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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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Never Again

Those are the famous words of holocaust survivors regarding those heinous events which occurred in Nazi Germany. Germany was the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg church door,protesting the abuses within the Roman Catholic Church. Amazingly, the church was asleep at the wheel in Germany, and did nothing as Hitler brought nazism and fascism into power and sought to dominate the world. Never Again!!!! Really???

I have a friend, whom i have spoken of before, who is very politically involed and social activist involved. He really is a throwback to the 60"s but not a hippie lol. He continually sends me links which, if true, should cause a revolution all over again like the one which founded this country. A lot of things he has bought into have been spoken of for years, the question of their credibility has always been the tipping point. Illuminati,CFR,Bilderberg,bankers and military/industrial complex,New World Order, globalism. Conspiracy. One of the most cliched of all buzzwords. Is there anything to it??

He sent me a link detailing how President Lincoln was actually a communist sympathizer and alot of his contacts he made politically were also communists as well and who sought the undermining of capitalism, even underlying the Civil War. Common knowledge holds that FDR knew japan was going to attack pearl harbor long before it happened. Our media is controlled and basically promotes propaganda which is given them by those truly in power, the puppet masters of the Shadow Govt. False flag operations have been going on for centuries which are used as a smokescreen to cover up the real agenda which is to take away our freedom and establish a One World Govt. Watergate was engineered by the true powers-that-be to take down Nixon because he forgot his place and actually began thinking he could BE the president and Do things!!!!!

9/11 as an inside job,depleted uranium,zionist agenda,destruction of the middle class in america. Google *alex jones* or *infowars* to check out these claims on your own. I share this because we met together last night with a few other friends and he was vehement as usual about the reality of these things being true. He states Obama is just another brick in the wall to use a metaphor which hits home. Obama will reveal h9imself to be anything but a liberal and carry on policies and procedures which differ little from Bush or Clinton. Time will tell. Is it all a bunch of paranoia and big brother madness??? He always has some credible links from people of status who make legitimate points on some of these things. Will any of this become clearer or visibly evident in 2009??? Guess we will see. I just wanted to toss it out there to see what anyone thinks. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

beginning strands

We are shaped very early on as to the nature of our personality, or so the major research says. We all a very intricat blend of flavors, some more dominant than others. I can think back to various things which were influences upon the way i perceived myself and others and the way *life* worked. I know i was more sensitive and inwardly focused even from a very early age. This was fostered by my paternal grandmother who lived with our family and was a constant presence around me as my mom and dad both worked as well as my dads illness with cancer. She was an alcoholic and had a huge tendency to overprotect me as well as being nervous and somewhat paranoid of other people and life in general.

I had many earaches between 1 and 4, which affected my hearing and which impacted how i heard my own voice. I was always big for my age but quite clumsy and uncoordinated. My hair was extremely curly and grew into an afro if let to grow to long. I had a stuttering problem. i had flatfeet and this caused me to have a waddle when i ran. I had a very tough time telling time and learning to tie my shoes even into 2nd grade. I had a bedwetting problem that was ongoing into the 4th grade. I almost failed kindergarten because the teachers thought i was too emotionally immature to go into 1st grade. I know I was the object of teasing and being messed with in school because i made an easy target apparently.

I say all these things as a way to lay groundwork as i process all the factors which contributed to my feeling so vulnerable inside and having a hard time coping, which led to escaping the pain of my emotional weakness and susceptibility to others teasing by getting lost in fantasy. I somehow had a very solid aptitude for reading,spelling and english, even having a 11th grade comprehension level at reading when i was ion 3rd grade.

This is not seeking to victimize myself in any way, just placing a microscope on how life evolved for me and how i came to certain ways of seeing myself and life and ways of dealing with it. I have always tended to bury feelings and thoughts within myself. I have been very capable of sharing my thoughts and feelings with everyone,but I have alot that I don't process because I just suppress it deep down. Hopefully as i write *out loud* on here i can get a better understanding of ways to challenge and change myself which i hope for always. I definitely hope my sharing touches those who read and is a help and encouragement in one form or another.

Friday, December 26, 2008

grace abound

A very white Christmas here in portland oregon it was. We do not have snow happen here like this usually,thank goodness lol I recall very heavy snow growing up in New Jersey but i was a kid and it meant NO SCHOOL YAY!!!!!!!1 lol No worrying about driving in it. I am very thankful that I got a dodge caravan for a very good price from a family in my church it has traction tires and while people were chaining up and having major hurdles going thru the snow and slush, my van just ramrodded thru it with no problem!!!! It felt very fun to blast through the muck and have hardly any trace of it being slippery or icy at all!!!

