In this blog I intend to reveal my progress as I journey into the Promised Land. The promise: “To Be Broken Into Freedom” has become true in many ways and is still coming true in many other ways. Finding a bit of freedom and losing a bit of freedom... finding more freedom; taking a few steps forward and a few backwards... taking a few steps forward: or peeling an onion is what my walk out of darkness into the light has been like and is still like. Below are the things I have been learning as life starts to get better.
December 11, 2016
Some people think life is all about getting to a happy moment with no thought for the thereafter; yet once, the moment is achieved; fear can set in because of the unknown and a deterioration of the fabric of life begin because there is no knowledge on how to build a lasting relationship or faith to sustain it. Such approaches although enticing initially, keep us from connecting, forming companionship, growing in fellowship and friendship, and conquering the insecurities within by transforming the empty-self-image within towards its destiny. Being able to respect, trust, and care for people, living in each moment, possessing nothing and being possessed by nothing, seeking to love altruistically, and being at peace is the best goal one can aim for. It isn’t achieved and a "finished and done with" - type of accomplishment...rather it is a continual learning process, of growing and becoming stronger inwardly yet being vulnerable, and this is done by prayer that ushers in healthy self-talk, people-talk, and a relationship with Jesus who makes it all possible. Being able to healthily process emotions, and make small adjustments in relating as time goes by is key to stability, healthy-self-image, and respect for other people.
November 30, 2016
In this life, I'll never go to church with everything right in my soul, like I have supposedly arrived, like I got the package or am the correct package, or keep all the rules, like I belong for such reasons. Fact is, I sin, sometimes grossly, sometimes repeatedly...but I have certain gifts and graces from God through faith that I need to navigate the awkward, the empty, the dark, the fleshly, and have conquered many of the strongholds in my life through the promises, teachings, commands, authority, power, truths, and presence of Jesus. I come for grace when receiving communion, I don't earn it by being in a state of grace. Being in a state of grace is good, but confessing sin and working on repentance so love will blossom is more important to being prepared to receive communion than supposedly abstaining from all visible sins.
October 30, 2016
Since having schizophrenia, I have had my rights to a healthy brain, mind and thought/emotional environment taken from me. I put up with it for a very long time adjusting to changes and challenges the best I could. But yesterday, I felt violated in ways I’d not experienced so harshly before, that angered me deeply and confused me to no end. The thoughts in my head weren’t going where I wanted them to. When a little thing annoyed me and I focused on it, the thoughts that came to mind were utterly toxic, judgmental, hateful, heartless, angry, and unjust. I got angry with God because I had no power over this intrusion, and the only thing I could do to stop the onslaught of accusations was to not focus on things that did annoy me. I wanted to fix it ASAP...but God told me the intrusion was not my doing but the devil’s. That did away with the guilt I felt from thinking what I thought...but I felt powerless over the whole situation. What could I do to get back to sanity.
This morning I found the same attacking intrusion in my mind take place again. I felt angry with God and I could not even respectfully vent at God, I could not think a straight respectful thought towards Him no matter how I wanted to. What came to mind shortly thereafter were some scenes from the films of The Lord of the Rings trilogy where evil orcs and wild men attacked, pillaged, hated, hurt, raped, murdered, violated, burned, raged, laughed, and destroyed the homes of innocent villages belonging to a farming community. These wicked people had power, and they flexed it willfully, maliciously, gloatingly, madly, insanely, all to dominate and destroy what God meant for good, to bless, to nurture, to give happiness, and to give life.
This maiming, this disregard for others rights, this willful damaging of good, to frustrate, make suffer, and relegate to chaos, meaninglessness, so as to move the victims to self-pity, resentment, hardness of heart, apathy, and disillusionment are where I felt I was being driven to yesterday, and today again. I felt attacked, disrespected, harassed, and deeply frustrated with myself and God; whereas the demons that were having a “heyday” in my head through my schizophrenia just laughed at me getting angry with God.
What could I do about it. Every attempt to reach out to God was sour, blunt, and eaten up with bitterness, and twisted around to make me seem all righteous, the wholly innocent victim, with God the bad guy.
I have been a fan of Mark Virkler’s ministry for some time and today I received heavenly manna from him. He was talking about meekness as a response to anger... and this is a definition he gave quoting a person named Bill Gather:
Meekness: is when personal rights and possessions have been yielded to God and you allow Him the right to return them back to you as privileges.
This gave me perspective, and the ability to feel the softness within me again and accept God’s will for my life.
Monday, August 29, 2016
What is judging anyways? What is the best way to define it? If we don't know what it is and how to distinguish it from expressing the truth, then we will never stop doing it. Judging involves measuring and estimating and marking someone up with a label that hits home because we are trying to control or change them. “Judging is not like telling the truth. Judging is telling someone else about what I think about them. Whereas telling the truth is about telling something about myself” (Cf. Danny Silk, from a www.mynewday.tv show). The former is all opinion, or speculation, or casts a bad light on somebody else, it brings fear, it brings hurt, it is not gentle and puts people on the defensive. Judging always creates distance. Telling the truth is about how we see ourselves, and so is authoritative.
So when somebody hurts us, and we don't want to judge, then we won't speculate on his motives or intent, or supposed stupidity, or abrasive ness, or his lack of kindness, or his pride and arrogance, or his weaknesses and tell him so. If we are hurt by them, then telling them how we feel and how we are struggling to handle what is happening inside of us is telling the truth. Telling the truth uses “I”-statements and does not blame or point the finger. Telling the truth appeals to another person's noble ness, humanness, warmth, kindness, and caring. It doesn't try to convict, shame, blame, or disrespect; and put the person on the defensive, make them want to hurt us back and want to judge us back. Judging robs the person of self-esteem, self-worth, and respect.
No one rejoices over judging; but because of truth’s nature those who seek truth rejoice over it (Cf. First Corinthians 13)
In me judging I harden my heart, and make my tongue toxic. But truth can lead to sympathy, empathy, compassion, kindness, change, and mutual respect; it gives the benefit of the doubt, it believes the best about people (Cf. First Corithians 13).. Judging believes and accuses the worst about people.
The reason why we are very sorely tempted into thinking judgmental thoughts and to want to follow through on judging is because we feel injustices have been visited on us. Even when we recognize that Jesus commanded us to not judge, we are pulled this way to try to make things right because we think that if we don’t speak up things will get worse. This tension occurs because we don’t know how to speak our truth gently. Judging attacks whereas speaking the truth does not. Truth speaking involves using “I”-statements and owning our feelings in conversation with those who hurt us and is more likely to illicit understanding and change (although those who don’t care may laugh us off) whereas, when we judge, then we blame and put people on the defensive. This will not bring healing unless there is forgiveness on both sides.
Remembering the many consequences of judging along with what judging is and what truth telling are will help one to stay away from judging. But there is a lot more to it than just this. For more on how to stop judging look at the links:THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL: Dismantling the Structure Within So Love Can Thrive or JUDGING AND KNOWING TRUTH from this Website.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
When God begins to make our footsteps firm, the temptation is to embrace ourselves as an authority on how things ought to be looked at, understood, and to think our opinions are absolute truth. One of the problems with this is that we become un teachable, proud, and then easily discount what others have to say and contribute. This is not a healthy way to live and causes us to disrespect people. Being convinced that we have absolute truth is very deceptive...we do not see all ends only God does. I believe we can and do come to truthful conclusions...but truth always sets us free to love, be joyful, non-mechanical, warm, kind, humble, and to have neither lofty nor low opinions of oneself or others. A humble person is one who can let truth stand up for itself, and not seek honor when preaching it after having stumbled across it. Humility's aim is to love and build up, not tear down, marginalize, and put into boxes. Proud people not only put people into boxes but also truths...and land up forgetting and discounting both.
Abraham & Isaac:
I have been told that Abraham loved his son Isaac even as he purposed to and actually offered Isaac on an alter up to God (Cf. Genesis 22). If Abraham decided to hate his son to appease his God, that would have been an empty sacrifice. If we don't love what we offer then that is not true worship; it is not a sacrifice, and it is not true love. When hate is involved it is not a living sacrifice for the one giving the offering. This applies to me and that is why I write it, but it also is true of God. God offered His only begotten Son to the world, and He did it all the way in love through Jesus' incarnation, life, passion, death, resurrection, and glory (that is in friendship with His Son, and care for humanity).
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
For many Christians the word "meek" is wrestled with uncomfortably because it is found in the Beatitude: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth" (Cf. Matthew 5:5), and because it in some sense it conveys weakness. A standard lexicon defines meekness as: “1 : enduring injury with patience and without resentment : [but also...] mild. 2 : deficient in spirit and courage : submissive. 3 : not violent or strong : moderate.”
Other Bible translations use the word "gentle" instead of the word “meek” in the above verse, but many reject it for conveying even more weakness, cowardice, and low self-esteem. But I beg to differ that seeing it this way is the weak approach. Being genuinely gentle is anything but easy to be when we have anger within that threatens to explode into meanness, hostility, judgment, or resentment because of injustices, hurts, or violations visited on us. The ability to be gentle is a gift that can steer us away from much heated conflict mixed with verbal or even physical violence. No wonder Jesus prized it so much.
I think the truest test of character is not: "Can I conquer my addiction?" however important that is, but: "Can I be human enough to forgive people for the hurts they inflict on me?" Often (not always) addictions are tied to un-forgiveness. When we fight the greater battles the lesser ones can fall by the wayside without a fight. When we are hurt, judged, humiliated, devalued, violated, or insulted, then to process it all and move to forgiveness can seem as difficult as getting a Camel to go through an eye of a needle. Being gentle in the midst of being hurt, judged, humiliated, devalued, violated, or being insulted and not being mean, hostile, and hateful in return is the example Jesus showed us. This takes real strength and love for one’s enemies.
When I was a kid I got challenged to a fight at school. I won the fight, but right afterwards a young girl decided to pay me back by fighting me and trying to humiliate me. I could have easily beat her...but I cried tears of self-pity because I wasn't allowed to fight girls. I never resented her for it afterwards for many years, but much later I boastfully and meanly began to retorted to myself whenever I thought about the incident that I could have beaten her to a pulp. I then began to realize this attitude of mine was proud, uncaring, unkind, not gentle, but resentful, abrasive, and unhealthy; and it needed to be replaced with gentleness, compassion, sorrow, forgiveness, and caring. So what if I was stronger physically than her, the real test of any person is to be able to respect people and to be gentle in the face of wickedness. Nonviolence as a pathway to peace takes more strength and courage than acting out of our fears, insecurities, and hurts with hostility or rage or violence.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Love is not attained by admiring it as an idea, concept, or virtue and striving for it that way. If you want to love you will find a way because you care for people in healthy ways.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
The parable of the Talents has not been a stagnant pool for me. I have gradually garnished fresh insights from it over the years. I have wondered lately: what constitutes many talents or huge opportunities, and what constitutes fewer talents or smaller opportunities? I have come to the conclusion that huge opportunities involve big risks, lots of pain and suffering, and that over many years. While small opportunities involve less pain, less struggle, less suffering over smaller time periods. The whole thing is upside down compared to the way the world sees things.
Monday, June 6, 2016:
I find it interesting how easy it is to expound on truths, ideals, humility, morality, love, and spiritual maxims when not exposed to raw reality where the stakes are high and life and choices and consequences draw us to compromise. The film series called, “Criminal Justice” made me more aware of this than ever...Under the right circumstance I bend, squirm, I get tempted, want to fold, want to give up (even if I don’t give up), and I’m willing to compromise. Life is so tricky. I needed this film...it shows me that even though I have convictions, that when they get tested, doubts, fears, self-preservation, anger, weakness, temptation and the will to escape are not far from my will longings, and thrust...or energy. So I conclude that understanding humility is not the same as practicing it, or willing to pay the price to live it out, and to remain committed to it through thick and thin.
Another point that the movie raises, that I wrongly complained about in so many murder mysteries I watched on TV, in the cinemas, or read about in books over the years, is that we often don’t know who did it until the very end...and often the culprit isn’t even a character in the story until very near the end. I am struck by how this scenario not only plays out in the murder mysteries all the time, but also situations in my life that have nothing to do with murder. I have found that I have assumed or jumped to the conclusion that I had all the evidence in front of me so many times only to realize later that I did not have the full picture...and would have made some pretty bad decisions if God had not convinced me to do otherwise despite the pull on me to judge, passing sentence, and doing self-righteous things. Thank God for a conscience!
Friday, May 27, 2016
Don’t lean on your own understanding when it leads you to want to give up hope. Don’t do it when it leads to focus on fear, insecurity, darkness, panic, and the direction of getting introverted, and isolated, focusing on speculations, untruths or lies, trying to solve it all by yourself by faulty, limited, thinking that is exaggerated or distorted, and bankrupt in interpreting of what may have expired...because it consumes our worlds with darkness, and robs us of good and healthy perspectives, freedom to breathe deeply, and our dependence on God through trust...leaning on one’s own understanding is like quicksand, can cause depression, and doesn't give the benefit of the doubt to those involve. It can insinuate, accuse, and imagine motives and supposed thoughts of those we are in turmoil with that when spoken insults; kills respect, kills hope, kills development, and kills our relationships. It breeds insanity and psychosis, and is altogether unhealthy. It invites the devils to speak into our minds and sets us on the road to complaining, bickering, anger, having hurt pride, and reinforces our inability and unwillingness to trust, care, be kind, and loving towards others.
The only way out is to trust God the creator. To do this one needs to remember His love and to have at least experienced His touch. Faith is the only way forward!
A sign of maturity is when someone ignores us or doesn't acknowledge us and we don't take offense and instead see and believe the best about the person with a wholesome energy. I finally get this...what freedom!
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Here is my interpretation regarding the dispute between Mary and Martha (Cf. Luke 10:38-42):
Martha indulged in self-pity, complaining, and in anger asked for judgment and a supposed justice from Jesus trying to make her sister Mary help her...that was the worst part...Mary choose the better part... Mary chose joy and that in the presence of Jesus! Mary chose joy; Martha chose self-pity/complaining/judging/anger. That is why Jesus said Mary choose the better part. Everyone knows that good works are important, and also that learning is important. It wasn't about work vs. visiting/learning...both are important. It was about self- pity/judging/anger vs. joy.
Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount for us to not judge or condemn people. One does this when one doesn’t look in the mirror and make sober observations with the light given. Self- pity/complaining/judging/anger all go together. They are together often unhealthy, and in such cases they spring from pride. Mary chose the better part; Jesus said it would not be taken from her. Martha chose the worst part...and Jesus wanted to take it from her if she would allow it. I guess He did!
Saturday, May 21, 2016
I don’t want to be a god, or deity. Instead I want to be fully human; fully alive; fully God’s. God is good, and has more in Himself that attracts me than what I see in myself. He is infinite. I’m finite. I was made for Him. He is not boring. He is not distant. He is not uncaring. Eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil is more painful, empty, and identity robbing than anything else. True fulfillment is only found in God...through His only begotten son: Jesus.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The word coercive means to get somebody to do stuff through force or threats. We can look at the Bible in a way that makes God look like He is coercive, but when we get to see who Jesus is and how He is the image of the invisible God, then the example and character we see in Jesus leads us to see the exact image of God as being non-coercive love. Instead we see Hell as a choice people make; not a result of God joyously carrying out His threats to punish. God puts both death and life before us: it is we who choose what we want. God warns us of the consequences of our choices, faith (correctly directed or poorly directed), virtues, vices, sins, obedience, and rebellion because they form our characters/attitudes/ ways of life/ faith/ and commitments. Also, God does promise to discipline His children, but it is not put forward as threats (as if He just zealously wants to carry out punishing us because He sees we have it somehow coming). God does not force himself on people. He respects us too much to take away our essence and make us fake like puppets or toys.
God does own his anger, but deals with it in healthy ways. He invites us to do the same.
Non-coercive love is the foundation of God's being. We embrace and see this non-coercive love in God through meditation of Holy Scripture through the lens of Jesus that we obtain for ourselves from Jesus through prayer and are enabled to live it out so we can become one with Him in mind and spirit. Only when we have the attitude of non-coercive love (while owning our anger in a healthy manner) are we able to genuinely accept insults and persecutions because of the Name of Jesus...we are no longer ashamed of Him because we have truly come to know Him in His essence. May we all grow up into this love as that is what we are called to! As we mature through prayer/ relationship/ suffering/ fellowship/ meditation/ truth/ and action...we will recognize when we are not in the zone...but by Spirit-led-strategic-prayer (think First John 1:9) we can be launched by Jesus into non-coercive loving attitudes and acts. We can’t do it alone by ourselves, but First John 1:9 is the way God takes the wrongs we do and replaces them with spiritual cleanness, healing, and health inwardly and outwardly that leads to humble service/ peace/ and joy.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Abiding in Jesus is equivalent to practicing humility. God is close to the humble but knows the proud by afar. Through faith in Jesus, we have access to grace: God’s empowering presence. God grants His grace to the humble but opposes the proud. A branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the True Vine.
Not living for feelings we become satisfied. The more we seek consolation the more it evades us.
Satan in a Robber. After God has given us gifts, the devil will be there to try and steal them away. The devil will try to rob us by stealing our understanding, stealing our memory of certain experiences, and stealing the meanings poured into words and events and fulfillments of promises God has given us. We can’t reduce everything spiritual into words. The Bible says that there are some things that can’t be put into words and Satan knows this and so lies to us that those mysteries aren’t real because they can’t be expressed in real and tangible ways with words. The devil will attempt to sow doubt, and unbelief and get us to confess that we really don’t understand stuff that a short while ago was in real stereo and in full color. Only so much can be said. And we have to be weary of Satan’s strategies and fight him wisely by wearing the full armor of God.
Often we good naturedly seek to ground our experiences of God and promises in truth. This can lead to some insights, philosophy and also abstraction. This can be helpful...but the devil after every argument will say: “Why?” trying to force us to go another level deeper and in doing so to insinuate that we have no proper foundations to rest our fickle beliefs and arguments on because few words come to mind. We then get lost in the details, trying to distill maxims, and principles from what we have learned; and the devil will try to use this to push God out of the picture along with all mystery and leave us only with useless rules that we soon discard. Mystery is good. God is good. The good news is that we don’t have to be cerebral to feel and experience God’s grace and obtain His promises. The devil says: unless you understand and can prove the validity of your experiences you don’t know if they are real. But God says that it is our faith in Him that enables us to overcome the world and connect with God.
Jesus is the way, not man-made-philosophies no matter how practical. Jesus is the full package; not cerebral gymnastics. One does not have to dissect everything, get at all the roots, and argue systematically one’s way into change. When this becomes the soul focus, and preoccupation then it becomes destructive. Jesus is more beautiful, kind, caring, and encouraging than text books, self-help books, maxims, and principles all by themselves. One can profit from these, but our ultimate hope lies in the person of Jesus whom God the Father gives to the world. Self-built- philosophies lead to pride and isolation. Jesus offers relationships, strength, insights, and fellowship. He can be met in the pages of the New Testament; and when received into the heart through faith becomes the source of life, joy, peace, and hope.
