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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, March 30, 2008

Reconnecting with God

Hi, this is Linda, Robert's Mom. I posted a guest blog here several months ago about how I dealt with the death of my 30 year old husband and going on to raise two kids on my own. At that time I told how I was furious with God for allowing the love of my live to die at such a young age from cancer. Robert has asked me to continue my story and explain how I stopped blaming and started listening to God and believing that he was looking out for me and my children. I have no miraculous story to tell. There was no blinding light, no heavenly voice, no overwhelming feeling of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It was just little things, and it was gradual. I can't tell you just when I realized that I was not just really on my own, that I was getting assistance from someone or something I couldn't explain. It was just a feeling, just a trusting that things would turn out well, when I could not control that by myself. Sometimes when the kids were sick, or getting in trouble, or the car would break down, or I could not pay my bills, I would be at the point of despair, and something beyond my control would happen to help make things right. Not always, of course. There were good times and bad, but not too bad. I just began to trust in God and ask for direction, and more often than not I got it. I think that God used and still uses my late husband as a guardian angel for me. Again, this is just a feeling, but I believe it. I have told Robert and his sister Kathy that their father was there at important times of their life, and I believe that too. I don't really know for sure that isn't just something that I have configured in my own mind or is on my wish list, but I truly believe that God has not given up on me, and I thank Him and give Him praise on a regular basis. This is what I feel, and I hope and pray that God blesses all who read this as He has blessed me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Do You Hear What I Hear

That was a cool christmas song i sang in choir in high school. I loved to sing,especially since i was a tenor, the money is in the high notes lol I have another thought in mind as to the title of this post. Jesus says quite a few times in Scripture, *to those who have ears to hear let them hear* Just what is it we are to hear??? The Holy Spirit is said to be a *still,small voice* at times, and the Bible is God's Word. Jesus was up close and personal and in living color with the apostles,yet they sure were clueless quite often till Jesus set them straight. I can alomost hear Him slapping His forehead and going DOH can't you get it??? Almost. There is much debate all across the spectrum regarding how to know/hear/recieve God's voice. Some hold that He does speak audibly,some hold He speaks only thru His Word as it has been given as His complete revelation of Himself to us. How do we hear and do we hear the same things??

A lot of my pondering here has to do with objective vs subjective as well. People will declare that God revealed something to them about a prayer they made or a decision they needed to make. People say God spoke to them via another person, a movie, a book, a song and a whole cornucopia of things. How do we know its God and not just our own longings and desires?? I hope you see I am seeking to dig a lil deeper because i do believe He speaks to us in alot of the ways i mentioned. I just want to get responses as to how you believe He does. How you define the separation between Gods voice or your own internal one???

*Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling* That is part of a verse that inspired the title of this blog. Does God want us to have pat answers to all the BIG questions so we can just chill not needing to think so hard anymore and rest in that it's all been figured out??? Does He give us enough to let us be secure yet also want us to have a deeper desire to search for more??? An old saying goes, *if its true it aint new and if its new it aint true* as it relates to spiritual things. What do you think??? Is all we ever can know completed and finished with no new learning to take place till we are in eternity??? Are we told to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ??? Sounds like an allowance for new things to me. I am just full of questions and so eager to hear responses.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Happy Resurrection Sunday!!! Today celebrates life true eternal life, complete victory over death!!!! So good to reflect on Jesus and who He is as well as what He has done, although that is a constant for everyday actually. There are 2 ladies who touched me so deeply as I read their blogs today. They share a blog called *If I had not believed* It is a blog about dealing with depression, which they both experience in their lives. Their names are kelly and heidi. They both have individual blogs as well which are great. many of you may already know them. I have read for a short time now but just today went to kellys own blog and was so moved by a post she made. She spoke of taking pictures of herself in her mirror and liking/loving the person she saw in the mirror as she took the pics. She was so precise in describing what she saw of her own face. Even more interesting because she took wedding photos as a job and was used to seeing glowing brides, who can compare to a bride on her wedding day right???

