Moving From Passivity To An Action Filled Life

7 11 2014

Growing up, I was considered a wimp, nerd, “girly” kid.  I enjoyed the “softer” and “nerdy” things in life.  As a child of the late 70’s and early 80’s, it was not the time for boys to have empathy,  and to be gentle.  If you were that you were a target of bullies and girls were not interested in you as a boyfriend or want to be romantically involved.   I was the kind of boy who would do as he was asked to do.   I also found myself wanting to make things right for my parents and Grams so I wouldn’t make waves, get into trouble and do what was expected so I wouldn’t get in trouble.

My dad recently confessed to me that he really didn’t want to come home from his work as a Principal and deal with his two boys.  I learned from my dad that you go to work, do the job, take the paycheck home and you either hid away and went to the gym, played golf and did other things instead of dealing with what was going on in the family.   I don’t remember my dad having any hobbies,  he’d golf but it really wasn’t an interest, I do remember him being either passively sitting in front of the TV watching sports,  or getting really upset and yelling at my mom for things not getting done.   He also took the pricipal position because it provided more money for the family.    And that is all he seemed to provide, money.  Even now when I reach out to him, he asks if we need funds or he wants to give a Birthmas gift.  I’d rather have his friendship, but that seems out of reach.

Since we are now more financially sound as a family,  I’m not so concerned about money as I am about being passive/aggressive. I’ve been guilty of the same actions as my dad.  BUT the difference with me is that I decided that if things are not getting done in the house, it was up to me to just do it.  And that kind of action has been harming my mental state.   I’ve done LOTS of reading about what it means to be masculine and what I read makes my heart warm.  But what some people think masculine means may not be the same one that I’ve discovered.

For me, I am a man, fully male but understand that there is a feminine part that balances things out.   I have been denying that I have in my DNA  certain traits that need to be expressed in a masculine fashion.   That it’s time to stop being a house husband,  and start being a fully male human, who though can and does housework, needs life outside of work and home.  So much of my life, I compared myself to other boys and wondered, “Why can’t I be like them?”   Well, I AM like them.  But again because of my passive ways as a kid, I was never invited to the table with the rough boys because “I might break”.   I was a book geek, always had comic books or some kind of book with me and would rather read about adventure, instead of getting with the guys and going on an adventure.  Not seeking adventure, but just going out and doing it.

I told my mom a few months back that I wish I had been a Boy Scout.  (Considering how they treat some males, I’m glad now that I didn’t.)  I wish that we had done camping.   That I had learned how to hunt and fish.

A few years ago I attended the “High Desert Men’s Summit”  in Bend OR, (No longer exists)  and there I met the man who changed my opinion and vision of Jesus Christ,  Paul Coughlin.   Most of the even was rather too much bolster and not enough action.  Paul’s talk about his book “No More Christian Nice Guy” was the main reason I went, but there was one other thing I went to that made a huge impression on me and has haunted me ever since:

A demonstration of Bow Hunting!

Now I don’t like the idea of murder, but there is something that really spoke to my heart about hunting.  I don’t like guns, but there is something adventurous about a bow and arrow.  The demonstration showed how much more accurate and that there is less damage to the meat and that hunting provides more than just money for the family, I wanted to do it.  BUT the funds were not there.   And I was afraid that Kathleen would think ill of me.

Fast forward to a few days ago,  I was very upset, again, that chores were not done and I had during the week mopped out a bus that was a spare because it was very muddy, I get mad when a spare bus has not been tended to and I always leave the bus better than I found it, and I blew up.     I was being my dad again and it felt terrible.   I was also that little boy who wanted to make things right but had reached the end of his rope and there was nothing else to grab on to.  I became that bully who wanted to force things to be right.  And that made things worse.

Eventually  I broke down and started talking with my wife, who really had no idea how to help, and she just listened to me.  I poured out things that I thought I had gotten over and she pointed out that my mind had been lying to me.  I confessed I didn’t know WHO  or WHAT I was.   I know at some point I talked about Bow Hunting, that I really wanted to do it,  but if I didn’t get the apartment clean or do laundry that it wouldn’t get done.  That I’d be selfish for learning and going hunting.

She said I was wrong.

So I now have permission to do it.  Not only from my wife, but from myself.

There is something deeply rooted in my soul that has been wanting to be more masculine and less passive.  Here’s the definition of “masculine” that I KNOW is within me and has been caged.  “Having strength and boldness”.    Yeah it’s a traditional thing for me to have strength and boldness , both sexes can have it, but I’ve been keeping mine hidden.

