Thursday, December 27, 2012

Forgiving and healing grace...

This is not the anniversary of my blog or when I started to write it. However, it is when I realized that my life had to change. I was at the cement bottom and the only place I had to go was up. It was like dying a death, not a physical one, but a death of who I was and had been the previous two years. My life was passing before my eyes as I sat in a place surrounded by cement locked in tight with me and my thoughts. No visitors of the physical sort. I had visitors named anxiety, question, sin, guilt, stupidity, depression, regret and the list goes on. As I sat there with my emotional, spiritual, and personal wounds bleeding, it was a moment of hopelessness. When I looked up I had found a God who was waiting on me to finally recognized the sovereignty that he wanted in my life. God had made his point. I had been devoured by anger, an affair, and being a dead beat person all around. I was worthless in my eyes and satan had me where he wanted me. The final stab had taken place in a one last swift moment and action of stupidity. It was the last moment of countless ones that I had taken.

How could God take a person like me who had given up on him and turn it into something he could use? My only words that I could muster at that moment were, "I'm sorry God, I messed up. Please forgive me." At the moment my eyes were changed. The shackles released, the scales on my eyes were lifted and I was no longer blind. God's forgiving grace had changed my life in a moment. In front of me was the picture of what God wanted me to be. A man, husband, father, and friend after the heart of God's will for my life. The next two weeks following were filled with many moments and you can read them in the first few weeks that this blog was written.

In Romans 6:23 it says the wages of sin is death. but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Friends I can tell you today God's grace is unlimited. It doesn't matter what you have done or what has been done to you. God can heal the broken life and mend the broken heart. In Luke 18:27 it says things which are impossible with men are possible with God. In Psalm 30:2 it says O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You have healed me. In Psalm 147:3 it says God heals the broken hearted and binds there wounds. So my point? Don't think God will forgive you or heal your wounds from hurt that you have suffered? That scripture says so above. It's God's promise to us.

Do you need forgiveness today? Just ask. All you have to do is confess your sin and God is able and just to forgive us. Do you need to heal from being hurt? Cry out to God and he will heal and bind your wounds. Is there someone that you need to extend forgiveness to? Than cry out to God and ask for him to heal your heart. God is still healing me to this day. There are lots who I have had to ask forgiveness from. I had to ask God to forgive me in order for my life to change and for the healing to start. Friends take heed in my words and in my journey. God's grace goes beyond anything that you have experienced in your life. God is bigger than it all. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sad truth... these days...

If you remember in the last blog I was really struggling with what I should be writing or even if I should be writing. I resolved to keep writing this blog and promised to write when inspired. I saw this picture and saying the day after. God had answer my question about his will for this blog... KEEP WRITING ding dong!!

The other day my wife and I had the chance to go out to lunch alone. Like a date type thing. Kids were at school and she was off on vacation. Our choice for lunch was Jakes. It is a steak house. A chain of restaurant that we don't have in Illinois. We have been at this particular place a couple of times. So this day it was our third. I am a pretty observant person compared to most and for whatever reason I had never noticed the saying up on the wall there. So on our way out I decided to take a picture of it. The saying if you can read it in this picture is the following... 

"It's stronger than most marriages today that union between a man and dog. Trust and honor, and at least one partner that can keep your secrets, all bonded by unconditional love." 
After seeing this picture I looked at my wife and said "that is so true". My wife looked at me and agreed with me completely. Seriously how sad is that saying? Yes it is true a dog can be a great companion. No other person is sometimes more happier to see you when you walk in the door than your dog. I mean who else is going to feed them? Well... except for my dog who is deaf now and is sleeping peacefully on her piled up pillow on the floor. Well I guess when you are 82 in dog years, you might be inclined to do a lot of sleeping as well and the hearing might not be what it used to be. Anyways... back to topic.

So the last few days this topic has been on my mind. In fact it was all I could think about today in church. Couldn't hardly tell you much about the morning message. All I could think about was that saying. In fact I pulled out my phone and thought seriously about writing this right in church. But got involved in a conversation with my wife about the service that was going on using my notes app. What has happened to marriages today where secrets, longings, desires, hopes and dreams are no longer sacred between each other? If some of us loved our spouses the way we loved our dogs, marriages might be a little different these days. When I say different, I mean successful. Now granted a dog can't talk and so we know our secrets our safe with that dog. But the concept worries me a bit. There isn't one part of that saying that doesn't bother me. Seriously "It's stronger that most marriages today...." Ugh it makes me sick that the saying starts out like that.

