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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Sunday, December 31, 2006

It Hurts

To reflect back and have all to constnat reminders of past and continual failures

to have such a keen understanding mentally of what God wants to make happen and be so far from carrying it our emotionally/actively

to seek to surrender to God and let Him unravel those things which for whatever reason i have been unable ot unwilling to

to face the fact that pain is a necessary part of lasting change ,growth and transformation

to walk in faith and let go of things which are destructive yet so familiar they have served as a weird security

to open myself to risking in wya i long to and know will be ultimately a joyful thing yet i still am haunted by the shame from falling countless times before

So many more thoughts i could say as to why it hurts I wanted to end with a truly positive thing.... even though it hurts God is wrestling with me and helping me know hope and peace in the midst.... and that He will be in the hurt all the time with me. The more He helps me realize that the less it does hurt.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Be Careful What You Ask For

I have always liked that cliche the tag line being *you just might get it* So many awesomely cool blogs abound on here. It is amazing to me to see how all of us can reach into so many lives, via our blogs, in ways we don;t even have consciousness of, but it happens just the same. I am thinking today of how I seek to wrestle with God, pray foe it, ask for it, seek it , all other synonyms for it. yet, when it happens, I am like in a fog at times because it doesn't happen in the way or shape I had imagined as I sought for it!!!! Imagine that God doing something NOT according to my preference??? Some nerve!!!! LOL

I resonate with my friend gary who posted about differences between himself and his family. He spoke of living inside his head, man that profoundly strikes a chord with me. I have always tended to be more an introvert, handling my filter on this life via my own inner self. Funny thing is though I can be a outward introvert, i love to be around people and make them laugh, smile and feel good. Love to have deep conversations or just talk sports, movies or whatever. I sometimes think i have an idea of how a shizophrenic feels and faces life because i surely have several voices which ruminate within the labrynth of my mind. I dont *hear* them mind you, like as an audiblke voice, but they are there all the same. If any of you have ever seen a movie called *The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea* I would really like your review on it. It was made in 1974, starring Kris Kristofferson and Sarah Miles I believe. I saw this movie at probably the most painful time in my life, jr high. Something about the boy in that movie, though I don't have good recall right now, strikes me as living inward and in a *fantasy world* due to seeking to avoid personal pain. If you rent and wqatch the movie let me know your take.

Fear has been such an anchor weighing me down most of my life. I think in my convluted way as a 8 year old, i devised some kind of way to try to offset fear, to seek fantasy to hide, defuse or deflect it. God is the greatest Presence in existence. His love and grace the most powerful attributes. His justice and anger as well as judgment equally as powerful. Knowing this in my mind, I scranble my brains to come up with why I have seemed to let fear trump His love and grace in my emtional understanding and my imagination???? Again, this is really only in regards to ME. i have virtually NO problem seeing His love and grace bestowed to others, no matter who they be. I just really struggle greatly applying it to myself. I had a comment from pam about my *jacob* post, where she liked my saying *shame causes me to shrink from grace.* This i find to be true, yet also I think failing to achieve causes this. I have fear which causes me to become inactive and paralyzed by it, which leads to not performing which leads to more fear and on it goes downwardly spiraling. Weird thing is alot of this goes on inside my head!!! I have done things I felt very afraid or insecure about, and still manage to different times. But, there is this constant itch inside that tells me I have fear which should not be there if I *really had faith* or if i *really were obeying Christ* How do you counteract those voices??? Courage is acting despite fear right??? It doesn't mean acting with all fear gone because why then would it be called courage???? yet i see the verses where Jesus tells his disciples *fear not!!!* Paul says God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love.power and something in Christ. Perfect love casts out fear....... I look around in life, even the most dynamic followers of Christ i have either seen or met still have some fear.... so why have Ai had this seeminly ageless struggle to be rid of it and feel hopeless because it always finds a way to resurface???How did i manage to undergo an angioplasty... which involved a possible threat to the organ which i have always most feared would fail and cause my worst fears to become reality..... and be virtually fearless... calm, serene, even joking with the drs.... trusting God with the procedure??? How can I be all consumed with wanting to love God , jesus and the Holy Spirit, seek after Him more and more, be in community with others who seek Him, want toi grow closer and deeper in relationship with Him...... and at the same time,,,, fear He will abandon me, wonder if He is thoroghly disappointed in me, get caught up in various things which are opposite of His desires and will???? Others with thoughts and comments???? lend me your keypad!!!!

