calling all christian survivors

nltsaved

Registrant
more on obeying and receiving God plainly tells us what it is like when we obey and when we do not
I have seen nothing but All of this to be true in my life
Psalms 1 1-6
1Blessed is the one

who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take

or sit in the company of mockers,

2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,

and who meditates on his law day and night.

3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither

whatever they do prospers.

4Not so the wicked!

They are like chaff

that the wind blows away.

5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Jeremiah 17 5-8
Cursed is the one who trusts in man,

who draws strength from mere flesh

and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

6That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;

they will not see prosperity when it comes.

They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,

in a salt land where no one lives.

7But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

8They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.


this lesson came from here

God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he wanted. What did Solomon ask God for? (Wisdom) How did God answer Solomons request? (He gave Solomon wisdom and also riches and honor 1Kings 3:12-13) God made a promise to Solomon when He said He would give him those things.

Choose a volunteer to read 1 Kings 3:14. Some of Gods promises are conditional. What was God promising Solomon? (A long life) What was the condition? (If Solomon walked in Gods ways and obeyed His commands)

As Solomon walked with God and obeyed His commands God blessed him and the people of Israel. Lets look at some examples of Gods blessings on Solomon.

1 Kings 4:20 (The people were numerous, ate drank and were happy)
1 Kings 4:24b-25 (Peace on all sides)
1 Kings 5:4 (Lived in safety)
1 Kings 10:1-9, 23-24 (Famous for the wisdom and riches God gave Solomon)

If Solomon were living in our day he would probably own a t-shirt or two that says Life is Good. As he walked with God and obeyed his commands Solomon experienced a life full of blessing. He had more than he could ever ask for.

If you have believed in the Lord Jesus to save you from your sins, you are Gods child and have His promise of blessing for obedience in your own life. (Luke 11:28, John 8:51) As believers we have more than we could ever ask for. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 We may not completely understand what this verse means but if we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing we can be assured that we are richer than Solomon!

God has given us everything we need to live a life of obedience to Him. He has given us His Word to teach us how to live. His Holy Spirit lives in us to guide us and direct us in our lives to continue to live a life that pleases God. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Lets turn to 1 Kings 11:1-6. What happened to Solomon? (Allow students to respond) How does this make you feel as you read about Solomon? It is disappointing when we see a person blessed by God turn their heart away from Him.

If you and I are obeying God and enjoying His blessings can our hearts turn away from God? (Yes) How does such a terrible thing happen in our hearts when we know and believe that God loves us and His plans for our lives are best? (Sin)

What happened in Solomons life happened in the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and Eve and gave them everything they would ever need. He gave them one rule. What was that rule? (Not to eat from the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) With the multitudes of fruit to choose from how did Adam and Eve end up eating from the one tree God told them not to? (The serpent tempted Eve and told her she wouldnt die but she would become like God)

Because Adam and Eve sinned every person born after them is born with a sinful heart. (Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:23) Satan is Gods enemy and he knows that God created His most special creation (man and woman) so He could have a close relationship with them. Satan hates God and he knows the only way he can hurt God is by turning His most special creation (people) away from Him. Satan tried to destroy Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and has worked hard throughout history trying to destroy Gods people. (Revelation 12:9)

Solomon began his reign with his heart following God and obeying his ways. When he obeyed God, he experienced Gods blessing. Somewhere along the way Solomon stopped guarding his heart and was drawn away from Gods ways and he began to do evil.

God promises to bless those who obey Him. He also says He will punish those who disobey. Read 1 Kings 11:9-13. Because Solomon disobeyed, God was going to take away His Kingdom. The remainder of the chapter tells us how God raised up enemies against Solomon. When Solomon was obedient he and the Israelites were living in peace and safety. When Solomons heart turned away from God his disobedience became punishment instead of Gods blessing. this lesson came from here
 
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nltsaved

Registrant
Thank you for this thread it is invigorating . Studying all this scripture uplifting and praising God . It is AWESOME !!
 

victor-victim

Registrant
glory to god!

i just stumbled across this jewel today!

