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Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Eclipsed By The Son

I walk with a Father that loves me. I stumble He picks me up. He lets me learn by my mistakes. I ask for treasures concerning the soul, He has me earn them, and is willing to give freely. He opens my eyes to the beauty of the day even when storm clouds surround me. He keeps a thorn in my side to remind me of my life away from Him. He never promised me an easy walk, but He has promised me nothing more then I can handle while I am with Him. He has given me a choice to live for Him or to be pulled into a world that does not understand His love and what love truly is. I am eclipsed by the Son, knowing fully that I do not deserve to be, that is love that we cannot fathom.

I throw temper tantrums at my Fathers feet because He does not treat me right or give me the things I think I deserve. All the time patiently waiting for me to stop and take a deep breath to understand that He has given me what I need and more then I deserve. He has treated me more then fair. I am His favorite, He looks down on me and says how precious I am to Him. Then He turns to others and tells them that they are His favorite and how precious they are to Him. He makes me understand that I am here just as are all His children. He lets me know that sharing His love is better then burying it and hording it for myself. Where is the joy in hiding this wonderful love?

Dark days come while on this earth, but I am eclipsed by the Son and a promise of a better life because of His light.

D.

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I have found a peace in my heart.  A comfort that I know only comes from God and His powerful hand. I have shared my struggles with God but looking back through all of the ‘bad times’ He was always there. I never worried much about where God was taking me and my family, sometimes I did not care if He wanted to go ahead and take me, lately I have felt ready. Not to escape the struggles but just ready to go home. But I also enjoy life, I look back on stumbling and struggles and I see God’s hand constantly.

I enjoy my kids who are the greatest, my wife who understands me and the things that she does not understand she has studied and delved deep into the subjects so that she might understand. I am thankful for my friends that show me laughter and so many things that are right in the world. I am not suicidal, I am just comfortable with any direction God directs me. We are not rich by any stretch of the imagination, not by what the world considers rich anyway. We barely make it paycheck to paycheck, a lot of times we have to sell things just to make it through. We want to reach out to others but we cannot do it with money, so we try and do it with service to others, which is very fulfilling. This makes us rich.

I do not worry about what tomorrow holds, our situation is tough because I am unable to work at this time because of health issues, and legal issues. As a man I feel like I am not pulling my weight, this bothers me sometimes, but I know that God is always near. I have turned on God before, with words that sadden me. But since I have been with Nee-Nee, my kids, and my church family God has given me treasures beyond description. He is a loving Father who has not hidden His face from me, even though I have felt like He has, He hasn’t.

Sometimes I feel like Superman, a broken Superman, but Superman none the less. I do not worry about myself, and what might happen to me. I watch out for my family and I am a little protective, but I trust in God. I did not worry about the shooting that occurred here, or what my wife and I viewed outside of our window. I was saddened that it effected Nee-Nee and so many of the tenants that live here, but honestly I did not worry about our safety. I have confronted people that would intimidate others without a second thought. I am not testing God, I feel like I have a comfort with God and I feel that it is His will and His strength.

Some of you might ask then why do you suffer from depression, anxiety, compulsive, and attention deficits? The only thing that I can think of is because of my constant drug use, and a craving that I do not fully understand. But I can tell you that it is not from worrying. I am not anxious about tomorrow. God has never failed me, though when I was younger I thought He had, the truth is He hasn’t. That is another reason I like to look back into my past, because as I look at it and the times I thought that I was away from God, I see Him in the dark corners of my life at that time. I look back and see Him when I missed Him the first time. Seeing this I see that God has worked inside me and changed my faith. He has strengthened it and continues to. I know that God has a mission for me to do, I have not seen it yet, but I might even be in the middle of that mission and not realize it until later. He has kept me alive, even during the times that I was ready to leave, and take myself out of this world. My attempts were futile, because God loves me and has a purpose for me and all that He loves.

I believe that tragedies occur sometimes to be a lesson to others, and to help others grow even when we are so deep in our own sorrow, or loss. Death is not an ending but a beginning to a beautiful life, I think that sometimes instead of sadness with all the death that I have experienced, was jealousy that they do not have to deal with this world anymore. My Gramps on my mothers side was a horrible man, who obviously thought of carnal pleasures over his own children and grand-children. But when most people would say a man like that must be headed to hell after he died. And the odds are against him, but God works in different ways. There is still a chance that God brought him home. I don’t know, no one does. I just realize that I have a peace that surpasses understanding.

