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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, September 30, 2009

Lamenting to God

This is directed to God but in a way it can be read.

O God, i am more than thankful how the shock procedure cured the abnormal beating of my heart. So many prayers from people,even people i do not know. I cannot express the gratitude enough!!!! I have so many wonderings in my heart though God. You are Almighty and Father of all creation. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All is under your control as it ever has been since the Beginning. I know and believe You are exactly who You declare yourself to be in Your Word Holy Father, why then have i struggled in mind,heart and action to live it out??? I have sought to pursue Jesus and imitate Him in living life, but have gone down deadends and wrong ways so much over and over again. You have much mystery and i can't imagine how it would be if You didn't. I seek after answers or fixes that just are not going to be given by You in the way i want them and i wonder ....why do I persist????

You know me completely, inside and out. You know my feelings of frustration over all the times I have felt inadequate to act as I should. How i have felt like I was weaker than a boy or man should be and failed to live up to what i thought my fathers expectations would be of me if he had lived. I don't have an answer for why I have let fear and lack of confidence in myself be a constant issue Father God. I know i want to leave it with You and learn what i am to do, You know how it goes round and round my head.

You know how sex became an issue Dear God. A fantasyland where feelings of insecurity and unattractiveness, immaturity and pain of rejection get magically swept away. No wonder sexual issues have beguiled us for ages o God considering the allure they make but never satisfy. Guilt and shame over struggling with such an issue which is so blatantly wrong and socially disapproved weighs on the heart, somehow even after having confessed and been given forgiveness. The addictive nature of it is what keeps the guilt and shame as You know O God. Cannot complete and total turning in repentance happen??? Wanting so badly to be one who serves You and wants to live loving others makes it that much worse when the giving in happens yet again.

Thank You for always being present and wantin gto hear me God. i pray You will lead me to take in Your love and grace as You desire for me too, so i can rest in You as i did while You healed my heart through the doctors skill. Amen.

I wrote this in this way to share my self in a transparent way and one which some may identify with. God is good and remains so no matter what i am struggling with. Just good to share it as the Psalmists did. Hope to hear thoughts from any who choose to share.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

God is Greater

You can fill in the rest in so many ways, God is greater than??? Everything actually, epsecially our own stumbling and bumbling to comprehend and follow Him. So much diversity here in blogland on grasping Him and growing in relationship with Him. Kathy Escobar has a great post about faith and doubt over at her place, *the carnival in my head*. She articulates how doubt can and does play a crucial role in bolstering our faith as opposed to decreasing it, and how faith is different than believing in the way we are told we should believe. Wow!!!!

I am wrestling with fear as i have for what seems like ever, and with God helping me in the process, as He always does even when i am not aware of it. I have had strong tendencies to listen closely to authority figures alot, especially ministers and teachers who seem to have solid answers in what true discipleship is. The dilemma occurs when several of those who are deemed authority figures clash in their own views of what constitutes *true discipleship* so then what am i to do??? Not trusting my own ability to think for myself and discover Gods ways for me have been crucial at times in causing me to shrink back or push ahead in some of the waves lifes ocean brings.

This struggle is like 2 in one. On one hand, I know i committed my life to Jesus Christ, I trust He is who He claims to be, that the Bible is His Word and is reliable, that His love, grace, forgiveness and holiness are constant and eternal. I believe He understands my own and everyones strengths and weaknesses and leads us in life. On the other hand, I fear that my understanding is flawed and I fail to believe and obey as i am needed to in order to make my salvation sure. I try to hide from challenges which may stretch me and open me to pain and wounds i do not want to experience. I question whether Gods love is unconditional or can i somehow think or do anything to cause me to be left out.

This in a nutshell describes my battle with fear,especially fear of death. What i love about what kathy wrote is that God remains there amidst all of this, even when I might be totally apprehensive of being accepted by Him. I also think being able to verbalize these thoughts and feelings in a public manner are very helpful and healing because it shows vulnerability and willingness to risk whatever reactions may come from other people. The psalmists lamented to God throughout their writings, and much of it was done in anger,fear,despair and a sense of hopelessness. BUT, after expressing all these things, they were able to find hope, encouragement and peace which seemed so far away before and during their sharing.

Fear may be around always, in one way or another. That does not mean it has to have a stranglehold on me. Thank you God for so many friends and others who have shown that to be true. Thank you God that You are greater than fear, and greater than my own limited way to handle it within myself, and You are always there to turn to, even when I may feel and think i am all by myself.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twists and Turns

Sometimes a subject will not let you go. I guess fear is that subject for me. Maybe i will exhaust almost all possible angles of looking at it and finally be done. i can hope can't I??? Lol. I wanted to follow-up on some of what i wrote in my last post. There are so many differing ways fear is dealt with no wonder it seems endless.

