When the Past collides with the Present

Well, it has been a whirlwind of a week, for me it has been all about work, and Ginger, God bless her soul, took care of all the Christmas cards and gifts for everyone.  She actually enjoys it.  I'm so thankful.  As my family how sporadic my cards are, I'll admit I'm terrible at it, but God gave me a wonderful help mate.

So I had to deal with a little issue in my own heart this week.  As most know who read this blog, I am involved with Celebrate Recovery.  It is my safe haven, my sanctuary, where I go and relax around people who have issues and struggles like I did and accept me as I am.  Well, I found out this Monday we have someone new doing the worship service next Monday only.  Kelly, the guitar player is a wonderful friend of mine and one of the most amazing guitar players to ever play.  It is his band.  Well, two of the people, I learned, are part of the ministry I graduated from and left to come to CR.  Two people who at the time had very different belief systems about how alcoholics and addicts find healing.  It's the one step vs. the twelve step argument.  God heals, takes away the craving, and you are healed is the one step philosophy.  I've had people get verbally abusive trying to argue this point to me.  Funny thing is, I didn't argue the point, God does heal and you don't necessarily need a 12 step group to heal.  You do need a support group (church) and people who understand what you are going through (accountability partners), but CR is by no way the only way to get healed, but it is one way (I'm living proof).  I have found lasting recovery through Christ and He has used CR as the tool to help me in my path.

The whole experience was a battleground for me, and I found my solice when I'd go to CR every week.  I'm thankful for the experience, it solidified my belief's, I learned what NOT to do in ministry and even a few things to do.  I learned about myself and became a stronger Christian as I had to shall we say, defend my faith.  And that is in the past.  But sometimes, as does happen from time to time, past collides with present, and these two people are coming into the place I call sanctuary.  And some old feelings began to surface, old resentments and bitterness that I really wasn't aware were in my heart.  In the past I'd of held on to this, or tried to push it down, but a phone call from one of my closest friends, Aaron, helped me to work through the issue.  He validated my feelings, they were very real and even some justified, and he allowed me to get all the junk out.  But it didn't stop there.  We began to work through it.  You see, Aaron was there with me and knows and the circumstances that led to him leaving the ministry were the start of this resentment for me.  (Yeah, do you think it is coincidence that I struggled with this and he called me this week?)  I began at that time to really see the facade and led me to solidify that I absolutely hate therapeutic community environments (peer pressure is the main tool).  It is about who you know, not your walk as a Christian, and if you can play the game (and I was good) you'll go far.   I was a favorite of one of the staff members, Aaron was not.  I was protected, he was not.  And I watched my friend have to leave, knowing his heart, and the person who provoked him, knowing his heart, and watching what I felt was an injustice take place.  But Aaron helped me.  Paul, I wasn't done.  And he wasn't.  He went out and used again, though I am happy to report that on December 31st, it will be 2 years for him!  And in the end, God has used both of our lives in miraculous ways, me with CR, him with Teen Challenge.  And then, as the light bulb went off that God was in control then and is in control now, I realized that God really knows what He is doing.  I had an issue presented to me, found I had some issues with it, worked through the issues, and now I'm at peace.  I've done some talking with God, and I've talked with my wife about it, in other words, I didn't hide it, or not deal with it, I felt what I needed to feel (anger, sadness, disappointment) and yet let God have control and confess what I needed to confess.  And now, I can honestly go Monday and enjoy CR and worship, because God has them there for a purpose, and since I'm not God (be very thankful...) I'm not in the know on this one.  However, if only for helping me with my heart this week, worth it enough for me.  Resentments and bitterness are poison, and I have too many people in my life who love me for me.  Not for what I can do for them, or for who I know, or even for what I have.  They love me, quirks and all.  If someone doesn't like me for who I am, I don't need them, because this is how God made me and if you don't like how I am, my opinion, take it up with God, He is the Creator.  Trust me, I tried playing creator with my life, and, excuse the bluntness, I suck at it.  So I'm going to let God be God and trust He knows what He is doing...


No problems with bass so far this week...

I'll do my Christmas Blog tomorrow ya'll! 


  1. I am thankful, Paul... That you submit to the way God is leading you. It is His way that works... and His way is different for each of us. The important part is that you seek Him and His guidance in your life... as long as we do that, it is all going to be okay. Baaaaa.

    Glad there has been no bass problem this week!

  2. Merry Christmas!!! Give Ginger a hug for me!


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