Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hard Truth to Keep Christian Life Going

Fatigue on the body, renewed and strong in the mind. It has been a busy 3 weeks with absolute no time to reflect think. That probably explains why I have been quite robotic these days. Sometimes I feel like I'm turning into muscle-brain, all brawls and no brains.

The Father Heart conference has been really enlightening. It has put perspective and wisdom into the Christian life that I never thought it could and would be but the simple truth are there and its right in the bible. I just wished I had known these truth earlier in my life.

I'm not a big fan of LKY but I do subscribe to his philosophy and characteristic. I like how he is firm on his perspective and determination to bring to reality of what he conjured and voraciously devoured in readings. Taking from his book title, I realize upon that there are hard truth as well to keeping a Christian life going.

The very first truth about accepting Jesus is that He is the Lord and also the bridge to bring us back to the first love, that is the Father Himself. It did felt like I have been living my whole 9 years of Christian life being delusional about who I was really praying to and my own identity. But now I know for sure, first of all, God is the Father who know about everything about me and I am redeemed as a Son. The embracing of the Son-ship and Daughter-ship identity is imperative because that's who we are and we must go to His presence as His children.

The second truth to such is that because we are His children, there must be a relationship to it. I love how James Jordan has mentioned that "How can God made you from the beginning and He does not have a place in your life?". That is truth in the simplest form and I thoroughly believe that it is such truth that sets us free.

The third truth with regards that we are His children and relationship ensures, obedience is the next most important truth. I now understands that God appreciates sacrifice from us but what He desires more is our obedience to Him. I laughed to myself when I heard Larry Randolph said "Sometimes we go to great length, maybe offering ourselves to do mission in Afghanistan or the ends of the earth. But when God ask " why don't you wake up at 6 a.m. and worship me for 10 minutes?", we hesitates".

Above all, I have figured that the easiest and simplest way of explaining the backbone of a Christian life is, if we are not comfortable with love from friends and/or family, we do not understand love. It is then we must seek understanding from the Father, the originator and creator of love, to touch us. James Jordan also gave a perspective shift, in that we must not view our life as being limited. In fact, we have already gained immortality and we are already living in eternity from the time that we are born. It's just a matter of our spiritual being shifting in realms after physical death.

In concluding, what is most important is, how is my life today with God the Father? Do I really view Him and experience Him as a Father to me? 

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Thought Menagerie

Reading further into the book "Changes That Heal", the word "Savior Complex" suddenly comes into my mind. As I read more and understands more, I want to acknowledge that there is a hidden side to this whole church political situation.

At this very moment of writing, I'm not exactly convinced that there is a good side to whatever happened but after much talking to Shawn, if I really want healing and changes to happen for the better, I must acknowledge certain point.

That God is ever good and plans to prosper us and for every bad thing that happens, God has a finger in it and there is something to learn and mature from.

Perhaps it is being taken down that the performance veil is remove from me so that I can see and deal with what lurks underneath. I am desperately attracted to depressed and helpless people because subconsciously I see myself as somewhat of  Savior. What a ugly ego, perhaps. It is intriguing to think what happens when I am no longer filled from God yet still continues to pour into people's life.

I am exactly what the book has described as, excessive caregiver. I think what is powerful is when the next chapter talks about responsibility and boundaries. That what my thoughts and pains are happening, are my responsibility and the same goes for other people. Should I ever cross to care about other's problem, it is still their responsibility and I should not expect reciprocation.

What really struck me is how powerful that puts me to be and how powerless it sets me to be as well. Powerful because we can affect how others feel when they are in a mess, however should we ever step out of their life, we become powerless because we feel responsible for their life and if it goes wrong, we feel like crap. Yet the truth is that we are not responsible, not for other's decision and happiness.

This is not an encouragement of selfishness but setting the boundaries to where our feelings and emotions ends and where others begins.

I supposed with great power comes great responsibility.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

All Matters

Its been a long 3 week since the last post. My recent obsession is the book "Changes That Heal" by Dr. Henry Cloud. Either I am just a hypocrite that listens to what I want to listen or Cloud just writes so much truth.

I think looking back so far, it is clear that I need some serious healing. I am surprised as to how much truth the Support Group can reveal, other than just keeping each and everyone of us accountable to our sexuality. It astonished me that this wayward sexuality doesn't really stems from just some weird gene, hormones or whatever. It has nothing to do with bodily function and everything to do with the heart and soul.

It has been a dark and challenging time, it still is. But I acknowledge now that I am badly shot and I need healing. Same-sex attraction aside, it permeates my mind and depresses me every waking moment to think about church. It is that until the Support Group counselor told me that this is about forgiveness and exchanging the unfairness dealt and whatever that I could not have for God's blessing and peace.

