Friday, September 25, 2009
I'm amazed sometimes at how men speak on behalf of God. I hear conservatives bash the liberal media yet many christians use the same tactics. They use some meaningful scripture and give it's reference then right in the middle of a sentence say... "but God says"... I'm interested who gives a person inalienable rights to just determine what the Word of God is saying. Isn't it multifaceted? Haven't you come to a scripture you've read years ago only to find new understanding in that same scripture now? I recently saw this in a blog by a pastor... "God says if you do this... He'll do that" and the principle of obedience became law in his blog. But what of God's mercy.. does this version of 'unconditional love' apply here? Isn't this statement dripping with Legalism.. I thought God's grace was based in His unconditional love and acceptance of us. What about the Goodness of God bringing us to repentance? Sure we take the first step in Salvation but is everything after that based in OUR ability to initiate all the goodness of God or is His Mercy new every morning? His forgiveness Free? Does He withhold from us because WE haven't done something? God is My Father and he longs to give me good gifts and not withold any good thing from me...... regardless of what I can or can't do...hm. His strength is made perfect in my weakness... my inability to do anything that will move His hand. His hand moves because God is Good and Merciful and kind, not because of anything that I do.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I'm sitting here at Shannon's next to the Lake at Celebration having my morning tea.... not many things in my world are as decadent as this. I find that I tend to allow my mind to wander at times off into the distance of Fantasy. Maybe it's living in the bubble here at the Truman show where everyone drives a fancy car and lives in a fancy house. I find myself allowing myself the luxury of pining for what I can't have (right now) and probably what I really don't want. I find the real problem I face when I start getting sucked into the vacuume of materialism that one outstanding quality rises to the top.... being unsatisfied. My level of life expectation begins to rise exponentially and the end result leaves me anxious and grumpy. As I work my steps I find that the most important and THE most valuable things are those that have stayed with me... relationships... mainly my relationship with Trish at the forefront.. Mark Box, Roger, Keith, Dave and Andy keep my life in both perspective and balance. If I eat right, get excercise, have a roof over my head, sleep well and kiss my wife passionately every day on the mouth... life is good and I need to recognize the amazing strength of this simple truth.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I used to get really anxious about walking into an office, sitting down in that chair that's about 6 inches lower than the one behind the desk and hearing the door close. I don't care if it was to discuss the price of rice in China, it always feels intimidating. Over the past few years, recognizing my co-dependent personality has helped me see the detriment of wanting to please people so much that I was willing to give up my opinions and desires and it seriously had affected my life. I am a new man though... I have strong beliefs and when I take the time to do my homework and understand what's truly at stake, I can articulate with confidence what I beleive. To also understand that I can hold fast to my beliefs even though someone is in direct disagreement with me, even if they are in a respected position or are smarter than I, it still means alot to walk away agreeing to disagree. It means I am able to hold true to what I believe or my ideals even if someone has an opposing opinion. Ideals are really the springboard of your life. It's the way you believe things are supposed to be... hm. Maybe I should have been a politician.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I think back to the Cross the day Jesus died. He did something by example that I think I've come upon something special. He died. Yep... he took and took and took all the punishment He was meant to suffer and then.... his Spirit left his body. He gave so much that He forever set in motion the laws of enduring. C.S. Lewis in his book Screwtape letters described the death of Christian during the time of war in Europe. The bombs fell on his home, the smoke and fire and Pain... the pain got worse and worse and worse.... then he moved beyond the pain. Isn't that a great explanation of what death must be like. To get beyond the pain? But think about it... Christ asks us to DAILY die to self. I think when we surrender as Jesus did on the cross... we get beyond the pain much quicker. I was in significant pain this week... not getting the green or red light.. it just kept staying yellow and with it much emotional anguish. In the end the answer was No. I would rather have had a yes but No is just as good since I am able to bring this chapter of my life to a close....and I'm OK with that. In one brief conversation the relief came. All I had to do was die... and do it as quickly as I could. There... much better now.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I love waking up to sunshine. I've lived in Detroit where it thunders when it snows. I've lived in the Rocky's where everyone thinks it is sooo cold, when in reality, even though we just got three feet of snow when the sun comes out the next day we're riding around in three feet of snow with our windows down and sun roofs open. I've lived in California where I love the sunshine but the water is sooo cold and untouchable.. and the texture of the land... ahhh. But here in Florida it's like we have the best of all worlds. Warm Water, soft ocean breezes, oops, no textured land... very flat. Warm weather year around. some of that weather feels like you are a lobster cooking but God bless mr Air Conditioner. Sure we have Hurricanes... I think. I've lived here for 4 years and haven't had one yet. Theoretically I believe they happen. I live a stones throw away from Disney world and I DO live in a Disney Community. I see Mickey about 3 times a month.... I absolutely love living here. I woke up again to sunshine today.... ahhhh. I think I'll just cut and paste this blog again in February... hehe.