Thank you to all of you who have enriched my life in 2006.... may 2007 do so even more and may all of you recieve whatever it is God has for you to experience according to His perfe4ct plan!!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

control and shame

Odd combination of words there??? Might be so, but they both have been swirling inside my mind lately after reading books, blogs,articles and hearing sermons which spoke to both issues in varying levels and degrees. it is almost a new year..... lots of reflection is the norm as it approaches. The good , bad,ugly and everthing in between. Giving up control is something i think any of have to deal with on a neverending basis, even if we may not realize it. *In the beginning God means exactly that, NOT in the beginning Bob, or whatever name you choose. It truly ticks us off, even as christians lots of times, to realize He and not we are the ultimate captains of our fate and fully in charge. We tend to prefer a different methodology in pursuing the living of life, one that would be alot more pain-free and trouble-free. I know i have sought that way way to many times to mention, funny how to often i ended up creating way more pain and trouble in ways i had not foreseen despite my best laid plans.

Shame is one of the deadliest enemies of the soul i think. Shame causes us to shrink away from grace, to deny forgiveness as possible to wallow in self-disgust and emptiness. I think it hits even harder when you have very established standards and believe you have a certain level of integrity, and then,due to whatever inner demons which stir within, you find yourself committing actions and behaviors you never imagined you could commit. You consider the questions that come from family and friends who wonder how and why you could do such things, and you feel as though God looks down and shakes His head wondering how he went wrong with you. I find it weird how I am affected differently at different times. My one post the other night had me deeply emotionally moved as i wrote. yet, i sit here writing in very similar fashion of something that hurts just as deeply but i am not in the same emotional place as before. It's amazing how God can work so quickly at times to bring a sense of healingand peace, yet at the same time seem to offer nothing but stunned silence and aloofness, yet both accomplish His purposes in precisely the way He intends them too.

We all have sins we struggle with, even if we have been christians almost 70 years or more. Some of us struggle with the same ones over and over, others conquer ones just to have new ones pop up. I read a devotional by brian Jones, author of *Second-guessing God* (great book imho) and he talked of sin being like dandelions, just as you think you have one decimated all of a sudden 3 or more sprout within. Shame strikes and tries to snuff out our joy and hope accusing us of being hypocrites,liars and unworhty to call ourselves His...... the louder the accusations and stronger they shout, the further we can sink down down into despair. Thankfully, God breaks through that darkness and lets us know He forgives and loves and desires us regardless and doesnt even SEE our sin..... because Jesus blocks it from His view. I wish i could pour out all the times I have felt as though i had run out of time and was lost to the darkness. yet Jesus reached down, somehow and someway, and picked me up to help me know ultimately i was ok because of Him. Usually alot of the times He has done that is because of people, who shared themselves, their pain, their shame, their despair.... and how somehow hope stayed alive because Jesus made it so.

I know i will battle wanting to take control as well as dealing with issues of shame in my life..... but man o man I thank God and Jesus that they make it possible for me to share and recieve from others to find hope and help and know that He will be there with me .

Friday, December 22, 2006

wanting to be like jacob afraid to be like jacob

Stirrings and more stirrings within today. Barbara asked a couple great questions on her blog.... describe 2006 in one word then describe how you want 2007 to be. So much of what i am reading lately, and various experiencesd with people and situations. I definitely understand in a way i never could back in Bible College what my one professor meant when he said the older he got he realized the less he knew. Certainty is such a huge thing for us, especially in our 20's i think ready to tackle the world. Solid understanding of what the *truth* is and we were going to make sure we get that across. I have been slowly gaining a newfound appreciation for more........ oh it pans me to say it...... *liberal* understandings of Christianity and God. O wow i said the *L* word and survived!! LOL

Last night i was feeling uneasy and discomforted over various things. I realized in trying to get a grip on how i face my fears, that I chose to be in denial a great deal of possibly the biggest fear of all .......... GOD!!!! I can hear a former Bible college professor saying to us in class once... how dare anyone be afraid of God!!!!! making it sound like the unpardonable sin or something. I may be a lil dense, but a Being who brings severe plagues upon Egypt, who destroys sodom and gomorrah into ashes, who caused the Flood, and of whom it is said,,,, *it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the Living God* well I think THAT GOD just might garner a smudgeon of fright and fear from this lowly soul.... ya think????

