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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, April 28, 2010


I love and hate that word. I love it when I can imagine and envision it happening when dealing with tough tasks and issues in life. I hate it when I am in a mood or place where i just don't want to persevere. I am so glad Jesus is who He is and did what He did. I cannot begin to fathom a world without Jesus in the sense that He was the only One of His kind, being God/man. Only He overcame death, sin and all the failings of humans. He did it and did it with a fervency and gusto that could only exist within such a One as He.

Round and round i go with fear and the existential results of it. The heat has been turned up even more it feels like, most likely due to seeking Him in prayer so much, as well as having others praying for me and trying to come at it from all angles. I have not always had such a tug of war with fear. I think my inactivity in many ways has caused it to get rougher over last several years. I have had many times where I did things in spite of or even with the fear. Of course I felt like a pretzel inside but hey I still did it!!! I wish I could stop having that thought/feeling of death about to happen any second that lingers inside. Thinking about it will not prevent it. If it were to happen, I will soon experience what God has in store for me. Why have i had this disparity between what i believe and know about the Bible and about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and this sense of foreboding because i have not performed as my mind and conscience tells me i should have??? Don't we all fall short, far short of what we estimate we should be??? Do many of you have this battle between what you believe to be true and what you feel is true in a nonrational way?? I just want to find a way to live with fear in a new way and not let my own self-doubt block me from doing so. Thoughts???

Monday, April 26, 2010

More Thoughts On All of It

All of our minds work very intricately don't they?? Even when we sleep our minds work via dreams or nightmares. Sometimes it is a very strong wish to want my mind to just turn off for a few hours. So many different thoughts swirling and twirling within my mind. Why do I have such a tough time with fear??? Why have i not been able to shake it?? Why do I have the inner feelings of unworthiness and inability?? Death is called our greatest enemy and it is the one thing we do not have a frame of reference for since no one has come back from it to share what its like other than Jesus. Jesus resurrection overcame death, there is no resurrection without death happening first. Problem- is there something required in order to assure one is under the cover of Jesus??? This is the million dollar question.

The predestination/freewill debate will probably never cease, like the song that never ends, for it goes on and on my friends. Some argue Jesus came to save only the elect. Others argue Jesus came to save all. Hmmm, I believe the one passage in Romans says, *while we were yet sinners Christ died for us* John 3:16 says God loved the world, meaning His creation inhabiting it. God is love, God says in His Word that mercy triumphs over justice. Grace flies in the face of justice because it gives what we dont deserve and cannot earn. Justice gives us what we deserve. I would say that puts a limited atonement idea to the side, but that is just my view.

We are called to confess our sins, to repent and to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. I have not yet met anyone who has lived sinlessly after conversion. Not one. Those who say Jesus only will save the elect will make sure that they have the kind of faith and life that shows plain and clear they belong to God and are truly His. Doesn't 1 John say if we claim to have no sin we lie and the truth is not in us??? Just what life level are these *elect* to have met??? How do they know they have met it since they will have committed some sin here and there???

I just lay all this out there for my own laying my thoughts in the open and getting feedback from anyone who reads them.Like a sweet friend wrote in my comments on my last post. We have a bad wolf and a good wolf inside us, the one who wins is the one who gets fed more. I struggle to feed the good wolf more. Sometimes i feel like i cant help from feeding the bad wolf.God always seems to find a way to gently whisper He is always there,even when i fail and give in to the bad wolf time and time again. I hope that is His whisper.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Just a way here to express some roots underlying the fear struggle. I am always so glad when i see others discussing themselves personally on their blog. it is hard at times to decide what is good to share and may minister to someone and what is just a bit tmi. The attitude and motive behind the sharing hopefully comes through though, especially to any who are moved by something that hits home for them, I guess the Holy Spirit is quite capable of doing that eh??

As I think about my history of having fear, I came up with these 2 words to help articulate it. Because so many places the Bible says not to be afraid, and i still am afraid, therefore I fail God and feel unworthy. Because in the parable of the talents the one who buried his talent is chastised and anything he had was taken away from him, and because I think in some ways i have buried my talents due to fear or lack of confidence, therefore i too will have whatever i do have taken away. Because Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches and we must abide in Him to bear fruit, and I so often fail to abide in Him, therefore I do not bear fruit and am unworthy. Because it says let him who doubts expect to recieve nothing from the Lord, and i have had those times of doubt and such, i am to expect nothing from the Lord.

There are other examples but i think I spelled out the diagram of what happens in my mind,heart and soul. Again, I lay all this out as a way to express my fear struggle, not to say this is what i am always experiencing 24/7. Because i do believe God is real, Jesus is Lord and Savior and He is in full control i am able to even post on this blog and seek to deal with my struggles. He always provides hope even in the darkest moments. I just want to lay out all my deepest pain so i can share and both give comfort and be comforted by any who I interact with on here. God has been good since my rough night the other night, as He always is. I just do go through a lot of times where I am overwhelmed by the fear,shame and pain inside and when i am so, it is so tough to turn and rejoice in Him, although often i still try.