Faith in Jesus and His teachings is the path to change. Correctly placed faith. A faith that searches, knocks, and endures all the hardships in the way and along the way. Going backwards can be beneficial to the true seeker.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Realized that just because I have fleshly thoughts in my mind does not mean I have believed or accepted them. My only crime is to agree with them if that is what I have done. For instance, if I have a lot of thoughts that are putting food taste and consumption before eating healthily, then only when I give into them have I sinned. It is not nice when I give into such fleshly motivations and lies. Sin rests in the will, not necessarily the thoughts...but embracing certain thoughts will cause sin and unhealthy lifestyles. Therefore it is paramount to take all thoughts captive to Christ Jesus.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
After God has given us gifts, maintaining the gifts and keeping the devil from stealing them often takes learning curves. I have found that the devil plants doubt about the gift of self-control in our minds when we foolishly stumble with the devil trying to confuse us and rob us of our confidence, certainty, faith, and the gift. Faith in Jesus (as Savior (not only for Heaven but here on earth for practical every day things (the things that are important to us too)), and that He will complete the work He began in us) will get us back on track and enable us to take the ground back that the devil wants to steal. For we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus through faith. Faith is so important because it gets us dependent on God where the grace comes from. When (or if) we trade our faith in an area for wondering, crippling doubts or fears, and unbelief then the gifts will get stolen too. It is correctly placed faith that first heals or saves us, and it also completes the process; but the initial healing and the maintenance involve different battles using faith, but in different modes.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Spending quality time with God can be difficult to do and maintain because of certain pitfalls. For me, I realized that I often had thoughts in my head where I gave credence to stuff like: “this is difficult”, “this is boring”, “this is a waste of time”, “I’m so dry”, “this is more trouble than it is worth” and I also felt guilty that I was tempted to use my Quiet Times to get stuff, or use God to get stuff instead of spending the time to be with God because He is so great.
The negative thoughts are actually lies the devil places in our minds meant to destroy our relationships with God. The motives for why we seek God can be good and when they are then we aren't using God. Though it is true that we can want God’s gifts more than Him only because the devil has deceived us into thinking we can't experience God as good, warm, friendly, present, and kind; and connect with Him in these ways regularly. Confessing to God that we believed these lies, asking for His forgiveness, and healing and changing how and what we believe about our relationships with God, expecting more, and receiving more of God is how we overcome these pitfalls.
When we see God in a healthy way we will love Him and those in our lives more deeply. The devil loves to divide us by lying maliciously, strategically, and cleverly because it works so often.
Monday March 28, 2016
God wants us to spend time with Him. He wants us to abide in Him, His Son, and drink from His Spirit. In doing this we build healthier and healthier relationships with God, and we find the power to do His will in peace, and rest.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Not coveting is about setting others free...and in setting them free...we become free...!
Sometimes it is as simple as confessing our sins exact natures to God for Him to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We don’t have to always look for roots.
I know that I have used a certain kind of language in the Essays: Killing Pride, Humility, and The Twelve [Plus Four] Steps, from this Website, and it sounds kind of formulaic, but I am realizing that I can use other language. Thank you Jesus for making me real! Amen, and Amen!
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Whenever negative stuff like unreasonable fear is used to motivate us or we are dependent on it, it can stay with us and grow in power and gravity if not dealt with properly. To kill the bondage to unreasonable fear we need to confess the wrongness of being motivated by it to God and receive His forgiveness and healing. Then to focus on healthier stuff like God's love. The fears can threaten to come back, but to fight them with truth is key. Truth that is positive and negates the lies. Thoughts determine our feelings (including our fears). Truth sets free. I know that I experienced paralyzing or adrenaline powered fear manifested and felt in my throat caused by lies and foolishness and immaturity developed over my life span until now. Fear is a horrible taskmaster. It is opposed to hope, and also motivates anger because of the supposed threats to a justice we feel should not come our way.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Living according to the flesh means we are putting short term happiness, feeling pleasure, and going by feelings first instead of going by the Spirit who directs us with its desires that involve truth, caring, and peace. The latter involves relationship... For me this is rough...I am so in the habit of going by my feelings. So I take this part of the journey as God’s discipline in my life where more and more of my crooked thoughts are straightened out with God’s help making me a healthier person relationally and interiorly
Friday, March 18, 2016
Politics and Private Spirituality:
Choosing the lessor of two evils is part of the political process. No one thinks twice about it.
As far as spirituality is concerned...conservatives dislike the relativism of supposedly choosing between two evils one more evil than the other in their personal lives, but embrace it in the political realm. They can't see Jesus choosing the lesser of two evils because He can't sin...so they wanting to be like Him refuse to choose the lesser of two evils because it is only a black and white world for them morally speaking.
As far as humanists are concerned...they make decisions based on the lesser of two evils all the time as their mantra is "love does no harm to one's neighbor” which is in also found in the Bible.
Therefore, conservatives and humanists don't always see eye to eye! One can’t expect them to agree or to force each other to do it their way.
Condemnation occurs when either you don't forgive yourself, or you struggle to forgive yourself.
Anger by itself is an alarm, but if it turns into a resentment, bitterness, meanness, hostility, abuse, manipulation, hatred, or murder then these are evil. If anger is treated as an alarm alone, and used to motivate healthy decisions, directions, or changes then that is acceptable.
Wednesday, March 15, 2015Love is not demanding. It does not judge people.
Love goes the extra distance...not meanly demanding others put out “because look at what I done for you”.
Love completes the job kindly, not expecting merit badges or compliance. Love is kind in nature, and not hostile. When we are unkind to somebody it infects the way we treat everyone else.
Love does not put hooks into people...saying: “like you owe me...” or “I own you”
The thoughts: “It always happens”, “can't expect anything else”, and “give people an inch and they take a mile” are illogical thinking patterns that re in force negativity, distort people’s good will, and are accusatorial in thinking. I'm free from this now thanks be to God.
Monday, March 14, 2016
I have seen agreement with me and getting what I wanted as getting acceptance from others. No agreement meant feeling rejected, rejected meant feeling self pity. Not getting what I wanted meant to feel rejected, not respected, meant I felt self-pity. Either way I have gone to dark places because of it. Lord I confess that the above dynamics have been at work within me for years, please forgive and heal me I ask in Jesus' name. I receive it in faith with thanksgiving.
Saying, “I'm a selfish person” is not declaring who I am in Christ. A healthier confession is to say: "I was selfish when I did so and so... and I was in the wrong, and I was unloving, and I ask for your forgiveness and healing Lord God and I receive them in faith through Jesus Christ my Lord."
In praying 1 John 1:9, we can't do it half heartedly, cynically, unbelievingly, or focusing on doubts. We need to stand on the promises of God written in the Bible in order for God to take our prayers seriously.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016: Hunger & Pain
Lord God earlier today you brought back my memories of me eating buckets of ice cream to dull, assuage, and relieve my pain. My pain of hating myself, putting pressure on myself to be perfect, and dull the pain of rejection. I feel my pain and I redirect my hunger for peace and purpose to you the Living God! I choose to receive your Peace for, and your promises to me Lord God. Amen and Amen!
Lord God I don't know how to deal with my pain except to feel it, mourn it, cry it, and rest in your warm, soothing, and caring love.
I think I will bring my pain to you always from now on. You are the great physician; the comforter, the wonderful counselor, and the helper. Leaving you out of the situations or equations in my life back then was not wise. I remember turning my life over to math when my first romance failed...I now redirect that worship of an idol to worshiping you the living God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I give you your rightful place in my life, heart, mind, and heart. I confess the idol worship as wrong and ask for your forgiveness and healing. You know the way, and I receive your healing and forgiveness Lord Jesus. Amen and Amen.
Monday, February 29, 2016
The Holy Scriptures say that some sins lead to death, whereas other sins are far less serious. Fact is that all sins try to push God away. Yes, some sins are mortal. But we are not to compare our sins to others because that leads to pride. Or judge others because they have serious sins in their lives because we seemingly don’t. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This is directed to Christians not unbelievers. We are all guilty, and just because we don't commit certain sins does not excuse us from guilt or make us holier than others. Because we have sinned we have broken the whole law not just part of it. We are all guilty.
We all have some high standards, and there is a chance that we may eventually violate some of them, and as a result we can land up hating ourselves because of our pride when we violate a high standard. When such is the case we are saying we deserve hatred when God still loves us and that is saying we know better than God. God is Love, and He never changes.
When I am hard on others because of their failures and my successes, then I can possibly do so out of a sense of personal superiority and pride. If so, then I have envy too because there are areas where I'm weak and others are strong. Either way I won't be charitable towards others with my pride and envy in place. God can't bless this. We will always remain weak in areas where we envy others because envy keeps us from improving, and developing in healthy ways the aptitudes God gave us. God blesses the humble...and the proud refuse or can't receive His blessings or graces. Grace is God's empowering presence...that humble people have access to, but God only knows the proud by afar because proud people distance themselves from everyone including God. Now God loves everyone including proud people. Fact is one can be proud in one area and humble in another area. So in one area we are open to God's blessings and another area we have famine.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
People who dwell on injustices can fall into self pity...and land up having victim mentalities. And land up having negative outlooks to life, and draw negative things to themselves. This steals our joy which is a fruit of the Spirit. If joy is a fruit of the Spirit, then self pity is a malady of the flesh which means it is sinful. The only ways to kill it are to not feed it (feed something better), and pray strategically so that God can cleanse us from it.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Sometimes praying to uproot pride seemingly does not work because the spiritual malady has other roots that have to be dealt with too. For instance, I realized that often a wall came up in me pushing others away when the healthy thing to do is care, feel another's pain, frustration and struggle. Some pride was involved but it wasn't the mother load and confessing only pride didn't heal the wound of insensitivity. However, confessing the insensitivity, unwillingness to trust, to not care, and to not feel for people as wrong and asking God for forgiveness and healing and receiving them in faith. Then repenting in faith with Jesus' help speaking to the walls we have erected (to vainly protect against rejection) and courageously breaking them little by little (when we sense them rise up within us) will bring healing. When the wall has been up for decades then plenty of strategic prayer may be needed to remove it.
When the wall comes crumbling down we will feel raw pain emotions with a breath of fresh air. Feeling it we will recognize we are alive and readier for love.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
I have wanted to get in touch with my hunger and thirst for God for some time now. Yes, seeing what we are wrongly drawn to is important in redirected hunger and thirst to God. But what happens when one starts to struggle in this area? Is there any other place one can look to connect with one’s hunger and thirst for God? There is more...seeing, hoping, desiring to see Jesus in His fullness at the end of time where we will be with Him in Eternity also illumines or reveals our hidden hunger and thirst for God. Keeping these two fronts in mind helps us draw closer to God. The second one is important because it is a more positive affirmation not a partially negative one. One can cultivate desire, hone it, and direct it towards God in fitting manners and ridding oneself of idols is an important part of it.
I realized that I decided to believe as a child the only way certain people would truly love me is if I would somehow die (thinking: if I cease to exist then those people will actually love me, and feel guilty for not having loved me while I was alive). Going through life believing that the only way people will care for you is if you died doesn't say much about your opinion of them or you. Today I see through this lie and choose to connect with and love people instead...not believing this lie (which is from the pit of Hell) about anyone. What a sorry state of affairs! I guess I decided I could not trust anyone to fully love me back for me the way I wanted. So there was less chance of intimacy because I bought into the lie and so the lie became a self fulfilling prophecy for a long time.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
I was told growing up that I had an anger problem. I was led to believe that I had problems controlling my anger which led to me trying to control my anger with no results. Now I know anger is a warning alarm that notifies me that something needs to be dealt with interiorly or exteriorly in my life. When I deal with the stuff that causes the anger such as injustices/ unfulfilled expectations/ and judgments then the anger will go away. Anger is an emotion. Feelings/ emotions don’t determine our thoughts, our thoughts determine our emotions and feelings. Changing thoughts/beliefs will change the feelings. The only time feelings have the power they ought not is when we feel them and believe the lie that because we have the feelings our thoughts must be true too.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
I just realized why I compulsively judged people to be shallow hypocrites for most of my life. I was rejected by some children as a child...and so out of this wound of rejection from a few small children when anyone seemingly did something noble I believed the lie that what they did was for attention (just like the few children) and they did not really care about anyone else (because I believed that they did not care for me like the few children who did not care). This pride-judgment-mentality in me grew and grew and eventually pervaded most of my thinking ever since then until recently even though the leaps or jumps in logic were illogical and absurd. By rejecting any noble act done by others, I told myself that all people were just attention seekers and really did not care for anyone besides themselves. There was one exception: I blindly and proudly thought I was different.
This lie became a wall that destroyed intimacy, caring, love, warmth, and deep relationships...I became shallow and proud.
The compulsive judging stopped when this lie was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit. Seeing the lie for what it is I was able to humble myself and find freedom.
Monday, February 15, 2016
For a long time, I felt estranged from God the Father. I asked myself: what good does He do? I saw Jesus getting His hands dirty, loving us, and forgiving us. I saw the Holy Spirit as indwelling us, nurturing us, and giving us life. But I did not see what God the Father did. Until I realized that He gave the Holy Spirit, and the Lord Jesus Christ to be with us, love us, give us life, and guide us.
I always saw Salvation in the terms of accepting Jesus as Lord (Leader) and Savior through faith. But this however important is not the whole story. We are all God’s estranged children even before we come to know God in a personal way, when we come to know Him He re-adopts us and starts the work of sanctification, and restores the image that Satan tried to erase in us through his filthy intrigues.
Saturday, February 12, 2016
I just wanted to thank Liz for a comment she made at a Bible Study I attended this week. She contrasted the difference between the words: charity (love) and compassion...and yes I was stuck there...feeling twice the guilt because I first didn't have a lot of emotion well up in me in many situations, and second because I did not act compassionately in those situations (because of my lack of passion or emotion that I was wrongly depending on to act kindly). We are called to love no matter what we feel. Compassion has that meaning of having to feel the right emotions in order to be kind. Love and charity do not.
For a long time, I disliked the old word "charity" but now I realize that it has power (thanks to Liz): where one is merciful, caring, and kind as a way of life when our motivation is to love or be charitable. Not waiting for the right feelings to come by in order to somehow get me to do the right thing like the word compassion led me into thinking.
Our words can have meanings poured into them that can make things complex and fraught with difficulty when simpler words would make it really that much more simple and empowering! Double thanks Liz! For me the word compassion is too complex a word, and I now choose the words: merciful, gracious and loving in its place.
I had jettisoned the word charity a long time ago when somebody made the remark: "I don't want your charity" which had the energy: "I don't like you feeling noble, because I am noble too even though I don't have what you got, and I don’t want you feeling noble at my expense." I also did not want to use the word "love" too much because I saw my lack of it in the face of how much I wanted to preach it. Perhaps with these insights I can get to being enthusiastic about love again.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Jesus said that He is the true Vine and we are the branches. His life wants to flow into us. It wishes to flow into that God shaped vacuum that has an appetite and thirst for God. We have to remain in Him if we are to drink from Him and therefore bear much good fruit. To remain in Jesus means to jettison our idols that we can trace back to our thirst and hunger for God, this way we can welcome the life of the Holy Spirit to live in us more fully. Saint John told us to keep away from idols. To remain in Jesus means our allegiance belongs to Him and not to the world, the devil, and the flesh. To remain in Jesus, the true Vine, we need to re-direct out thirst for meaning, peace, life, and happiness back to God who satisfies. When God teaches us something, we need to hold onto it. When people tell us something contrary to the Good News of Jesus Christ, then such is the “world’s message” we need to reject. We are told in the Bible that “unhealthy” friendship with the world is hatred for God.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
No one owes me anything. I take no prisoners. Obviously no one likes parasites and wise people push them away. Some people like to love and be loved. When a relationship has two people like this then neither is earning the other’s friendship and they stay together because love attracts. If they were trying to earn the loyalty of the other person, then the relationship is one that is based on works, and guilt; like: what you owe the other person. Where there is no love then what they signed up for is much like a contract, and demanding ness will result when violations are committed. People like reciprocation... they like to be loved...love has no hooks, small print clauses on contracts. When two people love each other they stay together not because they earned stuff in the relationship...but because their love has no strings attached. This is freeing and is a paradox (not trying to own the other person; they enjoy and connect to each other).
In the parable of the prodigal son (found in Luke 15:11-32)...the father did not try to get healthy behavior from his sons out of guilt, manipulation, or with a “you owe me” mentality because of all he did for them...or now it is their turn to “put out” considering all he gave them. The father loved the two sons...and gave them much. Neither one realized his love. The father in the parable is symbolic of God the Father. God’s love has no strings attached to it. There are consequences attached to our sins. Sin always pushes God away (rejects God). Sin is its own punishment. The sting of death is sin not God. Sin is not so much “rule breaking”, but sin is unhealthy actions motivated by unhealthy desires that are motivated by unhealthy thinking and believing. This meditation is one of the strongest medicines to cure pride, envy, greed, and judging together with confessing and receiving forgiveness and healing from God.
“Do not focus on the difficulty of the opportunity; focus on the opportunity in spite of the difficulty.” This is a principle that when practiced allows one to live in the moment, and it also helps to kill envy. Problems and difficulties require processes to diagnose and solve, and when there are no immediate solutions then powerlessness, depression, and self-pity can result and this can fuel anger and direct our attention away from what we can do. When engaged in a project, we can focus on what is still not done or we can focus on what we are doing and has been done. The latter gets us into the moment and makes us feel good, the former will weigh on us so long as the task is not done and can steal our motivation and make us feel self-pity along with the temptation to give into sloth.
Always connect with your feelings, your hunger and thirst when praying about them to God! In doing so we are connecting our minds to our hearts, and those who seek God with their whole heart will find God and freedom. Being disconnected from the source of our problems, means we can’t repent fully with God’s help.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Got this quote from the wife: focus on the opportunity in the difficulty; not on the difficulty of the opportunity. It is a fitting way to kill self-pity, negativity, complaining, blaming, ugly anger, and calls of unfairness. It kills sloth, and creates work ethic, and aids the creative process.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
What does the following verse mean: “Submit to God, and resist the devil”?
Submitting to God means embracing Jesus’ teaching, and accepting His Leadership. The resisting the devil part has to do with fending off the lies, temptation and seduction that the devil throws our way.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
I heard it said in a recent Batman movie,” that some people are not afraid to die” along with the question: “But are they afraid to live?” I'm not afraid to die...but deep down inside I just wanted an easy cushy, and wimpy passage to Heaven. I did not want to live, I saw it as exhausting, draining, and I feared and hated the burden. Basically I was afraid to live. This is cowardice...and it does make us demanding, judgmental, and un loving because we don't want to pay the price of living life. This attitude attracts negativity to us and gives room for demons to work in our lives. When we are not wanting to pay the price we take shortcuts. Hence we have sloth, instant gratification and gluttony too, just to feel good. Not wanting to pay the price for stuff in our lives leads to not wanting to pay the price to love others. Praying through this issue will bring life and freedom...not shortcuts, depression, self centered ness boredom, and despair.