I think i struggle with *survivors guilt* to an extent. meaning from my dad and grandma. Why them and not me???? I remember i had a deep foreboding for the longest time after turning 21 every year as i came closer to 30 the age my dad was when he died. None of this is rational. In my rational mind of course i understand all the reasons for why my dad died and everything pertaining to it..... but part of me, and all of you, is NOT rational. I remember I was one of the only ones in my neighborhood that i knew of as well as my school , to have lost a parent to death. made me feel a lil different, though i knew it happened to others. Death never seemed to be talked about, it was just assumed that thosewho died went to heaven. i think not talking about it led to my emotional struggles because while i wanted to just accept the hope and promise of seeing my dad and grandma again in heaven one day, various questionings and wonderings ate away at me inside, but I always tried to push them away, thinking i should be strong enough to not be bothered by fears and doubts or anything to discourage my *mental toughness* When i am reading the Bible, in sunday school, as a teacher or listener, in a worship service, surrounded by friends talking about our faith and such, God is genuinely evident and it's like how can there be anyone who would doubt????

But..... when i am alone, usually at night, and just laying still or sitting in my chair it hits me do i really know God is there???? will he be there to accept me into His heaven and love me as i am??? Is He ashamed, annoyed,angered and fed up with me because of all the ways i mess up even though i have such a blessed life in comparison to so many others in the world. I wonder if maybe my deepest fear of being rejected by Him because i lacked faith and courage and obedience will come to pass and all the pain i feared of happening to me which i tried to avoid either by running from it or disconnecting in my own head would find me and make me pay. These might sound like ramblings of a psycho but they are genuine thought struggles i experience in my seekingto come to grips with God and His holiness ion my failure to be holy as He is holy. Jesus prayed right before He was taken away to be crucified, *not My will but Yours be done* to His Father. Praying that prayer for me ..... is tantamount to drinkiong poison and seeing what will happen..... terrifying to realize God might take me up on it!!!!! I want to totally surrender to Him and be a *living sacrifice* yet i want it to happen in a very fun, pleasant happy way where all of a sudden Im dead and in heaven painless as can be hurrah!!!!! Something tells me if Jesus was crucified,,,, if God Himself let His Son go through all that pain and agony hmmmmm how can i possibly think or wonder that i will not in some way. And thats the rub........ I dont want to go through it!!!!! yet, a small part of me does... that part comes out in some very unexpected ways.. certain scenes in movies or on tv or ion books or stories people tell..... i find myself moved in a way that can only be from God.

Holy Almighty God..... You know everything... even as i type this You know. You know my deepest fears... regrets and failures You know my fear of not living up to what You expect of me my difficult time accepting grace and even love from You. Help me to honestly pray everyday that Your will be done and not mine and that i will relax in knowing i am safe and secure in Your will being done and that i wont be punished and placed in some agonizing torture chamber because of my sins that Jesus paid the price for me and He keeps His Word..as do You. help me to surrender to You all the things in me that cause me to fear You in a way that i shouldnt. take away any idols and things i let stand in Your way from transforming me into all You want my life to be. Do this even though i may fight You and try to hide from You, all the silly games played when wanting to hold onto sin or self.... help me to be like jacob and wrestle You keep wrestling You because in doing THAT.... we CONNECT.... and that has to be one of the most amazing things You could ever allow anyone to experience ever!!! i praise You for being the God You are!!!!!! In Jesus Name Amen!!!!!!

nobody said it would be easy

Words to a coldplay song but they ring so true. *The Road less Traveled* a book by M Scott peck, originally published back in 1982, highly recommended reading btw, opens with these words of wisdom..... *life is difficult* of course it's not followed by and then you die badumbum.tsh kind of a cliche but so true still the same. I had a certain type of post planned until i went to glance over my good friend barbaras blog and noticed her linking to ambers site in which amber had written several posts about fear. My last post a few days ago was talking about how I wanted the verse which talked of Gods perfect love to cast out all fear to become reality in my life. I had a down day today for various reasons, and was going to post in such a way but have been changed by reading ambers posts.