kelly was able to recognize and acknowledge her beauty. I took the step to let a friend post my pic on here. Many of you know my struggle with self-aceptance especially as far as physical appearance due to acne scarring frim when i was 12. I would post it here but a desire to be free from people not finding me who i wouldnt want to find me is my only reason for not posting it here. Sometimes I still question God as to why He allowed my face to have that happen. He surely knew the pain it would bring from outside and inside. The emotional tumult brings up deep hurt. Thanks to wonderful people and friends though, I have been able to look at myself and to see and like what i see. I have a good smile, cheery eyes and overall just decent average looking man. The pain i went through over the acne has made me more vulnerable and able to relate to people in ways I may not if i hadnt had that happen.

Kelly and Heidi shared alot more, about how depression has affected them, their view of themselves and God. Some of what they share is dark and rough, deep waters they have had to wade through. Much is light and joy in sharing how God makes paths to lead them to seeing how He is there and never abandons them. i am just touched to realize even more so that God is so good and is always with me even when I find it so difficult to feel or see Him,wanting to believe despite my unbelief. Just had to share as my heart was moved thank you kelly and heidi for sharing yourselves so openly!!! may God touch us all to let us know how loved we are by Him!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


desire is a flame inside can burn so bright at times can hide

lust is a common synonym so often conveys the state i'm in

lust/desire for a special place maybe even a warm embrace

try to fight it will it win packs a poweful punch right on my chin

deeper and deeper swirls and blows shaking me from my head down to my toes

O desire so bathed in glee how amazing you most are when fixated on Thee

Love to freestyle a lil poetry at times, and never cease to be enlightened how intertwined sexuality and spirituality can be- well i know for me. Hope you like.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Feeling Feelings

A lil play on words there. Trying to look at various things with new eyes, such as satan, hell,suffering,sin,and feelings and confidence. Tradition plays a huge part in our lives for the most part in so many ways. We have family traditions, occupation traditions, individual traditions and religious traditions. A lot of them develop over time and become so just by virtue of repetition. We don't think about them really they become habitual and part of our rhythm of life. I love the story of how one year whil trying to cook a ham for a holiday dinner a woman cut off a huge hunk of the ham. Her children asked her why and she said her mother had always done it that way. So she asked her mother and her reply was oh well that is how my mother always did it. Naturally they then went to great grandma and asked her why she cut the end off the ham because the pan she was using was too small to fit the whole ham!!!! LOL Love that story because it illustrates how many times we may not even have a knowledgeable reason for why we do something.

That story lends itself to the purposes of a different post than the one i intend here so bear with me, allow it to apply to some of the things i mentioned in my first few lines. i have always had a hard time with confidence. I have enumerated the reasons why in many past posts over these last 4 years. One of the struggles has been to develop a sense of confidence when for varying reasons it seems there is none to be found. For me a huge issue was trying to understand how i could have confidence when the treatment i got from so many other people was undermining to having any sense of confidence. Of course its a mixed bag, many affirmations were given by people as well, especially family and friends. But when you are emotionally sensitive and fragile negative reactions become superimposed over and above the positive. I learned to find confidence in doing certain things because I knew i could do them, but that underlying sense of confidence has been so elusive, even though as I got older my mind fully comprehended why it was supposed to be there.

Is confidence linked to feelings??? Can we feel our way to confidence or is confidence an act of the will and a thought that results in feelings?? Feelings are fleeting are thry not??? Can we force ourselves to feel a certain way??? When it says to have confidence what part of that involves feelings and if feelings are involved how do you nail then down to stay put instead of scurrying away??? I hope this is not too convoluted and scattred in ways that make it hard to understand. Sometimes it seems to me I have let the simplest things become packed by so much excess junk attached to them over the course of time. I'm hoping many of you have dealt with these things to some degree and have some direction on how you came to conclusions and realizations. How much do feelings matter in regards to confidence???

