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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

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Random

Why is there such tension and acrimony over a literal 6 day creation or not??? I read Genesis and to me the beginning of the book reads like a story, a tale if you will. So much of the Bible is written in metaphor,allegory,hyperbole and poetry. None of these are literal. I don't get why those who hold to a young earth/literal 6 days creation believe our faith will dissolve if we believe a non-literal creation account????

Does God love all of us??? Did He make everyone of us with a full intent of knowing exactly who we would be and loving us good bad and the ugly?? i ask this because, again, limited atonement declares no God does not love everyone, Christ will not save everyone. There are just so many who are totally depraved and God just shuts the door on them. My teeth clench everytime i say that. I see calvinism in a chess match theologically. Of course the game is rigged before the first piece is moved because everything is predetermined. However checkmate occurs, no matter how many moves it takes, when its supposed to and meant to. Love is freedom is it not??? Where is the freedom in this??? Does grace not trump obedience??? I wish someone with a huge readership would talk about this, get a hot discussion going. Christ said *it is finished* Did that mean He obeyed perfectly in all our places knowing full well we never could although we delude ourselves into thinking at times we reach that place??/

i hope to hear from some. Anyone. lol

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I wonder how God manages to be God?? Just how does He handle everything He does and be Love as He is??I get overwhelmed by all I see happening in the world i just want to curl up in a ball and hide till it passes by, but it never all passes by. What makes some of us so much more fragile than others?? Is it good to be open and honest about your weaknesses and failings in a public way, especially knowing employers, family members and friends my discover what you have shared and become aware of things about you that you wish they hadn't???

I drive myself crazy within my head so much. Interacting with other people is so much easier than within my own self pretty much. I have the awareness that all of us are in the same journey together, pretty much having the same basic needs and desires to love and be loved, be a friend and be friended, and all the other emotional/relational stuff. I dont know why fear has kept such a grip on me deep within, despite years of sharing with others, in therapy,in church, with friends. I feel like that man in the Bible who said I believe, help my unbelief!!! On my bad days i feel like one who wished they had never been born and so useless to God or anyone else. Most of the time i rebut this thinking and realize He and others can be helped by or make good use of my weaknesses in a positive way.

I guess i dont know how to let the freedom and joy of Jesus victory over death just shut out the fear of it, mpst likely because i struggle with fearing i somehow in someway wont experience the victory over it when it happens with Him, and having that fear compounds my already existent fear because I should be steadfast, overcoming in the faith and grace He has given. There is a deep conflict i have inside that I bury because even admitting to it is so painful. Another fear is that in sharing this always on here i cause to happen the very thing i dont want. Driving people away because they dont want to hear an endless broken record anymore.

Do people who publicly always share positive and joyful,hopefilled writing have dark times where God seems or feels so far away??? Do they have times where they feel they just lack for some reason or another?? I know the answer in a way but i guess i wonder if those struggles persist on and off quietly within or do they find God takes them away???

i will just be random for awhile i think

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In Pursuit

Pursuing is the name of this blog. Seeking to pursue Jesus and His call to follow Him as He followed His Father. Many obstacles and diversions happen in this journey. An amazing reality is God is always in hot pursuit of us. Knowing and understanding God is an undertaking that is truly beyond scope. How can we,with finite minds that are prone to self-seeking, possibly hope to even come close to understanding and knowing God in a profound way??? Yet He calls us to that very thing.

I feel stuck on just what to write about lately. Thought sharing my own story and the trials and tribulations would be good, but i don't know. I want to seek to wrap myself and my thoughts all around His love and grace.It just hits me lately how much diversity there is in the way people think about God and Jesus. Alot of dogmatic statements are made very often, making it seem like a very small circle where we all should be finding our way too, if we truly were seeking God. There are verses which point to such a narrow focus. However, there are so many verses that point to an unbelievable acceptance which lacks so often in our dealings with each other, Gods love and grace appear to be insurmountable and will reach even the most hardened of hearts. Sometimes everything becomes a blur and a whirlwind,trying to get my bearings. As always, like to hear any and all comments.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Control- Who Has It

I love the incredible creativity that permeates the blogland!!! So many minds discussing so many things in original ways. How can this be unless One who is able to create such beings with such abilities exists???

