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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

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Heart Update

Thank you so much to all who have prayed and been encouraging and caring over my health issues!!!!! I just turned 48 on the 22 and it was cool. Kinda weird to realize I have lived 18 years longer than my dad did. Our minds can develop all kinds of crazy ideas and i know I have run the gamut when it comes to death & dying type stuff. I will be having a cardioversion done on monday august 3rd. This is where they shock the heart to restore it to normal rhythm. Hopefully it will work. I have been doing quite well overall mentally,emotionally & spiritually since I had to go to the hospital for atrial fibrillation. God seems to supply what is needed to keep a grip on things when serious issues rise up.

I was encouraged hearing a preacher named steve brown on the radio who hosts a show called key life one day. He was talking about death & he said if death doesn't scare you a bit then your crazy lol I have always felt guilty over being afraid of death, even before I was a christian. I think it was a mixture of things dealing with how i heard my dad dealt with it and my own inner expectations of myself or perceived ones from people around me. Facing my fears & the possibilities of my health issues has been a sobering experience in a lot of ways. I have spent so much time reflecting and wondering how i got to where i am now, and why my mind & emotions have gone haywire so many times in the past even though I have been a believer for so long and have sought to immerse myself in an environment where I am seeking closeness to God & Jesus on a continuous basis. I have had such a strong desire to be close to God and to let Him lead me, and yet have so many ways of dodging Him and avoiding Him as well. I have the times where I want to be bold in taking risks and leaving my *comfort zones* and at the same time want to find a hiding place where i can escape the pain and struggle of doing exactly that!!! Is that just simply *being human* even though being a believer???

I am touched and stirred by people i discover who declare themselves to be deconverted christians or ex-christians. I wonder at the circumstances in their lives to cause them to decide on such a choice??? What pain and struggle did they face which led them to choose to believe God & Jesus don't exist??? My own struggles are more of why i have failed to walk and live in more consistent faith,obedience & holiness to Him even though I seek to find ways to do so over and over. I find it hard at times to let myself hope and live in joyful expectation because im afraid if i truly do let go like that it will be taken away and i will be heartbroken again. This is not a conscious thought but an underlying sensing and theme I know has been buried in my emotional core. Do you have faith and fear coexisting??? Do you have struggles of feeling like you let God down??? And despite all that, do you have the reservoirs of hope that His love & grace covers over all your weaknesses??? Love to hear all thoughts & reflections on these thoughts.

My puter will be fixed soon I hope, hopefully will be here to give a thumbs-up on my cardioversion that same night!!!! Peace and grace to all!!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I had some really good questions asked me by my blog buddy Gary as to the underlying cause to my fears of death I so often have mentioned since this blogs inception. I wish i had readymade answers. I have a few reasons for the fear: pain at the event of dying, uncertainty as to what will happen after death,and just a feeling of loss over having it happen. These fears are construed in various ways because the deepest tug comes from a place where i am still very much a little boy who has lost his dad and now is unsure just how to come to grips with life and its sudden uncertainty.

I have always been both very analytical and detached from emotion and very much consumed internally by torrents of emotion all at once, which sounds like a contradiction but i think its more a paradox. I can grasp the reality of death occurring, both in a natural way as just part of the human existence and theologically, with the hope of resurrection. Emotion does not care to contemplate and reflect, emotion seeks to fight,fligbt or just be. I look for God to be consistently present in a clear way surrounding times of death and He is not. Some people claim to experience a wonderful sense of peace and calm as death nears, while others have no sensing of this peace and clutch to life until death just pulls them kicking and resisting the whole way. This experience is by believers too, there is not a solitary unified experience of dying by believers. Not so strange considering the vast diversity of experience all believers have of God and Jesus in life.

I have no clearcut answer about my fears because i think I have tried to just lay them out there and avoid them in a sense as well, hoping God would somehow just divinely wipe them away like a magic wand passing over me as i sleep so i wake up and all the fear is removed. I know my fears have lessened over time and sometimes it seems they are there because i just don't know how to accept letting them go. A part of me also has this idea that if i declare my fears are gone then something will happen to challenge that as being true and I will have to experience severe pain or even death just because I willingly let go of all my fear. Does that sound crazy to you or can you understand that reasoning???? Please let me know lol

The whole idea of fear is messed up as it is. God is love and knowing His love leads to removal of fear, so in the ways i let fear take hold of me, i am lacking a resting in His love.I don't want to be in that position and yet I find myself struggling with it. I have a difference between my understanding of Gods love and my actual experience of Gods love, as well as relating it to faith and obedience. Grace is a gift, Gods love is freely given and cannot be earned. But, and this is a HUGE but, the underlying message given by both calvinists and arminianists is that OUR performance, how WE respond to Gods grace by our faith & obedience, are what seal the deal!!!! This unspoken message is what has always caused the fears to exist in a kind of floating ambivalence. God gives me salvation with Him because He loves me and nothing i do can change or interfere with that. BUT, i better make sure I have a strong enough faith and obedience or i may be in for a stunning surprise come my departure from this life. See the dilemma???

I really hope to hear how this hits you. I am growing, tiny step by tiny step, to comprehend Gods grace and love in all its enormity more and more day by day. This post articulates what has been a genuine struggle. Very curious to hear what your experience has been.