows me exactly what I’m lacking. I also learned a new word which is discipline. As adults we have disciplined ourselves to go to work and pay bills and be responsible but I we need to discipline ourselves on how to pray, and read our Bible. So I will end this and report back with the first part of my adventure.

My Summer Reading List

     I figure since I live in Ohio and I’m single I should start compiling my summer reading list. A lot of people have these and it drove me bonkers because I would have this grandiose idea that I would start a list and somehow at the end of the summer I would say; “Tada….I finished the list.” It was unrealistic due to my being a full time husband and father. If you add in work well reading isn’t all that high on the list of priorities. Now I’m a part time father and my career may or may not be as demanding as I think it will. It looks interesting and challenging so I honestly think I can actually compile a list for the first time in a very long time. Also with my son in the hospital and a lot of time to kill I am going to actually begin reading the New Testament of The Bible and deepen my knowledge of not only God but what God expects of me. I have tons of books and I’ve recently acquired a ton of Christian books so I think I’ll begin with C Peter Wagoner’s Churchquake and then hit on a book he wrote called Your Spiritual Gifts can Help Your Church Grow, and then work through Confronting The Powers which is about Prayer and Spiritual Warfare. I also have a couple more of Wagner’s books these are Blazing The Way which is the third part of a Series of books he wrote about Acts. Can’t forget about Wagner’s Apostles Today which looks interesting. From there I have Possessing the Gates Of The Enemy by Cindy Jacobs which is a training manual for militant intercession. I also plan on delving into a book I found called Spiritual Warfare by Dean Sherman.

     That should keep me reading until at least the second half of April. I read quickly and if a book bores me I put it back on my shelf and ignore and eventually come back to it. In terms of I guess you could say controversial Christian titles I plan on reading The Shack. People keep saying to avoid this book but I’m the kind of guy that likes to explore things just to see what all the fuss is about. If that wasn’t bad why not really worry people by reading Beyond Hell and then at some point I have to read Love Wins by Rob Bell. I’m sure just announcing that I plan on reading this will have me thrown out of my church and severely beaten but I truly want to read this book because let’s be honest we all love a good car wreck and the reviews and general backlash this book has received has me pretty curious. At some point I may even read some motivational stuff from the guy who’s not really a pastor but pretends to be one on TV. Yeah, Mr. Happy himself Joel Osteen. I think as a Christian we have to explore what’s out there just to form our own opinions and find out exactly why this isn’t matching up Biblically. If you have a general idea of what the Bible says it shouldn’t be too hard to figure that what these guys are preaching and even writing about takes the Bible out of context. So the book I want to really read is Osteen’s Total Victory. The title alone makes me chuckle. I  don’t about you but I would love total victory.  Wait, maybe that’s a sermon I have to watch. Crap. Well, it’s better than buying a book. I also have a Paula white book somewhere I should try and read.

      On to the last half which I find most exciting. Once I make it passed the fluff and nonsense I have the books that I am really stoked to read. Ted Dekker is an author that I recently discovered. I read his book Skin, loved it and  realized that Christian Fiction doesn’t have to be boring. I was so excited to actually discover that as a Christian I can still like books that are interesting but don’t feel religious. Thanks also to Frank Peretti for making me branch out and embrace Christian thrillers. You see not all Christian books have to be about being a servant, following Christ correctly or even a self help book. As a Christian we also need to be entertained and why not endorse writers that share our faith? Is that a bad thing? Depends on who you ask but this is my blog and as my mother stills says to me; “I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.”  Also on my really stoked to read list is a few books by Pastor Mark Driscoll. I’ve seen a few of his sermons and the guy is awesome so I plan on reading Death By Love: Letters From The Cross, Doctrine, and Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions.  I also intend to read Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus by D.A. Carson, and another Driscoll book entitled Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions. Yeah, I realize these are all Christian books but I am a Christian so it makes sense. If you find something you’re passionate about, pursue it and run with it. If it makes people happy I do have a ton of Patricia Cornwell books to read as well as other non-Christian titles which I guess isn’t a bad thing as long as people understand that I never said I was perfect and as an avid reader I still have authors I read before I became a Christian and I still enjoy them.

     I say that I intend to start this list but who know what’s going to happen before spring actually gets here. I realize that as I write this it’s almost April but we don’t usually see actual Spring in Ohio until around April something. I could meet a nice Christian woman fall madly in love but I honestly don’t see happening but who knows. I have been noticing women a lot more lately and I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about that. On the one hand it shows that I’m truly over my wife but it also shows that despite my hesitancy to date I won’t exactly say no if a perty girl wants to go out for ice cream  I think for now I am truly not going to blog until April 15th or so. Gives me a break and I have a ton of reading to do anyway. God bless.

