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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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wrestling and Stuff

Time weird thing sometimes never enough sometimes way too much all depends upon the way we are feeling oft times i imagine as well. Quite a bit in the air around blogland,several celebrating major goals and accomplishments, improved health, new career moves, new relationships and of course some experience the darker side loos of loved ones, layoffs,depression and others. It is amazing how blogging serves so often as a port amidst the storms of life, a place where you can go to, discover a quiet calmness and sense of acceptance. A place where you can find people who understand and acknowledge you and do so in very ordinary yet meaningful ways.

I often reflect on the harder and rougher aspects of my thoughts/feelings and experiences on here, mainly because i find it a safe haven to do so. I fear that i tip the scales way toward one side however and make it seem at times like i am always walking with a black cloud overhead, which is definitely far from reality or the truth. I do so enjoy seeing the positive in situations as well as people. God is always good even when there is no easy way to pinpoint that from a sight perspective. It really is a tremendous help to trust God truly is good all the time.

There is so much disparate viewpoints on knowing God and interpreting Scripture and walking with Jesus now. I guess there always has been but the net and blogland makes it seem even more so. The basics of living life as God intends is fairly straightforwars- Love God Love people simple as can be mmmhmmmm until you actually TRY IT!!! Something about a *nature* we all inherit that distorts this simple message sometimes even before we leave our bed in the morning. Jesus tells us to *abide in Him* if we do so then we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free. How easy is it to *abide* for you??? What is your daily sachedule like???/ How does your mind work??? Your emotions??? Do you find your mind wandering even as you take a few minutes to pray whenever you so choose to??? Find that desire to sit and meditate on His Word disapears before you ever knew it??? MInd and emotions go in a thousand different directions all at once??/ Jesus said those who sought rest to come to Him for His burden is light His yoke is easy He is gentle of spirit. O to soak in His rest like it were a huge neverending bubblebath!!!!

I say this in a rhetorical fashion these questions. I truly do cherish the freedom to write as i feel inspired on this blog. So thankful for the way that anyone and everyone can come by and read my words and share themselves with me as they see fit. Wrestling openly certianly helps gain clarity on tough areas inside. I definitely want to focus on the hope He lays out as i venture forth in my journey. The very fact I have revealed my deepest fears and struggles openly on here has served to make them more manageable and less ominous. Please share any thoughts that have been ignited inside your own craniums as you gaze upon this page.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Knowing What's What

Paradigm shifts are huge when they occur. The Enlightenment, the Protestant Reformation, and now seemingly the Post-Modern,Emergent/Missional Movement. Bob Dylan said in the 60's, the times they are a-changin. I think his words are often prophetic,hopefully so now. Perusing the blogosphere it is quite something to scan across various and sundry blogs and take in a glance at how this shift is occurring. I think blogging has actually played a big part in adding to this shift, much like the printing press aided Martin Luther and the progression of the Reformation. Exciting to see newness and change taking place.

Campus Crusade for Christ played a major role in evangelical Christianity the past 4 decades. The 4 spiritual laws, praying the *sinners prayer* and recognizing God has a wonderful plan for your life have been foundational for many people initially coming to faith in Christ and becoming part of the Church. Very good things have happened through these ministries, God definitely blessed them, but there are some real challenges as to their overall effectiveness. Lack of followup in developing discipleship, leaving a new believer wondering if all that was needed to be *saved* was praying that prayer and having no instruction on growing spiritually and the struggle that would occur in doing so.

