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Out of the Miry Clay: Memoirs

Out of the Miry Clay: Memoirs

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Out of the Miry Clay: Memoirs

Lunghezza:
330 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 22, 2008
ISBN:
9781467831680
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Out of the Miry Clay is a compelling testimony of the everlasting love God has for His children, and the awesome power He has to transform our lives in this touching memoir. It becomes quickly apparent that God was always with Rev. Stigger, from the moment he came close to suicide at age 18, to narrowly escaping capture as a wounded soldier in Vietnam. With His unyielding grace, God took Rev. Stiggerout of the miry clay of drug use, alcoholism, pimping, and broken marriages, then molded him into an apostle of God with the relevant experience needed to save souls and build churches, not with bricks and mortar, but the church that is within-the spirit church. With engaging detail, clear prose and a remarkable sense of humor, Rev. Stigger uses his own fascinating experiences to demonstrate that only God, through the saving grace of Christ, can offer us true, unconditional love.



Be prepared to go on an emotional roller coaster ride as Rev. Stigger looks back on his life with hard earned wisdom. Youll definitely find yourself laughing, crying, shaking your head in disbelief, and finally, rejoicing as you read these pages. Enjoy the journey!



Brandon A. Perry Associate Editor, Indianapolis Recorder

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 22, 2008
ISBN:
9781467831680
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

     Nelson Stigger is the Pastor and founder of Walking on Water Ministries of Indianapolis, Indiana. A disabled Vietnam Veteran, entrepreneur, and retired corrections officer after 23 years of service, Indiana state government. Pastor Stigger has received awards of service during his tenure with state government.     Additionally, he was awarded the Nior Award for his contributions to community services. He is the television host of Journey through the City, which deals with community issues from a Biblical perspective. He resides in Indiana with his wife and two daughters, and has one daughter and granddaughter in California.

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Out of the Miry Clay - Nelson Carl Stigger

Out of the

Miry Clay

Memoirs

by

Nelson Carl Stigger

AuthorHouse™

1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200

Bloomington, IN 47403

www.authorhouse.com

Phone: 1-800-839-8640

This book is a work of non-fiction. Unless otherwise noted, the author and the publisher make no explicit guarantees as to the accuracy of the information contained in this book and in some cases, names of people and places have been altered to protect their privacy.

© 2008 Nelson Carl Stigger. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

First published by AuthorHouse 8/7/2008

ISBN: 978-1-4343-4949-1 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4678-3168-0(e)

Printed in the United States of America

Bloomington, Indiana

Contents

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

Chapter 24

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First, I give honor to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for making it possible for me to come this far under His Grace. God alone has brought me to this milestone and provided me the necessary tools needed to complete this book, and to Him I give all the Glory.

To Rejina, my wife, who is the love of my life, many thanks for your understanding, patience, and for keeping me grounded. And to my daughters, Breonna and Sierra, who showed their support by staying clear of my space, and keeping the noise level down. I love you. And to my daughter Michele and granddaughter Tatiana, who live so far away, know that you are near in my heart.

To my younger sister, Cynthia, who gave me continual encouragement and frequent phone calls to ensure that I maintained my focus to complete this book, in addition to providing me the opportunity to suggest the design for her book "The Words I

Could Not Say."Also, thanks for your poem included in this book, Sis.

Many thanks to Papa and Momma Turner, who reach out to the masses of people every Thanksgiving, feeding more than four thousand (4,000) people annually for more than twenty-one years. Your generosity, compassion and support have not gone unnoticed. You both have treated me like your own son. Be blessed.

Charlesetta Staley, consultant and friend, I thank you for your expertise in compiling all of this data, and you’re advice that one must always remember to set goals to achieve, and to have passion for the goals you set, and foremost, do not shelve them.

To Bishop J. LaVern Tyson, New Beginnings Ministries International, Indianapolis

Indiana: I appreciate your words of wisdom and encouragement: To continue the good fight of faith.

Alas, Sean and Tanya Grant; Ron and Kindra Carey; Brandon Perry; Pastor Lawrence Simpson; Pastor Jerome Griffin Sr.; and a host of family and friends,you have provided support to me via our ministry or friendship of caring, and for this, I thank you all.

My special thanks to Connie Countie, my editor, for her insights, comments, suggestions and her continuing friendship.She is the author of Echoes from the Floor.

INTRODUCTION

The core of life, trying to recapture the essence of your young existence, brings obscurity and reflection of life under a microscope. Memories, which are sketched into your mind, are like a chronological frame that reflects back in time, exposing the good, the bad, the ugly, the weaknesses, the fears and the injustices, while still searching for hope and stability in your life.

Thoughts of bright lights, merry-go-rounds, the smell of cotton candy, and the taste of hot dogs, along with young innocence and good memories of the past, always bring warmth and smiles to your face. I am reminded of a song: The Girl’s Alright With Me by the Temptations. It’s young puppy love, but then, we grow up.