I denied that I have strength and boldness, not because I’m male, but because I’m loved.  Because I’m a Child of the One True King.

Hunting is one of those bold things in life.  And I never got to as a kid.  Well, I’m gonna do it now.

I’m starting with reading on what I need to do, how to choose a bow and take classes.

There have been very few times in my life where I feel that I have been bold.   When I asked Kathleen to marry me is one of those.  Had she known at the time how fake I was,  perhaps she would have said “no”.  Very grateful that she said yes. 🙂   Another time I remember being bold was taking the risk of applying to be a school bus driver.   I don’t recall feeling boldness in church.   Except for the time I went to the Walk To Emmaus.   Where I decided to let Jesus start messing with my life and give me a new one.  How come it’s taken so long for this?   Sometimes it sucks waiting on God’s timing.

Learning that it is fine and right to follow your heart and asking God if this really is what He wants for me has been freeing.   Will I be good at it?  Does that matter right now?  Not really.   It’s doing things that men have traditionally done for a long time.   I sense that this is part of who I am, and I can’t deny it any longer.   I don’t want to be a trophy hunter, I want to hunt for food purposes.    I LOVE being out in wilderness.  I’ve denied my Mid West heritage.   Hunting with a bow and arrow feels like …wholeness.

It’s very unpopular these days to say that a guy needs to become more masculine, to have strength and to be bold,  be able to provide, not just money but guidance,  love and  direction for his family.  BUT it seems to me that families do need the Father, both the BIG one and the small one in my form, to make things right.  Being bold and courageous is at the heart of all, but it is hidden so as not to offend those who want a quiet passive society.  At least for my family, my hope is that I’m changing for the better.

Thanks Lord for telling me it’s a right to be a guy.


A Dream

4 04 2014

I awoke from a dream this morning and tried to post on FB, but something is not working right so I’ll just blog it real quickly before this fades.

Jesus and I walked to EVERY church building in the Portland Metro area.  At every one Jesus had me ask the gatekeepers “Who’s in charge here?’  We were taken to either the Pastor, Minister, or someone else considered the most important person in the church.  Jesus was always giggling in my ear about this, but I was in tears because Jesus and I shared the secret that we both knew that HE wasn’t in charge of these places.  

We sneaked into choirs,  board meetings. and other churchy things around these places.  And not ONCE did anyone ask Jesus or even recognize his presence.   After we left each church I became more and more saddened that no one noticed Jesus.  “They look right at you, Steven, and miss Me.” 

“How come they don’t see you?”  

“They don’t WANT to see me.  I would become real to them and  most of the religious people don’t want My Father or Me.  They want order, rules and power.  They don’t want love, they want logic.  They want no responsibility and just want ME to do everything. This is NOT how it works.  If they really want me to live again, they need to let me live through them and get to know me as well as they know the back of their hands.” 

There was then a very private conversation and union that happened with Jesus and myself that is meant only for me. 

I have posted this because, dear reader, because you are meant to learn something from this.  Take from this what you need.  Let the Lord show you what you need to see. 

Abandoning Salvation?

15 02 2014

I have been watching the Classic Battlestar Galactica again.   Growing up with this show,  I never really got the political/religious/secularist ideals that were so well written for this short lived and still beloved series.   It’s still early on a Saturday morning and I have just finished the episode “Lost Planet of the Gods”,  where the Galactica finds the planet Kobal, where all human life began and the 13 tribes of humans came from, according to the show.  But what struck me was one line that is now haunting me.

“Should we abandoned what once gave us salvation?”

Glenn A. Larson and Donald Bellisaurius, creators of BG,  bring up a good question.  Should we get rid of things that have brought us away from our destruction as a human?

We are living in a time where most people believe that there is something bigger than us.  That there is SOME kind of Deity.  But we start to doubt that the writings of ancient cultures are 100% fact.  In the episode the discovery of Kobal  puts the Book of the Word into play,  the series idea of Holy Scripture, and finds that there is SOME fact within the pages.  That the stories told brought hope and give a history but some things were left out and OTHER writings found NOT in the book give more information and hope.

In good storytelling,  Commander Adama,  his son Apollo and his wife Serina find within a tomb the writings on the wall on where the 13 colony and the map to Earth, the salvation now of  the humans in the starcrafts,  but is destroyed when the enemy attacks and the writings are then lost.    This is what continues to happen today.  We value our books only as so long as they are useful, and when we find other writing that conflicts or confirms we either ignore or destroy what really is the truth.  We would rather be satisfied with a false fact than the real truth.

