Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. How is everyone doing? I pray that this blog finds you all in good health and spirits. I am on extended home time which is a blessing on one hand and not on the other. It is a blessing because I get to spend more time with my family which is always a blessing and I also have been able to get more things done. On the other hand, a truck driver only makes money when the wheels are turning. The reason I am on extended home time is because rather then put my truck in the shop while on the road, I waited till I was on home time. The idea was so that the truck would be worked on while I was home and would not have me shutdown when I am trying to make money. A great idea that didn't work out so well. I was supposed to be home 6 days but my truck is still not fixed and I have been home 9 days. My dispatcher is going to have me pick up another truck on Monday.
My wife and I have gotten our letter from DHS in regards to the assessment they did on us. We are now free and clear and DHS has no recommendations for us. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns for my family. This isn't totally over with though. I had a long talk (2 hours) with DHS on Monday and got a lot of answers on how Child Protection Services (run by DHS in Oklahoma) works and what the laws are in Oklahoma. My concern is that DHS is wasting lots of time on reports that really doesn't need to be looked into and also by false reports made by people who just want to use the government to get at others they are mad at. I was pleased to find out that it is illegal to file a false CPS report in Oklahoma and such reports are looked into. I am disappointed to find out that DHS does waste a lot of time looking into reports that really don't need to be looked into. The reason this is a problem is because while they are working on the report made against us, a child is really being abused or neglected in another family. The child that really needs Intervention doesn't get it because time and resources are being wasted on a family where their is no problem. We need to use our resources wisely. The way this can be done is by having someone screen through the reports and see if there is any reason to check it out or if it should just be discarded.
The other thing that makes it to where this isn't totally over is a new law that was passed this year. The law says that if a family gets reported to DHS three times with different complaints then the third report will be an investigation. The DHS worker tried to assure me that this will not happen to us because the reports has to be different and by different people. I explained to her that there are people who are very much against our lifestyle and our boldness that we do everything in the name of God. The last person added two lies to the report and chances are someone else is going to report us and add different lies to the report. Because of this law, my wife and I will be getting a prepaid lawyer to help us if someone does report us to DHS. This way so once we are cleared we can fight to get the reports off of our record since the reports are false. We can also have the lawyer make sure that DHS is indeed going after the people who are falsely reporting us.
My next step in this is to contact my local elected officials to have some laws changed so that DHS is run more effectively and can concentrate on children who really need help. I may be starting up some petitions and I will publicize what my family went through in hopes to gain support in changing some laws.
Lets face it. It is impossible to end child abuse. There are children who will die from abuse by the very people who should be protecting them. I hate to think that such terrible things happen but we must face facts. Even before I became a parent I have always said that children is our most valuable and precious resource. I wish we could take every child out of every abusive home. You can pass a law that every single parent must go through an assessment every month and children will still die from being abused by parents. Not only would children continue to be abused but you also take away peoples rights just because they are parents. The best way to help as many children as physically possible is to spend our time and resources on families where the possibility of abuse is very likely. This can be done and Oklahoma should be doing it.
I will end this for now but will be writing more later on this subject. Take care and God Bless.
The Oklahoma Tomcat
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. How is everyone doing? I pray that this blog finds everyone in good health and spirits. Recently, our family has been attacked. Someone has reported us to DHS and reported that we have neglected our children. In the report they said that we had no electricity, Micah got a heat rash over the summer, and that he was under weight. Now if the report ended there, I would have not looked at the report as an attack, but as a concerned person who is ignorant. Ignorant because non of there things is a sign of child abuse. But I am a strong believer in protecting children and I do think that anyone who is concerned about a child being abused should report it. Even if your suspicions are based on ignorance. But this person didn't stop there. They also reported that our floor is caving in and that we had no running water. Now they lied on the report which tells me that they are not concerned for the welfare of the children. They are attacking our family. The other things that interested me is that even with the two added lies in the report, it still didn't justify an investigation. Nothing in that report was illegal or indicates child abuse. Therefore, DHS should have thrown out the report. Now a good neighbor who is concerned for our children would have gone up to us and seen if there was anything they could do to help. A good neighbor finds ways to help out the needy instead of reporting them to the government. Child Protection Services (in Oklahoma, DHS) is to used primarily to stop deliberate child abuse and to help families that can't be helped by individuals (drug addictions, ect). If a child is loosing weight then the problem may be that the family needs help with food. Don't call the government, find out if the family needs food and help.
