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I’ve had some weird encounters with hostile people over the years.

I’m not just talking about the arrogant online troll, who comments on every social media post correcting gramma, or misconstruing every word to argue a point the post was never actually making.

Sure, they exist.

The online world is packed with people whose mental health issues are enabled by anonymity, non-face-to-face interaction, and the ability harass without any real-world consequences.

Like the person who repeatedly calls me an “anti-vaxxer” for articles written supporting censored medical professionals, savvy politicians, discernment, and informed consent on COVID-19 related medical procedures.

Then there’s the odd fellow who likes to tear down others in order to make a name for himself.

This gentleman persistently harasses me with slurs, and accusations.

Rarely does he argue the point, instead of arguing the man.

Very rarely does he have a kind word to say, or an actual argument that isn’t tainted by ad hominem or confirmation bias.

On the best of days, I have little patience for intellectual pissing contests, or those described by Roger Scruton as ‘intellectual masturbaters.”

Yesterday, he picked the wrong day to peacock his self-righteous hubris on my Facebook page.

Apparently, encouraging people to look after their health because of unhealthy public health orders makes me an extremist.

In this man’s view, I’m no better than the Taliban.

There’s a thin line between just criticism and abusive dishonesty.

The confronting reality for Australians is that he’s probably not alone in this view.

There are plenty of Christians and Christian leaders encouraging unchristian policies that harm people in the name of “helping” them.

They’re so driven to deny Christ over culture that they’re happy to submit Christ to the culture.

COVID culture has given rise to mentally unwell neighbours, who are plugged into the propaganda matrix.

They have become the government’s eyes, ears and subsequent accuser.

It’s so twisted that “loving God and loving their neighbour” has come to mean throwing their neighbour under the bus.

That’s a long-winded way of saying, I get it.

On Friday, I visited my mother to drop off food cooked by two of my daughters.

All the advised precautions were adhered too.

I social distanced, wore a mask the entire time and stayed outside for the duration of my brief visit.

This didn’t stop my mother’s unmasked, late 50s, neighbour from the house next door bursting out of her front door to interrogate my mother and me.

The neighbour was a complete stranger. This didn’t stop her from pouncing on us as I was getting ready to leave.

Defending my mother forced me to stay longer than I’d intended.

From her small veranda this person demanded to know whether or not I had permission to visit, and if I lived in the area.

I asked her why.

She replied, “I’m protecting myself.”

I politely told her to mind her own business.

The interrogation continued, so I pointed out to her how what she was doing was what’s wrong with Australia today.

As politely – and as best I could manage through a cloth mask – I reminded her that the ANZACs didn’t die for what she was doing.

They didn’t die for a culture where people lived in constant fear, and where neighbour saw it as their civic duty to denounce neighbour.

She was smug, smiling and not swayed.

The viciousness obviously brought her some kind of twisted sense of euphoric hold on power.

Fed up, I told her: call the authorities, or go back inside, close the door and hide under the bed.

Guaranteed protection.

She then went inside got her phone and “began recording me” (quote unquote), goading me to keep on talking.

My mother’s neighbour then persisted on lecturing me about how what I was doing was illegal.

I argued that there was nothing illegal or wrong about loving my neighbour.

Not deterred, this woman continued to maintain that I was breaking public health orders.

I said those orders are creating a public health crisis.

Then I asked her, if she agreed that looking after my mother’s emotional and psychological well-being was an important part of healthcare?

To which she said, “still breaking the law.”

Frustrated, I told her to stop being a communist; a covid Nazi and reminded her of the “zero covid” status in our regional area. (a correct statement at the time).

My mother is in her late 60s. She has had major anxiety issues and has wrestled with depression off and on in life.

Lockdowns are not a healthy prescription for her.

Care packages are a small relief. Especially from her grandkids.

Not one bit of my reasoning swayed this next-door neighbour.

I then said to her that she was buying the ABC’s propaganda.

To which she laughed and said “oh, ah, I get it now. You’re one of those religious conspiracy theorists.”

She pointed her finger at me and repeated the words, “Religious conspiracy theorist. Religious conspiracy theorist.”

To her, I was a criminal. Like my internet hater, I am no better than the Taliban.

In other words, loving on my mum – caring about her overall well-being – made me the equivalent of a “domestic terrorist.”

