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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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

what is the deal

2008 is fast approaching election year all the craziness that goes along with politics as usual will get wilder and wilder. I wrote awhile back about the undercurrent claiming that 9/11 was an inside job now rosie o'donnell declared this to be a fact on *the view*. Of course rosie is a non-partisan,unbiased seeker after truth isn't she??? I have a friend who is a believer that avidly believes this, and who thinks Bush is downright evil. he accepts Bush knowingly authorized torture at abu ghraib as well as other places where pows are kept or other political prisoners. He questions why terrorist suspects were kept at gitmo without being charged for any crime why the towers of 9/11 fell the way they did, saying only pre-set explosives could have caused them to collapse as they did and NOT the fuel from the planes which crashed into the towers. How were the terrorists able to fly 2 planes into the WTC towers as well as almost into the Pentagon???? Are cellphones able to transmit signals at the heighth which the planes were flying at???? These are questions all circulated by the factions seeking to declare 9/11 an inside job.

I know popular mechanics wrote an article in defense of what has been said is the cause of the towers collapsing officially by our govt. I hate the fact that there seems to be lingering questions though swirling around the whole thing. I have a very tough time believing President Bush VP Cheney as well as so many others including potential Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani were all in on this conspiracy to make sure they had their war happen and get control of Iraqi oil as well as have lots of contractors and businesses make major profits because of the war. President Bush has made horrendous mistakes as Commander in chief one need only look at katrina fema no exit strategy for withdrawal from Iraq to see that. But to be evil and diabolical enough to plan an attack on our country and kill millions of innocent citizens because of political ambition???? I just dont see it. He claims to be a believer in and follower of Christ. Of course he wouldnt be the first politician to use religion/faith as a trump card for political gain. The pure evil it would take on his part to make those claims as openly and strongly as he has and to commit what he is being accused of doing just doesnt ring true. I wish congress and the white house would convene a special hearing ala watergate,iran/contra and such and have these charges made openly public under oath!!!! i am so sick of those on the left who make our govt out to be worse than communist countries as well as hitlers germany combined and no officially given response is made strongly to reject it.

If the *vast rightwing conspiracy* that Senator Hilary Clinton contends is still out there in full operation really IS happening please shut it down and lets impeach Bush and Cheney and imprison them as traitors and criminals!!!! I tend to think she is wrong but as a conservative republican I want to KNOW for sure I know many have written on this just a relief to put my own take on the puter.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Lots and lots of wisdom,insight and sharing from the heart on so many blogs. I have to think that the invention of the printing press was one of THE most important inventions ever in that it allowed all the people access to the Bible as well as whatever literature was around. The net is amazing in how quickly the thoughts of anyone can be seen by so many. I wasn't sure what to title this post so I decided on a generic one for almost any occasion.

Death is the scariest of all experiences we face in life, imho anyway. It was not supposed to be something we were ever meant to experience, at least that is the implication from the consequences of the sin of adam & eve. Physical death is not the issue though in Eden- spiritual death is. Physical death already occurred before their sin, the dinosaurs. I wonder why God created them,and made no mention of them in His Word??? It is widely held that the Creation narrative in genesis, as well as the story of adam & eve are poetic and not literal. I know alot of what is written in the prophets and psalms is this genre but adam 7 eve??? I wonder if physical death DID occur prior to their sin and what exactly DID spiritual death mean???? Separation from God obviously. Jesus is the *second adam* and restores relationship with God. I have been so scared of the experience of physical death and the possibilities of what can happen after. RWK at *today at the mission* has an excellent post,so much depth, concerning trying to get a handle on seeming contradictions of Gods character and actions in the OT. I struggle with those questions as well as the ones concerning our state as humans.

Because of sin, we all deserve hell, we all deserve banishment and punishment from and by God. Jesus came, took on our identity, willingly died in our place having lived as one of us, facing ALL the temptations we do and never giving in,overcoming death and the penalty of sin so we could be freed from it. THAT IS GOOD NEWS!!!! it is also an important reason why a REAL PHYSICAL JESUS and not just a symbolic jesus or a mythic jesus matters!!! Paul says in corinthians *if Christ has not been raised then we are still in our sins and have no hope and are ultimately the most foolish of anyone* Relativism tries to make anything and everything possible, but it really ends up making nonsense and damaging the truth which God has given us to know and experience. Ok, lil rabbit trail there.

I struggle with the expectations of God. He tells us he knows we are but blades of grass, here today gone tomorrow, yet He loves us enough to count the very numbsers of hairs on our head. He rejoices at having us come back to Him, such as in thge prodigal son, yet He talks about punishing those who fail to produce fruit and be productive as in the parable of the talents. He tells us Jesus will give us rest and take away our burdens yet he asks for full obedience and to be willing to die to ourselves everyday let alone every second. he asks usa to live by faith and yet also asks us to demonstrate our faith by our works, although our works are *filthy rags* and mean nothing in and of themselves.

