Today is a very important anniversary for me personally. It was a year ago today that I began to journal to God rather than to Jesus. I’ve told bits and pieces of this over the year, but this being the anniversary, I want to be reminiscent and write it out. I didn’t know at first why God wanted me journaling to Him. I thought I was doing the right thing journaling to Jesus–after all, Jesus was the one God sent for us to be our perfect example of living out our lives and He was the One who made it possible to come to our Father for eternity. However, on July 31, 2016 God asked me to journal to Him rather than to His Son. So, I did.
In a few days of doing this I started one morning feeling very unworthy of journaling to God Almighty. I told Him so. Instead of switching back to journaling to Jesus, God said he wanted me journaling to Him. He said He’d sent Jesus to be my example and to pave the way for me to eternity, but not to replace Him. Little did I know down deep within me how much I feared God–not a Godly type fear, but genuine fear as I use to have of my dad when I was young.
In the past year God has demonstrated intimacy to me like I never knew possible. Most of this has come through the journaling. I always ask at the end of my journaling time what He wants me to know for the day? Invariably He tells me how much He loves me and enjoys our time together each morning. There is usually instruction in it too, but what I enjoy most is the intimacy with Him.
Most recently He gave me a gift of healing I never thought I could have. This I’ve told also in the past few weeks but it ties in with today’s entry so I want to address it here also. About 4 weeks ago the lesson in our 7-Pillars class was entitled: My Grievance Story. From it I had to address a hurt I hadn’t ever wanted to face. This hurt was from my mom. The pain of hurt caused by dad’s physical abuse and his emotional abuse along with my brother’s sexual abuse pain was faced in the three years, 2009-2012. But, the absence of mom’s emotional concern for me was never addressed, talked about but now faced. In this lesson I came face to face with this beast. I ended up calling my counselor from the three years I’d spent overcoming dad and Rich’s abuse. She told me she was glad I was now facing this. She said if we don’t admit the truth of hurt and pain we can never forgive it. That wise statement sunk in this time. I was able to talk with mom–even though she’s been gone for 18 years–and tell her I forgave her. Since this time God has been filling this hole with His own love and care. I wish I could put better words to this but all I can say is I don’t feel empty anymore. The yearning to be worthwhile, meaningful, loved is gone. I actually feel content inside–complete. This has been the miraculous healing God has presently given me.
Celebrate Recovery talks about, “Don’t quit until the miracle happens.” I can honestly say I’ve had several of these moments over the past 9 years. However, this particular one ties so directly into my trust and faith in the God who created me to be like him–not to have to earn this nature, but receive it and accept it as a Gift from His Son–Jesus Christ when we ask Him into our hearts. He gives us His Holy Spirit. I’ve known this for years, now I believe it and can live it–one day at at time, one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to PEACE.
Today I rejoice. At the top of my prayer list I began to write many months back: New Creation. It was a reminder to live the life of a new creation as I live each day. Today as I read it I suddenly awoke to the fact I am a new creation. I don’t live the life of a new creation by “doing” so I can be one if I do it well. I live the new creation because I am one. When God told Moses to tell Pharaoh I AM has sent you, God said this because that is one of His Names. I am starting to wake up that God wants me to see that being a new creation is something I am. I can’t be a one by striving, I already am one. I am one and will live it out when I quit trying and starting responding.
In my devotions this morning reading in Psalms 32:9 we are told to not be like mules or horses which need bridles and bits to follow their master. The Holy Spirit nudges us with promptings from God. A new creation responds to the nudge without fighting. I don’t need to do things I hope please God. I do the things The Holy Spirit nudges me to do. This may not seem like much of a message to some, but it is a huge one to me. I am ingrained to “do” instead of to “be”. I’m going to dwell on this now and see how it plays out. Somehow I believe it is just what God has been wanting me to see and respond to.
My journey is approaching an anniversary. In two days I will have completed a year of journaling to God my Father. When that happened a year ago I had no idea what that would lead to. I won’t tell this story until Monday the 31st. But I will share today what this morning brought to light.