"Let not the one who puts on his armour boast like the one who takes it off."

1 KINGS 20:11


i was in that book reading one of my favourite parts when
that hit me like a bullet between the eyes.

i wonder why i have never noticed it before.

another reason why i love reading the bible.
i am never finished.


i feel like including the part i was reading.
because i love this part...

Then He said: Go out and stand on the mountain before Jehovah.
And behold! Jehovah was passing by, and a great and strong wind was splitting mountains and breaking crags before Jehovah, but Jehovah was not in the wind.
After the wind, there was an earthquake, but Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake, there was a fire, but Jehovah was not in the fire.
After the fire, there was a calm, low voice.

1 KINGS 19:11


that was the voice of god!
what a beautiful image.

i love this part because of the isolation and terror and despair that Elijah was feeling, running for his life, hiding from a death sentence in a cave, hunted, hated, absolutely alone, and zealous for god!
he was so depressed that he asked god to let him die.
then he has this supernatural encounter which really parallels many of my own spiritual experiences.

the still, small, quiet, calm, low voice of god.
speaking with certainty and authority.
always saying what i don't want to hear, but need to know.

that tiny voice has saved my life many times.
 

victor-victim

Registrant
i just survived another car accident today.
that is the 3rd time i was in a car that was wiped out in the last 18 months.
the first 2 were not my fault.
this one was.

the irony is...
i was about two blocks away from my doctor's office.
i was on my way to my therapist for my final appointment.
it was going to be our last session together for treatment.
as far as she was concerned, i was fully recovered from the PTSD
which i had been diagnosed with because of the previous two accidents in a row.
i missed the appointment, because they hauled me away to emergency in an ambulance.

i was already about 90% recovered, physically, and i was already back to work.
now i am sitting here with back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, money pain, mental pain.

ambulance, hospital, no broken bones, no blood.

major setback...
every time i start to get some traction, the ground falls out from under my feet.

so this time...
instead of having a smoke to ease the pain and stress,
or sliding back into my usual pity party,
or losing my mind and temper.

i turned to my bible...

this is what i found in JAMES 1:2-27

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So dont try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
If you dont know what youre doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. Youll get his help, and wont be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who worry their prayers are like wind-whipped waves. Dont think youre going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so dont ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, thats a picture of the prosperous life. At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.
Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
Dont let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, God is trying to trip me up. God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no ones way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
So, my very dear friends, dont get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. Gods righteousness doesnt grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
Dont fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and dont act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of Godthe free life!even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
Anyone who sets himself up as religious by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.


exactly what i needed to hear at this moment.

glory to god the creator!
i praise Jehovah.
in the name of Jesus Christ.

of course, before i found this scripture, i was on the edge of the abyss.
for the first few hours after the accident, i was in shock and pain, so i did have an emotional turmoil,
which included a lot of anger and despair and i blamed god and cursed him and i begged him for an explanation.
but all that came and went very quickly.

in the past, this crisis state of mind would last for weeks and months following disasters and catastrophes.
even minor delays could put me in a foul headspace for days.
i am very used to getting what i want when i want it.
snags never stopped me, i never quit,
but i really resented it when i had to work harder than i thought absolutely necessary
to achieve or obtain my heart's desires.
my wish was always my command.
the more obstacles i had to overcome, the more aggressively determined and stressfully stubborn i would become.
if something beyond my control occurred,
which proved to be beyond my power to fix,
which forced me to fail, or abort a mission,
well...
that was the end of the world and the start of a deep dark depression, punctuated with punches and tantrums.
whatever the case, lots of THC would be required.

this time... thanks to the epistle of james...
i was in a good mood, laughing it off, without any chemical help, prescription or otherwise, within 3 hours of the actual impact.
it is now almost 12 hours later, and i am still feeling emotionally solid. body is sore, but mood is bright.

if you knew me, you would not believe it was the same person.
i can hardly believe this myself.

the power of prayer and scripture cannot be denied!
glory to god.

i sure hope i don't feel worse tomorrow.
we will have to see.
 
