A dream

I was on stage at a big production play being put on by a man I know. I was one of the people he hired to help with the play. The first act was over and the curtain was closing on the first act. He was nervous and was sitting at a long table. There were other people sitting at the table with him. As the curtain was closing (I was on stage in the background and could see the curtains were almost closed, but I could still see in the audience, so the first act wasn’t completely over, but was almost there) the man was worried about the next act. I asked him if I could see the script. He said yes or mumbled something that I didn’t quite get. I didn’t get the script, so I walked over to the left side of the stage and asked several people for the script. Then they told me: THERE WAS NO SCRIPT! It was all being written as it happened. They hired me to WRITE THE SCRIPT! It took me a second, but I got it. The script was ongoing and hadn’t as of yet been written. I was to write it as we went along. It was my creativity and thought processes that they hired so I COULD WRITE THE SCRIPT FOR THE NEXT ACT!

As I went through my ‘ah-ha’ moment in the dream, the man asked me to watch a gathering of people at an event that was not unlike a picnic. There were a bunch of kids there playing football. They were young kids, 7-10 and I noticed one kid that was 7 and had curly red hair. He was a southpaw and throwing the ball way too hard for the other kids. I picked up a football to throw and I noticed it wouldn’t fit in my hand like I thought it should. I threw it though, and it didn’t go very far at all.

Then I woke up!

That Damnable Closet!

23:00 what a day this has been. I started out this morning by seeing a number of visions concerning cleaning out my closets. I have to do this or I will not be able to finish my race well. In the last several days, I’ve seen God at work in the deepest of recesses in my life. He showed me a picture of me with him in my house:

We were talking and walking along a hallway. He stopped in front of a closet. He said we needed to clean out the closet. I suddenly got very agitated and animated. I told him I thought that was a great idea. “You clean it out and when you’re done, let me know. I will be in the other room. You are the one that wants to clean it out, I don’t. Just let me know when you’re done.”

Then the vision was gone. I knew what it meant. It was brutally clear to me. I’ve been praying for many years asking God to clean out that damnable closet. I’ve asked, begged and pleaded for him to clean out the closet. It never got cleaned out. I made the comment on more than one occasion that it must be ok with God to have a dirty closet because I can’t get it cleaned and He doesn’t seem to want to. But the vision explained all of that. In order to clean out the closet, I have to actually GO INTO THE CLOSET to clean it. I have done everything but go into the closet. The closet is full of things I don’t want to see or feel. That is the issue here, I don’t want to feel those things again. I have managed to separate myself from those feelings and I don’t want to experience them again. I want them to simply go away. But that’s not what is going to happen. They aren’t going away and I’ve known that for a long time but wouldn’t admit it, rather thinking if I ignored them they would disappear.

So the Lord said the time is now to clean this closet. I was sitting in my office in stunned silence. Job said it best “that which I have so greatly feared has come upon me!” I asked “How do I do this?” Almost immediately I saw a picture of guys in my home fellowship and the pastor, Shannon, Jimmy, David and Ralph. I saw them sitting at the kitchen table at Ralph’s home. I also knew what that meant and slowly nodded my head. It meant I needed to open the closet, go into it and have them help me stay on my feet as I start cleaning. I’ve walked through this many times since Sunday and there are buckets of un shed tears in there. The shame of this is almost unbearable. I’m 62 and I shouldn’t be dealing with this crap at my age. But that doesn’t matter, because I am. I’m dealing with it now because I haven’t dealt with it sooner. The anger that is bound up inside is in that closet. The source of addictions is in the closet. My failures and sins are all in that closet. I sat at my desk looking out the window at the things He has shown me about this accursed closet. Before I do this Lord, I want to talk to my counselor because I feel safe there. I called and the only opening she had between now and August 11 was today at 5:00. On the way to her office the Lord quickened to me I needed to expand my zone of safety and this process will do that by letting Godly men know what is tearing me up inside. I was good at burying this for the last 35 years. I can’t do that anymore. It won’t stay buried.