Calvinism has always given me a sense of dread, because it, to my mind, turns God into our enemy. I am sure that this raises the ire of those who hold to it, that is not my intention. I have always seen Gods sovereingty upheld as His highest attribute by calvinism. He can do however He chooses with us because He made us and He is allpowerful and He owes us no explanation for anything He does. This is true on the face of it, but Gods own actions and self-description goes against this. God became one of us in the Person of Jesus Christ, He did not seek or display power, but servanthood,grace and love. Yes, He meted out judgment and justice and lived holiness and righteousness, but His attitude in doing so, was never one of *i am God so i will do as i choose i dont care what you think* He came to save sinners, totally depraved sinners,and the elect fall into that category as well.

I battle fear, and i think the bottom line of it has always been control. A desire for it, a way to have control over the uncontrollable. I seek for it even though it is out of my grasp. I think all of us have this penchant in us, is this not what superstitions are??? We believe the lucky rabbits foot will give us an edge on something?? Speaking in a general way here. I believe that God has ultimate control and as God He better. The trouble is aspects of that control involve things I would rather not experience. Pain,loss,and ultimately death. The scariest times are when I have felt an impending sense of death and that i could do nothing to stop it if it chose to happen. Scarier because I have the added fear of somehow alienating God because I have let myself seek to avoid these things He called me to, as He calls us all to. Hopefully, He breaks through my distortions and faulty thinking and washes me in His love and grace in a felt way.

Holy Almighty God- You and You alone possess ultimate control. Help me to continually trust and obey You no matter how difficult i find it to be and how dark my own limitations may make it look on and off everyday. Thank You for being above all I can ever ask or think and that Yours is the power and the glory forever and ever Amen

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Contentment Always

Paul talks about this, I believe at the end of Philippians. He says he learned the secret of being content in any and every circumstance. Yea riiiggggggggghttttttttttttt!!!! Just how he learned this has always intrigued me. Did he learn it by suffering, the thorn in the flesh God would not remove, no matter how badly Paul asked for Him too??

I wish i could learn and apply the secret. I wish i could get outside my head and do it. I watched some show where jillian michaels worked with a family to get them in better health. The family had a father who died. I found myself emotional just hearing that and watching them. There is a huge hole i have which is because I suppressed emotions and pain and struggles that happen in life because i wanted to be strong, i wanted to appear and to be able to *handle life* and fill the role of the *man of the house*, even though this began when i was 8. My mind has always been gazillion miles ahead of my emotions and will in dealing with life. It has always been hard, especially in my view of myself as a christian, to acknowledge the weaknesses I have had and the hole that has been there from lacking a father or a male role model in any close sense. How do you go back to repair things that were supposed to be taken care of from 8 to 16??? I think maybe my inclination to pursue psychology and spirituality because of these things.

i want to flip that switch like i see in so many bloggers. Where they are able to find the contentment in the midst of stuggles, no matter what they may be. I want to fend off the perfectionism that tells me I cannot ever achieve what i want and need too, and the defeatism that says i have been unable and incapable of reaching a place of contentment, a place of being where God wants me to be. What is that place??? Why do I see others as seeming to know what it is, but i know they have their own struggles and ups and downs too.

A help i have is that my deepest desire is to seek to follow the spark, no matter how small, that Jesus placed inside me. No matter how bad things get and how hopeless or useless or discarded i feel, God and Jesus love me and call me to risk loving too. Hope to hear from anyone relating to all this, however it might be.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Snowball Effect

A scary thing to decide to post on certain things, especially personal failings and sins which can cause a lot of mixed reaction from people when discussed publicly. Jason Boyett at o me of litle faith has a good post on grace vs judgment and having Ted Haggard actually comment on his blog after discussing him in a post. I mentioned Ted in a previous post as well, would be interesting if he found me too. Balance. Especially when dealing with our own or others sin, is a tricky thing.