Mission Statement

     So many people tell me that I should become a pastor. I guess it’s because I have a fair understanding of the Bible and try and be as encouraging as I can to other people. The problem with being a pastor is all the stuff that comes with it. I don’t like playing politics and when you become a pastor you can’t just preach. There’s also the business side of church as well as all the planning and when you preach about something you have to deal with angry parishioners. I guess I could just preach and allow someone else to handle the business side of things but then you run into all sorts of problems. You also have to contend with egos which is something I prefer not to deal with either. If people need to be the center of attention in Church there’s something wrong there. I prefer to not become a pastor and that’s okay with me unless God decides otherwise. Would you really want Pastor Peanut? I can be pretty harsh at times and I truly believe that sometimes you have to be open and honest with people and let’s face it when you put a mirror in front of people they don’t like what they see and it’s all your fault. As a pastor there are some topics you just can’t preach about even though they are in the Bible. There’s Hell for one and that scares people. People want their Christianity inspiring but not scary. When you have visitors in your church you don’t want to frighten people away.

     What really frightens me is that I wonder if these people that say I should be a Pastor would come to a church that I preached at? In my blogs I guess I’ve revealed a bit of my beliefs but then again I don’t think I have. What if I told you that I believed that God was actually a Unicorn and our beloved Jesus was in fact an elf that lives in a candy cane cottage? People are starting to back away a bit which is good. I have had a lot of experiences that make me relatable to people. I don’t ever pretend to be perfect and will readily tell anyone that I’m a mess. I don’t always know what to say to people so maybe that’s another good quality I would have. Do I really want to lead people? That’s a good question and one that I would really have to think about. People need to be led. They are often times led by the wrong people and follow the wrong theology. That’s dangerous. Here’s the thing that people should really consider when attending a church or watching a television preacher. Are they Biblically sound? Can you back up what they say with Scripture. Does the entire Bible line up with what they are preaching about? Before people place me on a pulpit here is my mission statement. I need to keep my mind busy today and this will kill some time while I try and divert my mind away from some very serious personal issues.

                                      Dr. Peanut’s Mission Statement

(1) The Bible : I like so many Christians believe that this quite honestly is the only book inspired by God.  2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Matthew 5:18, John 16: 12-13

(2)   I also believe in the one triune God as existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Deuteronomy 6:4,  2 Corinthians 13:14

(3) I believe in Jesus Christ and that He rose from the dead and that He will in fact come again to judge the living and the dead. Through him our redemption was possible when he died on the cross. Romans 3:24, 1 Peter 2:24, Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter: 3-5, 1 Peter 4:5,  Romans 14:9, 2 Timothy 4:1

(4) Salvation. This is a gift given freely by God but you have to accept this gift. You just can’t expect to be saved without a choice. The gift of salvation is given through the grace of God and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2: 8-10, John 1: 12, Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1: 18-19

    Those four are the core of my beliefs. I also believe and whole heartedly endorse the charismatic religion which believes in the spiritual gifts found in 1 Corinthians 12-14. With that all being said would you attend the church of Peanut? As you can see I’m not so different after all except for the heavy metal and the strong belief that you should always think for yourself and never be afraid to question what your pastors preaching about if it doesn’t sound doctrinally sound. Prayer, that’s another big thing with me. Prayer is a vital part of our Christian walk. I can’t even give you a list of scripture on prayer because we would be here all day. Pray without ceasing, pray to God in thanks and in good times and bad. Prayer is a vital part of Christianity. As I deal with my personal issues I promise that I will return with more nuggets of wisdom and ask that you all keep me in your prayers.

Charismaniac

Okay so maybe I’ve gotten off course a bit. I have been a tad gloomy or strayed a bit from what others are liking about my blogs. It happens all the time. We become so accustomed to something and when the course alters a bit people tend to feel left out. A lot of my readers may not be comfortable about me talking about my divorce even though I may do so in a joking fashion. I honestly think that because I tend to add some humor into my situation it’s somehow a bad thing. Then you have those folks who are a bit uncomfortable with my blogs on faith and what not. You truly have to have a balance and the thing I truly set out to accomplish with the blog was a bit of randomness. I am a mess and I have ADD so my blogs aren’t going to follow a path or a major goal because I usually don’t have one so obviously my blogs aren’t either.

