Insecurity…a sign of the times?

Nov 25, 2016

Insecurity…a sign of the times?


Food For Thought?

Bob Dylan put it so well, “Times they are a changing”. Have these changes brought…insecurity?

I was called up (drafted) to the armed services in the UK when I was eighteen and served for five years until my 23rd birthday.

After a very few years I reentered the Air Force in New Zealand as part of an ‘immigrant package’. That lasted from 1958 to 1963…another five years.

So by the time I as twenty-eight I had only known non-governmental employment for just over two years.

Life in the armed forces can sometimes be frustrating but it is seldom…insecure and that can be the case for quite a few tasks that include the well-established basic services that we all need every day.

These tasks may not come with bells and whistles (hi-tech) attached but they are mostly secure.

Our lives, quite recently, have been invaded by technology and, simply by its nature, there is rapid change. Along with these changes have come new demands for younger folk who have never known, or seldom even thought of, non-governmental full time employment.

For them change is a given…they will follow the food chain wherever that leads.

When my ‘career’ in the Air Force came to an abrupt end (see Injustice -last week’s blog). I found myself facing a pretty bleak unplanned future.

My twelve TV programs a year at $25 each hardly offered ‘security’.

So…what about now?

I learned, in those insecure days that full time employment, without change, can become a pretty narrowly focused life.

By narrow I don’t mean in the moral sense…so much as limited in understanding global issues…or even interest in such matters.

My life used to revolve around my duties, if I did these well, then I was secure…or so I thought!

I have been self-employed since my 28th birthday and as I write this I’m closing in on my 83rd…that’s 55 years of relative insecurity during which I have had to depend upon staying as broadminded as possible so as not to miss the increasingly wide range of challenges taking place.

Looking back I’m grateful to have been less secure over all these years; of course, part of that sense of security depends on our armed forces…so really we will always need each other!

A photo of Graham Kerr's father, Graham Kerr, Katrina Kerr and Jessica Ferguson in the military service uniforms

Four generations given to military service: John Kerr (my dad), Myself, Kareena Ferguson (daughter) and Jessica Ferguson (grand daughter).

Did you leave a very secure service job? How did it work out for you?

This week I read Treena’s poem The Artist


  1. Jay Stone Says: 7:42 pm

    So good to see that you are well and walking in the light of Christ. I watched your show with my mother (now 97!) when I was in high school. You are the one (along with my mother) who got me interested in cooking. GOD bless!

  2. Jean Says: 5:24 am

    Yes – absolutely – and it is such a great priviledge to do so. I always say I love when God calls us up from His active-duty list. I also love now taking it one day at a time – it is so much more peaceful and fruitful. We are currently engaged in supporting a single mom and her children living next door. I get exhausted watching the routine of their lives thinking how on Earth did we do it in our day – ????? Truly “there is a season for every purpose under Heaven” – “working all things for our good”. Let’s cook!

  3. Graham Says: 8:29 am

    Jean: It sounds so trite but the growing sense that I have about this complex mix of the world and the kingdom (not unlike the osmoregulation where the salmon move through fresh and salt waters?)…is that it really is all about ‘living one day at a time’ knowing, all the while, where my human experience will end. So surely the only truly sensible action to take, in spite of the ‘present trials’, is to count them all…JOY! And, as a direct result, to find the resilience to keep on going. Tomorrow will take care of itself…if I let it rest in God’s caring hands. This, for me, is currently where the rubber meets the road! I long to just simply be a servant and meet what needs are seen and heard by my willingness to live much more in the moment?

  4. Jean Says: 3:01 am

    Thank your or your words of hope Graham. That is what the world needs now – hope. We have spent too many years in the despair of despots and politics. Back to jobs – I love the photo of Treena’s look fo surprise! Yes, I did this to my husband several times over the years – on average every 3 years. No wonder my husband is so resilient. At first there was extreme panic on his part of how I could quit such a great job at a major US corp promising so much potential and reward – ???? But, your convictions tell you otherwise. Integrity and purpose are much more motivating than mere success which in and of itself becomes a bondage – which you discovered. Follow your heart and to thine own self be true. Like the salmon there is a driving force guiding us along life’s pathway to complete His (God’s) good pleasure. Eventually my husband learned to enjoy the ride knowing it was by faith and my faith was always strong and true propelling us into even brighter and clearer waters. As he grew in faith to trust God, following his own heart and spirit, he found the joy of being led by God and being leader of our pack and I found a new joy in resting and trusting because of God who has never let us fall. It is an exciting adventure – one that I have come to love so dearly.

  5. Graham Says: 9:29 am

    OK you lovely lot, we seem to have moved over ‘job insecurity’ to life and death issues? May I add that I see my death as a DAY CERTAIN. God has it already planned. The word death comes with so much worldly baggage that can be so distracting from the hope that comes with faith. I firmly believe that I shall soon see my beloved Treena and that I shall hold her ‘incorruptible ‘ hand in mine and we shall see Jesus face to face and together experience a joy beyond human expression. Surely this is the gift we have been given by faith and it can replace the dread of death with a new ‘bounce’ of resilience to the days we have left. After all, we are ‘spiritual beings having a human experience’. And it is in that Home where our heart finds its hope and its security?