The *Left Behind* book series has enjoyed resounding popularity and success, but is it sound and good theology??? Dispensationalism, the theology which these books advocate, only came into being in the 19th century. A look back at the early church fathers will show an openess to an amillennial theology as well as some other divergent views. We are a personality-driven culture in the USA, and the christian world in many ways does this as well. Strong,charismatic,authoritative leaders and ministers often dictate a lot of the thinking,actions and attitudes that the church adopts and brings into actual life events. I am a conservative republican who has been on the moderate side of the theological/political map. I have found myself more and more achieving common ground with views that are on the liberal left, and seeing the grayness and mystery that keeps so much from being purely black/white,

What is to be taken literally, what is symbolic??? This is a major area of inquiry i want to tackle exhaustively now. Is the creation narrative in Genesis a literal 7 days???? Is the book of Job a literal true story?? How do we recognize what is which??? How do we cone to agreement on what is the correct interpretation of Scripture as the Holy Spirit intended it to be ??? Some very exciting questions i hope to explore more and sure want lots of input on from any and all who stop by here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Holding On

it is a good thing to wrestle with God. I began the last paragraph of my previous post with that statement and I really do believe it!!! I always loved the story of jacob wrestling with the angel and recieving both a blessing and a wound. The wrestling aspect is so cool because it shows God is actually hands-on and does desire the type of intimacy with us where we actually grab onto Him and try to take Him down, metaphorically speaking of course. I believe that I might sweat more from the mental/emotional tangling with God than any actual physical workout lol.

Shazzie, my scintillating sweetie of a matey had a very profound comment to me on my page saying that God encourages us to look at ourselves and discover the changes we need to make and turn to Him for that transformation. I think there is a lot of mystery that exists in spiritual matters, primarily because God wants it so. He purposely leaves us hanging for certainty about many many aspects of life and Himself and how it all fits together because it leaves room for wonderment and delight in knowing there is much more to God than our human minds can fully comprehend. I also think we have parts of ourselves that may be hidden to our own awareness and that lay mired in our subconscious or unconscious. I think as we search ourselves as well as seek a deeper understanding of God that some things can be uncovered and recognized. One thing I struggle with very deeply is losing something emotionally valuable. I think this comes from a combination of my paternal grandmother and alot of her ways she dealt with these issues as well as my dad's death and its impact on me.

I am extremely hard on myself and pretty much always have been. I think a part of it is that i have a belief that if i am not then i am somehow letting myself off the hook and not doing what i need to for all the many who have lives that are far worse than mine. It's alot like the idea of how a response to was right after 9/11. The latenight comedians canceled their shows for a few days and stopped doing monolgues for a bit. Jay leno asked,*is it ok to laugh again yet?* Like somehow you are disrespecting the pain and tragedy of so many people by having a good time anc carrying on with life. Does this make sense to you???/ When I type it out and talk about it openly it sounds so crazy, but inside my own self it marinates and simmers and lies there always percolating under the surface. I recognize this in my relating to God as well in that I often will send my thoughts to Him almost asking permission to realize i can have joy and peace in knowing Jesus is Lord and Savior and wants me to fully live life in the fullness of belonging to Him. I feel like Im unworthy of enjoying life as He calls me to and really not permitted to because i have had a very easy life compared to so many others, and even the tough things i have faced i need to realize everyone has it happen and so i shouldn't expect to feel anything unique or anything about my own personal pain and struggle emotionally and spiritually.

I think the origin of these thought/beliefs come from where i stated. I also know I have had a tough time recognizing the voice in my head that is the echo of all my experiences and that it is coming from me and can be very wrong. I let it become such a blockade in so many ways, it is the voice that yells at me about having fear or not measuring up to the expectations i should have as a man or a Christ-follower or you name it. I hope by my *wrestling* and continous airing things out here and sharing with others i will grow and enter into a reality of intimacy with God and Jesus as well as other people that my mind has seen in the Word and desires to have so earnestly in my soul. Babysteps, babysteps of the awesomeness of Gods grace and goodness sprinkle across me day by day. I pray the same happens to all of you in a way that you most need!!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Wrestling

We are studying the book of Isaiah in sunday school right now. Very tough book to get a full grip on as he prophesies about things that happen in the future for his time, but then could be things that had happened from looking at the historical record. Our need for faith was brought up, if faith was not needed God could not be who He is because we would know everything and therefore be His equal. it is a weird paradox how that works, recorded history is all about man's search for answers, but if we had all the answers then we really wouldn't be human created beings would we???

