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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 01, 2008

You Dont Clean Fish Then Catch Them

Thankfully my gout is alot better now after 4 days. There is something humbling about not being able to take a single step without wincing from the pain. Plus many times I either crawled to move from my recliner back to my bed and vice-versa, as well as hopped on one foot, quite a sight lol. Thank you God for percocet!!!! Drink water, that is my mantra forever now!!!

I just discovered a new blog called *im a crappy christian* and it is quite a great read. Karl is the authors name and he has quite a wide range of stories to tell in a life of being very deeply involved in the Church and seeking to do his best at being a good christian. I have read a few of his posts and they reminded me of my experiences in Bible College and Seminary to an extent. I am very thankful that the Bible College I attended also allowed students from Cal State Fullerton, the university next door, to live in our dorms. I had an atheist roommate for 2 years and it was one of the best times I have had!!!

All kinds of different people went to Bible College, wide range of backgrounds and personalities. Thinking back I do recall that those with the most extroverted and charismatic personalities most often took the forefront in preaching,leadership and worship leading. Part of this makes sense to an extent due to the very nature of these positions, however God can and has used people with introverted and laidback personalities in all kinds of ways, the Bible clearly shows that. I remember a meeting I had with my sr minister at my church when I was preparing to go to Bible College after jr college. He told me they were looking for bold,outgoing, highly extroverted types to be ministers. I of course was shy,intoverted and not very bold. I listened and thanked him for his counsel and inwardly left wondering just what I was going to do since I had made this commitment and thought it was a decision God was in favor of????

Having it all together, being bold and outgoing in showing and sharing your faith, evanglizing anyone anytime, having a life that showed to anyone who saw you that Jesus made a dramtic difference..... these were always underlying themes and attitudes within the environment at Bible College. I so enjoyed having my roommate because he didn't care about any of the *expectations* We played basketball alot, we listened to music and went swimming in the pool,(southern california so the school had a pool) . We hung out and just talked alot. Sometimes we would talk about spiritual things. He knew my beliefs and so there was no hidden agenda. He shared why he chose not to believe, i accepted his choices and shared some of why I made different ones and also was open in telling him I prayed for him and that I was glad he was my friend. I heard about encounters he had with other people who tried to forcefully evanglize him or who related to him as a project and not a person. I wish i knew whatever happened to him.

I use this blog as a way to share myself. To explore thoughts and feelings, to wonder about ways i have changed as well as ways I still need to change. I cherish the feedback and response of anyone who stops by and reads. My title of this post reflects on a truth that I struggle with at times. So many times i have heard professors, ministers, missionaries and such repeat again and again that your life as a christian should reflect and show that you have a life of victory and joy, a life that anyone and everyone would and should want!!! They say this because as a christian your life belongs to Jesus and if its not a shining beacon of victorious living well then how do you expect Jesus and God to feel about that??? How can you expect anyone to want what your supposed to have??/

I heard these statements, as well as what was the undertone of them, and always felt a deep uneasiness. I was a believer and fully committed,but i still had many problems and areas of struggle. I did experience so much peace, love,joy and much more from turning to Jesus but i still had many times where i was unsure,depressed,worried and countless other things. If I were to relate to a nonchristian and reveal my weknesses and struggles I still had would that be doing damage to what a real good strong christian should be???

You see the ramifications here. Jesus does not demand we be perfect and all straightend out before He wants us. He wants us as we are, however dirty,messy and whatever else we may be. Then He works with us to make us like Him, which is One who loved unlike any other. One who was a true servant, One who cared for those who were castoffs and ignored by most, even religious circles. One who treated people with grace and forgiveness and love.

Hmmmm I wonder where the ideas of being a *victorious christian* come from??? Seems like Jesus sees victory by admitting weakness and flaws and allowing transformation to take place day by day. Seems like His way is what always allows for freedom,authenticity and growth, no matter how many times you fall down and need to get back up. Maybe just maybe this realization of grace will impact me upon how i treat myself more and more and am so overwhelmed at the ways i recieve it from so many others!!!!


At 6:30 PM, Blogger Shaz said...

