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A Day Trip to Guilt or A Guilt Trip Today

So, I set my face to the north and walked as far as I could go

I had a mini awakening as I trampled through the snow

I had trekked past the north pole and started heading south

Cos you can only go north as far as them physics will allow

So, I went down to the equator to march around to the west

Well, there’s a protocol that kicks in, ha, yeah, who’d have guessed

Cos you can follow the sun’s path for forever and a day

And you’ll never come to a place where the west will be

Now as this is Christian I better fetch you a Bible quote

So, I’ll read out some words our friend King David wrote

He said “As far as the east is from the west

So far does He remove our transgressions from us

And I think this is a lesson for us all to learn

Or choose to ignore if you’d prefer a burn

Cos these here are some words on the subject of guilt

That breaks many hearts and distracts countless wills

It don’t need to twist us, that sure weren’t the plan

But we’ve got it all mixed up, well we are just man

The plan was for us to bring it to the foot of the cross

And just plain leave it there, turn a negative to a plus

Now as I depend on Jesus to wash away my sin

I let go of the power of guilt cos it’s so controlling

When I take a minor tumble and graze my spiritual knees

I’m meant to own it to Jesus but not let it own me

And there’s one thing about which I’m absolutely sure

I don’t spend the next few days bringing it back to His door

I leave it there the first time and trust that it’s forgiven

And get on with my life with his peace that’s been given

I’m moving away from guilt that tries to tell me I’m no good

And trusting that love letter written in blood on a cross of wood

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

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As if . . .

I’ve been away from this platform for a long time while I have been fermenting some thoughts and experiencing a new level of grace. Another factor has been my residence at Teen Challenges Willoughby House, in sunny Nottinghamshire. This has been a new experience for me in as much as I have been living on the site of a rehab but have not been a resident of the rehab and instead have been at the Teen Challenge Leadership Academy. It was while here that I undertook a step further forward in my experience and understanding of grace and have had a lot of my old understandings of various aspects of the Christian faith turned upside down. Trust me I could, and hopefully will, write pages about these changes but for now, I want to concentrate on one specific area.

I have been thinking a lot about what seems to me to be the single biggest problem with the church of believers in the western world. That problem is our inability to connect even halfway with the truth that God loves us. The more I think about it the more I am convinced that we are actually living lives that are disconnected from each other based on the fact that we don’t trust each other and we don’t trust each other because we are not connected with the truth that God loves us all equally. We are each of us living lives behind walls of defence mechanisms so thick and deep that we can’t let anyone closer than an arms-length because we are convinced that the result would be rejection and isolation.

When I read what the Bible has to say on the subject of Gods love for us I am amazed that my life isn’t packed full of joy and peace. According to my reading, Jesus did everything that he did on this earth to show Gods love for us and this included dying. I know that there’s nothing new about this, in fact, we’ve known it all our Christian walk but we certainly are not living in this truth. My Bible apparently goes on to say that I now have access to Gods presence…any time I want it. Actually, no, my Bible suggests very strongly that through belief in the actions of Jesus I now live in Gods presence. I don’t really need to ask for access because the curtain/wall has indeed been removed. When God wanted relationship with his created children he didn’t want that relationship to be based on the idea that he is there and we are here and that separation is a central part of it all. He wanted a loving relationship and my understanding of that means that any time I metaphorically reach out my arm I will find him at the other end.

So, if this is the truth then this should be reflected in our relationships with each other and yet we live separated lives, desperately covering our mistakes with false smiles and keeping our distance from each other. I have believed for a long time that the opposite of addiction is connection. If I am living a life that is full of connections with other believers that fulfil me then I will not want to go hide away and get wasted. Why would I want to lose what I have in the way of love and acceptance by using any form of mind-altering substance or behaviour? Why would I want to rely on old-style behaviours that protected me when I was a child but that now only serve to keep me disconnected from those around me? And of course, I am not the only one.

The help, support and encouragement that I, as a delicate, artistically natured, addict/alcoholic type of character feel that I need to flourish and grow in this crazy life is almost completely lacking because those around me haven’t been getting the support etc that they need. And all this because we have fallen foul of the oldest trick in the enemies book of keeping us separated from each other. We seem quicker to act as if our brothers and sisters were keener on pulling us down than on building each other up and we continue that belief system and we act as if we were part of this demonic deception.