Praises Be. The world cannot understand. The Spirit of God reveals and teaches us, and we can look back and see growth.

THAT is the stuff that testifies that we are indeed children of God.

I smile for you. I love James. The Half-Brother of Jesus, once a mocker and un-believer whose eyes and heart were opened to the truth of Jesus.

Count it all joy.... Hard Hard truth, but it's the refining fire that reveals the reality or the falsehood of our faith.

To God be the Glory. Yahweh, Adonai, Elohim!
 

victor-victim

Registrant
well, after a good night's rest.
i feel pretty good.
a little stiff and sore, but safe and sound.
i was more upset than anything else.
looks like i was not injured enough to worry about.

the last accident kept off my feet and stopped me from working for months.
thank god this was not as severe!

now i just have to deal with the financial fallout :(

I HATE MONEY!!!
[img:center]http://rlv.zcache.com/no_money_highway_sign_poster-ra5e9e993acb24e628b8099cc1b768b94_i13_8byvr_512.jpg[/img]
 

victor-victim

Registrant
great advice from Jesus.
definitely wise words worth remembering, in my humble opinion.

[font:Arial Black]LUKE 12[/font]

[font:Book Antiqua]Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap,
they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.
And how much more valuable you are than birds!
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life ?
Since you cannot do this very little thing,
why do you worry about the rest?
Consider how the wild flowers grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
how much more will he clothe youyou of little faith!
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
For the pagan world runs after all such things,
and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out,
a treasure in heaven that will never fail,
where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
[/font]


[font:Arial Black]MATTHEW 6[/font]

[font:Century Gothic]Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moths and vermin destroy,
and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moths and vermin do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
No one can serve two masters.
Either you will hate the one and love the other,
or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life,
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air:
for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?
or, What shall we drink?
or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
[/font]

even when i wasn't a Christian, i loved these ideas.
they gave me strength and support throughout my entire life.
i took them to heart, and lived by them as best as i could, whenever possible.
this scripture definitely had a huge influence on my decision making process.
it helped me cope with loss, fear, failure, worry, anxiety, poverty, greed, need, frustration, ambition.
 
I know I should be active in posting and responding. Just really struggling here lately and when I'm struggling it's so utterly difficult to do much more than just read.

Was stupid and shared a bit about my struggle with connecting with others. Well someone who obviously has never had that issue gave advice that would be really simple for someone who doesn't have the issue, and when I replied and shared that this issue with connecting and feeling like I fit in or belong has been a struggle my whole life.... the reply was basically a statement that they doubt my "relationship" with God because if I did, then I wouldn't feel that way.

I hate this work of trying to connect with others. So far it's always been more work and pain that it's been worthwhile.

Takes me back to place where I want to just want to give up entirely and keep to myself.

I realize more and more that the only one who CAN provide for my needs and heal my hurts is God. Yet everyone insists we're not supposed to be alone. Frustrating.

The passages you've posted are certainly true. For all my seeking and striving and working it's produced nothing but more hurt and emptiness.

Been looking for love, acceptance, belonging, care, compassion, understanding, etc in all the wrong places.
 

victor-victim

Registrant
I realize more and more that the only one who CAN provide for my needs and heal my hurts is God. Yet everyone insists we're not supposed to be alone. Frustrating.
exactly!!!

i can't even get one drop of comfort from human beings.
never could, and now i am certain i never will.
i cannot even rely on myself for compassion.
i can be my cruelest critic.
god has given me EVERYTHING i need.
the sad part is, now that i have been saved and cured through my relationship with Jehovah through Jesus Christ,
the people in my life are actually starting to attack or abandon me.
they don't want me to have this beautiful relationship with my creator.
some even say they prefer the old me.

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!!

i would not go back to my old personality for all the money in the world.