Hey bobby, Jesus does not demand we are perfect. I think you said it all here ;)
I think religon and business has gotten in the way of this fact.
I know many succesful churches whom use scare tactics to control their congregation. I see many so called christians who I would not associate myself with and it is sad, I wonder what reception they will get when they meet our maker?
Bens dad is a perfect example of how God moves people in his direction how he sees in us what we dont. His testimony is so amazing, that alone makes believers out of people. He was by no means a christian man and it wasnt untill his lowest point of going to take his own life did god reveal himself to him. In a BIG way
I am going to ring him and see if he has it written. I have only heard it not read it but it is very full on. He turned a very shy struggling man much like your self into an amazing apostle and minister who clearly speaks and hears from God on so many levels. I will try and get that for you as I think you would enjoy it.
So glad to hear you are a little better. Gout is such an intensely painful condition that I have much sympathy for what you are enduring.
Stay well my friend.
May God Always Bless You xx

At 9:40 PM, Blogger The Troll said...

The idea of a "victorious Christian" comes from the UK. Anyhay, I put you in my blogs read list as " The Only Christian in Oregon". Grrrhehrhahahahahahahhaha!

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Robert said...

Shazzie-I definitely would love to read your FOL's testimony!!! Thank you always for being so encouraging and uplifting my dear friend cheers to you lots of love and light always!! xxx

mr troll- well git er done thar rebel, one the few christians in the dixie states yeeehawwwwwww lol ty much for the add sir

At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A victorious Christian is not one that has all the stuff of this world but one who overcomes the work of the evil one... Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Stuff comes but has no hold over those people. Authority for the believer is there but few churches explain that it is appropriated in accordance to the growth (maturity) of the believer. Galatians 4:1 Now I say, [That] the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
God has taken me through many lessons in my walk.. praise God... and each time He has shown me how to walk in a greater authority... no one releases a machine gun to a baby and so with God great power is available and in fact the work was done at the cross but our appropriation of it comes in line with our growth.
The first area of victory the Lord showed me was what I thought was my nature... I was extremely shy, in fact i would hyperventilate or vomit if asked to speak publicly. The Lord showed me when I got saved He gave me His nature and it was not linked to fear and self image .. I had a battle on my hands.. but as He continued to expound His nature to me in His word I began to act on it in faith and I began to be a new man... I began to understand Paul's words ... "It is no longer I that liveth but Christ that liveth in me"...
That was 15 years ago .. since that date I have been empowered by the Lord to preach in many places giving my testamony of how God showed me His marvelous truths and healed me of many life threatening illnesses .. I was poisoned and a bubble was being built for me to live in as I could no longer tolerate exposure to the world. If I came near a person wearing deoderant I would collapse and be on pain killers for days at a time, car exhaust or paint fumes were worse... I had skin cancer, cateracts over one eye, brain and liver dmage from being poisoned... and He healed them all .. one at a time showing me how to recieve my healing and the faithfulness of His promise as He heals still today.
I have still suffered many difficulties and leaders of denominations have I therefore must have missed God. But if you look at many of the bible characters they all faced adversity ... have you ever noticed what God said to Abraham just before he was going to sacrifice his son ...Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.
NOW I KNOW... and have you read what Peter said the the believers... 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
Victory is not a trouble free life, but one that continues to overcome by the grace of God...2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
My infirmaties, my weakness is exactly where He wants me.. and He continues to show me my weakness or my humanity and flows His divinity and His glory through this human vessel.
Though the pharisees of today are outspoken and scoffing st my trials I am reminded of the same thing that happened to the Master as He went to the cross.
Everywhere I go conferances are stopped and speakers from all around the world deliver the same word from God... to me ... it upsets the pharisees, but .. then again He did a lot of that when He walked the earth... As we take His yoke of gentleness and humility it allows Him to receive the glory... Keep walking my friend.. keep getting up ... keep listening to Him ... keep applying the Word to your life ... He promises to guide you and He is a man of His word..

Ps... if you study the lives of Gods generals you will notice the "victory" they had was surrounded by constant persecution just like the Master they serve... their heart cry was...Psalm 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, [and] for thy truth's sake.
May He continue to bless you in your walk


At 4:03 PM, Blogger jennypo said...

"Seems like Jesus sees victory by admitting weakness and flaws and allowing transformation to take place day by day."

Amen. We hate our weakness, but He doesn't. He'll use it if we let Him.

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong... (I Corinthians 1:27)

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity. (Proverbs 24:16)

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Robert said...

ray- quite a powerful testimony you shared. Thank you for stopping in and sharing. He doesn't keep adversity or pain or suffering of all kinds from happening to us, He shows that He is there to be with us in the midst and help us overcome by His power. Love the verses you shared as well brother.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Gypsy said...

Glad to hear your gout is much better Robert. It sounds extremely painful and I know my Grandfather suffered with it for years before he passed. Take care.


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