I want to live in faith and obedience. i seek to. I cry out to God either verbally or silently to surrender to Him more and more each day. I find myself set free from some struggles attimes and caught up seemingly endlessly in others. i want to live in holiness and truth and grace and love, in integrity and yet have blwn those ideals so much , so often. Following Jesus is not about performance and yet seems like in Scripture there is alot that IS about performance. I am just pouring out my insides here. i get so challenged by others, my head becomes so full of so much. i hope i am making sense and communicating of value here. I just wonder at the idea of being able to become and live the life desribed which talks of being the *new creation8 and living in the power of the Spirit free from shackles of sin. I sabotage myself way too much, God has to place Himself inside me so i can live as He calls me to. I pray it is Him nudging me to lay outthese thoughts on here to help me more and more to do that very thing!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Big *M*

I have had this post marinating in my head for quite sometime. A few things i have read and dealt with recently have helped me to decide it was time to write it. Sex is one of the most complex areas of life we have to deal with. it invloves us at the very core essence of our being, involving our mind/emotions/soul all of us!!!!! I think food may battle sex as far as most difficult area of life to handle well some may say food is equal to sex but ummmmmmmm well thats a whole nother ballgame. I think a major aspect of sex which still serves as the * elephant in the room* is the Big M---------- masturbation. In my years at Bible College, seminary, not to mention church and being at conferences,seminars,missionaries you name it. This subject almost NEVER gets discussed. Trouble is it is very close to one of the MOST guilt-inducing,shamecreating struggles christians deal with!!!! I have had many men come to me and share their pain over this area. I went on a mission trip to Utah while doing my internship one sumer. We were witnessing to mormons in salt lake city right at the major temple. We showed a film called * The Godmakers* in the salt palace which showed the differences between LDS and Christianity. one young man in his early 20's , committed suicide and the film includes his family sharing as to why. His father happened to be there watching and was standing right next to me. He shared with me that it was guilt over masturbation that he believed led the man to take his life. That is serious stuff!!!

In turning to Scripture we really do not have any clearcut statements made by God on this issue. Guidelines involving sexual purity, holiness and dealing with lust are mentioned in depth. it is pretty universal that sexual fantasies are normally involved while performing the act. Yes we are to control lust and seek sexual purity however, it is said that men think about sex once every 7 seconds maybe even shorter. Women are not far behind anymore i dont think. Fantasies run through our minds and disappear they just happen although sometimes we can and do seek to bring them to our imagination. I think that if someone is struggling and being sorely tempted in acting out in some fashion, that a few minutes of fantasy in total privacy which relieves the tension and takesd away the temptation might be a release valve that God fully understands. I am NOT condoning making this a habit and something to be done anytime we wish, especially realizing for many it serves as a major stumbling block. I AM seeking to come to grips with something that a vast majority of people deal with this on a daily basis and also have it be a huge burden which God doesnt want for them to have. I think that the whole issue of christians and sex is becoming a real discussion now instead of a hush hush type thing or something that gets treated with pat answers. I think honesty and openness can only be used to bring Gods healing and grace into an area where it has been kept in the shadows. I hope and pray that God helps those who are in bondage to shame and guilt over this as well as a cycle of addictin they feel powerless to break, will find that freedom and victory by realizing He knows and loves them and His grace will set them free, as well as by genuine sharing with other believers who know and understand the struggle. i hope it came off as i intended, a message of encouragement and grace.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

personal Jesus

A radio station here in Portland plays that Johnny Cash song on a regular basis. Its pretty cool to hear the gravelly voice of the man in black singing about Jesus being very personal. I think in the song he is trying to communicate how other people can be a *personal Jesus* to each other. I think Jesus wanted the same thing as he instructed us to let Him live His life through us. *It is no longer i whol live but Christ who liveth in me* *Christ in you the hope of glory* and other verses where we are instructed that as Jesus followers we exchange our lives for His. Amazing isn't it??

We had bible study for our mens group tonight topic was Revelation 21 and its view of heaven. Is the verse talking figuratively or literally??? Are a lot of the descriptions of heaven and hell in the Bible metaphor and symbolic??? I am motivated to want to pursue this question more in depth as so much of scripture is written in poetic style and Jewish apocalyptic literature was very much in use back in that era. The parable of the rich man and lazarus was brought up. Is this a literal story describing actual events or is it a story meant to symbolize spiritual truths???? Is the whole creation story literal or more written as poetry intended to portray Gods absolute glory and majesty???

