The assignment I said I needed to do yesterday was done and it was simple and easy. I started to write that I don’t know why it was being faced with fear, but I know exactly why. These situations in life, though not too often faced anymore, are always emotionally seen by me as a threat. My reactions are as though I’m needed to challenge my dad with his actions and then face the consequences of that. God showed me again yesterday that this situation was not with dad and it was so easily accomplished.
I love spring. I think I’ve told this many times. Today my little grandsons are with me again. I have some plants to get in the ground which I know they will love to help with. It is fun to do these things with them. The one approaches these times like a science lesson and the other ones see them as an adventure of life. Either way, it is a joy to experience life with them.
Yesterday I happened to see the name of someone on social media that I hadn’t been in contact with for well over 10 years. We had gotten acquainted while Kathy and I lived our year in Turkmenistan. We had begun to meet weekly while we were there for spiritual accountability. He was a single guy wanting companionship and I was wanting accountability. God used us to give help to each other and the friendship developed. I’m sending him a book today. It will be fun to connect to him afterwards. He hasn’t been in touch since all of these current years have brought about significant changes for me. God is so rich in His love and kindness. I look forward to seeing Him work.
I am always amazed at God’s thoroughness and patience–He waits for us to be thorough in completing what He wants us to do. A couple things happened yesterday I knew I was to do. One had to do with a meeting for the Aslan ministry which went very well. The other one was about helping my daughter take their bigger dog to a new home. They were fearful of doing this. However, she witnessed their dog falling in love with the new home. I won’t go into all of this but it just made you smile. There was one more thing I knew God wanted me to do yesterday that I didn’t do. I didn’t do it strictly out of fear. This morning God reminded me who He is and who He is not. He is God my Father–intimate and the giver of Grace. He is not the man I feared so much. I will complete the unfinished assignment today. I truly appreciate God’s loving patience with me. He is so faithful in helping me destroy the defects of character I still possess.
God is good all the time–all the time, God is Good.
If you read yesterday’s post, you will know that I had the conversation with my grandsons about pruning. Well, the 7 year old didn’t bring his ipad with him yesterday. He spent the entire day with me outside and we had a tremendous time. I’m always amazed at the minds of little ones and how simple life’s decisions are for them. How much we adults could learn by this.
The lesson last night with our 7-Pillars class for men with sexual addiction had us putting down facts which led us into an addiction. We were then to tell specifically what the addiction was. I have spent all these years overcoming the hurt of my past and coming out of the denial for the amount of it. It is another thing I’m finding to come out of my denial in the addictive side of this. It is painful to admit, but it is always freeing just as God promises. I got home last night feeling raw but free. During the night I kept having repeated dreams of my bother trying to abuse me. He was being assisted by two people who were important to me during the times of my abuse and hurt, yet in this dream they were assisting his desire to abuse me. I would wake up and question this but go back to sleep and it would happen again. As I got up I knew I needed to take this to God and ask for clarity. I’m always amazed by God’s help. He told me the mind is a powerful tool. Satan likes to manipulate it for which he can do with dreams. He didn’t want the freedom I’m finding to be genuine so he was trying to confuse it by inserting two powerful people God gave me to help during the times when I was so vulnerable. I didn’t need to believe what this dream was telling. I could let it go as an attempt by Satan. It was very freeing to do so.
God’s grace is abundant. How much I am learning about it. God Himself loves us intimately and He wants to free us of all our past bondage. He then wants to give us a purpose for living each and every day without the bondage. I want to stay right here with Him in this.
Yesterday I had my two youngest grandsons for the day and will again today. They are on Spring Break. We got our leather gloves on, grabbed the pruning tools, got the garden cart and proceeded to go to work trimming a row of plants called Russian Sage. The boys are 5 and 7. They were a great deal of help mainly putting what I was cutting into the cart so I could haul it to the burn pile. While we were working I told them I’d pay them $5 each for their help. They said, “Grandpa, you don’t need to pay us–this is FUN!”
In the midst of the pruning I was asked by the older one what pruning meant? He hadn’t heard that word before and he is a lover of learning. I told him we were cutting away the dead part of these plants and that was pruning. I asked him if he had any habits that he needed to do away with? He said he spent too much time on his ipad and he wanted to reduce the time. I told him that would be pruning a habit. I told him I was pruning a habit too. We should always look at our lives and see what isn’t good so we can prune it. That made perfect sense to him.
Today we are going to start gardening. We will rototil a part of the garden and plant what can be planted this early in the spring. I’m sure we will have just as much fun as yesterday. God is Good!
Yesterday I was feeling like I would be well after all. I had several things to get done early in the morning and then to church to be part of worship team. Thus, I didn’t get the blog written. Kathy had gone to McCall over the weekend with some of our grandkids and our youngest daughter. She is staying until tomorrow with one granddaughter and friend while our daughter came back with the two youngest boys. I’ll take the boys today and tomorrow as they are on spring break this week. We will have good ole boy time!
Yesterday’s step study lesson with the new curriculum for Celebrate Recovery was on Habits. I have finally learned that most of my past was dealing with hurts and the hang-ups (character defects). It was good however to see the habits I’ve formed that are both good and wrong. Most of the wrong ones I’m facing but something came out in doing the lesson I know I need to face. God actually had me write a list of relationships I have with people close to me. He asked me to identify if my actions with them were those of a new creation or of the old me. It was sad but simple to do this. It was sad because I immediately knew there are a couple of these relationships where I do deal with them almost always as my old self. The conflict has run deep. Today God is asking me to step into them as a new creation. I’m not sure what that will mean but I do know I will do this. I’m asking God to help me see what He sees and respond as He would. I sure don’t want a close relationship being hampered with me being my old self. It will never be pleasing to God until I go into it as the new person He created me to be. What was a God-thing about this was that making the list wasn’t even part of the lesson. God had me doing that a day before I’d done the lesson. The lesson brought out the habit I’d created about responding to these relationships. God is truly Amazing!
