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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 30, 2007

Bottom Line

Almost new years so cool to have heard from so many friends and seen updates on lots and lots of blogs. Deep levels have been stirred lately on many blogs, so redeeming to see and read all of the twists and turns life takes people on. I have had some very good IM convos with a few good friends lately, it challenged me to make a new post. I try to write about whats happening in me on here as well as wonderings on theology,life,politics you name it. Bottom line though is i seek to be transparent in order for God to shine His light and guide me into growth. Also to be a way to hopefully express things others may share but cant write about or just discover many people who understand and can encourage and exhort in ways i might otherwise never get.

I have talked in depth about my struggle with fear,especially fear of death as well as issues concerning sex. I cringe sometimes after posting because i see the courage and bravery shown by so many who actually suffer every day with severe pain and for me its an internal mental/emotional thing. I think i create a worse pain for myself by my fears than if i were to actually get cancer or something its just a weird way i have somehow dealt with the realities of death and physical pain. I am sure i have idealized how my dad handled the reality of his dying,and I see my weakness and fear and feel so inadequate and like a failure because of being that way. The other thing is feeling caught as in a spiders web and not knowing how to break free and be the bold courageous brave man I desire to be, or as my dad was.

Sex. I have a very hard time just handling this in the normal way. Because of the rejection I experienced due to my physical appearance, as well as the smothering done by my grandma and some other factors I have found it extremely hard to have a regular relationship with a girl one that would lead to longterm commitment and then marriage. I get all caught up with questions worries and junk in my head when even thinking about asking a girl out. i have discovered on the phone and in online chats even women have the same struggles and also many other guys. It is a very compelling thing to have a female tell you she likes your voice, enjoys your personality and finds an attraction to you, even if it is in a fantasy way. A lot of people use what are called *party lines* as well as phone conference lines to talk to each other and recieve affection sensuality and acceptance that they never find in person, it is a very addicting thing because it hits at the roots of self worth. Sex not done in person is so much more than sex, it is desires,dremas,wishes,needs,wants all the things that a person would love to have and experience in real life with a partner.

The bottom line I spoke of as title of this post is the guilt.shame/self-rejection as a result of these things. My internal self feels like Gods hammer is always coming down on me and that i deserve to go to hell because i have had fear struggles for so long and sexual sins even as i served actively as a minister in a church. I feel strange posting that. How can I be committed to God and seek to follow Jesus and feel like i will go to hell??? On the other hand how can I be His follower and commit these sins ??? A friend told me Im way to hard on myself, and i honestly dont know how not to be. I dont let these things show outwardly, I dont dwell on them when around people and I dont alot of the time during the day either. I find this a place where God allows me to reveal at a depth I find healing. Hopefully many of you can relate to these feelings and struggles. I cannot express the thrill i get from all your comments and emails, from the prayers offered up, from the fun and happy stories shared. God is so good and Im so blessed He shows how good He is through each and everyone of you out there!!!!! Thanks for stopping in please share anything you desire as always!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Death and Sex

Now that i have your attention lets talk about taxes LOL not really. These 2 themes seem to stand out as reocurring again and again throughout my life. it is a general consensus that our basic personality is shaped and in place by the time we are 4. Wow. That always struck me as amazing considering the longevity we always are in puruit of as far as long lifetimes. I can recall my relatives talking about someone who died when i was around 6 i think, it didnt sound good at all. I saw some movies at the drive-in people got killed in them I think stuck impressively in my mind. My father died when i was 8 as i have mentioned lots on here, and actually going to see him at his open casket wake or whatever you call it. I went up with my mom and sister and looked at him, actually touched his body. How could this be him??? How could he be dead like that??? Part of me has always been irrational and a lil crazy when it comes to facing/accepting the reality of death. I always wonder how bizarre am I in my own lil way of dealing with death as i do. But I look around and notice so many dont believe in life after death, even the entire Isrealite culture before Jesus had no understanding of resurrection. Prophets foretold of it occurring when Messiah came but, much like the Sadducees during Jesus time, they did not believe in an afterlife.

I have always been a pretty naive lad gullible i guess you could say as well. My mom was a nurse, became a school nurse for awhile. She had a film about where babies come from which was shown to the older grades. Naturally my friends on my block when they found out she had this wanted to watch it. I tried to tell my mom after seeing it that the movie was messed up and wrong. I cant recall just exactly what I thought about procreation but it was different from the real way lol I saw movies that portrayed sex in a graphic way beyond my years as well. We saw barbarella with jane fonda when I was 7 forget what age most kids discover self-pleasuring well once i saw jane in that sexy outfit I found out i knew how to selfpleasure and it became a regular thing mostly as an escape when feelings got to intense no matter what they might be caused by. I had older kids on my blkock who served to further stimulate my overactive imagination by telling stories about sex and painting word pictures. Intense feelings were stirred up by these word images which developed into ingrained habits over time.