For those who don't know my family, let me start out by explaining the truthful part of this report. We are non-electric by choice. My wife grew up around the Amish and has seen the simple life they live. She loved it and compared to the hectic life of society, it does make sense. Because of their lifestyle, the children are more active and play more with one another, family spends more time together, the days are more productive, and more importantly, more time is spent with God. We did look into the law and a house with children doesn't have to have electricity. I already knew this because Oklahoma does have Amish and there are also people who live in areas that have no electric service at all. Some will say that the Amish get away with having electric cause of their religious belief. The truth is, if you are doing something that is harmful to a child, you can't use religion to justify it. Just ask many people who have been part of cults and used religion to justify having sex with a minor. Therefor, even the government knows that having no electricity isn't a safety hazard to children. The other thing in the report was that Micah had a heat rash. Yes he did. The person who wrote this report apparently never played outside in the summer. My sisters and I have had heat rash growing up. I still get a heat rash in the summer. The last time I checked, heat rash happens to children even if they are very well taken care of. This is especially true if the children play outside in the summer. Yes, you do have to take care of a heat rash and there are things you do to help get rid of it. But heat rash isn't a sign of child abuse. Micah loosing weight. Wow! If this is a sign of child abuse then I better turn my mother in. Lots of people on my father's side of the family had better be turned in. My sisters and I have been under weight throughout out childhood. I had trouble getting into the Navy because I was underweight. My little sister is real tiny. Micah is tiny. Micah has another thing that contributes to his small build though. He is Autistic and there are things that will cause him not to eat. But we do have him checked out and he is very healthy. But being underweight isn't child abuse. The floor caving in and no running water are both false. But even if these were true, they are not a sign of child abuse. If the person who reported us was truly concerned for the children they would not have put these two things in the report.
My wife and I are very open about our lifestyle. Everything we do is in the name of God and we always give Him the glory. We talk to other about our lifestyle and we explain why we do it. Our reason? Because we know that our faith doesn't stop at the house door or the church door. Our whole life is God's and we can not hide that. Now we do not tell everyone to live exactly like we do. We don't tell people to pull the plug on electricity, to buy used things, or to cook from scratch. What we do promote is for people to live within their mean, to follow the Holy Spirit, and most of all ... Don't hide your faith. Of course, this stirs up Satan, who does want Christians to be silenced.
After DHS came to the house, we made it public and some people told us that we have brought this on ourselves by being open about our lifestyle. But did we bring this on our self? Should we hide our lifestyle because we are living contrary to the world and living according to the way the Holy Spirit tells us? Can anyone show me were it says this in the Bible? I see in many passages in the Bible where it says that EVERYTHING you do is to be done in the name of God. So if the Holy Spirit tells you to drive in a horse and buggy, then not only should you do it, but it should be done in the name of God. If the Holy Spirit tells you that you should have a certain job then not only should you have it, but you must do it in the name of God. So if your whole lifestyle is circled around God then your whole lifestyle should be done in the name of God. God also tells us that we should include God in everything we do. Nothing we do should be without God. It is when we do things of our own power that we get ourselves into trouble. You should never exclude God from anything and you should give God the glory in everything. This means that you should be public about everything you do. Will this stir Satan? Will Satan use the world to attack you? Yes, but what does God say about this? Are we to be afraid? Did God give us fear? Did God give us the Holy Spirit and does the Holy Spirit give us boldness. Is God stronger then Satan? Is God on your side? If God is for you, then who can be against you? These are things that every Christian should look up in the Bible and then believe it. If you fear Satan more then God then you are saying that Satan is more powerful then God.