Folks we need to get back to the basics of marriage. Love, trust, honor, respect, and faithfulness. Listen when I say this. When we are in a relationship and this includes married, dating, and engaged or any other relationship status that facebook gives us.... these things are to stay between a man and a woman in a committed loving relationship. Once they get outside this circle of trust, it will only bring trouble. The above saying or concept can lead to no good. Have something on your mind? Tell your spouse. Have a new dream? Tell your spouse. Have a new secret, problem, or longing? TELL YOUR SPOUSE!! This creates a bond of unconditional love. I have talked lots in past blogs about unconditional love, but just like Christ loves us this way, we also need to love our spouses the same way.

As I have said before. Love should be unconditional towards your spouse. But again and I will give credit to where credit is due. A very wise person told me that love was a choice.  Who do you choose to love unconditionally? Your dog or your spouse... To me the answer is simple. I choose to love my wife unconditional. I know I can trust her beyond a life time. I know that I can tell my wife anything and she will listen and understand me and that creates a bond of unconditional love towards each other.

Folks dogs are great and they can bring lots of joy to our lives, but not like the joy that we can experience and share with our spouses. I want to say if you talk to your dog or any other person other than your spouse about your dreams, longings, desires, problems, and ideas than stop. I promise you that no good can come from it and will lead you down a road of destruction. Take it from someone who knows. I was devoured by that dog if you will. I almost lost it all. Enough said...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thoughts to share with you...

I have been reading "The New Strong willed child" by James Dobson. Maybe that isn't that exact title, and I am to lazy to get up and go look. But none the less I have learned a lot in just the first 40 to 50 pages thus far. I have one child who seems to be very strong willed. For a nine year old, he is a strong spirited child. However, he has met his match in his Dad. What I have learned thus far by reading the book, is that he was born this way, but also environment has something to do with his strong will. Boy is that a slap in the face. I have thought over the last couple of years before 2012 started and looked at the kind of father I had been. I have been less than anything close to good. I had shown my son how not to act. However, he picked up a lot of bad things from me and thought that these things were OK. It has been a battle, but as a father I have been making head way with him showing him how to live the right way. I haven't been perfect, but I know for certain that he and I are on the right road. What I have also learned from this book is to pick the battles and to win decisively. This is also good marriage and family advice. A person once told me before I got married to pick the battles I could win and leave the ones alone that I couldn't. Anyone would tell you in life to pick and choose your battles. I haven't been all that great at it and in the past have made some very poor decisions. I made decisions that created battles inwardly and outwardly that I had no business fighting.

This past year if you have been a faithful reader of this blog, you have read about this journey and how I have been doing my best to right this ship. We are fast approaching a year that this blog has existed. I know some receive this blog by email and some... well at least one of you check this blog daily. My hopes were that this blog would eventually makes its way past the few of you who read this. I have often thought about using this blog and turning it into a book. I would call it "My life as a messed up hubby." I have often thought about just ending this blog after a certain point. In the very beginning the first blog entry was a letter to my wife that she didn't read until two weeks later after I wrote it. You read about my daily journey through those two and half weeks about the daily battles I was facing with fear, anxiety, and the thought of my family no longer existing in the traditional sense. You read about my ups and downs. My victories, my low points, and the answers to prayers. You read about the dreaded court date where the answer to prayer shocked me to my core. You read about what I had done and why I was in court. You read about the books I read which were the Love Dare and The Shack. The answers which I gave in all honesty of some questions that were asked in the Love Dare. I bared my heart and soul in this blog. I basically mapped out my struggles almost daily there for a while. I talked about what I was learning. I talked about how I was learning to be married and what it meant to be a husband, father, and man of after Gods heart. You read about how I was starting to apply Gods word to my life and how I lived it.

Well here we are almost one year later to when I started this blog. What is left to say really? I have often thought about signing off with an explanation of my family riding into the sunset. I have thought about changing the spirit of this blog and talking about more than just marriage. But the name of this blog speaks for itself. One Messed up Hubby. Yeah that was me. I was messed up at one time. Admittedly I used that title to let my wife know I was messed up. I wanted her to see me as I really was. I was messed up, sin had made me stupid and my life was crumbling before my very eyes at the time. At stake was my family, my marriage, and my future. I stood to lose it all. My wife forgave me and allowed me a chance to show her what I really could be as a father and husband.

