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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

Monday, July 28, 2008


I really like that game. Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick. Or any of the other creatively named characters. It is great fun to play detective and attempt to guess whodunit??? I don't know if its quite as much fun when it comes to spiritual matters. I am thinking more and more that fun really has little to do with spiritual growth anyhow. I think we need a good solid dose of fun in our lives to keep sane, but i think God really doesn't hold it up high as one of the attributes He is truly focused on us experiencing. Does He give us solid clues to knowing what it is He wants out of us in this whole life stuff??

The Bible is His Word. He reveals Himself through its pages. He reveals Himself in other ways as well like creation and miracles and the very gift of life itself. The Bible gets challenged quite a bit, as it has throughout history, it has withstood the test of time in all the attacks upon it, though every new generation undoubtedly will have to undergo their own wrestling with it in the way those in the past did. A key thing is that Jesus is made known to us within the Bibles pages. If the Bible has discrepancies then Jesus may as well. Jesus is both declared by prophets and Himself to be the Messiah, the One who alone reconciles the relationship between God and man. He seeks to make a certainty of that by all He did in His short stay on earth as well as by being the only One to resurrect from the dead. If jesus cannot be trusted, who or what can???? None of the other belief systems in existence make the same claims or have the same actions as the Bible and Jesus. Check and see.

That being said, why is it that simply trusting Him and living a life of holiness and obedience in faith hope and love is more often than not something we fail to grasp and accomplish?? I'm not writing this as i had intended. I know so many friends and family suffering such severe tribulation in their life. As long as we have existed on this earth, ever since the fall, tremendous pain and suffering has been a mainstay for us. Some may seem to escape it but we don't know what happens in their minds and hearts throughout each day. It boggles the mind at times to see all that happens everyday every minute every second and alot of times it looks as though He is nowhere to be found. Looks that way.

The book of Hebrews delineates in a very systematic,detailed manner the supremacy of Jesus Christ above all others. We are told that Jesus knws our pain and heartache,our suffering and hardship because He suffered it all just as we do yet without sin. This is why the Bibles reliabilty matters so much!!!!! Why Jesus being who He is matters so much!!! We may not recieve relief at times from hardship of all kinds as we live our life. I have tried to find ways to control or outsmart or outrun pain and suffering as best i could, but I think I have chased the wind in doing that,which is why fear has hung around like a dark shadow. Jesus allows us to embrace pain and suffering and know He will set us free from it when we are in eternity in the place He came to give us. It is not a bells and whistles answer, not a oh im so thrilled and blessed answer in that it gives no relief necessarily for while we are here. Ultimately though it gives us the most incredible hope we could ever wish for, because Jesus HAS DONE what we need to have absolute peace,joy,hope and love forever!!!!! I think that is a pretty good clue!!!! I want to get over my self and accept i will experience difficult things i hate, but the impossible dream that is REAL awaits in the distance!!!! Give us all what we need to hold onto this hope and to YOU no matter what we go through Almighty God!!!! Shalom!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Eye of the Tiger

Rocky 2 was a fun movie. Cool story of rocky going from hungry and determined fighter to fatcat celebrity boxer and then how he regains his edge by realizing how he has changed. The song *eye of the tiger* seemed to have a good beat, maybe not the best lyrics lol but it had a pulsing drumline and bass beat that made you feel the energy as you saw rocky go back to training hard in order to beat Mr T.

I have talked so much about my struggle with fear on here. I have struggled so much inside on why and how of it. Everyone dies, just the way it is. Jesus had to die. Jesus resurrection is what provides any of us hope to live after we die. I believe in Jesus, so why then my struggle with fear of death??? The Bible has so much inside it. It is truly our playbook for the game of living life and knowing God is our Coach. Law and grace, mercy and judgment,chosen and unchosen. There are so many verses that talk about our actions and our thoughts, basically what we do. Equally so are all the verses that discuss Gods love mercy and grace and the fact that there is nothing we can do,none of our behaviors or thoughts can make us any better or worse.

The apostle Paul talks in the book of Romans about himself and that he does not do what he knows he should, and he does do what he knows he shouldnt. This is the man who was personally confronted by Jesus in a special vision and spent many months being discipled by Him to become the amazing apostle he was. He says flat out that he sins and it happens in an ongoing manner, he uses present tense,active voice in the sentence he writes!!!!! Another verse talks about how Jesus came into the world as the Light and He was not recieved because men loved the darkness instead of the Light and didnt want their deeds exposed as being evil. How is this to be applied??? Was it the jews, His chosen people who were supposed to be looking for Messiah that this refers to??? Is it all of us??? Is it Paul still struggling with sin even after becoming an apostle??

