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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Journals

Where have you been Paul!!!!  Oh I'm here.  Life sometimes gets busy (My best friend's wife had his first child!  Little Chloe and Ginger's sister is here from Florida) but alas, my blog is not far from my mind.  I actually did sit down this weekend and wrote some thoughts but it seemed almost forced like I was trying to create something from nothing.  This post, however, is not such a post.  Usually it happens at work where the words start forming.  The thoughts and ideas come flowing in like a stream, sometimes a raging river, and I try to formulate what will be a post.  Enough babbling.

I've just finished a fascinating book called the Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx.  For those of you in the know, Nikki is the bassist for the 80's hair metal band Motley Crue.  Motley Crue, as I've stated before in an earlier post, was one of the first metal bands that I heard and I absolutely loved their music.  In one of their songs is the lyric "If you want to live life on your own terms you have to be willing to crash and burn."  It was my mantra for years.  But I digress, as usual.  This particular book was a year in the life of Nikki during the height of his addiction.  It is his diary during 1987 with commentary and it is a hauntingly inside look into the mindset of an addict.  I would not recommend the book for someone just in recovery because of the extensive drug use the book describes.  However, if you want to look at the insanity of addiction, as it happens so to speak, it is a book that I, at least, could hardly put down.  And though he had all the money he could ever want to spend on his addiction, the mind and insanity of it, was the same as, say me.  Doesn't matter how much you have, you walk down that road far enough you'll soon see the irrational and dark path and the demons that haunt said road.  What I liked about the book compared to, say Steven Tyler, is that he found God in AA.  I cannot tell you his walk, but he went from not believing in God to believing, so that says something.  And I could relate.  Man, I could relate.  Those thoughts, and ideas, and feelings.  The depression, the hopelessness, the debauchery, the pull, and thinking that you will die addicted, just a matter of when.  He found recovery, and so did I.

So it got me to blow the dust off my own journal.  Yeah, I have a journal.  Not from my addiction, which would probably have been quite similar to Nikki's, but from my early days in recovery.  As I've looked, it is a portrayal of a person with an addicted, insane mind finding his way back to God and finding sanity once again.  It showed some very personal struggles I had and how I'd make progress, fall back, pick back up and go again.  One of the things I did in the year 2004 was a relationship study.  Now this wasn't something I read about or followed, it was God and I.  I started by writing all my past relationships down and began looking for patterns.  Did I find patterns?  Oh yes.  It was very hard because I was very honest.  But I wanted answers.  Because, frankly, the next girl I dated I didn't want to fall into the trap of repeating my past.  So let me direct your attention to a particular passage.  After writing about the past relationships I decided to consider some guidelines to my next relationship.  I titled it:  Points to consider (Guide to Mrs. Right?)

1) Soberiety a must
2) If she must control me, dysfunctional- no no no!
3) I must be a man, she must be willing to be the woman.  (Godly submission)
4) Active Christian
5) May need her to make move (or be setup, like in a church or group)
6) Must not ignore family (mine or her's)
7) Obsession is not love, nor healthy in a relationship, both of us must have lives.
8) NO sex before marriage-loving/not perverted. 

So the solution, partly, is put God first and foremost in your life.  Get a cat (ha! ha!)

Well, the very next person I dated, 3 years later I might add, I married.  I was determined that I wouldn't even go out unless these 8 points were made (and the bottom one as well!).  I'd ask questions discreetly and find most girls I could knock off this question, or that question and it was a no go. Not that I was actively looking, I wasn't.  But you'd think, could she be it?  And you'd find, no.  Ginger blindsided me.  I wasn't looking.  We were friends and she met the criteria and, well, she was also so so so gorgeous.   Actually, we were kinda set up at Celebrate Recovery and since Ginger is allergic to cat's (she is going to the doctor to find if there is a shot she can take for this), so I never got a cat.  Didn't need one.  One of Ginger's most endearing qualities was her love for God.  She loves God first!  And in her life she wants nothing more than to please her Savior.  Naturally, I fell in love with THAT and HER!!!!

When I wrote that in July 2004, I didn't realize that God was preparing me for Ginger.  And I have that written down!  I've gone through my journal and even found passages from when I first met Ginger and my struggle with wanting to make sure God had put her in my life and if she was the one.  Because I wanted God first in my life as well.  In my past the girl became my god and I forgot everyone else.  Ginger has been very, very different.  We are part of each other's families, we love and worship God together, and yes, we have our own lives.  Ginger is, in fact, out with the girls right now.  This life, this simple life, with all it's up and downs, how could I even want to trade it?  Our TV with bunny rabbit antenna, reading on the couch with each other, our Saturday night date night?  Being able to talk for hours about life, us, funny stuff, serious stuff.  And I guess this blog is a journal of sorts as well.  I write things and sometimes I change my mind as I get more information or as God lays on my heart.  And I have that right.  Someone asked me recently why I write this blog?  What's it's purpose?  Who is it for?  Well.  I write it because it is a journey to how a "walking miracle", someone who himself never believed he'd find recovery, found it and how God helps him keep it.  It is to show how a young married couple makes a simple life and loves each other, and God, as good as we can.  As far as who it is for...well...my family, my friends, and anyone who God leads here to.  Will it ever be a "big" blog?  Up to God.  My belief is you help the world one person at a time and if I have helped one person, or brought joy or a smile to a face, or given someone, through God, strength to make recovery one more day, well, then it is big enough for me.

