More from Karen…

Love One Another

I asked the Lord, what is my purpose,
What was I created for?
He said, it is to open up and
let me in
When I come knocking at your door.

I love you, he said;
I have created YOU to love. Now go and love your brother;
Do this for me, your Father up above.

I know YOUR love’s inadequate,
And without my power it’s something you can’t do.
So I’ve sent my Holy Spirit To live inside of you.

With my light and love in you,
You have a power like none on earth.
When you believed, my Spirit filled you.
It was then, I gave you a brand new birth.

So go love one another!
And when you step out in love you’ll find
That I am with you always Until the very end of time.

By KR
copyright 9-19-18

Trying something new

I don’t know that I have joked much in this blog, but during the day I am joking constantly.  One person has said that joking is an adult defense mechanism.  Another person told me after I didn’t accept a compliment, “Deflect, deflect, deflect.”  I am going to try and cut down on the jokes for a while.  And if compliments come my way I will accept them.  Perhaps I can have a whole conversation with someone without joking?

Help Me Hear His Call

(Karen is an excellent poet, more than that, she is an excellent lyricist.
I listen to her poems as songs and I hope they are set to music some day.
I have invited her to share her work here, until I can convince her to blog – Jim).

Help Me Hear His Call

I’m hanging by my fingertips;
Is there anyone who cares?
Is there anyone who is reaching out to me,
Anyone who dares?

Yes, my life is messy;
I have sins and doubts and fears.
But, is there anyone who’ll love me,
Who dares to join me here?

Can you point me to our Savior,
Show me what he does?
Can you come along beside me
Until I feel his awesome love?

I’m hanging by my fingertips;
Please, don’t let me fall.
Show me, that God is holding on to me;
Help me hear his call!

By

Karen Rawlings
1-18-18

copyrighted 2018 Karen Rawlings
used by permission

 

Generational shame… expressed as Mental Illness?

Sleep, Work, “Demons,” My Co-workers, My Wife, Clarity and Shame.  What do these have in common?  Possibly overcoming my mental illness.

Sleep.
My C-Pap machine and I are not getting along.  I’m getting between 1.5 and 3 hours real sleep a night.  The remainder of the 8 hours I’m either awake or without the C-Pap (the appearance of sleep but choking as I breath; worse than the effect of not sleeping).

Work.
Going through the day constantly wanting to go to sleep distracts me from concentrating on my work.  I make mistakes and feel shame that I am too ashamed to tell anyone about.

“Demons.”
I have had demonic-inpired feelings tell me how much they hate me and how I should hate myself; for years.

My Co-workers.
Today I admitted my struggles to my co-workers and instead of getting the rejection that the “Demons” told me would happen.  I got affirmation.

My Wife.
My Wife’s affirmation is the most important to me, I value her opinion the most.  And when I told her about my current struggles she communicated love, acceptance, safety to me.  Armed with my team’s affirmation and my wife’s affirmation I tried to see what this was all about.

Clarity.
With the affirmations coming from work and home I dared explore the source of the “Demons.”  What I discovered has been driving my self-hatred is that I am ashamed that I am not able to do my job at work.  Though this shames drives me daily – the negative thoughts, the self-hate, the fear of failure – I never consciously thought of it before today.

Shame.
Shame started with Adam and Eve.  It has been passed down to every generation.  Shame entered my life and I did not know how to deal with it.  But Jesus does know how to deal with it.  He has been removing it from my life through healthier thinking habits learned from my Team’s example at work.  And by learning how to love from my wife’s example of the last thirty years.

Now that I know the real enemy I can concentrate on the solution and not be sidetracked by diversions from that same enemy.

Thank you Jesus for leading me.  Let’s finish this healing.

God’s Message.
I heard the following every Sunday at church when I was growing up:

9b . . . visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Dt 5:9b–10). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

 

What if I don’t want a “Savior?”

What if I don’t want a “Savior?” Yeah, I’ve made some mistakes, who hasn’t, but I’ve never killed anybody.  Besides, I’m better than most people…  Is God going to send millions of us to hell? For what?  Because I didn’t believe one of the hundreds of religions in the world?  Because I didn’t jump through the right hoops?  Besides, Jesus’ followers are worse than I am. . .

I am continually amazed by people who look for truth as hard as they can – with their eyes tightly shut.  Oh… wait… that would be me, too, wouldn’t it?  Willfully ignoring the truth hasn’t stopped since I became a Christian.  How about my previous views on “wives submit to their husbands?” (Before I wrote Is Jesus a “Feminist?”)  Why didn’t I connect Jesus’ servant-leadership to husbands’ servant-leadership before the last few weeks?

And I am blind to my own faults – even with my eyes wide open.  Pride is my worst fault. But I have plenty more.  Yet, they are quite safe, because since I can’t see them I don’t think of them and so I don’t mind that they are there.

So non-Christians sin and Christians sin.  So, what’s the difference?  Why would Jesus send non-Christians to hell and not Christians?

Jesus doesn’t SEND anyone to hell.  Spending eternity without Jesus is a choice we make.  Jesus has done everything he can so that you and I DON’T go to hell including dying to forgive the sins of every single person who has ever lived or will live.  Jesus has done everything EXCEPT take away our free will to choose whether we want a relationship with him or not.

And what we do with our free will, to choose whether or not we will follow Jesus, determines our destiny.  Those of us who choose to let Jesus help us turn from our sins and choose Jesus as our Leader, Master, Coach, and Friend will spend eternity with Jesus (who Jesus told  Abraham is Abraham’s “very great Reward”).

Those in denial, who say they have no sin, or that their sins aren’t “that bad” or they want to pay for their sins themselves, will have deliberately chosen to reject Jesus’ free offer of life forever with him.

And the choice of existing in Eternity without Jesus leaves just one option. . . Hell.