20161101

The Cross is the main thing

"When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly. I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage - the courage - to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward." ~ Pope Francis I
I am a "Protestant".  That is, i am not a Catholic.  I am not anti-Catholic, i just do not agree with a lot of the views of the Catholic church as a whole, so, this will NOT be a denominational bashing post.  If this is what is what you, dear reader, are seeking, please continue on, as it will not be found here.

This was a quote i found, just after Pope Francis I was made the Pope of the Catholic church.  While there are things i disagree with the Catholic church on, this quote by the current Pope shows that there are a lot of things that align most of the denominations of the Christian church.

The cross is THE focus of Christ's ministry on the earth.  His birth brought Him from Heaven.  His life paved the way to make His crucifixion relevant.  Hos death paid the penalty.  His resurrection defeated death.  His testimony and ascension back to Heaven showed His true home.  Everything the Christian does is in response to the cross.  There is nothing a Christian can do to earn what Christ has done.  Nothing that a Christian can do to add to what Christ has done.  There is nothing that the world can do that can take away what Christ has down.  The cross is the very foundation open which our faith is built. 

Preach Christ crucified.  Proclaim WHY He was.  Do not withhold, or soften, or... take away from sharing these things.  It will not always be accepted... even by those of us who profess Christ, in our daily lives... but, just because the truth is not accepted... does not make it any less truth.

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20161027

Greetings my fellow disciples, my fellow samurai in Christ

I have been... AFK, from my blog, for all intents and purposes, for quite a while... i am too self conscious to even look back and see for how long (and not counting my 'blips' here and there).  This post will be an "update", and explanation, and hopefully... an idea of where i will be going forward, for now.

OK... the past... "my beloved" left me.  It's hard to explain... and, i have had a role in my own failures, and short comings.  I will not extrapolate as to what happened... that is a private matter, and i do not want to slander, or possibly misrepresent what went on - for either of us.  For my part, i am willing to share, but i am concerned of where the 'line' might be, and in the end, we live in a fallen world.  The troubles are probably a large reason as to why my blogging slowed, etc., but, God is always good, all the time.  I have begun emerging from the valley.  And, from the perspective of my blogging entries... this will come across as sudden... but... God has brought a new woman into my life.  We are both seeking healing for our pasts, as we walk out what God might have for us.  I need to come up with a new... moniker for her, as i prefer to not use real names here.  Stay tuned for that. 

The present.  I have been doing a lot of 'purging'.  Truly.  Furniture, pieces parts, old Tupperware without lids, etc.  This has been including a review of memories, etc.  It also included a review of my quotes from Facebook... i found out that i have 125 quotes!  This has given me an idea...

So, moving forward... for now.  I think i will be using those 125 quotes, which grows in length at varying paces over time, as well as the 7-5-3 picture. :)  However, i have also learned that, real life exists.  I have to ensure i keep up with adulting (i am a single father, for real now).  My career also needs more of my time and attention.  So, i will only try and ensure of a single post per week.  If i am able to get more out, i will do so, but, for now... :)

For those reading this entry.... thank you.  May God richly bless you - not for reading this, but that He lives in you, and you seek Him with all of your heart. 
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap not gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious. saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:25-24, ESV

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20160202

7-5-3

I really have a LOT more to post than just this image... but i have a lot of "personal real world issues i am working on, but... in my opinion, this needed to be shared right away....

20150929

I've got nothin'

Even before the frequency of my posts began to wane... i had realized that i was struggling with depression... if there are still those around who used to read this blog before, probably already know this.  What i had not realized was... just what a toll it was taking on those around me.  Yes, i was suffering with depression... but i was dragging those around me, down as well.

Right now, my brain is foggy, so... this will not be as coherent a post, as i would like, but i feel compelled to write anyway... like i've said elsewhere... this blog is mostly for myself... but... if it can be used for others... thus, i share it on-line.