God is greater than death or sex. God overcame death, God is more amazin gand incredible than sex. I guess i make this post because these 2 themes more than any other have affected me aside from God. I have this inner voice as we all do which tries to make an outline of how things should be understood and played out. Sometimes it seems to be totally clear. many times its very foggy and unclear. I had a very solid time last night just meditating on God and Jesus and how they are unchanging, regardless of my thoughts or feelings. Helped me as I fcoused on Their love and grace which did not shift or change and helped me to seek to maintain that realization no matter how these 2 themes tried to pull me in different directions. I wonder if you out there have had your own struggle with these 2 themes over your lifetime??? Maybe not curious to hear that as well. Just some food for thought and reflection.

Hoping happy holidays and healthy happenings as 2008 soon arrives!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

letter to self at 13

I just read barbaras post as she did this from a meme she got from dawn at twisted sister it struck me deep as i read and so i just felt the need to do my own.

hey bob-

wow hard to believe you have been here in california for a year now. Just got back from a visit to New Jersey where you had spent almost your whole life. Been a very tough time even your old jersey friends couldnt help but notice the acne covering your face. Was good to to go back to jersey to escape for a bit but guess as they say you cant go home again. School sucks sitting in classes guy behind me kicks my chair almost nonstop nothing i can do really constant silent motions or mouthed words teasing and ridiculing me why do mirrors have to exist??? hate visual reminders of my face scarred with those ugly red pimples. I have weights at home and i use them I always had a strong muscular body too bad no girls can see anything other than this messed up face and shyness because of it.

I do have bright spots. I play sports with the guys and when we are playing the constant teasing ceases for a time. They know how strong i am but also that i am gentle-natured and dont like to fight. I have always had a good sense of humor even then tried to use it to deflect the taunts sometimes it worked. Sure did learn how to bury things sooooooo deep inside during this time. Wishing dad was here mom has it so hard. Trying to raise 2 kids in a high income area gone alot and my sister and i are so different in how we handle life. I lose myself in pro wrestling comic books and tv All my aggression gets played out by the wrestlers i even watch it in spanish though i dont understand spanish. Anger gets buried sooooooooooo deep Still all these years later have so much trouble even letting it be felt. No real awareness of God at this time. He is there He is in control but no understanding of a relationship with Him. Easiest thing to do is put on smile act strong act like all is ok things will eventually get better. I learned to be a good actor, even if i never projected very well. Somehow always maintained a soft caring heart, this grew and developed later on. Sure wish I could have found a way to teach you better coping skills for handling social shyness and feeling unwanted by girls. Definitely would have helped avoid some of the bad choices made later on. Acted so adult and grown up so often, guess it was a way to deny the pain and inability to really face what was going on and not being able to handle it. Sometimes still find it hard to remove the mask and actually handle the pain and hardships life brings. very tough to look back to you at 13 and see much good. very good to see you were able to get past it and grow into a man who has in many ways achieved things you never ever could have dreamed happening though and now look abck and realize you are not that 13 year old let him go dont feel trapped by the things that seemed to cling like a leech and try to choke life away from you. You have grown you will keep growing.

wish i had been better to you back then man. thanks for showing the changes Me

This was odd to do. Lots of emotion before i started it. Not sure how i feel about it right now. Anger. I have always sought to avoid it, bury it, keep it away. I dont like how it feels. i dont like expressing it. I dont know how to handle it right in so many ways. I mean yes i can handle it constructively when with a person or in a gropu, in a controlled environment. but to let it go and remove it from the junk i avoided all this time I dont know if thats possible let alone feasible or necessary??? Love to hear perspectives on this any and all. Thanks for reading. Thank you dawn and barbara for sharing yourselves at 13. You rock!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

thinking feeling

i went and saw the movie *awake* yesterday. The premise is a guy wakes up while under anesthesia but cant make it known hes awake, that doesnt spoil the details for any who will see it. I have had a few surgeries where i had to be put to sleep, and this possibility freaked me out!!! I have shared my struggle with fear openly here especially fear of death, this movie was tough to watch at times lol It is awesome though how God has blessed me with peace almost everytime once i was actually there and going through the surgery. My imagination sure likes to run wild though beforehand.