If we don’t want to live (having a whole hearted commitment to cowardice motivating it) then we can’t expect the Holy Spirit to fully indwell us (note: Even when we find ourselves here, God will fight for us and not abandon us). When we refuse to love in difficult circumstances God can't force his empowering-presence on us. All God can do is mourn our foolishness as we push Him away, for He is slow to anger. God understands our weaknesses and is not judgmentally anal towards us. God is not looking to pick a fight with us; but to reconcile us to Himself.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
I realize that there is a constant push towards idols in my life. This weak call for instant gratification is the flesh trying to do what God willingly and freely and lavishly supplies. The devils try to redirect my hunger and thirst for God towards the idols instead. The funny thing is that these idols which the devil promises will satiate my hunger and thirst can’t do the job. They just land up intensifying the attraction with diminishing returns. The flesh is that weakness in us that willingly gives into the pull of the devil's lies. God did not give us idols. Sin is when we fulfill a need in an unhealthy way. It is interesting that we aren't attracted to any of the devils...they are ugly and repulsive...so they do their best to pull us away from God to stuff that is more attractive than the devils but not God.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
John 6 is a much disputed chapter between Roman Catholics and Protestants since the Reformation! I have a different take on it. In John 6:48 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life”. I think Jesus is saying that there is a God shaped vacuum within each of us that is meant for God to dwell. Jesus sees Himself as the bread that can satisfy our hunger...and the Holy Spirit as life giving water that can quench our thirst. We can go for communion our whole lives and never cast out the cheap idols (that can’t satisfy our thirst for God) in our respective God-shaped vacuums. We don't thirst for lesser things...we thirst for God...the problem is that we are either foolish enough or deceived enough into thinking idols such as food, drink, sex, money...etc. will satisfy that emptiness. When we get in touch with our thirst and hunger and locate it we will realize that what we really want is peace, meaning, life, and happiness; and only God can satisfy this appetite. Confessing our guilt to God, and renouncing our idols in prayer with faith and inviting God into our lives to meet our thirst and hunger is the path to take...this will help heal our addictions to these idols and set us free to live and love more deeply.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
If we believe that our actions are noble towards a person, and then expect them to give us our way because we have supposedly earned their love then this is a dark self-righteous attitude.... because we don't earn God’s grace and love by our deeds. If we expect people to be our friends because of something we did, then they will always feel like they are paying off a debt and this will sour the relationship. If we don't give up this expectation, then we are in danger of losing many good relationships. Therefore:
I refuse to hold any noble deed over anyone, and therefore demand, or expect they do the same for me. I choose to set them free to soar on eagle’s wings! I only wish them happiness!
I learned today that I need to own my thoughts, beliefs, and deeds. I also learned that I need to respect this for everyone else. I have one life to live. I take no captives. I make no weak poor me demands of others. My value, self-esteem, happiness is not dependent on others. I was made to live my life only... Nobody else's. Those are the lines or boundaries I need to and want to live within.
Not wise to pray: Jesus I wish you were my life, meaning, happiness, and peace.
Wise to pray: Jesus I choose you as my life, meaning, happiness, and peace. This will lead to wanting to spend quiet time with God not because it looks good or holy but because it is healthy.
Sunday, January 3, 2016
Realized I need to be gentle if I want kindness returned no matter how difficult.
Love is not self focused...it is other focused.
Being free from addictions does not mean we are focused on performance, milestones, achievements, or comparisons...we are focused on the goodness belonging to God, and redirecting our thirst and hunger away from idols and resting them in God in strategic prayer and actions.
We can still have really negative emotions in reaction and responses to dynamics in our relationships. But we ought not try to wrestle with these emotions (realizing that thoughts determine our emotions not the other way around) ...but in prayer ask God to help change our thinking and heal our emotions...by replacing them with goodness, warmth, peace, and compassion. The negative emotions we have control over within ourselves are the negative energies of our unhealthy anger that push for force, control, rigid demands, manipulation, and harmful judgments
There is healthy and unhealthy anger. When injustices occur or boundaries are violated the anger is healthy. When anger comes from the vices: conceit, pride, envy, greed, lust, sloth, and gluttony then it is unhealthy. I'm sure you can imagine why! For instance, when one is envious one can be very judgmental and angry when one doesn't get what one wants. That is immature, and needs to be jettisoned! So the anger expresses something that is ugly!
Yes, all the vices spring from fear...so unhealthy anger springs from fear!
It is true that we can attempt to fill our needs for peace, meaning, happiness, and life with offensive idols in our hearts, but that the real estate of our hearts ultimately belongs to God. When we renounce our idols through confession, forgiveness, healing, repentance, submission, and invite God into those places...we are not doing Him a favor. We are not the landlords...God is the LandLord. We can treat the LandLord shamefully, or with respect.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
The desire to control others is a lot like moral policing in that it springs from pride. When we confess the exact nature, details, and wrongness of trying to control others; owning the sin of control and manipulation, and asking God to forgive us and heal us and receiving these gifts in faith...along with committing to repent in faith, renewing the mind, and submitting to God while resisting the devil, then this stronghold will lose its power. Control is rooted in pride because it demands and manipulates others to get its own selfish ways.
Jesus’ passion/ suffering/ and death on cross shows His willingness to take our shit. When we take up our crosses we are doing and saying the same to others as He did and does with us.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015:
Cynicism??? Thought I knew the word...but now I do...it means to expect the worst...the nemesis of, “hope”. This cynicism can range from being minor to major. It kills creativity. Makes life seem boring. It makes us put pressure on people to impress us; instead of us caring for those people. It stops us from encouraging others. It takes away enthusiasm for the small things. Cynicism is a negative attitude that pushes people away from us, and makes us question their loyalty, and good intentions. When conflict approaches the cynic is filled with fear of losing, and puts a lot of pressure on themselves to get what they want, but with an abrasive and weak approach.
I have known these symptoms for years, but I wouldn’t have used the word cynical until now. But things are changing for the better in this department thanks to life giving change from new truth, confession to God, forgiveness from God, healing from God, and jettisoning the dark and negative and replacing it with warmth and grace filled truths... thanks to Jesus, Father God, and Holy Spirit...amen!
When we expect the worst then we don’t care as much for other things and other people because we got enough rubbish of our own. Therefore, cynicism leads to the numbing of our life force/ emotions/ will/ and thinking. Cynicism distorts the truth and darkens an otherwise colorful world.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
This quote captures where the power of prayer can be leveraged to change how we think, react, and act:
"Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
Victor E Frankl – psychologist holocaust survivor
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Luke 5:37-38 says:
And He was also telling them a parable: "No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. "But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins....
What I gathered initially from this parable was that we are to have a complete change of life. But the above language was hard for me to grasp; how do I go about it? I now know that the old clothes, and old wineskins represent our old way of life...but more than that: they represent our “attitudes”. If we have “sour” attitudes that we don’t undo and replace slowly over time then those attitudes limit, and handicap our ability to love, care, be positive, and caring towards others. God wants to give us a new attitude and this happens over time through confession, forgiveness, and renewal of the mind in the way we see, believe, think, and act. God wants to do a compete renovation in each of us; He isn’t into patch work...the old must be done away with. Old attitudes need to be dealt with first. Everyone likes a treasure to have no flaws. We need to be the same way in how we grow our spiritual lives.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Today I finally understood that the state and the Church ought to be separate. If I don’t hold this I'm going to either fight theological wars using the state in an attempt to Christianize the enemy through legislation, enforcement, and wars; and push supposed Christian values onto other kingdoms, empires, cultures, and Religions through force not love. Christian Spiritual wars ought not be fought through weapons that hurt, kill, maim, and torture. Jesus Himself taught us that His Kingdom is not like those on earth. I came to this conclusion while meditating on the crucified Christ. If I take up a weapon to kill an enemy who wants me dead then I have become the enemy. One pillar to practicing tolerance is to separate Church from State. The State ought to practice healthy ruler-ship, and should not be the tool of religion or vice versa. The State ought to protect the helpless, and the minorities. Restorative justice more so than retributive justice ought to be the state’s focus. Restorative justice is a value long overlooked by the Church. It needs to embrace it rather than trying to dole out judgments, condemnations, punishments, and holy wars.
Unfortunately, the West has not followed this hence the mess in the Middle East, Europe, and the States. I know that I have preached tolerance but been limited, and weakened in my attempts to practice it because I had one foot in the Kingdom of the Church and the other one in the Kingdom of the State.
I am still a Christian, and more than ever see that I need to respect other faiths and traditions because peace starts with tolerance. Jesus did not hate His enemies...and when I ask what would Jesus do or ask me to do...I believe He asks me to use my higher right to lay down my lower rights, love your enemies, care for the poor, live and let live, and let Him worry about justice between the nations.
Monday, November 16, 2015
I did not have a good definition for “conceited” thinking it was only pride, but now I do thanks to a sermon given at church: “A person who is conceited is empty of honor. Such person believes they deserve more recognition than they are receiving. Such a person draws attention to themselves. They are honor hungry. They are always competing, and always comparing. Conceited persons provoke and disrupt. Conceited persons are both envious and proud. When envious they feel inferior; when they are proud they feel they are superior.”
Lord God I am busted: I had conceited pride and did not know it. I have been in the habit of complimenting people with truth...but doing it more because I wanted to look good in their eyes than to blessing them. I wanted honor and was willing to do anything to get it.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
I have struggled with loving some of those who come from different faith traditions (especially Islam) wanting to keep the West predominantly Christian. I have never liked the American use of force in the Middle East since 9/11. I have never like the ISIS movement either. But I wanted to take a heavy hand against Islam in response to their draconian measures to spread Islam...yet I was torn between such harshness and the teachings from Jesus on non violence. But now I've got my resolution. I don't want to become what I despise in my enemy and so become like my enemy. That is what would happen if I were to use force against Islam. The way of love is Jesus. The way of Jesus is love.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Today I read a devotional that hit me in a very broken place in a really good healing and healthy way. The writer said that many people after they have regressed or fallen back from healthy progress in their journeys, or been ensnared by their enemies (human or spiritual) can come back from such negative pitfalls or circumstances. I needed to hear this because it tells me I can do the same. The writer mentioned Johnny Cash as an example of someone who came back from stuff many times over. I know now that we humans can let events define us from our pasts. Events such as failures, traumatic experiences, lies, rejections, fights, drugs, addictions...etc. I know now that I let a “rejection” determine in a very unhealthy way my understanding, energy, confidence, and the way I navigate my relationships. It was the rejection by my peers in SA.
The temptation for me has been that when a relationship goes sour or encounters difficulties I inwardly feel the pressure to demand, manipulate, and force stuff so I'll somehow restore the relationship. But this very attempt pushes people away...and isn't a method because it is needy, negative, abrasive, cold, demanding, and not done from a place of warmth, friendship, kindness, and freedom. Love attracts; demanding pushes away. This darkness needed to be jettisoned through prayer. And leads to this revelation: My friends have the right to choose their friends. I'm no jail keeper. This brings me freedom and joy... because this truth has been uncovered by the Holy Spirit.
Envy, if it is a constant companion causes depression and negativity which can be so intense that people who have major envy become addicts just so they can nurse/control/negate their depressing and negative attitudes and therefore have some happiness.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Today I realized while we were worshipping God in church that I wanted the music to be more emotionally appealing and exciting to me...so I saw that I was more interested in wanting the music to make me happy than that it made God feel good. Strange... worship is supposed to be about glorifying God. I now want to direct my singing to God consciously, deliberately, and with intention. It makes me happy to make God happy. And that makes what I say more meaningful. Saint Augustine said, “she or he who sings prays twice.” So Singing ought to not be about delighting in my own beauty, creativity, and preferences. Just like prayer should not be where I gloat over my spiritual riches, or get absorbed by my own beauty. Prayer and worship is where I see the beauty of God and He is my focus.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Realized that when I first became sick with Schizophrenia that I tried to read the Bible with the same emotions that made me so happy before but I was prevented from doing this. Even after being on medications for years...I wanted to do the same. Yet now I know that some of those emotions I felt had ideas or interpretations behind them that were unhealthy. Why because now I see that I poured a lot of meanings into Scripture that were false. But the good news is that the old is being challenged and healthier interpretations are replacing the older ones and along with them newer cleaner emotions are coming into place.
The god that breathes fire at my least infraction and needed to punish his son on a tree just to vent his wrath so he could accept me used to be the way I saw things (not any more) ...but reading much from those who studied the early Church Fathers and seeing that the kind of god/God I believe in determines the kind of person I am... meant I needed to see things in a way that leads to love.
I don’t see sin as punishable by God. I see sin as its own punishment. The sting of death is sin not God’s fitting plan. God does not punish us on top of our sin. Sin limits us in community, immobilizes us, robs us of health, and destroys God’s image in us, it shames us. So we are sent to bring healing not judgment to the people in the world. People who understand this and say: “no” are saying no to healing and healing is a taste of heaven. A patient ought to trust his or her doctor. Without trust there can be no healing. That is why I don’t like making lists of sin and loading them on people as burdens. I only like to share stuff that is helpful to healing and restoring friendship with God and people and families.
The idea that Salvation is all about healing comes from the Gospels themselves who have Jesus saying He is a physician. This corresponds well to the definition for sin or evil as spiritual diseases that need to be healed; and goodness as spiritual health.
Spirit Knowledge Continued:
Going by faith alone means that we endure a kind of suffering when carrying the doubts that assail us. But we don’t have to navigate only by faith. Yes, faith is important and helps us overcome much adversity. But there is also knowledge that God has endowed our spirits with; a kind of knowing; that leads us to trusting others deeply, consolingly, and refreshingly; and this intuition from our spirits cares for others and negates some of the doubts we encounter in our relationships that can torment us. This knowledge does give us rest... peace... joy... hope... patience, and solidifies our bonds and connections to people in relationships. When the spirits’ abilities are discounted, ignored, or negated by lies from the evil one then we become wounded (disconnected) and it stops us from being whole.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
I'm now more aware than before that there are more ways of knowing stuff. Not all knowledge comes from our five senses together with our reasoning, intellect, understanding and conscience. I realize now that my spirit also has knowledge...it senses things that the other sources miss out on and often is at odds with what fallen angels want us to believe but is in sink with what the Holy Spirit wants us to know. Realizing this and confirming its witness to events through prayer will release us from many of the snares that the devil sets. Trying to trust people not using the intuition from our spirit does not work well. Our spirits read other people’s energies, intentions, and motives and when listened to will guide us together with the light of Christ on the path of faith. When we are open to listening to all these ways of knowing we will grow in wisdom and patience and wild goose chases will become things of the past.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Yes, what exactly is confession? It is not just saying I am sorry. When I confess to God then I start by admitting in words to Him what I did and admit it's nature: bad, reckless, ugly, proud, or selfish whatever the case maybe... and also I may need to express just how much I knew or didn’t know about how wrong it was; and whether it was done in freedom or not. Then I confess I'm sorry to God and I ask Him to forgive me as I resolve to repent in faith with His help from doing the same sins again. This silences my conscience and the fiery darts from the evil one meant to shame me. I then receive forgiveness and God strengthens and heals me to help me not go back to the vomit. This is the meaning from First John 1:9 which says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” NIV.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
All the Law can give is us cold pride, hard guilt, or condemning shame. Jesus wants to give us warmth, comfort, forgiveness, and grace; and more so Himself. It's a no brain-er; I choose Jesus! Satan has power when we focus on the LAW as a means to righteousness. Jesus wants to give us rest and purpose, whereas the Law always asks for more and can't give us rest; neither can we satisfy its demands. The devil loves to ask questions that detract from the simplicity of grace and in that vein stop grace from being realized in our love lives. His questions try to give us the feeling that we are wise and knowledgeable but robs us of what Jesus seeks to give us. These question the devils entertain us with are theological quicksand...they suck the life out of us when we focus on them and don’t realize that they are meant to immobilize us. It is good to not go too far beyond what is written or implied; and to stay away from trying to solve paradoxes. Now when I get preoccupied with a topic that seems to promise a lot of good, then I choose to ask myself if it is fruitful or just a technical waste of time and a waste of brain power.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
How do I be an open person... a kind person? And not a closed person, not a selfish person? How do I be a warm person and a giving person; not a poor me person?
There is attempting to change a person
There is attempting to change how we see a person
Then there is attempting to change ourselves
The first is God’s prerogative not mine
The latter will inform the second...
Not complaining leads to perspective, realism, non-idealism, patience and faith...and surprisingly trusting people instead of having fears growing out of insecurities because we no longer are looking for things to criticize and find wrong with people. Not choosing whining gives us a feel for people so we have an intuition, connectedness, a trust, a fellowship, a roomy relationship that allows for ups and downs and the ability to forge deeper and deeper commitments to each other. Such is living life and that means growth.
I got to stay away from the LAW in the sense of having the attitude, or motivation: I got to or must keep it. The Law makes nothing perfect. Trusting Jesus to save us from sin is key...that is where the grace is. I’m glad I went to church this morning. It was a good message. I am not under the Law. I am under grace. Thank God!
Thursday, October 22, 2015: Hitting Roots
When one gets angry with others because ones’ expectations are not realized pursuing forgiveness might be the red herring. I mean that if the expectation is based on selfishness then the selfishness needs to be repented from never mind forgiving others who did no harm! The selfishness might show up in anger but also in self pity and this also needs to be dealt with.
When we accuse God of being late and hold it against Him in an uncharitable fashion we lose out on so much! Yes, God can demand a lot from us...and it is OK to feel the weight of it...but to complain, bicker, whine, and criticize God is not healthy! If we don't expect God to show up on time, then we aren't believing that He is a reward-er of those who believe He exists and is good! Such an attitude goes against healthy prayer...and the only way to rid ourselves from it is to pray through it and deal with it until the burden is gone and then we have our enthusiasm is back! Such negative attitudes pollutes our other relationships too because if God doesn't come through when we want why should we be gracious when others want it from us too!
Don't focus on your weaknesses... don't indulge in it; instead believe you can do all things when it comes to loving those in your life! Don't focus on neediness or have a poor me attitude! Believe you are strong in Jesus and love deeply in the now! Tune out all that negative stuff and move in the Spirit! Healthy thinking, healthy believing, healthy seeking, healthy doing, and healthy attitudes mean we are abiding in Jesus.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
When we have any dark criticism towards God it gives Satan a stronghold in our minds/ hearts...that can only be removed with God’s leadings and our co- operations. We don't always see just how wrong and judgmental, condemning, and intolerant we can be. But when we see Jesus loving on someone whether in the Gospels or in our communities, then we are in a position to see the errors of our ways when we aim to be conscientious. Yes, there are many things that one can use to malign God (like fiery darts from the devil who makes accusations based on lies fabricated out of our ignorance/ unknowing and senses of injustices) ...but rushing into critiquing God’s ways is folly. God’s timing is something we need to respect and not throw shadows upon. Yes, we can feel like God has abandoned us. But when we ignore the visible goodness God has visited on us in our pasts and begin to darkly question Him in pressing areas, then we are foolishly playing into the devil’s wicked schemes. This does not mean the devil has won...but it is not a good place to be. Sometimes the way is narrow. Supernatural love is a result in part of having a correct image of God in our minds/ hearts. Holding onto this with our faith in tact can be really difficult, and burdensome. I’ve been there and done that. There is so much bad stuff in the world.
Bad stuff is bad stuff, but God uses bad stuff to make good out of it in the end. His wisdom sees stuff that we are blind to. His understanding is precise, and exact. His purposes are often hidden requiring us to have faith, trust, hunger for righteousness, and commitment through the rough stuff and renouncing the seduction of the world. God can let things go on even when we scream: “Enough of this bloody sh--” because of our limited understanding, poor judgments, and desires for instant gratification.