Many Christians complain about God being taken out of the schools, about schools teaching against the Bible (Human evolution, Big Bang Theory, sex), about government making laws that go against the Bible, and society going away from God's Word. You know what though, lots of this is Christians fault. Satan has done a very good job at silencing Christians. This isn't a new technique for Satan. He has used it many times throughout history but it does seem to be working very well now. You know that scary part? It is going to be worse. There will come a day when all Christians are going to be attacked. Satan will take huge steps to silence Christians. How will you act?
I rejoice in this attack. I know it was attack because the person who reported us lied. If the person was concerned they would not have felt it necessary to lie on the report and they would have first seen if there was anything they could do to personally help. Everyone who personally knows my family knows that our children are very healthy and taken care of. They know that we take our responsibility as parents serious because the responsibility comes from God. We are complemented by many for how are children are turning out. Another reason I know it was an attack is because DHS investigated even though there was no grounds for an investigation. I know some will say that DHS has to investigate every case. I disagree. What if I reported that the Smith family's children are over weight, hardly ever play outside, both parents work 11 hours a day and the kids are watched more by a baby sitter then by the parents. Would DHS investigate? If this is so then that means every family would be investigated. I rejoice in this attack because I know that our family is following God and now Satan is mad. Some people think that if bad things happen then that means you are going against God's Word. This isn't always true. Yes, we can cause problems for going against God's word and most are doing this. Being in debt, not working as you would for God, cheating on your spouse, having sex before marriage, and much more will cause problems. But Jesus, the disciples, and Paul didn't go against the Word of God. Truth is, if you bold in the Holy Spirit, you will be attacked and bad things will happen. The other reason I rejoice in this attack is because God has allowed it to happen. God has the power to stop the attack but He knows that we will trust Him and do His Will. It is written that God will not allow anything to come up on us that we can't handle with Him. The key words there is "with Him." We do have to make sure we have God with us and include Him in this trial. We have to have faith that God will stand for us and see us through. We also have to know that whatever happens, God will use it for good.
Well, I will end this for now. I will blog more about this later. Take care and God Bless.
The Oklahoma Tomcat
Monday, September 12, 2011
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. How is everyone doing? I pray that this blog finds everyone in good health and spirits. Things have been going kinda rough out here. My student has not been following highway signs. He will end up in the wrong lane, taking wrong exits, missing exits, and taking wrong turns. I held him back from moving on in his training (pretty much failing him) and gave him lots of lectures. I even let him make the mistakes hoping that he will see that he must follow the signs. None of it worked. He just kept making excuses and telling me that he can pay attention to the signs. Well, this morning he continued to miss every exit and even changed lanes into an exit only lane when we are not supposed to exit. A couple of times he made last minute emergency lane changes to avoid exiting the highway. I was done. I took the steps needed to turn him over to safety for evaluation. After we got to our destination I told him the mistakes he made because he wasn't paying attention to signs. Again, he made excuses. I told him that he has been doing this for over a week now. I then told him that I will be taking him to the terminal and safety will evaluate him and determine where he goes from here. Then he started blaming me. He asked how many students have I turned back to safety. I told him that in the 8 years I have been training, he is the only one. He then drew the race card. He said that is probably because he is black. It is a good thing that I am well prepared for people who use the race card. I told him that it is interesting that he thinks that I can train truck drivers for 8 years and that he would be my first black student. It is also interesting that he thinks that I could work in the safety office and never have a black truck driver come into the office. I have found that people who pull the race card usually don't think before they speak. They act on emotion. I gave him a good speech about what he just insinuated and then told him that what he just said tells me that my training him is over with because he thinks I am racist and therefor he will never listen to me. But then I felt a little tug. Actually, it was a push. I was being pushed into giving him a test. A test to let him prove he can follow signs. The push was by the Holy Spirit. But why? Why would the