Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hit The Delete Button

 So much to say! No need to repeat my complete health story, just enough to say that I believe the report of the Doctor! That’s right the Doctor. No secret that over the past several months I have had many attacks on my body and brain. The latest round of strokes and small seizures since then,  had me convinced that I would never be productive again. I have been told that I have blood disorders, Dementia, learning disabilities, and on and on. They were real. I felt them in my body, and the CT Scans, MRI’s, and other tests confirmed everything that I was told and experiencing. I was even declared “disabled” by the state.

The last blow came when I was seen by a Neuropsychologist and given some basic testing a few weeks ago. I talked with her and told her that I wanted to be productive again. She asked me how my two last jobs worked out, knowing that I lost them because of my inability to produce. My answered was “I failed”. She asked me if I wanted to fail again and obviously I said no. From the preliminary testing she told me that I should never work again. It was unfair to any employer given all my issues.

What she didn’t know was that I had been interviewing for a position for the past six months and I was about to have my sixth and final interview with the VP of the company, who would be flying in the next week to meet with me. She wanted to do a series of tests to determine the level of my cognitive ability, pretty much confirming that I did in fact have Dementia.

So the next day I visited Pastor Phil for prayer. He asked me what I wanted. I told him I just didn’t want to struggle anymore.  If I was to retire and be disabled, then I did not want to struggle financially. If I worked, I did not want to struggle to do my job. And then out of nowhere, I shared with him and my wife that I wanted to be a worshipper again. You see since having my heart attack and bypass surgery in 2007, my worship life all but disappeared. I made dumb decisions and just got “sicker”.

The next words out of my mouth was that I feared what others would think if I pursued that again. Through some more digging, I realize that it was God himself that was calling me back to worship. That’s what I was created for. Pastor Phil then made an analogy that made sense to me as a business person. If I wanted to make a business deal with “Donald Trump”, that it would be pretty much impossible to gain his attention and make the deal. But if “Donald Trump” wanted to make a deal with little ole’ me, nothing could stop him from reaching out to me and making the deal.

BAM!  It wasn’t just me that desired to get back to worship; it was God who was calling me back to worship. So who could stop HIM???  So right there the fear was exposed and deleted from my mind. We went on to discuss that I needed to “take capture” every other fear about my health and delete it from my mind. We prayed and later the next day I had a group of people pray for me. They prayed that I would have the “mind” of Christ, where my brain fell short.

To make a long story short, I interviewed the next day with the VP and was offered the job on the spot. But I still had the extended testing scheduled the following week, so I went thru with it. Yesterday my wife and I sat with the Doctor as she went over the results from the week. Her words were that she never usually had good news to give but this was different. NO DEMENTIA! In fact I tested above or exceeded in almost all areas and there was no reason to “fear” starting this job. This is the very same Doctor that two weeks earlier told me that I should never work again! So I believe the report of the Doctor because it lines up with Gods plan.


So what were you created to do? We have been looking at it backwards. The scripture “nothing can separate us from the love of God” has a whole new meaning to me now. Quit looking at what is stopping you from getting to what He wants in your life, and take capture of that thought. Then hit the “delete button”. You see, nothing can stop God from getting to you, and fulfilling His plan in your life. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Here I Am, Now Provide

So even this is a new record for me. 3 AM! AS I lay wide awake in bed wondering why I cannot sleep and feel so wide awake I was reminded of a story where a young boy would hear someone calling his name in the middle of the night, night after night. His mentor recognized what was going on and told him that the next time it happens say "here am I". So I did that and the words "I will provide" came to me.

For the past few years there have been two songs that go thru my head and I listen to in my car repeatedly when I am all alone. The first song is "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas. That has been my favorite all time song as long as I can remember. The message is "carry on my wayward son, there'll be peace when you get done, lay your weary head to rest, don't you cry no more". The other song is "Bring The Rain" by MercyMe. It starts out " I can count a million times, people asking me how I can praise You, with all that I've been thru. The question just amazes me, can circumstances possibly change who I forever am in you."

