.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

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, May 31, 2008

Force and Choice Again

I have written a few posts about these 2 polar opposites awhile back. These 2 areas play major roles in almost all aspects of life. Just very interesting to me pondering how and why they take place the way they do. As children we normally experience force more, by virtue of being small,dependent and unaware of all the choices to be made. Our parents may exercise force upon us, but of course they are choosing what force to use. Quite fun the way they can both intertwine round and round each other like a double helix spiral.

Our minds are incredibly complex. So intricate and elaborate. How anyone can concieve that our minds developed from random chance eludes me, but that is a totally different subject for another post. We all have thoughts that meander through our minds nonstop,even ax we sleep,we just don't know then. Mental illness occurs in varying forms, some from damage to brain chemistry, some from blood disorder and various other processes affecting the body. Choice can play a part as well. We can choose to feel a certain way, to act a certain way,to think a certain way. Force happens amidst these choices. We are forced to face various events in our life every instant. One of our choices can be to choose to not face them. We can choose to force ourselves to take action in one way or another.

This is a fascinating subject when thinking about God. Force ot choice, Predestination or freewill. A topic that has been debated since the dinosaurs were alive lol God is Sovereign, all-powerful. He created us as beings with free-will, ability to choose. How does God interact with us as well as animals and the rest of His creation in the way He uses His power??? Does He force Himself in various ways??? Does He force His way into our minds since He is spirit???? God is love, this is how His Word speaks of Him, of His nature and character. Does love force its way??? Does love always allow and seek choice, to be freely extended and chosen by the one loving to the one loved???

I don't want to make this post too long. I hope these thoughts and questions are ones that stimulate your interest. If i had magical power i would force many many to come read and comment LOL Freely letting them choose what to say of course!!!! haha Humor is a great force!!!

Grace peace and love be with you all!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Novel Idea

Stories are some of the most magical experiences we can have in life i think. To either be thw writer of, or a listener to a great story is to discover a transcendence of the mundane and ordinary, at leat for a small glimmer of time. I have had an idea mulling around my noggin for awhile, of a fun way to let a story happen that would be interactive and achieve a 6 degrees of kevin bacon type chain to it. i want to begin a story, titling it-the unceasing tale and in the writing, I will include people from blogland as characters. As you visit here and read along and see your name mentioned, you then can go and make a add-on in whatever way you see fit and mention anyone you choose, who will then have the choice to go and do as you have done. i would just like the first few who choose to write to link back so the origination gets known. Hopefully this will be a creative lively way to meet and learn about people we may otherwise never get to meet!!!!

So, tell me what you think???? It may end up being too tough to maintain due to the hectic pace of life but i don't want to place any time constraints, just let everyone write as they are inclined and however much and in whatever way they choose. The possibility sounds exciting inside my crazy imagination. i will wait for some feedback before penning the first installment. Maybe a producer will stumble across here and offer a reality show which could incorporate the concept!!!! Or, maybe not!! lol Enjoy your weekend all!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Share the Good

Leave it to a beer commercial to be a source of inspiration lol The latest heineken commercial i find to be very cool!!!! Various people take a bottle of the beer and share it with someone who is so completely opposite them. They laugh or smile and then do the same to another person and on and on it goes. Share the good is the phrase stated as the commercial ends.

So much disaster has happened last few weeks. Myanmar, China, tornadoes in various states here in USA. Very hard to know how to take in and respond to such horrible events,especially to anyone personally affected. Raw emotions do not need or deserve any platitudes or phrases like a hallmark card, no matter how well intended or how good their content. Sharing the good. Being there, hugging,expressing sharing of pain,hurt,loss and all that goes with it. A time will allow itself if the person or persons want to hear about Gods presence and recieve comfort from hearing about Him. He didn't go forcing Himself upon people and neither should anyone else.