I began seeing a new therapist this past April.  My beloved had been begging me to start going again for a while, and my own pride kept telling me that i was fine (again).  Well, this therapist is a magnitude better than my previous one... shortly into our sessions, she recommended that i talk to my doctor about possibly changing up some of my depression and ADD Rx's, which i did.  Wow.  Within just a few days of weening off of the old depression Rx, and onto the new one, i noticed a difference.  It would take two or three weeks to stabilize, but i honestly felt like my eyes had opened for the first time in... well, longer than i could remember.  Unfortunately... i also saw what damage i had wrought in my own marriage as well.  Unfortunately... the "Big D Thelma and Louise car" was at full throttle heading towards that cliff.

I am blessed that my therapist is a Christian, as are the others at the same practice.  I began experiencing panic attacks, and a few other depression symptoms, but, i continued to work with my therapist, and trying to open my eyes more, to learn more, to hit the brakes, but i was no longer in control (as if i ever truly were).

This past summer (2015) has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least.  Then, after an angry outburst by me (not my first in our marriage i am ashamed to say), my beloved had finally had enough, and told me as such.  She asked me to leave the house so that she could have space.  I will not lie... it felt like i was experiencing seppuku... like a long sharp instrument had been rammed up through my stomach into my heart.

For a time, i flailed, and "reached out" to anyone, and everyone, i could think of... well, not everyone, but... a lot of people.  All of them, to a (wo)man, told me that... this is what i had to do.  I had been mentally abusive to my wife, and of i wanted ANY chance of saving my marriage, it would be best.  I really did NOT like that idea... and i attacked it any which way i could.  I even had outbursts at my longtime friends... who were only trying to help me and my beloved, and our marriage.  To put it mildly... this was not 'samurai' at his finest.

Finally, i honestly felt a whisper in my mind... "trust me"... and, in much pain, i did move out.  I remember entering a date into my Facebook messenger, to myself, the day my beloved said that she wanted to talk... it was just moments before my angry outburst that had kicked the final leg out from my weak-sand-construction of a marriage.  Since then, i have deactivated my Facebook account, in honor of recommendations to do so, as i honestly do tend to share too much - without consideration of my beloved's feelings, or desires. I have also deactivated my other social media accounts, which i really didn't use anyway.

A month prior to my angry outburst, i had heard words from my beloved that i thought i would never hear... i will not share them here... but, they cut me to the core.  Now - while she was the one saying these things, and "causing" me pain, it had been years of neglect from me, her husband, the one to whom God had entrusted the hand of His daughter to love, honor, cherish, protect... and this was the culmination of years of failure on my part.  While my beloved has participated in this long spiral... this blog is about me... and i am owning up to my failures, and not to point out hers.

If anyone is still reading this, the outlook seems bleak, does it not?

But, this 'samurai' is in the service of the greatest Lord in all of history.  The Lord Jesus Christ, his Father, and the Holy Spirit.  Within a day of my terrible outburst, i felt a peace re: something my beloved had shared.  Despite a long struggle with paranoia in the regards to the subject... in regards to knowing, and sensing, just how far my beloved had pulled away (again, precipitated by my neglect towards her)... i just had a peace.  Many fellow Christians will know what i am talking about... it is possible that some non-Christians too... but, i do not know for sure.  So, when the "invitation" to "step aside" finally came the next day... while i was, and still am in many way, in severe emotional pain... i was at peace with a really "big rock".  I'd like to say that i had learned my lesson and immediately repented... but, it has been (only) three long weeks since i began staying elsewhere.

Since then, i have continued my therapy... sometimes as much as four times in a week.  What can i say... this 'samurai' is a severely broken piece of work.  I have finally swallowed my pride regarding my Aspergers, my depression, and ADD, and submitted a "request of accommodations" with my employer.  I am fortunate, and extremely blessed, that those whom God has placed around me, already know of my 'quirks', and have already worked with me.  The only reason i did that was... this separation has been extremely taxing on me... talk about being "stretched" by God.

