Sunday, July 14, 2013

Does this song ever end?

So very much has happened in the last couple months. I do not know where to begin.

I know so little in this world, but I have known one basic truth in the past 10 years: that my wife loves me unconditionally. If you count the past 3 years, I have known 2 truths, which now include my faith that the Lord came, lived, died, and raised.

Of these 2 things I have been certain. Of anything else, I only had opinions. I am cynical as they come, having been betrayed in one form or another by about anyone I’ve ever known for longer than about 10 years. Perhaps it is my trusting nature, in which I easily bare my soul for all to see, but I can count the people who have never betrayed me on one hand and I am 50 years old.

Almost a month ago now, one of these 2 truths I know was shattered, when my wife, out of the blue, told me she wants a divorce. No warning, no sign, no indication or discussion beforehand; just one Thursday evening she asked if I had noticed tension the past couple days. I said I had, and asked if I had done something wrong. She said that no I had not, but she has been thinking and wants a divorce. Among the reasons is that I have turned Christian, and we no longer have many common interests. In fairness, I was not a Christian when we met or when we married.

This was both of our 2nd marriages. Her first husband claimed to be Christian, but he was the type of Christian that would dangle the sinner over hell. He often told my wife how she was going to hell for whatever reason. He showed her that Christianity was something to be despised, to the point that when I first started growing interested in the things of God, she warned me very plainly: If I got carried away with my Christianity, there would be consequences.

I took this to heart, and never, ever tried to impose any of it on her. In hindsight, this was likely a mistake. I should have shared more of it with her.

Anyway, without so much as a discussion beforehand, my wife left me and has cut off all communication with me. This shattered one of the 2 basic truths I knew about the world, and has caused me to doubt anything I ever knew to be true. I still love the Lord, I still consider it an honor beyond my words that He might even consider including me in His eternal plan, but now I question. I question. I question.

I am 50 years old. Too old to even think about ever seeking another woman. I do not want another woman, but I am already so very lonely. The walls are closing in in this tiny house I am renting. I am progressing through the stages of grief, having been from sad to mad, and now struggling every day to keep the bitterness at bay.

I try to read scripture, which has provided me with such comfort. I find myself unable to concentrate and discover that my mind has wandered for 20 minutes in the middle of reading.

I have been supported by my Pastor and Assistant Pastor, to the point that I feel uncomfortable even asking for more of their time. I know fully that either would pshaw such a statement off, as I am sure either would gladly provide me with more time to talk, more shoulder to lean on. But it’s me; I can’t bring myself to ask for more time and sympathy.

I don’t know the time schedules for such things, but I keep telling myself that it has been almost a month, and I should be getting over it by now, or at least beginning to. But the hurt is still just as raw as it was from the beginning.

So as I wonder “Why me?” and “Why did this happen?”, I am reminded of a teacher who would answer “Why NOT you?” and “Why would you expect God to tell you?” I have learned beyond a certainty over the course of me life that all things do indeed happed for a reason. I long to know the reason for this one, this very shaking of my foundation.

Pitiful that a 50 year old guy can be so broken by a woman, especially a non-Christian woman.

I am thinking about missionary work. I have absolutely nothing holding me here any more. My body is broken (literally) and my heart and mind are bruised. I do not have many skills, but certainly I can help somewhere.

I will give this more thought and prayer. I would appreciate any prayer you, dear reader, can spare.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Simplicity at its dumbest

As a relatively new Christian (about 2+ years), there is what I am sure is a very basic concept I am struggling with.

There are periods of time in which I feel very close to the Lord, and sure of my salvation. There are almost an equal number of times that I feel He is far from me and I question it.

Does this make any sense? I mean, you either believe or you don’t, right? Ok, so I believe. But fairly often, I have to “convince” myself that I believe. I pray daily for stronger faith, but still struggle with this.

I guess all I am hoping for is to discover that this is not unusual for a child of God. My biggest fear is that I am not so much running to the LORD, but running from hell.

If you read this, may the Peace or the LORD be with you!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Husbands, love your wives

Ephesians 5:

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [a]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. (NASB)

Here we find a real failing of mine. I remember about the time I became noticeably interested in living a Christian life. My wife told me that if I were to “go overboard” with it there would be real trouble. Before you go too hard on her, please understand that she and I are both on our 2nd marriages. When we met and married, neither of us were Christians and I certainly didn’t have any interest in it.

Her first husband was a professing Christian, who spent a lot of energy telling her about the things she was going to hell over. He is really over the top Arminian, who speaks constantly of what is grounds of God’s condemnation, in terms of what actions, or works, God finds acceptable and especially what God does NOT find acceptable. Of course, much of this is rooted in Mosaic law, and in the traditions of his church. To this day, he informs their daughter (my step-daughter) of all the things she does to would seemingly ensure her place in hell. This type of preaching is what I refer to as dangling the sinner over the lake of fire. If we really wanted to start down such a path, I could point to several character flaws of his as well, that by using his standard, I am sure he would be condemned as well. But I see little point in traveling down that path here. The point is that my wife is very anti-religion. In a way, I am as well, but with different outcomes. My disdain for much of religion results in my being a very non-denominational biblicist of a Pauline doctrine. Her disdain for religion is that she is almost like a worshipper of Ba’al (all the other gods) as she believes piecemeal from many different world religions.

