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Whose up for some home work?

Posted by J(uk) 
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Whose up for some home work?
September 15, 2011 12:05AM
Any takers? Think back a year, what has god said, done in your life and has it made any difference?

Homework due in by whenever, no bonus points for good grammar or spelling just honesty
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 15, 2011 12:32AM
After thinking that I was free of the black dog of Depression,it recently snuck up on me again. And I had a nasty time of it. But Papa in his infinite goodness came through, in providing me with the answer; " Give yourself the grace that you extend to others. "

And though I started on a series of SNRI drugs, I have gone on to a course of multivitamins; I was missing B 2-12 and Magnesium...honestly I feel wonderful now! Also got a cheap rowing machine, and am turning myself in Arnie...I'll soon be Governor of California...Laughing

Pretty soon I will start a course with a shrink, and get to the bottom of this D once and for all!

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce

Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 15, 2011 11:04AM
Homework 

I think firstly I have come to learn or maybe accept that I have learned more than I know, I guess that I mean that level of subconcious learning that you don't realise is going on until you notice that you have gained something that previously you may have been lacking or felt you still needed to learn.

I have learned more about the presence of god, Shelley very kindly sent me a set of wind chimes for my birthday to remind me of dad being with me, I love them even though I'm not usually into that hippy stuff. 

I hear them all the time even the slightest breeze they make the most beautiful noise, and I am also learning that when they make no noise at all I am aware that they (dad) are / is still there involved which is a big lesson when dealing with loneliness.

I am still learning of gods love through those who don't know god which still raises questions in and of me about how I / love interacts with those I know physically who do know the love of god.  What is it about me or them that when sharing heartache to a Christian makes them find reasons to leave and the semi drunk non Christian buy me a pint and listen intently to my woes.  Maybe I am so far out of the church scene that I can't share in their woes and so far in with the unchurched that it easier to share our brokenness.

I know there is stuff I need to learn still that has been highlighted over the past year by dad that I have avoided put off.

If love wins and my ex and the man she went off with are still being offered that love and will keep getting chances to accept that I need to work on my forgiveness now   As hard as that is knowing that god is in charge of that.

Has any of that made any difference?  I guess the stuff dad has done in me wouldn't have happened for no reason but sometimes I don't see what I have learned.  A year ago I was on the fringe of a friendship group from the pub now I am in that group, going to festivals having BBQs meals together having real friends I can talk real issues through with which is a big deal as and introvert so what god has done has made a big difference.
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 15, 2011 08:34PM
I love that Papa is taking you under his wing J. I cannot imagine the pain of the betrayal and divorce, yet you are still ready for him to sow the seeds of forgiveness in your heart? Wow.

Don't sweat it with the stuff that he is showing you over the past year but that you have put off...he knows when we are ready to deal with it, because it's his strength that is needed, not ours.

I also love that you are finding the real love of God in the unchurched friends...the ones that Jesus hung out with. What Would J Do? Laughing That is something that Papa is going to work on for me sometime soon, as though my closest friends are unchurched they are all believers.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 16, 2011 05:20AM
Yo U2 youngins!!

For me the "flashback" was interesting too. Sure sometimes I struggle too, sometimes I get into my shed (real men have these or "caves"winking smiley and just stand there for a while and say "dad what shall we do today?" and I get 'nothing' - no not that answer - but "nothing", no voice, no parting of the clouds and his big face appears and ....... yeh right.
So i might of dropped the halo every so often, but then again - here - I'm as transparent as it gets! Well except when i'm around at Onyx's/wify's and we sit a while and shoot the breeze a bit. Of course - I pale...in the shadow of his "arnieness"....!

Most days are really great - some kinda hit me and i need to take time out to see whats going on though!

