So this is a blog!
Hello to anyone reading this! This is my blog which I'm writing to look at things that take my fancy with a Christian twist, I am nowhere near the last authority on any of this, that's the Bible, God's word, but I thought I'd share my thoughts so that you might have something to think about or share with friends.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Nextly I can't think of something grandiose to talk about but I am thinking of making apologetics my next string of things to talk about. It's a passion and I believe every Christian should be equipped with it but I hope to discuss apologetics and then look at the 10 questions Christians hope no one will ask according to a book of the same title.
So hope you'll be reading along for that, if not just trundle through the stuff in the rest of this blog. I'd like to think there are some crackers in there.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
This weekend I went on a weekend away with my college's CU and one of our members gave another of his amazing preaches which I know I can't match but he talked about shame in people's lives and how it holds a grip over us. I'm not going to delve into his problems because I feel that's just spreading them around without his consent and I don't wish to do that. However I want to talk about my life, this week I have been pushed to bring to light things which I hide from the public eye, this mainly lies in the domain of sexual immorality as it does with men but there are a few other things as well I feel I want to talk about.
As I said this week I've been tackled by God on the things I hide away, this happened at both church last Sunday and the weekend away the Sunday just gone. So last Sunday I was at church and at the end we pray about things and just let the Holy Spirit (HS) minister to people, and I wobble when I pray standing up but I was really being pushed forwards this time, it was odd and to be honest I resisted it, so good old HS decided to push me sideways and I let it do that, no chairs to fall into and didn't move me to the front of church. He, I think the HS is a he, then decided to push me forwards once more and I resisted again. I then sat there and listening to the words the leaders were getting realised what was going on. There was a word about addictions that we have and how God wanted to release us from them I believe and with HS continually pushing me because he wanted me to go up and get prayed for. So with the least courage ever I walked up and stood at the very edge of the area where you can go and get prayed for and told my church leader about my addiction to masturbating and well since then it's abated but it still needs to go, that's for sure.
By the way I'm talking about this here because I don't feel as many people will read this as if I posted it on facebook but I felt if I could tell the unknown masses then maybe I could be more open to the known masses.
But anyway this now speeds forwards to this weekend just gone. I've already mentioned the talk and God had put what I've mentioned on heart. I then proceeded to leave the room when we started singing "Our God Saves" and tried to sing it in my own little corner of the hallway but found myself nearly breaking out crying. I've not cried in a long time so I knew something was really hitting me here and I've since realised that God was going "Yeah I've saved from all the stuff you are ashamed of. Stop being scared of others because I've saved you and that's what matters!" Furthermore, the guy who spoke when he prayed, prayed looking right at me, well almost his eyes were closed and there was an image which hit me right out of the park. You see this wasn't all a coincidence and the main reason I know that is because I know when the HS is on me because I feel this odd pulsation throughout my body which is just permeating and amazing and that's what I felt then so I chose to, with the courage I could muster mention my sexual immorality and my cynicism in life. You know something, I looked around the room as I said it and all I saw were knowing looks, nods and encouraging smiles, it was something I never thought I would see when I told people about these things but it was also the thing I wanted to see and now know more than ever that God will give me when ever He sees me and when I offer them all up to Him. I don't know who will read this and be encouraged by it, I don't know how many of you will think "How does that apply to me?" and I don't know if some of you will wonder if you could do the same to your friends, Christian friends. Well I didn't know but I'll tell you anyone who calls themselves Christian and rejects you when you tell them how you are inside, they don't have the HS in them and need to be rebuked. We should be confident that the one place we can be ourselves is the place where God's love is most present on Earth.
