Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I need to change my life badly

(a) Prioritites

As is (roughly):
1) Porn
2) Carol
3) Work
4) TV
5) Music
6) God
7) Friends

Desired:
1) God
2) Carol
3) Work
4) Friends
5) Music
6) TV


(b) Thinking

As is (often):
- Hopeless
- Depressed
- Stagnant
- Condemning
- Faithless
- I-centered
- Self-pitying

Desired:
- God-centered
- Self-denying
- Joyful
- Hopeful
- Trusting


(c) Lifestyle

As is:
- Staying up late unreasonably
- Getting to work late
- Sleeping little
- Working little
- No time for God
- No time for Carol

Desired:
- Regular eight-hour sleep
- Getting up at 6:30 weekdays and before 8 weekends
- Getting to work early
- Working full eight hours
- Time with God instead of TV or other things
- Time and energy for Carol
- Keeping my place and life in order (cleanliness, finances, etc.)


(d) What can I do?

Pray over this list

Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 2 - Surrender

Yesterday was actually day 1, really.

Surrender. It's so hard. Well, it's easy at the same time. I want to absolutely surrender, follow God's will. He knows better than me. He loves me.

I haven't surrendered in so long. I've been putting it off. Been asking "what's so wrong with this," "what's so wrong with that." Nothing, maybe, but there's no joy. There's no joy following my will. There's pain, really. Chastisement from my Father? Sometimes I just want my will.

I guess the real problem is that I don't trust God to give me joy. I want to change that. I'm used to going to Carol for finding joy. Sorry, this is so bad. I say I love her but I seem to give my life to her, please her, in order to get what I want from her. I kinda do it subconsciously. Referring back to yesterday's post I hinge on her. The root for an unhealthy relationship is right there. I should hang on Christ, be attached to Christ, go to Christ for joy, follow Christ (for my joy), do His will to find joy (instead of doing Carol's will to find joy or my will to find joy). Then I can give. Let's go even further back to thoughts I had two-three years ago.

We can't truly love if we're devoid of God's love.
We look for joy and love in things, in sin, in being good, etc., but can't find it. We run empty because none of these things can give us joy and love. Only God can. Everything's finite, empty. If we try to get joy in other people/things we are like the devils, simply sucking each others blood for our own sustenance, causing the other person to die. Instead we should be sucking God's blood (figuratively speaking), or rather drink His blood, the blood He gives freely.

There's life in the blood. The life of a living thing is in its blood (quoting sort-of free from the Old Testament). The life of Christ is in His blood. He gave His blood for us and in His blood we have life. And, unlike other things/beings, His life isn't finite, doesn't run out. It's infinite. Enough for me. Enough for you. Enough for everyone who comes and drinks.

Drinking blood sounds gross, that's why Christ refers to it also as drinking living water. Water that never runs out and gives us life.

Surrender, a necessity.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hinges

Us humans are made such that we hinge on something. We need an anchor, a hinge, like a door, something that we attach to. Everyone does. Everyone hinges on something. There's a problem when we don't hinge on God. God is unchangeable, unmovable, a solid foundation. He never shakes and hinged on Him we're hinged well. Anyone else is only at most attached to something/someone else so if we hinge on them our life is definitely gonna be shaken. This doesn't say anything about the character of the person we're hinging on. If we hinge on people we are like a door that's hinged on another door, which is hinged on something else. Very shaky.

I wanna be married to God

That's all. Nobody and nothing is more attractive, sweeter, caring, gentle, loving, gracious than Him.

All about God

It's time to make it all about God, not about anything or anyone else, not even Carol. What does it matter if I keep her but lose God. And if I would lose her and find God I'd still find joy through all the pain.
"nevertheless, i won't stay down. i won't. no matter what happens now. God's forgiven, He's lifted me up again. So, after 28 days, back to day #1. and again i choose not to do that stuff anymore."

~ me two years ago

28 days, baby, 28 days ... yeah, it's possible

.
.
.

4 days later i'm saying this:

"everyone hates me... what's the point in living anymore... honestly... why not commit suicide? i'm serious."

that kinda explains where things went bad :( maybe that explains some of the bitterness. oh, the hurt that sin causes in relationships and in general.

Day 0

Reading through my old xanga entries (from 2 years ago) I've been encouraged to count the days again. Maybe we can celebrate after a week. The days I mean is the days that I've gone without looking at porn. I can do it. With some motivation.

This makes me wonder, why is it worse now, after 2 years? Yes, we had other problems back then as well, but God just kinda lifted me there for times but I must've fallen and then turned back to self-condemnation. With every fall a stronger self-condemnation instead of seeing God's grace. The devil's tactic is to make us stop trusting in God.

