Category: Suffering

We don’t often think of participating in our own existence, because a life easily perpetuates itself. Yes, this concept called “being,” started and continues while we remain passive; we learned this in Biology 101. Later we were told, IQ-wise, how deeply or sharply we could think, but not how to get better at it. Thinking aptitude presupposes a done deal, a gift, a genetic bent, so we were taught. Yea, DNA, genetics, and the will of our parents really get the full brunt of responsibility here. Would you agree?  With the risk of being labeled “existential,” we must then consider why a human becomes anxious. A quote goes this way: “anxiety comes from not being able to know the world you are in, not being able to orient yourself in your existence —the reaction to the threat to values one identifies with his existence as a self.” Wow, can this…

Read More The Courage to Be

“The love of God does not find that which is worthy of His love, but rather creates it for Himself; but the love of man comes into being through the lovableness which it finds.” Luther Paul found a hard reality when  he reported “the more I abundantly love you, the less I am loved,” in 2 Corinthians 12:15. Why no reward for his love? At deeper thought, why the opposite kind of reward did he receive than what was expected? “Natural human love expects something in return. But Paul is saying, “It doesn’t really matter to me whether you love me or not. I am willing to be completely destitute anyway; willing to be poverty-stricken, not just for your sakes, but also that I may be able to get you to God.”” This is a quote from Oswald Chambers. Jesus, one day girded Himself with a towel and began to…

Read More Agape

Life has jagged edges, abrasive surfaces, serrated openings, and corrugated backs. These help us to grip something, but how hard? They dull a sharp knife and make it a saw, they wipe out a pattern, and make things hard to follow. These crinkled grooves wear away at a habit and move us toward change. O happy day, we might say, but not to dismay. If we are annoyed about the rough and tumble, could it be that we matriculate toward the smooth side? Whatta you mean? I mean; are you partial, comfort-bent toward the safe living zone ? We all admit this, because we all grossly underestimate how drastic a metamorphosis beckons its operation within us. We find ourselves thinking in tiny adjustments’ terms, while God determines shifting paradigms, and  entire value-systems’ revamps.  See, we must be born again, then our “born again” must emerge from its safe cocoon. We…

Read More Jagged Edges

God may do a new thing and can we follow it? Maybe the lesson of the last 20 years ended and now we move on. Maybe, like Moses it has been 40 years. Can we flex? Let me tell you why we don’t really want to but nevertheless are able. I came to some conclusions while watching a video of a quadriplegic who loved God so much that every day just brought more desire for His presence. I sadly realized, watching, that what little suffering my life consisted of did the same, however, it didn’t really give me a desire for more of the suffering. I really don’t want to suffer anymore even though it did lead me closer to my Savior —this, a rude awakening. So, in suffering, two things may eventuate; one, we grow tired of the adversity; two, we accumulate great discipline for a life-style of pain,…

Read More Happy New Year!

A person can fear, but another kind of person fears fear. A person can be anxious, but another kind of person is anxious about being anxious. A third kind of person is compulsive, but you guessed it, they fear what they themselves may do in a compulsive moment.   All of the above have a deeper issue than the mere fearful, anxious, even compulsive individual. They have a complex, and that complex sticks them in quicksand. No measure of therapy seems to bring any relief. The alcoholic complicates his or her situation with the fear of being caught, and then a phobia of never being able to stop. The religious person may disdain the repercussions of missing church service and adds guilt upon their guilt; the devoted employee sweats about his new duties, and fears to fail. Many steps are never taken, nor adventures embarked on because of complex fear…

Read More Christmas

Love – that capacity which enables him to grasp the other human being in his very uniqueness     Conscience – that capacity which empowers him to grasp the meaning of a situation in its very uniqueness. Both are intuitive capacities.  The uniqueness  envisaged by love refers to the unique possibilities the loved person may have – – – the uniqueness envisaged by conscience refers to a unique necessity, to a unique need one may have to meet. Vicktor Frankl Frankl has discovered something very interesting about love. He calls it a capacity or an ability to absorb, finding its fulfillment by tenderly embracing another human being in their very one-of-a-kindness. Frankl goes on to say that this one-of-a-kindness, envisioned by love, refers to the special potentials the loved person may have. We could say then that love always “identifies” with another. Frankel also mentions the conscience. It, too, owns capacity…

Read More Identification

I knew a man in Christ, a father, a friend, a counselor, mentor and inspiration. I knew a man in Christ, he taught me how to think, how to live, how to die. He taught me the Bible, removing all gray areas;  preciseness was his forte, accuracy his norm. He taught dogmatically, leaving no room for doubt; exposing the foolishness of inferior systems. Yes, I knew this man in Christ. When my pastor spoke, there was an anointing, clear, distinct, heavenly, penetrating. Sometimes came tears, sometimes a display of authority. Often the message pin-pointed the exact issue of my current experience. I sensed the ministry tuned into me, to me personally — adjusting my thinking, feeling, and conscience. I was a part of it, my listening perpetuated it, my heart embraced it, my soul bathed in it. Many times, I wept. I sensed something very deep happening — A healing, deliverance,…

Read More I Knew a Man in Christ

There is a song sung by Francisco Ortega called “Now that you’re Gone.” It’s a song about a brother lost, and of a mourning sibling; the world spins without meaning, now that he is gone. Spins without meaning, has this happened to you? It is amazing, how one’s worldview, one’s value system, forsake their meaning–providing function and betray our trust. It’s as if a mean trick has manipulated us, or has been fooling us all along. It wounds us, it strikes down our high place of safety and repose. It sabotages in a moment what has been built over many years perhaps. We spin, and spin. An essential element, a vital piece of the puzzle, an every day visitor suddenly is missing, and we have no answers. We turn to God. But shockingly we find this event has no prior reference in our conceptualized view of God. Our phony world…

Read More Now That You Are Gone

…… external constraints may be used upon man’s freedom of choice, which makes impossible it’s being carried into effect outwardly; … only God could exercise an inward constraint which would compel man to do that which, in the moment of doing it, is not his own will; and God does not use this power:      Delitzsch  The Psalmist prayed: “out of the depths I cry unto thee O Lord”. To what refer these depths? The unconscious mind perhaps fits this? In the unconscious mind “Absolutes” die. Absolutes are certainties. So nothing certain and everything random jellifies in the unconscious, because the whole mess marinates in double-mindedness. O, there are still “absolutes” (small a). These are half-truths which deceive the mind into thinking all is well. These little unquestionable (life according to George) concepts, exalt some to the center of their universe in deception. Let’s consider this; a guy builds a real…

Read More Out of the Depths

Folks refuse surrender. As I achieved a physique and acquired an attitude, a determination attended me; “Tom, never give in.” Post–high school wanderings brought a war; a war with everyone and everything. The main target: any representation of the establishment. Secondary targets? It really didn’t matter, I opposed every truth representing antagonist. Attitude is everything!  I wanted to grow my hair, as all the nonconformists did in my day and this meant moving out as kicked, because long hair didn’t fly in our house. I had learned how to smoke dad’s Pall Malls and developed it into dope smoking. Alcohol fetched comfort. I loved the feelings and freed inhibitions. Music serenaded my nodding and determined my weekend’s prowling, as girls also became a perpetual focus. I was a self-made man, Hardy har har.  Steel mill introduced a Wonderland to us uninitiated. Mill reminded me of a Day-Glo poster; only without…

Read More Surrender