GALATIANS 1
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?
Or am I trying to please men?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ.


i have lost all of my former friends.
one guy i have known for forty years just told me last week that he can't hang out with Christians and asked me to stop calling him.
our last two conversations was him telling me that i was a fool.
another friend (20 year friendship) has told me that he does not want to talk about spiritual matters, and gets irritated the minute the subject comes up.
that has made our conversations dull and difficult. i have not seen him since i told him i don't smoke pot anymore.

MATTHEW 5
Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven,
for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You are the salt of the earth.
But if the salt loses its saltiness,
how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything,
except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
You are the light of the world.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


good riddance if they cannot handle my love of god.
the up side is, i have new healthy relationships with other believers.
the conversations are exciting and serious and meaningful and fruitful.

[size:26pt]REJOICE![/size]

JAMES 1
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.



i have never been happier in my life.
everything is better, and it stays that way.

of course, when i experience misfortunes, some fears, doubts, worries, anger start to set in,
like the car accident i had last Wednesday.
we all get kicked in the teeth.
that is life.
the troubles of this world, the tortures and torments, the trials and tribulations, the temptations...
those things will never end IN THIS WORLD OF FLESH.
in fact, the enemies of god are all against me now,
and they don't want me to quit the cult of evil.
people keep trying to drag me back down into the mud pit whenever i reach back in to pull them out.

ROMANS 8

What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?
It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth?
It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again,
who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


i have learned how to protect and defend my self and my soul.
every attack against me is an opportunity for growth in god.
he delivers and fulfills, i receive and heal.
my down days are now only minutes to hours long,
minor distractions to my joy.
the depression and dark moods cannot grow in the light of my lord and his infinite love.
bad feelings do not take hold, they disappear, they flee.
the weeds cannot grow without my permission.
prayer... bible... fellowship.

life is a war! and i am a warrior!

EPHESIANS 6

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel
.
 

nltsaved

Registrant
when you become a christian your life begins to resemble a pyrimid the base is laid the foundation of christ.As you grow and begin to gain strength and faith your pyrimid gets small as you go up friends get weeded out even some family memebers. The higher you go the less people are around becuase your begin to realize the love for god begins to trump all of the worldy people and unspiritual people begin to fall away and you are eventually left with only those god would have you be around
 

victor-victim

Registrant
thank god for that ;)

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6


And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12

I have given them your word,
and the world has hated them because they are not of the world,
just as I am not of the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world,
but that you keep them from the evil one.

John 17

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own;
but because ye are not of the world,
but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you.

John 15

For though we walk in the flesh,
we are not waging war according to the flesh.

2 Corinthians 10
 

pufferfish

Registrant
Here I am.

I am one of you.

I haven't read everything said here (yet) but I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about.

Yes I'm one two.

Following is my statement about God's activity in my life. It is a quotation from the Psalm of David, no. 34, New Living Translation

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.


Puffer
 
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victor-victim

Registrant
just finished the ACTS of the Apostles (again)

what an adventure!

very inspiring.

confidence in the face of conflict.
perseverance in the face of persecution.
determination in the face of deterrence.
courage in the face of corruption.
resolve in the face of resistance.
obstinance in the face of obstruction.
strength in the face of stress.
faith in the face of failure.
hope in the face of horror.

[font:Arial Black]1 Corinthians 4[/font]
This, then, is how you ought to regard us:
as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court;
indeed, I do not even judge myself.
My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.
It is the Lord who judges me.
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes.
He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.
At that time each will receive their praise from God.

When we are cursed, we bless;
when we are persecuted, we endure it;
when we are slandered, we answer kindly.
We have become the scum of the earth,
the garbage of the worldright up to this moment.
 

victor-victim

Registrant
i have just started to really pay close attention to Proverbs and Psalms.

divinely inspired common sense... wisdom.