As humans continue to uncover the truth about the cultures that were here before this time, we find we have forgotten much because we have decided to abandon the things that have saved us as humans time and time again.   I find in my own life what has saved me on a personal level is going back to the teaching s of Christ Jesus,  more than the First Testament,  though now I’m finding that I need to explore those books more now that I have a firm foundation in His teaching.   The things that I find from the Jewish/Christian traditions that have saved us over and over are  faith, love, wisdom, prayer,  trust in God and each other,  turning from hatred of the unknown,  embracing the unknown and trusting “gut feelings”  and “heart pulls”.

The internet has become a place for these kinds of discussions, and there are a lot of people now questioning the existence or accuracy of our written texts.   Atheist are claiming a new salvation through abandoning ALL religions.   Far right religious people are saying to use only the Holy Book to base a society on.   And neither side wants something in between.  Both sides are abandoning, or  have “left behind”  anyone and anything that might just really be the salvation of their soul,  their life that has now been hidden away and trapped in the heart.

For me, my salvation came from leaving the tradition of the institutional church.  Now the church STILL is there, it’s just that I have not needed it to grow in my Faith in Christ.  In FACT,  I was in a bog and stuck in one place by staying within the Methodist tradition.   It wasn’t the “flavor” or Christianity that would be my salvation, but my finally accepting that I was being changed by Christ, and nothing that I was doing was going to stop that.  I had to trust that the Lord of Lords, whom I had only READ about was real and that I would be changed by the written word,  so I would be changed into HIS word made flesh.

Now don’t be too quick to judge, I’m am by no way perfect by human standards alone.  I still struggle with stereotypes of behavior.  I still at times “act like THE MAN” and attempt to be dominate over all I see, instead of letting Christ work his power through me.  Because I am still becoming the REAL male that I was always meant to be.   By letting a different kind of salvation than the one that can be proven by scientific evidence or religious tests that there is a way that is not being done as it must have been done for eons.

MY personal salvation came from trusting that the authors of Biblical text were on to something.  That the stories are not false, speak to the truth and that the progression of ridged rules and regulations become fluid and bendable boundaries that bring a full and robust life.     That everything  you learn to live by becomes based in Love and Love alone.   That is the ONLY thing that I have fully accepted is that all life is based ON and IN love.   Though I do see people take that love and FEAR loosing that love because of our actions and just plain worries.   We would rather abandon love for security.  But to be secure without love is a death sentence.  It kills you.   You will find yourself more concerned with political and religious systems as being the way back to life.  THIS is what is going on when we vote or go to church.    We look for salvation there.   We look for salvation outside of our selves.

Jesus’ teachings move us from finding salvation “out there”,  to ” salvation IS here, within you.”    But we have forgotten WHO can teach this to us.  So it does start “out there”, but it’s also within each person too.

From what I can see from other faiths is that this is a common theme.   For myself, it’s been journeying with the Christ Jesus story to start to see the world differently and understand what courage it takes to depart from the world and enter into a New Heaven and New Earth.     If I had abandoned the path that was chosen for me, that being the Path of Jesus,  set up before I was born, by my Grandmother, whom I believe really understood unconditional love,  and know that I had been chosen for this salvation, would I have the salvation from my own  ego?

Should we abandon the way of salvation when so many have “missed the mark”.  In the Jewish/Christian language that is known as “sinning”.    How many atheist and even Christians  have just given up and not worked through their salvation.  I find I am still working MINE out.   Redefining what manhood means in a world where being a man is either looked upon as a joke or macho-ism.   Discovering that being made in the image of God  as a male is not to be just masculine, but to have BOTH masculine and feminine qualities that are balanced.   To be fully restored to what was intend from the day I was born into the world.

How have I come to this?   By trusting that salvation through Jesus IS the way, the truth and the life.    I have been chosen and CHOOSE to live by the indwelling Spirit and, just like many before me have, not  given up on working THROUGH that salvation.   Too many just think that they are saved by saying they believe Jesus.  Well, it takes time to get to know Him when you only know the history of Him.  Keep at it!

The only way that I could be redeemed was to admit that I was the problem and came to the conclusion that I needed His help.   I had to be Fathered by God and him alone.  I was pointed to Jesus.  Jesus is the salvation that can not be abandoned, though the religion that was formed around his teaching is being abandoned for a life with Him.    Jesus had become my step dad, moved to friend and now something even more wonder-filled and wonderful.   Through his story and HIS teaching I have found salvation.