This upsets people sometimes because they don’t believe me. With all the tragedy, and the ‘hardship’ that we are experiencing at this time, people tell me that it is okay to ‘admit’ that I am worried. It is not impossible for us not to worry, or God would tell us it is normal and go ahead and do it. I do have to work on my patience but not with where my life is going, I have short patience with those that worry about things that they cannot change. We talk about how good God is, we talk about His love for us, and how comforting He is to us. So if we believe, TRULY believe this, why worry? If God took away all of our material things I could go on. I would miss the convenience that they offer, but I know I will live without them. If God took away someone close to me again then I know life will go on, and I will see them again, but in God’s time. I will cry because I miss them, but I will not cry that they went to a better place.

If someone was offering to sell you peace of mind, would you allow yourself to let down your guard and your control, which you don’t have in the first place, and buy it and allow it to work? God offers it for free, accept it, let your guard down and I guarantee you there will be a peace that you cannot describe or understand.

D.

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I know that I said that I was going to go back to reflections but I feel like I needed to do this one first. God is amazing, incredible. His love is overwhelming, and unfathomable. Nee-Nee has been praying and studying, she has been seeking a closer walk with God. About a week or two ago she told me that God wanted me to talk to Him. That her prayers and all others that are praying for me will not work until I come to Him. I thought of this as odd at first, I knew that God did not actually speak to Nee-Nee, I understand how He communicated with her. The reason I thought this was odd is because in my own little world, just between God and me, I wasn’t speaking to Him anymore. Oh, I would throw the occasional prayer His way, just so He knew that He was not forgotten. But I was not following my own advice, I was not journeying with God anymore.

I kept this to myself, I was so strong in hearing His word, I wrote what He put in my heart, but I found I was becoming complacent. God continued to talk to me, even when I was not talking or asking anymore. I felt like I was an active soldier but I became sedentary in my works. So when Nee-Nee told me this revelation, I felt bad. I looked at how I have been feeling lately. Intense withdraws, depression creeping back in, closing myself off again from the world outside. So I heeded the warning, and began to pray again, more intense this time with a focus on others. The things that God put in my view was amazing.

First I saw a news story on the Today Show, of this young man that was declared brain dead, the relatives were called in to say their good byes and the organ harvesters were in route to take the organs since he was a donor. While the family was in his room, the grand mother fell to her knees and prayed to God not to take this young man. She said that he had so much to offer and please do not take him. The young man recovered, the doctors did not have any answers there was not any brain signals and he was truly brain dead. This story touched me. God works in His way and His purpose, I am sure that this touched others in different ways, but it touched me because it dealt with prayer.

The other story I saw was about the mistaken identity of two girls that were in a car crash, one lived one died. While one was in the hospital the wrong family was taking care of her, during this time the wrong family was burying someone they believed was their daughter but in reality it was not her. They had an interview with the two families that were involved, and I was reluctant to watch it because I thought that there would be blame and unresolved issues. But something got me interested in seeing it so I watched the segment that aired during the Today Show, yes God talks to me through the Today Show sometimes, and I was pleasantly surprised how the two families worked together. It was difficult news to accept of course, but the way that these people were handling the situation touched me in a way that is indescribable.

So my prayers to God came more often, my silence in His presence became longer, my meditation more intense. I went to Wal-Mart the other day, one of the door greeters is a young man who was in a car accident when he was younger and now remains in a wheel chair and suffers with his speech. Every time I see him I shake his hand and ask him how he is doing. He always tells me that everyday is a blessed day. Seeing him always makes my day. As I was shopping I thought of these three stories, each story showed that through extremely difficult times, times that most of us will never come close to, they all had one thing in common, a strong faith in God and that God is in charge, not us. So I offered up a little prayer as I continued to walk around and get the things on my list.

As I was checking out, I could hear Brad, the door greeter, telling everyone coming in and going out in a very loud and distinctive voice, ‘Have a good day!’ As I was leaving he smiled a big smile as I was walking toward him. Usually on my way out I just shake his hand again and tell him bye. This time he held my hand and said that he tries to fire up everyone that comes in about God, and let them know the love of Jesus. He looked me in the eye and told me that he loved me, without shame or any consideration of me interpreting it different then what he meant. Still looking me in the eyes, he said that God wants us to love one another, and if we don’t spread the news of Jesus’ love for us then who will? He held onto a cross pendent as he continued talking to me, ‘The world is getting bad, and we need to let them know of His love for us.’ Then he said, ‘You and I. You go out and let people know of His love. Everyone you meet do not be ashamed. I will fire people up where I go, you fire people up where you go.’