  6. Jean Says: 6:01 am

    Amen Lynn – thank you so much for taking the time to offer me such wisdom and comfort – a deep breath of air. I concur about a will and we are at that stage also having to update and adjust our wishes. I ‘ve always been extremely organized so that part of life’s business comes easy. In fact, I have been gathering heirlooms and distributing them to our heirs ahead of time. I hope this isn’t like nesting – and perhaps why I have these insecure feelings. I like the thought about confusion. When I had breast cancer t age 39 the Lord brought to mind Job in the Bible. I had total peace and knew I would survive. He reminded me of how He told satan, “You can do anything to my servant Job but take his life”. That was all the peace I needed. I ponder too why if we are called to love one another why we must be taken from one another – such as with Treena and Graham. I learned along time ago that we do not belong to each other but only to God and we are on loan here for each other. The Lord gave me a vision once too about stepping over a line in the sand – He said, “it will be that easy”. I believe Him – I trust Him. There was also a time 20 years ago when my husband suffered a near fatal bee sting. He was taken down so fast with convulsions that after my initial panic and saw him safely en route to the hospital via ambulance I again had total peace knowing that if he did succumb he would be in total peace and joy – not suffering – and that made me glad. I know he will survive fine without me – the Lord has him covered. Isn’t it funny how ths has been on my mind and Graham hits on it ???? Must be God working all things for our good. I will go forth today looking forward to holiday decorations and baking Christmas cookies with the neighbor girls. Thank you again so much – another deep breath.

  7. Lynn Severance Says: 7:18 pm

    Jean – being ‘interactive’ here with some thoughts for you.

    I remember as I was nearing my late 50s that a friend who is 5 years ahead of me in age was sharing about the abrupt reality she was facing of her own mortality. It is a recognition that we have not as many days ahead of us,as we have behind us. I could not relate to what she was talking about – at least on a ‘feeling’ level. Then I reached age 65 and “it hit” and it was a scary time, emotionally. In reactive mode, I seemed to want to hurry up all my hopes and dreams for surely, I ‘had to have some control’ over their unfolding. I did not then and I do not now


    Facing the earthly wisdom of creating a will so others know of our wishes is important. It also raises the reality that I just mentioned. It was not so hard creating a will when I was 52. I have had to update that will 2x now because circumstances changed and it was important. Now, all is settled. Once the hard part of making those decisions (and I understand that making them with your beloved spouse adds to the overwhelmingness),is done, I found any angst settles down for “all is settled”.

    One lesson from my own life experiences may touch you at this time as you share “I love Earth and fear the grave”. Nearly 30 years ago I awakened in the hospital to the news they had discovered an aggressive form of breast cancer. I was numb. I did not even know what I felt. I was practically catatonic for 24 hours before I could even move internally to the Holy Spirit’s flicker deep within. And even then, God had to literally define for me what I was “feeling”. And He did. There was a “fear of dying” which I questioned for I, too, know there is Eternity beyond. Yet in my state at that time, I thought I was dying “right then”. I asked God why I was feeling fear of dying and I will never forget his response. “Lynn, I am a God of order and not confusion. Any confusion you are fearing is not from me. Your confusion is only a sign that it is not your time – I have more for you yet here on earth. When I do come for you, it will not be confusion you feel, by my total and undeniable peace.”

    Even with this assurance, I can still have times of insecurities. They rob my “now” of joy and certainly can overshadow hope for a future as I try to take control – a control I never have had nor will have. All any of us can do is walk through the gift of one more day – grateful that we can. I am praying all this will ease out for you.

    None of us want the enemy to have his ways with getting us stuck in worrying. We can “step on him” as we walk confidently with the One who already defeated him.

  8. Jean Says: 6:41 am

    Yes – as Lynn states – walking by faith is thrilling when you see it all fall into place beyond your control – but very scary in the meantime wondering how, when, where, and who. It isn’t until you scale that first fish ladder that you can have full confidence in a living God who loves you and is working in our midst on our behalf working all things for our good. All things that in our natural ability and experience may seem impossible and improbable. I love seeing all your videos on this blog and hope one day you will have them on DVD for posterity and future generations. My personal experience with insecurity is right now – at my age of 61.5. It seems that upstreaming is turning into downstreaming – time on earth grows shorter each day. As much as I love God and am secure of eternal life – I love Earth and fear the grave. My husband and I need to make our final arrangements and I can’t bring myself to choose – how or where. I pray earnestly to be raptured standing up. I dread the day one of us will be taken first. It overshadows my hope for the future. My husband, currently 69, is strong and healthy and desires ten more years to age 79 – close to your age Graham. God willing he will make it just fine. I don’t feel I will. You continued blessing to write and produce is so encouraging at this time. Your daughter and granddaughter following in military service is awesome – and how awesome their resemblance to you and Treena. Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving thoughts and dinner. I think the same about you and “our” blog mates.