We cannot participate in supernatural love when we darkly judge or turn our backs on God or anyone else.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
When one is intolerant of, or judges harshly another person’s conduct as “deeply sinful and unacceptable” (rightfully or wrongfully) that one happens to do one self (knowingly or unknowingly), then this is hypocrisy. The behavior will not be repented from successfully/ removed/ healed/or cleaned up until the hypocrisy is repented from or dealt with successfully. It is so easy to compartmentalize stuff, and when we do so we become blind and will hurt a lot of people when given the opportunity to do so.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Convicted by the Holy Spirit of more hypocrisy in my life. I realized that I judged certain people by how they slowly got off the bus and held up the rest of us passengers aiming for home or work. I thought I was better because I always tried to get off the bus quickly. Now I realize that I got off early purely for selfish reasons; and not because I cared for the other passengers. Realizing this gives me the opportunity to grow more in love for others and die to more of my hypocrisy.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
People who are judgmental may vacillate between “poor me” and “revenge” attitudes and in either case they will only measure out love less than or equal to what others measure out to them. They are insecure and choose to not love those who don’t love them. They are insecure, motivated by fear of rejection, and have low self-esteem. They don’t know their worth in God’s eyes. They have believed lies that make them more like parasites than lovers. They are motivated by a selfish kind of love. They hunger for power to control people, the present and the future. Therefore, they seek knowledge in these areas either from the occult or in prayer to God. Saving face is their goal. They often view God’s love as conditional, God as hard to please, and God as someone who only loves you if you belong to Him, or if you got your theological ducks in a row. They may believe God only starts to love you once you give Him reign over your life. They also believe they ought only love others once they belong to their brand or particular denomination. The judgmental often feel they aren’t respected when people don't always do as they please. Their efforts to get respect always fall short because they act from the flesh (weakly or strongly) and people sense this as inauthentic. Judgmental people blame, blame, and blame.
Non judgmental people are stronger and love lavishly even those who treat them like shit. They are not insecure...they have hope...and believe the best about everyone else. They do not see themselves as being at the capricious or fickle mercy of others...there is no struggle for power in them. They are not motivated by fear. They are not motivated by fear of rejection. They aren't attempting to use God as a good luck charm or as someone with a crystal ball that predicts the future conveniently for them so they can safely navigate tricky relationships or economic uncertainty. They trust God with the future and live as much as possible in the present. They view God’s love as unconditional, that He is merciful to both the righteous and the wicked; the knowledgeable and the ignorant; and the wise and the foolish. Non judgmental people love, love, and love.
Grace means that God loves us unconditionally. Not as we deserve. Lavishly. Patiently. Caring. Forever.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
More things are coming into focus for me! Been on one hell of a trip lately! Definitely a lot less paranoia now...but the trip I was on took me to places I'd rather not have visited. I’m getting more proficient at staying away from the devil’s sucker punches! Prayer, God given wisdom, a community of believers, and Scripture are helping me to fight back against the devils in my mind! I don’t know what the future holds...but even though I went to my personal hell on this trip...I learned stuff that is fundamental to a healthy Christian walk. Thanks to those who have been instrumental in putting up with my rubbish and bad attitudes that needed to be transformed into healthier stuff.
So how does one deal with thoughts that makes one feel insecure, weak, fearful, angry, judgmental, needy, disrespected, or guilty? On one level these thoughts/feelings could spring from personal baggage from our pasts, or they could be lies that devils have just put into our minds to sucker punch us. First off we can determine the agenda for what goes on in our minds and not wrongly give that power to others: namely devils. If we can re-focus on what is pure, holy, of good repute, peaceful, and beautiful...giving us wholesome positive feelings then the thoughts that were in our heads are lies; not baggage from our past. On the other hand, if we we can’t find rest no matter how much we struggle or try to focus on truth, beauty, and kindness...with no wholesome feelings being manufactured, then this is a sign that we have baggage from our past that needs to be dealt with. Dealing with this is a process done in prayer, meditation, patience, a community, wisdom, kindness and perseverance. Moreover, if God shows us that the negative stuff is no ours then that will give us permission and freedom to not listen to it and not focus on it. Often we focus on stuff only because we think it is ours. Knowing it is not ours lets us set the agenda for our thought lives.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
In the past when something I disliked happened or was inconvenient and came my way I’d cynically and immediately say: “I just don’t understand” and this would fuel the negative thoughts, anger, abrasive ness, poor me thoughts and judgmental ism I struggled with in my mind. Fact is love tries to understand, be reasonable, tolerant, caring and, gracious. We are all human...and allowances need to be made for this. Yes when shit happens the devils will try to plant negative, malicious, and volatile codes into our minds that will make us feel stuff that we don't want to feel. Just because the thoughts and feelings are there don't mean they are true or reflect reality or that we are bad and shameful people or we did something wrong. When such thoughts come to mind we don't have to own them when we don't embrace and act them out.
We are not saved by Jesus unto the Law. We are saved by the forgiveness of our sins. We are not under the Law, but under Grace. Jesus didn’t save us and then give us a Law that if we fail to keep we land up going to Hell for. We are saved by the forgiveness of our sins (that's it). All who land up in Heaven do so because they are forgiven their sins. We are saved unto good works...we don't do good works in order to be saved. We are saved unto freedom. God did not die for us and give us a rule book in His place with Him leaving us alone by ourselves. We are made for relationships. The Law only points out sin. The Law gives no warmth, can’t empower us to keep it, and doesn’t cheer us up when we fall.
There is no other name by which we must be saved but by the name of Jesus. Not the Pope or a Bishop or a Priest: only Jesus. God is all that matters!
Friday, October 2, 2015
I finally know that I have been a complainer, murmurer and whiner most my life and that it is a pathway to judgmental ism and insensitivity. When something disagrees with me I have escalated it in the twinkling of an eye to hostility using the phrase: “fuck this” and by default bypassing the kindness and reasonableness that God has put into my heart. This bypass paints the world rather black and white with no feel for the color in between: one is at either extreme with no sensitivity in between. Paul makes it clear that we ought to be pure, clean, and holy or healthy when it comes to what we think and speak to others, ourselves, and God.
When we are complainers we will question the goodness of God when circumstances are dark and God seems silent because complaining leads very quickly to anger and judging. So we will feel anger towards God and justified in it in such circumstances. The Bible says that we ought not rely entirely on our own understanding when things are chaotic about us because God cares for us even when it seems like He doesn’t. Things can really seem horrible, make perfect sense but be totally horribly wrong. Perseverance, patience, and faith are keys to getting through such trials: patience pacifying escalating anger; hope that gets us through the bends on the rough roads, and faith that grounds us with a healthy view of God and reality that sets us straight for future challenges and gets us the promises of God! The Bible says that it is through faith and patience that we obtain the promises of God (Thanks Joyce Meyer) and that patience is not just the ability to wait, but to wait with a good attitude.
In considering First Corinthians 13:1, I made a BIG error with interpreting it as a young Christian. It says that, “though I speak in tongues like men or angels but am without love I'm only a resounding gong or clashing cymbal” and I wrongly interpreted this as saying that only truth is important and it didn’t matter much on how it was delivered...think judgmentally/ angrily/ insensitively/ and self-righteously. But I know now that this is totally erroneous. Soft respectful tones, tenderness, patience, care, compassion, and tears are far more important and a harshness with an angry face saying: “I'm right and you are wrong and this is all that matters” needs to be jettisoned.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Have to stop beating myself over the head for sins I committed in the past...there is forgiveness....and no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Amen!
Realized today that fallen angels have determined the agenda when it comes to the topics of my thoughts and the direction they have been taking. Also realized thanks to Joyce Meyer that I can determine the agenda and direction of my thoughts instead of them. The safest places right now for me are to meditate on Scripture, what I studied in books, bible study, and focusing on God's promises not the devil's lies. My wife once made the comment to me: "why do you go there?" She knew she could determine her thoughts I didn't at the time...now I do!
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Being quiet, and asking Jesus for wisdom is the path to take, not trying to reason vaguely, or argue quickly and therefore blindly and independently one way or another. Real change in thinking is done being dependent on Jesus, Holy Spirit, and God the Father. Trying to go quickly invites doubt, unbelief, anxiety, distance from God, and fears. Patiently waiting in conversation with Jesus leads to peace, perspective, and reasonableness. The Scriptures are not meant to be approached as a math or philosophy book. God is the only absolute...!
I am beginning to discover the beauty of Scripture again. God is speaking to me through the Bible again in a much deeper way because there is power in it and I am taking it seriously again and seeing it as more applicable than ever in my life. Music that lost its punch for many years is becoming meaningful again (because it is birthed from wrestling and embracing Scripture).
Being strong is where things are at. Thinking one is vulnerable because one is having a pity party impresses no one; not even God. The, “oh poor me”- attitudes...lead to insecurity, further weakness, uncertainty, and plenty of doubt. Deciding to be strong in a wise/ gentle/ caring way leads to security, courage, and perseverance. The Book of Joshua in the OT has God saying to Joshua that he needed to be strong in conquering the Promised Land. In conquering the depths of our hearts and all that God has for us is going to take being strong in Jesus.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
I now know that challenging rules, and commands can be a very good thing. If the only reason we obey these rules is out of fear then challenging the rules will help us understand them in a better light. We will either see why they are true, or why they only have power because of the fearful threats those who teach them make. We can’t just follow stuff all the time blindly; if we do, then we have no understanding and we will hurt a lot of people.
People often approach spirituality the way they approach their life that comes from what the learned from parents, teachers, peers, media, books, trades, sports, or from the philosophies taught them in colleges or universities. I know that I approached the Bible like a mathematician for a long time. But such an approach is not what the writers intended. One can try to read the Gospels trying to get some great maxim or insight from them: but that leaves one disappointed because we are looking in the wrong way. Jesus is the good news...when we get a glimpse of Him then we connect with Him and that is far more profitable. To know God through Jesus is where it is at. Jesus is far more interesting, meaningful, loving, caring, joyous, peaceful, and wiser than maxims. He offers relationships and won’t ever reject or leave us. He empowers us to love and fulfill the moral law.
Every day I get to choose my attitudes and self-esteem always in the vein of caring for others as myself.
You know you love someone when they change and still you love her or him.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
I recently realized that I resented and felt wounded by people in the past who did not bother to try to explain to me what I did that was wrong and why it was wrong each time before punishing me or dishing out the consequences. Putting things into boxes and punishing people because they break rules is not restorative justice and often does more harm if not properly processed. Here is a case in point:
It happened at Pine Grove Elementary School in SA when I was a child. Because my peers rejected me...I would do anything to increase my chances of being accepted again. So when my brother showed up and wanted to hang out with me I rejected him (thinking he would lower my chances or making friends) and we landed up getting into a tussle with me pushing him onto the ground. He promptly told a teacher and I got into trouble. Instead of finding out why I did what I did I was judged as a bad apple and made an example out of through shame. They never asked questions, probed, or cared about what I was going through. Now I know what I did to my brother was not acceptable but retributive justice did not make this right or healthy again. I have forgiven the teachers for this...and realize that I too can learn how to not judge so quickly...and instead learn to ask questions and understand people more before speaking one way or another.
The idea that punishment is going to correct a child does not address what is going on in the child’s heart and mind: my story above shows that kids often do bad stuff not because it is just fun or rebellious; but out of rejection or hurt. Talking with the child before disciplining is wiser and does not put behaviors and people into boxes.
Another lesson from this situation is that the victims learn that retributive justice is the only way to deal with conflicts or bad behaviors. The only way to deal with this false notion is to forgive those who promoted this mentality and to see the true image of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) by peeling off the lies the enemy tries to laminate onto our minds/ consciences/ hearts/ and our understandings. It is the kindness of God that leads to renewal/ health/ and peace. How much more does kindness lead to friendships with others and healthy relationships? If it works with God...it will work with us too.
Dealing with this theme in my relationships through forgiveness and renewal of my mind has made me feel much closer to God the Father.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
I have been under some great delusions: lies, that had been laminated onto some of the Scriptures found in the Bible. With a clearer mind, and re-reading Scripture the Holy Spirit is overthrowing lies that made me fear-based in my theology and my life. I actually have the joy of God’s Salvation in me again. He is the joy of this man’s desire and life. The Gospels introduce Jesus as a meek and gentle Shepherd; one whose rod and Staff isn’t about beating up His sheep or threatening them with blackest Hell if they don’t keep certain-man-made-rules. God isn’t always rule focused; He also has desires and doesn’t threaten Hell when they aren’t met all the time. He is Big enough to handle rejections...and non-compliance...our slowness to act, lack of understanding, wrong thinking, sinfulness, failures, and childlikeness. He knows what we are made of...and that we often have to go through learning cuves. We all see unclearly in this life and stumble often. God still embraces us because He is love and is slow to anger. If we only see God in terms of having to keep rules then we destroy His personhood, His grace, His mercy, His kindness, and His compassion. God only cares about rules when they protect people. Love does no harm to ones neighbors. Relationship with God is much like that between a wife and a husband. The husband may have a desire but can accept that his wife is not on the same page yet. If he is wise he won't make his desire a rule because he cares for his wife and wants to win her, care for her, and be kind to her and not be selfish towards her. God is the same way with us...He doesn't always get His way, and that is fine with Him because He isn't selfish.
I think it very important to keep the four Gospels front and center in our minds and hearts because they are the clearest pictures of who Jesus is. The Gospels are not like lawyer documents...but they paint pictures of Jesus and what He values. Therefore Paul’s letters and the Rest of the NT need to be interpreted in this light. The Gospels show the joys, passions, and sorrows of Jesus as well as what is important to Him. Meditating on them by imagining the scenes and stories and accepting Jesus' love will open up our hearts and slowly renew our minds and actions.
The Church is not a bunch of clever principles, theology, or dogma that we give our whole lives to... case closed; but the Church is a collection of people with many human-facets. Principles, theology, and dogma are only important to the degree that they help us love the Church and those outside the Church. Jesus died for all of us...not for just a bunch of rules. Some people go to Church to build their theologies and give their whole lives to such endeavors. But we are called to give our lives first and foremost to those we are called to love.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Fear is a killer of (natural and supernatural) love. Fallen angels try to motivate us through blind obedience to the powers that may be; and when we are in their grips it dries up our love and warmth. God does not motivate us through fear: Perfect love casts out all fear. Jesus taught to never give absolute authority/honor/respect/power to anyone when that authority alone belongs to God. If we give such power to mere humans then we will invite fear, blind obedience, and a hurting conscience as we are torn between what fallible people expect, and the truth in our hearts. Blind obedience makes us hurt others. Blind obedience kills intuition.
Sunday, September 6, 2015: What's the New Testament for?
I used to approach the NT as a tip book on how to improve on near perfection. Now I see it as a book written for those who are honest about their "sin" or spiritual maladies! The whole book can’t be mastered in this life. Change involves a process and a journey. I don't have to chase that elusive ideal of perfection that is so often preached by some, or that I had set my heart upon up until a little while ago! I had no idea how unhealthy my heart and mind were ten-fifteen-years ago. God has not cleaned me up all at once. To be born from above or again is a process not a one- time decision. It does start with a commitment to Jesus but it involves a journey that often involves pain that is sustained by ones commitment.
I know I got a lot of legalism in my thinking and only grace through Jesus can set me free like God promised me! I got lots of sin in me: by that I mean unhealthy stuff in my heart. I am a sinner and that means I am far from perfect and will be imperfect my whole life long here on earth.
Grace as defined in the New Testament means: God’s empowering presence and also as undeserved favor upon us. Grace in the first sense is how God empowers us to bring restorative justice to the world; whereas grace in the second sense is how God treats us. God is first and foremost into restorative justice. It is an attribute of His mind, will, and heart. It is how He wants to treat each and every person. Restorative justice is right, just, good, wholesome, healthy, healing, caring, compassionate, and peaceful. It is not an “eye for an eye” or a “tooth for a tooth” motivation. Grace means we not only work towards accepting the wrongs others have visited on us, but we also aim to learn to love them more and more deeply as time goes by.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
“I have to have my way period!” Has been one of my life long desires...
...and has taken root into my heart warping my energy, and filling me with malice so that I land up hurting people...especially those close to me. Lord God I own this spiritual sickness and ask you to heal me from this and instead fill me with wholesome energy, kind attitudes, and peace...I therefore repent in faith from my sickness and ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen and Amen!
Saturday, August 29, 2015
I am again employing a strategy of being thankful for all things, and giving praise to God despite my circumstances. This too has an effect of making me more positive, less likely to be judgmental, less negative, less full of self-pity, and less angry; and therefore less hurtful towards others and self too. Also when I’m not thankful I get an attitude of self-entitlement (thanks Jeremy) that is most unhealthy; and it makes all things look hopeless... whereas when we give thanks to God He shows ways through circumstances that otherwise would appear as dead ends. Thank you Jesus for giving/reminding me of these insights.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
When it comes to expectations they can often be just desires or just rules. One important principle when it comes to our relationships is to give up some of our rules and accept them as desires instead when we ourselves can't enforce the rules. Also if our desires aren't met then we can go on living only having to deal with disappointments (which is easier than landing up judging others because of broken rules)...but if the desires were rules then the temptation is to get angry and judgmental each time the rules are broken and that means an emotional rolercoaster with negativity, and the need to process the anger over and over again. Moreover, the rules often have a hardness to them and jade our experiences of the people in our relationships. Seeing that we can't always enforce our rules, nor should we always try to enforce them, the healthiest thing to do is live and let live. Living with unresolved anger is very unhealthy. Moreover, we might seek to manipulate others into keeping our rules (been there and done that oh so often and not realizing it) so that we can seemingly be happy...but with desires no one is absolutely expected to follow through on the said desires each time: this is freeing for all involved. This is the difference between law- and grace- mentalities or approaches to life. Moreover when we have desires for people to do this or that in our relationships we are kinder, more caring, more friendly, and more compassionate towards them than having rules to obey. Whereas when we hold onto the rules we will often hurt others, be a stink in their nostrils, and care more for the rules than the people we are called to love.
Got this Principle from a book called: "Overcoming Sinful Anger" by Rev. T. G. Morrow. It blows fresh air into my life and relationships.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Lord God here I am where you want me and I rejoice in it. Thanks so much! Amen, and Amen!
Sunday, August 16, 2015
I am more and more experiencing God as a gentle shepherd like the 23rd Psalm invites. When I feel beaten, exhausted, buffeted, empty, and hopeless and when I feel isolated; embracing my faith in Jesus gently moves me into a place of hope and life and joy. God does not give up on us.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Lord God here I am. Broken...and lots of kaka coming out of me. I have a history of jealousy and envy. I own it...but I want to give it up. Please Lord God heal me of my spiritual wows! I am a sinner and I need your help. Lord God what lies am I believing?
The lie is:
"I got to have it now...immediately...without waiting for it...give me...give me...give me; its mine, yes it is all mine!"
Thinking about others more is where the true action is. Lord God I repent in faith from having to get everything and to have it all the time, immediately, and at any price...so long as I get it. I guess prayer: honest, to the point, and humble prayer together with reversing bad actions with good actions is in store for me if real change is to take place.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Healing Rejection (From June Hunt’s eBook called: Rejection (Hope For The Heart)):
The rejection by somebody we love does hurt: even Jesus hurt when we rejected Him and took Him to the Cross. But He dealt with it in a healthy way unlike the way so many of us have dealt with rejection. What we do with the hurt through a darkened mind can have very negative repercussions. Below are two things that June Hunt recommends to those controlled by fear of rejection:
Fear of rejection controls those wounded by past rejection and lack of wisdom. So remembering the times of rejection from our pasts we should speak: "that was then, this is now: I won't let the pain of my past determine my present and future"!