I am not totally sure my whole point here. i know we will never be totally free from sin and failure in this life. We still have struggles even as believers. I am challenged by the thought of what kind of an example am I as a christian to those who dont believe if i continually share my problem with fear and other sources of shame and guilt??? Is that something i should not have and that becomes a roadblock instead of a window?? Can christians actually live their whole life with areas of deep struggle and conflict as well as ones of victory and maturity??? Are there things that need to happen and be chosen and lived out before God intervenes in a hidden way and decides someone has become beyond possibility of growing more mature and strong in faith hope and love???

This hurts to contemplatem it hurts to write on. Would be so much easier to just love God 100% every single second of everyday with all i have but that isn't real, not for me and not for pretty much everyone I know. We all have things we stumble on or fight with. We think bad thoughts or we feel bad emotions or we act in bad ways. We are caught in the reality of our fallenness even as believers. Maybe this is what Paul meant by saying *thanks be to God Christ Jesus will rescue me from the body of this death* Jesus gives us the eye of the tiger.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Love the best and the worst

Love very well could be the most controversial word in existence, no matter the language. Can be so very overused and so seldom ever spoken. Love can be poured out in heaping amounts, it can be locked up and witheld, or at least the intention is to keep it from being shown. Nothing can move us and shake us to the very depths of our soul quite like love.

God is love. He says that about Himself in His own Book. He is love, He is good. Nothing bad can come from Him. Every descriptive term used to reveal His character and nature declare these things to be absolutely true. Why then do so many find it so hard to believe this about Him?? Why do so many experience Him as being anything but love?? Logically speaking, whatever the causes, the truth about Him and the reality of Him being love remains solid, despite experiential happenings to the contrary. As fallen humans we do have a skewered understanding of Him and all reality by the self-centered focus which is in our hearts. God is the One, not us. Even the holiest and most humble of all saints still has the embers of self supremacy lurking deep within.

My struggle with fear of death reflects this in me. Yes i have good reason to mourn losing my father at an early age and to have all the issues surrounding such a loss. Somehow I let reality become tainted in my desire to avoid the pain and loss of death. God alone has the power to control death and when it happens. We may seek to take that power by using viloent means to kill, whether it be others or ourselves. Ultimately God decides when death happens though. I struggle so much with my fear because i have tried crazy things to escape and avoid death. No matter what i attempt, just like jonah, God will be there and He will be in control. I think i have made my fear far worse by believing His love for me was blocked somehow because of my fear and my ways of acting out my fear. Anything that causes a rift or separation from God is equivalent to death. I think my fear has gotten more severe at times by letting this idea of separation become fixed in my head. Remarkably, God is far greater than my insanity and self abasement and He keeps loving me always.even when i seemingly cannot feel or recognize it.

Romans tells us nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!!!! I mean that is GOOD NEWS!!!! It doesn't matter WHAT it is Gods love in Jesus Christ will be given to us always!!!! I want to let my fear be melted away by Him, His love grace and mercy, realizing and believing He knows how and why as a lil kid who experienced a painful loss that i reacted in a very scared fashion. i feel the emotion right now typing this. I carry such shame and pain over having this fear and feeling like I should not. Please help me God to let You wash away the sting of my own lack of grace and love to myself that You so badly give to me and want me to embrace. Help me to truly deeply realize genuine humility and grace that goes to my deepest place, where Your love wants to flow like a waterfall!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Birthday Contemplations

Almost past now as the clock makes it way to midnight. 47 wow still feels like around 22 in my head,well sometimes lol Still cannot believe I have 3 years to 50!!! Holy midlife Batman!!! I celebrated on friday and saturday due to various circumstances so today was just nonchalant. Definitely a lil reflective.

I seek to pour myself out here on this blog. It is funny at times to go back and re-read my posts. In a lot of ways I can see how what i share here can come across as so lopsided towards a very serious,fearful and struggling man. I guess I just find this a place of freedom to share all that. I am pretty easy-going and cheerful mostly. I take the bumps and lumps as they come with a smile and carry on. I like to laugh and have fun. i love to make people smile and feel good. I tend to keep a tight rein on the darker areas that i share on here. It would be hard to identify them from outward appearances, but that could be said for all of us to a large extent couldn't it??