Lil update, my gout is gone again and i am sticking with water. Here's to taking control to maintain that as lifestyle change of permanence and to stick to healthy eating. Anyone have experience with herbs or supplements that are helpful in dealing with diabetes and heart disease??? Just curious if anyone found natural helps in dealing with these areas. Thanks all !!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

sometimes its hard

I had a severe gout attack last week, couldn't go to work because i couldn't walk. Finally it went away, only to come back again thursday and just as painful. What is so hard is that my eating habits most likely are the cause of it occurring. I have type 2 diabetes and met with a specialist on how to change habits and such. Somehow I find ways to let my mind either go into denial or just craziness because I drink pop and eat bad stuff, knowing the consequences. It is analogous to sin really. Sin is crazy and insane. It goes against what we know is best for us and Who loves us most, yet we still do it all the time. We all have a lil bit of insanity in us.

The devil is supposed to be the epitome of evil right??? Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful and wicked ABOVE ALL OTHERS who can know it??? See my emphasis??? If satan is the ultimate wicked one and Scripture declares our hearts to be so and satan means accuser/adversary well i wonder who satan really is??? This is a very controversial topic because tradition has us believing satan is a fallen angel with supernatural powers rivaling Gods. Nicodemus noted though that only God had the power to accomplish miracles and supernatural occurrences. Just a lil something to chew on.

Pain really does hit below the surface. I have financial pain as well as physical. I wish i was a good money manager. I need a second job really to keep aflloat but my health conditions make that a tough one to come by. I wish we had ways to all have money enough to get by, really makes me wonder about the poor countries and how they have managed living with poverty for who knows how long. I wish I didn't have the struggles i have inside with fear,trust,abandonment and such. Part of me has always had a battle with believing anything good will eventually be taken away. Especially people. I have so many fantastic people i have met and made friends on here, and a part of me has that sabotage fear i will somehow manage to make them leave or not want to be friends anymore. This is totally a nonrational thing and something that i know relates to losing my dad. I get choked up saying it even. I love being an actor and being able to make it appear all is fine even when so much feels like its caving in. Don't we all have our game faces though??? Especially around other believers at times we just don't want to be vulnearble or open to being hurt or wounded more.

I just needed to share and let some of the pressure off here. I am so thankful for encouragement and prayers and support from any and everyone!!!! Lean On Me surely is a very apropos message that is shown all throughout Gods Word. So good to have a place to share,good bad and the ugly and know it is ok. Water, my mantra needs to be water!!! Bye bye pop water needs to be the choice please God help me to choose it, so addicted to pop.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

so different so the same

All of us people. We are so truly unique, however in that very uniqueness there is striking sameness. We share so much similarities in how we react emotionally or how we respond mentally. Every single person is different just as every snowflake is, yet so much that is shared. Just kind of an interesting reality to contemplate. We all enter this life in the same basic way, though some have very easy and relatively drama-free deliveries, while others require emergency measures to insure they emerge intact from the womb. I wonder how much of our personality begins to form right out of the chute. Babies display differing temperaments don't they??? Some loud criers, some barely a peep and so mellow and sleepy. Studies always are ongoing as to what effects the types of food and other things the mother ingests into her body have on the unborn child as they wait to be born. Does music have any effect on the fetus?? Talking to them or caressing the tummy???

I am more and more curious of what influences and shapes our personality disposition. Just how do we become the way we are in our moods and outlooks??? There have been countless studies done on genetics vs environment. I want to glean a lil more of the cake so to speak. Why is it harder for some to trust at a basic gut level than others??? Why do some have suspicion and fear as to the world and whats in it being safe and others find it quite scary??? Is there just a chemical reaction that causes this even before any mental/emotional processing happens??? I recall in elementary school when we had free time, where we could play and basically do as we wanted within the bounds of good behavior lol I ran right for the adventures of tintin books, as i also watched the cartoon all the time at home. I easily blotted out all around me and got lost in the book. I requested transcripts of my files from kindergarten to grade 6 awhile back, just out of curiosity. I discovered that in 4th grade I was reading at an 11th grade level!!! I wish my emotional level was as high yikes.

