The NazareneGuy - Thomas Ohlendorf
Hi, I am Tom Ohlendorf. On this site I go by the title NazareneGuy. it just popped into my head, sounded cute, so I went with it.
I was born and raised in a Roman Catholic family and went through the usual rituals Roman Catholic kids do; First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and the children’s religious education program known as CCD or Sunday School.
I wasn’t what you would call a big practitioner of the catholic faith. Growing up I would have rather been out playing than in CCD. And, let’s just say that I got some good naps in at mass.
As I got older my interest in religion got even less to the point where I was missing mass all together and if I was required to be there by my parents my heart just wasn’t in it.
I never really opened a Bible unless I had to.
My home life was that I never really left home. Oh, I did get a good education and had some very good jobs but my father’s rule was that if I left I could never come back and I left with only the cloths I was wearing. Believe me, he really meant that and that was an incentive to stay. Also, he managed my money and his rule was what was his was his and what was mine was his so, my salary got deposited in his account. The same was true with my mother. There is a lot more to this than I am going to put here.
In November of 1993 he passed from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. It was now just my mom and I in a house that needed extensive repairs. Fortunately my father could pinch a penny so hard it would make Abe Lincoln scream so we had the money to get the house fixed up.
So, here I was at 34 with no real experience in managing personal finances and no driver’s license. The second one was easy but the first one would be a problem later on.
The first order of business for my mom and I was to get the house into shape. My father had been a hoarder so we had a lot of junk to get rid of. We first started tackling it ourselves but that was a daunting task even with a big dumpster in the side yard. We soon found that we had lots of friends willing to help.
One of my tasks was to get a driver’s license and fortunately a coworker had just done that so I used the same driving school she did. I was a good student and they were good instructors and I was on the road within two weeks of engaging their service.
The next thing my mom and I did was to engage a contractor to get the house in shape. Some $90 thousand later and the house was in great shape.
January 8, 1994 became a significant day for me. The wife of one of my cousins set me up on a blind date and that was when i met my wife to be, Andrea.
The four of us went to see Jurassic Park then went to Bob’s Big Boy for a meal and ended up crashing an AA/Naranon dance.
February 6, 1994 was the next significant date because it was the day I proposed to Andrea and she said, “You bet”.
We were married on October 15, 1994. I bet you were thinking that we were married in March and, if I had my way, we would have been, but the Roman Catholic Church said no. It seems that you have to either have to go to Pre Cana classes in which a priest instructs you on marriage or through Engaged Encounter in which you both go on this weekend retreat (separate rooms) with seminars put on by married couples. We opted for the Engaged Encounter because, well, what does a Roman Catholic Priest know about marriage, if you get my drift. It turns out that this was a good decision because there was some good information to be had.
We were both living in what was now my mother’s house and I had taken over the job of money manager.
The house itself was comfortable but the neighborhood was on a downward slide and the incline was increasing. The final straw was a local liquor store owner being killed in a robbery. Up to that point my mother was adamant about staying in the neighborhood but this changed her mind. By the end of 1997 we were living in a new single family home in Abingdon, Maryland.
Shortly after getting Abingdon I joined the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization. The council I joined was a small one and I quickly became Grand Knight, mostly because nobody else wanted the job. Being in charge also stroked my pride. I stayed in that council for about four years and I was Grand Knight for that entire time. Pride is one thing but after a while I just got tired of all the nonsense associated with leadership. Shortly after leaving office I transferred to another council and then to another one and then finally left the organization all together.
When we moved to Abingdon we still had a good chunk of what my father left but my wife, mom, and myself were living high on the proverbial hog. We were going on cruises, buying lavish things, and so on. Then, in 2000, because I could just do it better, I opened up a disk jockey business, more as a hobby than anything else. That was the thing that started our downhill slide.
After I left the Knights of Columbus my wife and I got involved in the Moose, left that organization, and then joined the Elks. After leaving the Elks we decided to not be joiners anymore.
My mother passed away in September of 2006. At that point her pension and social security was keeping us afloat.
As I indicated, the DJ business is what caused us financial difficulties and my mom’s passing was the straw that broke the camel’s back. To make a long and painful story short, we went from a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath single family home to a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment. Many of our possessions were either sold, given away, or left behind.
At this point I was not going to church and, even though deep down I knew it was not His fault, I blamed God for where we were. I walked away from Him.
When I was growing up I had read Chariots of the Gods by Erich Von Daniken. I was now back to the whole ancient alien thing and putting a lot of faith in evolution and panspermia.
I was doing a lot of online research into this and one day I came across a website talking about how these aliens could actually be demons. I dug into this and suddenly I am into this website by Creation Ministries and back into Genesis and the Bible.
So, now we are in 2010. I have shutdown the DJ Business, we are still part of the Elks, and I am waking up to Torah. In the words of the Greatful Dead, “what a long strange trip it’s been”.
From this point I begin to discover other people either on the same journey or doting the land that is part of that journey. Included in that list are Chuck Missler, Michael Rude, Steve Moutria, Paul Ro’eh, Lex Meyer, Rob Skiba, Jon Pounders, John and Patricia Hall, and so on. Some of these people I still walk with and others I do not.
My pride is still an issue along with my arrogance and I pray every day that they be put aside.
One of the things I do every is a daily Bible verse. I use a site that picks the verse and then I let the Holy Spirit guide me through it. This has been a tremendous learning experience for me plus it is fun to do. I know that it is the Holy Spirit guiding me because I am just not that smart.
Well, that is me.