From what I read,  Jesus abandoned the Temple system for a new one.  He abandoned the way of the Roman Empire too.   But HIS salvation was never abandoned.   His was always with Him.  Ours is too.  Christians, quit pointing to the church, but point to Jesus.   Instead of spewing hatred and bile,  speak of Jesus.  Or tell one of his tales to make your point.  He IS salvation.  He IS masculinity at it’s finest.   To paraphrase my friend Paul Coughlin ,  Jesus is Love bolstered by courage.  (Paul made this statement on Facebook about masculinity).   Church, I would start to describe and present Jesus like this.

Men in Faith,  rise up.  For truthfully, we don’t have many wise or wisdom fellows at this time.   Work through your salvation WITH Jesus.   You will know those who are with him and those who only KNOW of Him.   You can see it.  You can feel it.   I speak specifically to men because the women are pretty good at being in Christ.  It’s men who are having trouble with Him.   Ladies, do not be offended by this, but I know you good women are in agreement with me.    The truth is that MALE and masculinity is dying and needs a second birth.   I can feel the groaning and birth pains of a new and deep masculinity forming.   My hope and dream is that this can be found for ALL, men and women through their salvation in Jesus.

Guys, you really want to be a true man, read up on Jesus.  And then get to know him.  And THEN be his disciple and friend.  To the point where you hear his voice say “Brother”.   I know I have.  And that scares me at times.  But in a good way.

I’m looking now for my fellow Brothers who are needing to be mentors to the next generation of Christ.   I see no map for doing this, but just when I encounter another guy to just be with them.  Hopefully they will see Christ in me now.

2 01 2014

I’m experimenting with not posting anything political on my Facebook page.  No links, no statement that supports my political view, but I’m doing all that I can to post about my faith, and the way that I’ve come to understand that my original view of “God” was nothing from what I expected.  And WHO I am is totally different from what I thought I was.

Or can even describe.

Having boldly going outside of the Methodist/Secularist tradition that I grew up in and went to explore what it means to be wounded,  to die to my ego and come out the other side of this death of myself to find a whole new life, I find that what I wanted to be God was NOT what THE Lord really is.

I’m finding more and more that I get discussed with the hatred that is flung back and forth between the  flawed vision of secular and the sacred.  There is this whole,” I’m right, your wrong” BS that we, as a people, are forgetting what it was like when we were small children who trusted parental authority,  trusted that people were not just knowledgeable, but also had wisdom. 

There is this “theory” that the USA is anti intellectual, in other words, against facts.  Well, you can have all the facts, but if you can not find Agape with others, than you are at a loss. We can not come to an understanding of each other.  You don’t understand deeper meanings that can not be found in facts.  Sometimes it’s better to ignore the fact and find the truth of the matter. 

At the same time so many facts that were once thought to be truth have been found out to be false.  That is what I’ve come to.  That there has been much falsehood about ourselves, about God, Jesus, religion, atheism, practically everything ever invented by Man alone,   that we need to stop, rethink, and renew our inner way.   I would love to see an ultimate truthhood appear.   

Ask of yourself, what is the truth?  

There is so much to explore and so much damage done that it takes time to restore what was lost.  I tend to wear a mask on my face, one showing a child who still is afraid to speak out in love.   I only show my true face to my family, but I no longer wish to hide behind that mask. 

There really is a battle going on.  It’s not good vs. evil, but truth vs. false.  And even THAT doesn’t make much sense.  Which is how come we need to rethink about mystics, magic and fantasy as a good way to start making more sense of reality.  What I’m attempting to do is put into words what my heart is and I’m finding it hard to say what I mean.

 I don’t have the answer.  But I feel that I AM HIS answer.  Just as my wife is His answer.  Just as all the people that I encounter everyday are HIS answer.  I know this makes no sense, and at the same time makes perfect sense.  

So much of my early “Christian” life was waiting for Jesus to come back, when I find that HIS Spirit is what is to be formed within me.  I keep feeling closer and closer to this, but then something happens to where I want to put the mask back on and hide Him and take the credit.  It’s like taking two steps forward and then you are pulled back 10 steps. 


It’s a scary place to go beyond the facade of “church” and start exploring what being good and evil is about.  Fear not being truthful or fear saying something false.  Fear not being corrected. Fear not being noticed. Fear not being the center of attention.  Fear not deity.  Fear not NO deity.   To finally come to ONE full truth about WHO YOU are. 

I feel as if I’ve been initiated by His presence. 

There is no better feeling than this. 




Duck Dynasty and Judgement

21 12 2013




Alright already. Enough with the whole Duck Dynasty thing.

He said something that is offensive.  But as a citizen of the USA he has the right to speak out.  And he is not gonna loose any of the money he has made over the years.  But when was the last time you offended someone?  Hmmm?