I have always been fairly quiet and shy, but very friendly and easygoing. Though i get easily embarrassed and turn bright red uncontrollably at times, I have always enjoyed people and have always found it easy to use humor to break the ice or to initiate conversation, though with girls it is not at all easy. I have always wondered deep within myself what is it that causes me to have been the object of teasing or rejection by various people throughout my school life. I always thought it was a defect on my part, not outgoing enough, confident enough and other things. I always have been physically strong even at a youn gage and could handle being beaten or attacked physically. I think sometimes i was a target because I was big and strong, but was very passive and self-effacing emotionally, so maybe they poked at me to see if I would react, when instead i retreated inwardly. Perhaps it had more to do with them though, in that they didnt like i was easygoing while being physically strong. I don't know. Something inside just reverberates that alot of my weaknesses i have had also have been strengths, and i want to see all in a clear light.

These are brief reflections, do any questions stir inside you??? Any insights on this topic??? Do you think Jesus was both extrovert and introvert??? Are we all but one is more dominant??? Aren't questions fun??? Hope to hear back from many.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Patience Needs To Hurry Up

I wonder if that is a bumper sticker??? I want patience- and i want it right now!!!! I hate being impatient over lil sillystuff, makes me even that much more aware how horribly impatient I am so much with truly big and important stuff. I am at a intersection waiting to make a left turn and cars keeping from both directions, I get mad and tell them all to stop coming so i can make my turn. I stand in line at the grocery store or the bank, people ahead of me take forever to finish their business and maybe fumble with their wallets or credit cards and take a lil extra time, I seethe inside mentally wishing they would hurry up and be done already. So ridiculous right??? Patience for those little mundane things should be like on automatic pilot for crying out loud.

It is alot like looking for a needle in a haystack for me to have patience with myself. As I peruse the land of blogs i have discovered many share this malady. The origins of it are a lil cloudy but it sure has been deeply rooted for quite some time. Where does that inner voice come from that tries to gauge just where you should be on the *life performance scale* anyway??? Is it a combo of conscience/parents/ authority figures from ages 1 to 7 or so??? How does this tyrant come up with their scale??? Does yours sound like a tyrant or a drill instructor??? I loved taking a class on Transactional Analysis in jr college. The critical parent sure was an aptly named title for at least one dimension of this voice.

I wonder if we all take a look from an observer perspective at times and try to see how we come across on our blogs. I find it fascinating how total strangers can pick up on small nuances and obscure details and actually share very insightful gleanings into my psyche that I may not even been cognizant of. Or they can see ways that some things may be overdone or distort the full picture from being seen. I know i tend to seek to share the darker places of what I have or currently am struggling with because I see this as a safe and helpful venue to do so, and as a means to gain understanding and reassurance as well as to discover others also share similar ordeals. It really is freeing and a joy to realize that many many bright spots and positive experiences are present and able to be focused on more and more each day as well.

i am not sure just exactly my purpose in this post. I know I don't want to make this a place where I just share all the downer aspects of life as Im living it, hopefully that has not been the case. I just am coming to more and more of a inentional realization of how God is present and always has me under His care regardless of my failures and foulups. In my head i have known and learned of His grace and love for a very long time. I have had glimpses in my heart of this as well. I have mastered the art of squashing anything that tried to escape and face the pain of questioning why my heart wasn't in experiential agreement with my head despite all i knew to be true. I am so glad I have met many people who relate to this dilemma and who share how they process their way through. Very good thing God has boundless patience, if only i coukl hurry to remind myself of it all the time.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Growth Isn't Instant

O how perfectionism and performance paranoia so like to wrap their suffocating tendrils around our souls and squeeze us and drain us till we wonder just how we have any juice in our tank. I am and truly have been way too hard on myself. I have seen many others who have been caught in the same syndrome. It is a weird thing how other people can see it and point it out to you, but there is so much tunnel vision and a tendency to offset the insight of the friend or other because the self-deprecation is so ingrained.

