Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The breath of God ....... "today's map Includes"

Before I start to write, I need to tell you how "filled" i am with the breath of God. Gordon is my hero, my faithful servant who listens to the voice of God and breathes in his breath as well. I know that God is good and forgiveness, compassion and my humanity make me weep.

With that said, the link to RLP is above, Go on Click it I know you wanna. God is good and everyone needs to just back down and relax. Humans feel and express and write. IF YOU THINK you can do better and be faithful and spiritual then i welcome you to "Step up and lead." Oh, you can't or won't..then shut the fuck up !!

Now, I read Erics blog early this morning, and I held off responding until my day was over to write on my "Today's map INCLUDES" entry for today.

I could not drag myself out of bed until I knew that staying in my bed was a useless and futile effort. I did not sleep last night, even with the dynamic mix of HIV meds and cold pills that I take because I am sick as a dog. I had things to do, and sleep evaded me, and I am drained and right now i am running on inspiration, because my tank was empty after school. I went to school and did my business and went to class, and you see, I cannot walk into Donald's classroom and NOT be prepared for a discussion on Women of Christianity. So I digress. It was a great afternoon once I got my burner fired up. Donald makes me feel things spontaneously. He pushes me to find the spirit within, because he knows that GOD inspires me to live. And with all the troubles I have had, he feeds me with love and faith every day he sees me.

They say that If God's closes one door, he always leaves a window open.

I got off of school and went to my home group meeting which was EXACTLY what i needed for the day. I know how much "Fellowship" means to me. And how it affects me spiritually and personally. Without fellowship, religion and sobriety mean nothing. SO there is my wisdom for the day.

Now, Can I get to Eric. I think so.

Grace - according to eric

"Every day I learn something. As long as I show up to class. As long as I show up for my own life."

Yesterday, Jeremy piggy-backed a portion of his blog off of a statement I made in my previous post. Today, I return the favor...

I mentioned yesterday that the Executive Director of the MCC was the guest preacher at church. Her topic was "Keep walking through those doors". Keep showing up, in other words.

It is all about the journey. You must keep walking and in a forward manner. BUT, make sure you stop and greet your fellow journeypersons. You never know IF they have wisdom you might need for the rest of your journey on your road. Always offer food and water and a little compassion. You never know when the Master will present HIMSELF to you.

No matter what other problems get in the way, we need to keep walking through the doors. When conflicts seem to be too much... just keep walking through the doors. Keep coming to church. Keep plugging away at this beautiful ministry we call MCC Omaha. Just do it. Or as the words of our Affirmation of Faith expressed in closing: let us. Let Us. LET US.

YES, LET US..... I know that i cannot do it alone. ( I can't - HE CAN - So I will Let HIM )

For 31 years, MCC Omaha has served the GLBTISEtc community of Nebraska and Western Iowa. For 31 years, conflict has been a part of that service. And for 31 years, folks have continued to walk through those doors, keep on coming. Sure, faces change, but we keep on plugging. We keep coming back, and we keep trying. Maybe we'll change. We need to change, in order to grow. But change or no change, we'll keep plodding along. I believe that. I trust that as a promise.

They say Change is good. And They also say that change can be painful, but tonight Morris said to me after the meeting that " To step out of one's COMFORT ZONE, is to really know WHERE you are in relation to your life. Change means PROGRESS. and Progress shows GROWTH, and Growth means you are really getting somewhere. and Sometimes I need a fellow Pilgrim to show me that It is ok to GROW.

The problem with conflict, and the thing about it that prevents people from coming back through those doors is that conflict is the ultimate in "ungrace". Conflict can only occur when forgiveness and repentance are absent.

Like i said, God may close a door, but HE always leaves a window open. I know I can hide from God in my day, but HE is always there, just outside my peripheral vision. Whispering to me from the shadows. "Jeremy, He says, I am here. I know you can hear me, you know what my voice sounds like. So come Listen, I am outside the building too."

We need to be careful in our interactions at church... and in all aspects of our lives. When wronged, when decisions are reached that we disapprove of, it's okay to express that. It's not okay to attack the ones making the decisions, the one who wrongs. That is the kind of conflict I see, though.