I have a friend who has written quite openly about her dealings with relationships and the twists and turns along the way. She is quite bold in sharing the good and bad which makes for very interesting reading and the ability to feel like you get to peek inside of her, very brave and scary at the same time. I have written on physical appearance before. It is and always will be a huge issue for everyone in life, just no getting around it. I have shared in detail how my awkwardness,severe acne and a few other details have left a huge inner scar on my self-image. Even now, though the acne has been gone since i was 16, i still have a hard time not seeing THAT face in my minds eye. Seeing THAT overly self-conscious,ugly,intensely shy and self-degrading image in my head. It really is like there are multiple images, not personalities but images,inside me that have an effect on how i live day to day.

At work, i have all these younger guys i work with. A few girls, also younger. I get along with them all pretty well. I keep up with current music and pop culture to converse with them about, and we always have sports woot woot Some treat me normally. A few treat me as though I am there to be their personal punching bag, making jokes and demeaning remarks, just because they want to. I have always had this follow me going back almost to kindergarten. I send off a signal or vibe somehow that says to bullies * attack me I wont fight back and if i do it wont matter anyway* I don't go looking for these people or this treatment but somehow it always has found me. Then i have ones who treat me for me. For my ability to be funny,caring,encouraging,witty and pleasant. i feel accepted and respected for who i am. So crazy how i can be switched from one to the other in a matter of moments.

Girls. Need i say how my luck has been?? Only a couple girlfriends in 47 years. I tried dating services, went on several dates that were just disasters. My shyness and self-consciousness inhibited being *natural* Many times i have met girls who i just find an easiness being around, very comfortable. Of course they just want to be friends or are already taken. It does hurt inside when you so badly want to find someone to love and be loved by, and yet you feel doomed to ever have it happen because you feel sabotaged by your past. My own fears of rejection and ridicule affect my ability to relax and have any confidence when wanting to pursue a girl i would like to seek a romantic relationship with. No mattter how much anyone tries to act as though these things don;t bother them, trust me, it bothers them ALOT!!!!

Sex is way more than physical acts that lead to intercourse. Sex is soooooooo MENTAL!!! The biggest sex organ is the brain right??? The imagination actually. Even quasimodo,the hunchback,had an active imagination about sex!!!! Holding hands,exchanging a smile, winks,varying signs of affection. Tell me who doesn't want that???? There is a reason why phone sex and cyber sex are si prevalent and its not because people are sick perverts who are unable to control themselves. It is because many cannot find affection and acceptance from the opposite sex, for many reasons, and so the lure of these anonymous seductions is very appealing. No rejection, no negative looks or remarks,no being avoided by or turned away from as though you were a disease. I write this because it is possible to have so much together and be one who has a heart for God and for people, who wants to do good and be a helper and grow more and more ...... but also have areas that are hurt,struggling,dark and crazy even. Many struggle silently because of fear or being judged and shunned if discovered. Sexual struggles are not high on the most sympathized list i would bet right now. They do happen to almost anyone and for different reasons and being able to have people know, and for those people, especially those closest to or emotionally attached ,accept and value you still regardless of this struggle, is one of the most powerful ways for healing and overcoming to take place.

I wasn't sure exactly what i was going to write here. I know i have been deeply touched by so many different people and their sharing. i treasure with all the depths of my being the caring,love,wisdom,exhortation and sharing i recive from everyone out here in blogland. I am seeing little changes bit by bit that happen within that ultimately will show on the outside. I pray God will help me to be vulnerable and risk whatever i need to so i get more so over the next 47 years!!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just Wondering

It's incredible how from day to day or moment to moment so much can happen,both in life and in your own head. Our minds are so extremely intricate. It is astounding how fast thoughts/feelings/desires can zoom through our minds in an eyeblink!!!! I wonder how to compare the speed of light and sound to the speed of thought.

I saw * The Dark Knight* yesterday. It really had a title that fit because the entire tone,theme and feel of the movie was very dark. Heath Ledger as the Joker owned the movie no doubt. Batman was almost a secondary character in many ways. Anarchy,nihilism,existentialism. Deep philosphical roots underlying the movie. I have come across several deconverted christians recently on blogland, an interesting term to me. A few i saw expressed what it was like when they were active christians and now whats it like to be freed unbelievers. They said they felt more alive and able to be themselves, not shackled by guilt over failing to live out an ideal or measurement God placed on them.