The other night I was reminded to set my sights on things unseen, and to keep my mind clear of the world. God opened my eyes once again fresh, to my ministry. To warn others, and to comfort those that are not only addicted but through my dark journeys and bouts with depression I need to realize that I have much to say. I also have come to the realization that I need to open my ears to hear others as well. Creating a bond that God interweaves through ‘random’ meetings and viewings of others in dark situations. We cannot be sedentary and be about our Fathers business thinking that He will do all of the work. He has a purpose for everyone, and everything, this I believe. In my downfalls and struggles He has made them a light for me to use for Him, in other things He has shown that this world holds nothing of interest to me, the interest I do have is showing others of His love.

Do me a favor, you might not be an addict of any kind. But I bet you have habits, little ritualistic things that you do during the day or night without thinking about. Maybe you might consider yourself a ‘chocoholic’ and laugh about it. Or bite your nails, make little annoying sounds with your mouth, the point is we all have little tics. Try to go a day or two without doing it, maybe if you can a week. I bet you will pick something different in it’s place, or you will think that it is silly and not even try it. That is a small amount of what an addict feels, be it a food addict, drug addict, alcoholic, sex addict, etc.

There is a new show that has been advertised on FX, it is about walking in someone else’s shoes for 24 hours or a week, something like that. The point is I think that it would do people good to glance into someone else’s walk. We are given so much by the grace of God, we become spoiled little children, crying to God when everything is crumbling, forgetting to rejoice despite what the world throws at you. So here I am holding your hand, looking you square in the eyes, and saying I love you. It is up to you and me to ‘fire people up’. Are you ready?

D.

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I had built a house for 27 years, it had become decrepit with each stone that was added making it darker and darker. It became a fortress not allowing anyone to enter, and I was in total control of it’s design and up keep. It had so many passages and hiding places that I became lost in my own castle. Though I thought that the work was being done to keep the clutter at bay, it became an overwhelming heap backing me into a corner of my own distress. I became a prisoner to what I had created. A part of me loved it so much that I was willing to put up with the stench and the clutter. Until it became too much for me to bear. No longer did I want to hide from the outside world, I allowed people to live within my castle. The innocent ones were kept blind to the passages in which I took in refuge, greeting them again filled from the inside with dirt and sin, on the outside I wore a mask.

I prayed to my God to remove the mask that had become as much a part of me as the castle that I lived in. To my surprise the mask was ripped from my face, and the passages that I kept a secret all along became opened as my castle began to crumble down brick by brick. I asked God to create new living quarters where my loved ones and I can feel safe and the clutter will be totally destroyed. I asked God that this time, with His help, that this building will be of glass. Transparent for the world to see. He agreed and helped me to rebuild using His strength, knowledge, and comfort into this new transition. The house was becoming a new home for my loved ones and me. One day while I was so tired from the work, and missing the place where I grew up, I went to re-visit it.

As I made my way to the site where my castle once stood, I noticed the debris had not totally been done away with. As I walked I tripped over a block that resembled the corner stone of the old foundation. I do not recall how many days had went by, but I do remember my Saviour picking me up to take me back to the new home. When we arrived I noticed that more people had joined in on the construction, family, friends, loved ones. How could this be? These are the people I had once betrayed and hid from, why spend their time on me? God said He asked them to help and they gladly accepted. I also noticed stones from my old castle visible through the glass walls. I asked God “Why do you torment me with these stones from the past?” He said, “These stones are no longer about you but about others who have built upon their own foundation. To see the darkness that it had brought, to see that with My help there is strength and a renewing of the Spirit within. These stones are yours to carry so you will not live in comfort but to be reminded of what once was.” I said, “How could You and these people love me once again knowing that I turned away from You, longing to hide once again?” He told me that I can no longer hide from Him, with all of my passages and hiding within the filth, I never hid from Him in the first place.

I was told to minister to those who are in hiding, to minister to those who are just beginning to build on their own. ‘Use the stones of experience and write on them a testimony for the world to see. Don’t worry what others say about this, just know you are about My work. I Am the one that picked you up, I AM the one that tore away your earthly love, I tore down your gods, and have opened the door to your heart to enter and create a path that is not without struggle, nor will it be without stumbling. But My hand is their to pick you up, dust off your knees, open your eyes lest you fall asleep in the journey that lies ahead.’ He let me know that others will question my work, and why I cherish a home that is made of glass with the stones displayed for all to see. But let my focus be on Him and He will guide, to make my will strong and to persevere. Some days I will not know who I have touched according to His strength, I will not always know whose hearts I prick because of my journey. But to continue in this marvelous new home, void of secret passages, void of hiding from others.