Amber discusses various mission trips she made to romania and an indian reservation mostly, and how on each one she was forced to hand over her fears to God and deal with them. Great part is... she DID just that!!! her way of sharing is so compelling because she shares so genuinely no need for high drama just that her fears surfaced and she had to face them with God. of course God came through. i am very in awe and inspired by Amber at the sametime. i have had to face a few fears because there was no other way. On was flying. When i was at semnary in Illinois, my church home decided to pay my way to fly back home to california for christmas. A very cool gesture because i did not have the money to afford it and neither did my mom, but i was scsred nonetheless.As the flight drew nigh i spent countless times going to professord and my fellow students asking for tips on overcoming fear of flying most of them made jokes about crashes and such but they did it in a spirit of caring trying to show it all was in Gods hands ultimately. i made the flight and was realtivel calm . needless to say though, the following year, I paid to go by amtrak 3 day trek across the country.... baby steps right barbara???? *wink wink*

I faced my fear of anesthesia a few times. i have long had the fear of somehow never waking up from being putto sleep.... or having that dreadful experience of waking up enough to be aware of what was happening but unable to let the drs or nurses i was YIKES!!! I had to have surgery on my ear as well as my nose. Getting a shot of demerol before going under was sure helpful wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and i made it through unscathed, except for a nauseous reaction to the anesthesia upon awakening ah well

Public speaking I got the opportunity to preach several times while in Bible college as part of a team called *project barnabas* in which we wentto small churches in our area and preached in the evening service. Very scary,,, very good experience and so many incredibly wonderful people in those churches who were very encouraging.

i still am seeking to deal with my most basic fear though..... deepest root there is.... God Himself. As i talked about in a previous post.... I handled things logically and intellectually extremely well. Not so emotionally and here as i type this i feel that struggle. I am able to be a very solid encourager to people , i truly believe and have had it confirmed over the years it is most likely my primary spiritual gift. I can see ways to give hope and comfort to people, draw up patterns i see connecting things which help.. but when it comes to myself... im a blank far too often. And of course i cover this up by not letting on any of this ,always appear in control well unless i share it which I try not to do because i am supposed to be handling things maturely and handling it as a strong christian should. A big part of me just.emotonally has a severely hard time just trusting God to be there to care to recognizse he loves me. Great now ai feel the tears beginning... i am being very raw and transparent here because Ai am just touched in this way right now to be so. I know Gods grace is ther and he loves us unconditionally apart from performance.... but what about the verses about obedience???? the parable of the one who buried his gift and all he had was then taken from him???? the verses where it appears if your performance were not up to par, whatever the par was then you were dealt with severely???? Weall want to hear the words upon entering Heaven..... *well done thou good and faithful servant!!* Well.... what if thats simply not the case???? What if you screw up and fall to the same sins again and again over the course of so many years and especailly when having been or being in a position wher you are seen as the example for others to follow????

All through my tiome in Bible college i struggled with feeling like i would die at any moment. i cannot explain this it just was there. Anytime i rode in a car i would sitther and wonder.. *am i going to die now... will i sudenly have a heart attack.... it would hit me while watching a movie in a theater while at home on the weekend..... almost anywhere a counselor i had even told me to tell myself *ok die die right now* to help show me that my thoughts didnt make it happen and wouldnt. Deeper struggle in all of this was worrying that God was angry because i was showing lack of faith and lack of trust in Him in his love and care for me. I saw it inwardly as my own feelings of failure because i ever let fear happen. i sought everyday to turn these hidden struggles over to God.... amzing growth has happened over the years in a lot of ways, but lately i have felt old wounds resurface.... maybe because of my heart condition as well as now having diabetes and realizing that yes life can indeed be cut short anytime.