So, do you have some because....therefore issues in life?? Does what i share hit home or do you think I miss the boat somehow?? All comments desired, except spam.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


That is how I felt last night after posting and thinking about some other posts i had read. Just bare,exposed,raw. I had one of those times where the wailing just spontaneously happened and wouldnt stop. I sang kumbayah as i wept, very softly and i still desire Him to come by here,even though He actually always is. Fear is a tyrant and it doesnt play fair, whatever that is. Mix in some anger,frustration and helplessness with a lil hopelessness sprinkled in and ugh not a tea party thats for sure.

What really sucks about all this is that I know and believe He is who He says He is and He loves as He says He loves, but i have found ways to doubt,resist,rebel and who knows what else with it, but at the same time want to just cling to Him and rest and follow Him with all i got. Yet,even as i write this, I know the battle for control is deep inside raging. His ways are not easy, they are not painless. He not only lets death happen, He actually bids us to come and die!!! Jesus was not just going through the motions when He prayed if possible for the Father to let Him have a different cup, but He ultimately trusted and accepted the cup the Father gave Him.

As I cried and prayed and sang to Him last night, the fears all bounced around in my mind. Maybe my heart would be affected by all this emotion, maybe i would stop breathing or have a brain hemorrhage. How would I respond to actually be in a process of dying??? How was God seeing me as i sought to still turn to Him and seek His help even as I was shaken by my inner pain and hurt??? Is this a personality thing that some are more prone to experience than others?? I was able to eventually sleep and go to work today and function as normal. I dont want to have this fear/self-centeredness thing always going on but i dont know how to just let it go. Raw. Still feel very raw.

Do you experience this inwardly to some degree?? Do you find it easy to just rejoice in the Lord always and be fear-free???

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Faith,Fear,Trust Etc

One of my fave bloggers Rachel Held Evans had a post today that hits home very deeply with me. Theology and Fear. Rachel is a wonderful word warrior and also blends in revelations of herself as well as bits of humor,wisdom and challenge to all her readers. As I read her post and the subsequent comments she received, it got me thinking again about my mishmash of the issues mentioned in my post title. Fear has seemed to be my biggest obstacle as long as i can remember, but it wasn't always so. It is true my dad's death when I was 8 played a major role in my struggle with fear no doubt. But I think actually the heaviness of fear didn't happen more until after I made my acceptance of Christ, began reading the Bible earnestly and took in that we were not to be afraid. Hmmmm.....

Sometimes I think freewill is not all its cracked up to be. I would like God to give me a magic potion or wand so I could instantly remove fear or doubt or anger or anything i didn't want to experience. I imagine being able to have a condition where I could not resist or rebel against God, where I could not have temptations and not have to make choices. Ah life would be so much easier.... well, sometimes it can seem that way.

I love God. I want to trust Him implicitly. I want to take risks. i want to love as He loves and give grace as He does. I also have times where I dont trust Him. I dont want to take risks. I want to find a place to hide and just let all the chaos that is life go by and leave a calmness in its wake. I want to take the reins and tell God NO dont let people die or suffer. Dont let natural disasters happen. Dont let life hurt!!!! I get so caught inside my own head so much. I developed that tendency as a protective device in childhood. It served a purpose. In adulthood, not so much. Amazing to me sometimes how i made it 48 years on this earth and how I have been able to accomplish some of what i have.

Little by little, day by day, help me to seek to trust You more, live by faith, surrender fear and grow in love and grace. Thank You God.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

His Power In Our Weakness

I laid out my inner self pretty openly in my last post. I guess I feel this is a safe vehicle with which to do so in ways I woudn't for many reasons, just like many of you. Miriam, who is a beautiful soul and has such keen insights to share, made a comment reminding me of the Apostle Paul and his ongoing struggle with himself and being caught in the vortex of this fallen world. Paul said very boldly that he did the evil he didnt want to do, and didnt do the good he wanted to do. His words are written in present tense so He indicates it is an ongoing dilemma. I feel in pretty good company if what i experience daily in myself is the same for the most part as the Apostle Paul!!!! As well as the rest of us.