Expectations are PRE-PACKAGED resentments. It is called LIVE and Let Live. I don't carry around resentments about people, places and things. It's a waste of time. If you wrong me, allright i may bitch and moan and sometimes I need to do that, eventually i run out of steam of find another issue to gripe about. People are human, but GOD is perfect.

When wronged, it's okay to address that "Hey, you wronged me by..." And there can be only one valid response to that. "I'm sorry you felt wronged by my action." IMO, it's okay to express why an action wronged me... or why I took the action that wronged the other, but the paramount aspect of that exchange must be the expression of regret for wronging, and the followup forgiveness. When we don't do that, we fail to demonstrate God's Grace to the other, and to the rest of the community.

And when decisions are made that we disagree with, the answer isn't to walk away. The answer is to walk back in through those doors, and address the decision, and why you feel it's wrong. Perhaps if enough people calmly and lovingly were to express displeasure (oh, and pleasure TOO) with the actions taken, we could put aside the stupid, petty squabbling that seems to all too often fill the walls of our churches, places of work, places of play, homes.

I may not always AGREE with everyone. And I Don't have to like everyone. They teach us that in sobriety. If i am WILLING to BE human and be honest and forthright, means then, I am making progress. If you piss me off or upset me, I ain't gonna sit on it, but I will tell you, and then let it go. If you progress then fine, but I don't have time to sit here and wait for you to change. I cannot change anyone but MYSELF. It's all about my perceptions. And I know that It always begins and ends with ME. I don't have to like you, but I can help you see that "you just ain't right!" and I can say that. and then walk away.

It's the grace-filled interaction of people of faith in our churches that demonstrate God's grace to the world. It's a form of interaction that all too rarely finds form in action. At ANY place of worship.

God's grace is perfect, IF we allow ourselves the Willingness to Experience it and share it with others.

I find that sad. I truly believe that is one of the best ways to demonstrate God's love... loving each other as God has loved us. It's called Grace.

The DILEMMA OF CHRISTIANITY.... Can we just Love each other as God loves Us. I don't think that is possible until we all thinks, live and love on the same page. and Christianity is just NOT on that level YET. And I don't think it ever will be. So WE as Christians have to shake them damn trees and say "HEY, Get off the cross we need the wood!" AS long as I remember that I don't have all the answers, and that I am teachable, and that I am NOT JESUS then i am just where i need to be at any given time on any given day. ( jeremy, you are right where you need to be, so Eric, you are right where you need to be!"

The Good Preacher reminds us that we cannot be Jesus all the time. If we were Jesus, we'd be perfect, and humans, by default, are not and cannot be perfect. As long as I know that God forgives and that Jesus lives within me, then I am in pretty good shape.

STOP - Look at your map, (YOU ARE HERE)!! Survey your surroundings, gather information from your fellow journeypersons, THINK, make a decision, THEN MOVE ON.

Jeremy also called me to task (well, I THINK he was calling me to task) for my continued reference to my being too old....

You are only as OLD as you claim to feel. I will never get OLD, and in my scope, death is NOT an option. I still have work to do, so bring it on baby !!! I may be 37, but i can still compete in the life race, as long as I rest, eat and maintain my health.

I have alot more problems than you do, so I don't wanna hear you fucking complain about being old. You want something to worry about, I've got some problems that will rock your foundation my friend. Complaining is useless. It is like sitting in a rocking chair. OH YOU'RE MOVEING ALLRIGHT, BUT YOU ARE GETTING NOWHERE FAST ARE YOU!!!

Okay, let's set the record straight... (Yes, I use that word...) I am not old. I'm not too old for anything except perhaps well, we won't go THERE.

Were you going to say SEX???? I bet you were. I am still fully functional. Peter has recently found the desire to make sure I am functional as well. And Damn I am good.

I am squarely, and centrally, located in the throes of Middle Age. Which means that I still have half my life ahead of me to accomplish. Mission. Whatever.

Middle age, If I follow my father's model, well I should be drunk, miserable, saddled with a career that fails, a marriage i don't want, and two kids i never speak to. well, one of them at least. SORRY.... I still have life to be lived. I am NOT my father by any means. I've had worse crises than middle age in my many years and I am still alive. Go Figure !!!

So, I'll try to tone down the "Oh, woe is me, I'm too old..." bull hunky. 'Cause that's what it is, and I know it.




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