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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, August 30, 2010


The only thing constant is change. Paradoxical much?? It is crazy that 2 things that are opposite of each other can both be true. We stand still and move all at once, or do we???Change is hard isn't it??

Sometimes I have small *aha* moments about changes in perspective or thought. I have a vision or inkling of having a different way of viewing and living out something but before i know it, poof it vanishes, leaving me wanting to have it back and stay put. There are things i have in my psyche and personality style that I wish I could just change instantly, and i wonder why it is so difficult. Why do I have the fear and anxiety I have??? Better yet, why do I interpret/react to certain things with fear???

I know seeing certain things that made others afraid influenced me to be also. I don't know why at times feelings just appear inside that are fear-related. I seek to tell myself that God is always present and with me so i need not fear but my thoughts and feelings take on a life of their own. Sometimes they stay dormant but again i can't say why.

As I have sought to win this lifelong battle with fear the struggle takes on different dimensions. I telly myself i am free to be fearless, but then a thought pops in my head saying- *o sure you trying this again?? you know you cant be fearless just let something happen to your heart or brain you will be quaking in fear in no time* And then I pound myself for having that thought happen. Why do these thoughts pop up and vanish over and over??? I think that same thought process has repeated itself since I was a lil more than 8 years old. How insane is that??? The other crushing blow is the thought process that tries to tell me i have not grown much in all these years, am still stuck in much the same way i was then. Of course I have grown and changed in so many ways but when this process grips my mind it blots everything else out.

Ok, so, sound familiar to you dear reader??/ Any of it??? Do share.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Assorted Thoughts

I had a lil free time at work & wrote some random thoughts that came to mind. Do feelings override thought alot?? What causes us to be irrational or nonrational?? What causes us to be superstitious???

Fear. It comes from awareness of being hurt,punished or made to feel bad in some way. A sense of these things going to happen. What influences our minds to interpret in such a way that fear is the result?? In the OT, we see God wiped out sodom and gomorrah, lots wife was turned into a pillar of salt. Israelites were told to kill entire groups of other ethnic groups. In the NT we see ananias and sapphira killed immediately, pronouncement of judgment to come.Isn't all this enough to make anyone wonder what awaits them upon death??? Will they be judged for the life they lived??? This is where the ultimacy of Jesus work comes into play. Did Jesus atone for ALL sins of everyone for all time??? Did He atone just for those who come to Him in faith???

Adam was said by Paul to have brought sin into the world and death as a result. Because of Adam all die. Jesus as a second Adam is said to bring life and forgiveness of sins to all men. None of us chose to be impugned with sin yet we inherit a sin capacity. Doesn't it make sense Jesus then gives us a life capacity set free from sin???

One other thing. God did not answer all Jesus prayers. He did not let Jesus bypass the cross. He did not make all His followers become one as He and the Father are One. He has not made His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Has He??? Things to ponder.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

More Randomness

How do you relate to an invisible God??? Philip Yancey has a good book dealing with this very question. I really like his humility he displays as such a deep writer, sharing his continuous ups and downs in his own faith journey. We all have different faith personalities, same as we have different basic personalities. Some have umlimited faith, some barely any faith, and so many different places between the 2 poles.

Universalism has been being discussed around the blogosphere. What i see makes me wonder about just who the Bible was written to??? Surely it was written TO those living in that era, and written FOR all of us. Just how much is to be applied to us today though??? I recall Hal Lindseys *late great planet earth* book back in the 70's. Rapture still hasn't happened. just about every generation since Jesus ascended to the Father has had their own doomsday prediction. Amazing how many thought they calculated the day of Jesus return, even though Jesus Himself said only the Father knew when it would happen. Of course, if you believe Jesus came back in 70 AD as He said He would in the Gospels, then you don't worry about being *left behind*

Will everyone be reconciled to God,regardless of their belief or unbelief??? Did Jesus reconcile everyone back to God by His life,death and resurrection??? Does God love all and save all regardless of their choice to ignore or refuse Him?? Just who are the wicked??? Does calling someone a bad name in a harsh way, like fool, make someone go to hell, as Jesus spoke about in Matthew 5??

So many interpretations out there about our eternal destiny. Calvinists, if they hold fast to their presuppositions, end up having the vast majority of everyone who has lived end up in hell. Does that sound like Gods desire??? Even worse is that God ultimately sent them there because He predetermined all who would accept or reject Him. They declare God is God, He can do as He chooses with His creation and He owes us no explanation. True, but does that jibe with the God who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace??? Jesus, who told us to love our enemies, to forgive seventy-times-seven????