Release each painful rejection to the Lord. “Lord Jesus, I release my fear of this pain into your hands.”
I feel like baggage has been dealt with yet again. Thank you June and thank you Jesus for bringing the right nourishment at the right time yet again.
Anger has four roots: hurt/injustice/fear/and frustration. For me rejection caused me to feel a lot of hurt...and that made me angry with my peers who rejected me. I was also angry with myself and that made me hard on myself too. Lord God I have forgiven my peers and myself just now for the hurt/rejection I felt and my anger is gone in this context.. And now I feel joy again. I was nursing the hurt/ depression/ negativity I felt all these years with food/pop/and ice cream to the point of addictions. These addictions have fluctuated: weak one period...and strong another depending on what God or I have been doing. I still feel more needs to be dealt with...
Saturday, August 8, 2015: Rejection & Jealousy...
I have never forgiven myself for the genesis of my peers' rejection in SA of me so long ago. God would not reject me...He did not! In being rejected I also rejected myself: my identity, worth, warmth, joy, and need of forgiveness. I have forgiven myself tonight...I no longer hold it against myself praise be to God! I forgive myself for lying too. And I accept myself in Christ Jesus fully! Amen and Amen! Need to forgive myself for trusting a certain lady who was not worthy of my trust. Done!
Felt tons of jealousy within...had it all these many years without being aware of it...it grew and developed over the years...starting with coveting Leonard's ice cream, gifts, toys...etc! I need to own this sin, and confess it to God! Envy is wanting the attributes equal to or better than the person we envy. Jealousy is when we want or covet the possessions from another person. How does one conquer jealousy? Own it for what it is, and confess to God the exact nature of it along with its history, ask what lie or lies began it, and then ask for what truth(s) will set you free! Reject the lies one believed and humbly accept the truth. The truth sets us free.
Monday, August 3, 2015: Progress...
There is no spiritual progress possible with a bad or sour image of God in our minds. When we accuse Him or blame Him for stuff in our lives that we don't want then He can't help us!
Progress and growth in a relationship between two people is halted when there is blame, and dredging up of old hurts that aren't forgiven.
Supernatural love cares for everyone for all eternity. The lost even when they remain lost...the hurting, the deceived, and the suffering, the crooked, the despised, the foolish, and the angry. God cares for all in: earth, purgatory, hell, and heaven.
Saturday, August 1, 2015: Strong vs. weak
A strong person is committed to the best interests of those in their lives; whereas a weak person is more interested in saving his or her ass! Thanks for pointing this out to me Sophie!
Thursday, July 30, 2015: Pride
Why is my foremost attitude: "impress me" and not, "I care for you"? The former value system is devoid of humility, love, care, kindness, and compassion; the latter is the gift of God!
I just realized that I was grumpy, resentful, frustrated, and angry with God as though He were responsible for my shit and lack of love. I then realized that I'd never get anything from Him if I believed it was His fault. I was prompted to have an attitude change realizing that my shit and lack of love was a work of the Devil in conjunction with me. It was my fault I had all these negative attitudes in my heart. So in a prayer I prayed to God and found freedom to love!
One does not have to go through some convoluted mechanical hidden mysterious circumlocution to get God to answer ones prayers. Fact is we don't have because we don't ask...and we don't get because we ask demandingly haughtily proudly angrily as though God owes us. Admitting our part in getting us to where we are in a contritely humbly believing way will get God answer the best way possible.
Years ago I read a book on inter-relationships with family members. One thing that they said was if someone does something wrong or annoying to us then we ought not say to them, "You made me feel such and such when you did such and such". What we ought to say to them is, "I feel such when you do such!" Now there is something important about this! No one determines our feelings but us alone. We decide how we feel when others interact with us, not them. That puts power into our hands...so we can stop being hung up or blocked or blaming others for supposedly making us feel horrible. When we take our past or present feelings to God in prayer, owning them and discussing them with God then they will be dealt with.
Conviction says what you are doing is unhealthy...bring it to God in prayer, own it, ask for forgiveness, wisdom, understanding and freedom and Jesus will show you the way and restore you eventually. Condemnation says what you are doing is wrong, vile, and evil (how could you?), you are shameful, you can't quit and it's too hard to quit...and if you continue and God won't love you anymore...you are on your way to hell anyways! Condemnation is when we sentence ourselves with self-hatred. Fact is God’s love for us is independent of our actions: God’s love is unconditional.
Friday, July 24, 2015: The Problem of Hell!
For such a long time I have felt deathly afraid of my conceptions of hell. Even with healthier ones I was still so afraid of it that I would weakly jump from any ship aiming for the destination of hell. I say, “weakly” because I was trying to save myself and cared less for those still set on staying on such boats. Jesus did not jump ship, and Paul did not jump ship either. They stayed on those ships hoping to win those who knew no better. I still got iron in my heart. I still got pride. I don’t want to land up in hell because the Bible warns us about it. But I don’t want to see anyone permanently in hell. With Jesus strength and wisdom I would go there so that those there might embrace Heaven. If something is not done in love then it is not worth doing. I can’t love supernaturally without Jesus...so He is coming with me cause He knows best and I am useless without Him.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Lord God I now realize that: “let go and let God” is weaker than “let go of your code of conduct and trust Jesus to enable you to love.” Why? Because Codes don’t give life. Yes the real thing can look like a code but codes like the LAW are not capable of giving life. Yes love lived out will look like the LAW...but the LAW makes nothing perfect.
July 9, 2015: Searching for New Roads:
Often when we have messed up our lives we may find ourselves so stuck in ruts that we can lose vision, and hope; and fall into self-pity very easily. These ruts seem deep, dark, permanent, and prison-like. But they only hide or blindside more desirable ways of thinking, and feeling, and loving that we would never have imagined existed before except the ache in our hearts tells us it must be there. Because of the ruts: default/emotional/logistic/reactions that happen so quickly and are so powerful, we think they are one thing: bad powerful emotions that rule over us; when in fact they are different yet interdependent on each other. This is not the only possible process...there are healthier ones to: feel/think/react/live. When we are in these ruts we will be challenged in our faith walk as to whether or not there is another more beautiful way to live. But when we slowly slow the process of: feel>>>default (don’t think)>>>react>>>chaos down using the tools we searched for and found we together with God will slowly stretch out these knotted messes that have many times gone un-attended for decades and decades (ruining our lives)...and we will begin to see colors, depths and shades of love and wisdom that are healthy, holy, wholesome, kind, caring, compassionate, and peaceful; and these will destroy the ruts and bring freedom and cut off the burdens of pride giving us lightness and strength. Then we will have found the New Roads we were looking for: humble roads, and the ocean of pride will have dried up to a manageable pond.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
I have come a to very important conclusion. Tapping does allow us to process stuff that is not properly dealt with. But it by itself it won’t fuel ordinary love, supernatural love, or real kindness, moving compassion, caring for small and BIG things, and sanely loving people in little ways. There is no power in little “p” principles to sustain wholesome love lives all by themselves. Principles are conduits that allow life to flow into us but they need to be connected to the Source of power: the Creator.
I have come to believe (Cf. John 15) that abiding, remaining, and connecting to the True Vine: Jesus is the only way to be empowered to love supernaturally (and for me even to love naturally). So how does this work? I find that the two Creeds: The Apostle, and The Nicene, both have the ability to connect us to the power that flows from the Creator. They clarify what orthodox Christians believe in: the attributes of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and the Catholic Church. If we rest our faith on these creeds we will find pastures, rest, clarity of mind, and a desire to worship God even in the bad times. So it is our faith that enables us to overcome the world/flesh/and devils. It is our faith that connects us to God. That connects us to His power to help us love. It is faith that opens the doors to life and that more abundantly.
Admitting these horrible feelings while Tapping is key to processing them. I find that I need to Tap on these thoughts often...also I need to work through stuff often in the last part of the Dismantling The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil Within So Love Can Thrive Essay. I also am navigating connecting with God in worshipping Him...after all He is the source of life, love, and laughter.
Also trying to fight the negative character flaws by wrestling with them head long is not wise...this reminds me of trying to use the Law (Moral, or OT or otherwise) as a means to conquering the negativity. The Law makes nothing perfect. Trusting Jesus is far more wise.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
I know that Saint Paul was promised suffering. Strange thing was that when he accepted it he actually rejoiced in it. I had to ask myself recently: Would I accept my cross, or moan all the way to the finish line? It wasn’t an easy choice. But I chose to carry my cross. Strange thing is... I am less psychotic now.
A bigot is a person who is intolerant towards and hostile towards those whose views are different from their own. I was that person until today! I hope that this is the last root when it comes to me judging all too easily.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
I have been dealing with a lot of psychosis of late...and this has worn hard on me. I remembered my pompous, proud, and boisterous claims of wanting a tough life, one with constant challenges, much suffering, and much authority in the church. Yes I got a lot of pain, suffering, confusion, and challenges because of the gift of schizophrenia. But it has been brutal for so long a time now...that I didn’t know if the rest of my life would entail such brutality/psychosis as my due.
I know that God’s mercies endure every morning. That it was my pride, insensitivity, hatred, and contempt that prompted God to give me schizophrenia to cure my spiritual wows. And much healing has occurred. But the brutality I have experienced lately made me wonder if I asked for this and was it a gift from God? I know that when I chose my sins they had consequences that allowed the dark side into my life. I really hope that I don’t have to suffer the rest of my life from these dark forces that mock, make fun, tease, ridicule, and hate me; and play horrible games in my mind.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
It is interesting that God said He was digging tunnels of love in me...not building muscles of love in me so long ago...the former gives God the glory the later would have birthed pride. I'm like a glove and God is the hand; or God is the Vine and I'm a branch.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
I now know that sin kills us, not God. God does not punish us with death when we sin. When we sin we pull away from life either a bit or a lot: that life is God. Knowing that Jesus did not save us from His Father’s wrath, but that they come to find who is lost, heal who is sick, and bring life where there is death; gives me a new focus away from compulsively judging others. Abiding in Jesus the True Vine does help me to stay away from sinning. This insight that “sin kills not God”...thanks to Brad Jersak’s book helps me view God more realistically...and I no longer fear God’s wrath...it also helps me to abide in the True Vine: Jesus and fellowship with God. I also have a new appreciation of wanting to stay away from sin because of its consequences. Now that I see God in this new light I also want to imitate Him...and I don’t feel the compulsion to be overly angry and abrasive with others as much like before.
Moreover I no longer focus on the possibility of punishment as the only deterrent to not sinning. Seeing sin and its awful consequences is more of a deterrent than fear of Hell. One starts to care about others more instead of whether one is going to hell or not. With this paradigm: (Sin kills; not God) one has all fear cast out of oneself because God no longer appears to be the enforcer, policeman, jailor, and torturer; but is LOVE itself. The devil is the one that comes to kill...God gives life: Jesus came to give life. People who are condemned condemn themselves...God only reaches out to them in kindness; God does not comdemn.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Yesterday, I received the revelation that I still viewed sin in a penal/law focused way. For a long time when it came to me trying to stop judging others I tried to say that things were relative...that the more blind a conscience is the more limited the amount of guilt and penalty payable by God was. In reading Brad Jersak’s latest book, “A More Christlike God” I am starting to realize that sin is its own punishment (God does not add to this His wrath); that the real consequences of sin are its own punishment. So instead of being saved from God’s wrath (as a penalty for sins committed) we are saved from sin, its own consequences, and the guilt we feel because we have sinned, and all of this “saving” is a gift from God through Jesus’ love.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Listened to a sermon from Lazar Puhalo on the clarion journal found on the web at: http://clarionjournal.typepad.com and got hit right in the face with what I used to be like. I started out so well in 1989...but then all my dirty laundry never got dealt with and my tongue was putrid, and horribly poisonous from years of judging others...no wonder my misguided loyalties and lack of wisdom made me so hateful, full of malice, and so un Christ like in my attitudes, relationships, and theology.
Monday, May 11, 2015
I now realize that dependence on God is multifaceted. The True Vine narrative in John 15 is pregnant with meaning. I can’t bear good fruit apart from Jesus. I don’t bear good fruit in order to abide in the Vine (Jesus). I abide in the Vine to bear good fruit. But how do I tap into the True Vine? Through faith in, relationship with, trust in, and dependence on God; believing that God will provide while seeking to do His will is where it starts. Blocks to love also need to be dealt with and using Scripture to unblock them so love will result is key. But also becoming dependent on wholesome community, and wisdom literature helps to fortify and keep us in the Vine. We are all connected!
Friday, May 8, 2015: Idolatry of pride...
I have bought in to the idolatry of pride...thinking freedom is doing as I please...getting what I want...in doing my thing when I so desire...this needs to be watched and put in check daily!
I have repented more fully in faith from my awful unkind attitude towards Mormons who go around preaching that they are someday going to be deity..
More often than not God does not meet us where we want to be...but where we are at right now.
Repenting from self-pity in prayer...together with getting in touch with those feelings of self-pity and processing them in healthy ways (i.e. through Tapping)...and confessing thankfulness for God's generosity to all form a powerful cocktail that helps to kill envy, love turned inwards to selfishness, and pride.
Compassion can be stolen in two ways: (1): by not wanting to feel other people's negativity because then we don’t want to land up feeling our negativity, or (2): inappropriately expressed loyalty. By this I mean one sees an “either-or” scenario when it comes to loyalty for people or Scripture and not both at the same time. This happens when we fear we might love people over God’s word. And this may make us wrongly harden our hearts wrongly thinking it is only way to remain loyal to Scripture. In other words insensitivity is a result of abusive and misguided loyalties. Love is not motivated out of fear...but warmth. Compassion wants the best for people.
I am reading Brad Jersak's latest book: “A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel”...and it is a very good read thus far! I like the idea that God has a servant- heart, is compassionate, is not lazy, and is humble...and that He did not leave behind these attributes in ascending to His glory after the Passion. That brings tears to my eyes. God is not like human Kings who lord it over those they rule. This makes me want to be more like Jesus...and does not have me crying out “unfair...unfair”.
I have repented in faith of disliking repetition...God does things over and over and does not get tired of it. I am made in His image. In doing this I am enjoying things more and more...and my cynicism, scoffing, and laziness have been dealt a BIG blow. I remember voicing this attitude in high school and it grew from there.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Today I realized that I still felt that God was unfair in how I lived my life...and how the world operated. I was able to process this feeling with Tapping. I also had a deeply emotional freedom released when I processed my hurt feelings from a conversation I had with somebody.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
I now accept myself as God’s gift to me, the world, and God. This helps clear up the devil’s taunts that Tapping is not from God because love isn’t that we first loved but that first God loves us. I also realize that there are contexts where I do love myself, contexts where I do love others, and contexts where I do love God; and one does not rule out the other. God wants me to love myself. When I accept myself low self- esteem dies. When I accept myself then my self-pity slowly dies too. It also dies when I pray in faith with Jesus help to repent from it.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Lord God I confess that I have made you in the image of myself...that I have projected myself onto the image I have of you in my mind. For me, life since my youth has been primarily about loyalty...and commitment. Those who aren’t loyal or don’t remain committed to what I considered important I have judged...and condemned without trial or knowing the facts...yet Jesus your Son said not to condemn and not to judge. I repent in faith from judging and condemning those who did not fit into the boxes I neatly made over time.
If my theology is leading me to judge and condemn then how can all its sources be wholly true? If what I believe leads me to harden my heart in an “us” versus “them” mentality how can I conscientiously hold onto the lies behind that same hardness? The line between good and evil does not divide culture from culture, church from church, religion from religion; political party from political party, or race from race...but it rests in the heart of every fallen human being. Yes we all do indeed have healthy and unhealthy spirituality in our hearts and minds and wills.
We have all been disloyal to God. We have all failed partially in our commitments. How can I throw the first stone?
Wednesday, April 29, 2015: Hard on self and others!
When I am hard on others (stuffed, or boiling inside, or processing) then if go to those feelings inside of me I will realize that I am hard on myself with the same energy and intensity. Refusing this dynamic and choosing to be kind, accepting, and gentle with myself will unravel those negative feelings...and enable me to be just as kind to those I was previously wanting to be rough with.
Hard on self and others are two sides of the same coin. If we have this coin we have projected it onto the person we call God. Only in God is this undone.
I have recently noticed that I had a mean messiah complex operating within me. I wanted to get people to do what I saw as fair...and I'd start out by being hard on myself and get even harder on myself if I failed or made no progress.
I now know I have been angry with myself for years and that I used anger to motivate and achieve projects and stuff...no wonder I was apathetic, and slothful in my past life.
Monday, April 27, 2015
I know that wherever God is so is love. I have heard it said that if all we seek to do were to first love ourselves we would never get around to loving anyone else. This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what love is. Yes there are those who love themselves with a selfish-love and never love others. But we are called to love ourselves in healthy and gentle ways just like we want to love others, namely: God and people. Some people will wrongly feel guilty because they are focusing on self- love while processing feelings doing Tapping or EFT, but this is an attempt by the devil to use false guilt to stop them from loving themselves. If Tapping were selfish then yes we ought to stop it. But, Tapping is healthy self-love and wherever healthy- love is, so is God. Therefore we ought not doubt the practice of and the benefits of Tapping together with prayer.
The way I use Tapping now is to tap while saying some variation of: “Even though I feel _____________________ I choose to accept myself kindly, caringly... and patiently as God's gift to myself and the world. I choose to love myself unconditionally and not be hard on myself."
I use this saying because Jesus Himself said that we couldn’t bear good fruit unless we abide in Him and I am not a humanist.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
I can’t let the devil set the agenda. I need to take the fight to him cause he is afraid that after no BIG catch all night long (Cf. John 21) I will throw my net in the right spot and catch so much life that the devil will never toy-with or confuse me again. The devil knows that the harder he can hit me the more he will get me off focus...and my focus is to do the Lord Jesus Christ’s will. The devil wants nothing more than to make us feel and believe we are victims, powerless, negative and at the mercy of others no matter what. When we are powerless like the devil wants us to believe we can beat ourselves up over and over again. This is what the devil wants and the more successful he is the happier he is.
Jesus was right! I got my BIG catch. I now know I took on a victim mentality and owned it with an attitude of malice/ scorn/ pride/ envy/ judgmental-ism/ sadness/ accusation/ insensitivity/ mockery/ apathy/ and hatefulness mostly suppressed. It took Tapping to get down to this bitter root. Felt like I was hit by another bus...the tears flow deeply now...along with empathy and feelings of compassion. Thank you holy Trinity! Amen, and Amen!
Tuesday, April 21, 2015: Living in faith
Living with faith means we believe there is a way through each challenge. All we have to do is trust God for wisdom, guidance, and have open ears and to listen when He speaks. Bono from U2 has said that musicians live off of faith: they have to believe they will hear the next note. This is true for spirituality too. If we don't believe, patiently wait, perseveringly and gently search we will suffer much pain, experience much fear and lose battle after battle and come to resolutions rather bumpily.
We don't ride out waves or principles until they crash. Each principle has its own limitations and we need to be mindful of this and respect it too. Truth sets free. And Jesus gives wisdom wisely. Trust is key...and this helps us to not worry as we work through each process to resolution.