As well I've been encouraged by how much we were in love back then and how much we loved each other. Really, it's not just the feeling that's gone but kind of the love. Yes, in some ways I do love her more, or do I? Maybe this so-called "quiet love" isn't so much "love" as just being used to each other. But I see hope when reading through my old blog entries, hope for love, burning love in purity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lord, You know me, know my heart,
know my desires that sometimes want to rip me apart.
They're in Your hand, nothing is beyond You.
I am Yours.

Lord, You can change me, change my heart,
change my desires to conform to Your will.
They're in Your hand, nothing is beyond You.
I am Yours.

Lord, calm this storm in me that's raging violently.
Good and bad, awesome and ugly fighting within me.
You're my Sovereign and You're in control, nothing is beyond You.
I am Yours.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

should i feel like crap about what happened on sunday? i'm not talking about stupid stuff, but the other stuff, as not all of this applies to stupid stuff, in fact much probably doesn't.

am i feeling crappy because i feel that i'm expected to feel crappy, by her? it's a tricky and very vulnerable question but i think i might make myself feel crappy because of that. there's two potential/likely flaws here. (a) she might not want me to feel crappy because of this. after all it was pleasant and went deep, despite being wrong. maybe feeling crappy is unloving, hurtful. it's definitely hurtful to me cause i feel that it's wrong to feel crappy about it. it was wrong and we should walk away from sin, but feeling crappy for her might be just as wrong as the actual thing that happened. (b) sin has to be brought to God. i've been trying to do that but i think the thing that really hinders me is my wrong/forced attitude about (a).


confusing thoughts in fairly cryptic language...
i've been a jerk but i can change. i can't just off-load everything onto God. i gotta pray and ask Him for what i need but i need to use that to change.

praying for:

(a) managing my sleep (it's been bad since last week again, that's why it's been going downhill)
(b) trust in Him (my attitude just constantly turns sour)
(c) love for carol (i'm lacking so much)
(d) trusting carol (struggling with that right now)

yeah, otherwise i'll freak out.

boundaries ? (a rant)

i'm trying to fix you. you're trying to fix me (maybe you've stopped, which would speak of your maturity, cause i do think you're way more mature in this area). i don't mean "fix" in the bad sense as in trying to get the other person to be as we want them to but "fix" as in assuming responsibility for each others problems. i know, as i'm thinking and writing all this reminds me of a place i've been to again and again. why don't i learn? i always try to make your problems my problems, but then end up not handling them and despairing, of this relationship, sometimes of live.

no, it's not you who is bad. you're not making my life hard. you never pushed your problems onto me (although you don't mind an open ear and help). but it's me who is handling this wrong and putting our relationship in grace danger.

i need to let go. boundaries. your problems are your problems, my problems are my problems. i don't carry responsibility for your problems, you don't carry responsibility for my problems. that doesn't mean we can't help. but there need to be boundaries.

i guess this is one more of those blabber-on-until-i-come to the point posts. i find the more i write the more my thoughts become. so, here we go with some clearer thoughts.

i don't just want to help you with your problems. i blame myself for your problems. bam! this is the issue. self-condemnation. no good if i blame myself for my own sin. no good if i blame myself for some other person's sin or problems. does Jesus live in her? yes, He does. does He live in me? despite all my sin and failures and suckiness, He does. who then should i trust. oh-so-glorious me or her or God? i guess the answer is obvious.

what should i do then in conclusion? should i blame myself? no. should i seek penance? no. should i try to do better? no, yes, and no. not really. not a useful question as the answer is obviously yes but the outcome of that answer is garbage. i can't really do better by myself, without God. let's rephrase it: should i do better? yes. should i try to do better? no. i should trust God to be good and to breathe His life in me so i become better. what's needed for this? to see Him in His word (cause that's His way to work new life in me and to give me His Spirit). to pray. to get sleep so i have the energy to effectively read His word and pray. should i keep dwelling on this? no. should i blame myself for this? no. should i think how hard this is? no, i shouldn't worry about "fixing" this.

this relationship won't get fixed without God. i won't be fixed without God.

i stop blaming myself and go to God
=> i'll learn to know Him
=> He gives His life to me
=> i become a mature man
=> i can be the man to carol i should be
=> God comes into our relationship
=> i can lead again
=> our relationship will thrive

i keep blaming myself
=> i won't go to God
=> i'll hide
=> i'll have gloomy thoughts
=> pain
=> escape
=> sin
=> more pain
=> angryness
=> carol won't like me (understandable)
=> i won't like me
=> our relationship will die

now the common thought is that if she means so much to me i should carry the blame for hurting her. but that leads to more pain (see above) and more hurt for her. the completely ridiculous, uncommon thought would be that if she means so much to me i shouldn't blame myself for hurting her cause that'll lead to more hurt. instead the loving thing to do is to let go of any self-condemnation, seek joy, seek God, seek happiness, for that'll end up restoring our relationship.

all this ridiculous thinking, of course, wouldn't work a bit if it weren't for Christ's death and life.

