andy-feb1

Let me see.  What can I say about this one of my personalities? Which one is it again? Oh, yes, the respectable one. Hmmm. There’ll be so much to leave out. Oh, yeah, this is me with my winter hirsuit on.

I am a second career minister who had been serving a church in Schenectady, NY. My first career of 25 years was as an optician and a greedy, unscrupulous businessperson. Yes, well, thank you but I am feeling much better now. After the battle between my relentless need to accumulate and my conscience reached the point where there was nothing left to do but fall down and curl up into a ball, I walked away from the rat race and became poor and happy.

After a few years making reproduction furniture for food and pocket change, along with the other usual and customary life changes that accompany a mid-life crisis, I entered the seminary in 2001. I signed on with God for the ride of my life, and I’ve never looked back. I spent the first2 years with the remarkable faculty at Methodist Theological School in Ohio and the last two with the incredible professors at United Theological Seminary in the Twin Cities. In between, I had the good fortune to refine my Hebrew with the celebrated Janet Tollington and learn my Greek from the distinguished John Proctor of Westminster College at University of Cambridge in England.

Yes, I am a Biblical language geek. Don’t laugh, nobody’s perfect.

I am a recovering addict – been clean for 24 years – and now it appears I have Bipolar II Disorder, which may have cost me my pastorate. For years I thought I was just functionally insane and a really depressing person, but now I know I may need to be medicated differently. More common than we really know, I’ve found out. I have also been addicted to power, profit and prestige – that one was tougher to overcome. Some of the most heinous things I had to recover from are my ingrained biases. I am still working to overcome my learned racism, sexism, heterosexism (actually, I was truly homophobic), able-ism and age-ism. Yes, but I liked anybody who was just like me – well most, some, okay a few. Fear of difference is just great, isn’t it? Makes you so loveable – not to mention unGodly.I was a walking bigot – that is until God got hold of me.

Rather than just believe what other people told me the Bible said, which I had done all my life, I actually learned to study the original languages myself . And what do you know? That part about being made in the “image of God” – well, that message flows through all scripture. It is especially true of the Laws of Moses (10 commandments) and the prophets, which were the scriptures that Jesus held dear. Realizing that I am not the judge of who is and isn’t a Child of God has been the most freeing thing that has ever happened to me.

So that’s where I am now – looking for the face of Christ in every face I see and striving to embrace all, even those that are as unloveable as I once was. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.


10 Responses to “ABOUT ANDY LITTLE”


  1. 1 Joyce Bascom
    January 14, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Just read this first page… and my heart goes out to you and those you hold dear. Impressive that you have used your problems to help others through your ministry. Just as those working with kids who have been abused , or people who have come through any major difficulties, bring understanding and hope to people currently trying to work through these hellish times , your accepting of a call to the ministry is wonderful and inspiring.
    As a retired social worker , I felt that the Mental health diagnoses were so tricky to get right, and then the meds that work for any individual depend on that person’s ability to let doctor know how the patient was responding , being affected. What a balancing act that is for patients and also for the conscientous doctors working with them. Trust so crucial, so difficult to develop when others have power of decisions for our lives.

  2. 2 Stuart
    February 28, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    Andy,
    My emails keep bouncing back- can you confirm your email
    Love
    Stuart

  3. March 2, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    Welcome to Presbyterian Bloggers from a fellow New Yorker. I just came in from digging out with more snow on the way and was delighted to see you blog. Don’t stop writing, I mean expresssing yourself.

  4. 6 jenni
    August 15, 2009 at 9:22 PM

    Hello Andy, I was googling for a few ideas on the Sower and the Seed parable and I came across your website. I read about you and felt just a rather large sigh of relief at your honesty and self examination.I look forward to studying some of your posts.
    Stay strong.

  5. October 26, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    Hi Andy,

    I’m a recovering corporate high earner with a passion for accumulating stuff as well. In 2002 I left a big paycheck and started my own business. I’m poor but happy and much healthier now. My wife loves me more and my kids talk to me now.

    I found my way to God in August 2006 after a several month reading and digestion period that started with Dr. Greg Boyd’s “Letters from a Skeptic”. Baptized in September 2006, I’ve never looked back.

    I began to feel a call to ministry a little over two years ago after an exceptional weekend in the Grace of God via Unidos en Cristo (Cursillo of MN). As much as I pushed away that gnawing feeling that I was supposed to be doing more, I could not get past it. So, I decided to enroll in a class at UTS in New Brighton. I’m now in the MDiv there and struggling to understand how to think out of that other – non-logical side – of my brain. I’m praying that it becomes less painful to do so…

    At any rate, I enjoyed reading your story and wanted to share a bit of my own. I pray that the Lord continues to lead you (and me) to bigger, better, more theological, things.

    YBIC,

    -Kenny

  6. April 13, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Hello Andy,

    I appreciate your article on spiritual abuse. Looking for others who speak out on this topic.

    Brandon Santan, a Professional Counselor, and I have collaborated on developing a new website/webring called: Spiritual Abuse Recovery Network. This website is designed to link other sites who seek to inform people about the harm of spiritual abuse and to be a greater voice in raising the awareness of this church leadership dysfunction in the Church.
    See: http://www.spiritualabuserecovery.com/blog/

    My book is called: ‘Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness’ and is now available. The research findings from this study, along with biblical teaching, make it a welcome resource. My website is: http://www.churchexiters.com.

    This book gives voice to those who have experienced spiritual abuse in their home church and how they recovered from this devastating experience. It gives insights into this complex and sensitive church ministry issue. This book considers the issue of church leaving. It is a resource for caring church leaders, instructors, denominational advisors, and church consultants.

    This book has immediate appeal for those who train future leaders. It is a book which can enhance courses addressing the topic of leadership in the church, including courses on pastoral issues, church administration, and leadership ethics. It deals with a very real dysfunction in the Body of Christ.

    I invite you to check out the websites and see about joining the Webring. We are seeking to be many interconnected voices on the topic of spiritual abuse and recovery.

    Dr. Barb Orlowski

  7. September 23, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Andy,

    I just had no idea. We have to talk. I want to pick your brain on so many issues. We’ll have to let Karen and Jenna talk…you and I can get coffee. :)
    Peace,
    Michelle

  8. April 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Hi Andy,
    So glad I found a connection to your site through Linkedin- wasn’t sure you were the Andy I knew many years ago. Have been reading your site and autobiography and am full of amazement -learned a lot I didn’t know about you back in your “Learning to Live” years when we were friends, and caught up on all the years between then and now -well, 2006. I am not surprised that you are a counselor and minister, and very happy that you found peace with God. I would love to talk to you or re-connect somehow. Don’t know if it is good to put my email here but I invited you on LinkedIn so maybe we can connect through that forum. If you want to.
    Janeese Blansit/Brown


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... or, preaching from both ends

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That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

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