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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

Friday, January 29, 2010


I always have liked watching hurdlers. Takes a lot of determination and skill to run as fast as you can while jumping over hurdles, a lot of good vision and coordination, both of which i lack lol I dont necessarily have the same affection for my own particular hurdles in my life. I wish i could be like super mario or the guy in donkey kong and magically leap over the hurdles without it taking effort.

I think God is gradually working to chisel away at my fear struggle. Actually I am sure He has been doing that all along, but i have a hard time accepting the ways He chisels. I have had, along with every other living being on this planet, even animals, many painful experiences that hurt. Physically,emotionally,mentally and relationally. A desire to avoid the pain kicks in as it did way back when. Of course, avoiding pain can result in even more pain which screws up the whole plan!!! My hurdles have been my own imagination. I have been able to imagine myself possibly getting almost every disease or malady in existence. Of course i haven't even come close but it hasn't stopped my imagination from saying *what if*??? *What if* is a very paralyzing frame of mind isn't it?? Ultimately the love and grace of God is the answer to what if. When i do my merry-go-round of all my worries about what if i end up at that place, where i can only rely on God being who He is. Somehow i find a way to lose sight of that and go back on my what if rabbit trail again and again.

Feelings are my hurdles too. When i feel the love and grace and peace of God o man is it incredible!!!!! Or when i just have a calm serenity knowing He is there and in charge. When my feelings swerve into anxiety, worry,fear and any sense of discomfort, I get all twisted. My imagination begins telling me my feelings are who i am and so I must be a fearful,worrying wreck who can't rest in faith and trust in God. You can only guess what happens when that series of thoughts happens. Ugh.

Thankfully, God is helping me ever so slowly as i said before to realize He undertands all this and loves me as He always has and always will. I hope i can daily find my way to resting in that truth and letting it draw me closer and closer to Him. How about you, do you have any of these kinds of hurdles??? Do you find your feelings can become enemies instead of allies at times??? Do you find when you are in pain it drives you closer to God and to seek Him out or does it drive you away from Him?? All sharing welcomed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

He who began a good work in you

Awesome comments from my last few posts. Thank you janice and miriam!!! Refocusing here today. Just focusing on His Word and what He says about Himself and what is said about Him, how can I not find rest and peace in Him and His love??? The trouble starts when I lose focus on HIm and His love, and it happens all too easy. Like i said about the Isrealites in the desert, such short memories.Why does my memory get so short??? I think holding onto past sins and failures and losses is part of the reason.

When I was in jr college i was intending to be a psychologist. I got all A's one semester, making the deans list, and all my professors who were psychologists were very encouraging. I am horrible at math. i never took algebra, am scared of fractions and dont even go there with word problems ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! I have a math phobia in a way. I found out that psychologists have to take statistics to achieve their degree. I froze!!! No way could i possibly pass that class!!!! Dreams of being a counselor sunk down deep :( I didn't think about a tutor, i just felt I was pulled out of the game due to this one class. I had also thought about being a minister, as it was a helping profession as well. I chose to pursue ministry by going to Bible College. I think in hindsight i did this due to the fear of failing statistics. Not the best reason to pursue ministry. What ended up happening in Bible College was i discovered youth ministry was not really for me, Why had i not pursued pastoral counseling or Bible and become an associate minister??? My dreams i had before beginning Bible College were evaporated now as well. I ended college and went to live with my mom and seek a job that I had not been working towards at all the past 5 years!!

I think the sense of my own failure and lack of perseverance and determination to pursue my dreams in spite of obstacles and fear of failing has been like a shadow following me ever since. Not to mention i had been in a cocoon of disneyland-like surrounding while at Bible College. The actual hard reality of life is not experienced there. I was now removed from that environment, away from friends, away from professors, forced to make do by finding some kind of job.

I just mention all that not as a pity/poor me thing, sure hope it doesnt sound that way. But to talk out loud about some reasons for my inner battle i have written of at length. God has been there through all of it, His love and grace as they always are. Why such a penchant for self-abuse and feeling like i deserve punishment and being left out for my weaknesses and poor choices?? That is to be explored more here. Gods greatness- my weakness and how He embraces me in it all. Keep sharing if you stop by here please. Love hearing from anyone!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I'm trying to make sense of my inner craziness once again. I have that ongoing inner dialogue dealing with fear, pain,hurt,love,hope and peace. All these themes intermixed. I have not struggled with believing God exists, for me it has been what will God do. I read Scripture, I pray and also listen to prayers of others, I see God at work in people lives and in the events of daily life all over the world, I can relax and rejoice in Him and His goodness.

But, oh those stinkin buts, lol when I think about myself and how i have had fear, neem worried over my health, over rejection, over bad choices, failures and areas of weakness. I struggle to relax and realize Him and His goodness, because I am thinking/feeling He is looking down in anger, disappointment or disinterest. Why do i have this struggle??? I go crazy inside my skin because i reflect back. I made my repentance and commitment way back at 16. I have sought to follow directions of His ways as He lays out in His Word. Yet, at the same time, I pursued selfish desires or desires that were for pleasure or some kind of distraction.