Reading ambers posts was very comforting to me. i DO know and believe deep inside with my mind heart soul and strngth God is love and he is completely trustworthy..... i just have to turn over my dark areas to Him as well and even accept the reality of them being there. I dont know if all i wrote is totally coherent, i hope so. i just felt the need to lay all mycards on the table maybe some others also have hidden hands they need to look at. or some have experience and wisdom to offer as exhortation and encouragment. I am so very thankful for discovering blogging and so many of you people outthere who God uses in alot of ways. i pray He will transform my fears into trust and actions which allow Him to demonstrate His amazing ability to display His glory and goodness. Thanks for reading all who come by.

5 things most people dont know about me

i thank pam for tagging me always fun to see what people say.

1. i am an excellent speller, just always have been for some reason, though on here i type without using spellcheck at times so it makes it much less obvious lol.

2. i have never had coffee nope i tried coffee icecream, didnt lioke it thus never wanted coffee good thing i live in portland and not seattle

3. i have flat feet would keep me from being able to join the military if i ever had tried to and also explains why this white boy cant jump even worse since basketball is my fave sport!!!!

4. I scored one of the highest scores, or so i was told by the interviewer, in a test i took to become a ATT operator. i declined the job they only wanted to offer split shifts yuk

5. Im allergic to penicillin yup the biggest antibiotic of them all and im allergic, Not a good thing to discover while being treated for pneumonia at the time!!!

man this was hareder than i thought i wonder how anyone does that 100 things about me list!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

no fear no mo

*perfect love casts out all fear, he who fears has not been perfected in love for God is love and there is no fear in love* That verse has always jumped out at me probably because as long as i can recollect i have had a hard time with fear. I dont fully know why either.... as i think back i can see the classic roots of both environment and genetics. i think I was wired from even in the womb as a *highly sensitive person* More research is being done on this, showing it is a true condtion physiologically and not just a matter of emotions and temperament. i have always been sensitized to loud noises, as well as other peoples emotions even ones they tried to hide. i had a grandma who was a worrier, very fearful and overprotective as well as an alcoholic. She played a primary role in my life from day one because my mom and dad both worked and also because of my dad illness with cancer.

I can remember her always warning me to not get hurt , to watch out for bad kids, (she thought ALL kids were bad kids) and seeing her make facial expressions and movements as well as sounds which i just felt as fear. When my dad died of cancer it was like a needle popping a bubble...... safe was no longer in my vocabulary i had to find a way to create safety, whatever that meant in my 8 year old highly sensitive mind. i was an introvert even as a kid and so it was easy to craw linside my own skin,,,, let my inner mind just try to keep safe from the scary stuff *outthere* I think i developed a case of what is known as *magical thinking* believing my thoughts attimes made thing happen. i used to go to the bathroom at night or outside with the trash and would get this sensation of fear inside like any second someone would get me. It happened at home , a relatives, neighbor , if we were at an amusement park... anywhere. very odd but it happened all the time. i have always had like this *inner protector* in my mind which always tried to make sure everything was safe. I had a habit of checking my pulse near my temple anytime i felt anxious making sure i felt it and that it wasnt going crazy.

i think this relates to an imcomplete view of God. i had a strong ability to pick up things intellectually rather quick. i think i was ahead of myself when younger mentally-wise,,, but waaayyyyyyyyy behind emotioanlly, although i could fake it pretty good. I grew up catholic as i have posgtef before and took deeply to heart the reality of God and Jesus in so far as i could understand then. However when my dad died, i think emotionally i coudnt grasp it my inner self was screaming....WHY GOD WHY????? YOU LET PEOPLE DIE AND LEAVE LIL KIDS BEHUND YOU LET THEM DIE TO YOUNG YOU DONT PROTECT THEM YOPU DONT CARE I think this is close to that inner voice because I covered over it long ago. I KNOW in my mind God loves all of us, that it wasnt Him who made my dad die, who let ANYONE die..... and the truth we know about sin and suffering and salvstion. but, my 8 year old inner self couldnt comprehend that and thus has struggled with fear ever since.

i struggle NOW because i have grown and found God responding so many ways to me throughout life..... seen Him do it in countless ways to so many lives..... and yet my particular struggle remains.... partly because i hammer myself by my thoughts. *Your 45 you should have been over this when you were 16*....... *what kind of minister are you you dont even have real faith look at how afraid you get* i could go on and on with examples of this destructive self-talk. I so want that verse to be true for me. help me O God to do what i need to do so that Your perfect love and peace are solidly in me and remove my fear!!!!!