I struggle with the way to interpret certain verses and match them up with the collective whole of the entire Scripture. Be holy as He is holy. He who loves Me obeys Me and keeps My commandments. Whatever is not from faith is sin. Taken individually, these verses seem to present a very strict standard that I fall far short of and I dont see most people i know meeting it either. Of course, many other verses are there talking of His love,mercy,forgiveness as well as His justice,judgment,discipline and wrath. Wesley taught of the exchanged life where we can actually become virtually sinless this side of eternity. HA!!!! I really wonder what world Wesley lived in to imagine such a thing possible??? The calvinists teach God sent Jesus to save the *elect* whoever they may be. The rest of us well, see ya wouldnt want to be ya we end up in hell. UGH. I said over at rachel held evans blog on the topic of calvinism that it makes the good news bad news and heres why. Calvinist theology makes Jesus more a hitman than a Savior. Sorry for such a strong statement but that is how i see it. God sends Him to ultimately save a chosen few and He does it, nothing can change things for those not *elect* because all has been predetermined.

The *elect* are those who are righteous and holy, made perfect in Christ. Hmmm, what did i just say earlier about the Apostle Paul?? Seems he struggled with sin and failing to meet Gods standard. I wonder if he was one of the *elect*???

To any who are calvinists, i do not mean to offend, i just have real trouble with the underpinnings of the theology and use some drastic examples to make a point. I believe hyperbole was used a wee bit in the Bible. LOL What do you think???

Monday, April 12, 2010

Help God Help

I didn't want to steal the publicans plea in Scripture of help me God a sinner, nor the man who said i believe help my unbelief. My title is including those 2 elements. I hear and read so many conflicting experiences people have with God. Some find Him responding very clearly and directly in thoughts or feelings they have. Some find Him silent nonstop until some event happens where they just know its Him. Some are very emotional, some are very analytical,some let God lead, others take action and believe He is with them as they take action.

I dont know. I wish I could get out of my head so much of the time. I want to just live in the present, trusting and loving and obeying and not being tormented by the *inner judge* who whispers the junk that just eats at my soul. *you cant be like Job and praise Him yea though He slay you, you know your just scared to death of death* *you have let fear,anxiety passiveness just freeze you almost your whole life, and you wont stop now* *you dont know how to live the way Jesus seeks for you to,why are you even trying?* These are samples of the garbage inhabiting my thoughts like a broken record. I guess the amazing thing is how God has let me experience so many things in life despite all this going on inside all the time.

I think what bugs me also is wondering if i am experiencing what alot of other people experience or not??? I know so many people here in blogland open up with brutal openness, but the preaching,teaching I see and hear always seems to keep the bar raised up to a level I aspire to in my mind and heart but that i fall far short of in actual reality of living life. Not to mention the whole conundrum of whether God actually will save all or will a great many be forever banned from Him eternally at some point??? I believe God is love as He Himself says, but He is also Holy, Just,Righteous and judges. He has wrath, which He has shown in His Word.Did Jesus fulfill that wrath forever by His sacrifice for all of us??? Just free-floating thoughts. Hope to hear from anyone who chooses to comment.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Fair or Grace?

Sometimes reading all around the blogosphere makes my head spin lol Sure reminds me what a huge world we exist in and so many points of view, even within the subgroups of those who allie themselves together. The title of my post is from the neurons and protons zooming within my myelin sheath. Do fairness and grace go together or are they inconsolable opposites???

Jesus surely wasn't fair was He?? Guess it depends how you look at Him. He healed huge multitudes who sought after Him once His miracles became known. He didn't heal everyone. He gave special treatment to a few. He spoke parables of God the Fathers nature like the vineyard workers. No fairness there, but definite grace. Why is it we want things to be fair so often then??? Do we have a tough time really internalizing grace in ourselves??

A larger question I have been contemplating is how does God determine the life we all live??? I mean such as what period of history we are born in, what location,what family,what genetic makeup we have??? How does He decide the mental and emotional capabilities of everyone??? How does He allot for our measure of faith and unbelief??? Our ability to overcome our sinful tendencies and our inability to??? Deep stuff here, definitely needing more thought down the road. Any of these questions strike you at all??? Any that you just dont even think about or any that seize you and have you thinking an aha moment type response??? Love to hear all responses.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Love Reign

Good Friday Isn't that a misnomer??? Paradoxical actually because the worst most horrific death ever experienced, that of Jesus, became the most glorious,transcendent overcoming death which actually gave way to Life. Many different things swirling through my mind. Why has it been so hard to just accept the victory of resurrection life over death for me??? Why have i not been able to let perfect love cast out all fear & just live nonstop,unceasingly in the love reign of God thru Jesus?? Why is it so hard for all of us too??? We can be filled with thoughts,desires, longings and whatever adjective you choose for connection to and with God, but so easily life carries us along and distracts us with all the different things with which we have to do. Just venting my own inner frustration. I want to live His love reign, fully and actively. But, I find ways to resist and hide and so many more things that make it hard to do that. I pound my head inside wondering why this is, but isn't this the bane of living as Paul said in Romans??? We fight inside ourselves and Jesus is the only overcomer of it???

Rejoice in resurrection sunday!!! Do you experience this battle though in ways i have described?? Does God and Jesus seem so close and so far both at once??