When I say that I’m a Christian people assume that I run around all day with a Bible thumping people. Not the case because (A) it hurts when you thump people with a Bible and (B) Religion should be a choice not a requirement. When I’m out and about I don’t expect everyone I meet to know that I’m a Christian. Some people don’t care. They may have had a bad experience with a certain theology or denomination so for me to walk around telling everyone they need Jesus or telling them that they’re going to hell isn’t really helping anyone. As Christians I think it’s important to encourage people to find God but we shouldn’t force them into religion.

Of course anyone who has seen my Facebook page can tell you Dr. Peanut is a Christian. That is the one place I announce my faith. Am I pressuring people into religion? Nope, that’s my page and if I want to praise God and talk about prayer, faith and what have you then I will. If people find that pushy or uncomfortable then unfriend me. Doesn’t hurt my feelings at all. I will attack other religions but not in a bad way. I do this so that I can undo a bit of damage that other denominations are doing by denying hell, or maybe spreading false gospel. I do this in a loving way of course.

It’s also important to note that I am in fact a Charismaniac and in some stoic religious circles I’m an oddball. Ever been to a Charismatic Church? If not I urge you check one out unless your one of those people who scare easily and if you are maybe you shouldn’t. I have always felt that when you go to Church it should be a celebration. You are there to serve God so why sit there all stuffy and proper? Nothing worse than a boring Church. If God is truly present why all the sitting and sour faces?

People who know me a little or a lot know that I don’t fit into what people perceive as a normal Christian. Does the Charismatic tag encompass all of me? Of course not. When you look at me or even talk to me I don’t fit into the mold that everyone tries to shove me into and that is awesome. Why would I want to act, or even think like every Christian? How boring is that? I am very unorthodox in my thinking but that’s cool because it adds another perception to religion. You have those other Christians and then you have me. Not the kind of guy you’d want dating the pastor’s daughter but I’m still a Christian.

I did have my pastor actually speak to me and it was interesting because I haven’t gone to my church all that often and I haven’t even spoken to him on a one on one basis. I haven’t even spoken to him in any capacity. He did tell me that I am an intelligent person that studies, and thinks about things before making any decisions. That’s true because I am all about studying different religions just to get a feel for different theologies and doctrines. I want to know as much as I can about God, and why people believe what they believe. I urge every Christian to do the same thing. What better way to strengthen your faith than by studying other belief structures?

I have a variety of different religious books. I’m talking Mormonism, Apostolic as well as Spiritual Warfare. I am not only becoming better at understanding my Bible but what other religions practice and believe. Ever read the Catechism Of The Catholic Church? Very interesting and there is a lot you can learn. As Christians though we have this mindset of; “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” We become so focused on just our Bible that when we encounter someone who may not share our beliefs we attack them and try to get them to admit they’re wrong. The problem is that because of what they believe we’re the one who’s wrong.  We can argue but we don’t understand what they actually believe .and vice versa

Another thing the Pastor said was that I needed to burn my bridges. There are people in my life that I need to let go of because they’re holding me back. Surprisingly he even said that I’ve already begun the process and that I need to keep moving forward. I actually began to do that but I never told anyone this. It was just a decision I had made one day and tried to implement it but was having a great deal of difficulty. God has a plan for me and I can’t follow that plan if I allow this person to come back into my life. The thing that I noticed is that when I went into that Church I felt at home. That church was where God wanted me to go.

Hearing the Pastor talk to me about all this was insane because I’m not an open person. I try not to open myself up because I like privacy. I like solving my own problems and don’t like to burden people. I hear all the time that I’m a nice guy and what have you but I don’t see it. I don’t ever dwell on who I am because it’s seems odd to me that I should think of myself as anything. People will tell me I’m a nice guy or that I’m compassionate but I never see that because I don’t think about it. If anything I see myself as a total mess that needs God’s guidance and grace. That’s what gets me through.

I have really strayed a bit from where I wanted to go spiritually but I feel that now that I’m in the church that God has led me to I can begin the next phase of my life. A new career, a new outlook on where I need to be spiritually. Hearing my pastor tell me these things was an eye opener. I had been praying that morning for a sign, and I got one. It’s one thing to pray but to hear the answers is quite another. Does it change who I am in terms of the Christian I am? Nope. I still promote, and even endorse Christian Black Metal as well as Heavy Metal, I am all about not only reading the Bible but also reading as much as I can on faith and even prayer. I truly learned that I need to not only read these books but also incorporate them into my life and what make me Dr. Peanut.

The whole importance of this blog is to share the reality of God speaking to you through other people. You may feel as if God doesn’t hear you or that he doesn’t exist but I can tell you from experience that he does and when you least expect it he’s going to call you out and let you know that He’s there and that he’s heard your prayers. Despite the fact that we’re all a little messed up God will use that mess to reach out to others.