Holy Spirit want me to even consider giving this student a second chance? I know he has not been following signs. I had my student pick up the map and route us to our drop yard in Kansas City, MO. I had him write down the route. I told him that I will give him one more chance to prove he can follow signs. He routed himself and he will do all the driving. I will not say a word. If he failed then there is no excuse we will head to Omaha, NE. He agreed and was excited. He double checked his route, triple checked. It was a real simple route. I-29 South, I-435 West, exit 54 and go east on Parvin Rd, then South on Kentucky. He gets going and all is going good so far. He makes it to I-435 without any problems. He then comes up on exit 54 and the exit sign says that the first road is 48th street and the second road is Parvin road. He comes up on the first road and stops. A sign in front of him says "No trucks east on 48th street." He turns on his blinker to turn east ... then makes the turn. I think to myself 'he actually missed that sign and is going to mess up.' He then comes to a red light and across the road there is a sign that says "No trucks." The light turned green and he continued east on 48th street. I waited until he got to the sign and I told him to stop. I pointed the sign to him. He tried to tell me that he saw the sign and was about to stop. I then had him turn around and we went to the other sign. We pulled over and I pointed it to him. He was silent. I then got us someplace safe to park and I reminded him of our agreement earlier. I told him that he has no excuse for missing the first sign and he should not have waited til we got up to the sign to stop. I believe he didn't even see the second sign and would have gone on past the sign. He didn't say a word and I actually saw his eyes water. I knew that he finally saw that he was missing the signs. I then had him continue taking us to the drop yard. Once at the yard I felt another push by the Holy Spirit. I saw that the Holy Spirit helped me get through to my student. He knew that my student was going to mess up real bad and knew that it would open my students eyes. The problem before was that my students eyes were not open to see his mistake. Now that my student's eyes were open, he now may learn and pay attention. Now the Holy Spirit was asking me to continue training the student. So I lectured to the student some more making sure that he saw what I have been getting onto him all this time. That he wasn't paying attention to signs and that it was something he had to be aware of and that he had to start paying attention. I can't teach someone how to pay attention. He also had to realize that I have been doing this for a long time. I am not knew at training and I have a very good record when it comes to students leaving my truck. Then I asked him if he wants to learn to drive professionally. He said yes. I told him he has to listen. He said he will. I let him know that I will continue to train him.
When we are given a gift we do have to remember who is ultimately in charge. I was ready to give up on this student. Especially when he played the race card. That is something people have to think about. If you play the race card, it will not always give you the results you want. Someone like me looks at it as you are not going to cooperate anyway cause you think I am racist. But in this case, my boss (God) told me not to give up on the student. God knew that if I give him a test where the student was going to make all the calls, the student would mess up and see that he has no one else to blame. Especially when I went back and showed him the signs he passed. God does know what best to do. God knows everything that will happen and if we follow Him then everything will work out. I am so glad that I followed the Holy Spirit because down deep inside. I never want to turn a student into safety.
Take care and God Bless.
The Oklahoma Tomcat
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. How is everyone doing? I pray that everyone find this blog in good health and spirits. I am now in York, PA waiting on a load. I picked up a new student on Friday in Allentown, PA. I am hoping that I get some real good runs in before I go home on the 13th. I feel that I will. Werner has put me on a Harley Davidson account and it looks like all of the runs are time sensitive and long.
I have been approached many time about God condoning slavery. In the old mosaic laws God lays out rules concerning the treatment of slaves and yet, no where in the Bible does it outright forbid slavery. Does this mean that God condoned slavery?
First of all we need to look at the different types of slavery. One type is voluntary or status slavery. There are people who put themselves into slavery so that there needs are taken care of. This was deliberately done in the old testament and today it is still done without people even realizing that they are doing it. If you depend solely on a person or an organization to meet all of your needs (unless it is family member) then you are a slave. Lots of people are slaves to the government or employer. This type of slavery was not condoned by God but God did set guide lines for those that wanted to practice this anyway.