Let me know if this resonates with any of you also anything that has allowed this verse to be realized for you. i appreciate all responses. Anyone who likes to email or chat on Imi have them both listed. i thankGod for blogging, such a powerful outlet!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Choice and Force revisited

We are forced to live, we are forced to die. 2 of the most basic events any of us ever experience, being born into this world, and exiting it, are entirely without our consent, well normally so anyhow. Once we begin our life we are awash in all kinds of situations which either involve force or choice. We are forced to eat and drink if we choose to live. We are forced to relate to our family and also other people if we choose to be sociable and interactional. We are forced to choose to believe and acknowledge God or to ignore and avoid Him. Whatever we choose, we are forced to face the consequnces of our choices. My head spins thinking of all the ways these 2 categories are intertwined and yet they represent by definition polar opposites, freedom and coercion.

Barbara made a very intersting post today about a post she came across from another blogger (kudos gary dude) talking about how Jesus does not force Himself upon anyone. This led me to reflect on how alot of times evangelism can be done out of fear instead of love or compassion. We are afraid someone wont hear and will be lost, we are afraid we have not done as we should and are being bad stewards. I remember as a very young christian when i was 16, i attended calvary chapel, a very charismatic church in southern california in the 70's, it still exists today as well. The preacher always spoke of how Jesus could return any minute and the Rapture would happen, so we better be ready and preach to all we can so they wont go to hell. I felt i HAD to preach and get my mom and sister saved, (they both read here and are solid believers now so they will chuckle at this remembrance) I tried to force them to accept jesus as i had and even tried scare tactic lie saying fine just go to hell then or something like that , wanting to shock them into faith. Scary to think about that now. Funny how the Holy Spirit was able to reach them both apart from my *forced evangelism* efforts.

I am in a process of rethinking and understanding everything about God, Jesus the Bible truth faith and how it all fits together. Blogging has sure aided in this process, seeing so many who also are on journeys of rediscovery and reevaluation. it is very tough to come to conclusions that beliefs you have hed for years and that are very core to life itself might be in error. I want to write more about preterism or past fulfillment also known as covenant theology, a totally different understanding of eschatology than is held by *Left Behind* as well as the mainstream evangelical church. Fear seems to pop its ugly head around all over the place. Fear is one of the biggest deterrents to accomplishing ANYTHING i think its also a prejudice our culture holds in a very stronmg way. Much better and more acceptable to be outspoken bold and even arrogant rathe than to be fearful shy and withdrawn. Even though there may be many valid reasons for struggling with fear and its repercussions, showing it or letting it be seen openly is looked down upon and seen as a worse sin than almost any other.

i need to think through alot of these thoughts, so many meshing together. Choice.... Force.... God is in control He is Love..... nothing any of us do can make Him love us any more or any less...... He is mystery He is life He is always present He wants relationship

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Why i am not a tulip aficionado

catchy lil title eh??? I have been marinating over this subject a very long time hopefully can make intelligible sense out of my position on the matter. Tulip is a well-respected acronym for the 5 points of calvinism. I have struggled long and hard in many discussions across the decades dealing with calvinism /arminianism, predestination/feewill and etc. i have seen long drwan-out battles with Scripture being wielded as a sword and not like paul talks about in Ephesians neither. i simply cannot agree with some of the foundational tenets calvinism seems to uphold.