[font:Book Antiqua]for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance
for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Out in the open Wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
on top of the wall she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:
How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
[/font] PROVERBS 1

-------------------
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
They are corrupt, they have done abominable works,
there is none that doeth good.
PSALM 14

-------------------
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
PROVERBS 26


i was such a fool, for so long.
i can barely remember who i was, or why i was.
all i can remember is a cloud of confused thought and pain.

studying the bible, praying to Jehovah the creator in the name of Jesus Christ, and true Christian fellowship, has dramatically and drastically improved my life and lifestyle.

the best part is the quality of my emotional state.
we are talking orders of magnitude, not percentages.
we are talking total transformation.

this is what i always dreamed recovery would feel like.

[size:20pt]thank you god!
i praise your holy name.
[/size]
 

victor-victim

Registrant
nltsaved said:
Psalms 1 1-6
1Blessed is the one

who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take

or sit in the company of mockers
[font:Times New Roman]"Do not keep company with a hot-tempered man
Or get involved with one disposed to rage,
So that you never learn his ways
And ensnare yourself
."
Proverbs 22:24-25 [/font]

I sure wish I had taken this advice a looooooong time ago.
Now it is too late.
I am a hot-tempered man, disposed to rage!
I learned those ways, and I have ensnared myself.

all i can do now is work harder to get better.
[font:Times New Roman]Matt 5:48: "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
2 Cor. 7:1: Therefore, having these promises, beloved,
let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
1 Thessalonians 3:10: Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face,
and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
1 Peter 5:10: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,
establish, strengthen, settle you.
Philippians 1:6: And I am convinced and sure of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ,
developing and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
2 Cor. 13:11: Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind,
live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. [/font]
 

victor-victim

Registrant
the biggest problem i have always had with god is that i am not god.

then i realized...
what kind of fool would engage in a power struggle with the creator of the universe?

[font:Century Gothic]I said in my heart,
I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.

In the pride of my heart
I said, I am a god;
I sit on the throne of a god
in the heart of the seas.
But I am a mere mortal and not a god,
though I think I am as wise as a god.

Will I then say, I am a god,
in the presence of those who kill me?
I will be but a mortal, not a god,
in the hands of those who slay me.
[/font]
this i do confess and repent.

I admit I am powerlessthat my life is unmanageable.
Things happened, happen, and will continue to happen that are beyond my control.
I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him.
I made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.
I came to realize that I have no right to criticize anyone,
least of all the creator of the universe.
I admit to God, to myself, and to other human beings the exact nature of my wrongs.
I continue to confess and repent.
I pray to God to forgive and remove all these defects of character.
I humbly ask Him to forgive and remove my shortcomings, every day.
I pray for the power to forgive myself and others for these shortcomings and defects in all of us.
I acknowledge all persons I have harmed,
and I am willing to make amends to them all.
I make direct amends to such people wherever possible.
I continue to take personal inventory,
and when I am wrong, I promptly admit it.
I seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God as I understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I have tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.

I thank god that I was never trained or programmed or pressured religiously as a child.
I thank god that I have come to my own conclusions by my own free will.
My belief system is not based on indoctrination, ritual, intimidation, manipulation, geography, family, convenience, conformity, etc, as it is with most labels.
I rely on research, prayer, and fellowship.
I adopt only methods and techniques that work for me.
I am free to abandon or correct those methods that no longer work or, having already worked, are no longer needed.
My curiousity has led me to where I currently am.
I like where I am.
Grateful to God.

----------------------
[font:Courier New]SPIRITUAL

1) of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit : incorporeal

2) a: of or relating to sacred matters
b: ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal

3) concerned with religious values

4) related or joined in spirit

5) a : of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena
b: of, relating to, or involving spiritualism


RELIGIOUS

1) relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity

2) of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances

3) a: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful
b: fervent, zealous[/font]
----------------------------

i never made much of a distinction between the two myself,
but at least now i have some idea.

i looked into the etymology of the root words.