Our minds constantly absorbs information which we cannot control, whether its good or bad. My life was not a bowl of cherries, rather a mixture of ingredients that included, despair, rejection, hopelessness and loneliness, hand in hand.

One wonders as they look back over their life: Was that really me? Or was that the life of another individual? Every person must be honest and true to one self when answering this question. Do you really know yourself?

Sharing my life on pages of a book was not the easiest thing to do. Some that read my story will connect, while others might find it hard to believe. My desire was to take you on a journey to see my life unfold, one that was surreal. You will see my willingness to peel back the layers from my past, and exposes the rawness that would make one scream, just like pulling the bandage from a wound.

At times it was like a lost child in the woods knowing a big bad wolf was lurking around to capture its prey. So many times I was in dangerous territory, but God Almighty’s Grace provided a safe haven for me. The serpent sought to destroy me through drugs, alcohol and debauchery, but God kept me by pulling me, out of the miry clay.

DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to the memory of

REBA JUNE STIGGER

my mother, who was called home to be with the Lord on

January 4, 2007

Thank you Momma, for all the sacrifices you made in life for your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

You were always there to give a nurturing hand and consideration to the well being of family and friends.

Through the good days and storms too, you held strong to your faith in Christ, in spite of the circumstances, and more importantly, your teachings about the Lord.

I miss you.

FOREWORD

Foreword: for’word’…a prefatory statement preceding the text of a book.

I feel like a man betwixt and between two straits. It is established practice that when one scripts a foreword, he or she attempts to preface or set the tone of a book. It is designed to give the reader some concept of what to expect in the subsequent pages.

Most forewords are severely subjective; they usually are written by close associates, family members, or mentors, people who the author respects and loves, or at the very least, thinks will pen a kind of positive word on their behalf. Is it unreasonable to suggest that every author hopes the best possible light will be shed on his or her volume of work?

Nelson Stigger is a dear friend of mine, but I must admit, I started reading "Out of the Miry Clay" with positive skepticism. To the glory of God, I’ve written and have been blessed to have had several books published myself. So I have some experience of how difficult it is to research, write and get a book published. It took me 13 years of constant writing and submitting, writing and submitting, to get my first book published.

So when friends of mine, familiar with my publishing experiences, come to me (which is often) and say, with excitement, "Bishop, I’ve written a book," I must admit, my first inclination is to chuckle and say to myself, "Yeah…and I bet it will be a bestseller too."

I ask for forgiveness for my arrogance and presumptive spirit, but it seems as though many people, especially people in ministry, think their DNA is somehow linked to Longfellow or Tennyson.

Once I began to read "Out of the Miry Clay" I honestly, honestly could not put it down!

If asked why, I would be hard-pressed to give a definitive answer. I suppose it was a combination of sin, insanity, death, vise, bondage, incredulity, craziness, absurdity, release, forgiveness… and God, bound within its covers.

It never ceases to amaze me how the power of God transforms a man. Never in a million years would I have believed Nelson Stigger, a profound servant of God, lived such a life as described in his memoir.It only proves once again, God takes un-regenerated men, regenerates them, then generations them. It says a great deal about a man who is willing to expose his entire sordid life to the world. But such men understand our greatest messages…indeed, that our greatest literary works are born out of our pain and experiences.

Hopefully, out of Nelson Stigger’s life and death experiences, you will find rest, peace,and God…for you who are in your own "miry clay."

Bishop J. Laverne Tyson

The Miry Clay

Lord I was…

Dark, dingy, dirty and foul

Gloomy and greasy

With dirt on my smile

I was marshy, slushy

Soggy and soiled

Smoky and sooty

Unclean was my heart

I was cruddy, impure

Nasty, obscene

Shabby, sloppy

Downright mean

I was sleazy, slimy

I was filthy, I smelled

My soul was blacken

My mind as well

But my soul cries out

As I weep and I wail

I’m drowning in dirt

Surrounded by brim stones and hell

But You Lord, You stretched forth your hand

As I grabbed a hold, this dying old soul

From the depths of the earth, the miry clay

You cleansed my heart; my soul you saved.

Cynthia Lynn Stigger

Copyright July 8, 2006

Blurbs

As I read the book, Out of the Miry Clay I began to look back over my own life and saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. This book is a good read for all ages.

Minister Ronald E. Carey – New Mercies Ministries

Nelson Stigger brings to the pages of Out of the Miry Clay a richness of growing up under privilege, and discovering that out of clay God forms a man’s purpose for royal priesthood.

Sean S. Grant, Sr., CEO, R & S Menswear, Inc.

This was exemplary reading. I recommend this to men, who grew up without a father in their life, to read this book and see that they are not the only individuals who have had to deal with the curve ball. It was inspiring to me to say the least.