I have thought of the origins of fear affecting me, both genetic,environmental and cultural. All of these areas played a part as i believe they do to some extent for all of us, some greater than others. My twist and turn is a kind of paradox. Fear basically stems from the unknown or from some kind of hurt which could happen, be that punishment, pain or abandonment. Death is the great unknown since none of us have come back to tell what happens. Death is an enemy which Gods Word declares itself and hell is the worst and unescapable of all punishments so it would naturally engender fear as a logical extension of what it involves. God is love and Jesus is the only One to resurrect as well as give the gift of eternal life and total freedom from punishment for always. This is perfect antidote for fear right??? Trouble is,for me, my mind finds ways to doubt and worry I am definitely within Jesus arms for certain, especially when the calvinist doctrine creeps in my thinking of there being only a chosen *elect* whom Jesus came to save.

I have a book called *The Thomas Factor* by gary habermas which is an excellent exposition on the whole notion of doubt and faith. He details in his years of counseling and pastoring how many believers struggled over feeling like they had lost their salvation or committed the unpardonable sin or somehow just were outside Gods grasp of them. The fact that so many who are genuine believers in Christ who suffer these doubts serves as a strange comfort to me, because it shows me i am not alone in it. Another comfort and help is to realize that my own feelings, whatever they may be, are not the determiner of my acceptance by Jesus and God. This is HUGE because faith and feeling are inextricably tied together, whether some say they are not. Just how we are designed.

This leads to another twist in facing fear. Who Jesus is, who God is, plays a large factor in handling fear. If They are lacking at all in any way, shape or form, and if They can decide on amy basis that whoever They consider to be unacceptable to Them, then fear has no bounds really. This is why the Bible and its trustworthiness as Gods Word is so very crucial. If the Bible cannot be relied upon, and the Bible purports to be Gods revelation of Himself and Jesus, well then how can They be trusted??? Hope my thought and logical conclusions are clear there.

So, in running all that through my mind, i am helped to see fear as more manageble and to find ways which may be helpful to deal with on a strictly physiological level, which will impact my emotions as well. Love to hear all thoughts on this as always!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Lil of My Craziness

Tracking back over how I became who i am was again inspired by dana at biscottibrain, as well as my friend becky who said we all have a story. I have been thinking of where the origins of my dealing with fear the way i do began. I know I saw some scary movies when i was very young, and had the high sensitivity I mentioned before. My ears were super sensitized to loud sounds. I had to leave places where the sound was too loud because it made my head hurt. I think this may have been why I was so scared of a rollercoaster, the dips and drops just my body feel out of sync. So glad I was able to handle the matterhorn ride at disneyland though lol.

I wonder if I really let this fear ecome expanded when i got older and read scriptures or heard sermons and teaching that i had a reason to be afraid and to overcome it. I know i have always had no trouble vocalizing my fear, but usually didn't get responses of anyone else sharing if they had fear. Mostly they would tell me it would go away, or they had a peace about it or just really not mention it. I have such a tendency to let my mind secondguess in a neverending spiral. This is where I get all messed up, i begin thinking i should have no fear but then a thought of something catastrophic comes to mind and i feel a sense of fear so I get caught up in beating myself up over having fear and i can just get drowned inside my own thoughts for who knows how long.

I wonder if it is a trait of introverted highly sensitive people to become caught up in their own head like that??? Maybe its a case of ocd. Why do i have this idea i should be totally free of fear??? Why do i have this idea God needs to somehow supernaturally take it away and make it be gone forever then i will be ok. Anyone else have these kind of crazy thoughts about death and fear??? Just hoping backtracking over old ground can refresh me in dealing with it now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time & Shoelaces

I rediscovered a blog friend I hadn't seen in a long while. Biscottibrain. She always had very transparent posts and I saw she was doing a series of looking back at her life, seemed like a bucket list in present time. All she shared spoke to me deeply of realizing Gods unlimited love and discipline both, as He ceaselessly maintains His presence, often in unusual or mysterious ways.

I had a very hard time learning to tie my shoelaces and tell time when i was little. i don't think I really got the hang of it until i was 7 and in 2nd grade. I felt very selfconscious about this. i used to get called out of class to go to the special teacher who helped me learn to tell time. I had other things that stuck out. i stuttered,had hearing difficulty and flat feet which caused me to waddle when i ran. Kids are not diplomatic about noticing these things, they can pick on them pretty harshly. Just the way kids are, like chickens who have a pecking order. The weakest one recieves roughest treatment from the rest. I am not writing this out of selfpity, just as a way to understand the dynamics involved. I think I am one of those who fall under the category of highly sensitive people. Our nervous system as well as our emotional makeup are wired a lil tighter than others. In understanding this it helps me to realize I was among others who understood my inner realities of how i experienced life happening.