So I've talked about my experiences but I feel it would be best to also tell you more about those "shames" that I have. So firstly is the rather wide topic of sexual immorality. I'll begin with my fantasies, I have probably fantasised about sleeping with ever girl I've met. I have viewed girls with a very objective view and not as the people that they are, all the while maintaining in my mind that I would love a girl who looks nice, is intelligent, has a sense of humour and a good personality. Now that I look at that list, I was looking for Ms. Perfect and probably lied to myself easily about the fact that I didn't have a bad outlook on girls. That list has changed to good looking and God centered but I also know that I will allow God to decide who I end up with in the end. This said I do occasionally get impure thoughts which shame me and I know they are bad and some day soon I shall probably need to take a good hard look at why those thoughts still pop and why I let them. I'm not saying I won't go round without any feeling or impulses but I want them to be good and pure and from God not from my flesh. Second sexual immorality is my masturbation, it used to be a thing which would help me get to sleep but since admitting it to people it's starting to ebb away. Hopefully this time for good. But I must admit it pretty much goes hand in hand with my problem with pornography. I've had phases with pornography, I've been through looking at the barely legals, incest was one at one point and most recent it's been hentai (for those who don't know what that is it is Japanese cartoon sex). See I think I find this easier to write here either because I've admitted a few of these before or at the moment I don't expect many people to see it. But no, masturbation and porn have been a problem since I was about 14. I've been asked to omit this one but I am going to leave what it caused behind, I'm sure from now on I'll be less shameful about it though.(if you caught it before it went then you know what's happened) I'm not proud of the final one, at the time I was really happy I could manipulate someone like that but have since realised this was just some attempt at not being merely me but trying to put myself above somebody which is completely wrong. What saddens me more is whilst I've pushed this to the recesses of my mind, I've become immune to feeling anything towards but that no one should know. I had actually planned to not tell even my wife, if I ever got one, about it but here I am writing it down for anyone to see.
That's merely my sexual immorality, if you had asked me to write that before last week I probably would have just stuck some normal Christian overused text about sexual immorality and moved on. I can easily say it's by the grace of God I can write all that down.
I suffer from realism and cynicism. They are not shames but they cause me to get easily annoyed with people which does upset me and to be honest I think my shame comes from the fact that I can't see myself in the light that others do and so I've told myself they are lies, Satan still has a hold there but I'm hoping I can beat him out of there too. Actually I've just realised the slight change in me as I've moved on to this topic as I'm now thinking that I shouldn't write because no one really cares and it's not that bad really, but Satan ain't stopping me here (assuming he doesn't drain my battery life first). So yeah, my inside thoughts make me a completely different person who I project onto others from what I can tell, or I just seriously put myself down. I've been told I'm serving hearted, I tell myself there was nothing else for me to do, I've been told I'm a legend, well I would prefer to think that I could only get near to being a legend if I were surrounded and built up by legends, aka my friends are legends themselves. I don't think I've taken a compliment in the last few years and let it be just that, but I have always found a way to deny it in my mind. That's just me though, on to how the realism and cynicism affect others. I don't immediately see God in everything, in fact my first thoughts are of natural causes and I tend to leave it at that, I've realised earlier tonight that I should be then seeing how those go on the show God because I think that will ground my faith a lot more, looking at where God is with rationality. Yet this has meant when people talk about some amazing things my mind goes "No, wait this it how it can be explained..." and so I get annoyed with how easily God is credited with things sometimes and start to feel like some peoples faith are a bit flimsy. This really has gotten me down a few times because it makes me feel like I just don't have a strong enough faith but I think my realisation this evening really helped me on that one. I think I've solved a shame, or inner qualm, in this blog. Praise the Lord!
Right I'm going to bed, I'll continue with this when I wake because there is a number more stuff I want to bring forth before I'm done. So when I return stealing, lies, tempers and well, not caring.
2:06 am 12/06/2012
So back at 12:17 12/06/2012, I don't know why I'm noting the time I just felt like it.
Moving on to the rest of me then, I used to steal, never from shops but from my household, which seems a bit worse really. It was mainly chocolate, food and soda. It was something I did whenever I had the chance and something which I was really happy about, I prided myself in being able to do with minimal noise. However I did worse when I got obsessed with those sticker football pictures. I started to steal petty change from my dad's bowl full of change he discarded, I think I probably stole near 20 CHF, or £10-£15, of money from there. To be honest apart from the fact I really wanted to complete that set I don't know of any reason why I did it. Maybe it was because I felt good being able to do something with out anybody knowing or it was the joy I found in the thing I got out of stealing. All I can say is that I did it too much, I think it got to a point where I was desensitized from so I actually started feeling no guilt about it anymore, I think it did somehow shame me though because I haven't told anybody about before oddly despite the non-effect it played on me otherwise.