Several have also been talking much more openly and freely about grace and its freeing power. Grace sets us free from the law,and the curse of sin. Tracy had a post that i am sure brought tears galore to many who read it by its beautiful expression of just how incredible grace is because grace is a Person. Jesus is grace and truth!!! God IS grace!!!!! I need to read it again and again for I am still walking in the house of mirrors trying to get to the point where the experiential reality if grace touches what i know to be true in my head. Sharing my life story in a narrative style has been a help. So has reading so many people and their journey. But that's just it, it IS a journey and can't be fitted into a formula.

Why are there people who claim they are more alive now that they are deconverted christians??? I want to fathom it. I guess a part of me struggles because I have such a difficulty with my own tendencies to constantly stumble over the same things again and again. There are unwritten expectations i have in me from alot of places along lifes travels. To have fallen down from achieving those expectations has been a constant battle of endless endeavor. I want to rest in grace but i have so much stuff that says *no your just wanting to not do anything and be lazy* or *cant have chaep grace and easy believism get right and be holy and obedient be a mature man of God already* Thoughts like that just echo over and over. It is an odd thing how so many different thoughts and emotions can be inside us all at once.

I have times of doubt, wondering if God is there for real. I think anyone who is alive must at some point. I always come back to the realities of creation,pain and suffering,love,goodness,evil. They all exist, they are all experienced by all of us. If there is no God, how can these things be as they are??? Life, much like God, can be very unpredictable. But not absolutely!! God is not irrational, He is surparational which means He is above it,not against or defying it. To many things happen in this crazy existence of life for me to believe everything happened by a random chance of atoms hitting each other and all manner of what we now experience just evolved. Intelligent Design has that name for a reaon!!! The plants,the animals, humans.... we all have design, How we are made,how we function,how we live. Humans have the joy of free will and conscious choices to make. I think struggling with what kind of God is there and why does He let things happen as they do FOR ME..... is the crux of the matter.

Hope to share more soon just a bit of what has been running inb my head lately. Jesus definitely does not tie things up in a nice lil bow and make life lived happily ever after not this side of eternity anyway!!!! Praise God that in this world we will have trials turmoil and tribulation but that He has overcome the world and promises a better place to come!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This Ain't No Picnic

Back again fearless readers as we return to the ongoing story of the character simply known as *the boy* This narrator may interrupt at any given moment, just a perk of being so close to the main character lol

Second grade was strewn with challenges as noted in previous post. Third grade only became worse. Mrs Wohl. can see her now, This was the end of the 60's, laugh-in was a huge hit on tv. The boy can swear to the fact this teacher looked like JoAnn Worley, same hairstyle and everything!!!! She had a special sadistic pleasure in making students who got on her badside come move their desks right next to hers and cause them to be embarrassed by her sarcastic comments meant to derive laughter from the class.

Math!!!! HATED IT!!! Always he had a troubling time learning subtraction as well as division. Word problems were also a huge source of anguish. Why did his mind not grasp these concepts like it did english???? English with all its grammatical rules and stuff should have been the toughie!!! Needless to say, math was fought tooth and nail everytime it came up,and the boy still cannot say how he survived it.

His block was a fun one. A huge sandlot behind the other side of the street. Huge woods with a frozen pond in winter as well. Awesome place for any kid to grow up. The boy was one of the younger kids on the block,and found it to be very fun as the older kids liked to let him play with them, almost like a junior mascot. Football,basketball,baseball,field hockey and even boxing. Seldom was the boy indoors except to eat and sleep. Ok and to watchj cartoons and sports. He was always on the go, no wonder he stayed slim and always had a muscular body even when very young. Ah but shyness around girls was his downfall even then, it was fun to get attention at times from older girls. *ok ok stop daydreaming- stay on track* Sorry there readers, onward we go.

The older kids on the block were basically normal. Didn't really get into any serious trouble. Since they were teenagers they were quite curious about sex. They told many off-color jokes the boy knew went over his head. He was a very naive one besides. Sometimes they would take him along as they sat in one of their parents cars,while they boasted of conquering girls with spanish fly and other aphrodisiacs. Of course years later the boy learned spanish fly was a myth. They did create tales that had some vivid imagery though, and the boy had a very wild and picturesque imagination. It wasn't helped by the fact he saw movies that were way beyond what was good for him to be seeing. he did gain a very keen appreciation for the beauty of the female anatomy that would last. *slight chuckle allowed here* Normal curiosity was about to take a swift and dangerous turn though.