Deep down I just keep remembering that - "Dad knows me - better than I know myself, and he knows what i need and when i need it" HE supplies everything i need - and if he dosnt well I must off needed to do it myself!! (Get the lion rump-up)

Hugs - "All in Dads Care"
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 16, 2011 02:30PM
In the last year, the big D black dog has continued to chase me too, Onyx...along with his sidekick Anxiety. but somehow, I accepted the strength of the Lord in me to follow him OUT of the church and away from the scene of abuse, betrayal and busy-ness. I also got laid off from my job. I found a good counselor who is very affirming and supportive. I am slogging forward slowly. My husband informed me last night that he is staying on at the church and teaching another new quarter of Sunday School, and lots of people are asking about me, and how did that make me feel? I told him I would be just fine with not going to church while he continued...but as for how I FELT--the answer is "alone and misunderstood". I told him (again) that I had thought he knew me better than to think I would just hold out on something this important to the two of us, just out of stubbornness or needing to be "right". Why would he not see that something very intense and problematic was at the root of it? He said, "I hope you can see where I am coming from too..." and yes, I hope I can too. I try not to assume that he is just refusing to deal with things and stuffing them down. (He has lots of corners in his cave).
Anyway, the question was not about what God has done in my husband, but in me. And I can honestly say that I am at more peace than I have been in a very long time. I am enjoying NOT being on the hamster wheel. I am enjoying staying home. I am loving solitude. I am working towards having just enough business with my handcrafts to be able to stay at home. I agree about the "unchurched" friends... I would add that God has opened up the internet for me as a source of friendship, fellowship and mutual prayer support. A place where I don't have to just parrot the word "fine" when asked how I am doing. I used to be skeptical of that whole area, but after seeing what the Lord has done thru the internet I am no longer skeptical. I think of Shelley and Heather, this place, and also the many many answers to the prayers of my on-line prayer chat room. I see the value of having friendships based on who we are inside, not influenced by looks, class, status, etc. I like that.
All those people that he says are "asking about me"... where are they in the rest of real time outside of the church walls? Although I would have to admit I have shut myself off from others too...
Right now, I am at peace knowing I am right where the Lord wants me to be. And I can't determine if this is a temporary "sabbatical" or a permanent way of life. I just know I like it.

W.I.P. (Work in Progress)
Learning to Live LOVED
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 16, 2011 02:50PM
Rhea
Thanks for your continued honesty and openness, I guess I believe that God is big enough to reach both your husband and you and minister to your needs in both situations. The answer is not who is right but "yes", is god for us or against us? "yes".

The key maybe in both accepting that, not wanting to be right or for the other to conform but to know god is right, maybe to each see different aspects of gods love in both of your situations.

Somewhere on papashome there is a short story I wrote called lion in my bed, in it I write "sometimes god does something with church that blows people out of that structure, but at the same time the same wind can suck people in.

My thinking is that it is not about claiming to have the right answer, or even knowing the answer but the knowledge that we are immersed in the answer and encouraged to explore all aspects of it.
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 16, 2011 04:57PM
Here is where your story is:

[papashome.com]

News flash:
God is not angry with you. He loves you.
If you don't believe that,
or think it's too good to be true,
or that I'm making it up - ask Him! smiling smiley
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 16, 2011 08:35PM
The way Papa seems to work with me is like the way J described it
Quote

that level of subconcious learning that you don't realise is going on until you notice that you have gained something
. Not very many moments when the light bulb goes on over my head, no moments at all where I hear the proverbial booming voice from heaven....just gradual coming more into the light in certain areas.

One area is my growing understanding of, as the Message puts it "the unforced rhythms of grace". When God does something, it's very natural, unforced, organic. Things just seem right and one thing flows into the next thing. Lest that should sound too airy-fairy, the example from real life is this transplant. The idea flowed naturally from our friendship, it was obvious that it was the next right thing to do. I never had to work up the courage, spend hours on my knees asking God for a sign that I was doing the right thing, or spend a minute worrying, although THAT is actually "Shelley Normal" behavior. The way things happened is my new normal, because I've grown very fond of this new way. When God is performing his unforced rhythms of grace, one act ripples out into another, as we saw when Onyx created the Sidney site and then the Friends of Sidney on FB, and ripples of grace keep going out every day.

J, did you ever say this before? This is mind blowingly profound:
Quote

My thinking is that it is not about claiming to have the right answer, or even knowing the answer but the knowledge that we are immersed in the answer and encouraged to explore all aspects of it.
Gosh! If you've been saying this, I missed it til now. We are immersed in the answer already, of course, because we are immersed in God all the time. So instead of looking "out there" for an answer, we can explore deeper into His heart! I guess I just had a Doh! moment!
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 17, 2011 12:05AM
Me too Shelley!!! Well said, J!

