Flickr Page!


To see my Flickr page click on this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/piercedheartart

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reflection

So today I was walking to the park.  Celebrate Recovery was having testimonies and concert there.  I was too late for that (I had to work today) but it wasn't CR that God had in store for me today.  As I was walking, talking to God, I remembered last year about this time.  I had a different employer and during what should have been a busy time for us, it was slow.  In fact, it would be slow throughout spring, summer and fall until my new job in October.

But I digress.  I felt the humidity, which made it a little harder to breath, the heat a bit, heard the cardinals singing their love songs, and remembered the prayers I would pray.  I'd walk during the week after getting the text of no work I'll call you at ten.  No call would ever come and I'd set out to have some time with God.  Sometimes I would just fall into His arms and thank Him.  Other times I would be like this:  "God, we have no work, don't you see me down here?  I have bills to pay, a new wife, God are you listening?   Are You there?"  Of course at the end of the walk, sweat rolling down my face, I'd be thanking Him for what He'd done for me as of yet.  Typically when I'd go into this little tantrums, which is what they were, God would begin reminding me of what He'd done for me.  Who brought your wife to you?  Um...You God.  Who brought your apartment to you?  Um..You God.  Who brought your car to you?  Um..You God.  Are you hungry?  Um..No God.  Do you have food in the apartment?  Are you clothed?  Is your electricity on?  Have you been late on a payment yet?  Um...Yes, Yes, Yes, No God.  Who has helped you maintain your soberiety?  Who has delivered you from darkness into life?  Who has totally transformed your life?  Um...you God.  Sometimes God has to get your attention.  Sometimes He has to let you know who is the Creator and who is the creation.  Ask Job about that, not that I'm Job, I am, in fact, not blameless.   Then gently, lovingly, He would tell me that He had indeed not dropped me, had not abandoned me, but was in fact carrying me.  Usually I'd get back and journal (I've been able to go back and read my entries during that time), read Scripture, and then trust that God did indeed have me.

So here we are, a year later, and my little walk today.  First it was God saying, "My child, remember last year?  So how are things now?"  And I've got to say, things are pretty darn good.  My new job is going fantastic, totally God.  Ginger and I are more in love than ever.  Ginger's anxiety and bipolar are doing sooo much better.  We've added a little computer desk in the living room for the laptop, so now we have a quaint little nook to blog, facebook, email, and yet be with each other.  I've lined up a few personal drawings I want to begin on.  And even though gas prices are going up, somehow, someway, God always provides for the extra expense.  We have our weekly date nights on Saturday night, we share in the cooking and have continually tweeked that to eat healthier.  Ginger is running, in her first 5k next week.  Spiritually, Ginger is reading through the Bible in a year, and is very faithful in that, while I'm studying in the Old Testament, the major and minor prophets.

Not that we don't have our struggles, or valley's, but God is walking with us through them.  During that time we learned to trust in God with all our heart in every aspect of our lives.  As we did that, as we learned to fall into His arms, He walked with us through the storm.  Sometimes when you are in the storm, you can't see beyond the rain.  Last year was a prime example.  But as the rain lifted, as the sun came out, we began to see the path before us.  Once again the Shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures....

Baa

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Communication

So tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to talk about communication.  Ah yes, every couple that has ever been to premarital counseling has heard this word.  You get all sorts of tools on how to communicate, there, there are seminars on how to communicate, speakers speak on it and books are written on it.  Inevitably, in my line of work at ministry I hear so much about break downs in communication.

For Ginger and I, it is actually one of our strong suits.  We communicate with each other constantly.  Now, let me say this.  I am a man.  Inevitably in a relationship, a man is going to say the wrong thing.  I'm sure women out there will agree that there are things said that would have been better left unsaid.  And men out there, well, let's face it, we've said things off the cuff that we'd pay huge sums of money to take back.  I'll be talking about a show, American Idol for example, and say, "The adoloscent boys are going to vote for her because of what she is wearing."  Pretty innocent statement from a man's point of view.  Haha.  So what does my lovely wife hear when I say that?  Let me translate:  "That girl is prettier than me and you like to look at her more than me."  Wait!  Hold the phone!  Time out!  Ginger is good, however, of saying if a comment bothers her and will let me know.  Of course, hugging her, kissing her and telling her she is in fact the most beautiful girl in the world (in my eyes she is), helps.  You see, I love to give Ginger alot of encouragement.  Having dealt with food addiction, as she has, sometimes there are insecurites that have to be worked through, and I'm more than willing to help her.  Ginger is very, very beautiful.  She is a bombshell in my eyes, and I want her to see that bombshell through my eyes when she can't see it.  But this is an example of how we communicate.  We believe in not going to bed with anything on our mind. I'll say things like "That's screwed up", or other colorful words, like crap, pissed off, etc. and usually I'm called on it.  Ginger sometimes thinks it's her OCD that causes her to do that, personally I think it is God refining my speech through her.  I married a good girl, a sweet girl, and I want to make sure that I honor her, even in my speech.  I'm learning.