Did anyone actually enjoy this blog or even learn anything? Sometimes I just feel led to write a blog without even knowing if it makes sense.  If there is one lesson to be pulled from this blog is that it’s okay to be different as a Christian. That’s what God uses to reach people. I am be a bit goofy but God still loves me. How rad is that?  This is a really long blog and I apologize. God bless and always trust in God

 

Life Is Not A Box Of Chocolates

Wouldn’t it be rad if life was exactly as it’s portrayed in those cheesy Lifetime movies? Married people truly do stay together until they’re old and everything is solved in a nice little bow around the two-hour mark. Things happen and that’s why life sucks sometimes.  More often than not life doesn’t make sense and there are no easy answers and when you actually think there are, life throws you a curve ball. Forget about me and my impending divorce. I was bummed out but I truly see it as a blessing. I have learned a great deal about myself and I also learned that sure, life has it’s truly awkward and surreal moments but once the smoke clears and you begin to assess the damage you begin to see rays of sunshine and you realize that you survived. Separation has been really good to me and I have no complaints.

Let’s forget about me and focus on what the meat of this blog is all about and that’s realizing that we can’t fix everything. Sometimes we pray really really hard for something and you suddenly realize that your wasting your time. The real reason I don’t drink is because of my brother. Yep, I’ve finally admitted it. We all have things in our lives that we don’t talk about. We don’t ignore them mind you it’s just not something we want to admit to. My mom and I have talked about my brother at great lengths and I’m sure any one who knows an alcoholic will tell you that they are frustrating people.

They drain your soul of all the love you offer and they have no clue. You can offer them all the help in the world but if they don’t take it then what? I have spent hours and hours praying that he’ll stop drinking yet it’s not a prayer that will be answered. I’m not doubting God at all in fact despite the futility of my prayer I keep praying. I keep hoping that there will come a rock bottom that will shake him up but what happens after you repeatedly hit rock bottom? At some point you have to walk away and realize that this person is beyond all hope. They can’t identify that there’s even a problem so how is God going to wake them up?

All I can do is love my brother despite the fact that he gets completely wasted and has my mother worried that at some point she’s going to get the phone call that will truly break her heart. That call will be the announcement that my brother is dead. It’s not something you want to deal with but if you knew my brother you would understand that the only thing that will truly get him to stop drinking is death. He’s been in jail, treatment, and has even stopped himself but he always starts right back up.

The last bender he was on lasted three days and there is nothing worse than hearing your brother’s voice and not being able to understand a word he’s saying. Every time my phone rings or I get a text from him I know he’s wasted but I can’t be mean to him because I know that he’s going to die at some point. He chose alcohol over his kids, over his girlfriend and when he dies it will truly be because of alcohol. I wanted to be mean and cut him completely out of my life but I don’t want to lose him and not have him know that I love him.

I feel terrible for his kids because they’ll grow up with this distorted view of what a man is supposed to be and as teens they’ll assume that because their father drank it’s okay for them to do it as well. What about the psychological effects his drinking has on them? I’m sure they’re scared to death of their father so at some point they are going to hate him. Can’t say that I blame them due to the decisions that he’s made not only as a father but as a man. I’m pretty sure that as a father he’s an embarrassment but what can you do?

What really angers me is that I’m cast into the role of the good son. Did I ask to be cast into the role? Nope, but here I am regardless of my thoughts or feelings. It all comes down to choices and  when I found out I was going to be a father I made changes in my life. I was no longer the same person I was. It was all about understanding that once you reach a certain age or become a parent things have to change. On top of that I had a lot of respect for my mother and still do. I couldn’t imagine getting arrested or falling into a bad group of people because I wanted her to be proud of me. The thought of disappointing my mom makes me sick inside.

No matter where she and I go people praise me for manning up and being so responsible. It doesn’t matter that my marriage busted or that there are some days where I feel as if I’m going to pass out from the stress. What matters is that my mom is proud of me and tells everyone. I’m the good son and sure it’s embarrassing but my mom needs me. With me she knows that she’s a good mom that raised at least one of us  with respect and has the appearance of having his entire life together. I make my mom proud by taking the kids as often as I do, I make my mom proud by not being a total screw up and having common sense. Most of all I make my mom proud because I’m always there when she needs me.