Lies are an odd one, because I think I used to be a white lier or a truth bender every now and again rather than constantly a straight out liar, or maybe that is what I want to believe. I think lies went hand in hand with stealing because you get caught and you lie to get out of it. I lie every now and again now but it has changed, I now lie when I just don't want to discuss something or really do feel that it would be best if the person I am lying to didn't hear the truth from me. I think lying has become such a great part of society now that even as I write this I don't think I truly feel anything about it since it's just lying, and that apathy is worrying. That I can be that uncaring towards it whilst it is kind of one of the ten commandments, same with stealing but I feel that one is behind me. So yep, that is my lying story, or some of it. I can't think of what else to say.
Next is my temper, I don't think it has come out as much since I've been at university but I'm a cauldron sort of temper person. To explain, I can control myself and suppress my annoyance, frustration and anger but then I hit the lip of the cauldron and it all starts spilling over, so I've snapped at people who I really shouldn't have and when I went, I could really bring almost anything against them. It really was destructive. I think this is something God has really changed me in though because I feel almost like I've got a large cauldron or a leaky one so I haven't hit that lip in a good few years. I do get days when I can just fume silently in a corner because something has managed to tick me off, and to be honest I don't know how but my housemate this year, the boozooki player, has the amazing ability to push my buttons. I have no clue how and I certainly know how to push his back but it has caused some tension every now and again and I do feel bad about it afterwards but again somehow my temper hasn't blown yet which is odd really considering my past record here and there.
Lastly from my list is just not caring. I am the best non carer in the world, an apathy professional if you will. I don't think it shows in my general day to day life but I can quite literally turn from a conversation and just completely turn off from whatever it was that was happening really. It's a skill in itself to some respects. I think it comes from my upbringing, not my parents, but my schooling especially in Geneva because people came and went within two years maximum. So I learnt that people come and go and since facebook wasn't really available until 11th grade, wow that feels odd to say, it meant once they went, they went. From this I think I slowly created a glass wall, a double glazed, bullet proof glass wall. The reason I make it glass is because I think sometimes my heart does shine through and sometimes people really do speak into it, so it's not completely sealed in. It's not something that shames but it's something that I fight with because I feel like it stops me being completely true and open to people despite the fact I'm told I'm very approachable and welcoming. Either I'm wrong or they are, most probably me but well I prefer to trust me. What I find most horrible about this though is that it means I can leave places without looking back, I sometimes wonder whether my time in Vanbrugh CU which has changed me the most will be forgotten, or whether I can truly walk away from it as easily as I say I can. One thing I know is that I don't want to.
So yeah that's my list of things really, I currently can't think of much more I have to write about. I suppose some pet peeves may be in order. I am a pedant when it comes to words, they hold such strong meanings that I really get annoyed if people don't use them right, I think it's sometimes been seen but bad language usage really can wind me up the wall sometimes. However I also use it to make some of the worst puns imaginable. Secondly prayer. No I don't mean I don't like praying, what I find hilarious is what happens when people pray. Next time you are in a prayer session, look around at how many solemn faces, and bowed heads they are and then listen. When people pray, I find they try and use the most beautiful and honorable words they can find. Maybe it's because I perceive prayer as a chat with God and God is my mate, as well as everything else, but I just can't understand why we try and use such fancy words. God knows what we mean without them and I'm pretty sure the other people in the room would prefer to be able to easily understand you so that they can agree with you rather than trying to understand each word. Pet peeves out of the way I really just want to say that not everything I've written has been a shame, or at least I don't perceive them as one. Yet everything I've written about is definitely something I've not told people since they've happened, or started to happen. So I think through this and the constant work God is doing in me I'll be able to change and not be held by Satan's lies.
On that point, I've felt oddly calm writing all this down, I don't know whether it is because I've just been writing it and so I've not got anyone's face in front of me or because God is really dealing with my shame in an unimaginable way. I am hoping it's the second.