I enjoy wandering around blogland, much like taking a walk in a neighborhood, eyes and ears open for interesting sights, sounds and people. I love coming across people who seem to have uncovered a way to get past the blinders and be able to progress in new ways with new vision, not forgetting where they once were, but able to get beyond certain aspects of it being a stranglehold and a veritable quicksand that seeks to pull them down and make change so difficult.

How many of you have a hard time relating to God as Father???? Do you find it like wandering in a hall of mirrors at times??? Wanting to find the right way but always hitting a deadend or wrong turn??? I really think that disruptions in relating closely to our earthy fathers plays a highly significant role in why we struggle in various ways with our Heavenly Father. I am beginning to understand this in a fresher way as of late, and a way which hopefully will let me engage God in an emotional intimacy that I really have not fully experienced to the level I believe Scripture declares He wants to have with me. Mothers as well play a very significant role in shaping our lives and our emotional makeup, I just place a focus on fathers due to the very direct relating of God as Father.

God is good. He is a lover. He desires close relationship. He is mysterious. He is scary. He is beyond my ability to take in all that He is. I am beginning to get a small creak in the door that has been my carrying my monkey on my back of failing to *measure up*, as well as failing to extend grace to myself. I pray God helps me to keep the door opening more and more as well as seeing how all your doors are at varying degrees of openness!!!! Yay to adventure and discovery!!!1

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

His Word Endures Forever

The Bible has to be the single most controversial.influential and illustrious book of all time. No book has endured such heated attempts to banish it and destroy it or to defend and uphold it. No other book makes the incredible claims the Bible makes of itself, although a few other may have portions where they make similar claims. By its very nature alone the Bible earns the right to be looked at,studied and examined to see if what's in it be found true or false.

The Bible declares it is God's Word, as stated in 1 Timothy as well as Psalms and a few other places. The Scriptures spoken of in any and all books of the Bible of course refer to the Old Testament. The law and the prophets. God's Word is living and active and able to pierce the heart, judging all thoughts and intentions therein. A key point though is that the original manuscripts, written in hebrew, greek and aramaic, were wholly inspired. We have never possessed those originals, and thus have done as authentic a job as possible in remaining true to translating what the original writings said. Many copies of all the books of the Bible are in existence in various museums and universities which provide a landmark amount of evidence to back up the credibility of the Bibles claims to its Divine authorship.

So much is happening today as far as positions taken on the authority of Scripture. many faulty interpretations have been written,preached and taught throughout the centuries, and will continue on, due to the fact humans as a whole have deficiencies which take us away from always having a comprehensive,accurate knowledge of what the intent was meant by the writers of the individual books in the canon. It is very much encouraged in present day culture to let scholars and those deemed an authority on a subject to do our thinking for us. After all, are we not the decade of fast everything???? Fast information so why not fast listening and learning, as well as fast processing of info which was given??? Spiritual.emotional.relational growth just isn't supposed to happen that way.

The *Jesus Seminar* has recieved lots of attention, both negative and positive. Very interesting to examine their methods and rationale for just how they arrive at their conclusions. All of have preconceived notions inside our minds. We all have biases, just cannot avoid it unless you choose to somehow make your mind a blank slate in some way or another. Presuppositions are in place before we process new information. Look over the background of those who participated in the Jesus Seminar,seek out their theological presuppositions and beliefs. Is it any wonder they come to a position where they basically proclaim most of the Bible is copied and pasted by various authors who many are other than those stated as being the actual authors??? Do they honestly believe they have the ability to determine that Jesus only said a small portion of what is actually attributed to him in the Bible???