Life is very challenging can i get a witness!!!!!! LOL one of the men pondered if it would be held against him when he went to enter heaven that he and his wife had chosen to go enjoy a weekend rving and relaxing as opposed to doing *good works* Even the holiest of saints has to have times where they do something for themself. I think if we were concerned about making sure everything we did all the time was spiritual *good works* we would give ourselves a nervous breakdown!!!!! We are called to live our lives for His glory and to seek His kingdom and His righteousness however we are stuck in this flesh which still wrestles with temptaion and sin as well as the fallen world which we inhabit thankfully His grace and love cover us regardless of how often we fall short. Hopefully the trials tribulations pain and struggles we go through everyday serve to drive us to lean on Him more completely and to desire to trust and obey Him with our whole self sound like a struggle familiar to anyone???? Nah you all have dying to self and living by Him in the Spirit down pat i know riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttt Press on!!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

He does know

He knows what He is doing!!!! I wondered what to title this especially seeing as how right now i am focused on dealing with fear and trust and loving God in the way He calls me to. He asks us to come to Him as a lil child. I was going through a tough night last week sat in my recliner in the middle of the night, in my mind and heart praying to seek HIm, to trust Him. I began singing *Jesus loves me* and couldn't finish, voice cracked and tears just flowed. I do not know why but I have a fixation in my mind about physical death. i know and believe the truth of Jesus resurrection and that by trusting Him we also get victory over death, but I get sideswiped in my emotions and some crazy thinking telling me i will end up suffocating in the coffin once its underground or i will be in a black hole with nothing and no one there followed by endless anxiety and fear which never leaves. i think these worries/thoughts stem from feeling guilty for having compulsive sins I fall to so often and patches of time where i struggle with unbelief. The good thing is that He shines through in some way during these times.

This flesh and blood body was never meant to live in eternity. I need a new eternal body for that, and only by passing from this earth into eternity can I be in His presence. This is the truth that Jesus came and left the Trinity for!!!! The only unforgiven sin is to refuse forgiveness. i let my mind play tricks with me(well satan has a lil game of his own as well to add to that) and think God is upset,fed up and tired of my seemingly endless battle with fear and certain areas of sin. I praise Him He isn't though!!!! I praise Him that as i was thinking about this post, He gave me comforting thoughts,scriptures and the encouraging words,thoughts and prayers from friends and many of you out there. i also need to realize God loves me way more than i will ever know He really does!!! I have a hard time accepting that for some reason in myself so glad he gives me people who share this journey and who walk that valley of the shadow help me to walk with You so i will fear no evil!!!

I have posted about force vs choice a few times on here. I think they are the 2 main elements at play in life all the time. I feel as though Im forced to feel/think certain ways at times. But i am also choosing actions as well. i choose to obey or disobey, believe or not believe. I really pray God will work in me and place in me a deeper true desire to live for Him and serve Him, loving him with all of myself and loving my neighbor as myself. The greatest truths are sometimes the simplest and most obvious.

Friday, March 16, 2007

faith,fear,feelings and other fun stuff

MY good friend barbara and I had a good chat last night on yahoo. She posted on her blog today, sharing on some areas of stuff we talked about. She is so incredible in how she lays her soul out in the open wanting to touch others. My buddy gary at *blessed are the poor in spirit* as well as my sweet friends bjk at *in the quiet* and laura at *crockpot faith* also touch on similar themes. I think it is NOT a mere coincidence so many of us, and yes Im quite sure many more of you also are dealing with same stuff. I think God does want His people to find healin and hope especially in community and when seeking after Him.

Fear, more so than doubt has been my *monkey on my back* as long as i can recall. Although i guess doubt has to creep in to fear and become intermingled somehow. Are there various and differing levels of fear???? Do we choose fear or is it thrust upon us??? Why does fear linger when we don;t want it???I have some weird dealings with fear. I remember being at magic mountain a thrill park in so california. They have a rollercoaster there called COLLOSSUS and i am NO FAN of coasters!!!! My friend was there with me my mom sister and another friend. Somehow he and my sister talked me and my mom into going on it. i must have been temporarily insane!!!! I stodd in line trying to psych myself up because deep inside i wasnted to bolt from the line and sit it out!!!! I finally got on that climb the slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww steep one up the first huge hill................... I thought my heart was going to stop i was SOOOOOOOOOOO SCAREDDDDDDDDDDDDDD we make it up the hill look down and then WWWWWWWWHOSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH we zoom down the hill AND I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i could not believe how fun it wa sand felt i was shocked!!!!! Needless to say i havent been back on coasters since BUT i am still amazed at how the ACTUAL RIDE WAS... as opposed to what i feared it would be.