As i watched the movie my mind was awhirl with thoughts. I was thinking wow i sure hope i dont ever have that happen my heart better be ok sure hope nothing happens to me while sitting here watching this movie God I know your here help me to just relax and know You are here why do i let fear affect my thoughts and feelings???

On and on the whole time following the movie and all. Why do we have such a flood of thoughts at times and others its like our minds are in slow motion??? I think the thoughts/feelings just get triggered as well by things either positive or negative. Lots of timed wild thoughts run through my mind ones i certainly dont ask for or seek to have. Cuss words raunchy thoughts sexual desires angry outbursts luckily they pass on through as fast as they enter. Other times i can have a long string of purely positive loving serving self-surrendering thoughts which I sek to keep inside and aid with prayer. Paul tells us in Philippians to be anxious about nothing, Jesus says not to worry. Why does that tend to be so hard so often??? *To live is Christ to die is gain* Spelled out direct and clear so why do I feel i still need to think dying is bad and something to try and escape or avoid at all costs??? Why do I want to put myself or my desires or my life against Jesus and God??? I guess that has been the million dollar question ever since the garden of Eden. Why did Adam and Eve rebel against God and seek to be like Him instead of accept His boundaries on relationship with Him????

We are studying Isaiah in sunday school right now . Tough old prophet that Isaiah. A prophecy is made concerning the king or ruler of Babylon, and in it is a reference made about *the bright morning star* in king james lucifer is used. This brought up a discussion, just who is satan??? The name satan means *adversary* or *one who opposes* There is an interpretation that satan is not a supernatural being but actually our sinful nature,our adversarial nature which sets itself in opposition to God and seeks to place itself on the throne and make itself God. Dont start screaming *roberts a heretic* lol this is an interesting take on satan I have come across and need to explore more. Jesus said out of the heart of man come all manner of evil and wickedness and God has said mans heart is evil who can know it. is it possible our thoughts and feelings which we experince that fight against God and His will come from within ourselves and part of us which is a nature set to war against God???

Job talks about God being questioned by satan and challenged to test jobs faith and obedience. Ephesians talks about the principalities and powers, the spiritual forces at work,Peter describes satan as a roaring lion seeking whom he would devour, Jesus was tempted by satan in the desert before telling him to go away. In thinking about this last example it makes me think Jesus had only ONE nature GOD since He is God Incarnate. If satan is our evil nature as opposed to being a supernatural being/fallen angel then where was he coming from with Jesus??? i just wanted to open this up for discussion because i found it interesting I hope many of you may have ideas that broaden the scope and give increasing insight. The Bible again is fairly quiet on the whole origin of satan evil beginning of sin before adam and eve and the creation of hell and all that. Just seeking input from as many of you as desire to give your best shot. God doesnt give us all the answers but thgnkfully He gives us THE ANSWER!!!! Grace and peace to all!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Seeking to process things. It is incredible all the different journies God has every single living soul traveling all at once,and how so many crisscross,interact and intertwine with each others. Of course majority may never experience each other but our souls remain deeply connected ultimately at the core of this existence we all share. So weord to step back and try to look at and see as an observer the storyline of life as Im living it. We all face the results of sin having diseased the world, whether we believe it or not. God shows His grandness in the freedom He grants us in living out our lives,letting us make choices and continually those choices may be diamettrically opposed to His will and desire but He allows and loves us just the same. Why is it seemingly so much easier to talk about how perfectly loving and genuine God is and in His realtionship to us than it is to feel it and know it deep inside while actually living so much???

I read so many blogs, people are awesome, no matter what they may call their blog, it is simply jawdropping at times to see the creativity,caring,depth of insight.r0licking humor and ability to extend beyond themselves so many actually are able to do. Now of course there is the flipside that shows the darker sides of ourselves in scary ways and such but that also echoes the power we are given by God in His letting us be free and still loved by Him. I have been battling the fear boogeyman ever since i can recall,and thanks to the blogosphere have come across some fantastic people who have as well. I have implemented alot of different defense mechanisms in my imagination over the years, which somehow made sense as a kid or however. My mind truly believes the truth God reveals in His Word regarding fear life faith love and how He has provided us the answer in Jesus. My feelings dont just accept that truth so often and the battle rages on and on and on. Why do feelings seem to become the overriding determinant so often in actions I take??? I started to say we but thought hmmm no maybe for you feelings dont do that. As i said before I am an INFJ Feelings are a huge measure for me of how i process life and living it making choices taking actions.

