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Monday, August 22, 2011, 6:23 AM
When false hope is stripped away, all that remains is the truth. Jesus is the only truth that can always be trusted and His grace is always sufficient.
Sunday, August 21, 2011, 12:55 PM
Wow! I just felt a horrible chill! I was just searching a Christian dating site. Not sure why since I am supposed to be taking a break from relationships while I deal with my demons. My ex-gf and I are actually supposed to be on a 3 month break while I work through what broke us up and she recovers from the pain I caused her.
ANYWAY, I guess I occassionally get to feeling sorry for myself and check a few sites, not that I would contact anyone. Every time I look, I think "WHY? I want my ex back! Do what you have to do to get better and keep praying for the both of us."
I was on the site where we first met, and saw that my profile had been viewed a few times. I had long since changed the message on it to no longer looking and thanking God for finding her, and had even turned my profile off a couple of times. I saw that she was one of the people that viewed my profile, and that hers was back on there too. It was like a punch in the gut. I do not blame her, as she deserves someone in her life who will love her and treat her as she deserves. I just hoped it would be me.
Maybe God is using this to force me to take my recovery more seriously. I need to do the work to get better, and not to get her back. I need to do it for ME, and because I want to be the man God is making me to be. I will not let this be another excuse to give in and wallow in pain and addiction. God, remind me that Your grace is sufficient in ALL things!
Thursday, August 18, 2011, 7:15 PM
Why do we allow ourselves to be held hostage by our feelings.
Lies, all of them lies! Why do we listen to Satan's whispers when God is speaking loud and clear?
What does God have to say about us?
Forgiven! In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.(Ephesians 1:7)
Loved! To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)
Blameless! He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.(1 Corinthians 1:7)
Accepted! Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.(Romans 15:7)
Never Alone! Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Powerful! Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
Victorious! But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
We need to start listening to the one who truly loves us and NEVER lies. When your struggles and failures are getting you down, focus on God's truth, not on how you feel!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 10:30 PM
SADLY, not 100% sober, but at least 100% pure and faithful/loyal (NO PORN)!!! 1 demon down and one demon to go!! As GOD is my witness, I will become the man He is making me to be.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 11:32 AM
Vulnerability in not one of my favorite words. It implies powerlessness to control or protect self. It suggests weakness. Vulnerability is ANYTHING but weak. It actually requires great strength to make yourself vulnerable to another.
To be vulnerable is to expose the weakness in yourself. 2 Corinthians 12:9 talks about how God's strength shines brightest in our weakness, because it is than that only God is glorified and not us. To share our vulnerable moments with another, is to offer them trust and demand nothing in return. It is to allow them to see just how much God loves you in spite of your flaws and failures.
Here is where God's grace and power come in to play. As you become vulnerable and trust (God - not the other person), you allow the Holy Spirirt to work through you to touch the other person. They see God's love for you, and are touched deep within. They have a desire for that same love in themself, since being in relation with God is part of our purpose. If they accept God's free gift of grace and salvation, then God's family grows and another beggar is sent out to let the other beggars know where to find bread. If they do not accept, then you have at least planted a seed, a seed that maybe another is meant to water, and eventually harvest.
Sunday, August 14, 2011, 7:12 PM
What is it about the Gospel that SO repels the world? The world hates it, mocks it, trivializes is and wants you to think it is not even worth your very time contemplating. Why the level of hostility? I believe it is because the world prefers a person focused on self.
The basic premise of the Gospel is that you can not be enough, so God is. We are so screwed up, and God loves us so much, that God pays for what we can not. Our sin debt is so great that we can not ever pay it off. And yet God, our creator, loves us so much that He does not wish to be seperated from us. And yet HIs sense of justice can not leave sin unpunished. What can be done?
He does the only thing that can be done. He decides to become one of us. He takes on Himself the punishment WE deserve. The only thing we have to do is to trust in His sacrifice, and accept His gift to us. So what is the problem?
Our culture (and world view) has raised us to believe that we are ok! We can fix our own problems if we try hard enough. All we have to do is pick ourselves up by our own boot straps and we will be ok! WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!!!!!
On our best day, we are able to tread water well enough to handle just that one moment we live in. Given enough time, we will start to slowly (at best) sink. While we tread water, we can convince ourselves that WE can handle it all. In truth, we are one second away from collapse.
This is the basic truth that the Gospel shines glaringly in our faces. And this is precisely why we hate it! Anything that reminds us that we are inadequate by our own abilities offends us. How can we accept that we need help?
I am reminded of the words of a song by the band Need to Breathe:
Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will you let me drown, will you let me drown?
We are soooooo terrified at the idea of trusting that much! If GOD lets us down, who can we ever trust?? If we are to EVER move forward in our lives (and faith), we have to take a blind leap and trust the one TRUE Father of our souls to do what He promised to do.