Random thoughts & questions. We will always be seeking for the answers.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thoughts On Thinking

I took a class in seminary on Theories of History, which was quite interesting. The one class i really wanted to take that wasn't offered though was Theories of Knowledge. Thinking has been a source of immense analysis and study as long as I can imagine. Entire libraries could exist on just this subject alone. Why do we think what we think?? What makes each one us have certain things we think as opposed to others?? Neurobiology,neuropsychology are growing fields of scientific study right now. Nature or nurture??? Which has more effect on our thinking???

The whole notion of fear vs love is rattling around my head, especially after having just read Furious Pursuit which explicitly states Gods love far outweighs fear and the ways evangelism or theology have been done in a fear-based manner. Did Jesus use fear as a motivator??? Did Jesus use fear as a teaching tool??? As I contemplate Scripture and Jesus words and relating to all He came in contact with i really don't see that He did. The whole concept of hell comes into play here though. Nothing has a basis for more fear, to my mind anyway, than the idea of eternal torment in hell. Many sermons and lessons have been preached and taught based on it and with its reality as a basis for turning to God. Jesus spoke of hell when confronting the Pharisees and Jewish leaders. I think His meaning differed than what we have come to traditionally understand hell to mean though. Gehenna is the actual word which is translated as hell. For Jesus hearers, it would represent pain,suffering,judgment. It would have struck a deep nerve to the Jewish leaders, especially as they knew Gods judgments in the OT.

What fuels our thinking of hell??? What causes some to think hell has to be a place of eternal conscious torment and others to think of it as a symbol of Gods judgment for unbelief and disobedience??? Hope to hear all thoughts :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More Wonderings

Ever feel like you have a stealth case of MPD??? Like somehow other personalities entered in somehow without you knowing??? I wonder if Adam & Eve actually were the originators of this??? They had idyllic existence with God, each other and animals, then messed it all up due to desire for something else. Don't all of us have hidden desires within us, maybe even ones we don't even acknowledge consciously??

I am reading Tim King and Frank Martins book *Furious Pursuit* right now. main point is that God furiously pursues us and always has us with Him, even when it appears to our senses we must doggedly run after Him and seem to endlessly come up empty. This is a very timely book for me right now. Life definitely zigzagged for me over the years, especially when I had aspired to become either a psychologist or minister, and have basically been a mailclerk since leaving Seminary. It has been a sorespot for me always, and especially because i basically self-sabotaged my own future by dumb actions on my part.

I have shared about my personal failures on here and i always wonder before i do so what reactions will it elicit??? They range across the spectrum but for the most part have been gracious,understanding and encouraging. The book is very challenging in that it talks about fear vs love and love really should always conquer fear, but in actual emotional experience it doesn't seem to for so many. The book is fraught with examples of how people as a whole live daily with fearfulness, especially in how they see God, because the threat of hell looms inside them, as well as the guilt and shame over the awareness their behavior and actions have been filled with less than holiness. So many of us fight to truly accept the truth God loves us no matter what and He always will. How can this be true if a failure on our part to believe and or obey could send us into hell apart from Him forever?? To clarify, i do not hold to this view of hell myself, but it has been taught ever since the Reformation and maybe even a bit before as a doctrinal truth of Scripture. That carries a lot of weight.

I want to write more just wondering aloud. Hoping to recieve comments doing the same. How do i take in the genuine truth God loves me regardless of my inclination to push Him away, to doubt He does as He says He does, to feel Him in an absent way in part due to losing my human father to early death??? How do I integrate my deep emotional hunger and need for Him to touch me in that way and the adult,mature way that just accepts he of course is always there and always will be, no matter what i may do???

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Various Thoughts

Freedom can be scary. Look at the Israelites, once Moses went up to Mt Sinai they began grumbling and worrying about being in the wilderness, despite the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. Some people just do not know how to handle total freedom. This is a reason why parents make boundaries for their kids. On their own, kids just cannot function without doing some risky,dangerous things. Boundaries afford them a safetynet.

