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 …

Advertisements

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?

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!

Looking honestly at my heart

Amon Goeth was a concentration camp kommendant in Poland during WWII. He was the man portrayed in Schindler’s List by actor Ralph Fiennes. Perhaps the most disturbing part of a disturbing movie for me, was when he ordered a guard to shoot a Jewish woman in the head. The scene of her death is haunting.

I found on Amazon Prime a documentary about the man entitled “Inheritance”. The story is about his daughter (Monika) and one of the Jewish girls he kept in his house for his own pleasure.

Monika was raised by her mother to believe her father was killed in the war as a soldier. She finds out this isn’t true. As she learns the truth she learns about this Jewish girl who lived with her parents. She arranges to make contact with her and they meet at the exact site of the camp. The house portrayed in the movie is still there and open to simply walk in. As the two women walked into the house the older woman began to cry as the pain and memories came flooding back. She even went to the balcony where Goeth would shoot people before breakfast. The woman who lived with Goeth made a striking statement where she indicated she didn’t want to face this, but felt like she had to.

I watched this because this is part of history I am most interested in. But also, because there are spiritual overtones to the entire story. Not one mention of God was made throughout the entire documentary. But I felt like I was looking at the book of Esther. Not one mention of God in the entire story, but you can see his hand all over the story. At one point Monika was asking how her father could have become like he was. “What horrible thing happened to him as a boy to have caused him to be like this. They showed a picture of him in 1912 as a young toddler in school looking like any other boy his age anywhere else in the world, carefree and innocent.

I locked in on the thought of how he developed like he did. Then it struck me that at a young age sitting next to each other, the Pope and Attila the Hun would look the same. It is in growing up, without the presence of the Holy Spirit, sin is free to roam and the human spirit in all of it’s ugliness will blossom into unspeakable horror. The Nazi’s and the Japanese in WWII are just some examples, but there are many others. No group of people are exempt from this type of wickedness. The Bible speaks of the human heart clearly when it says it is wicked! Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

As I have been working through my own heart, I find I am just as capable as any Nazi, Dahmer or Bundy out there of committing unspeakable evil. Thus I find myself not only capable but willing to do heretofore unimaginable evil and wickedness. Thus i find myself capable of sleeping with a woman not my wife.

What did I learn from this story? I learned that there is nothing I can do to correct a wicked heart. I can not say about anyone something along the lines of “Well at least I didn’t do _____!” That statement compares you with someone else and says “I am better than _____ because I don’t do ______.” To make that type of statement leads you to believe you have something inherently better than the other person because you at least didn’t kill someone, or rape someone, or rob a bank or molest a child.

Psalms 53:2-3 (NLT) God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!