I am beginning to read *The Shack*, thanks to recieving it as a gift from a very sweet friend. Hoping God will use it as He has for so many others, to aid me to more fully realize His amazing love and grace in the parts of me which for whatever reason have some kind of barrier that hasn't let Him fill me fully as He wants to. Wrestling with Him definitely is something i need more of. My whole struggle is becoming more broken down and clarified in my mind day by day. My fear comes from being afraid of pain and punishment. Pain from a mixture of the physical/mental/emotional/spiritual. Fear from wondering that my actions/obedience have not been *enough* to meet Gods standard. Fear from wondering that God will punish me because i didn't just accept the reality of possibly experiencing anything imaginable as part of the price of being human in a fallen world, and because I didn't just handle my fathers dying at a young age and mature as i should have.

i have seen more how childhood experiences impact us deeply inside, but the handling of my own internal image of myself is something I have so long struggled with but have kind of glossed over because with my logical mind I knew the real answers and so on. I learned to bury my emotional issues about certain things way down deep, even though alot of how i lived and made choices in life reflected a desire to overcome the very fears and pain i felt so deeply. How do I just *rejoice in the Lord always*??? i know with my mind, is there a way to know with my heart soul and strength that i need to tap into??? I have been seeking to have small chats with Him about things like this at work. *Fix my eyes upon Jesus*, *trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding* (thanks shazzie!!!) My mind so knows these verses like the back of my hand, but my heart/inmost self struggles so much to let them be true. God is GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Somewhere along the way i let various things cause me to mess with realizing that and knowing He always wll be to me.

Grace is the most amazing reality in existence and what separates Christianity from any other belief system. My fear factor kicks in again over my own sinful choices though. Gods grace covers me, does it also even when I commit compulsive sins or addictive sins??? Is there a standard of behavior that needs to be held to, especially for one who aspired to be a leader, still does??? i ask these questions in an open manner because i have a struggle inside as opposed to my mind. Several thoughts flash across my mind,some of the choices made because I thought they would ease pain or bring pleasure and relief, not wanting to go against God but still ends up being so according to what are shown to be fleshly indulgences in Galatians. How to get past the fear/punishment mindset and stay in the grace/Spirit mindset??? How to accept perfect love???? Realizing He knows my searching, my questioning and my desire to have my heart closer to His. I feel His grace in lil glimpses bit by bit, must be prayers offered by lovely friends helping out. Not to mention my own.

Wrestling with God is a good thing. Growing is very good. I am so thrilled He led me to blogging so I can mature surrounded and helped by a crowd of fantastic people!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


There are wonderful people here in blogland. Amazing and just fantastic!!! it is jawdropping at times to go to a page and see a post that somehow just touches you in a place you long to have reached but could never ask for or express without a blushing selfconsciousness. God is wrestling with me via peoples posts and comments.

I have wanted to make a *glossy finish* cover over reality, for God to always make everything work together for good as it says in Romans chapter 8. God is good all the time, all the time God is good. My problem is I have let these weeds of emotional questioning fester inside and instead of uprooting them tried to hope they would just be removed by spiritual osmosis or something. Fear as a way to deal with the harsh realities of life just became an instinctive response for me internally to manage things. Death will happen, cold reality yes it will. No need to fear it because Jesus died for us and resurrected to give us eternal life, But, He asks us to obey, to believe in a way that seems to go beyond our ability to some extent. Age-old question every generation asks why so much sufering??? why evil??? does God cause us to believe and obey ultimately or do we choose to???

Choice choice choice. Why is it so hard to accept that choice and freedom are His gifts to us as humans??? i am not wanting to make this a selfdespising post in any way shape or fashion. I just am challenged at my root by so much i have read and so much i have gotten from good freinds and caring people. I have the tension inside of the flesh/spirit tug-of-war. Don't we all??? I want with all my heart to love God and love people, and also i want to tell God to just chill and let me do as i please,let me get to things on my own timetable or whatever and i hate that. I have been given the book *tired of trying to measure up* as a resource, is it perfectionism to look at the standard Jesus points to in the Gospels and to be selfcondeming when it isn't reached??? How did peter change from the one who told Jesus He must never go to the cross, the one who denied Him 3 times to being one of the major leaders of the early Church and martyred by being crucified upside down???