This seems to be a parallel to relating to God i think. So afraid of what i think will happen and so often God makes it sooooooooooooo FUN soooooooooooo COOL My bigger struggle is that i treat fear now as though it is a noose around my neck, just waiting to hang me. I think back and reflect *ok, i have been a believer since i was 16, a baptized believer that is. i should have had fear taken care of waaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back then so whats my deal???* I couple this with thinking about verses like the servant who arrives in heaven and hears God and Jesus say *well done thou good and faithful servant* and I want to go hide in a closet because well what if you HAVENT been a good and faithful servant???? In lots of ways hopefully I have been and seek to be a good faithful servant but my fears my failings and foulups seem to prevail in staying at the forefront of my consciousness.

One thing i have been contemplating. Calvinists (which i am not one) point to the verse where Jesus talks about being the Shephard and His sheep hear and know His voice and so know they are *elect* Well, surely Peter knew Jesus voice, yet he denied Him 3 times. John the Baptist knew, and yet when he was about to be beheaded, he sent a messenger to Jesus asking Him, *hey dude You ARE the MAN right???? Im about to lose my head here so please tell me your the MAN!!!! If these 2 who were as close to Jesus as any of us could ever dream to be, could have these times of fear doubt and unbelief well then maybe God DOES allow for me to go through them, and not have carte blanche to be free of them and live happily ever after on to heaven i go. Maybe just maybe, all the struggling with fears and doubts and unworthiness has a PURPOSE????? Maybe if I let go of trying to turn myself inside out from looking at myself in every possible way that im sure i would make a fantastic pretzel i would SEE all the others meaning almost EVERYONE christian or not deals with all these things to some extent or another and in the sharing comes the relief and wisdom with which to deal. I find blogging to be just such a happening. I really praise God and have real joy from blogging and sharing with so many out here in blog community!!!!! i think while writing this post God in His unique way has helped me to find answers to the very questions i raised at the outset. How amazing is He anyway???? Blessings be yours all of you out there in life!!!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

sin sucks!!!!!

Didnt know any better way to put it!!!! Sin just totally reeks!!!! it is waaaayyyyyyyyyyyy more than just doing a bad thing or thinking bad thoughts. it is so all-pervasive and infiltrates us atthe very core of our being. We don't just *commit* sins we *ARE* sinners. Sin gets such little attention in the world today, and so many act as if there is no God, no spiritual reality, no eternity. Amazing in what is supposed to be the most advanced society and culture ever we are so in the stone ages still spiritually so much of the time it seems. I wonder about Pauls statement in Romans where he says *the good i want to do i dont and the bad i dont want to do i do* He leaves it so very ambiguous!!!! I mean come on Paul, were you fornicating, being a glutton,stealing,committing adultery what???? He already had been a murderer while he was Saul persecuting christians. I think he left it vague for a reason. Don't we all struggle with certain sins??? Some are just either able to be hidden or socaillyacceptable. How do you allow the Holy Spirit to impact you even when struggling with sin??? How do you turn off the megaphone that screams *hypocrite fake liar fAilure grace abuser * and countless other rotten accusations and overcome the desire to sin and the lure it seems to have??

So odd that alot of us are prone to be tempted by different things. Some and o please thank God you are free of this temptation if you are are NOT even slightly tempted by sexual things!!!! Some have no temptation for food or anger or fear or perfectionism. o a whole litany of sins out there. How do you ignore the enemies noise and tune in to Gods call even right after having sinned??? God does not change His attitude toward us no matter what sin we have done well unless its the unpardonable sin, and He wants to restore us to fellowship with Him ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is not He who has the problem, our own shame,guilt,pride, selfish desire all get in the way of humbly coming to Him, confessing and truly repenting and seeking renewed relationship. A verse says somewhere i think its in 1 Peter, *he who has suffered in the flesh is done with sin* or close to it. I need to examine that verse more closely. I have times where temptation comes and i realize God has given me the escape and i use it. Other times it happens and i grit my teeth and say oh man God you know this is tough just need to do it a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee lil bitttttttttttttttttt sheesh sound familiar to anyone?????

I am sensing God really working in and on me to help me turn over an addiction to HIm and leave it with Him. As well as His power to really lead me to be free from the paralyzation fear has had on me!!!!! I KNOW so many prayers are aiding in this!!!!!!! I thank any and all who pray for me and i am so thankful to be able to pray for many of you!!!!!! LET US NEVER UNDERESTIMATE POWER OF PRAYER!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

