How My Life has Changed –

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A few days ago I was cleaning out files on my computer, old notes, sermons, and junk from years ago that I no longer need or want. I came across a Word file titled “What I would do different” and decided to open it up and see what it was. As soon as I started reading it I realized it was a letter I wrote to my wife back in 2012.

In 2012 our world was turned upside down and it would never be the same again on so many levels and in so many ways. When  wrote this letter my wife (Diane) was in Kansas City and I was in California, at that point I thought our marriage was over for ever. She left on a plane not knowing if she would come back to this marriage or not, she was a mess and was at the end of her rope when everything finally went down.

This letter got me thinking for the last few days, has had me looking back over the last 60 years of my life, it has me thinking of who I am today and how different I am. I am having a hard time even understanding how I could have lived the way I did. In 2012 and 2013 I was in some intense counseling and some intense times with the Father. Although for most of 2012 He was silent towards me!

I knew and understood for the first time in my life that I needed change for ME not for my marriage and anyone else in this world, I made the choice I would go through this pain of facing myself, try to understand who and what I was and become the man I was born to be, with or without my wife. When everything first came to the surface and life fell apart I remember my sister-in-law telling me she thought I was a narcissist, I got really angry with her and let her know with all I had that I was not a narcissist!!! The truth be known at that point in my life I didn’t even know what a narcissist was or what it meant but I assured her I was NOT one.

Narcissist <– click this link to see pages of what a “Narcissist” is all about.

During one of my counseling sessions Dr D (a great man by the way) brought up the “N” word and it caught my attention for the first time in my life. As weeks went by we would talk about this in depth and little by little we reached deeper and deeper into my actions, motives and lies. I ended up seeing the real me for the first time and I DID NOT like what I saw one bit.

All of my life I made myself the center of attention, I was the “fun” guy, the funny guy and everyone loved me. When I would walk into a room I made sure people knew I was entering the room. I would make people feel good about themselves, make them laugh and make them feel as though I was their best friend in life, even if just met one another. People figured I had a million friends and wanted into my circle. I learned very early in my life how to manipulate people and when things didn’t go right I knew how to make them feel it was their fault.

The truth was I never had any real friends, not deep friendships. Once in awhile one would come along and in most cases I would ruin that friendship and then blame them for it, not only that I would make sure everyone around me knew it was them not me.

A narcissist is a narcissist, what I mean by that is you can’t separate that from your career, your relationships, your marriage (and a narcissist usually has multiple marriages), being a parent. So if you clicked on the link I posted you can get a pretty good idea what I was like as a husband and a father.

So there is a HUGE contrast to who I used to be and who I am now. There are times I question myself and wonder why I’m not more of a type “A” personality like I used to be when it comes to work and social life. I’m sure some of it has to do with age but most is due to change.

Today I want to walk with humility and thankfulness more than with pride and trying to make people think I’m all of that. The problem for me is I start believing I am all of that, believing that the world is a better place because I’m in it. That people want to be like me, want to get close to me etc etc.

The word that is on my heart in this season of my life and to finish strong and true. For 60 years of my life I ruined relationships, I hurt SO many people over the years. People I knew and people I didn’t know. I have been a horrible husband and father for so many years.

I do not want to be remembered as that man, I want to be remembered as a man who loved, could be trusted 100%, was true to his word, loved God and people.

Here is the letter I wrote my wife in 2012

What would I do different?

This is a very difficult question to answer for me, there are SO many things I would do different looking back. Would I be able to? I am not sure of the answer. When all this happened I was a mess too – my career was ended, my work, my passion, my life was turned upside down. And it was all My doing 100%.

My thought was to work on the family first – my marriage first – after that I would work on myself and then try to repair my relationship with NHCC! After reading, listening, and counseling I would do it completely different knowing what I know now.

I knew that I hurt you, I knew that you were crushed, I knew that you were broken but I didn’t understand the depth and the severity of the pain. I didn’t understand what you were going through in fact I was so focused on what I was going through that I didn’t see you.

And then trying to understand it was more than just this one incident but it was our entire life together…… that was overwhelming and I was in a place that I couldn’t handle it. Knowing the things I know now I can see my wrong in so many things.

To begin, when you left and went to KC and TN for the time you did, I should have worked on my relationship with the Lord………. That was the last thing I did, I focused on 1. Getting a job. 2. Getting you back. 3. Self pity.. When you came home I knew it would be a very hard road but in my stupidity I figured since you forgave me we would just move forward and the past would be the past…… NOT REALIZING that it does not work that way at all, that this was deeper and more devastating than I ever imagined.

When you came home and we decided to move forward instead of being offended when you would get triggered I would have allowed it and tried to comfort you, feel what you were feeling and kept my mouth shut. Well this holds true today too.

In this book you gave me 15 steps to repair – man Diane I was wrong on EACH ONE – If I knew or maybe if I was right with God I would have and could have done it all differently.