I think a major part of why i am so hard on myself is because, again, I have so feared having to face a life threatening illness like cancer which killed my father. Or scared to face what i percieve to be emotional/spiritual/relational challenges. Funny how when some actually happen God seems to give me a peace and confidence from somewhere, like with my heart troubles. I have made so many wonderful connections on here, so scared that by sharing the way i do on here it will make people get annoyed and leave. I have a pattern of self-sabotage i think, afraid to have something reject or abandon me that i really care about and love and so i do it to myself as a protection mechanism. I don't want to continue that pattern. I don't want to lose people or progressive changes i have made and am heading towards. It hurts so bad to feel like I have made so many wrong choices and still deep inside have so much childish ways in me especially in choosing to live as an adult in accepting my freedom and choices to make in that freedom. God please continue to wrestle with me and help me to realize Your love in the most genuine way You can. Help me to learn to not be so hard on myself and to really be able to hear Your voice and to choose to live in response to it. Thank you beyond any words i could ever say for the special people and friends You have given me on here. Help me to love and be loved God. Thank You for letting me cry and feel Your call to feel You.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Not Me WE

I mentioned Muhammad Ali in a post a li lways back. I always liked him, despite his bravado and seeming arrogance he had a charm and charisma that just lit up a room or a tv screen when he was present. In a speech he gave once, i believe it was in Africa, he basically said 2 words ME- WE and then began encouraging a chant basically was about brotherhood. The evangelical community is very adept at coming up with buzzwords that make for fancy sounding usage. *seeker-sensitive*, *missional-minded*, *emergent* and the list goes on and on. Community is not new, it has been around the block and then some. it seems to have been getting dusted off and refurbished lately though. Rugged individualism isn't quite what it was all cracked up to be,even back on the wild frontier.

There is a huge exodus that has happened over the last few years from the TC aka traditional church. I have read many blogs discussing this, the reasons why and the causes which created the reasons. As one who has been involved in a few TC's since becoming a follower of Christ I get a sense of discomfort seeing this, because it shows that there are lots of things ajar within the confines of the TC. I think our model we base our services upon, the model followed by a majority of Protestant/Evangelical churches discourages true authentic community. Organ or piano music plays, Worship leader begins service with songs announcements are made, shake and greet time occurs,more songs, scripture passage read and prayer offered. Offering taken,sermon,dismissed. Communion occurs in varying increments as well. I think churches have ADHD, we try to make the Spirit fit into our determined guideline for how the service should be conducted and so He better!!!!

I attended a seminar at my church recently where the speaker was there to help churches determine what they needed to better serve as a vibrant force as a congregation and in the community they existed in. He identified 4 kinds of churches Healthy Missional- this church was alive,functioning well,carrying out its mission, had a sense of vitality and enthusiasm. Second type of church was the Stable church- this church has a motto- *we are just fine* they have lots of activity,people are serving, things are happening but they are in denial as to the problem areas they have, no one wants to admit anything needs to change, they dont want anyone rocking the boat Third church is called Critical Moment things are going wrong,activity not as steady, some people have left and not sure why, an awareness something needs to happen but not sure what. Leaders recognize at various times they are in a stage of critical moment and something needs to be done. Fina church is At Risk this one is in ICU on life support. Little activity, many have left,little hope for any new life,just waiting to die. The speaker challenged us to identify where we all thought our church was out of the 4.

