Phoenix rising?

I wrote about feeling like I am a “Phoenix rising from the ashes.”  Though the post was “liked” it did not generate a “responder.”  Perhaps you don’t know that I only recently felt like I was a “Phoenix rising.”

Much of the time I have felt like a “Turkey dying” :>)

Jesus has been changing me slowly for 30 years.  Though Christ made me complete the moment I trusted him, I have to act on the “new” that he has put in my spirit and not act on the “old” that is still in my flesh.  Jesus gives me His Spirit to guide me in all this and I walk with him, doing what I see him doing.

If you don’t know Jesus personally and have not surrendered to his leadership you may wonder what this is all about.   With great effort, you can rise above your ashes without surrendering to Jesus.  But trying to be satisfied without Jesus is like trying to drink from a dry well.  I have done this not once, but countless times.  As it has been said, doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result is insane.

The Bible is a Life Instruction Book.  If you read it nothing good happens.  If you read it and DO what it says, it will lead you to The One Who will meet your every need and will never, ever leave you.

Jesus has been wonderful to me in my transition.  He has given me the most wonderful wife, who puts up with me much, much more than anyone except Jesus would.  He has given me a wonderful job.  I have the opportunity to encourage and serve people who have infinite value and worth, and I am able to tell some of them just that. (Who may not have ever been told they have infinite value and worth before).

Life has been a 30-year adventure, punctuated by struggles of doubt and fear, and more often trust and joy, but my life has always been in the hands of a loving Father.

Is there enough evidence to convict Jesus as God?

The more I have invested in a way of thinking, the more it takes to change my thinking about it. I believed I was not a sinner. It took 10 years of horrific psychic pain to change my mind. Now I know my own depravity, the evil I am capable of.
I once did not believe Jesus is God. Is there enough evidence for me to change my mind?
Jesus predicted his own death and resurrection, and he did it!
Jesus told the religious leaders exactly when they would know Jesus is God (When he is “lifted up.”)
When Thomas holds Jesus, after Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas refers to Jesus as God, and Jesus does not stop him; Jesus accepts Thomas’ worship of Himself as God.
The blind man, whose eyes were opened, worshipped Jesus and Jesus accepted the worship as God.
Jesus used God’s own name of God (I AM) for Jesus:
John 8:58 NASB95
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
Jesus is using God’s name for God to refer to himself as God. “I am” or “εἰμί” in Greek is found in Exodus 3:14 as “ehyeh” the Hebrew equivalent. Jesus is saying of himself, in my opinion, “I AM WHO I AM” or “I am the Father.”
Jesus also said, “I and the Father are one” or “one essence.” John 10:30 NASB95.
Jesus claims to have existed before he himself was born.
The “Word” (Logos or Jesus) was God. John 1:1. John calls Jesus God.
All that was created came through Him. John 1:3 Obviously, He did not create himself.  Therefore, he could not have been created.

 

That’s all I can think of right now. I invite you to contribute.
Please help me out by giving me more examples in the Comments.
Also, is there anything in the Bible that says Jesus is not God? Please let me know that too, in the Comments.

Thank you!

Is Jesus a Feminist? Part 2

Jesus’ perspective on being the head

English Standard Version Chapter 20
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Connecting how Jesus is the head of the Church;
And how He wants the husband to be the head of his wife

The Bible says that the husband is the “head” of the wife (the “first” in the two-party relationship) just as Christ is the head of the Church. The Bible says that wives are to “submit” to their husbands “as to the Lord.”

Some read this as husbands are to be in charge; the husband calls the shots and his wife should sit there quietly and look pretty. Let’s examine what the Bible REALLY says about this by the husband as head doing what Jesus as head is doing.

  • Jesus clearly says that “lording it over his wife” (25) is not to be done among followers of Him (26).
  • The husband who wants to fulfill the role of being the head – the first in the relationship – “must be his wife’s slave” (27).
  • Just as Jesus came to serve and not be served so the husband must serve his wife; giving up his wants, his needs, his life, in order to serve the best interest of his wife (28).

The husband’s authority begins and ends in serving the best interest of his wife. She definitely does not have to submit to abuse, or be treated as second-class or inferior. God made THEM male and female, equally in the image of God. The current use of the Bible, by some, to subjugate wives, is proving you do not understand Jesus or the Bible.

The wife’s responsibility is to respect her husband, not because he deserves it, but because he NEEDS it to function the way God designed him. Her submission to her husband is, in fact, her submitting to him giving her what is in her best interest. And if there is a track record of the husband sacrificially serving his wife’s best interest, she most likely will gladly submit.

The first part of this essay is at:

https://i-m-4-u.com/2018/06/01/is-jesus-a-feminist/

Congratulations Stuart L. Tutt author of “Something to Stu Over” | 2nd Nomination “Sunshine Blogger Award”

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:
-Thank the blogger who nominated you.
-Answer the 11 questions asked.
-Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
-List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Thank you Stuart L. Tutt for nominating me in this Award series.

The following are my answers to the 11 questions from Stuart.

1. If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

Me. 

It might be trite or cliche but I really believe that.  I don’t love others consistently, especially my family.  They are most important to me and I want to give them my best.

2. What is the one thing you want to instill in your children, if you have any?

The following is what I have tried to communicate to them for the last 20 years. 