The older kids had built a wooden fort in the woods. It was a lil hideout where you could pretend to be pirates or adventurers or anything you wanted. Get inside and it was all barricaded, no one could get in once the opening was shut. One night the boy was taken into the fort. A bunch of the older kids were in there. They looked at him with serious expressions and asked him if he wanted to be like an older guy. of course he was excited they would ask him this and shook his head yes. Then they told him to unbutton his pants and show his pubic hair and penis. The boy went cold. Whaaaaaaaaaattttttttttt??? As stated he was very naive and shy. He felt himself turn red as a tomato and tried to say no he couildn't before the oldest of them told him he hasd to or he wasn't getting out. All the guys in there unzipped their pants and showed themselves. Afraid of waht would happen if he didnt do it he slowly did. That actually would have been a very lil thing had it been all they asked. Unfortunately they then watched as the oldest moved over to the boy, grabbed him and pulled him down, told him to close his eyes and give over his hands. Before he realized what was happening the boy felt something moving against his hands and began to smell a pungent scent. He could hear sounds from the older guy and felt more pressure squeezing him tighter. He ended up having to do this to all the older guys in the fort. Somehow I think the boy submerged the reality of it into his subconscious, or else the shame and humiliation would have been too much to handle.

Another day, not sure the timeframe after the fort incident,the oldest guy and another kid on the block went out into the woods, taking the boy along,saying they would have a lil picnic. The one guy carried a backpack so it looked feasible and off they went. After walking a long ways into the deep woods they stopped. The food was taken out with some soda and they began a picnic. The older one told the other guy to go look for something and that he wanted to take a lil nap. He took the boy and told him to lay down with him. Upon hearing this a warning bell went off in the boys mind. He knew something bad was going to happen, he sensed it. As the oldest one was laying down and taking oof his shoes or something, the boy took off running as fast as he could. He had no idea where he was running to but he knew he had to get away!!!! He heard the cries of the oldest one telling him to come back, but he just ran and ran and ran. After awhile he realized he ha run to the edge of the woods. he was way on the other side of town. It would be a long way back to his block. He wasn't sure even which way to go. Crying and wondering if the 2 were still there somewhere he made his way back. It definitely was not a picnic. This would be an experience that damaged the inner trust and emotions of the boy which had ramifications much later on.

I know this won't be fun to read. i wondered whether or not to write it. I decided to because this is supposed to be my story,and dealing with events that had emotional,psycholgical and relational impact upon me. This definitely did. i had seen that oldest guy as a hero. He had included me in all the games they played and made me feel like a special friend. I know these kinds of things happen and can be seen as *rites of passage* into teenhood and then adulthood. A few other kids a lil older than me had no problems and had no aftereffects of any of it. For me, my naivete and shyness and some other stuff mixed to make it a traumatic experience that had effects on my ability to trust and my own shame and guilt toward myself way down the road. If anyone who reads this somehow identifies or is heloed in anyway awesome!!!! It had a big impact and is why i chose to share. Thank you all who stop by and all who encourage.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Any chess players out there??? Chess is an interesting game, requires a lot of quiet concentration and decisoonmaking if playing on a serious level. I know how to win in 4 moves, trick is to get my opponent to make the 2 moves needed so i can execute my moves and win. Do you ever feel like God has you in check???

Chess is a series of maneuvers. You seek to capture your opponents pieces while advancing your own, they are attempting to do likewise. Best to think several moves ahead in order to set up your rival and cause them to lose more than just one piece. Of course they are trying equally as hard to do the same to you. Can you imagine playing chess with God??? No matter what move you made, He had it countered or blocked. His moves are always correct and actually set Him up many moves in progression. Before you know it, He has you in check,which means your in danger and need to move to safety, if you have no safe move it's checkmate game over.

Many events occur in life that outwardly appear to have God putting us in check. Inwardly as well. Death,pain and suffering,hardships financially,relationally,disasters. it seems that way even more so when we do our best to seek Him and cry out to Him------ only to have it met with silence silence so loud its deafening.Just what kind of God is this??? Isn't He the One who Jesus said *He alone is Good???* The Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children??? The God who abounds in lovingkindness patience forgiveness and love??? Alrighty then, so where is He when i desperately need Him????

Dan Allender has a book called *The Healing Path* in which he specifically addresses these questions, and how God heals us from all forms of abuse and woundedness. I think in reading his book thus far i saw a fresh hermeneutic. Hermeneutic is a fancy word for *method of interpretation* Interpreting His Word via the lens of pain and suffering. I looked at Abraham, he came to such devout trust in God he was willing to surrender his son as a sacrifice to Him. Along the way to getting there though, Abraham had quite a rough road. Pretending his wife was his sister, having sex with his wifes maiden to foster a son he had not believed God would provide,traveling to lands he was totally unfamiliar with and only had Gods promise to hold onto.