I said snowball effect because my struggles began fairly small. Like I siad before, sexual struggles of various kinds are huge within the church. Both men and women struggle and for a wide variety of reasons. Being able to openly discuss or deal with it is still in its infancy. I didn't want to feel afraid of how to handle romantic relating to women!!! What guy would??? I have been smart enough to know certain things do not get exposed outwardly without risks. Celibacy is by default universally viewed as the choice for single believers. Culture,inner desire, hardwiring of our sex drive and media saturation fight this tooth and nail. I never had the thought and desire in my struggle of- * o yes i just want my sexual pleasure no matter what you say God* It is way more involved in rationalizations and conflicting desires for that.

Questions and wonderings within ones self and also from various other sources, be they family,friends,coworkers,strangers and whatnot, all affect you and your thoughts,emotions and will. A catch-22 also is there as a minister. Ministers are just as human and fallible as anyone else, but a certain expectation goes with the territory, just how it is. So, on the inside once you realize you are violating a behavioral code and also a spiritual one, it becomes very sticky on just what to do. The desire to be open and accountable conflicts with the fear of judgment,digrace and rejection by family,friends,church and more. It is easier to accept at the mental level than the personal.

I hope to talk about this more as time goes on in various ways, and hope to get comments from many people with all kinds of perspectives. Please feel free to email me if you would like to speak more privately on anything. I really feel exposed sharing some things on here as i have. Hope to hear feedback from some on any thoughts you have. Peace.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Hardest Thing

Restoration. That is how i opened my last post and ended it as well. How does God restore, does He always restore, what is involved as far as people and being restored?? Not easy to talk so openly about my struggles but in doing so hope it is used for a restorative and redemptive purpose.

I must go back to way before this incident occurred. I have talked before about influences upon development, nature and nurture. My paternal grandmother was extremely overprotective and it made a huge impact upon my inner sense of self and confidence, in ways i didn't realize till much older. I was tall,awkward and shy as kid. I had various challenges which i handled well enough. I never learned how to deal with girls. I knew in the basic way and the way of being ablr to talk and flirt and be social around them and with them, but in my deepest self, I had nothing but fear and trepidation of what to do with them. This was exacerbated when at 13 i developed chronic acne and newly moved from new jersey to california. I felt totally self-conscious and was on the recieving end of endless teasing and mocking by many of the other kids. Tv, wrestling and roller derby became my refuge.

I lost the acne by sophomore year, and had some girls even show interest in me, but i had the deep fear that kept me from being able to make anything happen. I was always a very avid reader, and I discovered how to find the sexual scenes in books and would read them anytime my mom went to the mall to shop. i would go read while she shopped. Reading those scenes caused the physilogical reaction inside me, one which i knew rationally but was immature about emotionally. I saw alot of movies as well, and always had the longing to experience romantic expression someday with a girl, but my feeling of rejection and unattractiveness was way too strong within.

I know the statistics which show both men and women battle with aspects of sexuality in huge numbers. Porn,cyber sex,phone sex, massage,prostitution and affairs. These struggles do not just happen in a vaccuum, there are reasons behind this being such an incredible epidemic. I wanted to share this as way to get at the root levels of my own situation. I once posted on this struggle and recieved many encouraging and heartwrenching comments and emails from people who were touched by my sharing and were motivated to share themselves. i hope this will always be the case. Ted Haggard hopefully will be used by God to teach us even more deeply the wonders of forgiveness,grace and love leading to life transformation. I share so God will continue this in me. The hardest thing is talking openly about my fear and struggle with women and how to develop a real romantic relationship. I will post more on this and hope possibly both men and women will comment or email me with any insight or experiences of their own which relate. Cant thank you all enough who comment and just read and send positive vibes while doing so.