Here is the bottom line……I acknowledge your pain, your hurt and your questions. IF I was right with the Lord and had a heart towards you in the first place I would not have been where I was, but I did………..if I had my heart right after this I could have seen so much clearer, I could have answered all your questions without being defensive, trying to protect you or protect me.

Yesterday in counseling we talked in depth about this issue and Dr. D spoke about this and a light came on, I don’t know maybe my heart was ready for it and was open to it. We talked about the core of who I am, does my spirit man and my flesh match up, does my life reflect my spirit-man or my flesh, if they don’t match the flesh will always win and what comes out is really what is inside of me.

If the cup is clean on the inside it would reflect on the outside. If the Spirit is really in control of my life and I am really resting in Him there is NO way for me to take offense to your triggers, questions, insecurities, etc. I would be more concerned about you than me and in the long run that would draw you to me as the “priest” of our marriage. There would be NO WAY possible to ever fall into temptations again.

That the Lord will give us a Love that is REAL and DEEP that can’t be shaken. We talked about how it would be natural for me to be more concerned about your feeling, hurts, pains and insecurities than mine. IF there is something that is upsetting to me it is because there is something I want our of this that I’m not getting……… go to Jesus and ask Him to reveal it. THEOPHOSTIC!!!

So bottom line Diane, I can read all the books I want, I can go through all the programs I want and if my heart isn’t changed then nothing will change it will always be a battle, it will always be a fight for me to “try” and be a good husband a good man. I am done with living like this. The Lord has set me free in the past, He has taken over my heart completely in the past, I walked away, it was slow and gradual but I did it. Looking back I don’t think I have EVER given him EVERYTHING in my life………. Well it’s pretty obvious.

This happening has been the best thing that has ever happened to me (now I can say this) I once again in my life have made a choice to “go into the deep” and give it all to Him.  I can’t be a good husband to you because I want to, I can’t give you the things your need, the love, the security you need because I want to but I can’t give it to you because of HIM!!!

I am so very sorry that all this has taken place, I am sorry for all the pain, the hurt and the LIES I’ve given to you over the years…….. I want you and you alone as my wife, my soul mate, my lover. I am SORRY with all of my heart and all of my being.

So here is my commitment to you. I will not read a bunch of books and make commitments to the steps they lay out, I will not be taking courses and memorize the steps and try to do them. I will read books, take courses, go to counseling and commit them to the Lord and ask Him to help me in these things. I will work on my relationship with Him, learn to REST IN HIM with all of my life, to trust Him with my life – once I am there and remain there I will be the husband that you’ve read about – that you drean about. My desire will not be for my needs but yours.

My life with Him is not about YOU, not doing this to keep you, to make you happy, but I realize it’s the ONLY place I can life from this day forward.

I think I finally get it!!!

It’s almost a NEW YEAR

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January 1st we started as a family “read through the bible in 1 year” 

It started out pretty strong in the family and we had one outside the family sign up because of Jenna, was pretty cool. My daughter Misty got into it and I believe she found God to be something more than she expected. I know Rico was hard into this.

I have tried hard to keep everyone motivated to finish this and at the same time I did not want to put any guilt on anyone at all. For me finishing this was much more than just “finishing it” but it was about committing to something and finishing at the goal line. It has been up and down for me, I fell behind a few times but always caught back up.

For me the exciting thing was the discussions we would all have online as questions were asked. Misty really made me dig a few times and I LOVED IT!!!

To those of you who are still reading YES YES YES and if you dropped out and picked it back up finish the last 2 weeks of December off and watch how the Lord blesses you! (of course we are not doing this to be blessed or anything else) JUST want you to KNOW Him in an intimate way, in a deep way. IF you don’t know Him there is NO way to love Him and allowing him to LOVE YOU!!!

It was fun guys and thank you for doing your part. I LOVE YOU!!!!

Comment below and give an idea of how you did and what it meant for you,

What a way to live!!!

 

 

 

 

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1Thessalonians 5:
I just finished chapter 5 this morning and here are the highlights that spoke to me…
1. Be alert, be clearheaded
2. We don’t belong to darkness and night – vs 7: Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk – but we are to stay clearheaded.
3. Encourage each other and build each other up…
4. Honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work
5. Warn those who are lazy –
6. Encourage those who are timid
7. Take TENDER care of those who are weak
8. Be patient with everyone.
9. DO NOT scoff at prophecies
10. Stay away from EVERY KIND of evil.

Sounds like a pretty peaceful way to live. LOVE others and take care of others – Can only be done when you know who you are in the Lord –

It is only a dream…. right?

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The last few weeks I have been having some strange types of dreams. They are so real that when I do wake up I’m so thankful to realize it’s only a dream. But they are sticking with me. I have been asking the Father about them and trying to get some clarity to why I would be having these, or are they just dreams?