So what do they have to do with "providing"? There have been two distinct times in my life. Those times when I have ran "to God" and those times when I have ran "from God". As I get older the times running "to God" become more of the standard. We all do both! It doesn't matter who you are, you can't fool yourself into thinking that you are always in God's perfect will, or that you have never called out to God for help in times of distress. Somehow God always provides.

A few years back when I turned my back on God, my wife, and my family, the first song "Carry On My Wayward Son" was on repeat in my car CD player. You see as a young boy I too once said "here am I" to God. He never said that his love was conditional. He loves us know matter what we do. It was His love that kept me from going deeper in trouble that I did on my own. And it was His love that kept assuring me that he had peace for my weary soul, and when I was tired of running from Him, that he would give me peace and rest to restore my soul. My wife prayed everyday, all day, for me even when I would not talk to her. Finally when she worried and fought for me all that she could, she just gave her grieving over to God and he provided a way for me to see the escape route he had already planned for me, and he provided the love in her heart to take me back.

Over the past several years it has been no secret that my I have struggled with multiple health issues from heart attacks, bypass surgery, colon surgery, strokes, more brain issues, you name it. I've been told how to eat better by almost everyone including that I should stop drinking soda, stop eating salt foods, stop eating desserts, and on and on. All of which I never did on the first place. I'm a water drinker who doesn't like sweet stuff anyhow. Everybody has had some advice for me even though the Doctors kept telling me it was simply genetic, and I happen to be the lucky recipient of all of the bad ones. I think of Job and how all of his friends told him that God must be mad at him for doing something wrong and that's why he suffered so much tragedy in his life. When all along God was the very one who was proving to the devil that Job would love Him and praise Him no matter what. Because that's just who Job was.

The song "Bring The Rain" goes on to say "maybe since was life has changed, long before these rainy days, it's never really ever crossed my mind. To turn my back on you oh Lord, my only shelter from the storm, but instead I draw closer thru this time." Now I haven't had accusers like Job in my life, but I have had Doctors tell me that I should never work again because it would be unfair to the employer. I have people tell me that they don't know how I can ever work because they see me when my body goes under attack, and what if that happens at work. This week I got some great counseling from a pastor who said "so what". So what if I try and it doesn't work out. At least I tried and I am no worse off than I already am. Then he showed me in the Bible how I don't have to worry about whether "I, me, myself" can do it. God will "provide". There's that word again. Provide!

No matter what the circumstance, being able to do the job, or not, God will provide. I think of Abraham and his son Isaac, and how God tested Abraham by sending him to the altar with no lamb to sacrifice. Abraham was prepared to sacrifice no matter what the price. Even if it meant his own son Isaac. Then what seemed like at the last minute, but really in God's plan all the time, a ram showed up for Abraham to sacrifice.   Abraham kept telling Isaac that God was going to provide the sacrifice all along. Did Abraham really know all along that God would do so, probably not. But his faith that God would provide was all that God was looking for.  From this test, God made Abraham the father of many nations.

So back to me right now. Do I know that God will provide good health, a sound mind, and whatever it takes to go back to work? I have no clue. But I do know this, that no matter how, He will provide. What's the worst that can happen? I end up relying on Him 100%? I already am. The outcome either way is not going to change who I forever am in God. The key word there is "forever". Always have been and always will be.

Now back to you. Everybody has things they go thru and trials and tests. Ask yourself, "what is it that I cannot do for myself that I need God to do, or provide for me?" Then tell God what you need and "forget about it". Just keep moving forward in the direction that He puts in your heart to go. And see if he doesn't provide for you too.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Remember Who We Are

 Another early morning with a head full of thoughts. I was thinking of everything I have been thru over the past 7 years and especially over the past last year. And I think to myself "WOW". There must be a plan for my life.

And then I started to think about my sons and what they have been thru and how they each are constructed similarly but different. And then I started to think about my all my nieces and nephew and who they are and what they all have become, and I realized; "I'm just a part of a bigger plan and along for the ride!" My father, their grandfather, must be so proud.