-----------------------
[font:Courier New]Religious: "state of life bound by monastic vows," also "conduct indicating a belief in a divine power," from Anglo-French religiun, Old French religion "piety, devotion; religious community," and directly from Latin religionem (nominative religio) "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods; conscientiousness, sense of right, moral obligation; fear of the gods; divine service, religious observance; a religion, a faith, a mode of worship, cult; sanctity, holiness".

Spiritual: "of or concerning the spirit" (especially in religious aspects), from Old French spirituel, esperituel or directly from a Medieval Latin ecclesiastical use of Latin spiritualis "of or pertaining to breath, breathing, wind, or air; pertaining to spirit," from spiritus "of breathing, of the spirit". Meaning "of or concerning the church".
[/font]
----------------------------------

i would say that i fall under both these labels from time to time,
depending on who's making the definition.
but i am a severe skeptic, a bible believer,
a follower, a doubter, a repentant rebel,
a sinner seeking salvation, a hypocrite,
doing my best to be better.

prayer, study, and fellowship.
loving, learning, and sharing.


i love the bible.
i read it every day.
i love to pray.
i do it every day.
i worship the creator.
i praise the creator.
i thank the creator.
i fear the creator.
i love the creator.
i love the creation.
i love the creatures.
i love jesus.
i love myself.
i love mankind.
i love life.
i love.

i will let others decide what to label me.

i traded in sex n drugs and punkrock for
bible n prayer n fellowship.
so far it has been the best thing that has happened to me in my 52 years of life.

way better people.
way better party.

i believe the universe was designed and created by some intelligent being for a purpose.
there is simply not enough time left in my life to explain how i arrived at that conclusion.
it took me a lifetime to get to this point.
i cannot prove it and do not intend to defend that position.
this is an opinion that i currently hold, based on my own personal knowledge and experience.
the only god i am interested in worshipping is the god that created and designed everything.
the source.
the cause.
the purpose and will behind, beneath and beyond whatever exists.
when i used the word 'god' at the beginning of this thread, that is what i meant.
the point of posting was to share a personal breakthrough in my own ongoing quest for meaning and purpose in my life.

it may be that all kinds of invisible/undiscovered/supernatural/extraterrestrial/interdimensional beings exist outside or within our time/space continuum.
whether such sentient entities are really real does not require my consent.
i would consider any and all of these spirits to be creations and creatures, not the creator.
it really does not matter what god i believe in.
what matters is which god i choose to give my submission, devotion and worship.

the creator i pray to is still beyond my definition or comprehension.
the creator might even be beyond my prayers,
but i will continue to be grateful to god.
i enjoy expressing that joy.
it is genuine and sincere.

after decades of denial, defense, doubt and due diligence, soul searching struggles, skeptical subjective scientific studies, subconscious spiritual self seeking, extreme emotional esoteric experiences and experiments, rebellion, resistance, rituals, rigorous reading and research, and careful contemplative consideration, i finally became an expert on my own ego.

i never wanted to believe in god or anything supernatural or spiritual.
life after death is about as interesting to me as life before birth.
lifestyle and quality of life on earth is what motivates me.
my deepest wish has always been that none of it is true,
but i don't make the rules.
as i said earlier... i am not god.

despite my desires and efforts,
against my own judgement and wishes,
counter to my own intuition and instinct,
i believe in a creator who cares.

anything less does not interest me.
anything less would not be interested in me.
anything less does not deserve my adoration or attention.

a mechanical universe without personality, purpose, intelligence or design does not interest me infinitely.
a god i cannot contact or communicate with does not interest me in any way.


the point of my post was this.

i have tried god.
denied god.
decried god.
destroyed god.
despised god.
demonized god.
criticized god.
cursed god.
hated god.
debated god.
negated god.
voided god.
avoided god.
ignored god.
abhorred god.
judged god.
sentenced god.
begged god.
blasphemed god.
blamed god.
defamed god.

i was unable to find emotional/philosophical/psychological/psychic/psychedelic/physical/pharmaceutical/medical/mental solutions to my spiritual problems.
if the spirit is a product of the imagination,
then i needed imaginative imaginary solutions to my imagined problems.
it was tragic.
my logic was no match for magic.
i was unable to pretend or reason or imagine my imagination into nonexistence.