But on the darker side of communication, in my line of work at the ministry I hear about some horrible things.  Verbal abuse is nothing new to me in my past.   I was barraged with it in past relationships and every name you can think of I've been called.  Which is probably one of the reasons why I've never called Ginger anything but a sweet loving name or nickname.  I see the aftermath of such abuse at CR.  And at times, I just don't understand it.  I mean, this is your soulmate and you call her a witch (I changed the letter, I'm sure you can figure it out), or that she is fat, or ugly, etc.  Again, this is your soul mate, the love of your life.  Your wife is the crown jewel of you as a husband, she should be cherished as a priceless jewel.  Maybe because of my past, I realize what a jewel I have in Ginger, but to me there is a breakdown in communication somewhere.  If you were talking with each other, talking about your problems honestly, letting each other speak, and allowing God a place in the conversation, then maybe it wouldn't happen.  But it is a two way street.  Both parties have to agree that there is no place for such language and you should be able to look at you wife, or husband, and go, hey I'm hitting the red line here, lets calm down, walk away, cool down, and revisit this when we are clear headed.  I've seen men treat there dogs better than women, and I've seen women brow beat their husbands to the breaking point.  I realize that there are circumstances involved, past issues, infidelity, addiction, anger, and codependency that play parts in this. 

The fact is this.  One of the things Ginger and I talked about before we got married was that certain words were not an option.  The D word for one.   Disparaging words another.  Communication.  On the weekends we discuss how we are doing with finances.  I watch it closely and we adjust if we need to adjust.  We talk about God, and we talk about any issues in the week that need to be discussed.  We are not perfect, we haven't figured out some magical formula, we just talk.  I get in weird moods sometimes and Ginger has learned to allow me time to work that out within myself.  Ginger has times with bipolar where things need to be talked about.  We are patient with each other, loving and forgiving, and inevitably at the end of the night, we curl up next to each other, tell each other we love each other, and fall asleep in each others arms.  I think the thing that makes the difference is a) We invite God to be with us as we talk and b) We allow God to guide us.  Ginger loves her husband, and I know it without a doubt, and Ginger knows I love her with all my heart.  And through our words, and actions, we show it.  Just as we honor and respect God, we should honor and respect each other.  Just my two cents....

Baaa

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Update!!!!!

Okay I got the memo.  People have been wanting an update, a post, anything that stated how things were going.  Okay, we are alive and doing well.  In fact, after having talked with Tanna I figured it was a good time to call my Mom tonight.  Though she just saw me two weeks ago, Mom will always be Mom and I love her so for it.

Okay, so what we've been up to.  When last we left our hero, he was valiantly defending his wife from a comment that would have better been left unsaid.  But it put a fire under me.  So I began a personal quest to study those that believe such.  I wanted to delve into a shady world where demons lurked under every corner and find where such belief had come from and more importantly what the true Biblical basis of such is.


So I bought a book.  Not just any book, Christianity in Crisis 21st Century by Hank Hanegraaff.  It is an expose of sorts about the Word of Faith movement and exposes the heresies that their preachers teach.  Somehow they believe that their words are more powerful than God for one.  In other words, God cannot do anything in our life, or even in this world, unless we allow Him to.  I'm sorry, but my God, my God is omnipotent.  All-powerful.  God can, and will, do as He please, according to His will.  As well, apparently sickness is, in part, because we allow the enemy access into our lives because of our words.  For example, according to them, if I say I have the flu, or cancer, then I'm allowing the enemy access to put that in my life and God can do nothing about it.  So what is their solution?  Deny the symptoms.  Speak in "faith", I do not have it.  As well, yes, it get's worse, you allow demons of sickness to come in, demons of headaches, cancer, etc.  The problems with this theology are many and it took a book to counter all the heresy, but it takes the responsibility off the person and puts it squarely on the enemy. Some of these preachers have not been "sick" in years, all because of this positive confession.

So in their eyes, Ginger has this disease called bipolar because of:

a) her words
b)lack of faith
c)secret sin
d)generational curse

any or all of these has, in their eyes, allowed the demon of bipolar to enter into her.  And, according to them, even though she is a believer, the demon can still come in.

So I have a message for these goof balls.  Your theology is crap.  First of all, a believer has the Holy Spirit in them.  God in them.  And if God is the strong man in us, then no enemy is going to strong arm God out of us.  Remember, God is omnipotent, all powerful, so who can defeat God?

If I have a cold and I say I don't have one I'm lying.  And lying is a sin, so I don't see how God could tell us not to say if we would sin.

Ginger and I's faith is in God, not our words, therefore the lack of faith is futile.   No I do not have faith in these faith healers, they are quacks in my opinion, only after money and prestige.

Considering that Ginger and I get up and give our testimony in front of 100+ people, exposing all the dark areas of our lives and how God has delivered us from them, I don't see secret sin as an issue.

And lastly, generational curses.  Read the book.  God doesn't curse us, but their are consequences to our sin.

There is so much more I could say, but what I loved about the book was it's documentation.  All the words the faith healers, preachers, etc., were documented, and the footnotes showed where and when.  As well, the Biblical truth was given along with their flawed theology.  As well, a primer in biblical interpretation and a back to basics section was included (that is the section I'm on now) that is quite interesting.

What I like about Hank is there is no denominational bashing.  He is found of saying, "In essentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, in all things charity.  What these preachers attack is the essentials to fit their doctrine, and that is the focus of the book.  Many denominations have secondary issues they disagree on and those can be talked about but in the end, we all, as true believers, come together in love.

So as you can see, I've been studying, reading, having Bible in hand as I read this book, looking up Scripture, showing myself approved.  Let me say again, my God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient.   My God is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  He is my Creator, my Provider, my Healer, my Everything.  There is nothing that can seperate me from my God, no power on earth, in heaven or in hell.  No amount of words, even mine, are more powerful than God's and one day we will all have our day with Him.  And my God, should He wish to heal instantly He can, or if He wishes it not to be healed but to walk with us through it, or even take us away, then He can.  Because as a believer it is not my will, but His.  I am His child, His sheep, and He is my Father and my Shepherd.  That is my God.

Baa