Pastor Lawrence Simpson – Reformation Ministries

Out of the Miry Clay is a compelling testimony of the everlasting love God has for His children, and the awesome power He has to transform our lives in this touching memoir. It becomes quickly apparent that God was always with Rev. Stigger, from the moment he came close to suicide at age 18, to narrowly escaping capture as a wounded soldier in Vietnam. With His unyielding grace, God took Rev. Stigger out of the miry clay of drug use, alcoholism, pimping, and broken marriages, then molded him into an apostle of God with the relevant experience needed to save souls and build churches, not with bricks and mortar, but the church that is within-the spirit church. With engaging detail, clear prose and a remarkable sense of humor, Rev. Stigger uses his own fascinating experiences to demonstrate that only God, through the saving grace of Christ, can offer us true, unconditional love.

Be prepared to go on an emotional roller coaster ride as Rev. Stigger looks back on his life with hard earned wisdom. You’ll definitely find yourself laughing, crying, shaking your head in disbelief, and finally, rejoicing as you read these pages. Enjoy the journey!

Brandon A. Perry –Associate Editor, Indianapolis Recorder

CHAPTER 1

How I Met My Daddy

I was born Nelson Carl Stigger on May 25, 1948, to Reba June Stigger. Father unknown was written on the birth certificate.I was born at General Hospital and delivered by Dr. Nelson for whom I was named after. I was a very frail and sickly child, both premature and asthmatic.

My mother, brother, sisters and I lived with my grandmother and grandfather. Half of an old, rundown, dry cleaning building was attached to our house. We had out door plumbing, and a well for pumping water. We raised chickens, ducks and turkeys.

I remember granny going out to the chicken coop, and picking out a plump bird,then wringing its neck for Sunday dinner. As a kid, I didn’t know that I was poor. There was always something to eat with homemade biscuits, jowl bacon and eggs for breakfast. Or sugar corn pops with ice cold milk.

Being the firstborn child, my mother spoiled me dearly. I always got the best toys for Christmas, and the best gifts for my birthday. That was until my sister Diana came along a few years later. Then my brother David, and my sister Cynthia followed to form my mother’s little clan. I had plenty of cousins to play with as well. We were a close knit family back then.

My sisters, brother and our cousins would go to Douglas Park to play during the summer months. Kids back then had something to do all of the time. Boys usually played cowboys and Indians, or cops and robbers, while the girls played house or hop-scotch.

Those were innocent times. You could trust old Mr. Smith who lived alone. He gave us candy, and wanted nothing more than a smile.

Work was something you learned how to do at any early age. My grandmother tried to teach me that boys needed to start working when they were young. However, my mother didn’t see eye-to-eye with her concerning me working at all. Remember, I was spoiled. Every time my grandma told me to do a chore, my mother would do it for me.

This really upset my grandmother. Reba, she’d say, if you don’t stop doing that boy’s chores and let him get dirty like the other boys, he’ll grow up to be a sissy.

My mother kept me clean as a whistle. I guess after she thought about it, she decided to let me play with the so-called bad boys in the neighborhood. Although she was scared for me, she wanted to let me go. I figured she didn’t want me to become a sissy.

I started hanging out with Cut Cole and his brothers. What a wild bunch they were! At the age of six, I learned to be real tough after getting many cuts and bruises.

I now say,Thanks grandmother, for putting me on the path to being strong.

Attending IPS (Indianapolis Public School) #37 was one of the best experiences of my early childhood school years. We had some of the best teachers. Mr. Blair, my math teacher, was very strict, but taught us well. Mr. Overbey taught gym and English.

These black teachers knew education was not only the key to a better life, but the door opener to a better life as well. I guess I was too young to realize exactly what integration was all about, as well as other racial struggles that were going on. I just knew we were in a black school, and that was all right with me.

There was a grocery store across the street from where we lived. Some days my Grandma sent me to the store for some bread. Grandma always stood in the yard to lookout for cars to make sure I didn’t get hit. When the coast was clear, she would yell,

Go, and off I’d run.

This one particular, cloudy day, I was sent to the store for some butter. When I was about to leave the store, I was terrified when I saw a pack of stray dogs hanging around outside. I didn’t want to leave the store. Ms. Helen, who worked the counter, saw that I was scared, and told me to stay in the store until the dogs ran off.

It was then I heard a voice say, Come play with me. I turned around to see a round-faced white boy about the same age as me. He was the first white boy I had seen in our neighborhood. So at age six, this would be my first exposure to playing with white kids.

My name is David, he said.

I’m Nelson, I replied.

My dad owns this store. Want to play? he asked so sincerely.

I’ll have to ask my mother first, I said, as I left to go back home.