If I am to be the spiritual leader of my house, I have failed miserably. I pray each and every day that my wife and my children might come to know Christ. I pray that I might be the method God would use. Each time, however, that I bring up the subject, I am promptly shut down. My wife has no interest.

I am reassured that even though I had no interest in God for a LOT of years, once He decided to introduce Himself, it was a done deal. I know this is also the case with my wife. If God chooses to introduce Himself, His will will be done. This knowledge is of minimal comfort though, given my zeal for the Word, and my desire to share it with my wife.

Young husbands, take the word of an old-timer. Take the time now, and save yourself some guilt later.

God’s peace be with you.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Perseverance of the Saints (TULIP)

As I have mentioned before, I regularly need to be re-grounded.Quite often, I return to the Doctrines of Grace, to reseat myself in basic truth.

I just started listening to the message again, this time by a speaker (MacArthur) who I had never heard this message preached by before. Unusual in his delivery, as he begins the message with the Perseverance of the Saints.

What a blessing this series is. Pastor MacArthur has solved one of the dilemmas I have struggled with: How in the world can I know that I will persevere? The answer: I won’t, I can’t. God’s mercy and grace is what will persevere! It’s not that because God's grace that I will find the strength to persevere, It is God’s grace, in giving me faith, that will endure.

I have spent a lot of energy worrying about my sometimes-fragile faith. How can I hope to sustain it till the end? Simple fact is that I can’t. Only God can. What a comfort!

God bless Pastor MacArthur for verbalizing this for me in a way that finally clicked. And thanks be to God for showing me this teacher.

God’s grace and peace unto you!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Finally did it

After being warned repeatedly by teacher I respect, I broke down and watched a little TBN on TV. In less that 1/2 hour, I was witness to two different men who claim to be apostles. I was also treated to the notion that if I have faith enough, I can receive whatever it is that I pray for NOW! Of course, both of these entertainers were preaching at mega-churches, and both of them were wearing enough jewelry to buy a small island. And, of course, both were also offering to sell me a guide on how to name it and claim it. About 20 minutes into this, I could stand no more and turned the TV off.

You know, this sort of prosperity preaching begs a question: If all that is required for “the best life now” through faith, why did the true apostles ALL die horrible martyrs deaths?

On a brighter note, if the Lord wills and I live, I will soon receive a believer’s baptism. Of this I am excited beyond words. I was “baptized” as an infant (the sprinkling of water), but now wish to publicly and humbly proclaim my faith in Jesus before the church, and be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Praise be to the LORD!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Failure of the Free-Will’ist

I have recently been dabbling in Apologetics, as I have mentioned. I have basically abandoned Apologetics, in favor of learning Eschatology. This does not mean I have lost all interest in Apologetics, and in fact I still regularly check out Apologetics web sites.

Though I caught a bit of an Arminian bent to the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (CARM), I still visited pretty regularly when I had a few minutes to blow. The other day, I downloaded a couple audio files from them, consisting of debates between the host (Matt Slick) and atheists. If I may be so bold, Mr. Slick had his butt handed to him when it came to defending such basics as assurance of salvation, suffering in the world, etc. Apparently, the Arminian position has some trouble with such topics, as they worship a god who has no real power, rather who is waiting for his creatures to do something so he can respond.

The God I worship is powerful, leaving no doubts of His being in control of all things, small and great. The God I worship does not need me, nor anyone else to validate His decrees. In short, He is God whether I “accept it” or not.

If the topic of Apologetics interests you, might I suggest James White’s ministry at Alpha & Omega Ministries. Solid teaching there, allowing God to be the God of the bible, who needs nothing from us loathsome sinners, rather chooses to grant grace to some of us.

Could Lazarus Have Said No?

Sunday, February 24, 2013


At church today, I was allowed to read the Pastoral Text prior to the service. This is something, because a) I was trusted with the Word in a corporate worship, and b) I drove today to church thinking I would like to do this.

When I first started attending this church, there was a young man who would, each week, read the text the Pastor was to preach/teach on at the opening of the service. He stopped coming a short while ago, for reasons unknown to me. I do not know if he is going to return, or if he is just temporarily absent.

Anyway, today the Pastor was going to read the text, following his making weekly announcements. During the announcements, he cleared is throat several times, and today’s text was a bit long. Before reading it, he asked if one of us in the congregation would read. Not knowing if I would be allowed, as I am not a full member yet, I raised my hand and was asked to read.

I am humbled and honored that the Pastor would entrust the Word of God to me, as I am not yet officially a member of the body. I am stricken that all I had to do is wonder about it for a couple weeks, think consciously about it today, and was presented with the opportunity.

Thanks be to God, and may the Lord’s peace be with you if you are reading.