So I am letting you 4 guys that are involved with my home fellowship know I need some time with you at Ralph’s house so I can start the cleaning process. I might add that I am really scared about this. This is new to me. My stomach is about 2 Tums short of throwing up at any minute.

James 5:16 (AMP) Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].

The Wood Chips

It’s been too long since I posted anything. After surgery was over and a month of recovery time, I’ve had to go back to work. My boss has this ridiculous idea I need to be productive during work hours. Like DUH!

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. I fell on the way to the doctor’s office my knee cart hit a rock on the way to the ‘safe’ handicap ramp and flipped me over the handle bars landing squarely on my ribs. It wasn’t long before I realized the ability to breathe is important. The pain was so bad I laid down to “rest” and it took me a full 15 minutes to just roll over so I could sit up. Oh I wouldn’t wish rib damage on my worst enemy. So it’s taken me a couple of weeks to just recover from that. Blogging kind of fell off the radar screen if you know what I mean.

But this morning was special. I walked down the driveway to get the paper. I picked it up and as I was walking back up the driveway, I noticed the freshly spread wood chips to the right and the left of the house. This has been a concern of mine for some time. Most of the tree services in our area no longer cut and chip. They simply cut, stack and leave or take it with them. But they don’t bring chippers with them. But my wife found a company that chipped. We had to have some tree work done so she hired them.

Turns out they chip. After they were done, they had a load of chips and asked us where to put them. My lovely wife showed them. Since we need two loads of chips, I didn’t think much of it at the time. About a week later I was working and got a knock at the door. It was the driver of the chipper truck that did our work. “We are cutting in the area and need to dump this load of chips. Can you take another one?” Sure, so I showed him where to put it.

I thanked him and the Lord for the gift. But it wasn’t until this morning walking back up the driveway I connected the dots on the earlier concern I had about paying for the chips we would need. The Lord provided exactly what we needed when we needed it and I was so blind, I didn’t get that it was an answer to a ‘concern’ I had. I don’t remember if I prayed specifically for it or not, but The Lord did provide.

God is something special ain’t he?

Jekyll (Sometimes Hyde)

A long overdue cleaning

Background

I had foot surgery in the middle of May. I have great insurance with my company and part of the insurance is short term disability. Basically that is 30 days off with full pay. I was hoping during that time I would spend it deep in prayer with God and I working out the thorny details of my life. Well to quote radio personality and author Steve Brown, “WHAT WAS I THINKING!” What did happen during my time off was more sexual problems arose to the surface of my somewhat grubby flesh! The Lord has helped me work through the issues raised though and I have much more ‘task clarity’ concerning how I am to deal scripturally with the items that surfaced.

So, I am back at work for 2 days and I go to my family doctor to discuss my extremely low testosterone levels. My wife drops me off in the parking lot and using my medically prescribed knee cart to get from the parking lot to the handicap ramp, I hit a small rock with the right front wheel. In a flash I am over the handlebars and land on the pavement on the ribs on my right side and my right knee. Having played football, I knew I had at least badly bruised and at worst broken my ribs. Last night was ‘rib damage +3’. I could hardly breathe all night. So it will be off to get x-rays and see what type of damage I have incurred from this.

The cleaning begins

Meanwhile, back on the ranch … So yesterday I took my pain medicine and was able to at least breathe ok. I sat in my office and looked around. I felt motivated by the Lord to clean the place. So I pulled my iPad and Logitech wireless blu-tooth boom box and opened Amazon Prime and started listening to a documentary on mythology. It was brilliantly done and caused me to pause in my cleaning efforts to jot down some notes.

But here is the interesting part. As I pulled out the books to clean the shelves (found an entire colony of dust bunnies behind them) I sensed the Holy Spirit standing there with me and He was looking at the books with me. I started talking to Him about the books and realized some very important points I hadn’t considered before. These points were literally charged by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Here is what I found (besides the dust bunny colony):

  1. I have 425 books in my ‘library’ in my office and 85 e-books on Nook for a total of 510 books.
  2. I have fully read about 170 books.
  3. There are about 50 books that I have read nothing in, having purchased them because they are good books and something I either need to read or want to read later.
  4. There are 270 books I’ve read quite a bit in but never finished. I noticed a vast majority of these were heavily and annotated with muti-coloured highlight colours, pens and so forth.
  5. The 2 categories I have the most books in are leadership with 80 and military/history with 50.