God is love. Plain and simple. As i write that a swarm of thoughts bounce like pinballs in my brain. Of course He is love, yes He is love and it makes everything make sense, how can He be love look at all the pain going on,maybe He is love but sure doesnt make it easy to know it and so forth. God is and He forces us to choose. Force Choice look in my archives for posts i made on these 2 areas. They seem to collide and impact life all the time. Even if we try to sit in the bleachers of life and let all the whirlwind pass us by we still are forced to choose. Life impacts us no matter if we try to hide from it,avoid it,fight it or stay still. Just the way it is.

I am seeking to take action in my wrestling with God and seeking Him to let me overcome fear. I have spoken of my idea called *risking openness* on here, wellIm trusting God to be behind me in a ministry i am launching soon called that very name. I am going to seek to begin a group which takes anyone who wants to meet and risk sharing our lives, emotionally,relationally and spiritually to share the parts of ourselves that usually dont get shared on sunday mornings. I am scared, but i see it as a step of faith and courage God is challenging me too. I think to myself lots of times, *who am I God to attempt this especially with all the junk I have been through and so much i still struggle with* and an answer always tends to bring my mind to Moses,Abraham,rahab the harlot, and jonah even. Why not me??? Isnt God able to use anyone to accomplish His purposes??/ So i am going to lay this before Him and hope and pray it is a choice that is used to honor and serve HIm and deepen our lives together in trusting and loving Him and one another.

Please anytime if it comes to mind pray that this will be used of God. I praise Him and thank Him He has used so many of you to help me to come to this place where i can actually willingly take this on. Thank you Don, just read garys post before writing this, i just thank Don for his witness that has impacted so many lives and has mine by reading his words and hearing of his life may he be resting and enjoying the greatness of God and Jesus in the very way he demonstrates what it will be by his actions once he is moved to eternity!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

let go let God

This is a platitude and cliche phrase i have heard often over the years. It contains a real truth about Gods power and how He works in our weakness, although Im not sure just how effectively it works when said to people who are hurting and in need of it in the midst. Life is built around relationships. Relationships move,grow,change. If they just stay the same then staleness happens, at least it would seem so. God created us for relationship. A huge buzzphrase that has been around a long time *Christianity is not religion its relationship* So true,and so incredible how unique each persons relationship witrh God becomes.

Dana at *awareness* had a very profound post on her place about our pursuit of self-sufficiency and individual achievement. Rugged individualisn surely has been an american trait, but is it a christian one?? Do we really need to pursue our *personal relationship with Jesus*? Reading danas post, thinking about community, the *one anothers* all throughout Scripture, I really think not. God Himself is relationship, the Trinity. He created man AND woman, I think He really knew what He was doing in that regard. Muhammad Ali went to Zaire Africa back in 1974 i believe it was to fight George Foreman for the Heavyweight Championship. Ali went over early to be around the people and let them see him. He gave a speech, and all who can recall Ali when he was in his prime recall how charismatic a speaker and personality he was. He basically said 2 things... * We Not Me* That can sum up the Church pretty solidly.

Tony Myles at *dont call me veronica* made a post today answering the question i posed to him about handling fear. He was right it does come from a very personal place. He gave a response that really hits the nail on the head. Fear is present and it can be huge, but we have a choice, to go against it. This reflects my title of this post. I can choose, even by not choosing that ultimately is a choice. Freedom really is scary. Look at the Israelites, Gods chosen people and whom He performed miracles for and even gave physical evidence of His Presence to when they had the ark of the Covenant. They turned away from Him so easily despite His active Presence. I know believe and trust in God,seek to follow and obey Jesus as Lord and Savior and also so often struggle with fear of Him,with experiencing Him in a negative way, especially thru illness or something that causes pain as well as death. This is emotional, not mental. I want that deep personal intimacy with Him,yet i choose actions and have feelings that hide from Him,fight Him,cause distance between us, and I dont understand fully why I do this. I really feel crazy at times within my own skin because of the rollercoaster I experience in relating to God each day.

I am in flux right now, my prayer to wrestle with God, well He has answered, and not as i pictured He would but He has. I cant settle for certain things i did before and i cant just seek to let fears roam inside my mind and heart The truth of His character and His love and grace, I want to experience in my depths emotionally/relationally as opposed to fear and abandonment and lack of closeness. This will definitely be ongoing and a daily choice, a choice i want to make. I just realize that YOU yes all of you out here in bloglamd are integral parts in helping me do that!!!!!!! I know so many prayers offred up have helped me as well as extended caring friendship and love so cool how God works through His chosen vessels people!!!! I pray God helps me to choose faith and love over fear and self more and more moment by moment!!!!