God said Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered. Jesus???? Learned obedience?? Ay Caramba!!! We are also told that we become more intimate with Jesus by the fellowship of His sufferings. Say what??? I would rather enjoy the fellowship of His rest and resurrection thank you very much!!! Phooey on all that suffering garbage!!! Yet, God has a different mindset apparently, and He doesn't mind tweaking us, letting us know that indeed He is GOD and He is in control and knows what He is doing!!!!

I feel in check quite alot. Instead of trying to avoid checkmate, i think I want to lean into where He has me and ask Him to let me trust Him in and through it. Maybe i can come to realize I do not have to run and hide from pain, and that along with the pain comes the true pure joy only being close to God can bring!!!!

Please pray as I seek to begin a small group in my church called *risking openness* i have mentioned it before and more and more i have sensed God gently guiding me to put action to my thoughts and take the plunge of leading this. i am hoping many are hungry for a deeper level of commitment and sharing together and that God will lead me as i trust Him to make it happen. I also must say He sure has used blogging and so many of you amazing people to help me get to where i really attempt this. Thank you!!!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

TinMan or Scarecrow

Seems like forever since I have watched The Wizard of Oz. I never get tired of it though, just one of those movies i can watch again and again. Well,once a year isn't too tedious. So,who would you rather be??? Tinman or Scarecrow???? Is it a *no-brainer*??? lol We need BOTH our minds and our hearts equally don't we??? Being a psych major i have always had a huge interest in the interplay between thinking and feeling. Do they get separated or are they inextricably linked no matter what??? I think if i were to lay odds i would bet on most people saying they would rather be the scarecrow because they absolutely would not want to be heartless!!!! Besides,scarecrow seemed to get along fairly well without his brain right??? He had the others to think for him.

I tend to believe that thinking gets the short stick when placed against feeling overall. Romanticism is far more alluring than Rationalism and Gnosticism. I wonder how Adam and Eve thought and felt before the fall??? Lust/desire was what lured Eve to disobey Gods command and partake of the fruit. However, it says she saw the fruit was desirable to make one wise as well. Hmmmmm interesting. How eager are you for knowledge???? To learn more??? Do you want to analyze and exercise your mental skilss till your brain feels like its being squeezed??? Why is it that so often those who are deemed to be the most brilliant and intelligent above and beyond us normal folks usually tilt toward social ineptness and to lack warmth and caring???? Granted this is a generalization but I make it because it has beared out to me amongst people i have known or learned about that fit the criteria.

God is a God who is emotional. He is a God who possesses all knowledge. What would you prefer to have from Him??? A detailed explanation as to why He created everything as it is and why your life and others lives had things happen as they did??? Or, would you rather He gave you a big hug,smiled and just laughed with you, letting you know no matter what happened or would happen He was there and always would be??? How many want both??? CHEATERS!!! LOL

Why is to many God stays silent and distant,almost never around in any tangible way to the mind or heart. Yet others can sense His presence, His touch in many different ways. Does God pick and choose whom He will let feel Him??? Careful here. Does our own experience of Him with our senses as well as our thoughts and feelings supersede His Word??? If someone claims they feel God in a genuine deep way how do we know its God??? Do we need an absolute standard to assess this or can we trust subjective thoughts and feelings of each other??? Does the Bible provide us a means to the end of objectively knowing God and His presence in a way that is true rather than a false illusion created by our imaginations and feelings??? I hope some responses can lead into more exploration on this. Are you a tinman or scarecrow??? I left the lion out of the equation on the grounds it might be incriminating put em up put em up!!!! Look forward to seeing what is shared.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Jesus Was A Failure

Don't come after me with men in white coats declaring me a 5150 lol well not yet anyhow. I have a method for my madness. Why would i say such a near blasphemous title to this post??? Jesus came down and was born to a virgin in a miraculous way, becoming God in flesh. He began His ministry when He was ready and surrounded Himself with 12 close disciples who were pretty close to clueless the entire time with Him. He performed miracles daily and gave of Himself nonstop to people who basically took from Him and then went on their way. His people who were supposed to know of His coming rejected Him and said He was the devil. He lived a vagabond existence, was taken away and crucified and those who were His closest followers abandoned Him at the time of His greatest need.