This is how I see my journey. I learned at the beginning that I have to accept what I can, lay down and forgive that which is not mine. And move forward. Though my post seem dark at times especially when I go back to my past days re-entering my struggles and what got me here. But there is no pity in these travels. When I speak of them I no longer feel sorry for the old person, I am clothed a new. I do know now that just because I found and struggle with God’s desire, does not mean others are on the same path. I know that relapse happens, I made it over a year while others have fallen within days, weeks, or months. God reached His hand to me, because of Him I reach out to others to pick them up without judging, but praying that God will heal them and put words in my mouth, or in this case guide my thoughts in my writings.

I know through counselling that one of the first steps is acceptance, and forgiveness. This is what God was telling me through the counsellors voice. I know that an illness occurred from staying around the filth that was built up around me. Do I hide it or do I allow God to use it to help in the vaccination of others in a disease that has become an epidemic? I choose to use it, I use it without pity, my words are tough, but so is the illness. I write for those that are in their own prison, I also write for those who have never been there so they might look no longer from the outside that they might throw judgment and blame on these who are far away from comfort and God, but that they see these people as sick and are in need of the great Physician. I write that there might be an understanding within the two to co-exist in the love of our Lord and Saviour.

I have found acceptance, yet my heart still gets pricked, and my words prick the hearts of others. Some things I would rather keep quite, it is not my bravery to let you know the lowliness of my heart, but it is God in His infinite wisdom and love that guides me to take a deep breath suck it up and show a side of my life that had been behind solid walls for too long.

D.

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Scared into faith?

Doing well today. Woke up at 5:30, and was greeted by rain and thunderstorms. It is dark outside and I love days like this. When they come in my back begins to hurt, and I feel a pain down my leg so I am always relieved after it gets here. Life is good here, we are in limbo still with workers comp but I know that in God’s time it will be taken care of, probably when we most need it.

We had a visit from a lady that attends Church with us last night. She was wanting to check on us and show us a DVD on selling, I am sorry ‘giving people business opportunities’ I think that it is good for her she is a people person and I am not really much of one. But we sit through the presentation and told her we will think about it. Which we will, I just don’t see much of an opportunity for me in it. She also showed us a video of a ministry that she is involved with, it sounds like a good ministry if people follow up with the others that they touch, which she has a list of the people they meet and keeps in touch with them. I love this lady and her heart is in the right place and she feels like she is doing God’s work which I am sure she is.

Her ministry is going around to middle class and lower class sections to show the importance of baptism. The video has a sermon on baptism and the importance. Nee-Nee and my only hold out about it is we feel like people should study more and grow in the importance of Jesus, not to be scared into baptism but a desire to live in Christ and understand the love of His word and an understanding of faith. As I said she follows up with these people which I think is good, and the Church in that area follows up with them. So I can’t speak of that which I do not know much about. I think Bible study first and then a growth into baptism, but I could be wrong.

This ministry aside, how do you feel about baptism? Should one take the important step of baptism without any understanding of Christ? Should there be study leading up to and having God work in them to become baptised? Should we treat baptism as the only ticket to heaven, and let them learn later about faith and redemption? Should we treat baptism as some treat faith? Again this has nothing to do with the ministry that this lady is involved in, they have steps in place, and there is bunches I still don’t understand about it. Do people understand that they can still fall short, and will fall short? Do they realize that they will still have much growth and they won’t come out of the water with intelligence streaming down their body? Do they know that they are not guaranteed Heaven just because of baptism? The questions could go on, you could probably question it to death, I think that this is the importance of study, and a deeper understanding.

D.

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During a Spanish bull fight, four different areas are hit, the first is in the neck by a Picador with a lance. Second and third the bull is hit by Banderilleros with barbed sticks called banderillas, in the two flanks as close to the first wound as possible. Then the third is by the Matador between the shoulder blades through to the heart. By the time the Matador gets to the bull it is more of a ‘work’ on his part, the bull has all but bled to death by the time he gets to him.

I feel like when God returns I will be all but bled dry. The difference is He will restore me. Beautiful thought. I speak on here all the time about how tired I am. I need to pull the banderillas and the lance out of my back and hold my head up high for I am not defeated. The horses that the Picador rides on is covered with a protective shield, up until the early 1900’s the horses wore no protection and would get gutted by the bull. I will charge through the fiery horse that carries my death. I will sharpen my horns and charge through the attacks of the enemy with my Savior by my side. I need to become the bull, not just grab it by the horns.