the deepest fear

As i contemplated this the verse *perfect love casteth out fear for he who fears has not been perfected in love * keeps popping up in my mind. part of that verse also talks about fearing punishment and that can only come from sin. What was the reaction of adam & eve once they had sinned??? Fear, guilt shame wanting ti hide from God. Sin can only cause this. God has given us the gift of confessing our sins to Him for forgiveness, and Jesus paid the ultimate price taking our sins on Himself and abolishing them once and for all at His death burial and resurrection. yet, i think subjectively and even objectively we become chained by our sins even as believers if we dont have the deeprooted realization of His love,grace.forgveness and peace within. i am speaking theologically and personally here. I have been studying catholicism in a class last several weeks and the week we looked at confession. WOW!!! Amazing what catholics go through no wonder we hear about catholic guilt so much!!! Confession for catholics must be done in a box in a church to a priest and followed by penance meaning making atonement for your sins showing God how sorry you are for them. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm,,,,,, pardon but Christ alone was and IS the atonement and only HE not any priest nor prayer or rosary can free us from sins penalty!!!! I was raised catholic so Im not bashing here just laying out a dilemma i see as going against Scripture and against Gods way of salvation and giving us peace and forgiveness pretty major stuff!!!!

The worst fear is that God either wont be there when we most need Him or that he will be and send us away. Either one is death real death. Sin and satan try to lie and make sin sound so harmless make it even a non-existent term even. Jesus takes away the sting of sin and death and gives life. He calls us to die to ourselves and live to God. Die daily, repent daily so we can live in and by the Spirit. Wish i heard more sermons and writings on putting sin to death so we can live in the Spirit and realize that suffering is the way God seems to work in making us like Him like Jesus. Joni Eareckson Tada hopefully many of you know of her, is a quadriplegic who has a ministry to the disabled. her book * The God i Love* is sooooooooooooooooooo awesome!!!! She has a website as welll Joni and friends she has a section where she answers questions. She has some very solid responses to why God allows suffering and evil as well as how He works in our lives regardless of what junk we have gone through in life. Just writing various thoughts that came to me as i read her book. God doesnt want us to be plagued by fear gloom and despair no matter what we have done or had done to us He wants us to rejoice in Him even in the darkest times we may ever face in our lives. This really hits me, probably because I let myself focus to much on shame over past or present sins and on my failure as opposed to His power and grace to transform me moment by moment. I want to change that to seek to choose to rejoice and trust Him that YES HE IS PRESENT IN MY PAIN IN MY HURT IN MY SUFFERING WHATEVER IT MAY BE!!!!!!

i want to let go of my emotional turmoil and give it to Him and realize He will keep me in the midst of anything and everything that happens in my life because He IS GOD!!!! That is why His Word is sooooooooooooooo important knowing it is His Word and that it connrcts me to HIM!!!!!!!!! I pray He will lead me to deeper and deeper trust and obedience and to turn over the struggles moment by moment as I realize He is always with me and like the verse in Romans says nothing can separate me from His love which is in Christ Jesus my Lord!!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

more of Him

That is the cry of my heart both audible and inaudible. I saw 2 excellent movies last 2 days . 300 and Amazing Grace. 300 is awesomely done!!!! Incredible scenery and layout the fighting sequences are jawdropping much like the scenes in saving Pvt Ryan were as to the realism of the blood gore and grimness of war. God sure uses movies, o yes He does!!!! Even if the director,producers,actors and screenwriters have no inkling about Him he finds a way. God LOVES a good story, I mean come on what is the Bible???? God's STORY!!!!!!! others have posted about amazing grace, i just want to echo that its a great movie very inspiring.

I have been praying since last year, it is a prayer i etch as my all the time desire even if i don't verbally say it everyday that God will wrestle with me and both wound me and bless me. Dangerous thing to do i think, and i often wonder whether i should have prayed this because God takes us at our word. I really am glad though, because i think in being wounded he opens me to realize i need Him much more and he hekps me to draw closer to Him. Why do so many horrible things happen???? i think this over and over each day and see many others ask on their blogs or in conversation or in a facial expression WHY???? What keeps coming back to me is the reality that God experienced the WORST of any and all bad things to EVER happen in life!!! We might not EVER get an answer to why???? But, we have an answer in the TRUTH HE SUFFERED THE MOST!!!

I was looking through a book I have called *Handbook of Christian Apologetics* by Peter Kreeft and another ( Kreeft is an excellent author btw) they have a section on the problem of evil as well as freewill vs predestination. I found some very good stuff there. Al of us, to some extent or another, are insane!!!!!!!! Yes, that's right CRAZY!!!!!!!!! Ever since adam & eve, we ALL have been a lil kookoo. God is present wanting to have relationship with us and we blow Him off because we think or feel like there is something he hasn't shared with us or that we are missing. Same old tired lie satan has told since day one. Why does that lie affect us STILL????? Why do I find myself at times wondering is God good??? really good???? is He really totally perfect love as His Word says??? Is he God as He declares Himself to be???? I don't want these questions!!! i want to love trust obey relate to and with God like my breathing I don't think about it i JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!! yet, i do not have a conversation with my breath i do not want a relationship with my breath or my lungs. O hey breath wow you sure are in rare form today whoohoo go you!!! LOL nope nope not quite ready to be on a streetcorner talking like that YET!!!!!!!!!!