I will not defend the man’s words, because I doubt he really has spent anytime with anyone recently that is gay or black or any of those things which SHOULD NOT MATTER TO A CHRISTIAN WHO IS IN CHRIST!

Yes, I’ve made a judgement and expect to be judged in return.  Because that is how it works. 

“Do not judge, unless ye be judged”.  

Here is the real lesson behind that bumpersticker phrase that is so important.  Being quick to judge someone because of a statement made without getting to know a person makes us ALL look like unwise little boys and girls instead of gentlemen and ladies.   When you look at a person, WHO do you see? 

I certainly think we have lost politeness that needs to be recovered.  What ever happened to if you can’t speak the truth out of a loving heart, then don’t speak at all?   This whole thing reminds me of children who don’t control what they say and end up hurting someone at the core of their heart.  

I’ve never watch Duck Dynasty, but I did watch the latest VeggieTales which featured the DD patriarch as a narrator and he was quite personal and delightful.  But did Veggie Tales use him because he has a hit show?   


When you speak about Jesus, you will usually end up being emotionally beaten up and crucified by people who don’t see the same way that you do.  Good heavens, that goes for ANY of the world viewpoints.  This comes back around to not willing to sit and learn from the spirit within, to take that which you learn about from outside your skin and take it all in.  Only to discover that LOVE is what is the heart of His word.  

Perhaps when EVERYONE puts down their Bibles and keeping the ACT up that they are good little christians and start LIVING from the love that has been in your heart from the beginning of YOUR creation, then, THEN we might see the homophobic, racist and just plain unwise life fade from reality for a better and much more peace filled world.   I DO believe there is great wisdom and love through out the books found within the Bible.  I know that because I’ve taken time to read and take to heart much of the stories within those pages, I’m a better person.  But I’ve also not just taken the words at face value. I take them seriously as the story that I’m a part of.  As I think the DD family does. 

As we who have decided to accept the world through Jesus’ way, we fail miserably to attempt to live like the Lord.  We continue to hold Christians up to a higher standard and we should.  But we need to find the way to confront and make wise judgements and not complain that free speech is being quelled when a TV celebrity is put on notice.  I HATE people speaking out of a viewpoint instead of the heart.  This is what I believe to be the problem.  

How I wish and pray that all people would wake up and start to understand that LOVE is the Lord.  That when people speak in racist ways they are being a hypocrite and do not understand the heart at all.  I used to try and act the part of a good christian man, but I’ve find that is too hard to do.  I know that LOVE is good.  LOVE is the ONLY thing that makes a man or woman good.

Until then you can keep watching and listening to egocentric people who, once become the center of attention, will have you purchasing items that make you a walking and free advertisement for them.  And not the one who is the center of your life. 

Judge away.  

Merry Christmas!

For Richer And Poorer

19 10 2013

Third and final post in a series about divorce pervention.

So many people have use the marriage vows that include the phrase “For Richer, For Poorer”.   How many couples standing up there in front of friends and family do NOT take that vow seriously.  And how many people in our religious and political systems remember those phrases?  From what I see, not many do.

This post will go off into some areas of life that may not seem related, but really do connect and also deals with the current political/sociological/ religious horror that is happening in the United States.

First off, the vilifying of being poor.  The GOP wants to cut all austerity programs in the USA to “save money” and make people more responsible without doing something to really create jobs.  The reality is that many, MANY people who are well educated, have degrees and have graduated collage can’t find work in the study that they have the diploma in.  Labor jobs, those “blue collar” ones that once made America’s economy run are hard to find in a full time, and require many to have experience anymore rather than take a chance and hire the person.

Many couples, including my wife and I, have to use the SNAP program from time to time due to our age, having children and having to find other work during the summer months.   Sometimes that means that my wife and I don’t get to do “vacation” time  while our girls still get to go to camp and other activities.    It USED to be that teens filled up the part time restaurant work,  delivered newspapers,  went door to door selling seeds, but NOW there are very few of these jobs due to the demand of EVERYONE looking for FULL TIME work and not being able to get out of the trap that is permeant part time.

Meanwhile, the top 1% of the earned income in this country continues to go to those who can crunch the numbers, which are made up and not based on how much gold or silver the USA has, and think that if every one just does what THEY do, then we will all be millionaires and masters of the world.  There is NO middle class anymore, no matter what the media says and no matter how much you would like to believe that just because you own your home, that you are in the middle.  No, there is the working poor AND the working rich.   There is also the NON working poor AND NON working rich.   These are the people who will cheat the systems that are meant to be a safety net for when the economy is not healthy.