Easier said then done it seems. It makes for great poetry and shows a sense of strength that I pray I had. I went forward Sunday for prayers. I was just going to ask a certain few that I talk to on a regular basis for prayers, I do not like going forward, for different reasons. But for some reason it seemed that I was pulled forward to ask for prayers. I have been ignoring God, I have been pulled in two by addiction, I felt the need for prayers. I had several people coming up to me and told me how brave I was, how strong I am. I cried on the outside but inside I laughed in secrecy. I am neither strong nor brave. I felt like the Matador was dancing in front of me, and me blindly reacting to his sound.

I had an old acquaintance call me last night wanting to know where I could score some for him, with it being New Years and everything. I told him no, I don’t know anyone any more. I wanted to tell him if he finds some call me and let me know. I wanted to tell him the long drawn out story of my hell and say pull me out. We just told each other bye and hung the phone up. Again even with me asking for prayers the bull fighters surrounded me. All around me it seemed. I dreamed last night of doing a line, and it felt so good. I woke up at 5:00, I thought that it was 6:00 because we never set our bedroom clock back. I woke up in fear that I broke a rule. Then I realized that it was just a dream, and then I was disappointed, yet relieved at the same time.

I want to believe in prayer, and I do for the most part. I see God’s hands in a lot of different areas in my life, I do. Yet I can’t see this. I can’t see why my addiction hounds me. God knows my feelings, He knows how hard it is to get myself going, yet I do. I know that He is helping get me up and around, why does He allow the shafts to be thrust so deep? Why aren’t the pills working like they should? Am I bitter? A little. But I am fighting like the bull.

D.

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Whisper of God

Another year coming around the bend. I am not superstitious but the years that end in 7 are not good. I married my first wife and got a divorce in 1987, 1997 was the time that I hurt my back the first time, and went through struggles throughout that year, 2007 well you know the story to that one it is still being written. So when 2008 comes I am going to give it a big sloppy kiss.

As I stated before though, it is the day by days that get us to new places and sometimes it just happens that it takes a year or years, to get to that new place. I am struggling lately with who I am. I have been inpatient, aggravated easily, and struggling with the addiction. A growth, a growth I know, I have heard it said thousands of times. I am so tired of living with struggles, is this all the world has to offer? If it is then stop the world I want to get off. I know that we have to take the good days with the bad, I feel like I overlook the good days and focus on the bad. The bad days stand out a little more, and time slows to a crawl when you aren’t having fun. The medication that I am taking is not making me the person I was when I was using, that means that I have to rely on myself more, no, let me restate that with a truth. I have to lean on God more. That is even harder for me it seems. I wake up feeling different, I used to use to wake up and now I am feeling lethargic in the morning. I guess that is normal, but not for me. I hate trying to wake up.

I hate trying to get prepared for the day. I hate the feelings of being lost. I love my life though. I have a beautiful wife, a lovely family, a wonderful Church family. The good out weighs the bad. But I still am ready to go Home. There is a gentleman that believes strongly in missionary work, He feels like we should go to other places and introduce God and the gospel to those who do not have a chance to hear it. He feels like Europe and the United States are not good missionary places. He wants to spread the word to others so Jesus will return to us sooner. As soon as everyone has had a chance to hear of His word then He will be back. What if that person is a neighbor?

It is feasible. If a person is raised with atheistic believes and is sheltered from God and His Word, then Jesus is just a name to that person. What if that person is your neighbor? I just have a problem accepting an idea that we don’t need to introduce God and the truth about His Son through out our neighborhood. This gentleman is a kind hearted, very intelligent, and I am not attacking his views. There is a reason for his views, of that I am sure. It goes with what I was saying earlier, I, for one, overlook the good days and blessings God has given me, instead I look more at the bad days and wonder ‘why?’ When we overlook the obvious what are we missing out on? The one person that has not heard of God could be were we least expect it, not just in the States, but Europe, Canada, any free religion Nation, or Continent.

An Atheist is without belief, but should we hold the assumption that he/she has heard of Jesus and His freeing word? There are Christians who do not totally understand an atheistic view, why would we assume an Atheist fully understands a Christians view on Christ? I’m just saying that we need to overcome our fear of approach or stick-to-it-ive, I made that word up, just because we think that someone else might do it. Where would we be if all the great followers and lovers of Christ felt like someone else will do it? I am not saying get in peoples faces, and shout His love at them. For me I have to look at Jesus’ love and see His words to others. His displeasure, His love, His compassion, His faith, His strength, His willingness to never back down or avoid. Sure He was the Christ, but before He was the Christ He was Jesus, God with us in the flesh. God is still with us will He not give us the strength He knows that it takes? The knowledge? It is not the strong winds, the fire or the earthquake it comes in a small whisper. Have we become deaf that we no longer hear the whisper of God?

D.

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