It is a chaotic battle in my heart and mind. Rationalizing on what makes sense and why I should not forgive but that is my way, human carnal destructive way. It is the way of God to love and forgive. It is not a pleasant feeling to kneel down and speak of forgiveness yet my heart feels otherwise. Though against all this, it is a matter of proclaiming forgiveness and joy even though the heart has not catches up.

I long for the day that I walk free as a man, from emotional hurt, emptiness and loneliness in my heart. Back to what Dr. Henry Cloud has wrote, to summarize the book, it is all about being detached from community and isolation that ultimately cause the demise of every human being due to being retracted into a corner of depression and then the denial of need for bonding.

I love how he included the Law of Entropy. It is true that anything left to its on will degrade and disintegrate over time and he apply this law to our emotional and spiritual being. It is my habit to care excessive for people that I am burdened about but I do not admit my needs and seek help.

I need help.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Circle of Error

I am astonished how Leigh Nash and Matt Slocum from Sixpence None The Richer writes such amazing song. It is not only a Christian band but an realistic one at that. Especially the songs from the early 90's, specifically the 'This Beautiful Mess' album. 'Love, Salvation & The Fear of Death" as well as 'Circle of Error' really connects to me in so many level.

Attending a support group that deals with a specific sexuality issue, I find myself in an entirely new and odd environment. Even the worship style and genre is different. Generally in a nutshell, I am quite scared and uncomfortable. I'm not sure what kind of fellowship and direction I am going to gather from this group but seeing as a goal to point me in the right direction of holy sexuality, this is a fear and struggle I have to wrestle with.

On hindsight, I do think there is a lot of bandages and old wounds that is going to be ripped open. It does feel like I'm going into a spiritual surgery. It make sense that to heal badly patched wound is to open it again and correct it. I just wished that things weren't so fucked up but it is.

I think recently I am caught on the consumerism pattern. So bad that I am broke-ass days before payday. It certainly does feels like I am buying objects to fill this emptiness in my heart. Coming back to the Circle of Error, the lyrics is so correct, so direct and so blunt.

"...When I kneel to pray, it never seems that you're never there and I'll admit that I do not try when it's easier to sit down and cry. I'm so full of doubt".

Nevertheless, it has always been an war of conflicting thoughts and argument in my head between self-destruction and self-preservation these few month. I do want to have a good cry about all this but most of the time I just feel so emotion-less about it. It's just, sad, but not sad enough to cry.

I do feel like I have missed God's train towards salvation and fruitfulness. It is disorientating when the church is always talking about harvest and favors when this whole period is all about being left alone in a desert looking for a tiny oasis. It feels like God is hanging me out to dry but again, it is equally hard for me to crawl toward's God. I admit that I hate God and I hate myself for all this crap that is going on. It is hard to find joy when the center of my life is a black-hole of nothingness.

I'd pray for healing in my heart but it seems to take a great deal of strength to even make a sincere prayer. Perhaps I deserve to be hang utterly dry? I really wonder who would secretly pray for my soul at this very moment. At least I know that was a practice I used to do and journal it down everyday in the days of leadership.

At Concourse Starbucks now, I would never turn up for service today but because Glenn is attending without anyone, I am here. Call me a patriot in the Kingdom without the love of God in my heart, I secretly hope it is otherwise.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Depression

With a certain degree of truth and accuracy, I think I am officially clinically depressed. War of argument and logical explanation rages in my head. Joining LG seems to totally sap me of my joy. I can't remember when was the last time I truly cannot be bothered on a Saturday and it seems that today is the day.

Didn't even managed to make it through 30 minute after dinner, I just walked out on the dinner. I just hate to see how nonchalant Jeremy is and how Aaron seems to be oblivious to everything. Everyone seems to be real happy. I feel like a lunatic.

I have lost my ability to be happy for people. Maybe subconsciously, I am actually annoyed that people are joyful and I can't be. Right now, I really wish that I could lose my memories. I can't believe how memories can be so sweet yet bitter at the same time, yet it is. It is the case for me. I can't think back to good memories without being depressed and sad about what's happened. It seems like my whole entire life is a story of tragic ending.

Maybe the inevitable is coming. Perhaps I have to come to admit that it is unavoidable that in order to walk away, learn to let go and forgive is to really walk away from everyone whom I ever loved because looking at them are the source of misery for me. Or maybe the source of misery is myself, probably is. But I guess baby steps.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fall

Looking back at Year 2014, all I can say is, it's a year full of turbulent. Perhaps one of my worst year in the 21 year on human earth. It's funny how I have desired so much to leave the Army yet at this point of time, I am yearning with all my heart to go back. Not sure if it is because I miss the people, the memories, or the carefree nature of it. All I know was, the past 2 years in NS has been a blessing in disguise.