My personal defence systems are all based on simple childlike fears. I am afraid that I will be dismissed by those around me that I have put my trust in. I then act on that fear by behaving slightly superior in certain ways that hopefully will gain me some desperately needed respect. My experience shows me that this doesn’t work but my fears are stronger than my capacity to think it all through. Until now. Now that I have been blessed with a new level of grace. Now that I have finally decided that I will not live like that anymore. And yes I am open enough to admit that a certain amount of this lies in the truth that the pain of staying the same has indeed grown stronger than the fear of change, although that is actually claiming that my decision and choices have as much influence as my Gods grace. It is by grace that I move. I do not have the strength involved as and of myself. I am fully reliant on his strength.

I have to keep using whatever tricks work that will keep me returning my thoughts back to God. Whatever helps me to keep my mind on truths. Anything that puts ‘me’ out of the way. I have to try to take my thoughts captive because that is the battleground. I am working harder than ever on renewing my mind and for me, that means putting as little worldly rubbish into it as possible. I have lived for long enough with this silly little balance of reaching into God and then wallowing in the filthy dirt of worldly entertainment. I need to be one that says enough of this.

I need to be one that says I will live as if those around me do not have the ability to reject me because my God loves me and that is enough for me.

I will be one that says I am going to act as if.

As if we all love each other and will support each other, bless each other, cheer on each other and live like brothers and sisters.

I will try to continue moving on in my Gods grace because it is good enough for me.

I will live as if my brothers and sisters already live like this and maybe we will learn to do so.

Because we need to show those that do not know Gods love just how fantastic it is and at the moment we aren’t.

 
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Posted by on Jul 13, 2020 in God, jesus, Love

 

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Redacting the Bible

As I search for a deeper walk with my God, I am finding myself tempted to enter the crazy land of ‘foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law’. I am, in fact, striving to stay away from such but others around me are falling headlong into these with a relish that entices me. As I steer myself past the conversations about the ‘Book of Enoch’ and the arguments concerning ‘the lost ten tribes of Israel’ I am surprised by what seem to be very sensible, upright and well-educated people that are professing to be in possession of truths that only the wisest of believers can understand. One of the things that all these teachings hold in common is the need to redact certain segments of the Bible in order to present their preferred revised version of the truth.

I am using the terms ‘redact’ and ‘redacting’ here to mean the wholesale blanking out of the parts of the Bible that either disagrees with their ‘new’ truth or has to go because their ‘new’ truth means that it is also shown to be not relevant to those ‘in the know’.

One of the latest ideas that I have come into contact with is that the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is, in fact, old covenant and therefore actually dangerous for those of us living in the new covenant. The dangers seem to be the way that this prayer is holding us in old outdated viewpoints. These ‘new truths’ centre around the fact that everything before the death of our saviour is by definition ‘old covenant’. It is only after His death that the new covenant started and therefore anything written before this, it would appear, is not for us. It is by the death of Jesus that sin was defeated, our salvation becomes available and Gods kingdom shall be accessible and so we need to be wary of any writing that does not take this into account.

Whilst, on the one hand, I can see a certain truth in this teaching, unfortunately, I can also see that this means that I will now need to redact most if not all of the four gospels. If the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is only written for those that were around before Jesus went to the cross then surely everything written in the gospels also comes under that same description. If the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ involves truths that hold us in dangerous outdated viewpoints then all of his teachings have to fall into that description. I really can not be bothered to pick out a few particular passages and attempt to show how these hold truths that are universal and relevant to us all, please just accept the truth that I know that all of Jesus’ teachings are and I can not be picking apart this prayer to show the dangerous elements or even the relevant truths

I have been told on a number of occasions that the Bible has at least 365 verses that tell us to not fear and therefore one for every day of the year. I have no problem believing that my God would want me to really take on board the truth that I should not be living in fear but I am yet to be persuaded that He would actually do something as trite as this. I am also convinced that He knew what He was doing when He guided certain of His children to write the books of the Bible. So if anyone tells me that certain parts of His Holy word are not relevant or even worse are actually dangerous for new covenant believers then you can be sure that the hackles on the back of my neck have not only risen but are standing as firm as the best ever ‘Mohican’ hairstyle. No, no and thrice no.