Moreover the devil loves to throw stuff at us that puts fear, anxiety, and worry into our minds...and often it is just a smoke screen meant to waste our time and also to discourage us. We need to choose our battles wisely.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
I’m done riding waves because they always crash. Every wave eventually crashes. I will take things as they come: case-by-case; context-by-context; and moment-by- moment. I choose to “be”! I choose to be me. I choose to be who I am in Christ. God is good to me; and all of His creation. He made each and every person for Himself.
I started to practice a technique called EFT or Tapping. Thanks to Anita I now have away to deal with blockages to life following through me. It also helps with removing baggage that is not resentment-related but still lies. It helps me get in touch with those wounds, and mismanagement of life’s affairs. It helps to move truths from my head to my heart. If anyone is curious or interested in Tapping click on the link below or copy and paste it into your Browser:
Note this is a very effective technique...but it won’t solve all of ones problems. Balance, perspective, awareness, listening, and focus need to be practiced. It is true that we love because God first loves us. But...God can’t make us love ourselves...He expects us to love ourselves...and EFT or Tapping helps to move this head knowledge to the heart and helps us to be connected to God, people, and ourselves.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Humility (For a healthy treatment on how to kill pride click here!)
Humility is more than being able to see certain moral truths and obey them. If we don't communicate them in healthy ways we defeat the purposes and nullify the supposed humility in each context. An ugly, dark, judgmental, angry, self-righteous, dirty laundry, abrasive, unhealthy pattern/ tone/ attitude of communicating makes all truth no matter how true indigestible.
So to practice humility one needs to focus on delivery as well as content.
"I will never leave you nor forsake you" is meant to be practiced believed and prayed in the moment. The devil tries to take this truth that leads to grace away from us by making the promise weak in a foggy-future-focused debate that stops this truth from creating dependence on God and His grace.
In dismantling the tree of knowledge of good and evil we will find grace which leads to much inner healing.
End of March:
I learned so much that I made a new ESSAY with the link here.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015:
I was sitting at lunch today and a certain co-worker came and sat down as I wondered how could I get a softer tongue like she has. So I thought maybe I needed to repent in prayer in faith from despising soft and gentle words as weak... remembering times back in my youth when I used mocking, rude, filthy, hostile, angry, toxic, scoffing, cynical, rebellious, dark, conceited, pompous, and horrible language in humor, talking behind other people’s backs, gossiping, and being altogether hateful. The prayer worked I began heartedly to appreciate my co- worker’s speech even more genuinely.
Then on Thursday, April 2, 2015 I realized that a major impediment was removed from me when it came to being able to talk like my co-worker...but there was still a reluctance that I realized needed to be dealt with but didn't know where to look. The following day I prayed about it and a memory came back to mind that the Holy Spirit wanted me to deal with.
The Memory: when I was a sixth-grader I was challenged to a fight after school by a boy named Ricky. I said yes and later that afternoon found myself wrestling Ricky with a loud crowed cheering. I won very easily and Ricky gave up...only to be tackled by a girl. What ensued was traumatic. The girl wrestled with me...and I began to cry because I didn't want to fight a girl. The crowed laughed at and ridiculed me. I showed my virtuous side by not wanting to beat up the aggressive girl, along with crying tears and crying pleas that went un-answered. I came away with a new code: don't show that kind of weakness anymore to anyone otherwise I will never be accepted...so I didn't. Today, Friday, April 3 I prayed to Jesus and He led me through a healing session. I came out of it changed...willing to be vulnerable again. That softness I admired in my co-worker now felt natural to me now.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Lord God I want to thank you for loving me. I now realize that there is at least two fronts that war is fought on in my life: Envy that leads to anger and greed; and lust that leads to gluttony and sloth. But the mother of both Envy and Lust is pride. Kill the pride then kill its offspring. When I go by feelings: wanting to be gratified then lust is born...and sloth and gluttony grow. But if I determine to live by truth it kills the lust. But the Envy that leads to anger/judging is a really difficult one to kill...it is like a cat because it has more than nine lives...! On the other hand the not going by feelings has its on and off reigning too...and feeling good at all costs is also a formidable opponent too. So pride is the cause of envy and lust...but pride comes from fear...and fear comes from separation from God. Two things are in order when it comes to pride: repenting from all judgments made...and standing on the truth that one understands...not putting stuff into boxes...but respecting the truths in all traditions...because all truth is a preparation for the Good News of Jesus.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Lord God I want to thank you for the insights you have given me thus far in my journey...two-way-prayer is the key to overcoming my challenges. I realized today that I was envious of a person at work and the only way to overcome this is to thank you the living God for your generosity towards the person. I really like this person.
I therefore see that envy sees God as a withholder of good things...it sees God as miserly...it sees God as unwise, unfair, and someone to be rejected for failing to be just. Praying in a way that holds God as generous, kind, benevolent, and patient is key to overcoming envy that is rooted in pride.
I saw some dear person’s immaturity in me few months ago, but today I saw my own childishness...and it was an all or nothing thinking that says: “Give me what I want or I'm going to elsewhere...” I remember this stinking thinking in SA as a child...on the playground when I was rejected and so gave up humility in exchange for envy rooted in pride through the wound of hurt of rejection.
I know that there is a sense of entitlement involved here too! Praying through these things will bring further maturity and health.
Recently I have been think/meditating on what gives meaning. I know that when I came to Christ in 1989 in AB I wanted something that would give me meaning and that meaning giver became God, His love for me, and me wanting to imitate Him somehow. But I was really very weak at love...and it would take until 2015 for me to see that I don’t have to view each day’s work as hard, undesirable, taxing, and something that is grueling to bear for nine hours straight each day only to find relief after each nine hour-shift until it starts again the next day. Jesus is showing me that I can change my thinking, attitude, and energy in how I tackle work. I am no longer stuck in the ruts of my past thinking...and I’m seeing things in a better-more-reality-based-healthy-mindset thanks to God leading me in the way who is Jesus.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015: Biological illnesses & Sin & Endurance:
In the Gospel of John Jesus says that illnesses, deformities, diseases, and disabilities are not punishment for the bearer's sins or her or his parents' sins. If we do have these burdens God uses them for good and stuff that is too wonderful for words.
Thinking that allergies are a result of sin can make the allergies much more difficult to bear. Like trying to punch out of a box one will struggle with and make the allergy's symptoms more and more like a prison sentence and more burdensome if we think it is a result of sins. The person will try to repent from imaginary sins to no avail. Relief only comes when the biological option is accepted.
God can give us burdens that are meant to grow us like He gave me schizophrenia with the promise that it would break me into freedom. My schizophrenia was not and is not a punishment from God. It is a gift.
When I finished seeing the Star Trek episode called "Dagger of the Mind" yesterday I got so angry with the villain in that episode that for a while I felt his punishment fitting. Today I realized that such feelings come naturally...to all of us. If we were to go by feelings alone we would all be blind and toothless. The thought that came to me today is we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! I don't say this to you but for my benefit...I can't hold onto judgment and revenge because I deserve likewise. I don't have to beat myself up for feeling indignation, and wanting to make things right through revenge...but these feelings ought not be the “go ahead” or “permission” to embrace them as fuel for revenge and violence: verbal or physical in nature. The truth is not all feelings ought to be embraced because they can at times lead to unhealthy actions that hurt people. By unhealthy I mean unmerciful, prideful or self-righteous judgmental thinking and actions. Enemy love is the mindset that needs to be embraced in the context of non-violence and these don't mean I am supposed to do nothing. It means looking for words that are non-judgmental, kind, and only focus on my choices and actions in the matter on hand and give the benefit of the doubt to those we suspect of willful wrongness. The devil is the one that loves to put lies about others into our minds and suggest that they are true when they are actually lies meant to trip us up.
I always thought that it would be a horrible fate to be good in the face of pain, suffering, and hurt if it were visited on me for eternity and if the only way out were to do something evil. Some how I desired a way out even if it was evil. Now I see things differently. I know that a clean conscience is a pathway to happiness even if it means having to face captivity, hurt, suffering, and pain for eternity. The ability to bear pain and hurt comes from God. He won’t forsake us or leave us. I am human, weak, and frail. God has promised rest to those who repent and believe the Good News...for that I am thankful now and forevermore.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Lord God I think it possible that proud people despise humble people. Moreover I know that in myself that I struggle to do the humble things...and often fail because I prefer the proud, dominant, in-your-face-f—k-you-justice mindset reaction. Lord God humility comes from you! Please help me to renew my mind; I repent in faith from this horrific attitude/ disposition/ insanity/ and inconsiderate way of life. Please change my heart and grow in me the practice of humility... for apart from you I can do nothing.
Friday, February 13, 2015: Love does not compete!
Love does not covet another's position or place or place of endearment.
Pride comes from fear! Fear of loss. Fear of not being number one...fear of losing...fear of the unknown...fear of not being loved!
Last night I found a wall going up inside of me with my soul gearing to be hateful and wanting to use a dark unkind energy that would surely push those I profess to love away from me. I managed to suppress it last night...but after encountering it I first panicked but then realized I had tools to deal with it...moreover Jesus had not abandoned me...and promised to destroy every weapon fashioned against me.
This morning I felt overwhelmed by my negative disposition/attitude after I awoke...and realized that no amount of analyzing would bring relief. So I resorted to prayer. I confessed my pride and the methodology this dynamic/energy used...and I asked God to heal me...to come into the dark/melancholy/ sad/depressed/ desperate/ vacuum within and help me to respect God's boundaries, and those I profess to love's boundaries too!
I was never created to be number one in the lives of those who know me a little or a lot. When I covet this then I disrespect the feelings, will, dignity, personhood, and desires of those in my life. People sense this attitude or disposition in others when it operates...and those who do discern it pull away from those infected with it. Even dogs can read this energy and also pull away when this dynamic is operative. Competing for the love of others does not respect who they are and is a form of manipulation. It might work for awhile but people get tired of trying to earn love...and it actually backfires never bringing peace, warmth, relationship, and community.
Monday, February 9, 2015: Why Some prayers aren't Answered
When we have an attitude that would birth pride if we were to be given a gift from God, then God in all likelihood will withhold that gift. For instances consider: the gift of chastity, or the gift of wisdom, or the gift of self-control...etc. then these may be with held because the cure is worse than the disease. The problem comes from not understanding what good is and what evil is. Goodness has to do with functionality, healthiness, doing what it was designed for; whereas evil is dysfunctional, unhealthy, and frustrates what it was designed for. Good and evil as defined in the more popular sense leads to pride when embraced. When we see ourselves pursuing a holy gift from God with ungodly motives (such as pride)...God won’t give it to us...more to the point we push Him away thinking He is the devil, and think the devil is Him... all in the effort to get what we think will make us better, smarted, and wiser than those bums over there. This is what an OT Prophet has God saying:
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water (Cf. Jeremiah 2:13).
Many people think that they have not forsaken the spring of living water in any area of their lives...and really believe that they are not digging their own cisterns. But their methodology may betray their faith. When we are motivated by unhealthy pride then judging and anger are the fruit...and we will see what we covet or the gift as something to be used to look down upon others. In this case the gift will never be given to us by God.
When pride motivates our obsession for perfection we won’t find relief all by ourselves. How do we know we got pride? When we are forever judging others. Our pride needs to be killed. Check out the essay on Humility from this Website for ideas on how to kill pride. Killing the pride will kill the judging...and this allows the fruit of the Spirit to grow. One may aim to stop the judging by looking for counter truths that defeat the judging but it won’t put an end in the pride or the judging because there are always new circumstances that present themselves for judging. It is helpful in renewing the mind by looking for arguments that take a compassionate view of people instead of mockery. But the only strategy that will get rid of the judging is to kill the pride. Killing the pride will allow humility and love to grow.
Yes God does give grace to the humble. But fighting pride is something done together with God in relationships, it is not attained by following clever rules. God opposes the proud. To be opposed means to be against or work to overthrow. God is against our pride...and works to remove it. Jesus came to undo the works of the devil. The devil builds people up so he can tear them down. God tears people down so He can build them up.
Sunday, February 1, 2015: On not having to have all the answers:
I now realize that I have set my heart on coming up with all the correct answers or ideas to all problems I am asked my opinion on by those close to me. In the cards are fear, pride, rejection, insecurity, and the lie that others see the answers clearly so why don't I. This was true in my academic life many moons ago and has been true in my relationships as far as I can remember. People often ask questions because they don't know the answers. Only professors ask questions in public that they know others don't know but they know because of their research. For a long time I wanted answers out of fear that I would look bad or be rejected if I didn’t. But now I know I don’t have to put pressure on myself because when people ask questions it is a healthy thing and shows humility; and it is humble to admit one does not know the answers when this is the case.
There two ways to view people together with their actions. The first is to only see their actions as right or wrong and to harden ones heart (in an attempt to defend the Bible) to the persons who do the wrongs. The other is to not judge people like Jesus commands and to feel compassion for people. I am slowly transitioning to the latter path.
Saturday, January 31, 2015: Hurts Healed
It has been said that those who have been hurt often hurt others. This is true.
I was attempting to listen to a sad Michael Card song called, “Come Lift up your Sorrows” when my pride and insensitivity gushed within my consciousness to my surprise. I prayed about it and I realized what I was saying through the pride is: “I am stronger than those who appear weak and fragile, and that no one will ever see my weaknesses”, which is utter bullshit. I am not stronger or better than others when it comes to dealing with my wounds. I choose to feel my wounds and be healed by Jesus. I have oozed forth with hurt and pride for decades...and in this season of restoration God is seeing fit to heal me and help me dry up my sea of pride within one bucket at a time. Thank you Holy Trinity!
Thursday, January 29, 2015 (Tying Some Things Together)
Pride tries to control or manipulate things and people. Therefore it looks for signs in ones circumstances for optimism or confidence that it’s manipulating is going well. Only problem is circumstances change all the time...and people often don’t give us what we want. Circumstances can have a lot of cons besides pros. So circumstances aren’t a good place to find hope or security...so we feel insecure cause we don’t see the sure thing in our circumstances. To counter this we need to look for hope in God not our circumstances...this requires faith and trust. Negative thoughts can enter the mind and make us feel down and insecure which re-enforce the negative thoughts which in turn re-enforces the negative feelings...etc. We got to renew our minds with correct thinking and right believing. Not all thoughts are to be trusted. Truth sets free in thoughts and beliefs to love. I think this paragraph ties together pride, insecurity, hope, thoughts, and belief. From it a strategy can be used to fight the devil and his lies. Oh yes where there is pride there is judging...do a Google search on “how to kill pride” I did and found some good pointers on how to fight pride too.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015: Humility & Pride:
Lord God...I want to thank you for the next phase in my journey. We are finally dealing with my pride and lack of humility...and you have given me some weapons to counter the sea of pride and insensitivity in my heart that is anchored in my mind and wrongful understanding of how things ought to work. Please Lord God show me your ways and help me to live more humbly in thought and action and emotion and worship. Amen!
In order to grow in humility one needs to discard certain values and appropriate healthier ones. Values that need to be discarded are ones that are self-centered, self- focused, that lead to selfishness and being uncaring for others, they are cynical, hateful, and see oneself as strong when one isn’t; or they magnify our attributes and minimize everyday people’s and God’s attributes. These values need to be replaced by seeing how foolish, childish, and skew the old values are...and invoking God’s opinion when we are tempted to compare or judge others by our crooked rulers.
To worship God is to put our selves in our proper places and to attribute with conviction God’s superiority in all His ways with praise and thanksgiving. Pride thinks that we aren’t like other people. The way we conquer this is to see how ridiculous this actually is in the presence of God.
Sunday, January 25, 2015: (Pride is oh so sneaky!!!)
Lord God I find myself with a sea of pride within me. It bluntly and proudly asserts that I am better than those I judge; whom haven’t I judged? Lord God I need to see myself the way you want me to see myself. Yes I do sin: grievously, stubbornly, angrily, uncaringly, hatefully, smugly, proudly, selfishly, and greedily. Is the antidote for curbing pride focusing on my past sins? I do see some merit in this...but what happens when through the grace of Jesus I overcome more and more sins...then I might still want to boast more because I have less sin to reflect on...continuing in this line of reasoning...what happens when I overcome all sin...then the pride would explode violently. Fact is: all the good I do have comes from you the Living God. Do I really believe this so weakly? Pride grows because I have believed lies about myself, others, and God. Truth is what will set me free from the sin of pride!
Jesus said: “You cannot serve two masters at once: you will either hate one or despise the other: you cannot serve both God and money at once!”
Pride believes that we have something to boast about before God; to fight this I have been told a healthy tactic is to admit how ridiculous this actually is! In that vein:
A little while ago I realized again that we all give accounts to God of ourselves when we die. At the time I told myself that I did not fear this because I had tried so hard to overcome my sins with pain and failure being my wages. I thought at the time that I had done my best and that God could not find fault with that. Problem is: God rewards faith not pride. God wants us to care...to care for others...! Fact is I am making progress but only when God grants it. Yes there have been a lot of failures...but also a lot of battles won through faith in Jesus. He gets the praise, the glory, and the booty.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Today the Holy Spirit revealed to me (thanks to Derek Flood’s Blog) that I still tried to put angry pressure on myself to keep Jesus’ commands, but what’s more is that I wanted to defend His commands by wrongly judging those who might oppose them as though they were evil in the popular sense. Both are wrong! Jesus does not need defending in this way nor do His sayings. As for the angry pressure I was putting on myself I realized it was wrong when I saw that I was hardening my heart in loyalty to all of Scripture...but in doing this I was neither able to keep the commands, nor able to love those who seemed to question those same commands. The commands were meant to protect people, care for people, and bless people. By wanting to defend the commands I was actually gearing myself to convict people of supposed sins whereas this role actually permanently belongs to the Holy Spirit who convicts people for real sins. Also I was a hypocrite because with my self-appointed role of moral policeman I tossed God’s words behind me by not being docile to the Spirit who wanted me to use Scripture to love not hate. What a warped and blind mindset I had. I guess I had the cart before the donkey. Strange how something that was intended to bring us closer to others was twisted around and used for evil. Thanks Derek for setting me straight!!! I was told a long time ago by a preacher that we all had a few hundred things wrong with us. At the time I could only count one or two dozen things if that...but thankfully I'm on a journey...and have known for some time that I was messed up really seriously. But it is not God's intent to only point out wrongs...He is into restorative justice too...Amen!!!
Friday, January 23, 2015
Today I realized recently that I still judged leaders, and had unhealthy expectations from them. I gave up this unhealthy garbage in prayer and felt a load of cynicism drop from my shoulders. I feel more at peace now!
Tuesday, January 20, & Wednesday, January 21, 2015
A hypocrite is one that says: “Do such and such” but doesn’t do it him or herself. Again a hypocrite is the one who says: “Don’t do such and such” but does it him or herself even though they are free to say no to it.
Jesus expects me to follow my own conscience; no one else’s. He does not expect blind obedience by which I mean He doesn’t expect us to follow a moral command when we don’t understand its purpose. Blind obedience ends up hurting people. We can’t keep a command if we don’t understand how or why it works. Saint Paul does not condemn those who disagree with him on some issues. He does say that God will eventually give them understanding. Jesus expects truth in the inner man; following what someone else says when it’s not consistent with one’s conscience means one is not living in the truth.