I think this can apply to believers as well. Where are we and what can we do to get to healthy missional???? Nonchristians that may look on and wonder about this i think self-actualization applies, becoming the most overall healthiest person you can be. We had several churches at this seminar, and was so interesting to see most saw themselves as in between stable anc critical moment. The speaker was great, very dynamic. He also made sure we knew there was no *instant cure* No *God as a genie granting wishes* The answer we needed was and is in ourselves, with Gods guidance. Together, in community is where and how we would discover our answers. I think that applies to us as individuals as well. The *one anothers* are so widespread in the New Testament!!!!! I think the blogging community can often be a great place of carrying out those very things. I thank God with all my heart for the blogging *community* I have recieved His touch from so many of them, whether it be when im down,hurting,wondering,seeking,happy,excited,thoughtful or amused. i have benefited so wonderfully from so many people. Thank you all for being the Body as God speaks of, coming together to serve support and sacrifice for one another. Love is found here. Amen!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Again and Again

Was tough today. I felt a nagging sense of discomfort, of my need for change. I had dreams of being an actor once upon a time. I think as i reflect back i could have been a good one, a charactor actor never a leading man lol. i remember when i was at Bible College I auditioned for this theater group that had formed, a lil late though. The directot really liked me and wanted to use me but my schedule conflicted with the group so it wasn't meant to be. I think i have developed my skills as an actor all throughout life, many roles enacted, alas there were done internally,emotionally and as a means of handling life.

I try to be very open on here, about myself and what Im dealing with. Sometimes i think i say too much and come across so self-absorbed, and to an extent i guess i am. I really want it to be self-examining seeking to draw closer to being God-absorbed. It is hard to have life smack you around in ways that make you have to take a deep look. I have been so able to selfcontain emotional hurt for as long as i can recall. The pain I have felt through many different events in life, I foind a way to mask it and to be able to deal with it in certain ways, but i also found ways to hide it and do that well thinking out of sight is out of mind not so fast. As i write this i feel like who am i to be saying i had pain and hardship which affected me alot in living life when there are people with lifethreatening illnesses,terrible abuse that has happened. My life has been a virtual breeze compared to so many yet here i am with my lil mess.

I know the truth about God, Jesus,the Bible. I have witnessed peoples lives changed,have seen Him do great things in churches, on mission fields,in the highways and byways. For some reason though the thought of death haunts and terrifies. i know full well it has to happen, its just the way it is. I just get the painful images and hurting feelings inside, feeling like I have been a big letdown to God because of being so oversensitive and so lacking in the boldness courage and confidence He tells us to have all throughout His Word. I don't know really why this is. I know factors that have contributed to it. I just don't know why i am as old as i am, have gone through the things i have and still can be having these struggles of feeling distant and a disappointment to God.

I have told of the rejection and ridicule i experienced due to being awkward and clumsy physically, Being emotionally fragile,frrling ugly once acne scarred my face,and just bein the object of ridicule in almost every place i have gone in life school,camp,work,social circles and even church. I had a counselor once who i went to see about sexual addiction, first thing he said after i arrived and shook his hand. *your not a mans man kind of guy are you?* Excuse me???? I am a very solid football player built guy. i have a solid handshake, but as i said before i have a very soft voice and am quite shy at first. I just met this clown and he makes an assertion like that!!!! Needless to say i never went back! I am very easygoing and pretty much can get along with about anyone and have. For some reason though i attract bullies and haters who see me as an easy target and i guess in some strange way i am. I have had people mess with me about my hair,my way i chew,my walk,my run,my weight,my face,my last name,seems like almost anything. I havent understood it most of the time. Thankfully i have never been one to lash out and let loose all my rage and anger over this treatment. I think i have done so towards myself safer that way.

In spite of all this I mostly do enjoy people and have fun. I love to be around people and share with them, whether it be playing a game,watching a movie,going to a sporting event,hanging out whatever. In daily life i manage well. Inside all these things i mention are like lil claws that snap and bite at me, never ceasing. *Perfect love casts out fear* I have sought this for ages what is malfunctioning in me that it hasnt happened??? What is it that makes me feel im unable to let God be God and just have me able to rest in Him knowing im secure in His love and grace???? I have some things I think contribute to this, just wonder if i should share them here. i so hate having these posts come off like a downer. I want to rejoice in the Lord i seek to and then I wallow in wondering why I don't. Is it so simple as i need to choose to even when I am feeling so disappointing to Him??? Is an answer to accept the need to repent and return, seeking Him in prayer, meditation and obedience to connect with Him so intimately?? I hope my sharing like a broken record. I get a sense God is nudging me so i get beyond my current precipice. I asked sought pleaded for Him to wrestle with me. I pray that what Im thinking/feeling is the result of this prayer and that He will lead me to a depth I havent even understood is there. Open my eyes,my heart,my will help me to want You and to follow where You lead me. No resurrection without death first,