My brother breaks her heart but I’m the one who makes her smile and tries to be the good son that loves her goes to church with her and smiles while strange people I don’t even know praise me for being good to mom. While I worry about my brother I also wonder why I bother. Seriously, there has to come a point where I have to step aside and allow himself to make his own stupid decisions and stop caring. I can’t though. We’re family and I will call him every night just to tell him I love him and as soon as I hang up that phone I start crying and pray that he’ll quit drinking. Of course it never happens but I cry and pray anyway because he’s my brother and I love him no matter how frustrated I get or how I feel that it’s time to just walk away I don’t because you can’t leave your family behind.

Helpful People Are Sometimes Harmful

     It’s interesting when you tell people that you’re tired they always assume for some reason that you’re depressed. Think about it. When these helpful folks tell you just how depressed you are do a quick mental rundown of what you’re doing that week or even that day and see if it actually matches what they’re telling you. I’ve noticed that people who are unhappy with the way their own lives are going will tell you that you’re unhappy and you must be just as unhappy and miserable as they are.

     I was under a great deal of pressure at last week. I took inventory and realized that sure, I was unhappy with how my entire month had gone but instead of whining or even crying about it I manned up and did what I was supposed to do. What I had experienced was a wake up call and a temporary solution. In life we always have choices. We can either (A) accept them and do nothing or (B) Make a real effort to make changes so that the situation will improve.

     Depression happens only when you accept defeat and allow yourself to stop moving forward. To be depressed is to admit that you have run out of ideas. No amount of prayer or faith in God will allow you to rise above the pickle you’re in because in your mind there is no way out. I have seen people in the last month that are full of hopelessness and have accepted that where they are is where they must stay. In order to really make changes in our lives we must accept that all things that happen in our lives are only temporary. Nothing is written in stone. We have the ability to rise above and beyond what ever is happening in our lives.

     I simply ran out of money so I did what I had to do. I signed up for public assistance. Yep, I was on welfare for a couple of months not because I was lazy mind you, I had simply ran out of money and options. I knew that I had a  job waiting for me but I had to do something to ensure that I wouldn’t starve. I could have been depressed and cried out; “God! Why are you allowing me to do this?” Instead I sucked it up and did what I had to do to feed myself and my son.

     What that experience taught me was that I needed to be responsible. See, if I hadn’t run out of money I wouldn’t have learned how to take care of business. I have learned how to grocery shop, but I have never had to prepare myself for interviews or actually save every shred of paperwork that has my name on it.  I learned from welfare that while they say they will prepare you for a job well they’re lying. Had it not been for the job I knew I had I would have lost my mind. See, the welfare program was designed to keep you from seeking employment and that sucks away all your hope.

     I did learn that I you have to prepare for things. I start a new job on Wednesday and there’s a piece of paper that I need to have my employer fill out. The old me would have procrastinated until I started work and then I would have gone back to welfare and get the paper that I needed filled out. I see myself changing not to win my wife back mind you, but to be a more organized person. I had to get help for my utilities and you would not believe how much stuff you need. The old me would have waited until the very last moment and then gathered all the paperwork hoping that it was what I needed.

     I have noticed that in the last five months I have proved to myself that I am a new man. I am more organized, more aware of what I need to do and I’m becoming self-reliant which is what I really what I wanted to achieve. I relied so much on my ex-wife that I was scared to death to even make appointments for fear that I wasn’t going to be prepared. What happened was amazing. I became over prepared. I take inventory of my freezer before going to the grocery store, when I leave my house I always make sure my wallet is in my bag and if I don’t have my bag I am a basket case. If I get a late notice on a bill I make sure I call whatever utility is and make sure they know that a payment is forthcoming.

     Back to the original theme which was depression. I have been too stressed out to be depressed. A new job was looming on the horizon and I was scared that I was somehow going to fail even before I started. I was tired but not depressed. I have tried to move away from being my ex-wife’s friend not because I was angry at her or even hated her, I just wanted to experience life on my own. By not asking her for advice I had lost a huge support system. For the first time ever I was relying on me. I have never done that before so all these appointments and what not were a new experience and I did it alone. That made me feel as if I had somehow became a new man. Like Frank Sinatra said; “I did it my way.” If  I had somehow screwed up I couldn’t call my ex-wife and say this was all your fault your advice was horrible.

     I’m a single guy now and I’m not depressed. I’m too busy to be depressed. My ex-wife somehow thinks that because we aren’t together all I do is huddle under my blankets and hope that we get back together. I have too much going on to even think about us getting back together. I have an exciting new job that I am looking forward to starting and I’m still trying to figure out who I am and what it is I want. I am evolving as a new Dr Peanut and it’s important to change because I am a lot happier relying on myself. I no longer second guess myself which is an amazing feat. I know that at the end of the day I’ve made the right choices because I made them on my own without anyone’s help.