My nightly prayer for almost 4 years now has been- seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, seek the intimacy with Jesus the apostle Paul speaks of in Philippians, and seek the wound and the blessing as jacob did at peniel. In many ways as i look back at life events since those prayers, i can see God answered them. Not necessarily how I wanted him too but that is a good thing indeed. i am not sure just what exactly i am seeking in ways which adds to the struggle. I do know what i am seeking but at the sametime I want it to be on my terms, which is a root of the whole problem to begin with!!!!

I want to be like Jesus and to love as He loves and love God and my neighbor as myself. I also want to do things my own way and have God let me wander off to do so a lil bit and i will be back to Him first soon enough. Why can't i just be dead to sin and alive to God fulltime 24/7 and not have these other desires??? Do you have this struggle or do you find you are able to be dead to sin and your own desires and fully alive to God and His desires??? i am seeking. All responses welcomed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Scary Freedom

Don't you hate it when you read so much good stuff and want to add your own thoughts to the mix, but just can't think of what to say??? I do. many posts used to just fly off my fingers from my mind, not so much lately. I suspect a part of it is the frustration of my own feeling stuck in a place i have been for sometime, although some changes and growth have occurred. Why is it my mind and spirit so fully grasp Gods unlimited Presence and love, yet my heart and will struggle to dive in and swim with Him where He is???

Freedom. That is a privilege we all desire right??? Surely if you or I were a slave we would do anything we could to hasten our freedom....or would we??? God brought the Israelites out from Egypt and slavery. He performed amazing miracles in doing so. After a while though they lost sight of all that and started grumbling and arguing amongst each other and wondering why leaving Egypt was so good anyhow, as opposed to wandering in the desert. They forgot where they had been taken from and where they were being taken too!!!!! They had God present with them and still they whined and were unhappy in their freedom!! How dumb could those Israelites be right??? I mean if i were ever in a place where God was actually present i would never groan and complain and long to go back to slavery right??? Riiigghhttttttttttttt as Bill Cosby would say.

God is always HERE. Just not in the form of a cloud or burning bush or something. Why have I let fear be such a factor and a blockade for so much of the time?? God has brought me through so many things, so many times. Funny how in the midst of those events i had no trouble knowing and believing He was there. Oh yes i had fears and doubts mixed in, but I was mostly able to know and feel His presence and love and grace. When i am just living life, going about it daily, fear seems to preoccupy my mind and I find it hard to even recall I was free of it.

I want to obey and live out the 2 great commandments- love the Lord your God with all your mind,heart,soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Scary freedom is that i fail to so often. I choose to seek comfort and just being able to do as i please or choose, especially if it doesn't cost me anything in effort or time or whatever. Of course I do find ways to love but why do i not just do it all the time naturally and with a whole heart of total gratitude and enthusiasm???

There is a part of my heart that questions God and His plan. He says in His Word those who desire to live godly lives will be persecuted..... i don't want that. He says we learn and grow through suffering..... I don't want that either. He makes all these promises about peace,love,total joy and eternal life that is without any of the pain and hurt we experience here on earth. Why then does He seem absent or inactive??? Why does all this pain,suffering and death happen???/ This is the shadowed area where my inner cries exist and cause fear to linger and hover. Freedom calls me to be patient and wait in faith for Him to lead and guide me as He promised. i wish it were not so scary to do that.

How do you feel??? Is freedom scary??

Saturday, January 16, 2010

hold on to hope

Hard to decide what to write lately. I have great admiration for writers, as they find ways to express themselves even when their mental well is very dry. Still cannot believe pat roberstsons remark about the haiti earthquake being a result of a pact with satan. I think pat took his failed presidential bid a bit too hard or he secretly drinks the demon rum. Anyways.

God has been showing me to pay more attention to the small things day by day. He is truly patient and He works and acts according to His good pleasure. Imagine my chagrin to realize my idea pf patience is sooooooooooooo different from His!!!! Doesn't He know certain things need to happen ASAP!!! Holding onto hope also. My heart is now pumping at 50% in the lower chamber, where it had been as low as 15 % when I had my atrial fibrillation. I hope for my heart to sustain me for a long life, but if it doesn't then i place my hope in He who made me. Learning to see fear from a different angle. I have struggled with it most of my life as i have mentioned quite a few times. Either trying to find a way to control it,remove it,repress it,accept it or do something to and with it. The bottomline of fear is pain and a desire to avoid it. Fear causes me to think i will experience some form of pain i don't want. My dads death was a deep painful experience and so death became an object of fear. Even though God had Jesus die and resurrect, proclaiming victory over death, i could not emotionally totally absorb that and rest in it. Somehow,some way, i could mess things up and end up dying in a state where I had failed God by lack of faith and obedience. I have not only been around the block but around the universe with this whole issue lol

Gods love and grace and His absolute grip on me and all His creation forever is settling in deeper than the fear and abandonment/rejection slowly but surely. When i was younger i was able to push these struggles onto the backburner more easily, especially being in Bible College, Seminary and involved in ministry at a Church surrounded by friends. harder to do as time passes and the things used to lean on all get stripped away. Gods love and grace are real and present regardless of my own distorted perceptions, feelings and thoughts. AMEN to THAT!!! :) I just need to learn to tell my mind where to get off when it goes on lil rabbit holes that try to block or hide my realizing Gods presence as always here. I wish was a much faster learner in that way. Holding onto hope, He helps me to do that.