if the holy spirit is imaginary, then i have the best imaginary friend i have ever had.
if this is trading one addiction for another,
then i have definitely traded up.

the bible has helped me understand my situation better than any other holy book or ancient text or self help system or therapy session i have ever encountered, employed, or embraced.

i read the bible every day,
and i apply the techniques,
and i get the results, as advertised.
to my skeptic surprise.

i will let you know when it lets me down.

i don't concern myself with the ideas behind Christianity.
i am not interested in the traditions of man.
i am a child of god.
i seek the light.
i read the bible.
i praise jhvh the creator.
i love jesus as intercessor.
i seek fellowship in the holy spirit and the body of christ.
not only has my life improved,
my personality has completely transformed.

i resisted Christianity my entire life because i thought it was illogical nonsense.
i would have much rathered a belief system that fit my preferred lifestyle and worldview,
but after a lifetime of errors, i will settle for something that works.
And Christianity works...
but if and only when i:
- read the bible.
- surrender to the will of JHVH.
- obey the commandments.
- follow JHSVH.
- confess, repent, and forgive.
- praise JHVH the creator in the name of his son JHSVH the Messiah.
- love all his children as siblings.

that is what i consider Christianity.
that is what i am trying to achieve.
with the help of prayer, study and fellowship, it is being achieved, much easier than i ever thought possible.

i was betrayed by "christians".
it made me hate the church, god, man, and myself.
but those undercover pedophiles have infiltrated every organization on the planet, especially where there are vulnerable children and gullible parents.
after decades of searching, i did not find one single secular or spiritual social group that did not contain the same hidden hazard, especially when children were involved.

wherever there are people engaged in social activity,
there will always be abuse and ignorance and dishonesty and corruption.
rejecting god did not make the evil go away in my life.
avoiding church did not protect me from predators.

if the diaper is dirty, i don't dispose of my baby,
i wash my child and flush the crap.
the diaper is not the baby.
the church is not god.
empty rituals are a waste of time.
form without content.
without sincere prayer and bible study,
the church is nothing more than a social club.

the bible tells me to:
1) trust in the father.
2) believe in the son.
3) receive the holy spirit.
4) forgive my brother.

although i am commanded "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself",
it does not tell me anywhere to trust my fellow human.
(if i have overlooked that scripture, someone please correct me.)

instead, i get the opposite.
the bible tells me that i am like a sheep among wolves, some of which are wearing sheepskins, and i should be as harmless as a dove, and as wise as a serpent.

How much of my faith is truly my own?
all of it.
100% self taught, ego filtered, life tested and experience based.
How much is influenced, expected and demanded by all those around my who are immersed in it?
none of it. i am currently seeking and building a fellowship support network.
If i was born somewhere else where my family and neighbors and all around me were followers of a different faith, would i become Christian?
i cannot answer that one directly, but i can tell you that i was raised without religion in a multicultural society.
any contact i had with christians and churches was completely negative, my rapist was a "christian", my fondler was a "christian", my friends were being abused by "christians".
jesus did not "save" me from sexual abuse.
i rejected religion, for pretty much the reasons you have outlined, holy wars etc, and began a lifelong journey to find inner peace and joy without god.
naturally, i started with hedonism and nihilism.
any time god crossed my mind, my immediate reaction was rebellion and rage.
if god existed, he deserved my disdain.
after this experiment ended in disaster, i felt compelled to seek some spiritual answers.
i experimented with every spiritual system,
giving each one a serious and skeptic study.
i found solace in atheism, agnosticism, secular humanism, and many other isms. my favourite was hedonism.