  9. Lynn Severance Says: 8:49 pm

    As I read through the comments (thus far), I see a thread among some of how our security is not in jobs, things, or even people but in a surrender to the One who said He will never leave us or forsake us. He is our security.
    That said, the means to make a living (or live within our means when retired from a career that brought $$ income) is a reality. It does not negate that God is our security but we can be tested deeply if we are uprooted or if the means of our livelihood it taken away – however that taking occurs.

    A couple of years ago, I found myself online and checking out assisted living sites. That came about because a friend was in need and the subject had come up. That was the ‘last thing’ I should ever have done – but a good lesson came out of it that ties in with Graham’s topic this week. I am still able to live on my own, and thankful God allows me this privilege. I have just enough $$ means – including gratefulness for Social Security. Seeing the fees for facilities crashed me right into my frugal budget. I was ‘shaking and quaking’ wondering how I’d ever be able to survive. God calmed me down. He reminded me that there has never been one moment in my 73 years that He has not met my needs – and often in ways abundantly more than I could have asked. I was looking into a future not yet come. Dangerous? In some ways it can be. But not if I choose to live in the “now”, remembering God’s faithfulness in the “past” and that He has my future secure in his hands.

  10. Mark W Says: 5:57 pm

    I have just taken leap of faith, myself, a kind of hybrid. While I have enough residual security (I.e. a small pension) to care for my daughter (the most important thing), for me, there is unpredictability. I’ve always hated insecurity, but I think I have to do it to try and move myself forward in life. Tally ho – I hope!

  11. karl guggenmos Says: 2:31 pm

    Hi Graham,
    How well I know insecurities.I am experience the most significant “lack” of security in my 66 years here on earth.
    I made a decision to leave my secure position with a $ 200,000 plus a year income to venture into a business and in the last 2 years had to spend all my resources.I now have to live every month/day depending on the Lord for somehow mange to survive.The business has so much promise of doing well, but so far every door is either only halfway open or has been shut in my face with a bang.
    People I have trusted and thought I could depend on have long left and never heard from again.
    I have nobody to really ask for financial help ,those that could won’t and I know the ones who cant would.It’s eyeopening to experience especially Christians who give you the pat on the shoulder and the obligatory “I pray for you” and while they have the means to help they use this to sear their conscience and walk away.
    I have ONE friend and ONE family member who helped with out reservation so this is something Ill never forget.I have two friends who really can’t help but truly care and are with me no matter what.
    I have one business man tell me “Just believe in yourself and things go well just have enough faith and do the best” the old Joel Osteen
    That it’s a special favor of God to make you rich and God wants everyone to be rich and healthy.
    Trusting god has been very hard, but He has shown me a lot of things that I didn’t see before, both in myself and others
    At this point faith, hope and a couple of friends is all I have left and maybe thats all I need

  12. patty Says: 1:33 pm

    Hi Graham
    Thanks for bringing up this topic on insecurities.
    I am dealing with a lot of insecurities in my life right now ?
    Taking care of my Mom for 2 and 1/2 years I was very insecure because I always took care of her and
    with that I did not do a lot of social things with people. now I am dealing with a lot of social anexities and
    insecurities during that whole time from 1998 till 2002 .

  13. Georgie Says: 11:27 am

    I think this is a great conversation to have with folks because many never consider it. I remember twice in my life leaving a labor union because it felt so smothering to my future. My co-workers gave up their potentials in life to their union to do their bargaining and make their fortunes for them and I could not stand it! American is called (still) the “Land of Opportunity” but many have turned it into the “Land of Security” and that will eventually bankrupt it (besides living below ones potential). A life of opportunity required me to eventually learn to trust God and that was the big prize. Not a political party, not a union, not the government, not my parents or money. I eventually had to throw myself on God’s mercy and provision and He came through. The Lord retired me from the “curse of work” early in life and allowed me to work in ministry for 16 more years. Great adventures!

  14. Steve Says: 7:48 am

    Dear Graham:
    I once heard that 90% of moving forward in life is to simply “just show up”. When I first heard that phrase I thought it was pretty much overly simplistic nonsense. Then I started to live through life and reflected often upon that very thought. It gradually became apparent to me that with virtually all of the insecurity that life throws at us comes the tendencies to avoid, not follow through, and sometimes completely freeze. To overcome these natural tendencies I have just kept thinking and practicing the actions of that “overly simplistic nonsense” – no matter what.
    I actually think that through all of the insecurities experienced in your life perhaps one of your action plans has been to simply “Just Show Up” – especially when it seemed impossible and futile to do so.
    Upon reflection – perhaps you may agree with me on this?
    Regards – Steve

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