 

 

I sat back to rest my suddenly screaming ribs and the Holy Spirit began to zero in on group 4. A close analysis of group 4 showed I was reading and looking for something when I stopped reading in the book. I began to realize I was reading these books (most of this category were God or healing oriented) as if I were looking for something, found it and moved on to something else. As I looked at the topics I read I began to get a much clearer picture of who I am.

What I learned is exciting (at least to me). I began to see my reading was simply an expression of my relationship with God. I will blog again and explore this in detail soon. For the time being though, it’s quite interesting to have the Holy Spirit show me things about myself that only He knows and He’s about to let me in on the secret!

Stay tuned …

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LIKE IT IN AMERICAN SPORTS!

Last night I set aside all thoughts about sex, troubles and work to enjoy my favorite sporting activity, the pursuit of Lord Stanley’s cup. There is no sporting event in the world that compares to the Stanley Cup. NONE. For sheer excitement and drama it simply doesn’t get any better than the Stanley cup, especially with Doc Emerick calling the game.

Doughty fires … HE HIT THE POST … OH MY, WHAT CHAOS!!!!!!

The Superbowl and World Series are nice to watch, but they simply PALE in comparison to Lord Stanley’s finals!

Even though the Rangers lost, watching Jonathan Quick vs Henrick Lundquist was like watching two giants slugging it out with each other. Save after save after save by both Goalies. Only Jesus saves more than these two!

Congrats to the new Champions of the hockey world:

The Los Angeles Kings!

How will the Lord fill this gap in my heart?

23:11 It’s no secret I’ve been running from sexual addiction issues for so many years. I found in the last year though that I simply can’t run anymore. Not only that, sexual issues from WAY back have surfaced and I’ve caved in and ‘acted out’ as Patrick Carnes would say.

This morning, I spent a couple of hours just asking the Lord questions about why I am where I am. I listened to some new musical group I hadn’t even been aware of until yesterday. ‘Gregorian’ Is a unique group and they have a really good mix of sounds. I heard them do Clapton’s classic “Tears in Heaven” and I simply broke down. I’m thankful it happened early in the morning (06:00 AM) so I didn’t bother my wife. During this time the Lord showed me event and event and event where I experienced rejection and rather than face it, I buried it. This isn’t just when I was a kid, but spread out over time even up until the last few years. I saw it. It made sense to me. It’s a complete embarrassment to me to admit it, but sexual rejection has been rather commonplace.

Now, I can’t buffalo the Lord. So I laid it all out and I asked this question with sincere honesty?

Lord: how do I allow YOU to fill the gap here in my heart? How do you fill this obviously most important gap in my life?

I don’t know, I honestly don’t have a clue!

A prayer of lament

Psalms 46:10 (AMP) Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!

Father: I need to keep this verse constantly in mind. I am weak and feeble when it comes to my flesh. I’m literally miserable about it. I’ve allowed it to run amok and I don’t know what to do. I can’t make it better. When people come to me and try to tell me that you are ‘pleased’ with me, I don’t believe them. I see you like a big ‘father’ that is always half put out with me because I fail so often and fail this task. I try to get past my limited view of you and I just don’t do it. I don’t know how to ask you for help. I just am so miserable internally about this. Help me to cease striving and let be and be still as this Psalm admonishes me to do.

I absolutely hate being ‘weak’. I’m not into weakness, I want to be strong. Yet I am weak in this area. I might try to project strength, but I’m not. I’m weak.

I’m also silent. When I get like this, I shut down. I don’t talk to people and I don’t communicate with people. I just shut up. David admonishes me to not do this as well!

Psalms 51:15 (AMP) O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

Thank you Father

Hyde (Sometimes Jekyll)    

She got what she deserved ….