i got involved in everything from the occult to eckankar.
really wanted to be a Buddhist, moved to the jungles of Thailand for some time.
chanted to hindu gods, dabbled in dianetics,
got really serious about my native aboriginal roots,
worshipped the sun, the earth, and the cosmos.
i even gave satan a shot.
when all else failed, i gave the bible a try.
i thought, why not?
i had already studied all the other ancient texts and holy books.
i might as well read the whole thing from cover to cover.
i suspected/expected i would find all the flaws in it and be able to ridicule and reject christianity on a more informed basis.
the exact opposite happened.

i found a new foundation.
an undercurrent of love and joy.

my current belief system has come as a complete surprise to me, but believe me, it is based on unexplainable events that actually occurred. if i did not have other eye-witnesses to corroborate these events, i would doubt my senses.
i still don't want to believe what i know to be true.
so, in my opinion, if you had asked me ten years ago, whether i would believe in jesus the messiah, i would have laughed at you.
the answer would not have been "highly unlikely" but rather a sincere and emphatic "impossible".
my knowledge of the bible at that time, was based on a few aborted attempts to get past genesis chapter 3 before losing interest. i skipped over all the begats in matthew, scoffed at the virgin birth, but totally liked what jesus had to say.
remembered the ones that i liked and agreed with, and ignored the parts i didn't. did not buy into the messiah myth and the miracles. i paid no attention to the resurrection.
didn't even notice the salvation.
all the crucifixion meant to me was this...
even if you are innocent, you can still be tortured and put to death if you don't keep your mouth shut.
how did i ever become a follower of jesus and a believer in christ?
i will call it a miracle.

for me...
faith is not a suspension of reason.
faith is not a substitute for logic.
faith fills in the gaps between the facts.
spirits and gods do not play by our rules.

jesus christ did not condone or endorse violence.
he taught the opposite.
in fact, one of the reasons i rejected church was because of what little i had read in matthew.
jesus constantly criticizes and even condemns traditional temple teachings, holy hypocrites, corrupt churches and ritual religion.
the first part of the book of revelation is a scathing attack on churches.
later in that same book, it refers to "synagogues of Satan".
most of the new testament is advice, accusation and admonition addressed to christian churches and congregations.
both john the baptist and jesus the messiah called the pious religious leaders a "generation of vipers".
how about this... from the book of job:
Job 15:34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.
Matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

in my opinion, a church is wherever 2 or more believers are gathered in the worship of the creator.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Jeremiah 23:29 - Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
Ephesians 6:17 - And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

the word of god can be a dangerous weapon.
a double-edged sword that cuts both ways.
 

victor-victim

Registrant
[font:Georgia][size:17pt]There are six things that Jehovah hates;

Yes, seven things that he detests:

Haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart plotting wicked schemes,
and feet that run quickly to evil,
A false witness who lies with every breath,
And anyone sowing contentions among brothers.[/size]
[/font]
PROVERBS VI
 

victor-victim

Registrant
the sad thing is...

my eyes are haughty,
my tongue lies,
my hands have shed innocent blood,
my heart plots wicked schemes,
my feet run quickly to evil,
i have been a false witness,
and i have sown the seeds of discontent among my brothers.

just admitting that was difficult, almost impossible, but by accepting the guilt, i got rid of my shame.
of course, i would rather be perfect,
and i would settle for excellent,
but i am willing to work for it, and i have.

i have such pride issues, that i started getting proud of my humility.
this Christian commitment is harder than i thought,
but the results are worth it.
i have improved... massively, immensely, immeasurably.

the improvements have been dramatic, and permanent so far.

the work continues.

bible study,
prayer to Jehovah in the name of Jesus Christ.
fellowship with real Christians.
obedience, submission, worship, praise, gratitude.

glory to god!
life is beautiful.
 

victor-victim

Registrant
[font:Book Antiqua]You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else,
for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself,
because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Now we know that Gods judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things,
do you think you will escape Gods judgment?
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience,
not realizing that Gods kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
...

All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law,
and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in Gods sight,
but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law,
they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.
They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts,
their consciences also bearing witness,
and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.
[/font]

[font:Arial Black]ROMANS CHAPTER 2
[/font]
 
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