 
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Posted by on Jun 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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My name is Lee

‘My name is Lee’ but that statement doesn’t actually give all that much information about me and who I am, what I can do, what I like etc etc. The more I learn about the Bible the more I learn about how important names were in those times. Something that has so clearly been lost to the point that I have absolutely no idea what my own name might mean. As far as I know it was chosen based on the initial letter being the same as my grandmothers and I guess it sounded good to my parents. It is my name but it is just a name, it aint who I am.

The whole ‘who I am’ thing is something that has taken me a very long time to discover about myself. Having spent most of my life seriously not liking myself and considering myself ‘not as good as’ has left me kinda out of touch with myself. It’s kinda hard to get to know yourself when you spend a lot of time wishing you were someone else because you aren’t happy with what you perceive yourself to be. As I am slowly learning to like myself based on a renewed understanding of the love and acceptance that God has for me, I am also learning to accept and like the way that God made me.

A fair amount of this knowledge has been pieced together over the years but a lot of it has been either squashed down or ignored because it didn’t fit with how I thought I was meant to be. It took me a long time to accept that I was not suited to evangelical work and even longer to admit that in public. I had tried knocking on doors and street work in an effort to become something I was not equipped to be mainly because I had been taught that being a ‘good Christian’ involved witnessing to unbelievers.

I hadn’t worked out that witnessing could be just plain telling other believers about how God had inspired me recently and how I was growing closer to Him. I have learnt that the excitement and joy that I feel when I am leading a small group or talking about God to friends is a God given gift and something to be cherished and exercised. Realising this truth has freed me from years of guilt and confusion and given me a stronger desire to find out more about my God. I want to know more about the Bible in part because I love seeing the wonder on my friends faces when I bubble over with a new truth that they haven’t heard about.

Some of the stuff that I am learning about myself doesn’t make me as happy but is just as important for me to accept and deal with. While I am learning to accept and enjoy the artistic abilities that He has gifted me with I am having to accept that I am never going to be the people person I always wanted to be. Whilst I can be quite confident and dare I say eloquent when I am sharing my ‘experiences, strengths and hope’ in front of a group of people, I often find myself either hiding away from meeting new people or tongue tied and flustered when I have to talk with individuals or small groups of people.

I have to admit that I am finding it much harder to work out my likes and dislikes. I am still aware that a lot of these things are centred around either what my friends like or what I think I should like in order to be accepted. I find it very hard to put my people pleasing ways behind me in this whole area and can see the journey versus the destination concept most clearly here. And I am on a journey of getting to know myself and learning to love myself because I still want to be the best signpost to God that I can be and I will be better equipped to do just that as I keep on growing in this way.

 
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Posted by on Mar 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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but I have a right

If I choose to listen to the view extended by this societies public personna,ie the media,I can not help but be caught up in a house of cards concerning my rights as a citizen.I am led to believe that I have the ‘natural,god given right’ to speak as I find it,to have a roof over my head,to eat 3 times a day . . . etc etc etc.

As an individual I have found that a number of these rights do not hold any water when presented with the system that I wake to find myself permanently wedged into.I have been refused housing because I was not ill enough.I have had to skip meals because I did not have enough money to feed myself.

While I am living in a part of the world where my poor level equals a comfortable level in many other places,I am also aware that my expectations of what I need to survive are massively out of proportion.When I can see that truth clearly I can then see a bit further to the next truth which involves my other levels of rights.

Some of these rights are strongly influenced and initiated by the society I live amongst and some of them are dreamt up by my sweet self.The origin doesn’t really matter when the ideas have germinated and taken root because these ideas have a resulting crop of putting me as the most important thing in my game plan to the detriment of any one else around me.

My right to let everyone around me know in no uncertain terms that I am upset/unwell/tired/in pain or any of a number of other ‘poor old me’ syndromes is a right that I am completely failing to find listed in the Bible in any way other than as a warning of what not to do.

Likewise my right to judge and consequently refuse to offer the help I have available to a fellow traveller just because I refuse to step over the differences in our situation.

These and other similar rights are not reaching out in love to others but are reaching inwards to help me get through this hard,harsh life that tries to drag me down.

It is blatantly obvious that I need all the help I can get because nobody knows the troubles I seen and as long as I am the centre of my universe I am useless to anyone else.

Due to my acceptance of Jesus as my saving grace,however,I am growing in my understanding of my only true right.

The right to be called a son of God.

And this brings obligations not rights.

Obligations to put the other person first,show love like a beacon and ignore any glory that I might feel is my deserved right to receive instead deflecting all the glory to Jesus.