I now know that the terms: enemy love, non-violence as pathways to peace, non- violent resistance, turn the other cheek, and pacifism all can mean different things. Enemy love can be expressed in many of these ways...and all of these ways are not always wise to express in every situation...so they are context specific. Caring for and wanting to protect people from violence is good: the way we go about it may differ from one situation to the next. The whole approach is not meant to be a weight or LAW to conform to. Non-violence does not mean we do nothing...but it does mean that we attempt to de-escalate volatile situations reduce harm and minimize pain. Derek Flood’s blog is a gold mine for those who have struggled with Jesus call to turn the other cheek, or to not resist a violent person. Realizing these things gives me clarity, peace...and understanding.
Being rejected yet deciding to love despite the pain is a sign of a person who is maturing. I am that person. Thank you Jesus for promising me that I would love some day. Amen!
Saturday, January 17, 2015: Survival & Justice
Survival and Justice are core values God puts in all of us at conception. They are good, healthy, and needed. But they can grow into selfishness and revenge when we believe lies about others and ourselves. This is what I mean when I say evil lives off of the good in us; sort of like rust on a car, or a sickness spiritually. Survival and Justice don't start out as selfishness, animal, or evil and they are meant to serve good purposes: showing us that God wants us alive, and that we are designed to love and not to take revenge but to feel each other's pain and help to restore broken lives. But when we believe lies about our values of Survival and Justice they become warped and get at odds with our relational and social sides which are geared towards warmth, kindness, friendship, community, and solidarity with all people. Warped Survival and Justice also leads to intolerance, judging, and "my way or the highway" commitments, thinking, and acting: which are totally opposed to how God designed us as relational beings.
I remember many years back looking at the cross of Jesus and thinking that the crucified Jesus' flesh represented our selfishness that needed to be crucified. Only problem is that Jesus' flesh is not selfish. Jesus is both perfect God and perfect man. No sin can be found in Him.
So what is the flesh that Paul alludes to in Scripture that fallen humanity is plagued with? The flesh is our attitudes of sinful independence from God. The flesh's foundations are the lies we believe about our identities, how we see others, and God. These lies warp our understanding of Survival and Justice into selfishness and judging, and revenge.
The only way to reverse this growth is to change what we believe and how we think about what we believe. Analyzing what one believes all by one's self won't bring real and lasting change...we need Healing light to expose and restore things for what they are: Jesus is that Light. He does this in the context of relationships (with Him and humanity)...with us tuning into hearing His voice and following the directions He is leading us in.
The flesh can't submit to God. The idea that it can be crucified and bring life is a fallacy. The only way that the flesh dies (our sinful independence) is by becoming dependent on God through trust and grace. Focusing only on the flesh-dynamic gives it power. Focusing on God's voice and believing in His healthcare, promises, and listening to Him while walking with Him will enable Him to heal us gradually...by renewing our minds from dead codes and dead attitudes! This doesn't happen magically...but through trial and error, two steps forward; one back...etc.; or like waves coming in land as the tide rises...and it starts with the patience we already have and builds on that. It isn't a sprint, but a marathon. No one has arrived! The patience we have is a gift from God; all the natural loves are gifts deposited into us by God. Where they live is sacred ground and are preparations and fore taste of the relationship God offers us.
In order to feel and listen and enjoy certain music compositions one needs to be able to feel pain emotionally.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Just because a child disagrees with her of his parents vocally, passionately, loudly, stubbornly, and un-wisely does not mean the parents have lost. It is normal for children of all ages to disagree with parents in these ways. When I was a kid I had disagreements with my parents and now as a stepparent I have disagreements with my step kids. I realize that I need to set my step kids free to feel passionately about their beliefs and desires and requests. But I also get to make up my own mind about my desires/ beliefs/ feelings/ and attitudes too... and as my step kids live with my decisions I live with theirs. I don’t lose by them disagreeing with me. I have not failed as a stepparent because my step kids don’t agree with me or do what I ask.
My dog is aware of my negative energy when I have it. I have negative energy when I resent the dog for not doing what I want it to do. This attitude re-enforces the dog’s commitment to not do what I want it to do. If I don’t make time for the dog then, he will feel neglected and withdraw even more. The dog’s reaction to me is a good thermometer on where I am at during my time with him. People are also good thermometers of where I am at when in their presence. This does not mean that I become a slave to the dog’s treatment of me or for that matter a slave to a person’s treatment of me. But reading another person’s attitude towards me helps me know myself better if I have the wisdom to use it for good.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
On deserving forgiveness
I don't deserve forgiveness! But God has forgiven me anyways! I deserve the wages of my sin or put another way the consequences of my sin...in fact what happens to me because of my sin is the punishment visited on me! Put another way: sin is its own punishment! Put another way when I choose sin I say no to God’s perfect will and so distance myself from Him. Isn’t that punishment enough; guilt and all? So why do I feel or expect others to treat me the way I treated them in the past? Do I have an attitude of entitlement when it comes to being forgiven? That seems to be my default setting: If I forgive them then I expect them to forgive me. But this is complicated because the language of forgiveness is different from person to person. I know I ought not expect it. But if it seems declined I go to a place of hostility. But I know I have a choice each time I feel this way: when the way of expectation is declined. I also know that I need to change my expectations. And set people free to do as they wish. No one owes me forgiveness. That is a good thing. I need to change my default expectation. I don’t want to have a poor me attitude. I can only do as much as depends on me to foster peace in my relationships. The rest I have no say over.
Confronting Fad thinking?
I find that certain things seem to have a short shelf life with me...even when my heart says they are foundational to my existence. Fear of being laughed at, not taken seriously, being a bore, and not impressing anyone linger in the background as I weigh what to share with others. Also when I have mastered some new concept intellectually...I easily have contempt and scorn for those who mention the idea yet again as though: “Come on; that is so simple...just catch up to me!”
Friday, January 9, 2015
Repenting in faith with Jesus help in prayer from being committed to: “An eye for an eye; and a tooth for a tooth” is very important. If we are committed to the philosophy: “An eye for an eye...” we basically believe that a person either deserves grace if he or she is good; or deserves judgment if he or she does bad things. This should not be so. “An eye for an eye...” is an OT limitation placed on revenge. Jesus perfects this by commanding us to use non-violence (which does not mean doing nothing) as a pathway to healthy relationships and peace and patience. Kindness goes further than being anal.
I know we can have strongholds within that push, and pull us in the wrong directions something awful (even though we don't like it), and they help to ruin many relationships...or prevent them from blossoming or healing. I did not know I was committed to, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" mentality until today. I just knew that my anger was intensely black...and that I fell into judging others way too easily... it wasn't what others would call normal concupiscence! One can liken it to an addict, alcoholic, glutton...etc. They have a stronghold that others don’t have and that was the way with me. Today I was drawn to reading the Sermon on the Mount and I came across, "An eye for and eye..." that Jesus talked about. And I remembered what Derek Flood said about Jesus and Paul how they weren't fundamentalists and how they read OT Scriptures not always agreeing with it. Then on the Bus I noticed that I was getting annoyed with a passenger taking his time getting off the bus...and I was enraged at how slow and uncaring he was not caring for other people's time...and then it hit me: I believed that a person either deserves grace if he or she is good; or deserves judgment if he or she does bad things... and that was when I saw the stronghold of revenge for what it was within me. I also noticed/remembered that Jesus didn't agree with the, "An eye for an eye..." command either, which says that He is grace driven; not anger/revenge driven...and that came from reading Derek’s Blog and also His book Healing the Gospel...besides listening to some of his podcasts. I know this lesson/insight isn't the end... humble people are always learning...so I expect to learn every day. Perhaps there are more strongholds to uncover...but when the time comes...I am committed to listening to the Spirit in others (believers and unbelievers alike)...because that way I won't get too proud about the revelations God gives me if they were to come directly from Him all the time.
In the parable of the unmerciful servant (Cf. Matthew 18:31-35)... Jesus shows us that we ought to forgive...He also shows us that we can’t pay for God’s forgiveness... in fact no one can: no one can earn God’s forgiveness (the servant could not pay for the damages he had made). God doesn’t want payment from anyone not even Himself to let us go free; His forgiveness is total, genuine, caring, compassionate, and graceful. God is so generous. He cares for us (not living for, “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”-revenge thinking because Jesus doesn’t) and much more easily forgives than we do because He is much slower to anger than us. We do reap what we sow unless grace comes our way. Merciful people can receive mercy because they understand mercy; whereas unmerciful people don’t understand mercy and therefore do not value it; and so don’t hold onto it. God’s grace can never be bought. Because it comes from love: God gives out of love: He is not a demon deity that demands pain/ ridicule/ spitting/ mocking/ suffering/ and death in order to find favor. The cross is not about penal substitution; it is about restorative justice.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Today I read from Derek Flood’s blog during my lunch at work. It talked about how two different parts of the brain exercise different aspects of how we treat people and situations. One part of the brain deals with how we treat socially people with kindness, and the other part deals with survival; the second one overriding the first depending on different situations. And that made sense to me.
So I prayed into it because I saw how powerful my impatience and need to control people and situations still was. The Scripture that came to mind was: “Whoever tries to save his life will lose it”, and I interpreted this as: “Whoever tries to save his peace will lose it.” I prayed that Jesus would show me how He thinks so that He is patient in everything he does and I trusted Him to show me how.
Later in the day I walked with our dog and a traumatic memory came back to me of when I was a child in SA where I was to compete in a relay at a big stadium. I went off to buy some pop without knowing that my race time was very close. As I waited in line to get myself a pop... to my surprise a BIG fuss was made by my parents about my race starting very soon and how the coaches were looking for me...and I got so afraid I’d miss my race...that I began to ball my eyes out! My parents rushed me onto the track field and I ran my leg of the race still crying and emotionally disturbed. I think this is where I embraced the lie that I needed to be extra early in everything I did otherwise I would miss out on things important to others and me. I have prayed through it...and feel more at peace. Thank you Jesus! Amen!
Sunday, January 4, 2015
I know that when Ken Blue taught at the overflowing Grace conference so many years ago before my Dark Night began my one complaint was: but if I sin and if I stop loving I'll go to Hell. I was fearful that I wouldn't be motivated to love if I accepted grace the way Ken Blue presented it. At the time I overcame some of my fears...but my spiritual pride grew to unhealthy proportions really quickly... interesting thing is that God did command me: “to feed His sheep” back then as I lost more and more ground to the devil. Truth be told I do want to love and will love by abiding in the True Vine and that means continuing on the learning curve that God has put me on that renews my mind.
Some people want to do everything in obedience to God. But there are many good things we willingly do without consciously thinking we ought to be obedient to God’s will in doing them. Granted we want to be obedient to God. But God has put much in our hearts that we do that are good, natural, healthy, and peaceful...and not always because we don't want to offend God. Doing stuff out of obedience is often difficult...and I am glad that there are some things that come easy!
Another thing I learned today is that I can't ask another person to do what I won't do myself. If I do then I have hypocrisy in my life. God wouldn't ask us to do stuff that He wouldn't do himself. God is no hypocrite!
I have heard of people that are angry with and won’t believe in a god that some religious sects claim to know. They don’t care if they spend the rest of their lives in Hell if God is like these religious sects claim. I know that I have had all sorts of fearful ideas of a cold, dark god and Hell at different times. I have seen the heart of God...but there is so much out there that is unknown...so much that is hidden...and it is the unknowing that in the right circumstances gives these horrible fear ideas power during psychosis. I know that God lives...so I do want to serve Him. If He isn’t good, righteous, caring, and compassionate then I got nothing to live for. There are periods of great torment for me just before the lies I believe surface into my consciousness and are unmasked.
Thursday, January 1, 2015: On The Hurt hurting others & Not Judging others!
Shame and punitive forms of correction are counterproductive...and do more damage than anything else! This is very true in the case where the person who is being shamed in an attempt to correct him or her has a history of hurt, rejection, being treated unfairly, or had injustices visited on them that they never properly dealt with. Shame in the worst sense says there is something wrong with us...not just with what we have wrongly done. People who have not dealt with their wounds have their conscious awareness complicated and confused by having to deal with negative feelings that result from insults thrust on them and attempts to correct them via shame by those who think such punishment is the best.
Jesus feels what I felt. He became hurt but never hurt anyone out of that hurt. They tried to shame Him...but He knew his identity.
I remember having no friends at grade school a long time ago...and desperately wanting to change it, and not make it worse. I was hurting...and hurt my brother out of my hurt by rejecting him on school grounds with the hope of finding acceptance from others. Then getting into trouble for what I did to my brother...and being shamed by a teacher who wanted to make an example of me by sticking me out as an object of ridicule. Lord God I forgive through Jesus help that teacher for jumping to conclusions... and not taking time to talk with me...to find out where I was at...and why I did what I did (not that it was right)...Lord Jesus I renounce the shame directed at me and stand in the identity, care, and love you have for me Lord God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I know now more than ever before that change in my thoughts and therefore feelings, attitudes, decisions, and actions is possible and a reality through relationship with Jesus Christ. I have choices in every situation...and I don’t have to defer to default settings that only perpetuate hurt, helplessness, dark forebodings, and prisons of despair.
I am expecting to learn new things: nuancing old views, rejecting old lies or half truths, and embracing new and healthy thinking/attitudes...because this is the path God has put me on!
I have a relationship with God yet I have hurt people dear to me. Others have no relationship with God yet don't hurt others. I need God to change this...and change is happening...but I have no right to judge those who don't believe in God. They can and often have valid reasons for holding their beliefs. Such as having met people who abuse, are hypocrites, are greedy for money, are uncaring, and hurt others (and won’t change because they claim they never intended to hurt) yet claim to have a faith in God.
All truth and beauty is a preparation for the good news that God is love! Jesus meant it when He said judge no one...and judging is what I did to those who didn't believe in God...! There is sacred ground in each heart...I need to respect that...the goodness in the hearts of all atheist is what can prepare them for God's love!
I wholeheartedly believe that no one is evil the moment of conception...and even at birth...if we don’t believe in and care for people they can go to a place of rejection, anger, resentment, bitterness, hostility, and hatred...with no intimacy, no warmth, wall-ed in, and may not care for others because they claim no one cares for them. If we believe in the goodness of people they sense it...and may warm up to it...the Hitlers and Stalins...and whatever other monsters there are were slowly engineered by Satan over time (they didn’t start out bent)...but Jesus comes to undo the works of the devil...no one is wholly evil...evil needs goodness to exist: sort of like rust on a car; rot on an apple... but spiritually speaking! That vestige of goodness is sacred...and a safe place that can overthrow the plots of the devil...when goodness, caring, compassion, empathy, belief, love and warmth touch it!
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I want to thank God for two things today! (1) My brother Leonard’s reminder: “When you think you understand it all you know nothing!” So if you are not learning new things you can’t be humble. So expect to learrn new things. (2) I read from Derek Flood’s blog today and I realized that the living God does not hate us if or when we sin. He does hate the sin, but He does love us, and He hates the fact that we are alienated from Him when we sin.
I also realized today that what I heard a long time ago when I was still going to UBC (and had schizophrenia) that: “the blood of Jesus covered us and so protected us from God the Father’s wrath” is wrong. Those who purport this believe that this was symbolized in the old sacrificial system of Temple worship from the Jews so long ago. Apparently the mercy seat on the Arch was where the divine presence rested and when blood was sprinkled on it, some people believed that it symbolized us being covered and protected from God’s wrath. This interpretation is horrible and a lie from the evil one. The blood protects us from the devil. I feel that a hard-ness and an abrasive-ness in my spirit are gone. Like I heard the Gospel for the very first time. I know that God is love... He hates sin, not people. The cross of Jesus saves us from sin. The cross of Jesus does not save us from God’s wrath in the sense that He hates us without Jesus covering us and so punishes us if we don’t have this covering. The cross saves us from our sins! The cross saves us from an enemy: the devil. Jesus came to undo the work of the devil and He did this through His Passion and Resurrection. He came to save and liberate us from our bondage to sin and the devil; He came to set us free from alienation and lost-ness. The cross is restorative in justice; not retributive in justice.
God is love. He did not mock Jesus on the cross like the priests/scribes/and Pharisees did. He did not take whips or poles and scourge His Son. He did not nail His Son to the cross. He did not spit at His Son. God did not approve of this ridicule; He let it happen because He wanted to show that such evil is in us and so heal us and restore us to Himself and love us; and so to move us from insanity to sanity spiritually speaking. God did not inflict hatred on his own son on the cross to secure our freedom and payment for our sins. God is not hatred! God is LOVE!
Lord God I know that what I now will write has had good, healthy, and holy consequences in my life. I found that when reading in the past the pastoral letters from Paul in the NT that I often disagreed with him on how to handle social situations. Well this week I realized that Paul was an Apostle and that he knew how to deal with people in healthy ways. I on the other hand have had an unclean tongue for a long time. So I decided to submit to Paul’s writings in the light of my conscience. It feels right and healthy and peaceful. Amen and Amen!
Thursday, December 25, 2014
All human hearts can be compared to soils and rocks; some hearts are all soil with no rocks; some have a few rocks with plenty of soil, and others have plenty of rocks and a little soil. Those with only soil are the healthiest and only need water and good seed to bear good fruit like love, patience, peace, joy.... Those with rocks may mean that they have hardened their hearts in some ways through anger turning into resentment, resentment turning into hostility, or hostility turning into hatred. People with rocks are often proud, bitter, judgmental, and intolerant. It can also be that people vow to not feel anyone else’s feelings or humanity because they don’t want to feel their own feelings of rejection. So they are wounded and often wound others; so they throw stones too. The darkest and hardest hearts still and always will have some soil. Each and every person has some good soil within each of his or her hearts...known as a safe place. No heart is wholly evil...if one did have a wholly evil heart they would cease to live...because evil requires life to exist...sort of like rust on paint, rotten-ness on a fruit, or a malignant growth in the flesh. Once the good is totally consumed the good identity no longer remains and all life giving qualities cease to exist hence death.
Those with good soil are more interested in gardening than throwing soil at others. Those with stones in their hearts are in certain situations going to throw those stones at others. The hurting will hurt others; the sick will infect others.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Lord God I want to thank you for being so patient with me. Enduring and helping me endure the suppressed storm within: my heated-quick-to-be-angry, emotional- annoyance, judgmental-ism, pride, short-tempered-ness, and overall immaturity. Thank you for my wife...who has undertaken to accept me despite my weaknesses. I think the hard work is feeling stuff that makes me so uncomfortable, and shows me my irritableness, pompousness, pride, and intolerance; but being patient enough to listen to what the Spirit is saying in each situation so as to move forward to learn a new way of living.
The thing is though that I am seeing room to move...like I’m not trapped in a box anymore...like the thoughts I thought (and feelings felt) in the past (and thought were written in stone: not changeable by myself) don’t have the same power over me like they used to...and for that I am very grateful Lord Jesus. If I had not carried such weight upon myself, been in such darkness, or in such fire for so many years...so as to forge faith, and hope, and plant the seeds of love in my heart through pain...I would not have the strength to start navigating through these opportunities (to rise from the ashes of a life lived according to an old way...which is becoming more and more obsolete)...also the soil in my heart would not be as loose, broken, and irrigated without Jesus breaking me...so that seeds that were planted...can have life and can grow...so hope can be fulfilled. It is very hard to throw soil...but if we have hard hearts there are plenty of stones within to throw...because we are so judgmental. Ouch that is hard medicine.