I opened the paper this morning and there she was. A 20 something young woman who was being sentenced to life in prison for killing her newborn baby boy. After killing the child, she then wrapped him in towels, put him in a trash bag and threw him into the trash. The picture in the paper showed this young woman sitting in court with her head down and tears in her eyes.

I slowly read the article to my wife and we digested the whole sordid story paragraph by paragraph. After reading the article the first thing I noticed was my attitude toward the young woman was different than it would have been just a few years ago. Several years ago I would have shaken my head with Pharisaical disgust and wondered how anyone could be that stupid. I would have then said “she got what she deserved”. Finally, I would have gotten in my car and drove down to court house so I could be one of the first in line to stone her when she was taken off to prision.

That was then. This is now. I saw her as a person with a sin nature that simply overpowered her. At her sentancing her family described her as a caring, loving, gentle person. When I read that I thought that is probably exactly right. Her sin nature was always lurking right below the surface and what happened to her is what happened to Judas. (John 13:27a (NRSV) After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. …”) There is no doubt in my mind she was a wonderful girl. I’m also just as convinced Romans 7 is on display here. She is battling inside and loses because she has no power or support system to help her work through this mess. The entire situation is a sad state of affairs. She had been let down and abandoned by everyone that had a chance to help her. Her “boyfriend” (who I am sure told her how much he loved her) is no where to be found if they even know who he is. She has been abandoned by everyone. Everyone except God! Of course she is guilty. That’s not the point. King David was guilty. Moses was guilty. Paul was guilty. Jekyll is guilty. Hyde is guilty. YOU are guilty!

As I saw the picture of her sitting there crying and weeping, I could only think of John 8 and the woman the Pharasees dragged before Jesus. There doesn’t seem to be any doubt about her guilt. She was unable to answer her accusers. At the conclusion of the story, she was left alone with Jesus. He asked her where her accusers were. I envision her standing there with her head down and tears rolling down her cheeks as well. Jesus was pretty clear: He dicn’t accuse her! So, with the parable of the talents clearly in focus in my rearview mirror, how could I condem this young woman for anything? I have asked for and received God’s grace and mercy when needed. How can I not offer it to this young woman as well?

I can’t hear you ………..

I am out of pocket for a few days. Well ok, another 6-8 weeks.    I am not immobilized but I am recovering from surgery that greatly restricts my mobility. So my wife is stuck with taking care of me. I’ve been an outdoors guy all of my life. I’ve worked outside in all types of weather. But now, I can’t walk into the kitchen by myself. I can’t make myself coffee without a great deal of difficulty. I can’t take a shower by myself. I can go to the bathroom by myself, but I can’t let the dogs in or out. I can’t mow the yard. (I am hoping you are getting the picture here). I find I am dependent on others to do things I have done by myself for my entire adult life. And you know what? I find I hate every minute of it.

It turns out my wife isn’t so comfortable with the idea either. A friend from church called and asked how they could help us. I jumped at the chance to have someone else mow the lawn. I mentioned that as we talked and I could tell my wife was nervous about it. She was going to pay someone to come and mow as well as some other things that needed to be done. But she acceded to the help and then our friend dropped the big one on us. They were going to bring us food. We were both stunned. SOMEONE IS BRINGING US FOOD! We aren’t on welfare, we aren’t destitute, yet someone is bringing us food. What can we do to repay you we asked? “Oh nothing” our friend said rather nonchalantly. “We just want to help.”

Well there ya go! The Gospel of Christ in action.

Philippians 2:4 (HCSB) {4} Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

1 Corinthians 10:24 (HCSB) {24} No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person.

I could quote others, but there is no need to. Our friends were modeling the Gospel right in front of our very own eyes and we failed to recognize it. We were so concerned about paying them back and being independent, that when Jesus was talking to us on the phone, we didn’t know it. I have a much clearer understanding of

Matthew 25:44 (HCSB) {44} “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, OR UNABLE TO MOW THEIR YARD, OR LEAVE THE HOUSE, and not help You? ‘ [Red text my own addition so will not confuse it with a new translation you weren’t aware of.]

