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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Do you feel loved?

I'm am not really sure exactly how, step by step, my thinking evolved. But from the time I was 19 until about 30 I often felt totally abandoned by God. I was a disciplined disciple doing the things they told me would work. I read my bible from cover to cover several times each year. I had a few different translations on tape and was often listening to those tapes whenever I was alone. I even read the Greek New Testament through every year at least once. I attended the Change The World School of Prayer and learned how to pray for an hour or more every day. I would even practice getting out of bed several times in a row and begin praying so that whenever I got out of bed my first thought would be to pray. I read through all the church fathers whose works were available in English and read many early church documents written in Greek.

But the roller coaster never ended. And to be honest, the issues and personal problems were not making any progress. I finally gave it all up and concluded that there were 2 huge differences between me and many others who were not on that same roller coaster. 1) Many of them were not recovering from the debilitating emotional abuse I was seeking to recover from, and 2) God does not really work that way, even for those who claim He does - when I would ask them specific questions, their stories were just too full of holes for me to buy into anymore.

That was when I realized that the only iron clad promise I had from God was that he lived inside of me in deep mystical union with a non-verbal joy and love for me - all I got from Him was His loving presence. Nothing else was needed or promised. I came to realize that I was looking for confirmation of His love in what I imagined He did or how I imagined He was orchestrating my circumstances. However, When I began to simply abide in His presence living loved, the roller coaster ride ended.

To experience the indescribable sense of the indwelling Christ fully in love with you and full of joy at our union is to know of a love that cannot be talked about. Come to the embrace and know it for yourself, is all I can say

"I can do all things through Christ" was a phrase that changed in its meaning. I no longer ask God to do anything for me or to change my situation, I simply get up and do it myself if possible.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Live Video Blog coming in August

More details will be forthcoming, but starting on August 12 there will be a live video stream on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. The live show and on demand repeat streaming will be found at The New Covenant Group but they have given me full freedom to create and manage the content.

I am interested in doing a show that includes considerable dialog with those who are comfortable thinking for themselves. If you would like to be a guest on the show let me know by contacting me on facebook.

Offer your questions about issues raised on my blog. Offer an opposing point of view, speak you mind. Express you agreement and add a few insights of your own.

My goal is to sustain a dialog that is useful for people struggling with faith, who value scientific, academic, and spiritual honesty, and who are not necessarily bound to traditional perspectives. I look forward to your interest, and as mentioned, more details will be added or edited in as the date arrives.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Drew Remembered

Today I have been thinking of my friend Andrew. We first met in 1964 at a dance when I was in 7th grade. He was a good guitar player, loved The Doors and The Beatles. He had a nice Epiphone ES-335 or similar guitar. And had a string of songs he had written. We collaborated on finishing them as well as polishing some songs I had written.

We became best friends and spent a great deal of time together perfecting our collaboration. About the time we had worked together for 3 years, Drew, his preferred nickname, ran off to NY city on a drug binge and had not been seen for months although I spoke to him on the phone several times urging him to return. I was worried for him but also to be honest a bit ticked off that my band, The Djinn, was not having good luck finding a replacement guitar player. We were all exceptional musicians for our age. Michael was an amazing drummer (he died as a young man from a brain tumor), Phil - somewhat of a geek who could improvise on the saxophone and built his own keyboard from a kit and knew his modalities as well as he understood physics, Gary on bass could play anything he heard, and I was on lead guitar.

While he was gone I had Drew's open reel tape deck and that was when I fell in love with the recording process. Drew showed up one day at my house, all spaced out and with a couple of tunes he had written that ranged from awesome to horrible. It definitely showed the timeline of his drug binge and his ongoing song writing.

I urged him to get help, he thought he was absolutely fine. I was only in 10th grade at the time. I decided to walk him home from my house (about a 3 mile walk) and on the way we encountered another friend of mine who was struggling with various issues. Drew gave him some drugs much to my objection. I said to him, "Drew you can ruin your own life but please do not ruin other lives too."

I was hard pressed and did not know what to do. I did not know what the right thing was to do. But I finally called the State Police and reported to them what I had witnessed. Drew was arrested and drugs were found on him and our friendship was over.

Drew struggled with substance abuse his whole life and died last year from liver problems. Today I realize he needed real help, not legal problems. But I do miss him. I miss his guitar playing talent. We could have been an amazing team. But unfortunately, Drew was in his own private hell.

Oh how I wish I understood more about love back then. I wish I knew more about what Drew needed to be independently self affirming. I miss my friend, I lost him in many ways. But he, lost so much more than I, he lost himself.

Drew, I love you and I will never forget you. You are a shining star to me.