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Open and Close

Its a tough call at times to decide what to post on here. How much is too much?? Does this serve a good purpose for being shared, will this be construed as being whiney,prideful,strange and any number of things. There is a lot of freedom in writing here but also at times a sense of loneliness because the people Im connecting with arent able to be seen touched and heard in person. Both a blessin gand a curse. it has been great to meet people and talk on the phonem makes things even more personal that way.

My sister says that anything we leave unresolved in childhood will reassert itself in our adult lives till we deal with it. i think that is very true overall. My passive/agressiveness definitely fits there. The staying in my head as a means of staying safe and having an illusion of control. Im thankful i have a good sense of humor and an ability to pick up on things pretty quickly. I have an ability to get along easily with most people and can manage life and its necessities fairly well however, I have an inner world which for some reason just seems to take leave of all awareness of what is really real at times and lets wild imagination run rampant and freeze me from action. I really would like to read up on how personality dispositions do affect us and can impact us way into our adult lives. Anyone who knows any books or journal articles on this I would love to hear of them, I just know I have an affinity for burying myself inside my head and staying dependently attached in there afraid of what will happen to me if i come out and let loose. I am talking in a very detailed way here, some of my sharing is an extreme because im trying to be as transparent as possible.

Here is a good example of my struggle in microcosm. i have talked about my 2 coworkers who find it a fun game to badger me and bait me for their own amusement. i am a relatively quiet person, very soft-spoken, which comes from having bad hearing. I have a hard time telling how loud my voice is and am always being told i talk way to softly. Both these guys like to come up to me together and begin saying their things which they know get under my skin. i try to laugh it off or ignore it. They persist. I tell them to shut up or go away, they ask why am i getting mad that they are just joking around. This same scenario has been played almost every day for last 4 years or so. I have taken them and told them very directly that they are being immature and need to grow up as well as say i just dont want to play their games. Part of me wonders if Im overreacting and should just laugh and go along with it, another part of me says no they are being disrespectful and rude and i should not have to put up with it. Either way though Im not sure whats the right response. The fact i have something like this to share on here as i am is a pain in my neck.

To accept me for me, as God does. That is the challenge. Hopefully it is happening more and more and is helped along by the caring,sharing and exhortation offered by all of you out there. Don't ever stop!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

in pursuit

My dad was a cop. Unfortunately I was too young to go on ridealongs with him when he patrolled in a squad car. I have always loved cop shows, especially chases. So cool to watch the cops chase the bad guys yell into their walkie-talkie * suspect on foot officer in pursuit* Adam-12 was a great show. i have been in pursuit of a different nature, pursuing getting closer to God and deeper in relationship to Jesus Christ and people. Funny thing though, the harder i seem to want to pursue the further behund i fall.

My wonderful friend barbara has had a series of posts on one of her blogs lately. Some very heartfelt,self-revealing , deep soulsearching posts. I often tell her she and I inhabit the same mind only in separate bodies, gary is also part of this equation. So much of what she discusses in alot of her posts reflects my internal feelings/thoughts/wonderings and so on. its so surreal at times to look at myself from an observer point of view and wonder why and how I am at the place Im at. Especially having been a believer for so long. There was a time when I felt like I was really in step with Gods Spirit in a big way and pursuing what He wanted me to. I think i may have put on rosy colored glasses to see through though. I think about God and Jesus ALOT. I think about how I want to be a servant like Jesus and love as He did. I want to live as He calls for in the Bible. Yet,(decided not to use but lol) I so often continually choose other ways to go, different paths and really not sure why. My mind is on autopilot so often it seems, never stopping, always running a million different ways atall times.