There will probably be more to report on this, but for now, this is the first step.
God is so Amazing. He told me yesterday I am forever on His Mind. That isn’t a problem for Him since He is Omnipresent. He has no problem having all in the universe on His mind since that is Him. It is difficult to wrap one’s mind around this thought, but I’m so grateful to know I can trust Him to be intimately connected to me as well as to all that exists. It’s quite amazing!
Today I still feel rather rotten. However, I’m up and going to the funeral so our quartet can sing. God will take care of these details just as He does all others when we relinquish our control to Him. This morning’s devotions had me write down all the things and the relationships I have–at least those God placed on my mind. I was to then take a look at which ones are being handled as though I’m living as a new creation or as though I’m the old man I use to be. It was rather easy to see this. The triggers within each relationship and area of work are easy to see when one looks at them from this lens. God is challenging me to be a new creation in all areas of my life. It is sad to say that the ones closest to me are where I tend to be less aware. I know God is wanting me to take me into these and so we will do so one one day at at time, one moment at a time. Being a new creation in all areas of my life is my total commitment and surrender. Here we go.
I didn’t post yesterday. I was feeling rotten with a bad cold coming on. My quartet is singing twice tomorrow and I could hardly talk let alone sing. I took off and went to a quick care I’ve gone to a few times in cases like this. The doc didn’t want to give me anything because I had no fever-just the other symptoms. He finally gave me the prescription saying he didn’t want me to fill it for at least two weeks. I was glad he just did it. I did fill it and started it yesterday late morning. My voice is much better today so hopefully I can at least sing and come home. The morning event is a funeral for a family I know. I hate complicating something like that. I know God is faithful so I’m leaving it there.
The last couple days have been quiet ones. I told God this morning that I feel He is giving me a break. I have a bunch of reading to do for the sexual addiction class I’m taking–7 Pillars. I’ll use the time for this. It is also pointing out a character defect I’ve had all my life. If I weren’t actively busy then I wasn’t worthwhile, I thought. My new creation knows that isn’t true but my old thinking has to be replaced at times like these. God reminds me He is the one determining my worthiness. He took care of that giving me Jesus Christ to live within me. It is a nice reminder to live in the new creation and relinquish these old ways of thinking and living.
This entry is late today. I started the morning at one of the hospitals in Boise to pray with a friend who is having neck/back surgery. In fact he is in surgery as I write this. He has come so far in his walk with God. In fact, I’d love to tell you all the things God has done for him just in the past couple months to make this surgery possible. It is his story, however, so I won’t. I’ll just say that God is so good. This man will have a testimony to soon share with others. The great thing is that he is ready now to share it.
Last night’s class–7 Pillars, was excellent. There is one other in the class who has a story somewhat as my own. He had a very abusive dad and had a couple different events from gay adults in his growing up years. He hasn’t had the professional help that I’ve had (but has started it) and he was unable to complete some of the assignments as they were too painful. I complimented him for even being there last night. He is only 28 years old and truly wanting to overcome. How I pray for him as well as those still silently suffering in their guilt and shame.
God is so good and so patient waiting for us to seek Him. The more I live in my new creation the more I realize the beauty of living today. Life may not be easy but it is always worthwhile. There is no hiding, no secrets, no lies–instead there is trust, joy, assurance and so much more.
I thought I was going to skip today’s entry. As I’d finished my devotions I honestly had nothing to share. I knew I wanted to complete the homework for tonight’s class for men who struggle with sexual addiction, so I did. Well, in completing it I was then compelled to complete today’s entry.
Some of the facts that surround sexual addiction are that 81% of men and women who struggle have a history of childhood sexual abuse; 72% have had physical abuse and 97% have had emotional abuse. This reality is stinging. The deepest wound of all is the one of shame. I could have told anyone this, but reading it only puts it all in capital letters with an exclamation mark at the end. The book says that guilt is the feeling that tells us something is wrong. Shame is the feeling that says I am wrong. Shame hits our identity and it becomes who we think we are. This is nothing but the truth. It is the first time I’ve read anything that says this truth so blatantly. I’m so glad to see that this class is addressing it head on. I’m also grateful to God that I’m not in this class until now. If I’d had to face this without having had the amount of counseling and therapy I’d be done with it. I’d also be running as fast as I could to try and hide what I’ve just heard.
This is such a deep-seated issue in our society today. There is so much controversy about its relevance/impact on people. How I wish I could get people to take their heads out of the sand and realize how serious this problem is and how we are digging a grave for the generation that follows us.
The pain of reading this today is definitely present for me. However, today, the greater pain is that of which is left unaddressed–the consequence of our society’s look at pornography and the story that brought each individual to it. I pray for us to awaken to it’s sinful reality and join forces to call it what it is–sinful and wrong.
My sermon has now ended. God bless you today.
Today is the first day of Spring! I don’t have to pretend anymore that it is here. I do love this time of year. There is much to do outside and I look forward to all of it.
The journey of today has several tasks to get done. I say tasks because they are one time things. I use to fret about these things but in learning to live as a new creation who is not taking control, I am surrendering these old ways to God. I will do them and use whatever time I have to do the work of the yard. Some of the tasks are God ones. They connect to people and my relationship with them. I never want to diminish their importance and let working in the yard take precedence over them. I’ve certainly done this in times past. I want God’s priorities to be mine from this point forward.
I pray for God’s richness today to be yours both in spirit and in truth. God bless you.