The gospel means *good news* I hope that I can continue to grow to be one who shares and reflects Jesus good news day by day and in a way that draws people,even if they have no real interest or desire at present. Just a gentleness and warmth which communicates that I care and an accepting regardless of any differences. Grace and love accept without question anyone and everyone. Share the good!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

thoughts feeling action

Anyone been on a movie set???/ I know Gypsy has as an extra woot woot. Well, in many an instance just as everything is ready to be filmed, the director says : Lights, Camera, Action!!! I'm sure almost all have heard the phrase. Once the director speaks those words, things happen. The action comes to life!! My title of this post is based on that cue.

In the book of Genesis we are told that we are made in the image of God. An amalgamation of commenters through the ages have opined as to the most definitive explanation as to the meaning. Are we body,spirit and soul??? Is it we have the ability to be self-aware unlike animals??? Image means likeness, can our fleshly appearance somehow resemble the Living God??? Imago Dei is the latin term for image of God. i love latin terms!!! Kyrie Eleison- Lord have mercy. Vene Vidi Vici- i came i saw i conquered i believe. Hmmmm must have been a man lol How much do our thoughts, feelings and actions echo the image of God???

Do you ever think of yourself as being one of these 3 as opposed to a unified whole??? Like, being a thinker ala Mr Spock or Socrates???? Or a feeler or bleeding heart or a doer activist??? It can seem like we end up on one side of the scale of these 3 but all of us have each of them, just who we are. What makes them get tangled up or stuck though??? Do you have times when a zillion thoughts are zooming like a pinball machine gone berserk but you just can't seem to spit out clearly what any of the thoughts are??? Do you have times when you are so overwrought by feelings that you just sigh and be still or break down in sobs or groans of either sadness or anger??? Do you have times where you have specific actions you want to take or know you need to take but a combo of various thoughts/feelings become so enmeshed in you that you seem almost paralyzed to even move???

i am just thinking out loud here and hoping to recieve input from any and all. i have experienced all 3 of those situations at one time or another, probably we all have. I tend to be caught more by my mind getting stuck and unable to find the exit to let feelings and actions be their natural part of the journey. It is weird how i can be aware and so conscious of it happening but still unable to flip the switch to make it stop. I asked a friend to post a question about the role and function of conscience awhile ago. Not many responses occurred. Maybe more will now. What is your take on the conscience???? Do you think it serves as a rudder which guides and directs the ship which is our self working all our thoughts,feelings and actions as a conductor does an orchestra or choir??? I need to sift through my ponderings a lil more but would so very much like to hear your take.

Oh, can you tell i have been playing at the free rice site lol I love words and being able to use them correctly in proper context knowing their meaning. So fun to be tested to see if i can discern the correct definition of a word, especially if its unusual or not often heard. I hate math so english has to be a release!!!! Just a lil tidbit there. Almost the holiday weekend!!!

Carpe Diem All!!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ya Gotta Believe

Catchy phrase isn't it??? One that is a rallying cry. I recall in 1973, I was still in New Jersey and baseball season began. As the season wore on the Mets were in the hunt for winning their division and making the playoffs. Tug McGraw (father to Tim McGraw btw ladies for your info) lol kept saying this phrase all season as a cheer to pump the team and the fans up. I think it really hits at our deepest core of our life though. Ultimately we all have to believe something. What is it that causes our beliefs to be what they are??? What is that causes our beliefs to be what they aren't??? Hmmmmmm

South Pacific is a very famous well-loved musical by the renowned playwrights Rogers and Hammerstein- hope i have the first one right anyway. A romantic story of love found by 2 very different people during WW2. A young sailor falls for an island girl and yet prejudices threaten to make the relationship fail. The girls mother sings a song, *You've Got To Be Taught* which is all about the origins of prejudice and bigotry and how they get passed down within families. Very poignant song and timeless in its meaning. I think it can hold true in many ways to how we develop our beliefs. We learn from our parents or other close family members, as well as authority figures and ant religious traditions we grow up in. Piaget, famous psychologist of early childhood development, taught in his research that we are a *tabula rasa* or empty slate as far as our minds go upon birth. We acquire learning and develop beliefs as we begin to age. The older and more developed we become the more we can make choices as to what we believe. No doubt though that our early beliefs are largely influenced by our home environment, especially at the emotional level.