Let me start in order by age. Nicole, raising two of the funniest girls on the planet and is an RN. She is like the older sister to all of the rest and keeps them in line. Aric, has two great kids, awesome guitar/bass player, went to Iraq and God covered him, and then lived thru a parachute malfunction and fell to the earth to live. Where was the news to cover that. Aaron, created a clone of himself in Jude, and gave me my first biological grand-daughter Olivia. He grew up in the shadow of his big brother less than a year older, could be a supermodel, took a missions trip and came back looking like Forrest Gump, dedicated his life to missions work in Africa, and now has degrees that I don't even know the names of.

Justin, he is more like me than he will ever admit. He is a teacher, worship leader, and never can sit still, even when sitting in a chair. He carries a calling on his life that I don't think he even understands yet. I see so much of many of his ancestors who were in ministry in him each Sunday. AndrewandJulia Montgomery (or as I like to call him Andrew) graduated high school early to join the Army and was deployed 3 times and lived! He was blown up on his last deployment but fully protected and healed by only the grace of God. I remember when he was a baby and my Uncle Larry spoke some prophethic words over him in church about how he would meet world leaders an have their favor, and that he would help others, even his own brothers. Yesterday he came back from his second visit with President  George W. Bush  as he does work to help other Wounded Warriors. All while raising three kids.

Adam Mark Montgomery, the most creative and talented of the bunch. He can do anything he sets his mind to. He is an brilliant artist, can create bows an arrows from literally a hunk of wood that can sell for thousands of dollars. He can catch fish out of a ditch if he had too. He can climb a tree like a cat. He is the one who will probably feed us all should the world come to and end. Chelsea, she had physical setbacks before she was even born, but the hand of God had plans for her. She is the most intelligent of the bunch. She graduated with a computer science degree and is going for more. She could literally take on any job passed by her. She can program and work circles around her father and me.

Alan, OK so he is close to being the smartest one right up there with Chelsea. He too graduated early to join the Army. He had the opportunity to go to Washington DC and work in intelligence, but opted to go infantry and protect our freedoms here. He went thru two brutal deployments and saw his best friend taken out by a sniper. I call him "Little Richard" because he is the most like my father. He is quiet, but speaks his mind in wisdom when he needs to. Then there is Jillian. Jillian can shoot a gun better than me or any of her military sniper trained cousins. She is quiet, kind hearted, very smart, loves her father, will do anything you ask her with a simple answer of "sure". She loves to hunt but could never shoot or harm an animal. She just simply loves the outdoors. And then last is Mikayla. I remember having recreations of the Barney show while at dinner every night when she was young. Now she has in my opinion, the best singing voice in the family. When she sings, it is genuine. She may forget that when she was little that she proclaimed me her favorite uncle because I was funny, but I haven't.

So I think about my problems, and I realize I have no problems. I think about how proud my father, their grandfather must be and was when he walked on this earth. Over the past several months I have spent time staying at the lakehouse and looking at the "walls" of family pictures in the dining room. I saw many pictures of him with some of you. Especially you Jillian and Chelsea. He had a very special fondness for both of you for some reason. I have seen many pictures of him holding you with his face right up to his. You could see a look in his eyes. The same look I saw when he would hold all of you. You all made his life complete and I am sure he still has that look each and every day as he looks down from above on you now. You all have a special advocate in Heaven that makes sure God keeps an extra layer of protection on you. As I am learning that problems are only opportunities for God to help us work thru. Always remember who you are, and where you came from. We are a special family because of one man.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Resting in His Arms

Last night I received a phone call that could potentially change my life in a very positive and anticipated way. As I was talking about it with my wife, I tried to make plans, and even asked many people for advice and help in preparing for an upcoming meeting that came out of that phone call. After about an hour or so, my mother simply said "maybe you are asking the wrong people". I said "HUH?" She said "maybe you need to be asking Jesus". So I really couldn't come up with anything smart to say and a few minutes later she went to bed.