Christmas was good this year with my family. We have some things going on which i am not at liberty to discuss on an open forum as this, but which are very challenging and have been a source of woundeness and pain for all. Despite that, we all mamaged to celebrate together and be thankful and joyous that no matter what the obstacles ultimately love binds us together and grace and peace overshadow the darkness that seeks to threaten our wellbeing. One of the most amazing things I see God doing in His Word and in life as it is lived is how He really does make good out of a completely hopeless seeming situation or life event of a person, family or community!!!! The story of Job serves as a prime example, and also joseph in the OT, he of the coat of many colors. Just when it appears all hope is gone, God can transform things in such a way you are just made to stand in awe.

i am not saying this in a trite way or to gloss over anyones pain,hurt or difficulty in some cliche to create a warm fuzzy. I share from my personal pain on here to also share how He works and stays with me even in the darkest of days, and i have known a few of them!!! I* shared with a friend as we talked one day how I often wonder the truthfulness of some *testimonies* that are given where people claim God rescued them from a hopeless existence and they have never had anything but sheer joy and peace in Him ever since. I cannot claim that, not even close!!!! I HAVE recieved His help in anazing ways throughout my life. I also have found ways to slip and slide back into old ways and old habits which cause me to realize my limitations and profound weakness. Hmmmm i actually have limitations??? I am profoundly weak??? Will somebody alert my ego or inner parent/child whatever you call it lol Point being, I am constantly reminded and sometimes boldly confronted with my need for the unlimited and astounding goodness of the grace of God!!!!

I have been discovering how true it is recently to go a vrry long time with blinders to seeing something a certain way or have a genuine awareness of a triat or something that just never was there before. I hope to post on working through these new realizations and a bit about all that goes on internally in dealing with addiction. I am so thankful for so many great people who help me to accept I can share my voice on here in ways that i never realized before, sometimes discovering a thought or feeling as i share which i was not conscious of before!!!!

Here's to a rollicking,adventurous.joy inspiring and love enhancing 2009!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Quite a white winter wonderland in portland Oregon right now. We do not get snow like this except in the mountains usually, I am sure all you folks in the north and midwest would laugh loud at seeing how people freak out over snow here haha. I have been seeking to think what to write on lately.

I write from my heart on here, whatever it may be, and usually in regards to issues i struggle with. I in no way consider myself an advice-giver or anything like that, but I do love to be of help in any wayu i can and if sharing my life experiences and tough times can in any way be used to comfort,bring a smile or a nod of agreement or anything at all helpful then i am jazzed as i can be!!! Writing openly about my areas of struggle and growing have been a good process for me,and even more so as i have had positive feedback from many people, some who never have commented on my blog but just came by and read a post ot 2.

There are all kinds of things that can become addictions. Money,shopping,work.exercise,food,alchol and sex. We find something, or sometimes many things in childhood that fill an emotional hole in us, especially when we don't have God filling it up.I know for me a combination of things worked together to cause a hole in my emotional inner space. My grandmas overprotectiveness, my dads being so sick and dying young,my own tendency to be highly sensitive. A book called *Love Hunger* which specifically focuses on food addiction also relates to addiction of any kind. Low self-esteem,which is the beginning of an emotional deficit, is felt as pain. To get away from the pain you seek out something that will relieve it,mask it or just bury it anyway anyhow. This can be drugs,alcohol,sex whatever happens to work for you. The things is that although the thing does act as an anesthetic to the pain, it also becomes a way to continue the pain because it reinforces your self-destructiveness because it reminds you of how you acted out in ways that cause guilt and shame. So it becomes a vicious neverending circle that is like a bunch of dominoes falling. On and on it goes, so often even despite a vast amount of knowledge we have to the contgrary because we havent learned to transfer that knowledge into emotional relating which fills us and removes the emptiness. God and Jesus are ultimately the only Ones who can fill the hole, but They don't just do it in a magic way and even longtime believers can find themselves caught up in this cycle.