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I had a very long email conversation with a very smart and influential person this week. She lives in LA and is a very successful Voice Over Artist. You would recognize her voice in a split second because she does ALOT of movie trailers. I asked her if I had what it took to be in the business and if she thought I had what it took to make it in LA or NY? I had prepared my fragile ego and was ready for a bludeoning.... and got it. Have you ever had someone lay into you and tell you how you aren't what you need to be, you don't have what it takes and then spends time picking apart how all you've done is wrong and not good enough. Well, I'm the only one then. Seems like the toxicity level with this conversation was off the scale. So what. You know I have talent, I am gifted in so many ways if only to be gifted in being Gracious. I can graciously admit that this successful woman .... was just flat wrong. I know me and I know my work ethic and the things I do are meaningful to the adults I do it for and the children that benefit from my creative flow. If you have to be something to be at the top and you spend your life killing yourself or living in this incredible place of fear and stress.... well, what kind of life is that? I remember I was standing on the street in Beverly Hills one day and a guy in a jet black mercedes wearing a $5000 suit drove by with his window down and he was screaming at someone on the other end who I'm sure was peeing their pants. I thought to myself.. what would I do to have that car or wear that suit? What if I knew that it would turn me into that person? I walked away... got in my little toyota and smiled. Sometimes it's great to know your limitations and not be intimidated by what may appear to be a success you think you want. Choice is a beautiful thing.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
So I've grown up in church, yep, I'm a pew brat. In a pentecostal/Charasmatic church. My dad was the Pastor. Wow, it doesn't get more challenging than that. So you learn so many things and go through life just expecting that everyone else put up with this kind of crap their whole life. Like this girl in California who lived in her captivity for so long she finally accepted it. This was her lot in life. Wow. I'm so terrified of not realizing that I'm in a place of captivity and don't even know it. I think most people who have lived in any type of cultic situation will feel that way. Once your out of it... geesh.... how did I ever get there? So living like this for so long and trusting so much and relying on so many things to bring you comfort only to realize that your emotions were begging for something ... anything to make you feel good. I just read Time magazines special issue on the Brain and it was so cool to see that when people were in prayer in the MRI machine... their frontal cortex was just lit up! So if I were to sit down and examine my relationship with God... how much of that relationship is built on how it makes me feel? What are the 'high's' caused by? Can I say that outside of emotion does my relationship with God change dramatically or minimally? It's going to change... I just wonder how much? Do i have ANY relationships that operate in that same way? Most of my closest relationships have so little to do with emotions.... we just flow in friendship.. no matter how we feel. hm? but man, it sure feels good to feel good.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Well it happened again. Someone acting on behalf of God tried to force their opinions on me again. I am so gun shy when they do this. I know that God uses leadership to take us from one place of growth to multiple levels of growth. So I've been in this role for years and now I'm having to put my trust in someone to mentor or lead me through the next plane of growth in my life. Trouble is I don't because I'm still in such a transitional stage of healing, especially in the area of finances. I've planted more seeds than I know how to plant. I've given 25% of my income in given years. I've done all these thing and my car still blew an engine, I still had medical bills I couldn't pay, and it seemed church leadership was being blessed and we were seriously struggling ....I don't believe God wanted us to do that. Now I'm back to the predator's and yes, they can be ministers or what I call 'The Assistant Holy Spirit' because everyone knows church people are too stupid to figure this out for ourselves... here the deal though.. doesn't God depend on us to work out our own salvation? How do you know who the good ones are and who the bad ones are? (just in case you were wondering, there is no such person as the assistant holy spirit) So you go to a church.. you go to 10 churches... you find 'the one.' You go for a while, get to know friends, find a place, enjoy the worship. Membership.... hm? Either way, you get more involved.. so now you are a year or maybe more down the road. Then comes the conflict, can you work through it or is it easier to run. Now you have come full circle. I wish I could say I have answers to these questions but I'm living this myself and you know what? Sometimes I think to myself... remind me why I go to church?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
So much of my life has been spent in Ministry. Not friends, parishoners. So that requires a little more finess. My lifelong friends I can count on one hand... from my childhood or Church or High School. I made good friends in college but few made it past the 20 year mark. So I stepped out of ministry and realized I had been living in a cocoon. I hid in my house and now have no idea how to be a neighbor, although Bob did teach me alot when I lived in Cory Indiana. I could not play favorites and kept everyone I pastored at arms length. I was crazy busy and my business was relationships so it makes sense that when I wasn't involved in Ministry, I escaped to the solitude of Nature. Now here I am after years of fighting off people, fame and freakishly needy people. Trish and I spent the last three years telling ourselves we were going to make friends. Real friends... one's you can be vulnerable with, laugh, cry, laugh, and be brutally honest with. Darren and Tina in Wisconsin, Dave and Dorothy, Sandra and Otis, Kyle and Wendy in Tampa. We spent the entire afternoon cooking last saturday preparing a sumptuous feast for our friends, whom we love. I'm finding healing from the damage of Ministerial stupidity... can you see that, or is it just me?