My adherence to COVID-safe protocols didn’t matter, even when I pointed this compliance out.

The whole nasty and unnecessary conflict ended with me pushing back on her straw man accusations, telling her that the name calling proved she knew I was in the right.

With her still recording, I got in my car and left.

Some may rightly say that this neighbour was acting out because she’s been driven to live in fear.

I would agree, if it wasn’t for how premeditated her attack on me seemed to be.

It was clear to me that government sanctioned suspicion and hatred for neighbour empowered her smug false sense of self-importance.

Just as my internet hater peacocked his false sense of superiority later that same day, this neighbour tried to bully and intimidate my mother into submission.

I’m not writing in order to ridicule this poor deluded woman.

I’m writing in order to point out how situations like it are the consequence of reckless policy making by an out of control and dangerous bureaucratic elite.

The “we’re all in this together” crowd appear unconcerned with how their requests for neighbour to police neighbour cause paranoia, division and hatred.

Giving the public a blank cheque to denounce each other was always going to be a problem.

What’s mindboggling about it all, is how few politicians there are willing to acknowledge just how debilitating and problematic; how deleterious this power and permission is.

These kinds of permission are ripe for abuse.

They were always going to end up as a weapon in the hands of abusive people, more than they were a tool for genuinely concerned citizens.

To borrow from former atheist and victim of Communism, Richard Wurmbrand,

‘I will never forget my first encounter with a Russian prisoner, an engineer. I asked him if he believed in God. He lifted his eyes toward me and said, “I have no such military order to believe. If I have an order I will believe.”

Wurmbrand added,

‘He was a brainwashed tool in the hands of the Communists, ready to believe or not on an order. He could not think anymore on his own. This was a typical Russian after all these years of Communist domination!’ (Tortured For Christ, 1967. pp.26-27)

Ronald Reagan once said, ‘let our friends and those who may wish us ill take note, [we have an obligation to each and the world] never to let those who would destroy freedom dictate the future course of life on this planet.”

May it be so.

#JesusisVictor!


First published on Caldron Pool, 22nd August, 2021.

©Rod Lampard, 2021.

“You’re just like your father.” This was the fictional narrative of my formative years.

Instead of using my name when things got heated between us, my family would refer to me as my father.

Regardless of how well-intentioned, the shame was as real as the control it induced.

There was nothing I hated more. There was nothing I feared more than the idea that I might become him, or be like him.

Once I was legally able to, I added my step-father’s surname.

The rationale was as simple as it was naive. A name change would mean the end to the name calling. A different name, meant a different person.

I had manufactured a way to navigate the whip statements. A way around being shamed into submission. A way to neutralise psychological abuse.

A way to honour both my mother and my estranged father.

My late father had his moments. He was complex. A proud man who struggled with his past. He was a man who had opportunities to move beyond the abuse in his own childhood. Unfortunately, he chose a life of victimhood instead.

His failures were chilling and the effects of his flaws wide-reaching. His dysfunctional life had impacted mine.

Parental abuse had conditioned me to fail as a father.

I remember my first days as a new dad. They were days full of uncertainty and questions. A concoction of fear, self-doubt, joy, insecurity, and love.

Would my father’s failures become mine? How would I deal with the inevitable mistakes I was going to make? How can I not make the same mistakes that he’d made? What if I fail too?

Like the trauma from a Nazgul blade tormenting the Hobbit Frodo Baggins. If permitted, the past can hinder the present.

21 years later, self-hatred and self-doubt still creep in.

They’re after the leftovers. The scars from dysfunction.

Neil T. Anderson wrote in ‘The Bondage Breaker’,

‘Two favourite moves of the devil are temptation and accusation. He uses them to pin us down and defeat us…those who give in to his accusations end up being robbed of the freedom that God intends His people to enjoy.’

There’s a reason John’s Revelation refers to Satan as ‘the accuser…’ (Rev. 12:10).

Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome, chapter 8 begins with these words, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’

Skip to verse 15, Paul states, ‘For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

We are well equipped to succeed where others have failed.

By this standard we walk upright, as sons whose inherited darkness has been replaced with the mantle, children of light.

The truth, Jesus said, sets us free.

John 14:6 identifies truth as this Jesus – the objective Word of God made flesh.