Choice and force 2 of my favorite terms to contemplate forced to choose ah that's the rub. Sometimes God just leaves an impression within me that is SO crytal-clear so simple and obvious. At other times i scramble to get my head on straight and rest in His promises and that He is always the same in His character. He is a lover and He wants me to love Him freely not out of compulsion and he wants me to know He loves me more than i could ever know but He makes me search and desire and want to know this is how He cares about me. A complex yet simple God all at once. Help me to want to wrestle more and more and to share it with as many who want to.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

seek ask knock

One of the passages that always strikes me everytime i see it is when Jesus tells us to seek ask and knock for Gods response to us, to have our desires met by Him. I am thrilled by how many others in blogland are pursuing similar paths and seeking to be transparent as they carry out their walk. I love the idea that we can push and stretch each other to experience the changes and growth spiritually we so yearn for!!! I am amazed at how often I settle for so much less than all God wants to give me of Himself. I let my focus go and just seek to spend time in various ways, when I deep down want to be spending time with Him!!!! yet, much as i SAY this and do desire it I am so lazy so often and seek other stuff than Him.

I sought to pray on and off while at work today carry on a running conversation with God as i worked. Amazing all the thoughts that rush thru your mind so quickly. I -prayed for friends,family and coworkers. Sought direction for decisions and to rest in Him more. Wanted to hear Him, prayed to discern just HOW to listen and hear Him better. Prayer is a conversation, not a monologue.

I bring what a former counselor once told me was the *doublewhammy* on my self. I struggle with my issues concerning my weknesses and failures and then i compound that by attacking myself internally for having these weaknesses and not overcoming them to begin with. Any of you have this happen inside your mind???? i find i feel sooooooooooo much like Solomon in Ecclesiastes, knowledge brings pain. I feel like i know so much about God and about what he desires as far as living life and how to act and be yet I fall so far short emotionally/spiritually/relationally to what i have in my mind what I think are His expectations. I so want to turn my mind off so much of the time and just run on autopilot.

Are feelings what it all comes down to in relating to God??? The mormons have their *burning in the bosom* testimony. Alot of people have their own feelings they rely upon. It seems ultimately we break everything down to the root and we all want that loving intimacy with God. That has to be way more than JUST feelings right???? Can feelings be controlled?? Can feelings be managed and turned on or off??? Don't feelings come and go and we dont know where they came from or where they go off too?? Just throwing wonderings out here seeking insights. Feelings themselves have to be anchored in truth. So, why is it that even when we know the truth the One who IS truth that so often our feelings do not match what we should be experiencing???? Is joy deeper than a feeling??? Ah so many questions hope you all feel free to reply with some answers. Also, once again, any who would like to email or talk on yahoo messenger they are on my profile love to talk with anyone interested. Thanks as always for dropping in. Ya'll come back now ya hear????

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Unlearning Fear

i had a very good lil online chat with my friend smitty over at crockpot faith earlier today. We have shared some common struggles together in seeking to deepen our relationship with God. Something she mentioned really stuck out along the lines of just being able to have it be a realization emotionally in the present all the time that God IS God and that it is ok we don't have a complete intellectual stranglehold on Him and having Him totally figured out!!!! It hit me like a brick WOW GOD IS NOT A PUZZLE TO PUT TOGETHER AND SOLVE!!!!! i mean, mentally that is a foregone conclusion, but emotionally, heart-level wise oooooooooooooooooooo boyyyyyyyyyyyyy so very tough to digest. It is sinking in more and more day by day the reality that God IS emotionally PRESENT ALWAYS!!!!! For those of you blessed souls who experience this daily and for whom it seems as natrual as breathing oh my i would love to strangle you for being so fortunate!!!! LOL Not really, just pray i can achieve that state of intimacy with God on a moment by moment basis. painful experiences seem to create a fog which blots out that reality for me far topo often. i feel soooooooooooooo much more comfortable with the mental/intellectual,analytical aspects of knowingand relating to God. So wonderful how He has been answering my hearts desire and my seeking to know Him much more intiomately even if its NOT the way i envisoned for Him to answer me.