Saturday, September 5, 2009
So today was a great Saturday. It started with a men's breakfast.. traditionally early morning. Then I went to my usual ritual of washing my truck, which is very relaxing. Then off to Lakeland... the day was relaxing, Trish drove on our way back and let me sleep. Recovering from the men's breakfast no doubt. We had an exceptional time at 'The proposal', very funny. So in the course of this day I have managed to feel exceptionally down. I don't know why, maybe it's just the time of life where you do the same thing over and over and over and it occurs to you what you are doing. For some reason I hate doing the same thing over and over. Why is it that it is in some peoples nature to naturally flow into a routine, it appears to be like a warm bath. I have such a hard time doing that. Sometimes I'll take a way home just because I'm sick of going the usual way. Just because I love change. It's a blessing and a curse. Probably started as my life became more performance oriented as I grew up. I heard a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "Do something that scares you everyday." I like that. I hate that. It requires a level of passion I admire but have no idea how to perform it. Fear Paralyzes me sometimes. I cling to safety when something that scares me is being exacted from me. Oh, I'm such a brave coward.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Whew, yesterday was really Bleah with a capital B! Today I woke up and the sun was shining and I have felt a little lighter in my heart. I have found that there are still things buried inside of me. Yeah... you know how you're just going along happy as can be not knowing that God is sneaking up on you... about to surprise you with the ability to rid yourself of something dark that hides inside of you.. something that hurts you... a belief system that keeps you in a place of shallow, legalistic terror. Well, yesterday that belief system that was holding me in a place of anti-tranquility came to the top. ew... it was not pretty. Kind of like coughing up a hairball. But it's up and out now, I'm aware and have recognized my part in keeping it alive and am doing my part to relinquish the guilt and shame and unforgiveness over to God. Very Cool.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Oops, missed yesterday. Today was a great day until I got a phone call. You know how you commit yourself to a situation and give and give and give and then someone calls your committment to that situation in question. I hate that. My wife and I have been seriously in a healing mode and one thing i have found is that no matter how much you think you can rush healing... it has it's own time table. You can say or think you are past something then bam! It's like trying to drive overseas. You can do it... you can drive on the rights side of the car on the let side of the road and think you are doing great..... until you have to react in an emergency. Then, guess what? Your reaction will be what is embedded in your brain, left side of car right side of road. Same with healing... when you are hard pressed, what's inside that hasn't healed will rage out of you with a vengeance. I guess I am still healing in so many ways. I'm workin on it though.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I can't believe I'm actually following through with day number two of my Blog. I think back on the past 5 years and realize that on good days I have a great perspective on where I have come from and where I am going. On other days... well, it seems like yesterday. Failure seems like yesterday... everyday. I feel as though I have a better handle on shame... that I'm not A failure but that sometimes I fail and it's all part of an elaborate relapse process... THAT, I'm getting more familiar with every day it seems. I do have pain pretty constantly.. mostly loneliness. I think one of the biggie's in the pain department is needing to feel as though something I do matters. I think the best sound in the world is a child's laughter. Maybe because I remember that was the last time my laughter was pure and not tainted by abuse. I think back about that little boy alone in the corner and cry for him sometimes. If I could travel back in time... I would arrive at pivotal times just to say, I love you and it's all going to be ok. There are other times I would go back in time and just knock the crap out of me with a baseball bat. I'd say..."you know what that's for!"
Monday, August 31, 2009
This is the first entry to my blog... well, my first blog ever. I'm hoping to incorporate what I've learned as a result of my life of addiction into everyday life for those who find religion a very toxic place and religious people extremely annoying. I love God with all my heart, I trust the Holy Spirit to help me find my way down this really scary path. I'm still searching for a much greater understanding of Jesus than I've known before. It appears as I've tried to re-develop my relationship with Christ theses past four years, I've had to spend the majority of my time undoing so much damage.. sometimes I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface. What were the first 45 years about? How could I have been so gullable.. I can't even see level ground yet. After spending 16 years with a 'mentor' and walking away from his swath of destruction... it's taking time. Planting seeds, giving above tithe, complete subjugation to authority, placing everything behind man's will, always looking for that 'big break' the 'miracle' around the next corner. Well, after 23 years of looking around corners I finally find that my personality leans to co-dependency and that I have a desire to please and serve which makes me subject to predators.... ministerial predators who are looking to build their kingdom with 50 people on 50 acres in the middle of the woods. How can you be so blind for so long? hm.