In his autobiography, ‘Transformed, Remi Adeleke outlines the Navy Seal’s four pillars of tough-mindedness.

  1. Positive self-talk.
  2. Visualisation.
  3. Goal setting.
  4. Self-control.

Adeleke is a former Seal. He overcame the odds. He received no special treatment. He simply did the best with what he was given.

The Seal’s list is adaptable to fatherhood.

Speak life. Preach truth. Aim accordingly. Don’t quit.

Put your trust in God, your best foot forward, and let Him take care of the rest.

Remind yourself that what was, does not have to determine what will be.

The past does not have to define the future.

I no longer have the hyphenated name I adopted out of fear.

I am my father’s son; I am not my father’s sin.

The cycle of abuse stops with me.


I first published this on Dads 4 Kids. It’s republished here with permission.

I’ve been writing a weekly column for Dads 4 Kids for over a month now, and thought I’d make a formal announcement about it.


Like Caldron Pool, D4K is a good fit for where I’ve come from, to what I’m doing now.


I’m still writing for CP, and remain 100% committed to producing the kind of quality work the team provides the political and theological arena.


To put it simply, my work at D4K will help support my contributions to Caldron Pool.


Thank you all for your ongoing support, prayer, and encouragement.

LINKS:

CP: https://caldronpool.com/author/rodlampard/

D4K: https://dads4kids.org.au/author/rod-lampard/


 

There’s a big difference between politicians doing something, and politicians making it look like they’re doing something. What looks good for us, isn’t always what’s good for us. The image we are sold is can often be dissimilar to the product we end up with.

For instance, social distancing laws have created an image of police protecting politicians, instead of the police protecting the people. Look at how famously the police have broken their own social distancing rules while enforcing the will of the political class.

Another example is the sleight of hand when it comes to taxation, the important social welfare safety net and healthcare. Governments like to tell you that they’re providing for the people, when for the most part, all they’ve done is take from the people to provide for themselves.

The government takes money from one pocket, puts it in the other, and we all applaud them for it. This is after they’ve taken their cut for giving us the privilege of rights, freedoms, and access to services. If, and it’s sometimes a big “if”, they consider us eligible.

If I’m coming across as an extreme sceptic in the benevolence of government programs, it’s because I am, and for good reason.

I grew up in a government owned house, on a government housing estate. I come from an abusive, highly dysfunctional home, where my family never broke out beyond its dependency on government programs. My parents were decent enough people. My mother did the best she could with what she had. My father didn’t do a whole lot, but our house was always clean, and food was always on the table. While they seriously missed the boat when it comes to parenting skills, they were neither drug addicted nor negligent of their responsibilities as citizens. My parents were stuck in the welfare cycle, couldn’t get out of it, and in the end, gave in to the idea that they never would.

In 2015, not long after my father’s death, I learned he had a criminal record. The news wasn’t all that surprising. He was a proud man. Reason enough for why he never spoke of word it to anyone for over 40 years. He didn’t fear work or fear having to work. He’d convinced himself that his multiple run-ins with the law as a teenager in the 1960s, made him unemployable. The only job I remember him having was a four year stint in the army reserve during the mid-late 1980s.

My father may not have gone to prison, but the social system, and the broken family he came from put him in a psychological one. While partly of his own making, this psychological prison was enabled by politicians who benefited from keeping him locked down in the “benevolence” of the welfare state.

Though both my mother and father had worked off and on, neither of them ever held down a full time job. My mother worked once in the 1970’s, but as she tells it, my father held her back from continuing, because he was concerned about how much what she earned would impact his social security payment.

The system enabled, and funded my father’s dysfunctional way of life. (In some ways he was probably a victim of the unintended side-effects of Whitlam’s Welfare reforms.)

He was a die-hard Labor voter, and he opposed communism, even though he lived on welfare for the majority of his life. When, in later years I questioned Labor initiatives, and their policy platform, he always vehemently defended the hands that had led, housed, healed and fed him for decades.

It was murky subject matter. Still it taught me that Marxist justifications for the welfare state rarely, if ever raise people up. These justifications come undone, when welfare dependent citizens like my father, are paid in similar ways to an aristocrat. They enslave, rather than liberate. One person is chained to the state for their livelihood, while others are condemned to a life of servitude in order to provide for it.