To know that Jesus loves them with all his heart, no matter what they have done or will do.  That Jesus will not force himself on them and I will not force Jesus on them.  That Jesus would rather die than spend eternity without them, and he did.  That they can choose to have a relationship with Jesus if they want; they just need to ask him to forgive their wrongs and trust him in leading the rest of their lives.

3. What is your favorite faith based film and why?

“Facing the Giants.”

This is the first contemporary Christian film I have seen.  I cried through it.  This film ignited the courage I needed to end my job of 23 years, finish college (1976-2010) and become a Certified Peer Support Specialist, helping other mentally ill people recover as I am recovering.

4. If you could have all your friends donate to a charity, of your choice, which one would it be and why?

I would want them to donate generously to the “Jim McNaughton Retirement Fund.” 

Just kidding. 

I would want them to donate to the charity of their choice.  I don’t want to force my wishes on anyone else.

5. What advice would you give to engaged couples?

Submit to each other.  Men unconditionally love your wives like Jesus loves us and gave himself up for us.  Women give your husbands the unconditional respect he desperately needs, whether he deserves it or not.  (See Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ book, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs).

6. What advice would you give a new dad on how to raise his daughter?

We don’t have a daughter.  But if I had it to raise my sons again I would value them over my work, specifically with my time.

7. What is your favorite hobby?

Writing “I AM for You!” and interacting with the WordPress Community.

8. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Playing ping-pong with some friends’ fathers at a friend’s birthday party when I was probably 5 years old.  They made me feel valued and special.  Looking back I believe they were Christians.

9. If your house was on fire (and everyone was safe, ) what would be the one thing you’d grab to take with you?

My wife’s collection of photos.

10. How do you interpret the term submit in reference to marriage?

The Bible says first we are to submit one to another.
The Husband is to lead the wife in submitting by serving her needs over his desires; giving up his rights to serve her best, as Jesus did for us.
The Wife is to submit to her husband, “as to the Lord,” by respecting her husband and serving his needs.  This is “as to the Lord.”  The Lord would never abuse anyone and a wife should not submit to abuse.  She should seek shelter and heal.

This is developed a little more in https://i-m-4-u.com/2018/06/01/is-jesus-a-feminist/ if you are interested.

11. How do you define being the spiritual leader of the family?

I struggle with doing this consistently.  I want my wife and my two boys to enjoy Jesus’ love by talking to him, listening to him, and doing what he tells them.  For me to help them I must do this myself.  And so, the struggle begins.

 

My 11 Nominations are:

“Sunshine” isn’t just positive thinking, success methods, and being carried by Jesus through the storms.  The first twenty years of my life were characterized by trying to do the impossible by trying to please the unstable.  Once I became mentally ill I found a desperate and hopeless “reality” that was a horrific nightmare.  This nightmare never ended, day or night, until I met Jesus.  This is the context I came from.  And this is the context I write from.

I would like to nominate others (who don’t have to be Christians) who have overcome or are in the process of overcoming, their former context.  Those that face their former context and produce a life and words that rise up like a Phoenix out of their ashes.  These are my heroes.  These are my “Sunshine.”  (The context doesn’t have to be dramatic, it can be anything you have found difficult to overcome).

I feel I need permission from them to nominate them.  And I don’t feel comfortable asking them permission because I don’t know them well enough to ask them.

If you know someone who fits a “Phoenix rising out of the ashes” context (even yourself?) I humbly and respectfully ask you to accept my nomination, or ask that certain someone to accept my nomination.  Then ask them if they would answer the below questions and know they are honored and respected.

 

Please feel free to add or delete questions as you wish.

My 11 questions are:

Who was one of your childhood heroes and why?

Who is a hero to you today and why?

Why are YOU a hero to someone today and why?

What hero values would you pass down to someone (if they wanted you to) and why?

 

What is your favorite author when you were a child and why?

What is your favorite author now and why?

What attracts you to read a blog and why?

 

What impact are you seeking, and on whom, with your blog?

What is your favorite comment you’ve received on your blog?

What impact has your blog had on YOU, and why?

Would you write your blog anyway, even if you knew it might not ever be read; and why?

 

Thank you for reading my very long post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life has been quite the ride…

Mental illness can be a roller coaster.  I have been without any money, job, or future.  I have had a roughly $45,000 per year job; but hated what I was doing.  I have a job I love, but it’s got its struggles.

What can I ask God for?  What will he do for me?  What can I expect from Him?

The following is something I’ve learned on this journey…

https://i-m-4-u.com/2015/10/04/will-god-do-what-i-ask/

God loves love.

I learned this lesson from a sad situation.  Someone I love was making false accusations against me because I was a Jesus follower.  I remembered the verse Jesus said, Blessed are you… …Great is your reward in heaven.

I rejected that.

I was hurting because I love this person and they are rejecting Jesus.  Years later, when thinking about this, I asked God to help me understand.

God let me experience the feeling of phileo love I have for this person.  And being able to love was the reward.  I had loved them back then when they were attacking me… and I love them to this day.

I then realized that loving and being able to love was supreme, the main theme of the Bible, and possibly the theme of parables.

The following uses that experience to interpret the Parable of the Talents.

https://i-m-4-u.com/2013/07/02/what-if-love-is-our-purpose/