Have you ever had someone you wanted to be friends with but the time to be with them never opened up? Then, at some point, it happened. The two of you were together and you realize, this is what I’ve been wanting but what do I say now that I’m here? You and the other awkwardly stumble through some disjointed statements, slap each other on the backs and move on. I think, well, that relationship was a flop. He doesn’t even know how to have a conversation. However, you still have that sense within drawing you to a friendship. One more attempt is made and you finally say what seems to make you at risk–“I’d like to have you as a friend.” In that statement you just opened the door for the other one to say the same to you–“I’ve wanted to have a chance to be your friend too .”
I’ve known God most of my 67 years. I’ve tried to be a good boy for Him during this much of my life. This morning He is saying something like–“I want to be your friend who is also your God. Up until now I could never fathom God being friend–that was why He gave us Jesus. However, my many years of journaling to Jesus never accomplished a friendship between us either. When I didn’t really know Jesus’ Father, I couldn’t really trust Him. And, bigger still, when I didn’t know myself, I couldn’t trust a genuine friendship because I didn’t know such a term as genuine. Genuine meant “pure” and I wasn’t. Well, God is taking care of that flawed thinking and on Monday I will go fully into this friendship being built.
This morning’s start for my journey stopped me so I could see something I’ve never seen before. I am going to try and make this clear. Yesterday had a couple temptations in it that had a sexual nature. In times past these temptations typically led to sin or in other words–me acting out. However, in my recovery of late having recently addressed the issues with my mother I felt empowered to leave them as a temptation. As my devotion time started I had thoughts of yesterday’s temptation, times when I was told my body was an attraction to someone and things like that. I always made the statement to quit thinking that way for I am not my body. I am Earnie the one with good thoughts, good actions, etc.
I’m going to leave this alone for a minute now and shift to the conversation I had with “the one I love” I mentioned yesterday. We were able to express ourselves lovingly and get our points across. They were heard but not necessarily understood. However, it was simply left as that and we would move on. The one I was talking to said they felt violated. I asked God this morning to help me understand this meaning for I couldn’t put it into perspective with the event being criticized.
As I got to the point in my devotions where I ask God what He wants me to know for today, He said, “Earnie, you want information for today from Me. What I want is to fill your body and have you recognize it. You see your value in what you think and do. You still see your body as something unloved and used by your past abuse. It is time to apply all you have learned to this precious gift I gave you at the time of your birth. It is as valuable to me as you see your new granddaughter’s body being.”
God quickly allowed me to see that the care given to me by mom was always done responsibly and as thoroughly as possible by her. To Rich I was a physical attraction to be used in secret and to dad I was an entertainment. (I realize there is much more to this than these words, but this has been my thinking of my body’s purpose in times past). I would give real value to me by having good thoughts and doing good deeds and this is the way I’ve lived throughout my life.
Today God asked me to see the error of this thinking so I could move into a greater realm with Him and our relationship. He created me as beautifully as He did Ivy Amber and loved me equally. His Holy Spirit is waiting to be fully functional in me using my whole body, not just my mind where I could keep the influence of dad and Rich out. So, using what I learned from “The Grievance Story” in 7-Pillars a couple weeks ago, I forgave mom, I forgave dad, and I forgave Rich. I told myself I love me–all of me. Then, God told me He loved all of me and created me to be loved.
I’m not exactly sure how all of this will play out, but I am so much more confident that “He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it” as is said in Philippians 1:6. This God of ours is so much more than I’ve ever known! And, back to violated–that is what was done to me by dad and Rich. The walls of denial are being destroyed.
This morning was one of important lessons as I encountered in my devotions. They were both found in Psalms 7:9. It reads: ” Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous. For you, who try the hearts and emotions and thinking powers, are a righteous God.” Yesterday I got a disturbing message from a person I love. It felt condemning. I wanted to go set it straight today and will. However, the manner in which I would do it was my first lesson. I had not noticed this verse stating clearly that God tries my heart, emotions and thinking powers. He does this so I can be more like Him as I learn to surrender what is man’s response so I give a Godly response. Yes, I do need to make clear what felt condemning but I don’t need to do it with venom which that “snake in the grass” wanted. As I read this scripture this morning and thought about yesterday, the last thing I wanted was to come across condemning and judgmental as I had stated in yesterday’s blog. God is so good at steering us into His Ways when we listen and obey.