 
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Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Spiritual Principles

Until I entered the world of the 12 step fellowship I can honestly say that I had never given so much as a thought towards the idea of Spiritual Principles.I would have been able to give a fairly good explanation of my experiences and understandings of the concept once it had been explained but I would not have recognised the concept just by its title.

Within the rooms of N.A. or A.A. or any other of the various combinations of 12 step meetings the words Spiritual Principles carry layers and layers of meaning and understanding.If diligently searched for in the N.A. Basic Text or the A.A. Big Book the meaning pretty much matches up with the Bibles teachings on love.The Spiritual Principles are centred around ‘the other person’ and not the individual trying to show them.

Whilst there is indeed merit to be found in looking after myself as best as I am able,as has been said ‘what good is a friend if when I lean upon him he just collapses’,there obviously comes a point when I need to direct my efforts outwardly.The need is driven,inspired and fed by the Holy Spirit.By inviting the Spirit into my life I agreed to allow Him to do just that.

My patience will grow quicker as I show patience to those around me than it would if I was the main recipient of that patience.Even if only because the Spirit within me is a part of the living God and therefore a loving entity.It would be impossible for the Spirit to do anything that wasn’t centred in love and love reaches out not in.

As a single person I manage to spend a massive great amount of time on my own.During that time I can practise the teachings that Paul wrote about when describing love on my self,and obviously being a fallen man I will and do,but I am convinced by my experiences that showing unconditional love to another person is like playing in the world cup compared to a village kick about.

Both the results and the effort involved in putting others first are freaky.

My ‘default’ setting tells me that I can only put others first when I am satisfied and comfortable.

But my ‘factory’ setting was calibrated by God and Jesus and wants to see those around me satisfied and comfortable so that I can go to bed in peace.

 
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Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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But I don’t think like that . . .

Throughout the wonderfully varied stories of human life written within the Bible I can not help but notice that some of the characters depicted behave in ways that I would never dream of behaving.My inner voice screams out that this certain reaction is diametrically opposite to how I would have done things.

As I listen to those spiritual people around me describe certain situations in their lives I can not help but see the same kinda reaction within my thought processes.I want to ask why they would possibly think that this was the best way to go about things.I want them to think like I do and do things in the ‘logical,sensible’ way that I believe is the only sane way of living.

My way of doing things and my way of thinking are quite clearly not the only way.The Bible tells me so and those around me reflect that truth.

So what do I need to do about that basic truth.

Well for one thing I want to remember that we are all different and have different tasks assigned to us from the source of all (and I mean ALL) love.Jesus knows us all perfectly and in His wisdom has directed us to the paths that we follow.

In the same way that one person is assigned the task of helping another person start to think that there is an alternative to the lies they have been fed through this society and there is another person that is better equipped to take that enquiring mind to the next level,I believe each and every believer has their place and with that comes a different way of thinking and believing.

My place is unique in the scheme of things and therefore my thinking is unique.My spiritual gifts and abilities are finely tuned for the people that my path brings me into contact with.My way with language and putting a new perspective on old tried and proven ideas is unique to me and also my situation.

My desire is that with each and every believer that I have the good fortune to share my path with,I can hold onto the basic concept that they are perfect for what God wants for them.Their totally bizarre thinking apart.Their utterly incomprehensible way of doing things put to one side.

I can and bloody well will accept as many of Gods children for what they are rather than what I think they should be.

I only hope that the same can be said for those with high expectations of me because I will let them down.Again.

As for me I will try to change my blinkered thinking and deal with the fact that we don’t all think alike.

 

 
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Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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What are we going to do today ?

For a number of weeks my ‘mantra’ for the day has been along the lines of ‘what are we going to do today . . .we’re going to try to get through the day with as little pain as possible’.At those times that my loving God steps into my control tower I am able to stretch it to ‘to ourselves and those around us’ but that’s only with (holy) spiritual help.

At times I am very aware that if certain people knew what I was doing ‘to get through the day’ they would be,yet again,disappointed because their expectations of me are so out of line with who I actually am.

Obviously that last statement lives on a sliding scale of how much any of those certain people actually know me.

As I sit and think through the teachings of the bible and my experience of life (especially life lived within the English Church ‘fellowship’ as a single person) I can’t help but see that the effects of ‘sin’ are rife within our lives.