It is quite interesting within Christianity that there is a wide disparity amongst believers on beliefs they hold. Ask a group of christians what their beliefs are regarding various doctrines or ideas and you will likely get a multiple of differing answers, as well as some close to the same. I wonder if that holds true across the board. Do wiccans have a wide variety of varying beliefs within wicca??? Scientologists??? Unitarian Universalists??? I know from experience that moslems, buddhists,hindus ,atheists and mormons do. Just as all of us are indivdually so unique, also are our beliefs.

One solidifying center is the absoluteness of belief where it is called for. Christianity asserts that Jesus Christ is Messiah, Lord and Savior who came to earth and lived a perfect sinless life and was the perfect sacrifice and final sacrifice to God to satisfy the judgment placed upon all humanity for the sin of Adam & Eve. Jesus resurrected from death and makes it possible for all who believe in Him to have eternal life. The way God states this allows for no maneuvering. Jesus is it or he isn't.

We all have alot of room to maneuver in our beliefs we have, and we have many things which have influenced us and will continue to do so everyday we live life. A lot of things we believe do not have ultimate consequences attached to them. We all can have relationship, friendship and community amongst each other no matter how wide and apart our beliefs may range. Loving each other has no limits, regardless of our differences.

That being said, I do go back to the previous point. Jesus made the claim of Himself. He overcame death to make it absolutely perfect and unique. Beliefs originate in varying ways and can be challenged. What are the evidences to support whether a belief holds up or should be discarded?? How do we discover what the ultimate results should be from the evidence?? Do we hold onto a belief depending on our thoughts and feelings about it???? What if our thoughts and feelings change???

I raise these questions in my own seeking to explore. So much of what once was absolutely solid ground has become more like shifting sand and definitely want to pursue what is true. I hope to be challenged and stimulated in thought and action by any and all who come and comment, and especially any who hold to other beliefs. The absolute way in which Jesus declares Himself has been the ultimate issue to me Very much want to hear what touches and is most ultimate to any one of you. Grace and peace always!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ordinary People

Excellent movie!!!! I loved the acting and direction by Robert Redford. Movies are larger than life to me. When made well, they touch us so deeply. They have a way to reach inside us and cause us to experience an emotional cavalcade for close to 2 hours. I love when a packed theater are all completely engrossed in the movie and at key moments everyone screams, laughs,cries or shouts in response to what is happening on screen. We relate to the characters, the storyline, the music and mood taking place as we watch.

I was very moved by the main character in that movie. A young man in therapy, his life an emotional nightmare because of his brother dying in a boating accident, and he survived. He also had to deal with the reality that his parents never overcame the loss of the son who died and were never able to connect to him in a normal. loving way again. Hopefully most of you have seen this movie, it came out in 1980. I found myself feeling pangs of ache like the guy in the movie. My dad died of cancer when he was 30. He fought the cancer on and off since he was like 19. he never let on just how sick he was, probably thinking it would be to huge a burden for an 8 year old and a 5 year old to take in. For the longest time I had an impending worry that I would die before i turned 30. It was not rational in any way shape or form, but it was in my head. Maybe it was a means to identify with my dad, to seek to connect with the stories i heard of his courage and strength and ability to face and handle his pain and mortality.

I started this post with one idea in mind but now seem to be on a different track. I have poured out my heart on here ever since i started this blog in 2005, sharing my struggle with fear. I have had the struggle as lon gas i can recall, even before my dad passed away. Was God there??? Would He protect me??? Did He love me and care about me??? Was I one He would love and care about??? Even as a lil kid i think these basic questions swirled deep inside me. Are they not the deep questions we all deal with no matter what age we are??? I beat myself up constantly over my having fear and letting it disturb my living. The more I look around i see so many with much of the same wonderings and struggle. Some seem to have a gift for overcoming fear. Others face it headon and seek courage to beat it down.