W.I.P. (Work in Progress)
Learning to Live LOVED
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 17, 2011 10:10PM
I Agree. I love that thought, Thanks for writing it J. :-)

For me, the year has been up and down. One change in me occurred (or at least started) when my boss confronted me about some of my issues. One of which is my desire to be respected and feel important. She nailed me. She was very kind about it, but it was getting on her nerves.... I am SO glad she said something even though it was a bit traumatic to be read so well by someone whom I want to like and respect me (see the vicious cycle?). A week or two ago, I saw that some of the fruit of it -- something in me was a bit different. I could see this "grasping" behavior and stop it. Like waking up to really see myself and tell myself to relax.... It was good.

So, was that Papa? Yes. But Papa was also loving me when I couldn't see this in myself -- or at least when I thought I could fool others into not seeing it. My boss (and Papa) blew that theory to hell. (literally)

As for the black dog of D... well... The past 6 weeks, I've been trying to get my hubby to look into upping my life insurance policy. He hasn't done it, and he won't even really confirm how much it was. I didn't want to post about these feelings, because then he might not get the insurance money. But, that's a way the black dog has kept me isolated. So there it is....

My hubby left on Monday for a 6 week trip to Russia. Its been a pretty good week. At the moment though, I'm fighting a bit of condemnation about my huge TO DO list while I can't seem to move off the couch.... I once heard that condemnation is a symptom of someone who is trying to do it themselves. Who sees a standard and thinks they SHOULD live up to it. I need to have the grace for myself that I give to others, too. ((((Onyx))))

Vitamins might not hurt either....
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 17, 2011 11:12PM
I just love what J wrote and how Shelley interpreted it...God is the ANSWER, and we are immersed in God, so we are immersed in the Answer. If only our feeble eyes could see it! But it is my goal to draw ever closer and ever deeper into His heart, where there is nothing but LOVE for me. No blame,no shame, no condemnation, no "shoulds"... I went and read J's short story--J, it is magnificent! Inspiring!
Theresa, maybe you would find some "vitamins" in that story. I sure did.
Theresa, thank you for being so open and honest about your feelings. I am praying for you, that you will experience the presence and love of God in a tangible way. Something you can really hang onto. Grab the lion's mane. Let Him take you above this mess. I don't know how to help you from so far away...I am praying for you tonight...praying for you to choose LIFE. ll pray that when you encounter that deep hole inside yourself, you will immediately recognize that it is shaped like GOD, and only He can fill it! Be at peace my sister.

W.I.P. (Work in Progress)
Learning to Live LOVED
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 18, 2011 02:29AM
Nice thread guys! I love the way the truth interacts with each of us in different ways, to accomplish his purpose in our hearts. Even when we play 'hide and seek' with him, hoping that he will just leave us alone to wallow in self pity for a while (yeh, I do! Dum, eh?) , he still gently goads, letting me know that it's really pointless and wasteful. Where can I hide from the one who knows every hair upon my head?

In a book I am reading by an English psych doctor he says that in what he has discovered, depression is a physical affliction of the strong, not the weak. As it afflicts those who are caring for others; bearing burdens that would break the will and resolve of many.

He says:
Quote
Dr Tim Cantopher "Depressive Illness, the Curse of the strong"
Normally, in a psychiatric assessment, one is expected to make enquiries about aspects of the patient's personality. I never bother, because it is nearly always the same. He or she will have the following personality characteristics:
  • (moral) strength
  • reliability
  • dilligence
  • strong conscience
  • strong sense of responsibility
  • a tendency to focus on the needs of others before one's own
  • sensitivity
  • vulnerability to criticism
  • self-esteem dependent on the evaluation of others
This person is the sort to whom you would turn if you had a problem to sort out upon which your house depended.
...
People are usually surprised when she gets ill; indeed, she is the last person you would expect to have a breakdown.
But it isn't so surprising when you consider that depressive illness is a physical condition. Think about it; give a set of stresses to someone who is weak, cynical or lazy and he will quickly give up, so will never get stressed enough to become ill. A strong person, on the other hand, will react to these pressures by trying to overcome them...

and...