Baa

P.S. Time to listen to Kick Start my Heart....(I'll give you one guess who sings it....)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

When your wrong...your wrong....

So it is fitting that I write this blog on this day.  You may have noticed I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks.  I've been in a time of reflection, and last weekend I spent a wonderful weekend with my wife.  Just me and her and no agenda for the weekend.  Sometimes you just gotta have weekends like that.  However, the weekend before I had called my Dad.  The usual small talk, you know, it's hot here, it's cool up there.  And then he asked if I'd gotten his email.  He was writing me to tell me about a book I'd read, and his views on why he'd stopped reading it. 

Well, I got to read the email (my phone was having issues), then was able to call him back and really get some meat.  It literally rocked my world.  Philippians 1:12-18 is specifically what we discussed.  It had to do with the book, Christianity in Crisis, and my father was able to give me a completely different view, through this passage.  And it got me to thinking.  So I began to research the Bible.  A passage in Mark, and even in I Corinthians spoke on something called Sectarianism.  And I'd been practicing it. 

Yeah, it's a sin according to the Bible.  As I reflected I'd had some really, really bad experiences at a certain ministry and I was holding resentments.  The perfect storm began when Ginger was told she had demons because she was bipolar.  It brought up thoughts of this ministry and began fueling the storm.  I was on a mission to tear down ministries that preached such things.  Then I read the book, and the storm developed, and I was ready to go, quite literally, viral.  I was on board.  I was locked and loaded.  But somehow every time I wanted to lash out, something held me back, at least on Facebook.  Don't get me wrong, I vented on my blog, but I wanted to lash out.  Ever heard the saying, hurt people hurt people?  That was me. 

But in the passage that Dad sent me, the Apostle Paul was being attacked by believers with selfish motives.  Yet, instead of lashing out at them, he was thankful, yes THANKFUL because at least they were preaching Christ.  And in that moment of clarity with my Dad, I realized some things about myself.  I'd been looking down on those who followed those the book criticized.  I prided myself on loving those of different denominations (yes, there is that word pride), but when it came to THOSE PEOPLE I found a bitterness I didn't really realize had embedded itself in my heart. 

Look, I've told you all who read this blog I'm honest here.  I realize this doesn't make me look very pretty, but as Ginger will say, God had to do surgery on my heart, and Dad, MY Dad, was used by God to help me look at it.  I'm not condoning what these people believe by any stretch, however, I was even beginning to look at Christian songs and wonder, well, what do the artists believe, because if they believe this stuff, I don't want to listen to that.  This coming from someone who loves heavy metal. 

So I took a couple of weeks to let God work on my heart.  I'm happy to say that I look at things quite a bit different now.  Jesus was about loving people, showing them salvation.  I am a disciple of Christ and should mimic that love.  We are to work out our own salvation through Christ.  As Dad said, they can reach people others can't.  And even if they are preaching selfishly, they are still preaching Christ.  I'm not going to say that I have all the answers to this, and I'm still figuring it all out in my heart.  But that ministry I had such a hard time with, well, things are different now.  So they are different than me.  I know, deep down, they love God.  They worship different, even interpret things a bit different, but you know what, they have a sincerity in what they do. 

Ginger deals with hyperreligosity and in a sense, I was too.  You know, I know the truth and if you don't follow exactly how I think you should, then you are wrong.  Ginger's however is psychosis, mine is with a clear mind.   The good news is, having come to terms with this, I've been able to help Ginger.  God never wastes a hurt.  And now I listen to Christian music and I don't worry about the artist, I just enjoy praising God through the song.  I'm not perfect, I have views that may seem controversial, especially in music, but I follow God to the best of my ability.  I fail, I make mistakes, and God understands, and does His best to guide me in the path I need to go.  Along the way God uses people, like my Dad.  So when I say, to me, I have the best Dad in the world, it is my opinion, now you get a glimpse as to why.  No, he's not perfect, but that doesn't prevent me from looking up to him and hoping when I'm his age I have half the wisdom he does.

Baa

P.S.  I got my haircut!!!!