At some point when i was really young I learned to take a cautious,retreatist,passive approach to dealing with things that scared me or seemed to hard for me. I looked to needing a rescuer to do things for me i felt unable to do myself. In third grade i just could not do word problems ot long division and fractions. My mom tried to help me and let me work it out on my own, but i was insistent that i could NOT do it and being as how she had just lost her husband,was trying to raise 2 kids and deal with all the stress involved in that, i wore her down after an innate stubborn refusal to do the math. I think i let this reaction become a pattern, especially emotionally and relationally. When things become what i perceive as too difficult i seek to have someone help me or bail me out. This really presents problems when it comes to God. I mean Jesus is the ultimate rescuer, after all He IS Savior!!!! But, (oopps there is that but) He also asks us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. There are things He wants and asks us to do ourselves. This is where i struggle and where I get all messed up internally and caught in a web of my own mind.

I am pretty smart, there was a time i didnt believe this because I took a long time to learn how to tell time and to adjust emotionally to school. I lack common sense alot though. i guess my gullibility and naivete show here. being smart or intelligent gives me no solace to deal with my fears and my emotional quicksand when it comes to just being free to reach out and love and trust and let my mind just be, accepting the present and enjoying what is. i KNOW death will happen, at some point, and i dont want it too!!!! Instead of seeing the joy of being with Christ in heaven and being in eternity forever surrounded by everyone and its perfect peace I see pain, horror,anguish,hurt the feelings of my life being taken away. WHY???? why in the HELL???? I am not trying to be overdramatic but this expresses the insanity of it for me. I dont do this towards anyone else but cant help or seem to stop doing it for me. Do others of you suffer with this??? Those of you who may not be religious do you ahve your own version of this???? I really want to hear any and all sharing. I apologize for this pos being so long, i hope you made it through and that some of it resonates.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I have done a few posts on choice and force these 2 topics seem to affect almost every aspect of life. I have been thinking about choice even more lately. Determinism or freewill force vs choice Choice sure has tremendous power, not to mention freedom it provides. Atheists say that God doesn't exist, of course they have been given the freedom to choose that belief. They aren't forced to believe there is no God. God gives us total freedom to choose to trust Him or not doesn't He????

I look back at the Old Covenant, the history of the Israelites. They were God's chosen people, they recieved His protection, His presence and His judgment. So many miracles performed and witnessing Him as a regular Presence with them, relating to them personally as a nation. They were so easily led to rebellion and resisting Him. I think about my choices, how i do the same thing so much. I don't understand myself so often. On the one hand i have a very solid history with God ever since I was young. I was a serious minded catholic but left it behind for a few years between 11 and 16. I realized Jesus was Lord and Savior at 16 and made the decision to accept and obey Him then. i grew to love studying the Bible and spending lots of time in prayer. Loves chances to witness about Him, especially to people who were hurting and wanting real assurance He was real, because that is what i had longed for. O made the decision to pursue the ministry, went to Bible College and sought to form my life by choices that went in line with His will for me.

I let things i had pushed down and ignored surface and affect my choices once I graduated Bible College. I know each day is a new opportunity to change and i guess that is my internal dilemma and what i have been reflecting on. I have let the past control my present and future so much for so long. I have let my hurt and pain i experienced over my feeling ugly as well as the frustration in dealing with relationships cause me to escape into a protective shell where i live in my head. I think I have been an extra-senstive personality type and it has affected my orientation to dealing with life and people. I have always sought to be a peacemaker, a comforter,people-pleaser,keep things calm and under control always. I saw a snippet of a book on bjks blog *inthequiet* called *The Shack* and it really struck a chord. i want to get out from under fears and being passive and holding back, but i have found doing so to serve like a tortoise shell, even though i dont want to hide under there it just has become easier and somehow a feeling of *being safer* under there. I want to choose to break free and choose the freedom of risking love and following Jesus call in a way that is more assertive and faith determined. i have been told alot by people i have known well that i have a deep reservoir of faith because i attempt things that it seems i have no business trying. I still feel so often that I am so weak and overcome by my fears and my insecurities over my self-esteem issues and such. i hope this is making sense and not just a ramble that sounds like drivel.