We live lives of illusion when we start to worship money as “god”.  Since I was a kid, there was, and still is a stigma to not having any money.  My own parents would argue about how much money there was.  I know my dad didn’t want to live with Grandma  and he took a job as a principal, instead of continuing to teach science which he loved to do.  He did it because, “your mom needs more money, she’s never satisfied, it’s never enough for her.”  Or at least he believe that.  I find that he was believing the lie of the American Dream.

Right now you are saying , “Oh he’s back on track about preventing divorce and he’s gonna get off this class warfare stuff now.”   Sadly, no.  Because there is class warfare right in your own home!  Unless you are able to get your vision of what it means to be married, what it takes to STAY in love, and to stop worshiping money!

So many people are afraid to risk surrendering  themselves to anyone.   We have been taught since childhood that you and ONLY you are important.  At least that is what I learned.   We are told to love one another, BUT make sure you don’t set yourself up to be hurt, walked all over and have an easy life.  This is the greatest LIE ever told!   Life is rough.  We were not made to sit passively by and watch the world go to hell.  We were not meant to be afraid of ANYTHING.  But we continue to fear what we can not control,  we fear that if we don’t have money, we are not worth anything to anyone, INCLUDING God, we fear that we will end up just like those who have been on the streets and die there, unknown and alone.

Depressing, isn’t it?


What if all this depression and fear could be taken away.  What if, instead of listening to the lying of the media and the over exaggeration  of  how many people are not pulling their weight and getting a job,  what if just doing the work you either love or need to do is not rewarded with cash, but with respect for the person doing the work, how would that change your perception on what it means to be really privileged?   What if we would quit blaming our schools, religion, the government, ALL our systems and blame OURSELVES that the mess of them vs. us has caused and return to a vision of brother/sisterhood.  Wouldn’t that help us understand that we are NOT individuals, but family.

“Oh you misguided hippie!  That is not what America is about.  Go to Canada”.   No, I will not, because the American Dream is as dead and lifeless as your way of thinking has gone.   In FACT,  the issue is that I see many people never use their hearts in decision making.  They only use the information in their brains or what the TV tells them to believe.  I know this to be true because I’ve lived this way.   I used to live in only in my head and imagined reality.  I have also lived only in my heart, and that way was lacking.   TIME and quiet helps you to become IN-formed and realize that your whole being starts with the heart and not the head.   For within BOTH worlds do they become one and WISDOM formed in to the one thing that matters,  LOVE

Wisdom only comes from being able to have the heart and mind work together!   But that takes finding someone who can train you in the way.  The way of the Western thinking has been  “What is in it for ME!’   A very childish way to live.  I know that when I got married I thought all my wants would be met like turning on a light, instant and immediate.  Boy was I wrong.  I still didn’t get what I wanted, not even money.   I added Kathleen’s debt to mine and we have been fighting to get out of it for years.  I thought it would be easier with more income, and it wasn’t.   It took my grandmother passing and an inheritance to get rid of most of the debt.   I went into marriage wanting all my needs to be met.  I hid this from my wife at the time, but looking back I think she saw this.    Too much thinking.  Too much wanting.  Too much demanding that I and I alone be satisfied.

Part of being married is to start on a new path in life.  To be able to let go of the idea of “what’s in it for me” to “what can I do for YOU”.   We have to accept that we are to take on debts,  and poor emotional states, and begin healing one another in LOVE.   Oh there’s that word again, “Love”.   But what does that really mean?   So much of our learning puts love being an emotion and not the Way we were designed to live.    It’s just been recently that I discovered that you can LOVE without money,  religion,  politics and even a mate.   LOVE is not just an emotional state, it is a WISDOM that brings everything back to a fully functioning life.   In LOVE there is true freedom for a person, but that freedom comes at a great cost.  No wonder the poor find this before the rich do.   LOVE is the heart and mind working together.

Ancient cultures used to worship the heart as the center of their being.  It’s only been in recent history that the mind has been valued over the heart.  Western thought and “enlightenment” changed the concepts and has made it difficult for us as a nation,  and even married couples, to look and find wisdom from the heart.   It takes courage to stop thinking like a Westerner in the USA for I do believe that it’s this kind of thinking without heart that has brought us all to the poor house.   As more people discover that money can not love as a person can love, we will store up a new treasure.  One that has been there all the time, locked away because we are too afraid to share it.

I watched the documentary “I AM”  from the director of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,  and yes, it really is a good documentary, that showed what science has learned recently.  Our heart beats give off a pulse that can be felt by other people.  It’s invisible to the eye, but how many times have you been around someone who is angry and have felt their emotion coming off them and invading you?  I have had this happen.  When you see your heart beat at the doctor’s office on the monitor, there are peaks and valleys.   In the valley, scientists have discovered that your emotions start in that valley and what emotion you are emulating shows there.   LOVE is the one that makes the heart regulate properly.   All other emotions show up and the heart doesn’t work as well as it should.