Fear. Is there a way to sedate it like novocaine does to nerves??? I could handle fear so much better if I could feel like i was high on demerol lol I know i have no need to let fear be rooted in me with God and Jesus giving the answer to it. Try telling my mind and body though. An example- I went on Colossues, at the time one of the biggest rollercoasters in existence. As we went slowly up the first huge hill, my friend sitting next to me kept saying such comforting things like, *oh no were gonna die ahhhhhh we are gonna crash!!!* Great pal eh??? His purpose was to try and make me laugh honestly though. Once we went down that first drop, i LOVED the ride!!! I could not believe I had been so afraid of rollercoasters!!!! Once the ride was over, i wanted to go again!!! Funny thing though, about 5 years later, same amusement park, same rollercoaster- I was too afraid to ride it!!! WHY??? There was this thought/feeling in me saying no no you might die on the ride no one would be there to help!!!

This is the crux of how i have battled fear. Of course realistically speaking, I could die at anytime,anywhere,any second. I could as i type this. Somehow I manage to deal with that for the most part. But at certain times the thought/feeling overwhelms me and i become paralyzed in a sense, just wanting to get over it already. Trying to talk this over with anyone is hard because I feel like a fool that i have this problem, i feel like they don't want to talk about death, especially in a way that makes it seem imminent in some fashion. I get fixated on the physical feelings of death and the pain it conjures in my imagination and always has. I manage to have lived life even with this thought process as a constant thing. I definitely can sympathize with those who have agoraphobia though.

God and Jesus are greater than death, than pain,than suffering,than any of my fears and worries and crazy imagination.The differing theological notions of God come into play with my fear struggle too. God is Love, why has He not relieved me of this fear battle??? Is there some action I need to perform so He will do so?? Is His love always present with me regardless of my thinking/feeling capacity to comprehend that He is taking care of me??? I need the ability to tell my mind where to get off at times. Its like, oh see my mind is saying this so it has to be so. Of course with certain things i do manage to do that. But my whole fear,feeling rejected,weak,unworthy labrynth, i get caught up in it all. There are times when out of nowhere i will have the words, f*** Jesus run through my mind. AHHHHHHHHHH I dont want those words in my mind!!!! Sometimes it makes them just stay longer. I guess this can just happen at times. When it does though, it hits at my insecurities about how God feels about me and where I am in relation to Him. I have known the truths in Scripture so well for so long. Why have i found it so hard to let them inhabit my emotional core and let me live in place of contentment,peace and joy???

Hope you don't have a headache after reading all this if you have s done so. Welcome to the inside of my crazy mind. Thank you for any and all comments!!

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Ever feel overwhelmed after reading through all the blogs you have come to discover??? On one side I have read heart-wrenching stories of people who were devoted christians and for varying reasons have deconverted and now are atheist or agnostic. On the other side i have read stories of awe-inspiring faith, hope,courage, love and grace displaying the utter vastness of God. How can such a chasm exist??

I struggle to share myself fully as best i can. I think I tend to lean way heavily on sharing my weak side on this blog, for some reason i think i actually find it easier than to share my strengths. i have chronicled my ongoing battle with fear, it is odd how in some ways i cannot at times place a finger on just where fear and i stand right now. When my dad died when i was 8, I think i felt i was engulfed in quicksand, and i have been living trying to keep from sinking down ever since. My mind long ago was able to grasp the truth of God in Christ reconciling all to Himself. My heart/emotional core, not quite so easily. Suffering and death happen constantly every second of every day, but it affects us more when it happens in an emotionally destructive way. Why did my dad have to get skin cancer??? Why did it ravage him most of his short 30 year life?? Why have I lived to be 49 and been pretty much suffering free save these last few years with heart trouble??

I am just lamenting out loud here,trying to lay out what gets jumbled in my head. Why have so many turned away from God, from Jesus and decided They don't exist??? What is it that lets one person find a deeper reason for faith and another a reason to abandon faith altogether?? I struggle with deep wonderings alot over my fears and doubts. Why do I find insecurity so easy to feel??? Why do I find fear such a huge mammoth reality rather than finding Gods protection to be even larger??? What is the balance between my humanity and the sufficiency His grace provides??

Sufficient. My grace is sufficient for thee, God told the Apostle Paul. Just how does God mean that??? Does He mean no matter how emotionally troubled we are,how much we recieve silence when we call out to Him, how much events of life never become easier, that His grace is sufficient??? How do we measure and get a handle on His sufficiency???

Are you asking these questions?? Are you feeling these things???? Stop in and share anytime.