I've started journaling (pen and paper - chicken scratch mostly), actually joined a gym, will be trying Yoga (because i really swallow up my frustrations, and it is taking a toll on my body from within), and had my eyes open to just how much i need to work on.  In the past... this would have overwhelmed me... but, in the past three weeks... i have experienced another peace descend upon me.  One about my marriage.  God has allowed this apex crises to arise, so that it would be addressed, and addressed in full... not in a patch work fashion.

While i still want this to all be fixed now... God has allowed me to see just how "broken" i really am... how "fearfully and wonderfully made" i am... how broken my beloved is (both because of me, but because she is her own person, in her own way as well)... and how He is working through all of this.  Through all of the weeping... the pride... the pain... through a severely damaged marriage... through two broken people... and the friends He has surrounded them with.

I am still staying at a hotel at present, but my beloved and i are talking.  We are both in (separate) counseling.  And while we have a long road ahead of us... the light at the end of the tunnel, does not look like an oncoming freight train.  A word of self caution though... this 'samurai' is still fully capable of screwing it all up... but...

God willing... more to follow.

(I had, and have, a lot of scripture references that came to mind, but, this is not as well thought out, and i've not taken as much time as i would have preferred... but... hopefully, i will be taking more time to be more thorough moving forward.)

A P.P.S. - also came to mind... this past weekend, was the 24th anniversary of the day i met my beloved... not a fun memory to recount while apart from her... but, it was also a day of reflection... i am looking forward to walk through the healing with God, and my beloved (in time)...

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20150917

Just Be Held

For many reasons, most of them of my own causing, i am currently... exploring the darkest valley i have ever walked... my therapist shared this song with me... i thought i would "share it forward".


JUST BE HELD


Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go





20150902

Take time to smell the flowers

For some reason the following image, and thought, came to mind...

In the winter of 1991, i finally had the opportunity to attend the Army's Air Assault school.  I left with six other soldier's from my unit.  Myself (Anti-Tank Infantryman), three men from our Scout platoon, two from our Admin section, and one from the motor pool.

While it is not nearly as physically rigorous as Airborne school, it has its moments.  Before the formal school began, the instructors began to weed out those who did not REALLY want to be there, and we ran through a three mile obstacle course.  You could not fail to navigate any of the obstacles, but you could get up to two chances for up to two obstacles.  When we all got to the end, we had already lost ten percent of the class.  Most of those who passed, were muddy from head to toe... most of those who didn't were not.  For the rest of that very, very long day, we did push ups, sit ups, flutter kicks, runs of various lengths, and many more "exercises"... at one point i finally experienced muscle failure and i could not do another push up.  No matter how hard i tried, i could not extend my arms.  Soon, i was starring at a pair of boots, and a voice screaming at me, telling me to get up... that if my belt touched the ground, i'd be going home.  I still have no idea how long that went on, but it felt like three hours.

Through out the rest of the course, there were a lot more challenges (the instructors never told us that we could drop our rucks while performing pull ups O.o )... the final challenge, a twelve mile Ruck March, fully loaded, that had to be completed in under three hours.  There was an inspection before the start, and one, right there at the finish line... when i completed the course in 2'49'??' - i had never felt such pain in my muscles before, or since.  After my post march inspection, all that was left was the graduation ceremony, and i headed back to the barracks to pack for the flight home (which i was sure that someone was going to have to wheel me up the ramp to the plane).  As i packed, i looked around the barracks, everyone was drenched from the inside out.  Not one pair of boots would have passed the most casual of inspection.  I was nose deaf at this point, but, i imagined it smelled like a well used sports locker room.  By the time the graduation ceremony started, there were less than half of us left.  (Note:  it was me, and the two Admin 'pukes' who graduated... and i never let the Scout Platoon forget it either)

The thought that came to my mind is this...

No one ever grows by avoiding the pain... the mess... the absolute filth of crawling through the cr@p of your own life... but, those who reach the end... those who went through the most disgusting of battles... they smell the sweetest.


20150415

The Shimabara Rebellion Part 1 & 2


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For a little more in depth review, please check out this New World Encyclopedia article