Looking at Him from a human viewpoint doesn't He sound like a monumental failure??? Would you want Him as the ceo of your fortune 500 company??? Of course we are not to look at Him from a mere human grid, as He aggressively told peter when He said to him get thee behind Me satan. Jesus completely tears apart all the common stereotypes which human success are built upon. Greed is good. Wasn't that the motto of the dot.com boom?? Jesus says give up all you have. Seize power,climb the corporate ladder,make your church a mega-church,take total control and maximize your talents. Jesus says deny yourself and be the servant of all to be truly great.

Jesus Christ Superstar is highly criticized as pure heresy and a mockery of the real Gospel. Rightfully so in many ways. It does tell the story from Judas perspective, a highly biased Judas of course. It does do a good job of showing how Jesus disdained the attempts to make Him a *superstar* When Jesus died on Calvary all hope seemed lost. The greatest tragedy in all history became the greatest triumph EVER!!!! He was no failure.

My point is we all can see ourselves as failures according to human standards. Even according to christian standards by many. Jesus turns that logic and interpretation upside down. The thief on the cross, not much known at all about Him. Jesus forgave Him his sins and told him he would be with Jesus in paradise. A total failed life right??? Jesus gave us *the rest of the story*

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bleedin Love

No this has nothing to do with the current top 40 pop song on the radio currently. It has everything to do with what is contained in the title. Many questions swirl like a gigantic tornado coming together to ask for answers of the One who alone can supply them. God supplied us with His Word within which He does reveal Himself and awareness of His creation and all that has happened to it. Hasn't He???

On observation, one would truly have to wonder. Disasters,wars,murder,abuse. All kinds of deadly examples of mans inhumanity to man are rampantly abundant. Atheists deny any God exists. They take the ideals of the enlightenment and say that man is in process of working it all out. Inevitability of progress, knowledge will come to its full fruition and we will solve all our problems ourselves. Does it look like we have gotten any closer to that ideal??? Funny how if we are to be our own *gods* we haven't come close to solving death. Or is it just simply that once we die we turn into wormfood and dissolve,our reason for being a pointless question mark which hangs in the air to be bantered about by others who ultimately will end up the same meaningless way.

Questioning God is a must if we are to be truly human. How can we not??? All the stuff i mentioned earlier scream out for a response!!!! Why is it the United States has existed as the most prosperous nation on earth as long as it has and the third world has continuously languished in its dire straits??? Why do bloody acts of violence happen everyday and some can exist virtually unscathed from even the slightest trouble??? So many examples can be cited. Why can we be caught in a quagmire of our own thoughts,feelings,imagination that imprisons us in ways no dicator or jail ever could??? Why can we shout,scream,plead and beg for help and can go on endlessly with a stunning silence from the One who made us and tells us to seek Him???

Bleedin Love. Jesus gave us that. Jesus GIVES us that. Look for answers here there and everywhere. No where else will you find what Jesus gives. He said all of us would have tribulation in this life, but that He had overcome the world. OK so just how are we to take that??? How does His having overcome the world translate into our lives??? Does it mean He will deliver us from pain suffering and hardship in life here as we live it??? Does it mean He will give us all the answers and make everything work out so that He gives a wonderful life??? Does it mean that He will cause us to feel a constant joy and peace which we never question or doubt and that stays in us always if we have faith and obedience???

I hope you catch i am being rhetorical and a lil sarcastic here. I have these debates in my mind so much, as so many of you do. I see many express various ways of dealing with them so eloquently. i do ultimately, and it comes with unending questioning and pursuing, as well as falling stumbling and failing along the way,believe that He has and will give us the answer. It is Himself,and His bleedin love. He gave His life so we could regain ours. He bleeds His love,even when we cannot see touch feel hear it. Faith believes that, and faith doesn't come easy. Well, maybe to some lucky ones. I pray His bleedin love surrounds all of us and helps us to live day by day,moment by moment,even when we wonder just where He is.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Just Trust

I read a post by someone a lil while ago talking about pain and suffering and how they handle it, they heard a voice which they attributed to being God whispering to them, *don't be afraid of anything from Me* Part of me leaped inside with excitement at rfeading that, God was actually personally giving His Word of comfort and reassurance. Another part of me freaked out because He said *anything* that comprises a whole LOT!!!! Job is case study numero uno to show God doesn't hold back when allowing tribulation to occur.

I was at work the other morning the other day,all of a sudden I felt a lil something in my head and thoughts started running throgh my mind, * be ready if this is it trust Him its ok He will be there the whole time if you die now* Is that crazy??? Do you ever get sudden thoughts like that???? It was so surreal because I tried to just keep working but I started feeling the panic building and i wanted to keep my composure. i thought of my prayers to trust Him no matter what and even if He slay me. Quickly the feelings left and my mind settled down,I went along with my day as normal. It did cause me to reflect though and realize that I cannot control things in many ways, but I can seek to control my reactions.

