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Freedom?? December 30, 2006

Posted by G in random stuff.
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So… just so you know… I think I start every entry out with “So…” but then I change it… I write like I talk… sorry ’bout it…

I have come to an amazing conclusion… at least it’s amazing in my mind & possibly would be to those few who know me well enough… I am not worried about people I know reading my blog…  it’s true!!  That thought has been crossing my mind the last few days… Are my fears of being authentic dissipating???  omgosh!!!

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Over Thinking… December 29, 2006

Posted by G in mindless ramblings.
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So, my mind has been spinning about the Nelson Mandela quote that I put in a previous post… I’ll throw it in here so you don’t have to look back:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”  ~Nelson Mandela

I hope people don’t think that I am shallow… wanting others to feel insecure… that is not what hit me from the quote at all.  I often feel inadequate like I am never good enough… like no one could ever love me… and sometimes even that God doesn’t love me.  And I also fear it… being loved…  I remember a conversation I had once with a friend of mine about the topic of relationships.  He stated that he was afraid of relationship because he didn’t want to hurt someone… I stated that I was afraid because I didn’t want to be hurt.  I’ll never forget the look of horror on his face after I said that… It was as if I was the most selfish person in the world… maybe that’s another reason I tend to bottle up my thoughts… in fact… he actually told me that was selfish thinking…  ugh… memories flooding back… grrr…..  but we all have different baggage that makes us who we are, so I can understand how we have different reactions to the same topic and I am happy to say that he has gotten past his fear… and as for me, well, I am still living with mine… but I am feeling more hopeful of overcoming it.

Back to the quote and how it affects me…  I have struggled with weight issues my entire life and I have no idea what life is like to be thin.  I just know that I have been well informed by men I love and trust (a couple older/married/mentor guys) that when I do succomb to complete obedience “men will be knocking down my door”… and it appears that when I do start down the road I do get more attention and it scares that crap out of me (back to that baggage) and I go back to my previous habits.  So, the Mandela quote was a sign of hope for me… because I do sabotage myself…   because I am not trusting God to pull me through… to guide my choices.  When speaking to another friend about my fear he told me “Just because someone shows interest in you doesn’t mean anything, all you have to do is say no.”  Why does that scare me the most??  My response was “I’d rather not have to…”  but truly… I am a child of God and who am I glorifiying if I choose to live as I have been??  Living as a creature of comfort and habit??  Instead of devoting my entire self to His will??

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” ~Romans 12:1 

Wavelengths… December 29, 2006

Posted by G in random stuff, truth.
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I sent an e-mail to a friend (which is how the previous post came to be)… The e-mail was responding to a previous post on his blog.  It appears that we seem to be thinking on the same wavelength…  Anyway… last night he posted “an excellent commentary on Romans 7” from St Augustine’s Confessions…  I just have to share St Augustine’s prayer to God with you…

“The enemy held my will in his power and from it he had made a chain and shackled me. For my will was perverse and lust had grown from it, and when I gave in to lust, habit was born, and when I did not resist the habit it became a necessity. These were the links which together formed what I have called my chain, and it held me fast in the duress of servitude. But the new will which had come to life in me and made me wish to serve you freely and enjoy you, my God, who are our only certain joy, was not yet strong enough to overcome the old, hardened as it was by the passage of time. So these two wills within me, one old, one new, one the servant of the flesh, the other of the spirit, were in conflict and between them they tore my soul apart….”

“Instead of fearing, as I ought, to be held back by all that encumbered me, I was frightened to be free of it. In fact I bore the burden of the world as contentedly as one sometimes bears a heavy load of sleep. My thoughts, as I meditated upon you, were like the efforts of a man who tries to wake but cannot and sinks back into the depths of slumber. No one wants to sleep forever, for everyone rightly agrees that it is better to be awake. Yet a man often staves off the effort to rouse himself when his body is leaden with inertia. He is glad to settle down once more, although it is against his better judgement and it is already time he were up and about. In the same way I was quite sure that it was better for me to give myself up to your love than to surrender to my own lust. But while I wanted to follow the first course and was convinced that it was right, I was still a slave to the pleasures of the second….”