So once again I wake up this morning before time even starts and all of these things keep spinning thru my head from every direction. What am I going to do today? When will certain decisions be made by others that effect my life? What lesson am I supposed to be learning here? And on and on and on.... Then I hear a voice say to me "just rest here". Just like that my mind becomes a blank slate and the anxiety stopped. Then an old song I used to sing came into my head. "I have joy, in the time of sorrow; I have peace, in the raging storm; I have faith, that Jesus holds tomorrow; I have hope, I'm resting in His arms".

"To every thing there is a season, and a TIME FOR EVERY PURPOSE under the heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

So no matter what time it is in your life, it's ALWAYS time to rest in His arms.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Waiting

 I woke up again at 4:21am so I am starting to think there is something up. The words "those that wait for God, will renew their strength" keep ringing thru my head. These days I have not too many other choices except to wait for God. Then the old song and verse starts playing out in my "damaged" brain. 

But here is how the words come out to me rather than some old King James English version. "They will keep moving at a fast pace and never grow tired or feel like stopping, they shall walk and not slow to a pace where they quit." 

Right now I find myself waiting for God to do whatever it is he is going to do in my life. For the first time in my adult life I find myself in a position where I literally cannot do anything to help or change my situation. It's kind of a helpless and depressing situation. But the simple fact that I keep waking up at 4:21am everyday with some words in my head that believe are placed there by God has gotten my attention. It's just time to "wait" for me. 

Here are some other translations for this old verse:
  • Those who hope...
  • Those who trust...
  • Those who keep waiting...
  • Those who wait for the Lord's help...
  • Those who are expecting for the Lord's help...

So I guess I am not doing too bad by waiting on God's help rather than taking action into my own hands that I know will just end up doing the wrong thing. For the past 35 years I have done things my way. I have been successful, very successful, failed, failed miserably, and just plain screwed up. So teach me, and those around me to wait.

UPDATE:

Justin Michael Ostrynski I actually looked into the verse those who wait upon the lord. The Word Wait used here in the hebrew is QAVAH which is translated to Wait In Isaiah 40.

The figurative definition of the word “qavah” is “to wait, to hope, to expect.” The figurative meaning of “qavah” conveys anticipation. Anticipation because he is ALREADY HERE. WAITING FOR YOU.

But is doesn’t stop there... this is the cool part.

The literal meaning of the word is “to bind together like a cord.” It does not mean to tie a cord around a bundle of sticks to keep them together. Instead, picture in your mind the process of making a rope (cord) by twisting or weaving (binding) thin threads together to form the rope. The more strands that are twisted or woven together in a rope, the greater is its strength. 

The literal definition of “qavah” implies strength through numbers. The more strands in your rope, the greater its strength. Just as a rope's strength comes from being made of many strands, so our strength comes through being united with Christ. The “rope” of our lives gains strength by being twisted or woven or bound together with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
So the verse is literally saying... Your Strength will be renewed as he is weaved into your life.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Skill of Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do

A long time ago a business mentor of mine began to talk to me about being aware of what others thought, heard, and observed. He told me that there were six sides to every conversation.
1. What I wanted to say.
2. What I think I said.
3. What I actually said.
4. What others wanted to hear.
5. What others thought they heard.
6. What others actually heard

Over the past 25 years I have learned thru hard life lessons that my opinion and views were not always correct, and I could offend more people than I could win over by pushing my views too hard. I come from a very opinionated family that all attended church, and believed it was our way or no way. Through my early adult life I never had too many friends, and the ones I had came from a very similar upbringing.

I grew up in a very rural Upstate NY town where nearly everyone was a white Christian. It wasn’t until I began working in a call center as a manager in Charlotte, NC that I began to learn how vast cultures were in America. It was not just a race thing but a real difference in how people were raised and what they felt were important factors to having a happy, successful life. Even though I quickly realized the differences we all have, I did not understand how to interact with everyone around me. I found myself offending people again and again, and was offended myself multiple times. It was like being in High School all over again.