Ordinary people. All of us pretty much are, though in so many ways we achieve extraordinary accomplishments as we live out our lives. So very complex. We can have such a strength within in so many ways. Yet a few things can completely throw us out of whack. Some can hide things well, others cannot at all. Ultimately we all have to acknowledge faith is needed to live. What exactly that faith might be, ah well that differs on a grand scale from person to person. Reality is none of us have irrefutable certainty of knowledge. We do have evidences though. Evidences of where faith is best placed. Still, those lingering doubts or wonderings persist, and becomes even more maddening when our experiences happen that in alot of ways contradict what we have sought to place our faith in. God is not safe, but He is good. A truth that makes our placing of faith in Him a wise choice. The cross, resurrection. Very good evidences for placing faith.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Special Songs

Music transcends in a very magical way. It has the ability to stir our emotions directly, so powerful and volcanic in its movement within. I wonder some of the songs that touch you, speak to you, that evoke memories or an automatic reflection as soon as the first note is heard. So many of us have a rich appreciation of music and its enchantment, curious to hear various songs that have meaning of any kind.

Carry On My Wayward Son- my favorite song of all time. One of Kansas best imho. Just has lyrics that spoke to me as a young teen and still do now at 46. Love the instrumentals as well as kerry livgrens vocals. I am a tenor when i sing, even though i have a deep voice lol Gotta love the high notes. A song that speaks to searching,hurting,longing and discovering.

The First Cut Is The Deepest- ah the torture of lost love or rejection in a romantic involvement. I like rod stewarts version but i can take sheryl crow strong emotions pour forth hearing this one

Tiny Dancer- classic elton john!!!! One of those that usually is a couples song elton sure knows how to capture that aura of attraction and affection, the sparks that entice.

Reasons- Earth Wind and Fire tenor voice talking of attraction and what goes on in peoples minds one of those songs you need candles and a dimly lit room for

All-Star- Just a fun song makes you want to smile and take on the world. I think it was in shrek lol forgetting the bands name here hey now your an all star get your game on go play fun stuff

well that's a short few I hope this might be a post that can grow and grow and grow lol hope to hear all of yours!!!! Layla- you best share some of yours here gf haha :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Six Word Memoir Meme

I was tagged by gary, http://.poorinspirit.blogspot.com to play the 6 word memoir meme game.

Post a 6 word memoir on your blog.

link back to the person who tagged you.

choose 5 more bloggers to play

journeying seeker desiring to risk adventurously

I choose to tag : gypsy


tracy simmons



This was kinda tough. Thanks for including me in gary bud!!1

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Follow- Up to Traditions Die Hard

Just wanted to touch up a few things here and there. Satan means adversary,accuser,opposer. In many cases when satan is referred to adam is the one meant, like when Jesus tells the jewish leaders they are of their father the devil. When Peter questioned Jesus about his being crucified, Jesus called him satan, and said he was not seeking God's interests but mans. In the book of Job, the angels come before God, and satan also was there. The word is the same meaning, adversary. We are not told specifically who this was, many contend that Job was actually written before Genesis historically. In the book of Jude verse 9 we see Michael the chief angel disputing with satan over the body of Moses. This is not meant to be the literal body of Moses but the old covenant law, which was called the body of Moses. In the Mount of Transfiguration Moses and Elijah were present with Jesus, representing the Law and the Prophets.

In the first verse i referred to in my last post, in Revelation 12:9- the verse speaks about angels following the dragon. Angel means messenger, and can refer to both angelic and human messengers. In this context the angels being referred to are the apostate jews who were adversaries against God and Christ and the establishment of the New Covenant. In Revelation 12 there is a woman clothed by the sun on top of the moon with 12 stars on her head. This is describing jacob,who was named Israel, rachel and the 12 tribes. I need to find my reference which shows this wording back in genesis so it can be followed along.