These folks that miss out in the end were so worried about their own deal and perhaps adhering to a standard that doesn’t exist in the Bible, that when Jesus did show up, they had no clue about it.

John 12:29-30 (HCSB) {29} The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said that an angel had spoken to Him. {30} Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. Mark 4:9 (HCSB) {9} Then He said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen! “

Where are the tears?

20:17 Dear Lord: I am exhausted. I am ashamed again. I’m just tired Lord. I am whipped and I wish I had a chance to sit and cry. I wish I could, but I can’t. I can tell there is a need to, but I have no idea how to begin. I’m a guy. I’ve talked to you about this before. I have a sense there is a deep core of something that should have come out years ago, but didn’t. I do remember crying as boy because I was in some pretty bad situations. I look back at them now, and I don’t know why I was in the situations I was in. I don’t know why they refused to help me but I cried and cried to get my parents to get me the hell out of Dodge, but they wouldn’t do it. “You need to toughen up. Be a man!” My mom actually told that to me when I was 14.

After thinking about this, I understand why I don’t cry. I can actually go back to the day I made the decision that I was done with crying. It happened in a red phone booth in the middle of the boarding school I was sent to for an education. I got educated all right. I learned how to give blow jobs and how to get my ass beat. Yes I was educated all right. I called and begged to be taken home but that didn’t happen. So one night I said (and I quote) “Fuck this shit! I am done with begging them to do anything.” I went into the phone booth as a young scared little boy. I came out like the alien out of the chest of the guy in the 1979 movie ‘Alien’.

I developed the habit of not crying. When I should have cried, I got angry. Really angry! I often moved into combat mode and would fight at the drop of a hat. Then there were 2 failed engagements. One girl turned out to be banging the wrestling team while we were making plans to spend the rest of our life together. I didn’t figure that was going to work out so I moved on. Three years later I’m engaged again. We were 30 days from the wedding when her mother injected herself into the mix by insisting we have children. We had settled that question (no kids) BEFORE the engagement. As the conversation grew heated I turned to my bride to be for support and with one look realized if I went ahead with the wedding, I would soon be a father and that was not going to happen. So I broke this one off. So much for weddings.

I then met the most interesting date I’d ever been out with. Her name? Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Most folks know her by her initials, LSD! She was a hot date for sure. We traveled all over the world together. We sure had a boatload of fun. She was an easy date. She would be there whenever I called and she was always ready to go on a trip with me. She was a very colorful date to say the least! I still smile when I think of her. We were together for several years. We were constant companions. I have very fond memories of her.

But then I met my wife and I quickly broke up with Ms Diethylamide. There was no room for her when my wife showed up. I was swept off my feet. Our relationship was hot and dynamic right out of the gate. We hit it off in every way.

It’s now forty years later and I find myself in a mess. Upon reflection of my situation with the Lord I understand very clearly the mess is of my doing and my responsibility and mine alone. Whatever issues I have with my wife, it is my responsibility to work it out with her and the Lord. I didn’t do that. It’s difficult to learn you’ve missed the first 5 stages of your relationship with your wife for 40 years. How utterly selfish. That is devastating to be honest. I capped this all off with my most recent caper.

I’ve thrown sand in my own transmission and my life has somewhat ground to a halt at this present time. But scriptures have a word of hope for folks like me. Joel 2:25 (HCSB) {25} I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust ate, the young locust, the destroying locust, and the devouring locust — My great army that I sent against you.

I’m very sad. But I can’t cry. There are no tears there. I wish there were, but there aren’t. I read in Psalms where the Psalmists spoke of the tears (Psalms 6:6 (HCSB) {6} I am weary from my groaning; with my tears I dampen my pillow and drench my bed every night. ) and (Psalms 42:3 (HCSB) {3} My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, “Where is your God?”) as well as (Psalms 56:8 (HCSB) {8} You Yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your records?)

I need to cry Lord, I really do need to! I’ve fucked this up royal and I have no clue what to do. I just don’t know. Please help me!