I want to take the lessons learned from my struggle to tie my shoes and tell time. Fear has been the huge monkey on my back as i have shared so constantly on here. God has whittled it down moment by moment, helping me to face it in ways i would not have chosen. I hope to keep moving forward in handling fear as He helps me. I really took a message of hope from biscottibrains blog. She shared how often she found herself fighting fears,anger,and just her own resistance to change or growth, and yet she found God to be with her always even when she felt a total failure. I am not quoting her verbatim, lol, but that is a very real message i got from her writings. I hope to maintain that spirit of hope and willingness to be stretched as God sees fit, even when I'm feeling so out of it. It is so cool to have a place to share so honestly and even get feedback from anyone and everyone. God is good!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Everybody has different reasons for blogging. Some like to share information on all manner of subjects, some like to be humorous, some political, some theological,some personal. Many are a mishmash of all of these and more. I began blogging after seeing a few people i had met on a christian recovery forum, as it looked like a great outlet for expression as well as gaining contact with people all over the world. It has proven to be that and so much more over the last 5 years.

I tend to write very personally on here, adding some tidbits of other stuff every now and then. I find writing allows me to share things in my heart and soul that I just don't have the time or safeness to share in face to face life. I wonder in my mind alot what goes on internally with people as they write their blogs. Do they agonize over whether they share too much info, or too little??? Do they worry about how they come across to people, even though the people are relatively anonymous??? Do they wonder if they really have anything worthwhile to say and that would be of interest to anyone,let alone warrant a comment??? These are a few of the varied ruminations that run through my head as I type.

We exist on a huge continuum as living beings. The top of the ladder are those who have it all together in the best way possible and are as free as can be from the angst that life possesses so often. The bottom of the ladder are those who have hit rockbottom and have almost no ability to live life in any functional way at all. We all are somewhere on that ladder, and we move up and down depending how life hits us and we respond. I think it is a constant challenge to fight against being consumed by our own imaginations and our own selves, thinking we are isolated and alone even though we are surrounded by people sharing much of the same trials and tribulations as we are. Another struggle is to lose ourselves in being involved in as many things as possible, all to avoid dealing with issues of pain and loss that we find too difficult to face.

When I am around people, be they family, friends or acquaintances, i find it easier to let go of the inner demons that hit me when i am alone. Whoever first said we are all our own worst enemy definitely knew of what they spoke. I find being around people within the blogosphere is also more freeing. To read,respond and have interaction with people, even those with whom we may vehemently disagree, is comforting and restorative to me. Amazes me still how I can find a connection with people who I would have never thought possible if not for the internet. That is my stuff for now.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


Life is hard. That was the first line of M Scott Pecks challenging book, *The Road Less Traveled*. Wise statement indeed. All of us have various isues in our lives, personal, social,financial,spiritual and overall. I always want to keep that in the foefront of my mind in looking at my own situation. God definitely is allowing circumstances to occu r which stretch me and force me to come to terms with things I need to. We all have blind spots or hidden things which escape our consciousness somehow. God knew what He was doing in creating the Church, and calling on us to carry out the *one anothers*. We all help each other to make it through as we journey on in life.

I have always had a struggle with taking action in certain ways as far as approaching life. As i said before i adopted a style of learned helplessness from a very young age, as I lacked an emotional strength to handle life and its trials in an assertive way. For me, letting others help me and even do things for me i felt unable or incapable of was just a way to be. Its not easy to write this and accept but its an honest look at a pattern I had as life went on. It was an effective pattern in many ways while growing up,but has been totally ineffective as an adult. I see a continuum of the ways of dealing with lifes challenges, I fall up and down the scale. Right now health and financial concerns are very heavy. I want to be able to find my way through, not burdening any of my family,friends or church due to my situation. I wish i had learned early on to be a good money manager, I didn't.

i write this post because its truly what is on my heart and what i am facing. I hope someone who may face similar or worse circumstances happens by and reads and gains encouragement from doing so. i mean for the tone of this to be hopeful and positive as God shines a light to help me learn and grow from the bad and troubling events and to help me see more clearly my own postive abilities and prospects. I am and want to continually be grateful for all the incredible people who have and will bless my life just because of who they are!!!!!