Calvinism places a very high value upon Gods sovereignty, or His power. Plenty of scriptures to back this up, He is the Almighty, Omnipotent. However, i think His choosing to restrain His power is an even greater attribute. He destroyed sodom and gomorrah in an instant He brought down the flood all the plagues He cast upon egypt. Very cataclysmic display of His judgment and wrath, His power. it is His witholding that power which shines even brighter to me. Sending Christ as a baby born like any other human. Allowing Christ to live and experience life just as we do and even to become the least of all creation,a pure servant. God in flesh-who Christ was..... dying on a cross in order to reconcile His creation back to Himself. He could have wiped out all of us with one Word he didnt do it He sacrificed Himself for us!!!!

Calvinism holds that only the *elect* will be saved, that Christ came to save only them. The Bible does refer to Gods *elect* however I see them as being elect... *in Christ* God talks about freedom all through His Word. He gave adam and eve freedom to choose He seeks after the lost as shown in many of Jesus parables. It is His kindness that leaves us to repentance, NOT His anger or wrath despite many preachers sermons to the contrary. John 3;16 says God so loved the WORLD that whosoever believes,,,,, not just the *elect* God sent Christ in the world to save sinners, *while we were yet sinners Christ died for us* *choose ye this day whom ye will serve* Hope is a major theme in the Bible,especially the New Covenant. I cannot imagine why God would offer hope to those who are actually hopeless like as if he only came to save His elect. Why would He create beings he planned to destroy just because He could as their Creator??? I know the verses in Romans where Paul talks about the clay not questioing the potter...... but in applying that to God and His creation....it just strikes me as completely against all He has laid out concerning His love and desire to see us freely choose Him as He chases after us like a lover wanting nothing but the relationship to be made whole.

Alot more I could say but that is enough to chew on for now. Hope to receive responses , of whatever variety :)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A good morning meeting

Well it happened o yes ladies and gentlemen it did...... gary and I were actually able to meet and it was a very good time!!! We decided to meet halfway for both of us he being near seattle and i being near portland. It was close to an hour and a half commute i would like to say i arrived fashionably late but actually i got a lil later start than planned and then missed the place at first pass. DOH ( homer simpson moment) The town we met in was pretty small and actually reminded more of a midwest town than one in the pacific northwest. I got out to ask where it was from a local and then proceeded to drive the WRONG WAY. dow na one way street!!!!! yikes..... luckily no cops were around , in my haste i neglected to notice the numerous signs saying ONE WAY thankfully i soon arrived and saw gary sitting at a table also seeing an empty plate. man how could i have been that late!!! No worries my friend told me he could easily talk as i ate and indeed he could!!! LOL

We had a great time discussing our health issues, church experiences, blog friends and theological viewpoints. it was very cool to actually see gary in person after having chatted via blogs and emails as well as talking to him on the phone. I totally enjoyed the time together and hopefully, when miss barbara/layla comes to portland in the spring mr dude will have to venture down here to portland for another meeting!!!!! We left and shared a big hug ..... since we are both BIG men lol and drove off with satisfied bellies good breakfast food,,, gotta love omelettes with biscuits and gravy!!!! So there is my small take on this historic event!!!! Maybe we can lure brian and amber out for a visit so we can see taser up close and in person!!! Time will tell................

God is unfair

How does that make you feel?? Does it evoke an emotional response??Kind of like when we are disciplined or chastised by our parents. We want to stick out our lower lip,stomp our feet,ball up our fists & shout- YOU ARE NOT FAIR!!! Maybe slam a door or pound a pillow???

I think we react this way to God sometimes,even if its mostly internal temper tantrums. Since we , in our fallen condition, are basically selfish we want things our way.And we want them our way in a very specific manner. No discomfort or struggle,just have it all go according to plan the way we want it thank you very much. Trouble is,that is the stuff of imagination and wishful thinking because, simply put..... Homey don't play that!!! Life is never quite like that.

i wonder what life would be like if God were fair???? I shudder at the idea. Contemplating all my sins whether active or passive, especially those within the heart and mind as opposed to visible ones..... if God were fair i would be in bad bad shape!!! Life would become one like huge prison or timeout room if God were fair. I much prefer Him to be merciful,grace-filled and mysterious to a certain degree. Just have to turn off that selfishness inside wanting fairness and realize grace love and forgiveness are far greater gifts!!!!!