21 Jul Dr Richard Shively
During World War II, my mother was engaged to the man I grew up thinking was my father; however, while he was away fighting the war, she encountered another man with whom she had a one-night liaison which included “Sexual Intercourse” and I was the product. When her fiancé returned home from the war, he agreed to marry her and adopt me; however, he was never able or willing to accept me as his son. This resulted in the intense and severe physical and emotional abuse I received from my “father”. One particular incident occurred at the hand of my father when I was quite young and left me unconscious and probably was the source of the severe Dyslexia that was the impetus for much humiliation in School. All the kids knew of my dysfunction and would giggle and snicker as I frantically tried to sound out the words when the teacher had us read aloud.
Over time I became very angry, developed a very low self-concept, and became extremely self-protective. Eventually fighting back, frequently with my fists, and as I got in a lot of fights, I was labelled a “Hood” or “Hoodlum.”
I received God’s gift of salvation, by placing my Faith in Jesus Christ; however, I still had a very low self-concept. Then in the summer after I had completed the 10th grade, we had a weeklong Missionary Conference at our church. On the last day of the conference, a Sunday night, the speaker talked about how the missionaries were returning to the “Field” for a four-year term after which some would be of an age when they would have to retire, while others would acquire diseases and become disabled, unable to return to missionary work, and he wondered, who would take their place?
All of us young people were sitting together in one section and the speaker turned to us and said, “Will you say, ‘yes’ to the Lord?” I was instantly angry! I had been informed and convinced by my father that I was loathsome, revolting, disgusting, stupid and in all ways defective, which had been confirmed by my schoolteachers, and schoolmates. Still, there was something inside of me that was urging me to respond affirmatively; and yet, at the same time, I angerly argued in my mind, “I am too dirty and inadequate, God would never ‘Call’ me to be a Missionary or a Pastor!” I did not want to be unacceptable; however, I knew I was, and while others could be “Called” by God, He would never “Call” me.
Then the Speaker said “God may not call you to be a Missionary or a Pastor! I have no idea what the Lord may want of you, and He may not be “Calling” on you at all right now, but what I am asking is, “Will you tell the Lord that the answer is ‘Yes’ if He ever does Call on you?” This made me even angrier, knowing this did not pertain to me, and yet, the answer had to be “Yes.”
Finally, I went forward, ready to explode with anger, ready to yell out to the whole church, “I am not being so presumptuous as to say Yes, I will be a Missionary or a Pastor, I know as well as all of you, that God will never Call me, but I must say ‘Yes’ to the Lord!”
Shortly after that service I realized the first application of “Yes Lord!” would be to accept my disability and the accompanying humiliation. It took a while to completely resolve everything, but eventually I learned the importance of John 3:30 “He must increase, and I must decrease,” and Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” I had to be more concerned about others than I was about myself.
This was one of the most important moments in my life; when I said “Yes” to the Lord before He ever “Called” (when I gave the LORD a ”Blank Check” and told Him to fill in the amount if He ever wanted to).
The Lord seems to have a sense of irony, in that, after my ignominious childhood, He has allowed me to marry a wonderful “Lady” who read my lessons and corrected my spelling so I could earn the “Doctor of Psychology and the Doctor of Philosophy (majoring in Theology) degrees.
For the past thirty years I have worked as a Christian Clinical Psychotherapist, Executive/Personal Life Coach, and both a Prison and Police Chaplain helping others who have been damaged as had I.
Richard loves History, Nature, Holland America Cruises, and spending time with family.
An Ordained, Independent Baptist, Minister of the Gospel, as well as an International Board-Certified Executive/Personal Life Coach, Facilitative Mediator, Police, Fire and Emergency/Crisis/First Response Chaplain.
• Member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
• Member of the National Center for Crisis Management
• International Board-Certified Executive/Leadership Coach
• International Board-Certified Personal/Life Coach
• Certified Facilitative Mediator
• Board Certified Master Addictions Counselor (Retired)
• Member of the Coalition of African American Pastors
• Certified Police Chaplain - International Conference of Police Chaplains
• Certified Fire/Rescue/First Responder Chaplain - Federation of Fire Chaplains
• Ordained Minister – Independent Baptist Alliance
• Charter Member – International Christian Coaching Association
• Charter Member - American Association of Christian Counselors
• Member of The Oxford University Alumni Association of New York, USA
• Member of The Oxford University Society University of Oxford, England, U.K.