Blessed are the poor, in spirit.  The rich tend to hide the heart, because they now have something that they feel needs to be protected from harm.  In LOVE you don’t need to protect, for LOVE protects.   There are no rich or poor in LOVE.

Love is patient, love is kind. He does not envy, She does not boast, He is not proud.    She does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, She is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.(J) (1 Corinthians) (MY Paraphrase)

The passage from this letter continues to say “Love never fails”.

When we finally accept that we fail ourselves when we depend on money,  or knowledge alone,  then and ONLY then will we attempt to love.   When that mountain is climbed what you find on the top is the Utopia that you have been searching for.

Jesus’ WAY was and always will be love.   It takes courage to BE love in a world that worships at the alter of knowledge alone.   You are unable to live in the heart by itself, or the mind by itself.  It’s being able to understand the emotions that start in the heart, and USE those emotions with the knowledge that is in your memory. THIS is MY way.  It’s the way of LOVE that is promised after you have tried faith and hope.  LOVE is all that is left.  .

May you find the love that has always been with you.  May you always BE love to those around you.  May you see LOVE as the ONLY way.

LOVE is the ONLY way to prevent a divorce.   May you understand that you ARE loved and you CAN love.



To Honor and Respect means No Bullying

24 08 2013

This is the second of a series of posts about dealing with divorce prevention.  The first was about learning how NOT to fight.

Now let’s focus on what it means to honor and respect.

My parents lived a very passive/aggressive relationship.   As I posted, they fought a lot.  My dad also was able to do damage with out physical harm to my mom.   I’ve had discussions with my mom about what she was experiencing when he would insult her,  say that she wouldn’t be anything on her own,  and thought that he should be the one earning money.  When I would try to ask my dad about this, he would not talk about it.   He would say that my mom just was trying to make me choose sides and was manipulating me.   Well for many years this worked, but I chose my mom’s view and side because I saw my dad being a verbal bully.   Most of this part of the story will be told from what I’ve learned from my mom.   The only statement I can get from my dad is “Sometimes people just don’t see eye to eye.”  or ” People fall out of love”.

According to the website   Adult verbal bullies ” are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior. In some cases, this type of bullying may be unintentional, resulting in periods of stress, or when the bully is actually upset or concerned about something unconnected with the victim.”  (From the website)

.    My mom recently talked to me about what went on that I didn’t realize that I heard and then imitated when I got married.   She told me that many times my dad would make her feel bad about herself.   Would push the ideal that she was there to serve him and and the family and that was all.  My dad told me that he felt that both my Grandma and Mom just wanted to have power over him.  He felt that they both acted like controller, not letting him do what was best for the family.  Seems to me that there was some very big egos at work in all of them.   Bullies are so full of themselves and selfishness is “normal” for this type of person.   How can you respect someone who thinks more of their self than for those around them?

My mom  told me about some of my dad’s putdowns.   He would say things like “You can’t make it on your own.   You want the kids to learn music, then YOU pay for it, I’ll have nothing to do with that.”    My dad has told me that mom just did what she wanted to do and wouldn’t listen to him.  You deny that you have done wrong to a person, keep acting as if you are in charge  and keep pushing YOUR point of view until  it’s YOU and only you standing.     This lead up to the fights, which I posted about perviously.     Each of my parents thought the other was trying to control them.   I understand that neither of them was willing to back down or make sacrifices for each other.   There is nothing wrong with taking a stand, but when you can’t get through to the other person,the best defense is to step away and cool off.  I have learned that you can’t communicate when a person is so self centered and wants things to go only YOUR way it’s best to get away.

Bullying  is not respectful and is an act of evil.  A performance that only makes the bully feel good about themselves. .  Telling  your mate that they can not survive without you is not honorable.   I don’t know where my dad learned this, but I have a feeling it was from his own dad, who I never met and he won’t talk about his dad.   Both of my parents think that they were naive and really not ready for marriage.   I still don’t have a very clear picture of what their lives were like as kids.   They don’t talk about this.  Which I find frustrating because I think I’d have a better grasp at why they really were NOT married and just living a co exsistence that happened to have children.