Another form of slavery was if one got into debt and couldn't pay it off. God is against people going into debt and against those that forces a person to become a slave. So, both the person in debt and the slave owner is breaking Gods law here. Throughout the Bible God talks about love and forgiveness. We are supposed to love one another and forgive them. But we are also not supposed to get ourselves into any situation that causes us to be a slave to another man. It also isn't loving to borrow anything when we can't pay it back. If we don't have the money to buy something then we are not supposed to get it unless it is given to us.
Another form of slavery is wrong wrong wrong. It is wrong to enslave anyone against there will and the Bible does say it in Exodus 21:16 and in 1 Timothy 8-10. Look at where people who enslave others are placed with in 1 Timothy. Surely those that criticize the Bible must have seen that.
In any case, God never condoned slavery of any type. Not even people putting themselves into slavery to have there needs met. God doesn't want any person to be ruled by another person. God is so much against this that He didn't even want His people to be ruled by a King or a human government (1 Samuel 8). God knows that no human can be a good ruler or master over another human. Throughout the Bible it talks about love. Is it loving to own another person? When you look up the definition of Love in the Bible, does it go along with slavery? No. So why did God allow for some forms of slavery when He didn't condone it? Well, that goes along with why divorce is in the Mosaic Law when God was against divorce (Matt 19: 3-9). God set these rules because of our hard hearts. He worked with us just as He did with having a king. He said that if you want to be a slave and trust your needs to be met by another human, then go ahead but here are the rules I want you to follow. If you want to have a slave that is willing to be a slave then go ahead, but follow these rules.
Today, we do still have slavery. Both involuntary and voluntary. When people are made slaves against there will, that is unacceptable in every way and should never be condoned. God never has condoned this as I have explained above. Today people also still put themselves into slavery. If you are in debt, you are a slave to your creditor. I have seen this form of slavery destroy families. Most divorces occur because of money issues. I have seen children neglected because both parents have to work long hours. I have seen couples forget how blessed they are to have one another because they are both working long hours and never get to enjoy each other. And where is all the money going? To pay off creditors. You are working for your creditors. You are a slave. If you depend on the government to meet all your needs then you are a slave. You have to report everything to the federal government and you have to meet certain requirement set by the government. If the federal government no longer can afford you then where do you go? Also, if the federal government changes it's policy or adds a new rule then you have no choice but to comply. You are at the mercy of the government.
God doesn't like any of these types of slavery. But something to remember is that God isn't out to change society. That isn't what God is after at all. God also isn't out to force anyone to do anything. Many people thing that God is out to change things from the outside in. Actually, God wants to change things from the inside out. He wants to start with you. As you open your eyes and see just how much God loves you and how much He has done for you then you will change. Your love for others will grow and it will start to reflect. Now, instead of having a person who owes you money be your slave, you will forgive them. If someone says they will be your slave if you will meet there needs you will help them without them owing you a thing. God's love in you flows to others and they see it. It grows in them and they start showing God's love and acting on it. Then it flows from them to others and so on. See, it isn't about what others do but what you do. Yes, God does work with our hard hearts, but he wants us to act on His love so that we can show a dark world just how much a candle can shine with His Spirit in us. Take care and God Bless.
The Oklahoma Tomcat
Sunday, September 4, 2011
10) You know people by their avatar and when they change it you say, "Oh look a new follower."
09) Your family is well aware that anything they say can and will be used by you on twitter.
08) You're at the mall and you find the most amazing pair of shoes, what's the first thing out of your mouth? "I need to tweet this."
07) You get your news from trending topics, and you rest assured that no one famous has died today, or else it would be trending.
06) You meet a cool new person and love their awesome bio but then you look at their numbers: Following 900 Followers 20 you really should know better but you can't help it you judge them.
05) You're moping around confused, and your family automatically knows, twitter must be down it's the fail whale's fault.
04) Your family's waiting to say grace while you're taking a picture of your dinner plate they know where that picture's going.
03) You raise your arms and cheer in a loud voice, "Woohoo!" You notice your family staring and you explain yourself, "I just got retweeted 5 times!"
02) Your F5 refresh button is faded, that's right, worn out!
01) You have a Twitter fail whale 3D sculpture in your front yard.