So yeah I really encourage anyone wrapped up by something shaming them to really just stand strong and not let it chain you down anymore, walk out of the prison cell. I don't know how my CU will receive me when I walk into it later today (I plan on posting this there) but if it is anything like Sunday then I know think I'll have so much a greater understanding of God's love, you see admitting all this and knowing that people accept me for it just leaves you thinking how much more readily God does. So yeah, I was drawn to write this, I knew this was going to have to be my next topic, I didn't think I would ever be this honest on a published bit of writing but here it is. I just want to pray to end really:
Lord, I thank you for all you've done in me over the past week, the shame you are dealing with and the honest that you are building up. It's been difficult to draw me out of my shell but you've done it and I thank you all the more for. I pray that you can keep building me up in this area and really use this and my life for your good. I pray for anyone else caught up in shame, I pray that they would just walk away from their chains Lord because you've already freed them so help them walk out of them. Lord, Satan has lies permeating throughout this broken world and some have seeped deeply into our hearts, use the sword of the spirit to cut us free from them and just push them out of our lives. I just pray for your protection and spirit of calm over anyone who feels condemned by shame and that you will help us to not fall back on these matters but to make a stand for them and move forwards against them. AmenGod Bless
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
On that note I'm not saying I'm perfect since despite the fact I don't do much, I also forget to come before God a lot. So yep, that's my post of the day.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Right on to my main bit.
I went along to a "late" night worship earlier tonight, and I regularly do but I got royally annoyed with it tonight. I couldn't get into the music because I felt the whole thing just wasn't right. I actually left 30 minutes into the hour to sit outside and pray, got sidetracked by chatting to someone about and came into better songs but the annoyance just returned so I left again and sat outside until the end.
To clear a few things up, I love worship, I love song worship but I also pay attention to words. I'm not an English student but I hate it when a message isn't passed on well because the wording isn't quite there. That's why I prefer being Jesus-centered to Cross-centered and the such. There was a song I felt wasn't scripturally right tonight which set me off, in my understanding it was saying that my last hopes are in Christ ("counting on your name") and that I don't fully know He will save me ("i have faith in you"). That lyrics may not be exact, I am attempting to forget the song but those are both repeated in the chorus. I felt they were wrong and I'll explain why. My last hopes are in Jesus, sure, but you know what else is? All my other hopes. Jesus isn't somebody I go to in the end and say "I'm counting on you." He's someone you go up to and say "I put my everything in you, because I know you have already done what needs to be done." Screw counting on Him, He doesn't need us to believe He can save us so that He can save us on the last day. He needs us to believe He HAS saved us.
*excuse the french*
Secondly I don't have faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) I'm not confident in hoping Jesus saved me, I'm confident in knowing Jesus saved me. Rant about song over.
The other part that put me off, I realized on my way home chatting to my housemate. There was too much of a "God has saved me. How great is that?" vibe. I'm not saying that's wrong but there wasn't any "because of this, I shall work for Him" if you get me. There's a balance between faith and works, tonight didn't have it right, too much on the faith side really. This got me thinking, are we sometimes too God focused/centered?
I want to point out it's great if you are really focused on God, it means your life is pointing the right way but don't lose yourself. However don't get to caught up on you that God doesn't permeate through your life. See God demands it all, He deserves it all but He doesn't want all of you to be Him. This is a bit risky and strong language but NEVER try and be God, ALWAYS be yourself. That's who God wants. So whilst we can center our lives around God, we shouldn't get too caught up in all that He's doing, has done and will do and miss what He is doing in our lives. I don't want to push the focus back on the I, but rather want it to be on God with a "what's He doing in my life" twist. He may be doing nothing at the moment, perhaps you are exactly where He wants you to be in life but there will probably always be a prompting in your life, a challenge in your life and something that God is doing around you.
I think I'm jumbling up my words, essentially don't be concentrating on God so much that you forget about what He commissioned you to do here on Earth. Always remember that whilst we should be daily offering up our lives to God, this means more than just giving the God the glory in everything you do, but means you should also be doing the things God would do (WWJD?).
I think my message comes through, if you are confused by it or think I'm wrong then comment. I believe you can.