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!

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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].

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!

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!

Time to reflect, repent and recharge

It’s been 10 days since I had sexual relations with a woman not my wife. The first time in 40 years. The emotions of the moment have long passed and I need to do some serious reflection.

There is no excuse for this behavior. it is sin, period! Immediately upon waking the next morning I knew I needed to repent and confess this to a Christian brother. I did exactly that. He was the first person that came to mind though. Not my wife. Over the next week i began to search out the why’s of the the situation. “Why had I felt the need to do this?” Psalm 51 makes it clear my sin is against God. I needed to work with Him to get through this mess.

Over the week it became obvious I needed to deal with the relationship problem I have with my wife. This is where it gets tricky. Not because I won’t tell her, but it’s the why’s that are the problems. I am not going into detail now, but I will say this through. The Lord made it clear to me I needed to come clean about the issues that have been bugging me and made this obviously sinful action look like a good idea.

I got the idea to sit down and write out the event as I saw it at the time. I did that. I wrote out everything about the event I could and how I felt about it.

Then I got the idea to step back and actually look at what happened and how I felt about each step along the way. When I did that, I saw 5 or six distinct stages I experienced that I felt were important. Why those things are no longer available in my marriage.

Finally the idea came to explain the stages to my counselor. She will not be caught off guard and will be able to help me understand my feelings. I don’t share feelings well. She will help me.

Finally the idea came to me to have my wife and I both enter into counseling.

I have always thought Psalm 23’s reference to “the valley of the shadow of death” would refer to some external event. It never occurred to me the valley would be internal.