So that any choices that I may make ‘to get through the day’ are riding high on top of the long list of ways that I am not living up to the standards that the Bible inspires me to reach.Standards that would mean changing my lifestyle so drastically that even in my present situation I would feel bereft of the ‘luxuries’ that I am ‘accustomed’ to (both physical and emotional).

I think through the examples of human life when seen through the pages of the Bible and I see people drawing a line in the sand and then stepping back and drawing a new line when the first line had been crossed,I see people living with the consequences of their actions and somehow holding onto a promise,I see real life in all it’s glory.

It just feels as if someone has turned the volume controls up since then.

In fact maybe all the controls.

Up.

I am kinda convinced that Paul was right when speaking of the effects of sin . . . and how it grows . . .and how long it’s been since then . . .

That’s a whole lot of poison infecting and mutating and infecting ad nauseam.

So I look at my mantra and feel that I must be doing pretty good on the whole cos I am not only still breathing but I am also giving to others beyond my comfort zone.

As if I can claim that I am doing it by any power other than the same power that keeps all the fantastic array of things in our universe turning in their paths.He loves me so much that I could never explain it this side of eternity unless you know that love yourself . . .and even then my explanations would only add to the knowledge you already have.

 

 
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Posted by on Sep 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Let Go and Let God

As I busily try to run my world from the safety of my armchair I can not but be amazed that ‘the God of my understanding’ is actually fully in control.Deciding everything from the distinct and unique colour combination of tonight’s sunset through to the tiniest gust of wind as it blows through the trees to flutter their leaves.

He is in control.As He has always been in control.

My default position as a fallen man is to try to control as much of my life as possible.My learnt position as an aged man is that I have very little control of myself let alone my life.

There are plenty of observations of the truth of this matter in the Bible.From Samson through to John we are given many situations where the strength of character of the main protagonist is shown to be quite unprepared for the power of God as He puts His plan into action.

And yet I still think that given the opportunity I would make better choices for myself than His plan for me.My ISM ( Incredibly Short Memory ) jumps in and whilst hiding the truth of the mistakes of my past from me allows me to think that I can not only sort out my own life but that I could do an extremely good job of organising most of the people in my small sphere of existence.

As I grow older I spend more and more time lost in wonder at how my God has created this world.I find myself marvelling at the individual stories of how God has brought His light to shine in places that seemed so dark.I am so blown away by some of the tiny details that at times all I can do is stand with my mouth open and invite flies to enter.

As I grow older I slowly learn how to let go of my wishes to control my destiny and let God keep on doing what He has been successfully doing for a few thousand years.

It may seem like I cannot get through this particular phase of my complicated life without pushing my wants above my needs in my list of importance but when I let go and relax I have always found that He just keeps on doing all that He needs to do to keep this world spinning towards a future filled with love.

He is the God of love after all.

 
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Posted by on Jul 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Secular or . . . ?

This week I was rudely brought face to face with a struggle all believers face through their lives and maybe even more so in these ‘end times’ of ours.My awareness of my problem was sparked as I was watching a programme about Paul Simons Graceland recording sessions and subsequent album plus world tour.

Previously to the programme I had a distinct view that the whole situation was safely in the secular halve of anything that happened in this world.My view on it was safe in that knowledge and therefore anything I learnt through watching the programme would therefore be as safely wrapped up in the secular world and thus distinctly not in the spiritual realm.

I do find this world much easier to grasp and understand when I can manage to keep a distinct line between the secular and the spiritual.My ‘superior’ understanding of life  relies on keeping the God stuff in one corner and the rest of life in another separate and unique corner.

Well,actually,fortunately not.

As I watched (and congratulated myself on my awareness of the issues involved) I was blindsided by a number of the South African musicians explaining how they were praying through the situations they were finding themselves in.I say I was ‘blindsided’ but it was the pleasant type of a blindside.

It made me stop and think (my only wish for this blog,by the way,is to make another man think for himself).It made me even more aware that God is moving through out all the occurrences in this ‘loverly’ little world of ours.All the occurrences of our tiny lives are in His hands.

So yet again I have to change the dimensions of the box that I put the creator of the universe into.I have to step away from my human desire to have everything ‘safely’ under the control of my tiny understanding and accept that He is in control of all and everything.

But my limited understanding of the Bible clearly states that He is the God of love and my experience shows me that this is true.So I’m pretty sure that it will all end up,at the very least,good.

 
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Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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