Monday, December 10, 2007

lessons from this weekend (can't say lessons learned, since it's so hard to internalize them sometimes):
- something so amazing and good can turn out so bad and ugly. really gotta put God first here. it's so hard. this is probably the area where it's the hardest. God help.
- consistency. i'm so utterly inconsistent. things get better sometimes just to be crashing down the next moment. i tend to give up so easily.
- righteousness. my righteousness comes from God. often i try to fix things myself after doing something bad but end up making things only worse. it's not my righteousness i should trust but God's righteousness. in Him i am righteous. if i trust that instead of working my righteousness and instead of feeling bad for everything i'll recover much more quickly and usually find there's change in my life.
- like that other thing i mentioned... i don't need to feel bad. simply trust His righteousness. then i would want to be different since what happened hurts (badly).
- my hun loves me.
- i love my hun.
- she's really wonderful and sweet.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"Daily we mar all our prospects of heaven,
Stumbling we falter, yet Christ makes us whole;
Kindly He lifts us with glimpses of glory,
Till all its splendour shall rise on our soul."

~ Faith Cook, Grace in Winter, on Of First Importance

dear diary. i'm glad not too many people know about you. maybe only one. i'm glad cause i don't want their advise (stupid people always try to give stupid advise). i only care what they think about me. i hope my number one fan is reading this. she's the only person i care about reading this and loving me despite what she find here. i really care about what other people think of me. why? maybe cause i feel like crap.

i feel like shit today. not only did i go to far with my hun today (you know), but also i looked at stupid stuff and had to masturbate tonight. it's so ugly. i hate this. i hate myself. i don't want this. but i go because... what i want isn't available. i wanted to endure. but i didn't. i'm feeling so horrible about myself. how could i do this? i feel so dirty. i hate this.

can i feel good about myself again? i want to. i want to do better again? am i even getting better? i hate myself.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Living in Fear... or... Sin and Pooping Your Pants

Fight-or-Flight response. I tend to experience that quite a bit. Having a sensitive stomach it becomes apparent fairly quickly for me. What I realize is that when I am tempted I experience this. My stomach becomes really weak all of a sudden ("Inhibition of stomach and intestinal action") and my heart rate rises ("Acceleration of heart and lung action").

This is an epiphany to me but at the same time I've known it all along. It's God's Spirit working in me to produce holiness, to lead me to holiness. Fear, leading to a Fight-or-Flight response.

Oh, and Fight-or-Flight response shows itself by inhibiting erection.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Huddling around the piano

I miss huddling around a piano with a bunch of people, grabbing a guitar and singing our hearts out... in adoration to God, in admiration, in passion, in joy... I miss the youth retreats in Germany and Switzerland where we've done that. Full of energy and passion. Right now I am listening to Matt Redman leading worship on a single piano and have this desire in me to do that... huddle around a piano (be close and not all distant on chairs in a big room) and sing... out of songbooks... or out of a song-collection, spirit-lead, people suggesting songs as we go, nothing planned, just a piano, and voices (and possibly other instruments, but not necessarily).

It's been soooo long ago... Won't you give me a grand, a room and a bunch of voices?


Why is singing and worship often so passionless, sterile, distant, unemotional?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Relearning Heterosexual Love by Henry Makow

One of the best writings I've ever read in support of heterosexual monogamous love.

Why do we sin when we don't enjoy it?

It's good to be breathing again. I'm learning that my joy and my regeneration is dependent on Him and not on myself. Even though, I should strive to be free for my own sake.

Why is it that we Christians sometimes sin even if we don't enjoy the sin or are literally sick of sin. I find I often do that. Let me clarify first. I do think that Christians sometimes enjoy sin. I did and often do (sadly). We are human. The flesh is still there even though the Spirit is regenerating us inside. This regeneration usually tends to bring us to the point where we don't enjoy sin anymore. But when we are at that point why do we still find ourselves doing the same sin again and again?

For me this particular sin is pornography. I had times when I enjoyed it but more often than not over the last couple years I didn't enjoy it. This begs the question why I still do it, why Christians in general continue in their sin even when the enjoyment is gone. I think this often happens because we do not think we're worthy for something else.

Take this, for example: I find myself drifting into dirty thoughts. I'm starting to think about looking at pornography. Then a thought comes in of how nice it would be to give Carol a call and simply talk a bit with the one I love. In that moment I would really rather do this instead of looking at porn but I feel I'm too dirty, too unworthy to do something this good. I'm feeling ashamed.