The second lesson for me has been one being addressed over the past few weeks. I had accepted the work of consulting with a school district this coming school year. I had said I’d only do one district because it means a day a week devoted to them. Even though I knew God was wanting me to do this I was still wrestling with the fact I was taking on new secular work when I thought God was wanting me to do His Work. I had stated a few weeks back I knew God was in both “secular and spiritual” work as man would define it. Yet, I wasn’t settled in my soul. As I was talking this out yesterday I suddenly realized I was the problem. I had spent my entire working life until I retired hiding my past from the community I served educationally. After retirement and I began consulting I had also begun Celebrate Recovery and eventually the 3 years of counseling. There, I didn’t hide my past. I began to state it and address it. I had come to the conclusion God wanted me in His spiritual work as defined by “church” in my mind. Well, it is now clear to me that only I was thinking this way. God’s Work is all around me. I asked to join it and He asked me to join it in a secular setting for part of my time. That is pretty simple to understand once I get all my troubled thinking out of the way. I’m not hiding anything anymore. In fact, I use my past to define how we get stuck with faulty thinking in our secular work. Once we see it we can move past it.
Now, back to Psalms 7:9–It states that God tries our heart, emotions and mind. He really hit upon these for me this morning and now I’m clear to move forward with a relationship and with some work. What an amazing God He is. Somehow I see Him looking at Jesus and shaking His head saying, “Finally, he got it!”
Ivy Amber Kinzer is now with us! She was born last evening around 8:00 pm. She is a beautiful example of God’s exceptional detail and intimacy. How in the world man thinks he can clone or replace what God has already done is simply lunacy.
I have just completed reading Job in my Bible reading. What a tormenting book. I’ve always loved having friends. However, having read again how narrowly the friends of Job saw his torment as God’s punishment for unconfessed sin is haunting. How often I too will cast my judgment regarding a present situation. Man is told so many times to not judge, yet we do it to one another all too often. There is a critical difference between judging a situation and supporting it. The one needing support will certainly tell you the difference. Support enables one to take another step, live through another day and more. Judgment saps all energy. It gives the strong sense of hopelessness. This is what Satan wants man doing. I want no part of this. Just this morning I asked God again to help me see the needs He wants me supporting and keep my focus only on support. His TEAM–God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit are the ones to alert oneself to any judgment. When they do it they also provide the Light to step out of one’s darkness. This is where I want to support. To God be all Glory!
I am unable to us my desktop or laptop to do this blog today. I can’t figure out why. I can only get to my editor site with my smartphone. Our grand baby is still waiting to enter this world. My daughter spent much of the night in the hospital. They are taking steps today to deliver it. This grand entrance is no easy step.
I’m reminded this morning how little man controls in spite of what we think we do. God is so sovereign and patiently waits for us to turn to Him for the perfect timing. I keep wanting to get past this point in my walk with God but I’m quickly reminded I’m still man regardless of my walk.
The Journey today is all about a baby! I’ll be posting more tomorrow I think!
July has a lot of joy and celebration in it for me. It starts with my birthday on the 1st and then has my youngest daughter on the 7th. Kathy was yesterday on the 23rd and today is my older sis Alice’s birthday. It could also be the birth date for my new grandchild–but I’m not making any predictions! Today is also the birthday for my brother Rich–the one who used me for so long. I can tell that forgiveness is thorough between him and me because I only have fond thoughts of this day. All the agony and bitterness within me is gone towards him. He has been gone now for 41 years. I can hardly believe it has been so long. This is a good example of a past that needs to simply now be buried and left alone. There has been much I’ve needed to learn from it and that part is still in progress. However, I don’t any longer need to relive those days in order to learn new lessons in moving forward.