I love to read other peoples blogs and see how they handle life and everything that goes on in their particular world. I learn so much and realize their are so many ways to view life,God and the interaction we have together. Experiences we all undergo in life can greatly affect how we see God and how He relates to us. I know for me fear guilt and shame have been major issues over the course of living due to various happenings and my own way of responding internally. Grace, love forgiveness and peace also have played major roles, just happens to be the painful ones get highlighted so often because they have such strong impact. Sharing on here really does provide a great release,especially hearing that others do undergo similar things. It can be so hard to decide how open to be,wondering the reaction people will have. It is a risk putting yourself out there but I have found has given more than enough rewards in the encouragement and reflection provided by so many people.

A huge key I need to remind myself over and over is that God knows growth and transformation are always ongoing and can take place in bits and pieces. I know internally He has helped me move beyond where I was a few years ago and He will stay with me as the process keeps going. Just trust is a good mantra for me.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Unchanging Love

I have been writing a lil series of posts detailing my life experiences in narrative form. I have found it fulfilling the way it allows me to see events from a fresher perspective as well as the goodness of insights shared by those who comment. I have struggled for a majority of my life to overcome a negative self-image. Many reasons exist as to why this is. I don't think any one field of study can ever fully grasp the explanations as to why this happens and why it can be so embedded inside for so long. The effects of environment,genetics,our own free-will,circumstances and Gods providence all come together along with other influences to create our self-image,be it good or bad.

I think our consciences can both work for us or against us in how we see ourselves. It amazes me to see how different so many people are in how they handle their conscience,be they believers or not. Authority figures can play a very foundational role in the forming of our conscience and how we integrate it in our living life Some can feel overwhelming guilt over a tiny fault while others can seem to be innocent as can be even after a heinous act. From all appearances it can seem God takes no action or involvement with people and the living of their lives, but of course, none of us can see inside anyones heart,mind,soul and spirit. Visible or invisible,that is the question.

We are all born into this world the same way. It is a fallen world and we adopt the sinful nature by virtue of being descendants of adam and eve. Given time our basic selfishness will reveal itself. We want what we want when we want it and we want it right now!!!! That you learn in all Psych 100 classes, but just observing children can tell you that on its own. If you read the story of adam and eve in the book of Genesis you will see the dramatic effects sin had upon them and how they related to God. Guilt,shame and a need to cover up and hide filled their souls when God spoke to them after their disobedience. I think how they reacted was a blueprint to show us how each one of us would react to God once we became self-aware. We know the difference between good and evil and thus we sense the stare of God upon us anytime we commit a misdeed.

Jesus is the Answer to this dilemma. Once we join ourselves to Him, God sees Jesus in front of us whenever He looks at us. Of absolute importance is that we internalize this as TRUTH as opposed to a very nice theological idea we can all agree with and be happy about. Jesus removes the guilt and shame of ALL OUR SINS!!! Past,present and FUTURE!!! Also, He removes then no matter what they are pride,anger,sexual misconduct,drunkenness,unbelief, All sins are blotted out and God sees them no more and has no emotional memory towards of us them either!!! Isnt that amazing????

I utilized the caps as a way of preaching to myself there!!!! I need to take and actualize this reality always, because i too often let myself fall prey to my guilt and shame over the past. i was prompted to write this post after reading words of a friend. I need to hold onto the truth that God is unchanging love regardless of my behavior and He will always be so and reach out to me to help me overcome the bondage that guilt and shame can place me in. I want this to be a heartfelt post and not just one where I am on a soapbox. I have many posts where I speak of the travails of feeling like I let God down because of certain behaviors,especially due to my seeking to serve as a leader and being an ordained minister. I just feel an extra weight at times because of the expectations I see in Scripture and ones i have for myself. I have found a great many people out here in blogland who have been so loving,caring,gracious and encouraging not to mention challenging and fun!!!! Risking openness is sooooooo scary, but once you do it and you realize people do not run screaming from you as if you were a monster and that a lighning bolt did not strike you dead, well then you become more free inside and the guilt and shame lessen. A caveat is that sadly the battle may last a lifetime and often happen many times a day. The good news is that everytime you face it, His unchanging love as well as the grace expressed thru people can lighten your spirit again and again!!!

I love being able to reach out and share myself with a vast network of people in blogland!!!!We all really are so uniquely gifted and special in our own ways!!!!