It's natural for me to feel dirty or ashamed in that situation. That's how we're wired. That's the laws of the universe Aslan (i.e. God) put in place. But I'm missing Christ in this. Yes, it's natural for me to be ashamed but no, I'm not unworthy or dirty and I don't even need to feel ashamed anymore. Christ is my righteousness, my life. I've got nothing to fear. I've got nothing to hide from. Christ is my life. So really part of putting off the old body and putting on the new body is counting myself dead to sin and alive to Christ, meaning that sin's shame and guilt doesn't apply to me anymore (it was paid with Christ on the cross) but Christ's righteousness does (I've been raised with Christ). This removes the guilt and shame and opens the door out of this prison. When I count myself dead to sin (in Christ) and alive to Christ (in Christ) I can walk out of this prison immediately and do the good things that He makes me desire. I'm not bound to unworthiness and failure anymore. I'm worthy and clean.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I want to run away...
Why do I want to run away?

Just some thought from last night:
I gotta get through the desert to get to the promised land
I gotta get through the pain
I may not turn back in fear
I do not want to walk in the desert for 40 years and then die there

Why do I want to run away?
Out of fear?
Out of lack of trust in God?
Because I do not want to take possession of the promised land?
Because I'm afraid of the giants?

I'm very selfish and self-pity-ful
Depressed?
Up and so easily down
Trusting in my self?
Instead of Christ?
Yeah, I guess that's it...

I want to close my eyes
and sleep
and not wake up
'till I'm in heaven

I want to say goodbye to all my worries
To all my fears
of rejection
and hurt
and loneliness

I want to trust in God
I want to go to sleep

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Values and (Short-Term) Enjoyments

I've got values and I've got things I enjoy. Those things aren't necessarily the same. I value good sleep and I value purity. But I "enjoy" staying up late to look at porn. When I say I enjoy it I also note that this enjoyment is temporary and in the bigger picture of things smaller than the enjoyment I get from good sleep and a pure heart.

This discrepancy between enjoyment and value, short-term enjoyment and long-term enjoyment, really, is troubling. It's hard to learn that values are better.

This really stems from a problem in my understanding of values. There are two different kinds of values, or rather two ways in which values apply to me (or any person). There are external values. These are things that people told you. It might be social norms; it might be things that we've picked up from our religion; it might come from our parents and families. There are internal values. Those are values that we picked up as well (usually) or that we acquired by our own reasoning. The important things is that an internal value is something that you value no matter what other people think. It's something that comes from the inside. You get enjoyment from such a value. This is different from an external value. Such a value isn't internal to us. Yes, we might have that value inside us as something to live by but living by such a value is no joy, it's a duty, it's like pleasing someone, even if that just means pleasing the part of you that holds the value.

Another way of explaining the different between these two is that an internal value is what we value (out of ourselves) whereas an external value is something that we value because we feel that we have to.

The funny things is that an external value might follow us throughout life even if the source of that value disappears. If your mom always told you that a tidy room is important this value might follow you throughout life as an external value even when you live by yourself and your mom never sees your room. You just feel bad if your room is untidy. But there are some people that have taken that value and processed it and made it their own. They've turned it into their own value. Those people will want to have a tidy room not because they feel bad when they see it messy but simply because a tidy room is important to them, gives them a certain satisfaction and joy.

Now, back to me and my values. I find that I do have a lot of external values that I've never processed and internalized. The tidy-room-value is one of those. I feel bad when my room is a mess. Yes, I do enjoy a clean room but that doesn't seem to be what I base my value on. I base it on something external, a law, a bad feeling when I see a dirty room and when I do this I tend to escape. I do not want to feel bad so I don't want to think of my dirty room so I don't confront the mess. If, on the other hand, this value was internal, simply driven by an enjoyment of cleanliness, I wouldn't feel bad when I saw the mess but would want to take time to clean it. I would want to confront it because I look toward what that gives to me.

Now, back again to me and my screwed-up values in regard to pornography. Why is it that I feel bad when I try to confront it? Are there external values that hinder me from solving this problem? Are there external values that I could internalize so they can help me in my fight instead of hindering me? Those would have to be addressed one by one. Values cannot be internalized over night (usually). It takes time to ponder them, realize that I do value them and lay down the pressure that I've put on me by letting them work as an external force on me.

I realize some bad behavior in regard to those values, or things that people tell me. Because they make me feel bad (and thereby hinder me) I put them aside, throw them out, even though I do realize they are good. Take, for example, the value of not having internet (or even TV?) at home. It is external, very external, so every time I consider this it just makes me feel bad, I don't find enjoyment in this value, so I put it aside. What if I could ponder, ponder the "value" that this gives me (I would have time to make music when I get home, read, get to bed early, etc.)? Maybe this could become an internal value for me and if it did I'm sure it would become a very deadly weapon in my fight with pornography.

What if I don't think of any other values for now, but only about this value. With God's help (prayer) and meditation, pondering, reading (work) I might be able to turn this value into an external value, let it work from the inside instead of whacking me from the outside.