“For the rule of sin is the force of habit, by which the mind is swept along and held fast even against its will, yet deservedly, because it fell into the habit of its own accord. ‘Pitiable creature that I was, who was to set me free from a nature thus doomed to death? Nothing else than the grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’

Yod – Hey – Vav – Hey December 28, 2006

Posted by G in from the heart, mindless ramblings.
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…just breathe… 

I am finding that I am feeling “stuck” at the point of needing and wanting to rid the “little sins”… so we like to pretend that there is a difference…  (not taking a complete stand on my health, inadequacy, selfishness, jealousy, deception… need I go on??  I can…) and it also blows my mind that we consider them lesser sins when they are mentioned over and over as deeds of darkness… sins that lead to death… and then I realize that I get “stuck” in the grace factor and the thinking that I can just deal with it all later… instead of going full force into obedience… so again, I find that I am going to forge ahead one step at a time and discover where He leads me… and if it’s really not such a big thing… why would He clearly put in on my heart time and time again??

So… I received the latest nooma for Christmas… it’s my new all time favorite… I don’t know how they are going to top this one… anyway… so part of it talks about when God spoke to Moses through the burning bush He stated that Moses should take off his sandals because the place where he is standing is Holy ground… then the thought comes in… did the place suddenly become Holy or is it that Moses was just made to understand that it is Holy…  I won’t go into the whole video so that you can see it fresh… (I may go more into it later, because the thoughts are swimming around in my mind)… but it goes pretty much on target to where my mind has been lately… that we are on Holy ground… we are created to glorify God in everything we do… we need to continue on the road of sanctification…  in full obedience… and I do thank God for His grace… because it’s a long and winding road… and I continue to think I am going down the right road when I suddenly realize that I am going in the wrong direction…  

“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord” ~Romans 7:21-25 

I am reading “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli… I LOVE the second part of the title “God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People”… not that God’s love is annoying at all, but it is faithful and unstoppable…  There are a couple quotes that made me rethink why I may be sabotaging myself… 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”  ~Nelson Mandela

“No punishment anyone might inflict on them could possibly be worse than the punishment they inflict on themselves by conspiring in their own diminishment.” ~Parker Palmer

So This Is Christmas… December 23, 2006

Posted by G in mindless ramblings.
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…and what have you done? 

Well, if we are talking about recently… I have partnered with Erica and baked over 35 dozen cookies, and we are probably going to make more, but that is besides the point.  It’s been quite an exciting year, it hasn’t been an easy year.  There has been quite a bit of trials and tribulations, but that is to be expected.  I have been feeling quite “loved” lately… which I haven’t felt in a long time.  I can’t explain it, and I am not sure why… but I just have.  That has also made me realize that it’s easier for me to love others (which I have felt a struggle with for a LONG time.)  I haven’t felt the same “annoyances” that I usually do… I think that is a wonderful thing.  And on a side note… I have really been looking forward to Christmas this year.  No reason in particular, not even excited about the day… just excited about the Spirit of Christmas.  Maybe I will get my head together and write a “year in review”… but not quite yet… 

I am looking forward to what the new year will bring… I am enjoying life. I see Him working and that is exciting.  I pray that I have more perserverance this year…  I really need to stay focused on what God is calling me to.  I know that I have been ignoring somethings that are in need of being taken care of… why?  Because of my selfish desires and my wants for other things (not that I really want them)… meaning I am not focusing on a future vision, but on the moment… and I am sure that God is calling me to look ahead… not to live in the future, but to prepare for it.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~James 1:2-4        

A Grief Observed… December 12, 2006

Posted by G in from the heart.
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Last Tuesday we received the news that John Burke Sr had taken another “turn for the worst”…  John has been living with brain cancer for about the last year and a half…  which occured during their son, John Jr’s bout with a brain tumor… John Jr passed on a year ago December 1st.  I felt the need to visit them at the hospice house often during this past week.  We were told that John wasn’t going to make it, but he kept on going… some times he would be able to speak… just barely… sometimes he would just lie there and it would seem that every breath was the last.  I would sit there and not realize that I was holding my breath until he would breath again. 

All I could do was pray that it would be over… that the family would be able to take the next steps to moving on.  I kept thinking that it would be nice… not the best term… not at all… easier doesn’t quite work either, but it will have to do…  all I could think was that it would be easier for Rose, Jess, Dan & Sarah to have the deaths occur the same time of the year… this way the rememberance of the anniversaries would not be at different times.  Of course Christmas will always be a rough time for them…  no matter what time of year they passed on… but I just prayed his suffering (and theirs) could just be over.  What a conflict… praying for someone to pass away… I know it is what we are to long and hope for, but it still seems like a conflict of interest… praying for God to take away a 17 year old girls daddy… a young woman’s father… an air force man’s role model and the love of a lady’s life… it just does not seem right.  The strength that I have seen in this family is overwhelming… I have seen them pray the same prayer and when it was finally answered on Saturday evening… the grief was as to be expected… with disbelief and many, many tears. 

