Summertime Living

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.
Summertime Living
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
So hush, little baby, don’t you cry.
One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky.

But till that morning, there ain’t nothin’ can harm you
With daddy and mammy standin’ by,
One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky.

But till that morning, there ain’t nothin’ can harm you
With daddy and mammy standin’ by.
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
So hush, little baby, don’t you cry.
Sung by Ella Fitzgerald (1958, Chicago)
Songwriters: Du Bose Heyward / George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin
Summertime (Live (1958/Chicago)) lyrics © T-Series, Songs Music Publishing
 
I have absolutely no reason to cry, but I do know that, for me, this summer hasn’t been easy.  I thought that when you got old(er) things were supposed to slow down.  You know, livin’ life the easy way.  Well, that sure hasn’t happened to me.  This has been about the busiest summer in my memory. 
 
Counseling:  My counseling load at Wyndhurst Counseling Center has increased to the extent that I had to take on another day to handle the client load.  I enjoy meeting new people and trying to help them work their way through their problems.  That’s good!    
 
Deliverance:  My deliverance load has also increased so that we are regularly working with two people a week and adding a third two weeks out of the month.  Clients continue to come from far away, Minnesota, Michigan, Florida, Texas, etc.  People will do about anything to get competent help.  By God’s grace my teams and I have a reputation as one’s who are able to provide that help.  That’s good!
 
Teaching: I am still teaching one online class a term for Liberty University’s Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies.  So, I am still busy with Discussion Boards, papers, emails, etc.  They have me scheduled for another course in the fall. This isn’t particularly rewarding, but necessary for now.  That’s good, more or less. 
 
It’s Only a Demon, 2nd edition: Meanwhile, I am also working hard trying to complete the book.  The artwork for the cover is almost done (thank you Randy Zwingler) and it looks great.  The biggest challenge was getting the manuscript formatted properly for online publication.  Though I have an invitation from the publisher of It’s Only a Demon, 1st ed. to publish this edition, they can’t give me the breadth of exposure that I can get with self-publishing. 
 
Of course, it also means that all the stuff that a publisher and an editor would do now falls to me.  That is a lot more work than I had anticipated.  Formatting the manuscript in Microsoft Word for submission was driving me crazy until, after days of trying to get this right, and multiple calls to the Help Desk at Liberty University with no success, I posted a plea on Facebook for help.  An old friend, Samuel Schultz, who happens to be a Certified Microsoft Expert (who knew) is now putting the final touches on the formatting as I write this newsletter.  Thank you Sam.  I would rather face a whole room full of demons than the complexities of Microsoft Word.  I am hoping to submit this project for publication in the next week or so.  This is very good!    
 
Meanwhile, I keep getting emails from clients saying such things as (edited slightly for client privacy).  This tremendously encourages my teams and me: 
 
I appreciate you reaching out. I must say that there is much that is different since we met. It has taken a couple of weeks to come to clarity and take shape. Let me describe what I feel is different.

I don’t hear the noise of condemnation constantly in my head. And when I feel something threatening it is much easier to redirect.

I feel at peace more often than not. I routinely sleep in when I want to instead of waking up to anxiety way earlier than I should be.

I don’t feel powerless. Even when I don’t do something I want to do I don’t relentlessly beat myself up. I am much better able to create and implement a plan than I have in years without feelings of pressure and hopelessness to perform. I have developed several plans and have actually followed through. Who knew ?.

I do not feel a profound sense of incompetence.  I feel much more like other people.

When people ask how I am doing I more often spontaneously say ‘great’ – I never used to say that – ever.

I do not feel a profound weight of hopelessness around my spouse like I have for these few years, though this is still a matter of prayer.

I experience myself as uniquely gifted by God. Several have told me recently that I am anointed and I am actually experiencing that in a humble way.

This client, with whom we worked last month, is seeing transformative change, by God’s grace.  How can we not continue to help those whom God brings to us?  I am just thankful that my teams (and they are all incredible) are willing to join me in seeing God’s purposes being accomplished in the lives of His kids.  This is good! 
 
I am just hoping that the fish will still be jumpin’ this fall.  

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