"I will NEVER leave you or forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Sunday, August 14, 2011, 7:11 PM
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
You come to me and wash me clean. I am cleansed by Your precious blood. You cover my nakedness and shame. You clothe me in fine linen, linen of grace; and cover my head with Your righteousness. You whisper in my ear that You love me, and I am Yours. You hold me in Your intimate embrace till all fear and sorrow leaves me, and is replaced by the joy of Your loving presence.
Your grace and mercy pour over me like a flood,
Come to me in my brokenness.
Make me whole.
Sunday, August 14, 2011, 7:10 PM
I chapter one of Genesis, God told the man and the woman to be fruitful and multiply. This is mentioned during creation and we have no reason to believe that they were annotomically different after the fall. This makes for a reasonable assumption that there was sex before the fall. The scriptures that sex is not simply for carrying on life, but a gift and blessing meant to strengthen the marriage bond.
What was Adam and Eve's first discovery of eachother like? What joy as well as pleasure it must have been. Imagine if you can, no inhibitions; no self-consciousness; no worrying over body fat, unsightly hair (or lack there of) or odor? No awkward thoughts of "should I or Shouldn't I?" Just pure, wonderous exploration of touch and feel and pleasure wholly (holy?) sanctified by God! No sense of measuring up to preconceived notions of real masculinity or femininty (as the first man and woman, who could they be compared to?). No media driven image to sell sex to them.
I do not wish this to make our "after the Fall" situation to sound like nothing compared to what might have been. We serve an AWESOME God, a God who loves to bless His children. Sex in it's proper marriage context is still an amazing gift meant to bless a couple, and strengthen their bond. It is to be a joyous uniting of two people into oneness. Sexual intimacy between a married couple is the same level of imtimacy used to describing Jesus' relationship with us as our "Bridegroom."
Sunday, August 14, 2011, 7:09 PM
"You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us."
From dust we were formed and to dust we return. God created Adam out of the dirt. We are in escence, messy. We strive to be perfect, to get it right so we will be loved. All the while God is saying I love you, come to me as you are. Let me use you, mess and all. Do not misunderstand. We are called to live as Jesus lived, a life of obedient submission. But we are not yet perfected, and never will be this side of heaven. We must place ourselves in God's hands and let Him mold us.
Two things struck me from this. I remember art class as a child. We made a mess with clay. Nothing I made was beautiful or special, although I think I won a ribbon once. But when I brought it home and gave it to my parents, you would have thought it was Michaelangelo's David! You see, they saw past the object to the heart of love that gave it. God sees the broken offering of ourselves that we give Him to the love for Him in our hearts. And something incredible happens. When we offer our broken selves to Him, He uses us to do something incredible. He pours His love through us onto a dieing world around us to give them life. Why would He do that? Honor us by allowing us to be used for such a thing? And yet in this way He is glorified. WE certainly can take no credit.
The other thing that struck me is that He reaches down and picks us up, dirty messy lumps of clay that we are, and with an artists hands he molds us. That molding is painfull, since He has to press and knead the clay till it is soft.
2 Corinthians 4:7-11 says "For we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and nor from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. We who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body."
Clay does not tell the potter "STOP!! You are pressing and twisting too much!" Yet we tell God that we can handle no more, as if we know the future and what we can bear. And yet this process, painful as it is, takes a messy lump of clay and makes beautiful works of art. And the puropse of the art is not to draw praise to the art, but to the artist.
Too often, we want to wait till we become "better" to offer ourselves to God to be used. As a friend is fond of telling me, do not wait to become, just BE.
Sunday, August 14, 2011, 7:08 PM
Sorry as it has been a while! Tenth Avenue North's "Oh My Dear" put on my heart to write a bible study.
Oh My Dear
1. Why do "secret sins" and "shame" have such power over our lives?
Living a lie brings us bondage that only the truth can free us from (John 8:32).
2. Why do the scriptures ask us to bear another's burdens?
Jesus gives us the privilege of being His agaents of forgiveness in this world. We who are forgiven much are to forgive freely (Galations 6:2)
3. How does bearing another's burdens help with your own problems?
Nothing brings poerspective to our own troubles like sharing in someone else's trouble. It also build our trust level to be able to share with them. Sharing our common troubles also gives us an outlet to minister to them. As Jesus is a "High Priest who can can understand our struggles," so we are also called to be a "royal priesthood." (1 Peter 2:9)
4. Why is confession important?
Secret sin can divide us, islolate us and make us vulnerable to Satan's lies and half truths. Confession breaks the power of shame, and gives us strength to press onward. It lets us know that we are not alone. (Psalms 32:5, Psalms 38:4, Psalms 51)
5. When we forgive those who sin against us, how do we gain? Bless others?
By forgiving, we are freed over pain, anger, and bitterness. We become free to love with God's love. In giving forgiveness, we allow them to move on and truly live. (Proverbs 17:9, Colossians 3:13)