Category Archives: FORGIVENESS

SURRENDER!!…?

I grew up singing: “I surrender, I surrender all!”  We were encouraged to completely commit the rest of our lives to Him – NOW! Today!!

That may have been just my perception, but that’s what I kept trying to do.

Tried, couldn’t do it.  Wanted to. Kept falling down. Didn’t know what to do with my failure. Wanted to quit trying. Did…, for awhile.

Now I know. Now I (am beginning to) understand – Better!

PROCESS!!
BABY STEPS!!

God takes what we can give to Him TODAY and waits patiently until tomorrow becomes today and we get to do it again. And… again, the next day! And…

In the meantime, He asks us to just take a walk.

With Him. With His Son. Jesus. His Holy Spirit goes too.

  • Pay attention, son. I have something important to tell you.

“There is now therefore NO CONDEMNATION, (Anger, Impatience, Rejection) toward us – from Him.”

T.B.T. #10

THROW.BACK.THURSDAY. #10

2 years’n a week ago I made my first post on this blog. As I’ve read and re-read it this week, I continue to be amazed at what God can do.

One of the treasures I find in this writer thingy I’ve been doing is the ability it gives me to remember. (The older I get, the more important it… but I digress…)

It’s been almost 7 years since my “Heart Attack.” It wasn’t a 911 occasion, but it changed me. U can read about that here.

The process continues. Usually in spite of me, although the path has fewer twists, turns, ups and downs.

For that I am grateful.

Here’s that first post:

https://itreallyisjustthatsimple.com/2013/07/22/it-really-is-just-that-simple/

SOBRIETY – Event? or Process?

One of the Greatest Bondages you will ever be in is that of pretending to be something or somebody that you are not

I spent 50 years like that

Freedom from that bondage is a Journey, a Process of discovering who you really are and learning to live that person’s life

I took my last drink 40 months ago today. But the Process of Sobriety will continue for as long as I have feet on this planet

She Isn’t Cured, But She’s Been Healed!

Last week, she signed up to follow my blog. (Tribe member #55 for me) I became #900 for her!! I’m so jealous!! lol

Today she was used by God to help me better understand something He’s been teaching me for 6 years!! 

Check it out: 

https://workthedream.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/healing-and-curing

But! What about the Thorns? 

In March of 1966, I was almost 21. I had just finished my stint at Diablo Valley College, and Vietnam was raging. Facing the draft, and not wanting to “Be all I could Be” in the Army, I had joined the Air Force. My day to leave for boot camp was approaching at jet speed.

Nelda’n I had been dating for a little over 2 years. This particular day started as one of those ordinary, “just-waiting-for-the-future-to-happen” days that turned into a momentous, “my-life-will-NEVER-be-the-same-again” kind-a day.

I was on my way to Uncle Bill’s house. He was Nelda’s REAL Uncle, but EVERYBODY in his life called him “Uncle Bill.” People(even adults) at church, kids at school, (he was everybody’s favorite bus driver) all my brothers and sisters, and I think even my parents called him that. It was just #WhoHeWas! I’m not sure it wasn’t written on his birth certificate!

                                     UncleBill'nSonya

But I digress… As I was coming down their narrow one-way street (Nelda was at their house) a boy riding a bike darted out from a garage that backed up to the curb. I hit him and broke his leg.

I called the AF recruiter and they grounded my jet plane until any legal ramifications got settled.

Long Story Short, my new enlistment day was May 19th. 5 things happened in those next rapidly-gone 30 days.

• The mother of the boy said: “I’ve told him a million times not to do that…” So – no legal issues.

• Nelda’n I saw each other EVERY DAY!

• She told me she Loved me!!!

• We got engaged!!

• Every day, for 30 days, I took her a (stolen) rose. Spring was in the air (and in my heart) so I would stop at her neighbors’ yards on the way to her house and “steal” a rose.

IMG_7711

Before I knocked on her door, though, I would pick and twist off every thorn on the stem of the rose. Why? Because I’m a romantic fool, I guess – but perhaps as a subtle promise to keep her life thorn-free forever.

Fast Forward – 30 days flew by, Oakland,Ca swearing in, 4 week boot camp, 5 month tech school, too-quick one-week Mom’nDad’nNelda visit to Texas in August, graduation, home on leave, married, “play house” for 30 days, stationed to Japan for 2 years. Nelda moved in with Mom’nDad and we all lived happily ever after. End of fairy tale.

It took another 45 years for me to understand the significance of the “THORNLESS ROSES!”