Like an aristocrat, in order to provide for a particular standard of living, the wages of workers are garnished. The only social contractual obligation is loyalty to the political party who pays the most, and asks the least amount of questions.

Thus the government takes on the role of patron. The worker takes on the role of serf. The welfare recipient takes on the role of aristocrat. This benefits bureaucrats, politicians and political parties because through government dependency they can create voters dependent on them for everything. Through the generational welfare dependency cycle, government takes over the role of extended families, and church charity. By default the government becomes a god.

I’m not advocating against social welfare safety nets. I believe in hand-ups, not hand-outs. Work for the dole, TAFE, tax offsets like the family tax benefit, pensions, or a basic Medicare system all have reasonable justifications for their existence.

Any program proven to be helpful, as opposed to harmful, should be given an attentive eye, complete with the checks and balances of review, and reform, for the sake of empowering successful initiatives.

No true conservative fits the uncaring, heartless straw man created by greedy Marxists, whose own sense of entitlement rivals that of those they seek to tear down.

Compassion and good government demand a manageable, life affirming answer to the perilous, unsustainable bubble of the welfare state. It should remove itself from enabling the cycle of welfare dependency, with the aim of liberating the people they’ve made dependent on it. This is Magna Charta, where economics and civil liberties go hand in hand.

The popularity of Donald Trump is largely because he looks to empower people, not his political party. This is proven by the way in which his own party seems to always be playing catch-up, unsure of what to do with him. He challenges the status quo, and has been able to keep himself beyond the bipartisan, stagnated swamp of cozy “business-as-usual”, governmental control.

Trump understands that there are times when the government needs to get out of the way.

In contrast, Australian politicians seem clueless. Labor leader, Anthony Albanese wants to extend Scott Morrison’s Job keeper and Job Seeker COVID-19 lockdown compensation, way beyond the initial six months allocated for it.

This isn’t a policy that helps Australians. It’s a policy that benefits the federal Labor Party. What Albanese really means is that Labor plan to politicize any COVID exit, shifting the language, and purpose of Job Seeker/Keeper from “covid countermeasures compensation”, to a pay rise for people on welfare benefits, who don’t have a legitimate exemption.

In his first major public appearance in months, Anthony Albanese should have been insisting on the return of civil liberties. He should have been calling for a way out of the police state, instead of advocating the kind of welfare dependency that benefits the welfare state.

Scott Morrison doesn’t get off easy either. Add China’s chest beating to Leftist calls for COVID-19 countermeasures to be permanent, and the Prime Minister is facing a damaging political storm. If Scott Morrison thought that he could avoid having to make Trump-like decisions, he was wrong. How he answers China’s belligerence, protects Australian sovereignty, and how he restores civil liberties post COVID-19, will be the defining of his Prime Ministership. If he fails here, and Labor continue to remain tone deaf to the Australian public, Morrison may not see a second term as P.M.


First published on Caldron Pool, 13th May, 2020.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

31st May 2015_Rod Lampard

In spite of my mother’s disapproval, as kids, my father would chase us around while wearing a witch’s mask. He gave himself away by his laughter, but in utter fear, my young sister and I would hide all around the house. Once we started attending school, his use of the mask had withered down to a threat, used only as a tool to pull us into line.

My family was dysfunctional.

Whenever we visited other families who had kids, my sister and I were forced to sit and not make a sound. It was rare that we’d be allowed to play. It was understandable, the environments weren’t all that great and my mother knew it.

We were a family stuck on welfare, living in government housing, growing up in a government housing estate.

It’s evident to most that my father had some minor emotional and mental health issues he never could shake free from. He wasn’t always there, shutting himself off in a world of his own, dragging us as a family into it. We were never quite sure when or where we’d land.

At one time he considered himself to be a private detective, proudly displaying his suspect, distance-education, mail-to-order qualifications on the lounge room wall.

These sat alongside mug shots and fingerprinted profiles of my sister and me, there “for our own protection.”

To our chagrin, he became the local neighbourhood watch co-ordinator, setting us all at odds with the demographic of every street other than our own.Sometime later he joined the Royal Australian Army Reserve. By this time my parent’s relationship had hit the rocks.