In one way the Bible is very easily understood and plainly seen. God reveals Himself to us and how He reconciles us back to Himself. But most of the Bible is written in various styles and genres, which have no intent of being taken literally. It was written to an audience of the first century, NOT the 21st!!!!!! Audience relevance is a big key in interpreting correctly. Looking back and researching how the people of that day understood what was said vital.

I am preaching to the choir here. I am wanting to examine the Old Testament sop much more to gain a better understanding of the intent by the authors and how the hearers then would have made sense of what they were hearing. All of us are together on the journey of life and it sure is filled with valleys and montaintops. I have come across things that challenge my previous learning and which cause me to realize there are many places where I could be wrong. Pretty scary to come to that, especially when it has been deeply rooted a long time and tied in emotionally and to friends and authority figures you love and respect. I brought up the Jesus Seminar because for all intents and purposes, they tear down the authority of Gods Word and the supremacy and Divine power and nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. Any who differ on this, feel free to share why. Anyone who has anything to add i truly hope and pray you do so. It is hard to make these kinds of posts on here, i am used to talking personally and from my own ups and downs. I am in no way trying to make myself out as an authority or one who tells others what they should believe or not. I do write as one who has sought to come to grips with these issues and who seeks to shine light on why the Bible IS Gods Word and can withstand any and all challenges, even if those challenges come from within Christianity itself. Our thoughts and feelings are fallen and not entirely reliable. Gods Word IS 100%!!!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

yea though He slay me

The book of Job is surely one of the most wondered about in the entire Bible. So much drama, so much to absorb regarding the realities of pain and suffering, the causes, God's character, our sin and freewill. Job's friends attempt to explain the causes of his suffering, so way off the mark. Job contemplates himself and ultimately is confronted by God Himself in a personal encounter which can only be described as awe-inspiring. Job certainly has resulted in volumes of writings on its themes.

I have prayed job's prayer many a time, partly the title of this post. *yea though He slay me yet will I trust in Him* The bummer is I have tried to flip the script on that truth in my own irrational way. Suffering and pain are no fun, not at all, and good things to be free of if you possibly can-at least i think that is what most would agree too. God sure has a different take on it though. He allows it to happen, as nothing that comes to us in our lives gets past His radar without His permission. Jesus of course experienced the most intense,horrible pain and suffering of anyone ever. He was not let off the hook because of His being Divine, and He took it on knowing it was the only way to reconcile us back to God and save us from ourselves and our own choice to reject God and His Authority.

I keep wrestling and want to always do so with Him. I have had my fear as a shadow a long time. I think underneath is also the added fear of having something happen for letting fear become an obstacle to begin with. My emotions and another part of me hurt and feel shame because I fear I would struggle to trust God if a serious event happened like a heart attack or being burned or who knows what it could be. Funny thing is that when i have had close calls, my stent and congestive heart failure, God comforted me and helped me just realize He was there and I was ok. This is the weird paradox. I so want to rest in trusting Him at all times and let my imagination go wild when I think of certain trials happening and feel like i would fall apart in fear. But when real things DO happen, I find Him helping me to rest and trust He is there.

I think a huge part of it is my lack of realizing His grace for myself. I have no problem seeing and applying it to others. I have this inner belief somehow that I should be able to handle things with the faith and spirit God places in me, obeying as He commands to. My own feelings become so much my barometer. God is greater than my ability and feelings, of course. He shows time and time again how He works through our weaknesses,but my flesh nature resists and fights against surrendering. I hope this post doesn't come out disjointed and hard to follow. I just have had more insights from friends thoughts and prayers lately and am wanting to rest in the reality of Gods grace and knowing there is nothing I can do in and of myself to make it happen apart from Jesus.

What does He do/ what do I do???? *by grace ye have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God*- ephesians He promises no matter what we endure on earth, eternal life with Him will be far greater than can be imagined!!! With that truth in mind, help me to focus and maintain the title of this post as my prayer and position.

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!!!!