I frequently find patients treating themselves with a harshness of a level they would never consider inflicting on anyone else. The guilt and self-loathing is in part a symptom of the illness, but in part it is also a cause of it. So stop condemning yourself for having the illness and don't make statements about yourself that you wouldn't make about another person. Would you say about a friend who was suffering from a severe and debilitating illness: 'Look at her, she is so weak and lazy, it's pathetic. She should get a grip and stop being so feeble!' I don't think so.

May Papa be with you, my brothers and sisters, as he holds you in the shadow of his wings.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 18, 2011 04:59PM
Wow Onyx. That is some great eye-opening stuff. I caught the echo in what Theresa said, about treating ourselves as gently and kindly as we would treat a friend who's struggling. That reminds me of something I used to do a lot right after my divorce, when I was struggling with loneliness and depression: talk to myself out loud. I pretended there were two me's, one the sad one, and the other her friend, who said stuff like, "What would feel good to you, sweetie? a bubble bath? sounds good, I'll go run the water", and "it's ok to cry, go ahead hon, i'm here for you". Somehow hearing it out loud was so comforting and I started seeing myself as my own friend. Looking back now, I think I was giving a voice to Love who had made his home with me and wanted to say these things.
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 18, 2011 08:19PM
LaughingYeah...that
So wonderful that Papa had you talking to yourself like that! I need some of that good medicine...it sounds like a lot of us do.
(((Shell)))

T7, I have been praying for you, sis...

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 18, 2011 09:20PM
Maybe this is another thread but it is interesting how many Christians suffer from depression, not sure it is statistically proven but it seems a lot of us, maybe because we face it rather than seek to hide it under alcohol, drugs, sleeping around.

I like shelleys way of talking to herself, but for me it would work if you were alone, but in a full house like mine the kids would worry!

For me I have created a place of safety in my head, it came from the point where I felt in the deepest darkest hole and god said I am here, in my head I go to that place, but I have brought in comforts, to my cave so whilst outside of the cave troubles abound in my cave I have a tent an air bed a big double duvet a log burner, solitude and time with dad. It is amongst suffering but it has become a place I love to be.

We can expect suffering, but we can expect dad to be with us in it
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 18, 2011 10:45PM
Quote
J(uk)
I like shelleys way of talking to herself, but for me it would work if you were alone, but in a full house like mine the kids would worry!
Happy! funny!!

Quote
J(uk)
We can expect suffering, but we can expect dad to be with us in it
Yep. Amen to that.

For me, I never doubt that God is with me or that he loves me -- but I feel worthless and pointless when I disappoint those I care about. Sometimes, its just me projecting my own expectations; its not really that they are upset with me, rather that I'm not living up to a standard I have set. But, then, other times it really IS that they are disgusted. I don't want what they think to matter that much, but... sometimes it does. It just does...

So, moving on for the moment....

I love Shelly's self-talk.
Quote
Sweet Shell
Looking back now, I think I was giving a voice to Love who had made his home with me and wanted to say these things.

Beautiful. Sounds just like Him.
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 24, 2011 02:55AM
One very basic idea I hold when this topic comes to mind is..

That in the pursuit of real freedom to express God I never allow for fear of getting it wrong. Not feeling fear but fear itself.This salvation is to be worked out personally..on our own..we do the wrestling..alone. Like Jacob...we limp when were done. every time..

we can comfort and we can listen to others on the journey..but ultimately it is our own to work out.

During one of the most darkest nights of my life..when there were no answers and nothing makes sense..not even the idea of God as love and fear is draping over you like a wet blanket closing in...when the internal is so raged and the fury of every fiber of nerve pushing you to the end of your reasoning..upon everything you've been taught..or want to believe

there was a voice..a small thought....a nudge...a smidgen of reason..in regards to working though the veil of very relational understanding of my redeemer..

