A few weeks ago, I think, I wrote and posted a diatribe about the health of the Navy Chief Petty Officer's community. I was fired up, to say the least. I reverted, but not without warning to my readers, to the profanity that was so much of my Navy vernacular. I reviewed the posting and posted it. A few minutes later, I decided to take the posting down, not because I did not agree with what I wrote, but because I thought some of my friends would not understand how I expressed my opinion. Since some of you are much more technically savvy than I, and use RSS to immediately get anything I post, I decided to explain myself.
Some of you know me, as a Master Chief Gunner's Mate. Others know me as a Deacon, Church Elder, and Lay minister and have even heard me preach God's word. That is where the difficulty lies. There are two warring natures that live within me, that appear to be diametrically opposed to the outsider, but not to me. Yes, God's word instructs us not to use profanity and not to blaspheme the Lord's name. I agree whole heartedly. And while I will tell you that I am not without sin in this area, I am very careful not to take the Lord's name in vane or to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. However, my 40 years associated with the Navy taught me that, sometimes, a verbal PUNCH in the nose, is exactly what some folks need to understand what you are trying to teach them. And, since we are a kinder and gentler Navy and actually punching one in the nose is looked down upon, I still use harsh language, in my Navy community, to get my point across. Since some of you have never been associated with the military, or never knew me in the Navy, my diatribe may have offended you. If it did, I am sincerely sorry. But you have to understand that God made me, put me in the life that I lead, and used me to do his will in may different venues. My Navy career was definitely God's doing. Go back and read my earliest postings, I hated authority, and only joined the Navy to evade incarceration. But, almost from the first day in Boot Camp, I found the Navy to be an organization that I fit into very well. That "Fit" resulted in success that I could not have imagined. Yes, my Navy career has it's "Salty" stories and harsher moments. But those experiences have helped me understand the people I work and Live with and helped me to help them. I did not grow up in the Church and only came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as an adult. I understand what people struggle with in a life without Christ. I have been there. Did Christ abandon me during those times, NO. He was there, watching over me, protecting me, trust me, he was. In 1972, in Bremerton Washington, a Stewburner friend of mine and I got drunk, and then decided to go to Seattle. We boarded the ferry from Brememton to Seattle in his 1965 Pontiac Tempest, and drunk as we were, drank a fifth of some cheap whiskey, without chaser, in that hour ferry ride. We drove off the ferry and soon had an automobile accident. Imagine that! We hit a wood, telephone pole, sliding on the ice, doing about 80 mph! I was the passenger, and I was not wearing a seat belt. I went through the windshield ad was stuck to the bottom rim of the windshield when I heard someone say; "Are they dead?" I thought I might be, since I could not move. But, after a police officer pulled me free of the windshield, I walked to the ambulance and was fine, with the exception of a few scars on my face that I bear today. I should have died in the wreck, Trust me, the transmission was in the back seat of the Pontiac! Jesus was watching over me because He has plans for me. Did I do something he was proud of, NO! Did I learn from it, eventually. Have I helped others avoid my stupidity, absolutely, including my Niece at my Dad's 80th birthday party!
Look, I am not trying to justify my occasional use of profanity, I am asking you to understand that I am a complex mix of the world and all it's sins and a man who, knowing that I am a sinner, still love Jesus for what He did for me. Do I recommend my way of life, NO! As a matter of fact, I spend plenty of time telling folks to stay away from the trappings of the world. But sometimes, the passion I feel for the institutions that I love, boil up in me, and I express that passion in the manner that I am equipped to do. If I offended anyone, I am sorry. But I meant what I said and I stand by my statements. As Popeye said; "I am what I am!"