I realized David wasn’t black and I had never played with anybody white before. I was scared and excited at the same time. David and I became good friends and played together until the day I moved… about one year later.

I still remember all of the broken ice cream bars his father gave us, and all of the broken penny cookies Ms. Helen gave us boys. These were days of fun and laughter. It would be years before I’d have another white friend. I would learn as I grew up that good friends are more important than the color of your skin.

One thing I hated as a kid was moving because we moved all the time. We moved from 24th and Baltimore to 1835 Hillside Avenue. The worst part was the house we came from had fifteen people living in it; now we were down to five. I was used to the cramped style of all of us living in my grandmother’s house, and I missed the different voices.

My question at seven years old was: Why do adults have to always move? I missed my friends, my school and my surroundings. I knew the way to the park and to the ice cream parlor. Now, I had new places to explore.

It was around this time I started wondering about who my father was. I liked being around my friend David’s dad. Even though he was a busy man running a grocery store, he took the time to see about his son. If I could make a father, I would make him like my friend David’s dad…only black. It seemed that every time I asked about my dad, I was told to shut up. At seven years old, I had questions, yet no one had any answers.

So my uncles filled in for my absent dad. I thank God for that, but I still wanted to meet my real father. In my little mind, an uncle is an uncle, and a dad is a dad. So what does a little boy do when grown-ups won’t answer his questions? If my dad would have walked past me on any given day, I wouldn’t have known it was him. And even if I had known, and he didn’t recognize me, I would have died of hurt. I needed help from somebody. As a kid, I thought maybe the Wizard of Oz could help me.

One day while having a conversation with Uncle Lonnie, he told me who my biological dad was. Sylvester Grundy (Seal) is his name, said Uncle Lonnie, "and he lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with a wife, four sons and four daughters.

Wow, I shouted, that makes eleven in all. With my three siblings at home, a brother and two sisters, and now my father’s eight, this was so exciting for a kid my age to comprehend. I just didn’t know what to say, but wow.

I found out the Grundy family name was well known throughout the city of Indianapolis. They were considered to be a very clannish family with much backbone, whether is be partying or fighting. Also, Uncle Lonnie shared, they were known to be one of largest black families during the latter 1950’s, and it remains the same today. Uncle Lonnie continued to tell me the history of the almighty Grundy, my dad.

At ten years old, I felt as though my dad was a king with all the great stories I was hearing about him. He was an entrepreneur, not only in landscaping and automotive mechanics, but in trash hauling too. He worked on cars, and was the first black male landscaper in Fort Wayne to ever lay sod down in people’s yards. I didn’t care if he did or did not. I just wanted to meet him. It seemed every time he came to town, I missed him, because by the time I got word he was in town, he had already gone back to Fort Wayne.

One day Uncle Lonnie came over to our house with good news. My dad was in town for a family reunion. Uncle Lonnie and I got into his car, and started down the road to Grundy-Ville, which ended on top of the hill. It was appropriately called Grundy-Ville because everyone lived on the hill between 25th and Keystone Street and 25th and Sherman Drive, which was approximately a one- mile radius. And eighty percent of them were my kin folks.

Everybody knows somebody there, and that was the kingdom where I was finally going to meet Mr. Sylvester Grundy…my dad. In this kingdom called Grundy-Ville, my dad had to be a king or a prince.

Everywhere I walked, people would come up to me and ask me if I was Seal Grundy’s son. Oh, he’s got his mouth…or his eyes, they would say. I just smiled and continued to follow Uncle Lonnie, knowing that soon I would meet my father for the first time.

As we walked deeper into Grundy-Ville, I could hear in the distance a great commotion, mostly of voices and the clanking of steel. I saw a crowd of people standing around shouting, Seal, Seal, stop it.

I didn’t know what they were talking about. Uncle Lonnie explained to me, You’re dad is pitching horseshoes and they are cheering your dad on. I still couldn’t see over the crowd, but Uncle Lonnie pushed his way through. Once in front of the people, I could see four men playing horseshoes. One was big and fat, one was tall and skinny, another was short and thin, and the last one was of medium build.

It was then I heard someone say, Pitch Seal, it’s your turn.

Then my eyes started to light up. Daddy, daddy, I yelled, but he didn’t hear me.

I started to move away from the crowd, but Uncle Lonnie pulled me back. Wait Nelson; wait until the game is over.

Everyone held their breath as my daddy pitched his horseshoes. The game was tied 18-18, and my dad had two shoes left to pitch. I got this, my dad said. He got a ringer with his number one shoe and a ringer with his number two shoe. The game was over.

High fives were passed around with pats on the backs while some grumbled and cursed. There were losers of course, but still everybody was having fun. I was wondering, when was he going to come over to where I was standing? There were so many people in that backyard.

Seal, Uncle Lonnie yelled.

Hey Lonnie, Seal

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