With the past 3 month behind, I feel that I have descended onto a downward spiral, emotionally and spiritually. Never have I ever felt so lonely and bitter, maybe when I realize how fake my friends in Secondary School were but this is different. It is depressing I supposed.

Supposed you have based your life on the one thing and spent every waking moment obsessing over it, what happens when that one thing in your life turns out to be something different, or losing sight of it? I feel as though I am staring straight into hell, Sometimes, it does feel that every waking moment is like living hell.

I think on a subconscious level, I do blame and maybe, a tinge of hate towards God for the whole Maurise saga that happened. Both for the ostracizing of Issac and the whole split-Lifegroup leadership thing. No doubt I believe in the existence of God and the whole thing about Jesus dying. But at this point, the story of a loving God seems rather far-fetched and fake to me, honestly.

Loneliness has never been so loud until now. I genuinely thought that there are people whom I can lean on and stand with to fight the battle for truth. However coming to this point, I find myself standing alone, hating and feeling bitter over what happened while everyone around me seems to have move on. This really questions my confidence and my sanity. Am I picking a fight or everyone just can't be bothered to give a flying fuck about truth and rights?

I think Ben Sledge from Heart Support puts this perfectly that everyone carries open wounds and shards of glass. But then it seems to me that I am always the one being prick and triage-ing and no one is here to tend to my wounds. I'm starring straight into hell and everyone around me is blind to it. Truly, it is at this time that I find myself strength-less.

Whatever visions I see for Ignite 12, I have lost it and I have no strength to accomplish it. It seems to me that I am the only one fighting and everyone is just gathering for the rah-rah on a Saturday evening because we got nothing else better to do. It's a lifegroup that I have found no life and fellowship in. It's a lifegroup that I find myself running away instead of confiding. How ironic and conflicting!

At the very end, I have found that no one is dependable. At my greatest time of needs. Was I running away from this cold hard truth all the time or was I just naive? Life seems hardly worth living, except that I acknowledge I do not own my life and I have no rights to take my own life.

- Ben

Monday, October 20, 2014

Newman, Love, Talbott

It is terrifying how time passes with the last blog post being 30th September. I guess it simply just signifies how busy I have been and I have not been reflecting nor writing for the past 20 days.

With the past 3 weeks that has flew by unknowingly, with a clearer mind and stable emotion, I am confident to say that it is a right choice to move out of Ignite 7th. Although it did made the church questioned my spiritual stability and being taken out of the music ministry, I think I have exchanged back my sanity and joy.

I'm glad that I am able to view things with an objective mindset and with the very least prejudice I could afford. At least through this very stage, I know who stands by as my friend and those who I could lean on for a little support. Nonetheless, burdening others has never been my strong point and never will be in the near future I supposed.

I want to reflect on this very specific person and his philosophy today. Newman. John Henry Newman. There is not a chance that I could have met this man because he passed away at 1890 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Newman was a Cardinal Deacon in one of the Roman Catholic church in England, in the last moment of his life.

It is by randomness that I discovered this man. While considering the University I should go to, University College Dublin was one of the choice. And upon researching on the history of UCD, Newman was the man who founded this University in the 1800s and on the first day, he prophesied that this University will grow to be a prestigious one. Indeed it is, the biggest University in Ireland and top 2% in the world.

However, it is not this prophecy that caught my attention. It is his definition and sermon on love. I have never seen anyone who described love better than Newman himself when he decided to write this sermons around 180+ years ago.

"...Now I shall here maintain, in opposition to such notions of Christian love, and with our Savior's pattern before me, that the best preparation for loving the world at large, and loving it duly and wisely, is to cultivate an intimate friendship and affection towards those who are immediately about us." - John H. Newman , Volume 2 Sermon 5, Love of Relations and Friends. Circa. 1835.

He is also a man who had very close relations with a few people and in the last few moment of his life, he willed to be bury in the same graves of his dear friend.

Personally, I think as human, we all desire intimacy and close relationship. And undoubtedly, we cannot have intimacy with a crowd but only small group of people. It is also my judgmental nature that I deem anyone as shallow if they do not desire one. It just means they want attention, and at that with a big group of people, not intimacy. These are not people you can lean a shoulder on at times of needs and pain.

Coming back to the current circumstance, I am beginning to enjoy Ignite 12th. I have always enjoyed that I don't have to put on a face of spirituality if I don't feel spiritual and I don't have to oblige myself to obey instructions that I don't believe in. In the end, I supposed it's a good call and that's all I need to know.

Hopefully at the end of all this, it is God who is trying to lead me to somewhere and this is an experience that is part of the learning package and not because I decided to take things into my own hand. Still, I acknowledge that I need to step away from Haojie and I need to let go of whatever I had held onto my heart and gain new understandings.