God is with me. even when i DONT feel Him!!!!!!!!! WOW He may not want to give me a feeling of Him at times to wean me off my babystepd and help me to more mature resting in faith. I am sooooooooooooooo glad God does not have a measuring cup for us all to judge the amount of faith we each have. Only HE KNOWS!!!! Maddening when anyone says to someone..... *well if you only had more faith then...... GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!! Then what???? Just how much faith do YOU have jobs comforter????? God knows our weakness and allows room for faith to grow a whole LIFETIME!!!!! After my catch-22 post the other night i just went and laid on my bed and cried bitterly, just wanting to pour out my pain to Him. I didnt feel anything for a bit and was becoming angry at myself wondering see you dont even want God eve nas you cry to Him and then He let lose the gates and i just cried to Him for awhile He was there and He was there as HE CHOSE!!!!! I praise Him he is a truly great GOD who allows for such incredible changes from His creation. I praise Him He protects me no matter how crazy and bizarre i may let myself get at various times. keep changing my heart Father God help me to fear less trust more and to desire to know You moment by moment seeking to be filled with You constantly!!!!

public private

A guest speaker talked about kingdom living on sunday, specifcally bridging the gap between words and actions. its really trendy to say *preach always and when necessary - use words* currently, but we DO need to use words still because showing Christ just by our lifestyle doesnt tell people the WHY. How can they hear without a preacher??? I know why the pendulum swings waaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy far on actions vs words but we have to remember Jesus called us to speak openly about our faith in Him. This brings me to the subject ofmy post.

Relativism has become very popular in our postmodern culture now. Especially in the USA. Everyone has their own truth, their own way, we all need to live and let live. Universalism is closely attached to this philosophy as well. i have a relative who holds to this viewpoint. he makes my head spin anytime we seek to talk concerning philosophical/spiritual matters because he says he understands i have my truth but he has his own truth. I try to bring up that that there are absolutes and he just says well fine have absolutes for you but its not my truth. ARRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH!!!! O really???? Hmmmmm I wonder if he decided to line up a bunch of people and shoot them would they want to go along with his *no absolutes, all truth is relative* mantra???? i highly doubt it. it is so easy to TALK this way but when push comes to shove relativism just crumbles like a pile of dust. It simply cannot hold up. The problem is aspects of it have infiltrated us culturally so much we don't even realize it. Our faith.... is it public or private?????/ Depends on who you ask nowadays. I think conservatives and liberals both are on either side of the aisle on this one. How are we to live our faith in a multicultural,pluralistic,religiously diverse society????? Notice i did NOT say democratic. We are a republic, NOT a democracy and here's hoping we never become one for then i think anarchy would rule as like no other time.

i was set to thinking about this also because on the news the other night they interviewed an atheist couple and the man just happened to be a former minister. He was leading a protest in washington claiming religion is responsible for more bloodshed and hatred in the world than any other cause in all of existence. Of course when challenged by a reporter who noted all the good and positive movements and force religion has been in history he didnt offer much of a response. I had an atheist coworker for a few years at my job. We shared many a heated exchange as well as decent conversations in his time there. I wonder how easy or difficult people find it to discuss and share their faith in an open manner, be it at work out socially or any other place where we interact with people. The founding fathers established this nation with the major premise being freedom OF religion, NOT freedom FROM religion, regardless what rabid atheist/agnostics may say.

Jesus said * I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH THE LIFE NO MAN COMETH TO THE FATHER EXCEPT BY ME* I do believe that is a very un-pc like statement. I dont think those who try to unify all religious beliefs and faiths together under one big umbrella and call it LOVE would be very welcoming to Jesus somehow. Jesus made very strong absolute statements regarding God the Father, the Holy Spirit, Scripture and the Church. I just hate to think anyone could want *their truth* instead of He who IS TRUTH!!!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

catch 22

That was a good book and movie in the 60's. Pretty much a cliche for being in a no-win scenario. I feel that way at times. I am to be open, genuine real acknowledge my sin and struggles letting go the mask or facade to show I don't have it all together and that is genuine. However ion doing so I get labeled hypocrite, especially since i was seeking to be a minister and leader in the church. i did not purposely intend to decieve or create a false identity. My area of sin i fell into and struggled with happens to be very inflammatory and anathema to ministry and the church overall. On one hand I see God's grace and mercy, His patience and lovingkndness on the other His wrath anger justice judgement. He hates sin!!! Is His love meant to be extended to sinners who have yet to repent and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior??/ Does He reserve severe judgement for one who gets caught in addictive sin once he has been a believer awhile???? I had such a wonderful time last night contemplatiung on God and jesus. Realizing how I had distortions so often and that, especially since he is Omnipresent then God is ALWAYS present EVERYWHERE!!!! He was there when my dad first got cancer, there when he took his last breath, there when i went through anything and everything painful and hurtful. God is soooooooooooo AWESOME He chose to become one of us and allow Himself to DIE!!!!!!!!!!! GOD DIED!!!!!!! There is a song we sing and one of the choruses is *I'll never know how much it cost to see my sins upon that cross*