Adam was created perfect by God. God made him a living soul. A key truth to note also is that we do not HAVE a soul, we ARE a soul. Immortality of the soul is a concept developed by plato and not Scripture. From dust we came to dust we will return once we die physically. We are not given immortality until we die and are resurrected into our new bodies as a result of trusting in Jesus. There is a verse that says it is appointed man once to die and then the judgment, pretty much eliminates reincarnation. Neo-platonism still has spread its way into our culture philosophically on down through the ages. In alot of Paul's writings he directly addresses aspects of greek philosophy and gnosticism, showing the gospel is far different from any philosophy or other religious ideas.

i have been wanting to lay a foundation here. As i said i have been struggling to take in all of this for 2 years now and it has begun to take shape in a way that makes sense. I have loose ends i want to study and pursue more. I hope it stimulates thought and questions which provoke further study and inquiry. Always eager to recieve any and all input,whatever it might be.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Traditions Die Hard

Tradition a very powerful thing. Fiddler on the Roof, a fantastic musical, has a great song called Tradition, addressing the way of life of a jewish family in russia. Traditions when held over a long period of time become very deeply held. Strong emotional bonds and relational.familial ties are linked together. Quite a hard habit to break as the song goes. The church has developed quite a lot of traditions over the centuries,and they are highly valued and cherished to a large extent, or respected and held to depending on the kind of tradition it is. Supposing that these long-held deeply adhered to traditions were not true however??? What kind of reaction will that espouse???

Satan,demons,Second Coming,born again,Biblical Israel. Just what if all these realities are NOT as they have traditionally been held to be?? Let's start with satan. Calm down church lady it will be ok lol. The tradition of satan is that he is a fallen angel who rebelled against God, was cast out of heaven and took a legion of other fallen angels with him. The definition of satan is accuser or adversary. The hebrew word is very close to looking and sounding like the english transliteration satan. Devil,dragon,serpent,beelzebub- all are seen and known as terms to describe this supernatural being.

Revelation 12:9-great dragon,ancient serpent,devil,satan.

Revelation 20:2- same words as above

Matthew 23:33- Jesus calls the pharisees snakes and serpents.

Ezekiel 29- pharaoh was called a great dragon.

jeremiah 9:11- jerusalem would become a den of dragons.

1 Peter 5:8- satan is called a roaring lion

There are other verses but these are a few to lay the groundwork. The Scriptures that have been shown here indicate a man at times, as well as referring to animals by using hyperbolic language and imagery. In John 8 Jesus tells the pharisees they are of their father the devil. 1 John 3:8-he who commits sin is of the devil. Who is this devil??

If we look back to the garden of eden and we see the scenario where eve ate of the fruit. Eve was tempted by the serpent, note serpent was used referring to men in the other verses. In james we can read where it says God tempts no one but all are tempted by their own lusts or desires. Now if God knew a supernatural being whom He had cast out of heaven was going to appear and seek to lure His perfect creation to rebel against Him and risk death shouldn't He have warned them????? The reason eve was decieved and not adam is because adam had become the deceiver and was acting as a serpent, an adversary, wanting to see what eve would do and to see what would happen. Adam had chosen to rebel against God and by adams actions, sin entered the world and caused physical death as well as curses brought upon all the entire human race until Jesus Christ, the second Adam, lived in perfect obedience to God the Father and was resurrected after shedding his blood for our sins so we could be restored to a right relationship with God!!!

In jeremiah there is a verse which declares the heart of man is wicked above ALL things. Deceitful,scheming and cunning, who can bear it??? If that is true then the heart trumps satan so why would we even need him around, we do a bad enough job of tempting ourselves as it is!!!