My father soon met and then married another woman, with whom he later had three amazing children. My parents divorced and a whole new dance with dysfunction began. My father and stepmother would have continual problems within their relationship, themselves divorcing sooner than some had predicted they would.

After living with my dad for a few years, our relationship became more and more strained. This ended abruptly, with me moving back to live with my mother. She arrived at his house to find my clothes in bags on the lawn. He choose to keep the CD stereo, he’d given me a year earlier.

A couple of years later, my father and step-mother’s infant son died. The day this happened my father rang my mother and we went over. Unable to revive the little man, my little brother was pronounced dead by the paramedics. His death later determined to have been caused by SIDs.

Before the ambulance took him away, my father wanted photos taken of us with him. This was hard to do, but the photos were taken anyway.

Situations like this one had a major impact on me. Other events such as link } or being dragged into court  before a magistrate, for eating food from the fridge, after my father accused me of stealing. Although his relatives tell me, he loved us. None of his actions prove this and no manner of excuse is factually adequate enough to dismiss or justify my fathers abuse or his absence.

We’ve shared a rough road.

In March of 2015, after an eight-hour road trip,  I saw my father for the first time in eight years. Having had extended my hand of friendship to him for the past ten, we had put in place boundaries and were on relatively good terms.

But, my father was dying. He had been sick for some time and finding the right time to make the eight-hour trip was always difficult.

After our visit, we were told that he was the best he’d been in two weeks. He was vibrant, talkative and pleased to see us. God’s quiet provision in this difficult situation was evident. When our meeting ended I prayed with him and said our goodbyes.

He’d hoped that he would have had more time, but five days later he passed away.

Over the years, it’s been difficult to process all that took place. It’s been even harder working out the right way to communicate it, without bulldozing people over with too much information, all at once. I admit I stumble over this more often than not.

Any forgiveness towards my father is made more complicated by the ongoing struggle to navigate and reconcile the consequences left in the wake of his decisions. He was unapologetic and felt entitled to forgiveness, without any real attempt to take responsibility for his decisions.

Even now, without him and more so because of the absence of apology, we wrestle because of the lack of his repentance. My extended family still struggles to relate to one another. In many cases the cycle of abuse continues and therefore, so does the need for tough boundaries.

I believe, however, that through Jesus Christ and His example of forgiveness we are enabled to forgive. Enabled to forgive the absence of apology. Enabled to grasp the fact that we are firmly held by grace above the abyss, for

‘Grace is that which holds humanity over the abyss of nothingness.’ (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) [i]

Only through grace can the ‘creative power of forgiveness’ [ii] breathe, reconstruct, transform and free us.

In line with what Reinhold Niebuhr said, Christian forgiveness, like Christian prayer, is not stoic detachment.[iii] The past is far from forgotten, but I am able to forgive and as a result move forward in that forgiveness.

The evidence of God’s presence and guidance in this situation is real.

His forgiveness became mine as I was lead to befriend and establish boundaries with my father ten years ago. That same forgiveness enabled me to meet with my dying father at the right time, crack a joke, have his grandkids talk to him about school, give him a hug, pray with him, and say my goodbye.

‘For you, the Lord my God lighten my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.’
– (Psalm 18:28-30, ESV)
 ‘For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness.
– – (2 Samuel 22:29, ESV)

Set your eyes towards Christ. Inhaled grace ignites.


References:

[i] Bonhoeffer, D. Creation & Fall, DBW Vol.3

[ii] Bloesch, D. 2006 Essentials of Evangelical theology Hendrickson Publishers 2006:62

[ii] Niebuhr, R. 1945, Discerning the Signs of The Times

At the age of 13, I approached my father, showed him the latest batch of bruises and was promptly told that I had a place to stay.

Normality appeared to be resuming itself. The fear in me still existed even if my surroundings had changed. The separation of my parents twelve months ago had left me dangling. Confused. Frustrated.

A king piece in chess, with three pawns.

A king piece in chess, with three pawns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new accommodation was a white residential house, one that had been temporarily used by the town’s sole operating funeral home. The old house had a redesigned interior with a reasonable entrance which had been added on later. The kitchen was another story. It was deteriorated, the bathroom in serious need of repair and the garage still held remnants of a large cooler. There was also a curious smell that was difficult to erase.

My unemployed, usually welfare dependent father had signed on to the extravagant idea presented to him by his new father-in-law, that  in exchange for almost zero rent,  my father could renovate the place.