"at least it will be your very own.."

no subscriptions..
you did the homework
the worn tread is clearly visible on your heart
your soul and your mind
the character produced has visible scars
the grade is on courage
of being vulnerable enough to experience the whole thing.
and in return because you were his
and became vulnerable
you've related and reflected to others
the image of the redeemer.

this has guided me now though the last year and a half. and I'm seeing it everywhere in creation itself and the process of life.

And I realize that it's something so personal as to only get in the moment and the words follow much later..I'm not even sure I fully understand it. That's how I roll with God. if you hadn't noticed by now..cool smiley


Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2011 03:07AM by radio roswell.
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 24, 2011 11:59AM
Quote
J(uk)
I think firstly I have come to learn or maybe accept that I have learned more than I know, I guess that I mean that level of subconcious learning that you don't realise is going on until you notice that you have gained something that previously you may have been lacking or felt you still needed to learn.

I really really like this. **where's the LIKE button again?** winking smiley

Today, this great quote from J reminds me to have grace for myself. That I don't have to have my life all in order, its a life -- living, changing, moving,... organic. It is what it is, and I don't even have to understand it in order for me and Papa to be okay.

Resting in this Peace today. (Thanks for sharing this J)
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 25, 2011 04:22PM
This past year has been a challenge. It stretched me at the very core of who I am to the maximum load levels. My faith/beliefs from years past inherited and embraced unquestioningly have been left in ruins. I'm not sure what I believe if I believe or if who's on first. I've been mad at dad (love J's name) and find that my confidence in the whole fundiegelicostal world view shattered. I have glimpses at times of anotherway, I also see his smile from time to time. I love the fact that out in the wastland of failed religions there is no cookie cutter one size fits all. During a very dark week a friend reminded that Presence was where it was at. I know I've been there, and that's the one thing that keeps me from pitching the whole deal. For the moment I'll let the questions settle and just live in the moment. There is so much to live for and enjoy that religion robs us of. Look forward to another year of life on Papa's home. Annnd it was a blast to meet a couple of you this summer. Oh and RR any time is skype time dude.
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 25, 2011 06:12PM
I love the bit about presence somewhere at some point I heard a Celtic monk saying how they loved walking in fog, as It stripped them of them choosing to go the way that looked the nicest or the easiest and they just had to rely on god.
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 25, 2011 11:18PM
Oh wow! Sorry folks for my absence of late..... but I thought I would poke my nose in here and see whatcha all have been up to, and I LOVE this thread. I think that it's very helpful to take stock at the footprints of Papa in our lives... instead of grumbling about our missed expectations.

I have to say that some of the things that Papa was speaking to me this time last year was that I didn't have to have all my ducks in a row about tomorrow. He could tell that worry, fear and anxiety was so well modeled for me in childhood that I needed to learn how to trust Him. At one point he said something like "you don't know what tomorrow will hold" and in a way that was not condemning but that HE DOES know.... and for me to trust Him one day at a time. Also was the strong impression that what I was going through was not alone, but indeed, sickness, pain, struggle.... it was actually Him going through it with me. That makes a BIG difference when you are alone in the night, not knowing what is happening in your own body. Darin Hufford got that across to me at one point, and it's so valuable.

I also learned how damaging that focusing on what you don't have, and the negative, is like a weight that takes you under. But that here is always beauty and timelessness in our existence. I think John O'Donohue has taught me that. Is that the Celtic Monk you were talking about J? I stopped worrying about my life, and realized that we really are eternal beings.... If we knew ahead of time what birth would be like, we would have STAYED in the womb, for sure! But instead we were born and it began a whole new chapter, death will also be like that, so it doesn't need to be feared.

I have learned that as family rejects you.... your real family loves you. You guys have been so amazing.... Oh the stories from this past year..... you have seen so many written out on Sidney's page. Never have I been left alone nor forsaken.... pretty amazing. And I have felt His presence in so many "Jesus with skin on"....

Yes, I am very thankful! I am not saying that I have't been tempted with depression...... but He has really brought encouragement each step along the way, and in the form of each of you folks. How amazing.
Re: Whose up for some home work?
September 28, 2011 02:55AM
Quote
zinger
Oh and RR any time is skype time dude.

No problem..just hit me up on FB before hand..some notice that's all..Enjoyed talking to you too bro.
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