When i fisrt heard this idea of adam being the serpent i chuckled and thought come on now are you kidding me??? The screwtape letters by CS Lewis ran through my mind. All the images of satan i had heard or been taught over the years. Adam is satan???? Look in the mirror and see satan??? Get Real!!!!! BUT.......... gotta love capping a but lol as I checked various verses and thought about our sin nature and what adam did, as well as who Jesus was called and what Jesus came and was sent to do, it began to start to fit together like a puzzle. Made a great deal of sense and it is right there hiding in plain sight. God ALONE has supernatural power. In deuteronomy He lists all the curses that He would send down upon people if they fell into idolatry. Demons are idols and those being said to be possessed by them, mentally ill. Evil came about from Adam and his choice to disobey God and seek to make himself a god. Isn't that exactly what satan is said to have done???? The 3 main temptations we face in life- lust of the flesh,lust of the eyes, boastful pride of life. Jesus faced all these in the wilderness. Adam and eve carried them out when the fall happened.

I hope this has been thought-provoking enough to cause you to wonder and think more. Then again you may think i have gone off the deep end and need a rubber room lol I know i have wrestled over this for close to 2 years, and it has become very understandable and what is being said in the Scriptures. Hope to have any and all feedback .

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Shifting Shadows

Trust Risk Those 2 words are scary as hell to me. Fear, that everpresent shadow which follows me. Fear feels very much like its Mr T in Rocky 3. Big,bad,ferocious and wanting to hurt me and make me feel severe pain. Trust and risk act like Rocky standing toe to toe,staring Mr T right in the face and saying----- Go For It!!!! Once Rocky said those words you KNEW Mr T never had a chance!!!! This is what i want to do to fear. In some bizarre, strange way God is helping turn a lock inside that lets me do that very thing. A tiny turn of the lock but a turn nonetheless.

I have a mind that tells me i should have everything figured out and be perfectly mature and demonstrate it always in thought and behavior. Everything about God and Jesus runs through my mind like, of course that is how it is you know it just do it. But, I do not just fall in line that easily. I have deep areas of struggle which are further down than what I know to be true objectively. I have such a conservative mind and want things to be clearcut and nailed down, shades of gray that are not hard to discern. I have been learning that God and this crazy life just are not that way as i once believed them to be. Trust becomes even more a challenge when the ability to see is murky and dark.

God took my father. He was a very young man. He had battled cancer since he was 20, doing his job as a cop even while undergoing such pain and discomfort from the cancer and the chemo. Time went by and if it had just stayed away for a lil longer the doctors said it would likely never come back. IT CAME BACK!!!!! He died at 30 years old. I didn't want to accept it, even after going up to the casket and touching his body. I didn't want to believe it. Even after seeing the coffin lowered into the ground and having the flag given to me as the oldest child. I didn't want to believe it. How could i trust this God who either allowed this to happen or maybe made it happen???? Find a way to escape, deny,run anything to make it as though it were not so.

That last paragraph is my emotions and imagination as a frightened 8 year old. A mask was adapted to appear strong, under control and mature beyond my years, a big boy who was able to handle life and its rough blows. Fear saw under the mask and always tried to make it come off. Fear sought to always confuse and cloud the ability to trust and recieve Gods love grace and affection deep inside my heart. Fear has lurked around alwsys,regardless how i sought to get past it and grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and find comfort from the Holy Spirit. I have tried to run,avoid it like Rocky wanted to avoid facing Mr T again after being beat so badly once.

Shadows do shift however. the very fear i have sought to escape I have had tiny steps to stand and face. Fear is no match to God. That 8 year old did not comprehend the enormity of God letting His own Son suffer and die on the cross. Taking that truth inside and not having it be a theological understanding but a true reality of how pain and suffering was faced and overcome by God Himself. He knew and was with my dad in all he went through. He will be with me in anything i go through as He always has been. This is a small sampling of turning more and more to face fear and let His love and grace melt away my avoidance and let me embrace anything and everything that needs to be endured. This is a rollercoaster adventure but i want more and more to enjoy the ride than to let fear keep me from getting on. Sure helps to be around a community of rollercoaster riders here in blogland!!!!!