Super-Fast-ForwardTexas in August, 2013. Nelda’n I had driven to Oklahoma for her 50th high school reunion. As we left her brother’s home, headed for California, we (spelled *I*) was having a thorny morning. After about a hundred miles of silence, I realized I didn’t want to be like that for the next 1550 miles. So we (again-spelled *I*) started talking. I’ve written about that day at least once before – HERE

One of the reasons WE LOVE ROAD TRIPS is because we’re locked together in the car, so we have to / GET TO talk!

We drove another 400+/- miles that day. We talked about things (thorny things) that we’d needed to discuss 40 years before. We talked about Love and Respect, Fears and Intimacy, secrets and dreams It was another one of those just-waiting-for-the-future-to-happen” days that turned into a momentous, “our-life-will-NEVER-be-the-same-again” kinda-day.

It’s one thing to pick the thorns off a rose stem, or protect Ur loved ones from the thorns in their lives for a day or two. (or 30) But

THE ROSE GARDEN OF LIFE IS FULL OF THORNS!
If U don’t learn to deal with the thorns,
the beauty of the roses fades and disappears.
YOU CAN’T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER 

The rest of the trip was warm, friendly and more intimate. We’re learning to talk about the thorns when life gets prickley. The sooner the better. Our ROSES are more beautiful that way. 

It’s not possible to twist the thorns off the stems in Ur life, throw them out the window and go merrily on Ur way. The wind blows them back in the rear window and they stick U in the butt at the most inopportune moments. 

Lest I paint a Rose-tinted picture of our journey from that Texas highway to where we are now, let me assure U – it’s not all been rose gardens and tea parties. Some of the thorns had been set deep. A few had festered and the infection needed outside treatment. (mainly in me)  But our relationship, our marriage, our family, the LIFE we have now is well worth every sting. 

In fact, some of the scars from the past few months are “hanging on our walls” as trophies. 

The BEST way to a full life is to embrace it, THORNS’n ALL

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
—James 1:2–3 amp

 

 

T.B.T. #7

One of the greatest lies Christians believe is that we have to add to the work of Christ.

In the past, every time that I wanted (needed) to spend time in the Presence of God  I worked harder so he would not turn me away

I knew the presence of God. But it was a place I visited. I longed to dwell there but I never felt like I was good enough long enough to remain.

The final three words that Jesus spoke at the cross was “IT.IS.FINISHED!”

When the Truth of that sentence took the longest journey and moved from my head to my heart and then into my life it changed me! it changed my relationship with God

This link was originally posted on my blog on February 19, 2014. But I wrote it 20+ years ago. I finally learned the truth of it in the deepest part of my being at the absolute blackest, darkest time of my life. I’ve not been the same since.

Please read this post from a year ago and let it invade your heart as it has mine

IT.IS.FINISHED!!!

 

At the end of the day… It’s just Me’nGod

 At the end of the day… It’s just Me’nGod
and I’m standing (naked) in the middle of the bridge
On my journey of Recovery

The other day while working and sharing with a young man I made this statement

Ralph Sponge
“Ralph” – Oakland Teen Challenge

At some point in your recovery it will be just U’n God

It won’t be U’n your wife. It will no longer be U’n and your counselor. It won’t be U’n Ur small group. It won’t be U’n Ur sponsor. It won’t be U, asking God about today’s problem. It will not be U, seeking a better, easier, more productive life. It will be U!, standing stark naked in the middle of the bridge making the journey from There to Here.

And you will be in exactly the place He wants you.

Until you have stood in the presence of God knowing that you are totally unworthy to be there. And you understand beyond any shadow of a doubt that HE loves you anyway.

You’ve never known the Love of God in the way HE wants you to.

That moment will forever change you.

I’m not talking about the place of isolation to which we as The Brokens tend to go. I’m talking about coming to an end of yourself. We ARE NOT designed by our creator to travel our journey alone. I’m not suggesting we do so. But at the end of the day, at some point of the healing, it WILL BE just – U’nGod.

It was the place King David stood when he penned the 139th Psalm:

Search me, Oh God… And know my heart!

Or, in the words of the old southern spiritual –

‘Tis not my brother, nor my sister, but it’s ME, Oh Lord
standing (naked) in the need of
…”

Life changes at that place. Relationships change at that place. *I* changed in that place. Priorities change in that place. How U see God will change in that place.

Lex, my 11 year old grandson just asked me what “stark” means. I’m sure glad he didn’t ask what “naked” means – lol  – So I looked it up. Actually, I asked “Siri”, on my iPhone. She said –

Devoid of any qualifications or disguise or adornments

Stark” naked – before The Lord. That sounds Scary!
Sounds Scary, but in actuality, it’s the best place to be this side of Heaven

Have U been there?
Did He invite U to come and U covered up? Like Adam? Like Eve?
RU afraid to go there?

I am too, EVERY TIME! 

But He keeps asking. 

He keeps inviting. Me. 