I do believe that the “happily ever after” of fairy tales and our romantic movies has done a great deal to damage what marriage should be.   I grew up with the vision that the man is the head of the household, that the woman is his helper and you have children that smile and behave themselves.   This is an unrealistic ideal to uphold.    We also hold to the idea that you keep your individualism when you get married.  That you should compliment each other.  But this is a too is not the full picture of a marriage made in heaven.     I find the “traditional” idea of the male being in charge of all things in the realationship is sexist and so full of bullshit that it stinks.   That is not what I’ve learned from God.  I’ve seen and been friends with couples that didn’t adhere to this ideal had a much fuller, richer experience.    I find that people who are willing to learn from each other, see the divine creation that God has made them to be, and are willing to drop ideas that are now proven to not be beneficial to the marriage to be how I wish my own marriage to be.

As most of us who grew up in a Christian background, we were told that we were to marry til death do us part.   I still hold to this value as a great truth, but it takes you to willing to be changed by living life together and work not just for the common good of the family.   Too many times I’ve seen other men make the mistake of trying to change their wife into something that they want them to be.   To fit the conservative LIE that women should be just homemakers.   My mother in law is a good example of the choice to be the stay at home parent.  My wife tells me she studied home economics and never wanted to do work outside the home.   My own mother didn’t want to do that.   She wanted to pursue music and outside interests.   She wanted her sons to learn music too. She saw that we had a gift and didn’t want to waste it.   My dad didn’t want that for us.   I never KNEW what my dad wanted for us.  Music wasn’t it.  He thought that we would go no where with it.  He always wanted us to have something else to fall back on.

I have come to understand that most couples who enter into a marriage at a  young age,  have no clue about how to live a life contented to be with each other, support each person’s ideas and dreams,  and understand that to really honor each one to let God run the marriage from the start.   When it’s done by human ego alone, it is bound to fail.   I have had to let go of most dreams that turned out to be unrealistic for me and accept that I honor God by being a  husband, father,  and school bus driver.   It’s not that my dreams couldn’t be obtained, it’s just that those dreams are not what I was designed to do.   Since I decided to sit at the feet of Jesus, learn HOW to commune with the Heavenly Father, and really listen to that small quiet voice to guide me, I find that my whole life has changed.    I find that there is no better way for me to live than to be the person that I am now.  Listening to the guiding voice from the Kingdom within,  seeing what Jesus did in situations that might be similar in the Gospel stories, learning to humble myself when I am wrong.  There was a time when I would not listen to HIm .

I don’t back down from bullies anymore.   Even the adult bullies that I see.  I’m not afraid to at least speak to them.  The greatest lesson that I have learned from having seeing adults being bullies is to recognize that they are NOT afraid of the person they are bulling.    I have Paul Coughlin, author of No More Christian Nice Guy and founder of The Protectors for helping me to understand how to stand up against bullying.   His book introduced me to what I never knew about Jesus and helped me to quit being a bystander and stop being a passive/aggressive  person.   I highly recommend reading his works.

I can tell you that if you continue to be a bully or try to always be correct and have YOUR way in your relationships, you will end up being so full of yourself that you will end up pushing those that you love away.  You have to understand that marriage is about honoring your wife or husband and children.  I do that by keeping my focus on Jesus and not what I REALLY would want to do.   It has taken me many years to be able to do things for my family.   To not force my kids to do things, but to show them what I would like them to be like.   I don’t tell my wife she can’t do something, but I do ask questions at times to see if she really is doing for selfish reasons or if it would be beneficial to her.   I find that she does this for me as well.

I find that though this process my old ways of trying to force her to do what I want her to do fail to manifest.  The great news is that I’m still growing in this love and respect.  I find more and more that if she really wants to go out with friends, that it does good for our relationship.  I don’t go out that much, I’m not much for a lot of friends.  The few that I have face to face relations with I know would be willing to do what it takes to have my back.  I find that this is a good thing too.   I find it honors my family and shows that you don’t have to have a HUGE social life to really live.  But that is just me.

I find that when you learn how to let go of your selfishness that it becomes natural to honor and respect.   Our culture here in the USA really likes to give lip service to honor and respect.  A good example is some of the kids in our apartment complex take to insulting each other,  and they think it’s all in fun.  But I see the younger kids not laughing at this.  Honor and respect start when you are young.   We can’t have a distorted ideal of this.   I say that we need to remind and teach kids that to be respectful means to treat everyone as you WANT to be treated.   It has to start at home.   Bullies like to think that they have respect because they make others fear them.  All this does is create a culture that doesn’t want to know one another and see each other as something wonderful.

Bullies have no honor and no respect.

Marriages that can’t find the way to honor and respect both God and themselves tend to end up in divorce.

May you find honor and respect.

This world is rough.  Honor and respect make it smoother.