I want to share more personally in a few posts to come but wanted to lay groundwork on where I am coming from. For me I have so much self-condemnation because I became a minister and was ordained, making a pledge and ultimate commitment to serve God and others as best i could. Yet here i have been having this addiction which fights against the very pledge i made and want my life to stand for, especially in eternity!!! I have times where it is sheer emotional agony and then the giving in is done to escape the agony which once i have done it spurs the agony which spurs the desire to escape and you get the picture.

i have a precious friend i met on here who has been so good to care and work with me to deal with these things in a relational way which is so good. I hope to share in ways that help me to let myself free myself as He leads me to take in His grace and love which He never ceases to give in spite of my sins and areas of unbelief. I hope this makes sense and ultimately is an encouragement to any and all. I know and believe God is good despite parts of me that seek to make it otherwise. I hope and pray He helps me to be able to share and transform in ways that enable me to reach out and love,extend grace and hope to anyone i can. Merry Christmas indeed to all!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


It comes in all shapes and sizes. Some can handle tons and not break a sweat, others crumble under a slight amount. Pressure. I always liked the David Bowie/Queen song *Under Pressure*, why did Vanilla Ice have to steal that beat??? Pressure cam lead upward or downward,alot depending on the circumstances in which we find ourselves when we feel it. I wonder what is harder to handle-internal, self-imposed pressure or external other-imposed???? I think it depends on the person. I have always had a strong rendency to place pressure upon myself. Pressure to perform,to produce,to be good at things,to handle life. I have felt it intensify when I thought I needed to perform to meet someones expectation, especially an authority figure. I think mostly I had internalized some message of having to reach a certain level for the person as opposed to them placing it upon me, maybe it was a combination of the two.

Grace removes all aspects of performance pressure. Unmerited favor. Cannot be earned. That really is an alien concept to how life is lived apart from Gods perspective. I seem to always be caught in a tension though. Grace,unconditional love and mercy on one hand, with justice,holiness and righteousness on the other. Different messages emanate from these poles. One says you are accepted as you are. Change will come as you realize this acceptance and the gratitude and freedom that fills your up will lead to change without feeling forced or judged. The other says you must work hard,apply everything in you to accomplish the measuring stick which is the ultimate standard which we all are called to attain to. Do you see the tension there???? Do you find yourselves experiencing this??

I wixh the Apostle Paul was more explicit on all that he meant when he spoke of doing the things he did not want to do and not doing the things he wanted to do. I mean looking at his life he sure did accomplish A LOT of what he wanted to do lol mainly preaching and teaching all over the greco-roman empire and leading the way for missionary expansion of Christianity!!!! He still had lots of struggles though, fully human failings and struggles just as you and I. I feel extra pressure upon myself because of failures I have experienced personally in the past and how so much of what was involved in them still lingers within me even now. Pressure to be at a certain level of being which I am not at. Are my expectations of myself to high and unreasonable??? Does God have a certain criterion He wants me to be at, and everytime i fall short He taps His fingers on a cloud and just wonders how long He must endure me???

I have enjoyed many wonderful relationships with people who have been so good to me. I have had so many give great encouragement and support,love and caring. Somehow I have not been able to let all that transfer deep inside my being and own it for myself. My self-recrimination sometimes seems even harsher than its ever been. I don't have an explanation as to why. It is like I feel as though I need people to be there with whips telling me I need to get over my struggles and be what I'm supposed to be-whatever that is. My conscience and my inner parent are definitely relentless in being slavedrivers. The weird thing is I so easily see the madness of this when I apply it to anyone else. I just have a block when it comes to myself. Looking forward to hearing any thoughts from all as to how you relate to any of this.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Let Pain Be

I was going to title this post Static but after reading kathy escobars blog and a post about pain I was motivated by what she said. I feel like i have relived my childhood and adolescence on this blog in many ways via the sharing I have done and the emotional flashbacks i have undergone.

It is so interesting the way everyone uniquely deals with pain. We naturally want to avoid it or dminish it, but some are able to handle it quite well, at least they appear too. I have tried to escape pain. Tried to be like Capt Kirk and outwit it, outfox,outthink outplay. It has been like pain was a killer or a psychopath and i needed to get away at all costs. Part of me has tried to keep it under control, knowing the right answers and right ways to deal with and handle it. Another part of me has just run in circles trying to find how to accept it as a reality but not be overwhelmed by it. I know so many people who have suffered far worse than anything I have come close to experiencing. I know that death, which to me is the ultimate pain, happens to us all. I have struggled with an obsession of it happening all of a sudden or as a surprise and so i somehow have had to always be *on the lookout* I think it was a reaction i came up with from my fathers death happening as a surprise to me. It is totally irrational but I have done it anyway,

I have added to my pain by beating myself up for fearing death and seeking to avoid pain as opposed to accepting and facing it maturely. A better way is to forgive myself and give grace and love to myself as I would to another person who was going through the same thing. My focus needs to be on God and Jesus and how They lead me to face all pain and hurt. This has been my lifelong battle. I tear myself apart because I want to be totally surrendered to God and seek Him with my whole being but at the sametime I am and have been so self-centered. Die to self, live to God. Doing this is my goal. handling pain in a way that guides me to do this is my pursuit.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Just Incredible

I spent some time looking up various philosophical areas of thought for a sunday school class. Platonisn,Neoplatonism,empiricism,scientific naturalism,logical positivism. They all sought to locate comprehension of absolute truth and reality in mans ability to think and reason. Just incredible that wem and i use we collectively, never overcome the selfishness of adam & eve and wanting to be god ourselves.