Friday, June 04, 2010


I find restored to be a multifaceted word. It has so many connotations. Restored to a former state of being. Restored after having been broken or damaged in some way. Furniture,dolls,appliances,cars. These things and so much more can be restored in such a way they appear as brand new. You would never know by looking at them they were once in need of repair. How true is this of people??

I saw Ted Haggard and his wife very briefly on the Joy Behar show. I then went to his website to read about what has been going on with him recently. It was very interesting to read he and his wifes story and how they underwent a journey that had many extra trials in addition to his repentance and seeking counseling and accountability. A lot of assumptions were made about ted and a whirlwind of controversy especially since he was a high profile church leader facing a scandal dealing with sex & drugs.

I hope and pray Ted his wife and family are enjoying a restoration of true fellowship with Jesus and people. His story always hit home personally for me in a way because I had a personal sin involving sex which led me on a journey, one which i still am on . I have talked about this before on here but just felt like revisiting in thinking about restoration. I was in my second year at seminary, seeking a Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling. I really liked my classes and my major professor, although having lived in southern california since 12 years old right near the beach, being in the middle of Illinois with NO mountains or beach of any kind, it was a lil rough lol

Youth Ministry was what i got my BA in at Bible College, though in my senior year I realized that it was not what i was truly cut out to be. Psychology had been my initial choice at je college and i had done really well, even being encouraged by actual psychologists who I took classes from. Math was always my nemesis though and i had such a fear of statistics and math I felt i would not be able to achieve my psych degree and ended up turning to ministry. I decided to see if i could get a youth ministry position while in seminary, as a way to prepare for a future assistant pastor position. I was hired by a small church in Illinois, some really wonderful people in that little congregation. Not much had been happening in the youth group and they hoped i could bring some life to it. I did find that the kids responded to me and a couple of them who never showed up to anything, actually came to a movie i showed!!!

The Sr Pastor wanted me to go to the local jr high and high school and talk to some of the kids there at their lunch and break times. Jr high and the beginning of high school were disastrous years for me and my inner fears of rejection and unattractiveness stirred in me at the thought of this. I felt like all the kids would laugh and ignore me wondering who i thought i was to to come see them at their school. This was not rational thinking i know. I stayed at a house owned by the church on friday through sunday, and my insides just churned more and more thinking about what would happen at doing this. I recalled a number i had seen in my paper on california that was a phone sex number. I rationalized my fears and uneasiness and decided to call the number as a release. Little did o realize how many times i called the number as one call lasted only 2 minutes. It became addicting to get more after being cut off. The phone bill of course showed up at the church, they discovered the nature of the number and i was asked to resign.

Restored. I felt like a total disgrace to God and to the church I had been hired at. Not to mention my seminary, all my professors and friends, my home church and all the people there, my family. This post is longer than i thought so i will be making some more soon. I still ask God this question of being restored. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Don't you like that feature when playing a video game, watching a video or am mp3, listening to music??? I wish life had a pause button. Pause long enough to correct mistakes and errors and somehow delete them from memory, or at least emotionally anyway. I wonder what it would be like to be like Spock from Star Trek??? He was free from emotion basically, but he seemed very affable and friendly most of the time. He was logical but not arrogant. It is interesting to wonder if he experienced a kind of joy simply from his mind???

I love to read peoples blogs. I often wonder though, what is lying underneath the person??? I choose to share my inner self on here as my primary topic because I think and feel it is a good outlet and lets me put into words things that otherwise just tumble around my brain. Also, to get feedback from anyone who reads and hopefully provide something to someone who may never comment but still were encouraged in some way by reading my words. I do wonder if sometimes it would be good to focus more outwardly as i see so many do. Focus on subjects which affect all of us and which call us to response and reaction. I wonder if the people writing these blogs experience the same angst as i so often do??? Do they struggle at times with whether or not they *get* what life is to be??? Do they have fears,worries,tensions,doubts and other struggles that make them feel like they are in quicksand at times???

Life really is a paradox of simple and complex. Can we pause and live in simple for an extended time??? Hope to hear any thoughts anyone has on how we all are.