Yesterday’s step study lesson was HOPE. The focus is whether I find my hope in God my Father or in material things–that which man does. I have always been one to turn to God for decisions before me. There also have been times when financially I’ve needed to rely solely on God. I think the biggest piece of this lesson that struck me yesterday was TRUST. I can trust God with my life because He loves me and desires to care for me. This is what I’ve never known well until these past few years. God deeply cares for you and me so much more than I ever knew. If we parents and grandparents want to give an important gift to our kids and grandkids it needs to be their understanding of just how much God cares for each of them. They are a treasure in God’s eyes just as we are. That makes me smile! I can trust God to care for my needs because He loves me so. That, my friend, is a reality. Thank you dear Father.
Today is Kathy’s (my wife) birthday. If this grandchild is born they will be twins 66 years apart. One of my little grandsons asked if they would actually be twins! Cute.
Yesterday I met a gentleman pastor who was present last Christmas when the quartet I sing in did a program for the juvenile correctional center in Nampa, ID. I think at the time I blogged that the chaplain lost her job over this because of my mentioning my homosexual brother abusing me. It was contorted by an employee who heard it saying that I was bigoted and hateful towards the homosexual lifestyle. This gentleman told me I needed to know the rest of this story. He said that this employee’s email was sent to the director of Idaho’s correctional centers. This person in turn received a rebuttal from the chaplain who had resigned. In it she has told the actual truth of what I had said. The state director took the email and the rebuttal to the governor of our state. He told her to visit the center and find the truth so appropriate action could be taken. This was done and she interviewed employees present that night as well as some of the 75 kids present. She found nothing to support the first employee’s email. So, the employee was given a different schedule so she did not work when spiritual matters were being given to the kids there. Along with this, one of the boys in the center who had been the worst offender turned his life around resulting from our visit and testimonies. My heart felt so much better hearing all of this. God is so thorough in completing the work He wants done. Hallelujah and Praise the Lord.
P.S. The chaplain has told me her resignation has been a good thing. She has moved and restored some relationships in her own life that needed to be done. Just reinforcing how intimate and thorough God truly is.
Never try and predict the birth date for your grandchild. They don’t cooperate. In spite of contractions continuing, this child is not wanting to be set free of the womb as of yet. Amy was reminding me last night that one of her kids took three days of contractions to finally go into delivery mode. Kathy’s birthday is tomorrow so maybe they will be twins 66 years apart! (Oops, maybe she doesn’t want this known??)
In doing my 7-Pillars lesson for this coming week I am continuing to be challenged with more awakenings. It is as though I’m finally awake to mom’s humanness and the lack of physical/emotional nurture. With this, I can now see the same for God and His Holy Spirit which live in me. I’ve known this spiritual promise most of my life. I’ve longed for the reality to be known too just like I longed for the reality of my mom’s conversations–they just didn’t ever materialize. The current lesson talks about how God uses many things such as dreams, memory flashbacks, etc. as The Holy Spirit’s nudges to address an area in my life. I immediately thought back to my late 30’s when I’d have numerous nightmares each night with the haunting pursuit of someone trying to catch me. I would always be stuck in some type of mire like quicksand and my legs would be paralyzed. I’d yell and scream as well as lash out. I’d eventually awaken or Kathy would awaken me. Little did I know that God’s Holy Spirit was wanting me to seek help. I finally did and the dreams have never returned. I simply thought God was being nice.
As I’ve begun to more fully realize the thoroughness of God’s healing, I now see that He is wanting me to know The Holy Spirit is truly intimate and consistently with me. Also, He is God and not human. Something else this morning has hit a home run. It is the reality of my need for reliance on God and not on myself. A deep seated character defect I’ve always had is that if I couldn’t envision myself doing something I’d decline the offer to step into it. God has pointed out this morning that when He opens a door where I cannot see me doing it, that is my cue to turn to Him. He is the One who is capable. He simply wants me to trust Him and obey if He is nudging. This reality made my connection with Aslan clearer. I knew He wanted me to stay with this project but I couldn’t still cannot see myself completing much with it. I can see God completing it easily, but my part is very unclear. So, I’m now challenged to put FAITH into action. Thank you God for your faithfulness and patience with me as I learn these vital lessons.