Looking Through The Lens of God

Written on January 27, 2024.  1:26pm.   Posted on January 31, 2024 6:00AM (PST)

Hope you will join us:  March 2, 2024;  9am-3pm

I write this on the final weekend of January.  It’s going to be a reflection and onto February.

January 5, 2024

I heard an incredible speech by the founder of a local charter school that I “serve.”  January 8, 2022, he asked me to come out of retirement to start (with my wife) a band program.  Diana and I have enjoyed it.  We have not been with beginning musicians (let alone 5th-8th graders) and therefore, it is a new and fresh challenge.  The “scholars” are mostly sweet and are refugees from public (government) school.  His speech was “get back to who we (charter school) are.”  I loved it because it could be given to the nation.  My interpretation is:  instead of change this nation, let us return to “home.”  What is ‘home,’ Paul?  Answer:  Declaration of the Independence.  The Federalist Papers.  The Bill of Rights.  The Constitution.  AND MORE!

January 11, 2024

I bit a banana chip and found a molar in my hand!  Unflippinbelievable!  Lower molar on my left side!

January 12, 2024

I have a rash on the left side of my head.  I thought it was a razor rash.

January 13, 2024

Capitol Section Honor Band concert in Elk Grove, CA.  I was going to go down and see some old “friends.”  However, now that I had shingles, I did not think going to the honor band concert was a good idea.  I was bummed.

January 16, 2024

The rash has now grown on the left side of head.  I decide to go to URGENT CARE (Sutter Hospital in Roseville, CA).  The doctor says, “Well, it’s shingles.”  IT’S WHAT?  “Yep.  It’s Shingles.  May I ask you some questions?”  “Sure.”  He continues, “Do you know your overweight?”  “Yes.”  He says, “Well, you are overweight.  You have high blood pressure and your cholesterol is high.  Are you diabetic?”  “As far as I know, no.”  “You know why you don’t know?!  BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T HAD A PHYSICAL.  Mr. Everts you are a candidate for a heart attack.”  I leave that office shaken.  I make the appointment for a physical.

January 18, 2024

The doctor’s appointment went well.  Diana enjoyed herself – FOR SURE!  The doctor was very good.  She made her points well.  And now, we are on our way to getting my act together!

January 19, 2024

Diana’s uncle passed away today and his Celebration of Life will be February 3, 2024 (the same weekend as the state’s music teachers’ conference in Sacramento; twenty minutes away from me oppose to where it had been twenty-plus years prior – Fresno, CA).  Very sad to have Diana’s uncle pass away.

January 20, 2024

It was NCBA honor band weekend.  An association that I was an officer for and many “friends” are in that association.  Since I was still recovering from shingles I thought it was again, a good idea to stay home.  We also find out that Diana’s uncle passed away.

January 22, 2024

On November 12, 2023, I made an announcement at our church (we have been attending for just a year) – we want to start a choir for Easter (March 31, 2024).  I believe the average attendance for a Sunday 10am service is just over a 100.  I told the congregation we will do it if I can get 12 brave souls to sign-up.  ONLY GOD could do the following.  THE WERE TWENTY PEOPLE (7th grade to 84 year-old lady) WHO ATTENDED THE FIRST CHOIR REHEARSAL.  Seven of the choir members are MEN!!

When rehearsal ended, I cried.  I was so grateful to God to give me the opportunity to lead such a special group.  To have this opportunity at our church, along with our (Diana / me) sweet scholars (including the scholars in detention {Lunch & Learn} who want to get better can only be GOD-IN-ACTION!!

January 24, 2024

I had the two-hour dentist appointment to fix my tooth and put a crown on it.  I love Dr. Martin so the two hours was not bad, but to go to work after that appointment made it for a long day.

Through the month of January

I have been helping develop a program for the charter school’s detention.  Instead of having the scholars quietly eat their lunch, I have been using “Winning With People” by one of my favorite people, Dr. John C. Maxwell.  The results from using that book, having the scholars right and share their thoughts so far have been blessings.

Being in charge of detention is not my “cup of tea.”  After being with high school musicians and sometimes middle school musicians from 1989 – December 20, 2021, to now being with teenagers serving detention is a challenge for me.  Musicians want to fix mistakes.  It is something MANDATED for the musician.  Musicians want to get better!  People who are in detention…GENERALLY SPEAKING…don’t know they made a mistake / don’t think they need to fix a mistake / see detention as a punishment.  I want to turn it into – ya got in trouble to get here and now?  I want to use this opportunity to make you (scholar serving detention) and me better people!

Now, what does this have to do with the title of the article:  LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS OF GOD.

Getting the Shingles the week of an opportunity to be with my past was a gift from God.  God was saying to me, “You need to release the past.  Sure.  Remember the past.  Cherish those moments.  It is now time to move forward. You are not going to Elk Grove or Stockton!”  God didn’t want me to go to the Capitol Section Honor band rehearsal or NCBA honor band rehearsal.

As far as Diana’s uncle’s ‘Celebration of Life.”  That date is February 3rd.  On February 3rd, I was going to go the state music teachers’ conference in Sacramento (twenty minutes from our home).  Nope.  I am going to go to the ‘Celebration of Life’ for a wonderful man and I have decided to go to church on February 4th.  Again, God saying, “Don’t ya get it?  You need to build the person I (God) want you to be.  From 1989 – December 20, 2024 you served a purpose, now it is time to serve a new purpose.”  And frankly, I am still learning that ‘new purpose.’

Being with young-adults-in-training (teenagers) serving their detention is TOTALLY from God!  Why?  Because, being responsible for detention is not something I was looking for, especially being retired.  Yet, there is GOD.  As of now, more scholars than not, have been so receptive to what I am giving them.  Seriously, many of their responses have touched my heart.  I actually have scholars saying, “Mr. Everts, can I simply go to do detention and spend time there?”  WOW!  That is providential.  I will cherish these upcoming moments until they (whomever ‘they’ are) tell me to stop or more importantly, when God wants me to stop.  After all, my life is HIS life.

The church choir is a HUGE gift from God!  A “atta-boy” for me.  If I had continued to teach at “Pinecrest High School,” Monday night is a rehearsal night, either for marching band or winter percussion.  Because I left, God filled in that Monday night time with CHURCH CHOIR.  Come on!  That is so cool and special!  ONLY GOD!

I encourage you to look at life through the lens of God.  Onto February.  Let’s see MORE of GOD in 2024!  Thanks for reading.