My bedroom had once held mourners who would come to view the departed. The coffins had long since been removed although an old trolley remained. In retrospect, it is likely that the use of the room was a softer version told to me in order to put to rest any concerns I had about the living arrangement.

Not long after my move to live with my dad. My stepmother gave birth.

The months that followed continued on their merry way, until one evening my dad pulled me aside and gave me a bulky tape recorder. Puzzled by the gift, I enquired as to what it was for. He told me that I was to attend a pre-Christmas gathering. There my stepmother’s family would all be present. I was to accompany her to her parent’s house, most of them strangers, and record everything that might be said regarding my dad[1].

I knew from the deep tone of my father’s that pleading not to, wouldn’t remove the terror attached to the task assigned to me:

“I need you to do this for me son, there is no one else I can trust”

Although I objected I went along, all the while trying to work out on how to carry out my mission or better yet, avoid completing it.

Not far from my destination I had concluded:

“If I stay in the car and don’t go into the house, I wouldn’t have to carry out my father’s wishes”.

I had reasoned that I would passively defy my father’s maligned request. So I sat in the car for hours, ignoring pleas from my stepmother to join the pre-Christmas family gathering.

When the evening was about to close and night-time was well underway I had held the line. As I moved closer to the freedom of the hour when this could all be over, I was scared, but felt that the brilliance of my plan would end in a win, win. Feeling a sense of achievement in his resolve, I relaxed.

This was a tactical error because it loosened the tension of the status quo. Something I had successfully maintained for over four hours.

My plan fell to pieces. My step-mom and her brothers approached me. With matriarch in tow they cross examined me and my reasons for not coming inside.

Hours of passive resistance were futile. I confessed to the interrogators that I was sent to record every conversation. Showed them the recording device I had concealed under the seat and told them of my win-win plan, telling them that I had hoped to avoid using it by staying in the car.

Upon this revelation my interrogators withdrew. I was left alone.

Their response was calculated and swift. One of my stepmother’s brothers had convened the family, a decision had been made.

I was to be taken back to my father. I was to tell him that his wife and new-born daughter were leaving him and would not return.

Like a young pawn before kings, my course was chosen for me. Two unfair errands had now transformed into one dark herald. I was trapped. Reduced to nothing more than a expendable messenger boy.

I arrived, was dropped off, then farewelled.

Turning towards the door I saw no lights.

My new “home”, the old funeral parlour was bleak, dark and empty.

I walked in through the unlocked sliding door. The whole house was dark.

Once inside I saw nothing but darkness.

Navigating the furniture, I eased forward. Giving each step serious consideration I moved through the old funeral home looking and calling for my dad.

No answer.

There was nothing but silence and that inescapable curious old funeral home smell fused together with remnants of oils used to cover over it.

At every light switch the fear grew and so did the volume of my voice.

I uttered the words:

“DAD?”

adding

“where are you?”

The darkness was no friend. The surreal situation scared the thirteen year old. Trembling, I fought off images of finding my dad’s dead body, images only made more real by the weird mission my father had sent me on.

Leaving the bathroom to inspect last, I made a cautious approach to every light switch.

The house made no noises. I checked the bathroom last.

Finally, I approached the closed bathroom door and opened it. Through the darkness I saw…nothing.

I was terrified. The only thing allowing movement in my body was the adrenaline that pumped with every thumping beat of my heart.

Turning towards the area which was once a lounge room, I let out tears and began to scream:

“DAD?”

“DAD, where are you? Stop hiding you’re scaring me”

Only then did my father appear in the doorway. He was hiding under a double bed.

“Where’s my wife, did you record anything?”

I explained that I didn’t record anything because I couldn’t. He didn’t go inside the entire evening.

I then sat down and with the very best a thirteen year old could muster, I told my dad that my stepmother and new born half-sister were leaving them; and that she would calling him soon to tell him why.

[1] Whether my father was invited to attend or whether he chose not to attend, is beyond this retelling and remains unknown to this day.

(This is a true recount of my own personal experience).

If you find yourself in the midst of despair hold fast to this:

‘…Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ (2 Cor.3:28)
‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand…I will make a way in the wilderness for you’ (Is.41:10 & 17-20)
©RL2013