Not wanting to feel other people’s suffering or pain when they speak to me has been going on for a long time because I would feel such negative gloomy sadness when people shared their feelings tied to betrayals, injustices, and unfairness visited on them. I felt guilt, anger, and impatience towards them each time this dynamic arose. I thought it was because of some terrible sin in my past whose location was lost in darkness and not repented from yet. But today I realized that I could not feel other people’s pain because I did not want to feel my own sadness, negativity, and depression (much tied to childhood claims of unfairness). Is there a way out? Yes! The answer is to regularly verbally give myself permission to feel and express my feelings, and just as important to give everyone else permission to express and feel in my presence what they are going through. There are results: growing empathy! Things can only get better!
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Love can’t be “rule” focused because if it is rule focused people get ignored. How can you love and ignore somebody at the same time? Love must be people focused. Love is selfless goodness directed towards people. Wanting to have a perfect day by saying the right prayers is not going to materialize. Supernatural love comes from real relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It comes from dialogue, sharing, walking with, and following Jesus the Light of the world. We can’t ignore God if we want to love supernaturally... He does not want to be used and ignored through saying rote prayers no matter how sublime. God wants interaction with us...not so much as only a means to an end.
Since I jettisoned the idea of Penal Substitution as far as what happened with Jesus’ Passion...I eventually reacted by going to my default setting of judging and hardening my heart against those who hold the Penal Substitution view ironically because I see it as a path that eventually destroys supernatural love. But Penal Substitution is not the only thing that destroys love: attitudes that wrongly reject or harden hearts of people also destroy love. As such I am guilty. We are complex creations...and supernatural love can be extinguished in a multitude of ways.
I am not better than anyone else; I’d die of embarrassment if all my sins were shown on a BIG screen in front of the whole world. Who am I to judge anyone else? We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; especially me. I do have faith in Jesus, but that does not make me more righteous, humble, or worthy than others. All the good I have has been given to me by God through His blood and sweat and the good I do have I did not earn it. My sins aren’t better than anyone else’s.
Forgiveness is agreeing to not use the wrong committed against me by another against them. Forgiveness means that my anger towards the one who wronged me is dealt with.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Lord God I am finding that I am increasingly with your help changing my feelings by questioning my thoughts and renewing my thoughts with your truth and the wisdom you give me. Just dismissing some of my thoughts without even having anything to replace them with goes a long way in getting rid of the negative feelings or attitudes I felt because of those negative/lying thoughts. Yes...replacing negative or false thoughts or lies with truth is very important. But sometimes the negative thoughts have no basis in reality (they aren't even a possibility in any reasonable paradigms, thought-networks, or worldviews). So all that is needed is to dismiss them because believing them is to act insane, psychotic, and beyond reality. It is like not answering a question because the effort in doing so would be ridiculous.I also am by praying for victory regularly each day having a better time with stuff or habits that I just couldn’t shake before. They all involve getting healthier/more loving in speech, wholesome-er in attitudes, positive-er in feelings, and clearer in thinking. Thank you Jesus. This prayer is done with expectation, real hope, and is not done out of wishful thinking. It also helps to visualize what I want to see happen all the time believing it will with God’s grace.
An erroneous/misleading statement to make is: “It is a reasonable possibility for God to be wholly good, wholly evil or mixture of the two.” Why? Because all evil requires life to exist by definition, and the moment it eats up all the goodness is the moment it dies and ceases to exist because evil can’t give life. So if God were evil he would be dead. God is alive so He isn’t wholly evil.
Monday, December 15, 2014
People who test my love, patience, and goodwill towards them have often infuriated me. I now realize that they are God’s gift to me. And in doing so are doing God’s will which is to grow me in caring for others and loving them. Can anyone aim higher? If it is easy to love somebody that is great...but if it doesn’t grow or challenge us then all it is, is just pleasant, nice, warm, and maybe a taste of Heaven. I used to complain that I left a foul odder in the nostrils of so many people I failed (trust me I don’t aim at this) because I was such a bad example of grace, love, and compassion...often, and so a bad billboard advertisement for Christianity. Love gives thanks for all things... but looking on those who test us as a waste of time, effort, or personhood is denying God’s perfect gift for us right now. I now know that I viewed many people not as gifts but annoyances. And because of this I cut the love of God in my heart off to these people. If I choose to see people as gifts, worth my time, not monuments to my piety then hope enables me to care for them. That is not to say that the people who annoyed me are only negative. No they often have lessons for me (or are truth bearers and see stuff in me that I am not aware of) that God intends for me to repent from or learn new stuff from. Lessons that challenge lies we believed. Lessons that change us for the better and make us less insensitive.
I can’t force, demand, and manipulate others to love, care, celebrate, and be loyal to me. We are all connected. We all read each other’s energies. If we are negative, angry, hostile, judgmental, hateful, lacking tolerance, demanding, and insensitive then we will push people who are different away from us. But when we are warm, kind, compassionate, and non-judgmental, peaceful, sensitive, and cheerful towards people they warm up to us, and are drawn to us in the best way possible. And whatever draws people to God comes from Jesus.
I learned this in part from my dog Mandela. When I respect him, care for him, and am firm with him when it counts he sense this and warms up to me. But when I have tried to force him, command him, demand him, or attempt to lay down the law then he avoids me like the plague. I also saw this in the past when I was around people I disagreed with: if I fantasized, or had the attitude of wanting to debate/ convict/or sought arguments to change them; then they knew I was not a safe person to be around. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, not mine. Moreover, my sins are not better than anyone else’s. When I am kind to people they want to be kind back. That is what it means to be salt: to make people thirsty for healthy relationships...especially with God.
I often ask myself why do I feel such earthly energy within me in magnitudes that seem overwhelming. But I know that with each temptation I have choices on how I am going to handle it. Prayer to God is the best way to handle things: not one-way prayer; but two-way prayer. I need light to see things clearly in the natural. Jesus is the Light spiritually speaking. Analyzing situations in a closed or compartmentalized system keeps a lot of light out...important information...that is critical to getting to the right conclusions. Little “t” truths set us free to love... and these little “t” truths come from Jesus the BIG “T” Truth. By themselves truths become philosophies without power: Jesus is the power to love others.
When people have the correct philosophies but not the source of life we can’t judge them in an angry judgmental superior tone: “I am better than you, and what’s more you are of the devil.” Their philosophy is part of the bridge that might get them to Jesus. Life is a puzzle. We all are picking up pieces... and most of us don’t have all our ducks in a row. No one has arrived. It takes time to piece things together. We can’t rush to conclusions. The hasty strike often goes astray.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Love does not jealously attempt to possess or control another or covetously demand things from others. When we say no to these two selfish attitudes when they tempt us we are closer to practicing the freedom to love, respect, and have compassion on all who pass our way!
I always feel tempted to judge even the littlest things others do because I falsely think they are quick in judging me (a mentality that grew out of being rejected in childhood) or I feel justice is not coming my way. So when in conflict I feel the need to judge to protect my reputation or to score points in the arguments. Yet if I do speak my judgments I have no peace because I feel bad/guilty/insecure/and rejected after I speak it.
Demanding fairness always leads to judging after fairness is denied!
Do you ever feel if you do something for a person then they needed to do it for you too; a cherry for a cherry; or else an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth mentality? Such was my worldview as a child, and I still feel this temptation within. Fact is love has no strings attached to it. I want fairness so badly and if not gotten then I want to judge, and get angry, letting the anger grow into hostility that moves towards hardening my heart that leads to hatred when not repented from. This I now see as unacceptable when I see this dynamic within me. No one owes me anything.
So when tempted with such strong emotions...I now know I have a “choice” each time; either give into the earthly forces within or to choose the way of peace. Too often I have thought I was at the mercy of such emotions and attractions, or they are the way things are or ought to be.
Friday, December 5, 2014: Learning Curves!
I remember years back going for walks to a field in Kerrisdale, Vancouver to watch little league baseball. On one occasion I witnessed a young lad going up to bat and swinging with all his might only to strike out. Then he proceeded to throw a temper tantrum, sulk, and refuse to be comforted by his mother only to repeat his approach again.
I remember thinking recently that that boy wanted to do what the pros do but without going through a learning curve that involved training, corrections, dedication, and patience as well as the humility to accept the failures along the way.
Today I realized that I was that little boy only I wanted to master the Christian life. I asked the Lord yesterday for a word of wisdom and the word "hope" came again powerfully like so many times before. Hope has a way of helping us practice patience which is an attribute of love. God has shown me many times what love looks like and I always felt disappointed when it was withdrawn. Now I know I don't have to feel disappointed when that happens. All good things come gradually and I need to practice hope (expecting the promises from God to come true) by picking up where I am at and practice the love I am able to do at this time. There is much to learn, and much to exercise in order to get into the zone...and of course I still will make mistakes...
I remember my godmother Anita saying years ago that a neighbor she knew who had a little dog that was injured in the hind legs. The neighbor somehow expected Anita to fix the situation. And somehow Anita went to the little dog held it with her hands, guiding the legs to take steps and praying to Jesus for healing...and the dog was healed to the great comfort of its owner.
I see in this story a parable for my life. God taking me by His hands and enabling me to learn to walk confidently, patiently, kindly, compassionately, wisely, and humbly in a gradual process which includes making mistakes, having wrong thinking, and falling down regularly.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
For some time I have disliked it when people hesitated in such a way as to delay my task progress at work because they in my opinion up until this day just wasted my time. But today I realized that when I say somebody wastes my time I am saying that somebody is a waste of time. When I realized how horrible this logical conclusion was I repented (renewed my mind in prayer) and found new patience, care, and love for the people at work, on the sidewalk or bus, walking the dog, and at home with family. Now I did not have this opinion of people wasting my time for very long consciously...but subconsciously it and its logical conclusion have been there for a long time hindering me from love. The heart is a very mysterious thing...so much hides there and often peeks out when we aren’t aware of it or don’t want it to... but Jesus throws His light on it when it is time to be uprooted.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Biblical evil is a spiritual illness that has unhealthy fruits; whereas popular evil is often found in fiction or often spoken about in politics and religion as if it were real which it isn't. God does not create or sustain popular evil. We humans can only hate what we believe to be popular evil...popular evil when preached or propaganda- nized spreads hatred, war, famine, and murder. Such things do not come from truth, but spring from the lie that popular evil exists.
Friday, November 28, 2014: Hope connected to Love
People who practice hope are usually more able to love! Because they have positive energy that pours out of them! They have healthier attitudes! They aren't as tempted to worry about what they don't have or worry about what others have that they don't have! Hopeful people aren't as easily tempted by jealousy or envy...because they are content with what they got or committed to what is promised. Hopeful people are resilient and have their priorities set well. Setbacks don't loom larger and larger through the moments, hours, days, weeks, years, or even decades so hopeful people don't have pity parties or are overly discouraged for long! Hope is powerful medicine in overcoming unrealistic perfectionistic attitudes that push one to having to have everything one’s way! So hope helps us be less selfish. People with hope don't fall as often into the trap of needing to control others! People with hope are easier to get along with because they are positive! People who have hope honor others, wish them the best, and often want to help them get there.
In our lives there are hierarchies of duties starting with ones we prefer going up to those we wish we could do without! Many of us would love to jettison those duties we could do without! But once we get to jettison the worst duty the next thing we liked least gets the negative focus and often grows to the stature of what we initially disliked the most! So we come full circle to square one! This problem exists because we want to feel good and see doing the undesirable duty as standing in the way of feeling good! Fact is we don't have to feel good all the time and putting off having to feel good until an undesirable task is done is a quality that people who have hope do! Hope isn't needed when things are well; hope gets us through those circumstances that challenge our goals or getting to our journeys’ ends!
Hope enables patience a characteristic of love. Hope helps us stay away from the "me"-mentality: or selfishness... so giving and love results. Hope helps fight off envy and helps us stay away from worry which show that love or being loved is operative.
Friday, November 21, 2014
I have a choice every time I get angry! When I am angry I can act out that anger verbally... but I rather choose not to and think differently...repeating to myself that reacting with anger to any situation is not grace driven. Anger-motivated-talk is unacceptable, and inappropriate for me at this juncture because my thoughts and judgments are too misguided and distorted by my schizophrenia.
Humility is managing our emotions, thoughts, attitudes and relationships healthily. Humility is not about doing stuff that looks humble like taking a Bible to church (Hitler did that), or saying an eloquent prayer (but being full of hypocrisy), or saying forty-decades of the Rosary in one sitting (but not being willing to forgive the person who took your seat at Mass in the morning).
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Lord God thank you for the surprise I got in reading more of Romans 12 earlier today. I got it when it talked about “not cursing” and I asked myself what cursing is... and felt something resonate in my heart about me having cursed stuff and people in the past...like the Holy Spirit put its finger on stuff I needed to repent from in prayer. Turns out that another root to meanness, judging, and unhealthy default anger responses got removed. Thank you Holy Spirit for healing me! Amen!
Wednesday, November 19, 2014: Hope Continued...
People who don't practice hope and also don't have some confidence are very often needy and insecure because they seek these in their circumstances that change all the time or they seek it in people whose moods fluctuate or have other priorities or aren't the nurturing kind! True hope is anchored in LOVE that is constant, and enduring usually in a mother or father figure or significant other; but mostly in God! The anchor is trust, healthy thinking, and a healthy way of dealing with guilt when we fall short! That allows people to know where they stand no matter the circumstances! Good leaders can also inspire hope! They are able to establish healthy relationships... and that is pivotal for hope to last when achieving goals.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014: Hope
Hope is what gives faith substance! Faith is being sure that what you hope for will come true. Hope gives faith life. Therefore well-placed hope gives life. Do not look for hope in your circumstance! No amount of analyzing your circumstances will create hope! Because circumstances don't predict the future. Circumstances change with time. But circumstances do help shape us and strengthen our Hope muscles especially when the circumstances look hopeless. No one needs hope if they can see the future. Deciding to go forward with a goal or to quit based on current circumstances means one is not navigating through life with hope. Deciding to go forward in a relationship despite having rocky or awkward interactions means one is navigating with hope. Hope believes things can change for the better. If one has hope one has faith! Faith is what overcomes the world's obstacles. There are different kinds of hope! Hoping that the weather will be sunny here in Vancouver is often wishful thinking! But planting a crop in a field requires more than wishful-thinking-hope...because life is at stake. The future is at stake. Both loss and gain are possible: hope involves risk. Confidence is not hope! Confidence comes from repetition and mastering skills in the present. Confidence has to do with the "now" or where situations are controlled or known; whereas hope has to do with the "future" and the unknown; those places that are unfamiliar. Confidence does not get us far into the future when trials and darkness enter into the picture. Hope can. Superstition is an enemy of hope and faith. It is also an enemy of confidence. We all know hockey players who base their careers on the foundation of eating at the same restaurant before each BIG game, or having a lucky loony, or having a certain ritual, or not going to a certain part of town before the BIG game. These players have superstitions because the real reason for their success is hard work, training, perfecting skills, and being able to look into the past to not always see success but to see them selves getting up after each battle and trying harder and building faith in overcoming.
Monday, November 10, 2014
The spiritual life is not about making new generalized theological maxims out of life lessons and moving on...but living in simplicity... constantly in prayer with God leading the way... there are many things we can't think our way out of!
I finally get the statement: “in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices...” (Romans 12:1). I always wondered what this expression from Saint Paul meant because no interpretation I came across rung true until now. Since becoming more comfortable with non-violence as a better pathway to peace and restorative justice...and seeing the Passion of Jesus on the Cross in a non-penal- substitutionary-way...I see Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross as giving forth life despite the hatred, mocking, contempt, scorn, brutality, and spiteful ness directed towards Him by our sinful-independent-attitudes. He bled forth water and blood (both of which are life giving) when He was pierced by our transgressions. If I want to be a living sacrifice then I need to do as Jesus did on the Cross: His is the best and highest example of being a “living sacrifice” possible! Arriving there is a journey...it means being allowed to make mistakes...it takes going through a learning curve...and isn’t fully arrived at all at once: but gradually, gradually, gradually...!
There are all sorts of protocols, rules, norms, and guidelines that we are expected to abide by in this life. Are people really better people when they keep the rules anally? No! Are we really better people when we expect others to keep the rules anally? No! Mercy... meekness... flexibility... warmth, giving room to people to let them be themselves... and grace are what allows us to live out love, peace, compassion and stay away from legalism, hypocrisy, and hurting others.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Lord God thanks for today. It has been an insightful one. First off I’m realizing that I need to be aware that I can be a hypocrite...especially when it comes to keeping rules, or not keeping them when compared to what I expect from others vs. myself. Rules are only good to the point where they protect people, and help to create decent peace among people. When the rules become the ends in themselves...instead of helping to love people then that creates problems and defeats having rules. Secondly I’m realizing that when I am in a place that is disagreeable and needs to be jettisoned (like feeling guilt about stuff) that it makes things worse when I judge myself in a way that leads to tension, stress, pressure, and then self-hatred directed on myself in order to execute supposed change... which has been a default pathway to supposed change for me so long without realizing it. I saw this dynamic at work in me when it occurred to me that the ideal is to be in regular communication with the Holy Trinity and to not be distracted or too focused on other things important to me. The methodology I wanted to use for change fell into the above framework. In realizing this I was able to implement a new pathway to change instead of the default one that lead away from God.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Jesus also came to heal us of our sins because the Bible tell us "By His stripes we are healed". Interesting thing is that evil and good in the Bible are not defined in the popular sense... but evil is defined as spiritual sickness; and goodness or holiness is defined as spiritual healthiness and that involves healthy relationships (Jesus calls Himself a Physician and wants to heal us from the wounds in our hearts/minds/ actions/relationships). Fact is that Jesus came to heal "us" and that means healing our relationships too since by His stripes "we" are healed...! People most of the time believe what they are taught in their churches... and bring their own baggage to Scripture both good and bad... we all do... no sense in getting angry with those who hold the incorrect Penal Substitution view of Salvation... none of us have it all together...we all have blind spots...we are all on journeys...Jesus taught us to not judge or condemn...but to be merciful... it's OK to be "angry" but lets not let the sun go down on our anger...let's not have chips on our shoulders! The Good News that God is not like pagan deities being thirsty for revenge (eye for an eye) means He is not a mean God...but a loving God...He is slow to anger...and because He is not mean, capricious, fickle, and anal... we can be like Him when it comes to others crossing our boundaries...and kind to ourselves too for having crossed other people's boundaries so we can change... It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance...not threats, fears, or a heavy hand...let's act like God out of kindness!!!
Sunday, November 1, 2014:
I saw the movie called “Fury” with Brad Pit in it Saturday night. It is a violent, sad, explosive, and bloody movie. I have done a lot of reading on non-violence as a means of achieving peace for sometime...coming to believe that it can be a better way of bringing peace in many situations. Non-violence does not mean we do nothing. It also does not mean we demonize those who have fought in wars or are doing so now. Like Pope Francis said recently: “It is not the Law that saves us but Jesus.” Wars are horrible...and those who are enlisted, fought, or died in them are no less human than me whatever nationality or Religion. We all do things we wish didn’t take place...even if we know we might or could do it again...soldiers don’t like killing anymore than we do. We are all broken in many ways...we are all lied to; we all lie about some things. We all want to do right at least some of the time. We are all on journeys. God is love, and compassion itself. He is our great hope if we will have Him.