I am just wanting to let out my thoughts here. I have sought to be a genuine follower of God while at the sametime seeking to lay to rest struggles and doubts and fears. I tried a very long time to bury the strugggles and dismiss them as satan trying to mess me up. I want to be transparent as one who loves God but at times also loves sin, choosing my way instead of His way. Grace Judgment I have no greater desire than to trust and love Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit and yet have something in me that wants to hide or feels unable,unworthy or unwilling. I feel bad writing this because a big part of me wants to avoid anything negative and not worry about mnyself, so many people going through so much in their lives. I read so many inspirational stories of lil kids with such pure hearts and spirits of love and faith in God who are facing severe physical limitations or mental ones. others going through excruciating pain of various natures, physical,emotional ,spiritual. Why have i struggled so long with my fears???? With my seeking to avoid pain and in some ways avoid God??? it is so different alot how i feel inside and how i interact with people. I LOVE sharing encouraging being involved with people and giving whatever to help. But i cant escape the accuser who hammers me for past failures and present ones unceasingly.

Help me to find the place Paul talks about God. To be content no matter what because You are in control and I rest in You. help me to know Your love grace and forgiveness in ways that will transform me and lead me to stay on the road where You remove me from being in a comfort zone or lazy or selfish. Please help me to have a heart that wants nothing less than ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!! I want to be in eternity in heaven with you help me to fix my eyes on Jesus so i will have that reality so deep inside me it cannot but help to oooze out in how i think live and act. Please help me to not be satisfied with knowing about you and having You so fully in my mind. fill my heart and soul so i KNOW YOU WITH MY ENTIRE BEING!!!! You are an AWESOME GOD!!!! help me to love that moment by moment God!!!!! Thank you for seeking me and for shining Your light so deep to transform me so i will seek You with passion and hunger. Thank you for all who challenge me to desire You and hold nothing back.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I am feeling them today, well feel them almost everyday. God has a whole lot of qualities in His character. Holiness and Righteousness, Grace and Mercy. Sin is a MAJOR DEAL to God. I have always heard sin defined as *missing the mark* Falling short of God's perfection. Sin is sooooooooooooooooo horrific Jesus took all of it on Himself and died on the cross in OUR place, paying the penalty for us. Jesus paid the atonement once and for all. When God looks at us who belong to Christ, He sees Jesus and the price He paid. Therefore we need not fret and stress over our sins. Even as christians,m we still sin. EVERYDAY!!! 1 John contains the verse, *if we confess our sins He is faithful and juast to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness* WOW!!!! Sooooooooooooooo powerful!!! Why then do i struggle with shame and guilt over my sins so often and have a feeling as though God is looking down at me with a stern lok ready to spank me for being bad and punish me severely. I feel the tension between these 2 separate parts of God. i love to tell others about Him, to seek to be like Jesus in loving people and compassion. yet i also have a stubborn, rebellious lil kid inside who wants to get away with stuff and act like He didnt see. I know this is really the struggle we all have as a result of being human. I get torn as to the desire and wanting to be holy and fully mature as He calls me to, and the reality of all my shoercomings and failures and even times where I just dont want to obey.

God and Jesus display such incredible actos of love grace and forgiveness all throughout the Bible. Paul tells us *while we were yet sinners* Christ died for us!!!!! *God so loved the world* Hmmmmmm the *world* was one consisting of sinners who rejected Him. yet at the sametime He portrays severe judgment when believers lack faith or commit sins or fail to persevere in carrying out the commitment he asks of us once we begin to follow. i dont understand why I have such a hard time just walking in faith and resting in the yoke jesus says he would give. I make it so hard, and my mind finds ways to make God so hard. I wonder how many of us have these internal volcanoes inside. We all look so alike on the outside. We all can wear many masks which leave no clue as to our internal battles, I think that is a huge call for why God declared us His church and not His individuals!!!!! By revealing ourselves to each other we all encourage each other to know God loves us as we are. I am blown away by the transparency shown by so many out here. Sure wish we could actually meet face to face!!! In eternity someday!!!! I pray as i open up and reveal and hear from you as well these tensions will lessen.

God doesnt want me to live in constant worry im a colossal failure to Him and just give up and feel like he would rather i end up in hell does He????? This is the message my inner demon that tortures my thoughts tries to tell me all the time. This voice wants to make me believe ai have too much fear, too much failure, too much failure to obey as i need to. I NEED others to counteract this voice, because on my own i just cannot do it. I am conflicted writing this because alot of the time God shows me His love and grace and He does give me glimpses of how He wants me to walk in His steps and follw the journey. But, I have these struggles and they eat at me inside. I have no real outlet really apart from here right now at least to share them so i thank God He provides the blogosphere to be here!!!!! Thank all of you who stob by, peek in, and maybe even comment. Being able to share all this helps remind me GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!