The week has brought back many memories for me.  I always thought that it would’ve been nice to see and speak to my mother one last time before she passed away, but I now realize how thankful I am that I remember her as she really was. 

Too Cool!! December 4, 2006

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My eyeview of the 3 time world champions!!!

How amazing is this!!!  I would say that this it definitely a dream come true!!  I knew that one day I would go to a game, but I never imagined this would be the view that I would have of the three time world champion New England Patriots!!  Can you say sixth row??  And the way that it came about was 100% a God thing… there was no begging, no pleading… heck, I didn’t even have to ask…  Well, that’s not entirely true…  I asked Him when I realized that there may be an opportunity… and He gave me the best birthday present EVER!  God really does answer all prayers and how great is it that He said yes to this one!!!  …through Dan & Rebekah… who I have no idea how I could ever repay them.  God You’ve got to help me on that one too….

It was a rough game… even though it was against the Lions… I was a bit stressed during the third quarter, but the game was tied up in the fourth and then “we” (isn’t it funny how fans take credit for something we have nothing to do with) pulled it off…  just barely… it’s been a pretty tough season, it’s hard to believe that “we” are tied in second…

So… I am still glowing from all the excitement… or it may just be the cold and wind burn!!!  🙂

Bah-na-na-na-na-nah! December 2, 2006

Posted by G in random stuff.
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I SAY IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! Bah-na-na-na-na-nah! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Contentment? December 1, 2006

Posted by G in from the heart, mindless ramblings.
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It’s been quite the year finally realizing that my heart had gotten hard since the death of my mom… in May of 2004.  It was nothing that I understood to be true until God kicked my ass… as He usually does throughout the year and even harder each time I run off to Namibia. 

I knew that something wasn’t right… that my head and heart were not connected.  I know in my head that God only has the best intentions for me.  “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” ~Jeremiah 29:11  And I know that He works all things for His good.   “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  ~Romans 8:28  …but my heart did not feel the same way…  my thoughts would always come back to the idea that I am neglected… unloved…  the vicious cycle would continue as my heart continued to fight my head.  The truth realization came at a point where I just became broken… God truly spoke to me and made it clear that it wasn’t Him neglecting me… I had been neglecting Him… more like avoiding Him as much as I could working at CCA, being a youth leader and co-leading a group of teenagers on a missions trip.  I was filling my time with things to do instead of making time to be with Him. 

So, I’ve been pretty contemplative (yea, I love that word) lately…  when people ask me how I am… I think for a moment… and then when I say “fine” or “I’m good”… I really mean it… of course they look at me and ask “Why did it take so long for you to answer?”… but the truth is… I know I am exactly where God wants me right now.  Of course there a couple things that I am procrastinating on… and I do know it… but I have no complaints or guilt over it.  My heart is clear that God loves me.  He has filled me with the desires of my heart… and I continue to pray that if my desires are not coming from His will than I just want Him to take them away… that’s all that I can do… but until He does, I will continue with the vision that He has given me.  This is our God: 

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”  ~Psalm 68:5-6 

Strange to me… December 1, 2006

Posted by G in mindless ramblings.
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So, I have been “playing” a bit with my blog… which is not as easy to customize as blogger, but the reason I chose WordPress is because everyone else is using blogger and at the time I was looking for a bit of anonymity… plus I was researching… just in case I wanted to change Darin’s blog over… but the answer to that is no… I like blogger better.  But how cool is it that I got germaine.wordpress.com?? I’ve gotta keep that one….

Anyway, I noticed that I can put a hit counter in the sidebar… and what did I discover… I have had 41 hits to my blog!!  41!  That’s kind of wild.  I understand it has been a few months since I set it up, but the fact is… people were finding it on their own.  They have looked upon this sad, lonely, empty blog.  Strangers I would have to say… I’ve only mentioned this thing to one person and I claim that was under complete duress.  🙂 

Well, here’s to a new journey of opening up and writing stuff down… thoughts, feelings, mindless ramblings… for those of you that come along unexpectedly…  Welcome!and good luck!