Choice. I want to choose to love risk and follow after God and fully realize He is the God He declares Himself to be and is the One who makes life what it was created to be. I am always very hard on myself and even trying to write this is tough, I know I need so much to seek Him and ask Him to help me make choices that reflect a growing desire to have deep relationship with Him as opposed to seeking my selfish pleasures and avoid internal pain. So good to read and see so many perspectives and so many people at such different places in their own journeys. I hope this writing continues to be a way to gain greater awareness and willingness to risk and act.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Knowing God

A very good book with that title has been around quite awhile. Actually contains the basis for what life is all about knowing God and how to have relationship with Him. Seems so simple as you read those words, yet for some reason it becomes a very complex and entangled thing so much of the time. I tend to be very hard on myself, as a few friends have noted, but to me its the only way i know how to be. I can be as gracious,forgiving and merciful to anyone else as can possibly be but its an entirely different story when it comes to myself. A friend told me i may have a kind of reverse pride thing happening. Feeling like Im too bad for God, which when i say it out loud or type it sounds ludicrous, especially thinking about Jesus dying on the cross for ALL sins. For some reason inside myself i get this idea/feeling im just too bad because of my fears,passiveness and disobedience.

I think my fear hinges on a misconception emotionally about God. Because my dad died so young and it came as a sudden thing i think emotionally i let that affect how I saw God and that He could use disease sickness and pain to affect our lives and was to be avoided. Alot of the verses in Scripture cause to reinforce the fear of Him by pointing out His anger and wrath at disobedience and lack of faith. I know the emphasis on His unconditional love and acceptance as well as His grace, but a big internal part of me feels like He has limits to those and i just dont know where those limits are but i feel like i test them and even push past them. Once again this is not logical but feeling/experiential based.

I posted my last piece because they are the 2 areas that hamper me the most in living. I wonder at times about if what i write has any merit at times or if it bores people due to being a rehash often but i have had some wise friends reassure me its not and can be encouraging to others so here i am. I think a third thing that hinders me so much is my tendency to be immobilized by these struggles and to let deja vu happen all over again. The fear hits i freeze inside if not physically as well, it passes but i have it alwaysa as a lurking presence close by. I mean there are lots of times where i have no sense of the fear but when a pain feels odd or anxiety strikes og man does it rush back in like a cyclone!!!! Is that a normal occurrence??? Can fear be completely evaporated in this life??? Are we as Jesus followers to always nonstop experience a an abiding feeling of Him with us???

With sex I am caught by fantasy. I know its a very common thing as well shared by many, even other believers. i developed this as a means to cope with my failure to develop a regular romantic relationship with a female and wanting to experience the affection and pleasure that can only be had with her. I would never carry out the activities in r/l as i do in fantasy life lol Im sure most wouldnt. By doing this for as long as i have it has become an entrenched pattern and inhibits the natural responses to dating and relationship. I am quite capable of being a very giving,caring,fun loving man to a woman but my imagined fears as well as the many rejections i have gone through based only on looks has reinforced holding onto the fantasy life. There affection sensuality and fun are in myriad supply with girls who have experienced what i have and seek solace in the same way for similar reasons.

i spend so much time thinking about and wanting to grow more in my living the life Jesus calls me to. Yet i have all this junk that swarms around me like glue and gets in the way of what I want to pursue and am called to pursue. i have alot of good things God has gifted me with and allowed me to do. If i were to meet you in person you might be very shocked to see how i am as opposed to what i say on here because i tend to superimpose all my inner conflicts on here. Sometimes i wonder if i am the same person who lives my life everyday as the one who writes on this blog LOL I just pray God helps me to know Him in the way He really is His love and grace and His discipline and helps to to repent of things i need to so i can be a more mature loving healthy person overall. All comments desired.