I read and reread the Genesis account and try to understand why adam and eve wanted something other than the blissful existence they had with God in eden. They had innocence!!!! A couple of friends and I tried to imagine the thought processes of adam and eve before they sinned. Must have been so cool to be in total synch with God. I read an article about the fall and it really gave me a greater insight and awe at Gods love and grace for us. He had set boundaries for His creation,because He knew it was for their ultimate protection and good. Even after they both rebelled and disobeyed Him, God gave them consequences and death but the death was not a spiritual death which happened as soon as God removed them from the garden. The death is the physical death we all must face. God still cared for and loved adam and eve, giving compassion and grace to them as He sent them out to live east of eden.

My feelings do not determine Gods existence. God IS, regardless how i feel from one moment to the next. My feelings do not determine His presence. He is always present, whether i feel it ot not. Why does it seem that the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other as far as thoughts and emotions go??? We are totally following our minds or totally following our hearts. My emotional barometer is usually very centered and on cruse control , just sailing along chillin. If i think about it too much though i seem to swing back and forth to anxious feelings and then controlled ones. i can run so many scenarios in my head in minutes its crazy. Just incredible sometimes that I make it as I do, so much wackiness within me.

A friend told me sometimes its needed and good to hear words from someone else who knows where your hurting and struggling. He is so right. Blogging serves this purpose so greatly. Just incredible is God in His mystery and awesomeness, as well as all of you in your caring and sharing and challenges.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Step by Step

Had so much I wanted to write about for awhile and then it just all became a lil blurred for some reason. I guess praying certain kinds of prayers can be tough adjusting to when He takes them seriously. I am slowly working my way through *The Shack*. It really hits me at such a vulnerable place and I squirm for many reasons as it pokes and prods by the story being told.

Suffering seems to be no big deal for God really. He allows it,sometimes causes it, and He went through the absolute worst of it Himself. Suffering is a BIG DEAL to me, at least it has been. I squirm inside because of all the immaturity I know i still have inside me, let alone what i had across the years. It is like a double whammy because i know better in my mind about handling pain and suffering, but my emotions and my relational skills fall far behind what i know to be required in my head. Death happens to us all, just the way it is. For some reason I never just accepted that and have held way down deep this *magical thinking* idea that somehow I won't have to go through it. As I write that I can't believe the craziness that is actually arrogance to think I should somehow get a *avoid death free card* like in monopoly!!!! The root is that will God be with me and embrace me with His love and grace when my time to die occurs???

I am speaking emotionally and relationally here, which I experience differently than what i know and believe to be true. God has shown Himself in His Word, to people trhroughout history, to myself so many times and ways, that He IS love and He extends His grace. However there is this block from something that stays inside me and makes me feel that i somehow am not fully eligible to recieve that from Him. I get impressions this is due to my letting myself be weak and helpless emotionally so many times throughout life. it comes from hiding from reality when it felt overwhelming and too painful for me to handle so i retreated into fantasy of various kinds, especially in the sexual realm. It hits me because i have gone through so much and learned alot and grown in so many ways, yet here i am still caught in a web of my own inner turmoil as i seek to enbrace pain and suffering, to empty myself of myself and to attempt to share my life struggles as a way to serve Him and people.

Like a lot of my friends in blogland i hate to be a broken record talking on the same things over and over, but this is really the only place and the safest place to talk so openly and honestly about all this. I know its just a blog and not therapy but it sure can serve a very therapeutic purpose for me. On one hand i have areas i can see and feel growth has happened, but so many others where i feel the same brick wall hit again and again. My prayer is for God to lead me to get past the brick wall however that needs to happen. My biggest fear actually is my biggest hope- that i will die and God and Jesus will fully embrace me with love and acceptance, not rejecting me or telling me i disappointed and let Them down way too much to be welcomed in love by them.

I don't know how to fully understand the disconnect between what I know and believe to be truth and yet feel and have the fears and anger that i do inside. A heart that longs for God and to love Him and take in His love yet that also runs from Him and fears He will be rejecting and dismissive of me. This is as bottomline as i can get, hope it makes sense to those who read. Every day i do seek to take step by step with Him in spite of all the fear and blocks i have that i deal with,