I am half awake and half asleep it seems like but I get into a panic and the strange thing is I know that feeling well from my past life. The difference being in life I was able to push those feelings and fears down and not think about them at all, I was able to function and keep up in my stupidity and sins with no remorse or feelings at all.

Here are a couple examples….

I had a dream that I was in a powerful position, a position of influence and I was leading people to kill other people. I do not know who or why but I was having them do it and then they would have to cover it up and cover for me. There was a man and a woman who killed someone for me or led them to be killed. (I never saw any of that in the dream) when they returned I directed them to go and take care of business so nobody would ever know it was them or I was involved at all. They refused – they said that they would not do that and that my cover is going to be blown. I was SO angry with them and I was full of FEAR and REMORSE wishing I never crossed this line, I knew there was no turning back and I knew it was over. The next scene an old friend of mine was coming at me in pure anger and wanted to kill me, he was so angry and crying, and deep distraught, coming to get me. I stood in front of him and said “it doesn’t really matter I’m going to hell anyways” I was telling him not to kill me and ruin his life and I was going to be taken care of by God on judgment day. Going to HELL. He just looked at me with tears running down his face, weeping very hard and then threw a bunch of keys at me!  – I was weeping and scared and then woke up. I was SO thankful it was a dream.

Last night I had this dream that I was in a hospital but it was a hotel, it had restaurants and stores to shop, clothing, shoes, jewelry etc…I was with my wife and we went into a shoe store, while she was looking around I found myself behind the counter putting on some new shoes and putting my old ones in the box and back in the shelf. We walked out and I kept looking at the new shoes hoping she would not notice them. We went into a jewelry store and I stole some bracelet’s and a couple rings, walking out hoping she would not notice the stuff. This went on all day and then we heading back to our room and there were lot’s of people waiting for us and there was 2 maids making our beds (not sure why they were there) as I’m walking in my heart is pounding, my wife is on to what’s happening and there was no turning back the hands of time. I did it and no way out. In the room there was some very important people (not sure who) all looking sad and some with tears as I walked in. I felt so dirty, I wanted to die, I wanted out of the situation. My wife was devastated and weeping. I was full of FEAR and REMORSE but it was too late. Then I woke up and realized I was dreaming, I seriously was so happy and thankful it was a dream. It felt so weird.

There have been a couple others too that I will not forget — the question is why? I am positive they are for me, I’m sure God is speaking to me but not sure why? My life is nothing like my past life, I have no secrets in my life these days. …..

If you have thoughts feel free to share them with me in the meantime I will keep seeking the Father and asking for clarification.

A New Season

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There is a deep stirring within my heart and spirit that is taking place right now, actually it has been a couple months now.

I am not really sure how to put into words yet – but I am feeling that the Father is calling me to total abandonment. Even saying that it makes me feel like I have not given everything to Him yet and that is not true, I have but I’m very comfortable and I have been living in this place for some time now.

It’s like I hear the Father saying go out strong, there is SO much more that you are missing out on. And it’s nothing to do with ministry, riches, jobs, family or anything else. It’s all about my connection to Him.

I am going to be traveling on this road not to make my life better, not to get my finances in better shape, not to advance in any type of ministry, not to preach, not to have a better marriage. BUT just to live in His presence in a new way.

All of my Christian life it’s been about ME – get closer to him so I CAN SHINE – so I can save face, blah blah blah — I am not sure how much sense this makes to you, but it’s the start of a journey for me. A new stirring in my heart, a new season in my life.

See what tomorrow holds.

My Child

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My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don’t know me.
John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
Revelation 21:3-4

And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…
Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32


Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

 

Restore a friend that has walked away…

come-home-title-screen19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins. ~ James 5:19-20

This is SO huge on so many levels. Frist of all it’s saying that you can walk away from your salvation. This is important to know and understand, God will never stop loving us and wanting us but the notion that once you raise your hand and claim to be saved that you can never loose that salvation. God will NEVER let go of you but you can let go of God!!

Secondly when people walk away and go back into old ways, old habits etc, sometimes they do it by making the choice and sometimes they make it by being caught up in satan’s traps and really don’t even realize it. Either way it’s happening and we as brothers and sisters, as the church, as the body of Christ allow our personal feelings and anger dictate how we will treat them, pray for them and DO what we can to restore them. Most Christians say things like “they made the choice” “it’s their own fault they ……”  and we just let them go, hoping that one day they will return but even then it’s a BATTLE — trust has been broken and we “love” them with one eye open.

I will admit it’s very difficult and it’s very messy sometimes….. I have been on both sides of this fence and it’s horrible for a man or woman to feel shunned, unloved, without hope. The church needs to learn how to love unconditionally…..with all of this said it takes 2 right? But here is what I know….. “you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins”

I could write a book on this subject, it’s very hard, complex and yet it’s very simple…..YOU are the key to how it works, who you are in Christ, your love for him and your relationship with Him will always determine how you love others…. the good the bad and the ugly.