I began to think about what my business mentor had told me earlier on about the six sides of every conversation. If I were to master the skill of social perceptiveness I needed to start with me.

1. What I wanted to say: I began to think before I spoke. What was the point of my conversation and was the reason worth the damage that it may cause? Why did I want to say it, and would it be beneficial for those that I was going to interact with the hear it? 

2. What I think I said: This is where my upbringing came into play. I tend to say things that to others may sound very shocking and edgy, but to me it was just a way of life. I could yell at my brother or sister, and ten seconds later be laughing with them. Words never overtook true feelings in our family. But I found that words were very important to those who did not know you so I had to learn to speak as others may hear me.


3. What I actually said: I learned that if I thought before I spoke and listened to myself speak, I was better prepared to answer someone’s confusion of what they heard. If I did not know what I actually said, I could not defend what I said or clarify it very well.


4. What others wanted to hear: This was the tough one. How do you know what someone wants to hear before you say it? I found that observation of that person ahead of time and watching how they interact with others was the best method. Watch and see how they react to others so that I can develop a game plan to interact with them.


5. What others thought they heard: Everyone has desires and wants. People tend to hear what works best for them. Understanding what they like helps here. What are their wants and desires? Again observing ahead of time so you know how to present or interact with them.


6. What others actually heard: People are perceptive. You may say one thing and mean another. Never think that you can fool everyone all the time. It never happens. If you hit the first five points well enough, you should have no problem here.


The skill of social perceptiveness in no way falls solely under these six principles. But my father always told me that if I kept my mouth shut, nobody would know how stupid I really was. It was when I was about 15 years old that I found out that he was just paraphrasing an old proverb. It really is a matter of the heart. You have to care enough about people and their situations, and then put yourself in their shoes. How would you wanted to be treated and spoken to? How would you feel if someone attacked your culture? Master those two things and you will master the skill of social perceptiveness.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More Blessed Yhan you

 Don't look down on those who are less "blessed" than you. I don't use the word "fortunate" because that means you deserve what you have. Respect the fact that you are in a "blessed situation" because of the sacrifice and giving of someone else other than you. 

Parents, grandparents, relatives, and even people you do not know have made sacrifices in one way or another that have effected your situation for the better. Just as you can be held accountable for the shortcomings of your ancestors, you can also be "blessed" by the favor of your ancestors. 

Don't speak harshly of those who are less "blessed" than you because you have no clue of the sacrifices they have made and may be making so that their descendants can be "blessed" like you someday. Honor and respect those that have made it possible for you to be in your "blessed situation". 

Don't bad mouth them in the absence of their presence. This only causes others to dream up undeserved bad feelings in their minds against those who have blessed you. Someday while looking down your nose at someone less blessed than you, you may see someone doing the same back at you because of your negative attitude. What goes around comes around. It's not karma, it's just logical.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

All Things

 I woke up very early today and as I sit here pondering everything I have gone thru over the past year, the words "ALL THINGS work together for those who love God". I know many others who are going thru various struggles and must sit and wonder everyday like I do, ..."Why?".... People all have a free will to do what they want, when they want. Me personally, I want answers and fixes NOW. 

But God reminds me that he has a plan for me and wants to FIX my situation...NOW... But given the fact that he gave us all a free will, sometimes even God waits on others to do what needs to be done; those things that will effect my situation positively. People use the phrase " the planets must have been all aligned". Well I just realized that various peoples actions need to be aligned in order for Gods plan for me to take place. 

Even my own! God won't "force" anyone to do anything. So rather than pray for an instant microwaved miracle, pray that God leads those who can take steps that " work for your good, in your situation", to actually take those steps. Pray he opens their heart to your situation and gives them wisdom. Instead of planets aligning, its more hearts and minds aligning. Then pray for patience for yourself and don't dwell. Do what you need to do to effect your situation, and keep busy. In a year from now, this time in your life will seem short and incidental.