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#266288 - 12/10/08 03:53 AM I Blieve
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Today,

I believe that Jesus Christ is my lord and savior.
That he was born of a virgin mother. That God and he are one. That he was born,lived, and die for my sins. That he died in my place on that cross to pay a debt that I could never repay on my own. As he did for you if you would but accept his gift of grace.
That his death and my faith in him,has allowed me to take my rightful place among Gods children.
Thus sparing me an enternity in hell where my behaviors and actions would have condemned me.

I have not always believe so. For along time I hated and blamed God for those things that had hurt me as a child. I saw him as a harsh,critical and judging God. That he was judging my every thought and actions.

As a teenager and young adult the only things that I had any faith in was those things that numb and block those old feelings and memories from my childhood (drugs,alchol,sex,work,emotional and relational chaos).

At 25 my daughter was born and these old behaviors could no longer suppress those things I had always been runinng from. At first I thought if I could quite using the drugs and alcohol then things would be better. So I joined a alcohol and drug recovery program at the Kaiser hospital in Downey Ca. But was unable to get any length of soberity because of the bottomless pit that was in my soul. Which the emotional,physical,and sexual abuse and neglect had inflicted upon me. The third time thur the they started a AA meeting at the hospital which we were required to attend as part of the program. There I met people who felt and struggle with some of the same problems as I was. They told me that the only requirement for membership was a "DESIRE" to stop drinking and using. Nothing else, I didn't have to be sober just had to want to be sober.
In this group we accepted all people regardless of race,belief,unbelief,sex,sexual perferences,income or social position. The only requirement was the desire to be sober.
In this AA meeting I learned to accept all people as they are and not to place judgement on them because real or preceived differences in us.
I was taught to look for the similiaritys in our stories not the differences.

I was taught that there is a God and that I am not him. That God was as we each preceived him to be not as others saw him. That we were each to choose for ourselves whither or not we even believed in a God.

AA taught me to have alot of tolerance with other people. To allow them to be and to believe as they choose fit for themselves. To judge them on the content of their character and not on how they choose to live life.

I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1997.
But I believe that God gave us all free will to choose or reject him as each person sees fit.
He wants us to love him because we choose to not because we feel required to for whatever reason.
And I don't believe I have the right to deny you your personel choice.
We are all sinners whether we believe or not.
And it is my not responsiblity to judge or condemn you for yours. I have enought problems dealing with my own side of the street to worry about yours.

This is what I believe.

Mike


_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#266317 - 12/10/08 09:00 AM Re: I Blieve [Re: michael banks]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
awesome idea mike, thanks!

what i have come to believe today:

my beliefs are a synthesis of all religious/spiritual ideologies encountered through the course of my life.

i was born into a roman catholic family, and raised on christian principles; these shaped and guided my morals until i became independent and left home to become part of the larger cultural family.

drug and alcohol use became part of my life in my mid teens, and i attribute this to a variety of factors, one of which is the obvious, being made the sex partner of an older brother. [i had already been using before i was raped several times while in the navy, once by a stranger a knifepoint off base.] alcohol and drug use became a staple in my life, but love was the elusive drug that i could never get enough of. during this time, i began to explore eastern philosophies, but felt tremendous guilt over it, because in my christian upbringing, those who engaged in such practices were considered heathens.

after the service, i found a semblance of that love i sought in the context of the evangelical charismatic community that i became involved in. it made sense to segue into this type of faith expression, since roman catholic experience did not connect me with the experience of the living god.

i tried to live according to 'the bible' but my shame and struggles with the influences of the past just increased.

my dependence on substances escalated, and eventually disenfranchised myself from that evangelical community, since, even though i had made the tragic mistake of getting married, i was gay, and at the time thought biblical ideologies as enforced by straight heterosexual men would 'fix' me if i only tried hard enough.

as the bottom fell out of the marriage, i entered aa and died to the image of god i had come to believe in, and embraced the concept of a higher power, someone beyond myself who would shape and form me in the manner in which i was intended to be.

after that, i continued to include my practices and studies of eastern traditions, yet still maintain the christ principle as the foundation of my belief. i have learned to embrace my own spirit and those of other sentient beings as loved and valued for the fact that they have been created and brought forth into being. my belief does not include a punitive god, nor does it exclude anyone from the ranks of the 'saved'. all are loved by virtue of their being.

my current practice is non-dualism with a christian foundation. however, while i believe that all religions have valuable contributions to make, none of them contains 'the truth' to the exclusion of others. i don't believe i need to be 'saved' except from anything other than my self, but rather, enlightened, which has been for me a process of becoming dispossessed of the attachments of self, and its tendency to self-contract as it develops in the context of its evolution in time and space.

the world in my view IS the appearance of god arising in the form of creation and all ideas generated by people cannot possibly articulate the non-conceptual being that god is prior to language and thought.

today i see myself merely as being being being. and to the extent that i invest in dualist notions of separation and division, i will suffer. i cannot escape suffering, and the way to deal with suffering has been modeled by christ, who, in my understanding, embraced it as the path to freedom from the attachment to dualistic notions, such as those that i constructed throughout my lifetime. in the sense that i have died to those, i have taken up my cross, and been born again into a new relationship with the living being who is ever present as my life. his presence manifest among us says to us:

'why stand staring at what has gone before? don't get lost in things of the past. i, says he will begin something new, it's beginning already....haven't you heard?'

my practice is simple: in every encounter of every thought and every feeling that arises, i ask: who am i? who is the person behind the senses translating its experience into thought and feeling identification? how am i continuing to regenerate the invested notion of 'me' from moment to moment? how is the 'me' who i have come to believe myself to be, living in such a manner as to build bridges that transcend the human tendency to divide up the infinite whole into parts.

when i live from that perspective, i remain in the moment, and, as close as is humanly possible, to being all i am created to be.

that's 'me' in a nutshell! laugh

ron





_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#266340 - 12/10/08 12:33 PM Re: I Blieve [Re: Sans Logos]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, Mike & Ron,
I also am a graduate of AA, I also attended those AA meetings, where I sure learned a lot about humility, about how to connect with others in the AA struggle, however I chose my higher power my 4 year old son. I had given up on God, (see trusting God no longer). I had given up on practicing my Catholic religion, as if you have read the above mentioned post, I have blamed Him & my heavenaly mother, for not taking care of their (son) on earth. Now He sure did save me for 4 years, 9 months of the year, as I was taken into a Catholic orphanage/Home, and there I did receive love, compassion, understanding and an education. I have to admit right now that I am trying to make sense of my distrust of God. Especially now during the Christmas season, when we celebrate the birth of a BOY, into a family of love. Something that surely didn't happen to me. Deep down in my heart I know that He is trying to help me along, but I am resisting because I am giving credit to my son for getting and keeping me sober for 31 years, and not Him using my son as his instrument. I think that you are right we must have some kind of beliefs in a God, whose ever one. I have had some thoughts of coming back to my religion, I realise that I surely cannot do it alone. Hope that this might make some sense. Heal well my friends/brothers.
Pete (Irishmoose)

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#266869 - 12/13/08 01:43 AM Re: I Blieve [Re: michael banks]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, Michael, those are some powerful words that you have posted. This old boy had given up on blieveng in God a very long time ago, Why, even I'm not sure anymore. If you had read my post Trusting God no longer, you can see that I am pretty screwed up in my beliefs. I have read various posts on spiritual matters and most of them give some credit to God or a supreme being. Again on my post Trusting God No Longer, I did give him credit for protecting/saving me from all perpetrators, in His House that Catholic orphanage/Home, but credit sure isn't THANKS. I overcame alcohol abuse after 21 years trying to drown that lost boy in alcohol. But I from AA sessions made my 4 year old son as my "higher power" and gave my son credit for keeping me sober, But I never gave God credit for using my son as his represenative to work on my alcohol recovery. So now this old boy whom surely had given God a cold shoulder, and no thanks of any kind is looking for some divine help, So God must be saying that Pete, whom had NEVER given ME any thanks is looking for some HELP now. I sure hope that he doesn't give me His cold shoulder. I am thinking about a BOY who was born into a loving family, whose birthday we will be celebrating soon. I wish that I had that. I wish that I have your faith, Michael. But I will thank him, and I will wish Him a hapy birthday, (if He is listning) to me. Heal well my friends/brothers.
Pete (Irishmoose)

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#267340 - 12/15/08 10:26 PM Re: I Blieve [Re: petercorbett]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Pete,

God would never turn his back on you. His love for you is like the love you feel for your grandson. Is there anything that your grandson could do that would change your love for him.
God is merely waiting for you to return to his loving arms.

I see God working in and through you here at M/S. In your self honesty, open mind, and your willingness to be so emotionally vulnerable and frank with us. Your dedication to your recover is an inspiration to me. When I am feeling down and struggling with recovery. You seem to post something that renews my hope.

When you are ready, you will find that he has always been there waiting for you to turn around and come to him.
Take your time he will always be there for you.
Remember, that God want's you to see him thru your own eyes and not as others would have you see him.
God's children are not those who stand on a street corner shouting out to others how great their faith is but those who go about quietly helping those who are in need. I see you as one of the latter.

Your brother,
Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

Top
#267360 - 12/16/08 03:02 AM Re: I Blieve [Re: michael banks]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
Dear, Mike, a pretty powerful message to this old boy. Right now, at this minute, I am sitting here after reading your post and I have my Christmas carol CD's on, and I am crying, yea, me an emotiomless old SOB, can you believe that? You are right there is notihing in life that my grandsons would ever do to change my total love for them. I have mentioned in a posting or two that I have ALWAYS asked for something. But i have NEVER thanked Him for something. If you have read my post Trusting God No Longer you will see just how screwed up my thinking really is. But deep down inside me, something keeps telling me to come back to Him, just maybe it's Little Peter's desire to come out completely into the fresh air, to be finally free, and it's up to me. Big Pete. From the depths of my soul Michael, thanks and love to you. Heal well my Brother/Friend.
Pete (Irishmoose)

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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