- Ben

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thoughts and Memoirs

Spent the whole last week burying my head into the basic theories and defensive theories for Class 2B. I can only say that it is totally draining and a waste of time. Well, except to refresh my knowledge on the do's and don't on the road. And then, lots of time on debating back and forth on the thoughts in my head.

These 2 and 1/2 week has certainly been a period of much thinking. Certainly emotional as well. I am surprisingly well-aware of my feelings and the emotions I am going through. I guess the best way to explains is that I'm going through the 5 stages of grief.

It is funny because the 5 stages of grief can only occur when you are grieving for something. A loss, death of a loved ones, sudden emotional trauma, .etc. And maybe this applies because the church and the Lifegroup specifically has been a big part of my life.

After this short period of time, reality has hit hard that I really don't have a life outside of church. It is really depressing that this thing that I have spent a large part of my life revolving around, failed me in the end. Ultimately it is true that God did not fail me but I felt compel to blame God for this.

It is disappointing as well that ever since I made the decision to leave, most people are just speculating on why I made the decision to leave and judging me while what I truly do need is just someone to hear my thoughts and concerns. I think coming to this point of time, I am reassured that only Blogger is willing to listen. Listen, not just hear.

Disappointment after one another, it is sad that they have decided to put me out of the musio. Whether temporary or not, it is hurting to find out that the decision was made without even discussing with me or finding out what happened. Instead, all this went on behind my back. Maybe people are just afraid of people lying to one another.

Perhaps majority of those people who left church, maybe what they need at the very point of making the decision was truly just a listening ear. When Glenn made the decision to leave, I did not sit around, do a differential on why he is leaving. I met him up and had coffee. Oh wait, maybe I'm just different. Perhaps over-radical? While Jeremy says that he saw this "difference in leadership style" coming, maybe he should ask himself if he had a plan so that things would not end up like this.

I'm not trying to victimized myself. I am the victim of this whole shit that went down. And no, I do not sit around crying wolf but there's just no choice. Nothing can be done. Utterly disappointed that Jeremy said he will not interfere in this matter. Utterly disappointed that Ignite 12th is falling apart and Jeremy seems nonchalant about it. This is not what I heard before the split.

I do not believe in a facade. However, perhaps this whole situation would have been very different if I chose to put on one instead. Stewart's incident with Jeremy and Jeremiah was a very good learning lesson. Yet I ignored, thinking they can be trusted.

I'm not sure at this point if I should feel sad, disappointed, angry, frustrated, nonchalant. Watching House M.D. has been an avenue of escape for me. To actually stop thinking, analyzing and just indulge.

There is no joy in being noble, righteous and obedient. At least not that I see how God loves me right now that things has turned to shit and people turning their faces against me. Part of me wants to declare that God does not exist and I have wasted my youth. Yet I cannot deny the miracles and goodness I had experienced. Loneliness on earth is hell and I rather not wake up to see the sun rise.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Innocence Lost

Andy Timmons and Kiko Loureiro is my new obsession of solo instrumentals. Just love how the shredding has so much emotion. Coincidentally, they are both Ibanez guitar endorsee. Somehow there's just something about Ibanez guitar that's is so mesmerizing which I don't get it.

After the last post and with some thoughts and consideration, I have pretty much arrived at new-found resolution. Meeting my brother for dinner, I am almost embarrass to say I spent most of the time complaining about the circumstance, other than the occasional small talk on his wedding and my job which is really going just fine.

Did I achieve catharsis? Not really. I did realize that ever since the merge, I have been complaining every single time I met him for dinner. Is it really just me? I feel like such a big misfit and honestly sometime, maybe, just maybe I thought that I am being a wimpy kid. Quite a possibility considering I am the only one who is revolting.

Well, what has been said and done is long gone. I really feel like I'm in such a misery, torn between visions and desires. It is really time to re-align what I thought was true and real. Leaving the group would be the best way. I'm exhausted and sick of all the small talks and surface doings.

Maybe seeing as how Haojie is leaving for Australia, this is a good chance to distance myself once and for all from him, from the group, from everything. I need to move on.

Somehow, this feels exactly as breaking up with Pinky. No appetite, no energy, some morning I just feel like a walking dead, zombified. With no answer in sight, this whole situation feels strangely familiar but haunting at the same time.

I think no doubt I will pick up and walk away from this. Then again, its a question of when and how does it changes me as a person. I felt like I have aged a couple of years the last few month. I can totally understand why my colleague says they don't feel that I'm a 20 year old kid turning 21 next month. 

Now I understand. The person who smile the widest are also the person who was hurt the most. The person who loved the most are also the person who needed to be love the most.

But perhaps my heart has grown so cold I no longer need any loving.

- Ben