So now I can sit here and honestly say I am so in love with my wife, in fact the most I have ever been. I love her with all that I am. She is my best friend and my rock. I can't imagine my life without her or my kids. I wouldn't ever change it or trade it for anything. We have moved to a different place not only physically but emotionally as well. Life here in Ohio is good these days. The daily struggles are pretty normal and nothing like they used to be. I could dare say we are becoming the normal family with pretty normal dysfunction. I stand by that statement by the way.

So what is left? I have made this blog public and readership has not increased. I have struggled lately with what I should be writing. No one wants to read a boring blog. I made this blog public and searchable hoping that some lost husband or wife would read this and find their way home. Maybe that has happened as I have no way of telling who exactly reads this blog. For me this blog turned from a way of documenting my journey from sin to a life in Christ to a tool for ministry. I feel strongly for men out there who need to know what it is to live a life filled with Christ and devotion to his will. I want men to stand up be the who God called them to be. This nations is in need of men who want to be the spiritual leader of their families. We see every day the down turn of family. The institution of marriage is not sacred like it used to be. The Lord has called me to counsel those who are lost in life, their marriage, and their family. My burden for these individuals is heavy and my passion for helping them to heal is beyond anything I can describe.

Maybe this is the longest entry I have written. But these are my thoughts. My entries are not daily or even weekly like they used to be. Life has been calm, but not without struggles or challenges. But I can sit here and say those are no different than any other person out there. There was a time that challenges and struggles I faced were different. I was recovering from living a sinful life and recovering from the brink of losing my life and family as I once knew it to be. I am truly thankful for what God has done for me. I am thankful that the ups and downs are not as steep as what they used to be. I am thankful for how far God has brought me on this journey. I am thankful for all the answered prayer and all of you who prayed for me through my toughest times. I am thankful for those of you who rejoiced with us after prayer after prayer was answered. I am thankful for this blog as it reminds me of where I once was and where I am now. I only hope that some person out there stumbles across this blog and receives encouragement from it. I hope that an individuals heart is ministered too by it. I hope that God speaks to them after they read this blog and finds that no matter what, that Christ is our hope, our rock, and the one person, best friend, and deliverer who loves them the most.

These are my thoughts and I give you permission to share this blog with someone who you might think it would bless. As for me, I will continue to post to this blog as I am inspired too. I hope some day that word spreads and this blog ministers to the lost and those who don't think they have a chance in life. We are called to feed the hungry, bring water to the thirsty, and minister to the lost. That is what I will continue to do.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Jesus no one knew...

We don't know exactly where Jesus was born. The Bible says it was in manger in a stable. There was no room in the inn so the song "Away in the manger" says. There other things that I have read that says Jesus was born in a cave, a barn, and yet we worship him because Jesus came so simple into this world. I would be curious to wonder if there were people passing by watching as all the events of that night taking place. But I could only imagine what people thought about this child coming into the world, the looks, the things said as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph passed by.

We are approaching the Christmas season and this year I am reminded of how simple Christ came into this world. No one knew the extent of the meaning of this event in the world. Jesus was someone that no one knew. But yet when it came to the death of Jesus, everyone knew who Christ was as they put him on the cross. The King was born in a simple way, but he would become notorious for being a radical. A Christ who talked with sinners and loved them unconditional. A Christ who walked this earth and healed the sick physically, mentally, and spiritually. Christ was the doctor for anything and everything. Christ gave water to the thirsty. The cost? Jesus dying on the cross for our sins so that we could live a life full of grace and forgiveness. Living that kind of life is pretty simple right? Yes.. But we as humans fail at it. We humans fall short of grace and forgiveness daily.

The Jesus no one knew, was the Christ who forgave us, came into our life and change it through and through. I didn't know Jesus until I allowed him into all areas of my life. I had no clue what Christ could do for me, but I also had no idea what I could do for him, until I completely surrendered my complete life to his will.Christ came to seek the lost, heal the sick, and cause the blind to see. There are so many points just behind the word blind. Yes we as humans are blind to so many things... even to the Jesus that we didn't know until we allowed him into our life.

Who would have thought, that a baby born on a cool evening could do so much for us. I have always loved this song called "A strange way to save the world" made popular by 4Him.

Sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
'Cause never in a million lives
Would he had dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said...

Why me, I'm just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers in the world
Why here inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she's just an ordinary girl
Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth
But Joseph knew the reason
Love had to reach so far
And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have thought...


Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world
...this is such a strange way to save the world...Saving the World

Christ was born, he walked, and he saved the world. What in the world are we thinking by not letting Christ come into our life in such a simple way. As a family please take the time this Christmas season and remember the baby who saved the world.