He keeps Loving. Me 

He keeps healing. Me 

In that place

AMMESTY / GRACE

I WAS DOING IT!!!
It was going so well.
Until yesterday
Then I blew it
[:<{
#NowWhat?

Let’s see – What are my choices?

1) “Oh Well, I didn’t really think I’d make it to the end, anyway”
2) “OhNo! I blew it. I feel so stupid!! Why did I even try!”
3) “Boy, I’m glad I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. Now I can just go on like nothing happened. I hope nobody finds out. Oh, wait – my wife knows, so I can’t just cover it up – but she loves me, so it doesn’t really matter”
4) “Well, I guess I learned something, I’ll just have to try harder next time”
5) “My brother’n his wife came to town and we had lunch with them so I ran out of time. No wonder I didn’t get a chance to make a post!!
6) “Awh, it’s not that big-a-deal, who cares”
7) “I should have committed myself to just 7 days. Or 14. Hey, I did make it to 14, I’ll just tell everybody that was the plan all along”

OKI!! OK!! I HEAR YOU… WHAT DID I DO THAT WAS SO BAD???!?

If U’ve been reading my last few posts, U might have noticed the “#15/21 day challenge” at the bottom of the page. Some 3 weeks ago, pastor Doug of New Life Church in Alamo, Ca challenged us to a fast. It was our choice to do a 7 day, 14 day, or 21 day challenge. We could also choose what to fast – either a meal per day, a certain type of food, or a digital fast of some sort. iPhone, iPad, Facebook, Twitter. After about a week of thought I decided to challenge myself to post on my blog for 21 days in a row.

I was doing great! UNTIL YESTERDAY!! I MISSED THE DAY!! yeah, yeah –  I hear you – you’re saying:

Oh is that all?”

 SONOW WHAT??? Excuses?? Blaming?? Lower the expectations?? Try again? Harder?? Just give up?? Start over again – from the beginning?? I think there’s something deeper, more important, crucial even, that I need to see in this.

It was discovered recently that some of the students in a classroom were doing things that they shouldn’t be. It was discovered when one of them was caught.

His response was “But what about the others?” And he began to name names.

So the announcement was made to the class. “If you confess you will be offered AMNESTY.” Some came forward – some did not. Those who did received GRACE. Those who did not were or will be disciplined.

So Now – the important Q! The main point of this post –

WHAT DOES MY CONFESSION HAVE TO DO WITH GOD’S GRACE??

 
1) GRACE is a gift. It cannot be earned, but it must be accepted, each time
2) CONFESSION of my faults is primarily for MY benefit, not God’s
3) CONSEQUENCES for my actions are intended to discipline me, not to punish me
4) CONFESSION changes the consequences into a lesson
5) CONFESSION clears the record and allows the training to move forward to the next step
6) (RIGOROUS) HONESTY really IS the best policy!!
7) If I had not missed a day, I would not know this part of GRACE

OK, I missed a day. I confess. No excuses, no explanations, no blaming. I’ll just start again – from where I failed, not from the beginning. I won’t try harder, I’ll just take the next step.

When I post this, I will place “#16/21 day challenge” at the bottom of the page
AND BE THANKFUL FOR HIS GRACE.
IT REALLY IS AMAZING

#16/21 day challenge

I KEPT COMING BACK

Always before – I came back – with a promise in my hand

This time I came back – holding nothing but a broken heart

And found, Again, The Love I’d always thought I had to earn

I’ve made so many promises. To Him

But time after time, again and again, I’d fail

Those broken promises finally caused my heart to break

And I came back – holding nothing but a broken heart

What  astounds me every morning is the many times He takes me back,
KNOWING FULL WELL there will be more broken promises.

And it was There. It was There. In that dark, broken place. I’m Finally Being Healed

LORD, Keep me Broken!
May I never get so Healed that I forget

When You’ve dressed me in your finest robe
When you’ve killed the fattest calf
When we join the others at the party
When You’ve cried:
Welcome Home, My Son, Welcome Home!”
May I Never Forget! Keep me Broken!

A Broken Heart, Lord, You will not turn away.”
Psalm 51:17

The FAITHFUL FATHER
aka – The Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11-32

#14/21 day challenge

POST #100!!!

Not Another Excuse!

photo 2.3.15

One of my definitions of Recovery is:

IDENTIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE and OVERCOMING  EXCUSES

When I learned that progress in my RECOVERY required me to make amends for damage done by me to others, I began to be more careful of how I acted or spoke. It became a matter of self-accountability. It also “keeps my side of the street cleaner“.

I hate saying “I’m Sorry”! So now I try to act so I don’t have to say it. Because: “If I NEED to say it, I HAVE to say it.” PROGRESS in my RECOVERY requires it.