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#408721 - 09/02/12 07:46 PM don't know
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
yesterday morning in church i had the weirdest experience.

we were going to have communion after the main part of the service. the pastor called up several men to serve. he called my name. i was so shocked. that had not ever happened before. i wanted to say - no, you don't know who you are asking and why i am not worthy. but i was afraid to make a scene and didn't want to attract any more attention than necessary. so i went and did it and felt like a cowardly hypocrite. i started crying and couldn't stop. that made it worse. i was thinking that if they noticed, people would be thinking how "spiritual" i was and yet - i had no idea why i was crying and didn't want to mislead anyone. i just felt small and hurt and like i wanted to disappear. i don't feel like it is right for me to be seen as a leader or example or whatever. guess i must look better than i feel. i'm not even sure what i believe, beyond the basics. wondering if i need to have a talk with the pastor...

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#408722 - 09/02/12 08:01 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Lee, you are worthy of service to our Lord, in front of your brothers and sisters, in faith and courage to get up and minister.

What you doubt, what you question is not what called you up to service, but your faith, that faith that brings you to the meeting every week. What you are sure of you present in your life, the need to meet, the need to profess, the need to be in the company of those with faith.

We find it difficult to accept praise or to be acknowledged, that may have been your difficulty here. When we are asked we feel inferior, going over all the "reasons" we should not be picked, afraid of the potential embarrassment, or worse, the consequences of failure.

You are worthy, yes, talk to your spiritual leader, and accept what he says!

Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#408740 - 09/02/12 11:12 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thanks, Sam
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#408761 - 09/03/12 09:05 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
quasimodo Offline


Registered: 09/03/12
Posts: 8
Loc: Kansas City, Kansas
Lee, I have worked hard on my recovery and my spiritual health seems to be the "link" that creates a solid foundation for my new life. Being willing to accept spiritual help is the first step to actually accepting that help. Opening that door is what allowed my Higher Power (or whatever you want to call it) to give me the strength I needed to start that acceptance. I was then able to understand a little bit about how my willingness to believe in something was transformed into help which I desperately needed.

I have been on this journey for 3 years and 5 months.

My life has completely changed.

lb

*Nothing changes if nothing changes*
*It is never too late to be who you might have been*

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#408823 - 09/03/12 07:59 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Quasimodo -

thanks for the response. happy it's "working" for you.

you said,"Being willing to accept spiritual help is the first step to actually accepting that help."

i think i am willing - and have been all along. in fact that's what i have searched for and prayed for ever since i can remember. and i know that God has been there for me at numerous times - not least the 3 times i was considering suicide. it's the other times that i have trouble with. like - God doesn't let me off myself - but he lets sick bastards molest me. i have a hard time accepting that - the selective intervention. i'm not giving up on him - but not giving him a free pass, either. i know this is presumptuous and probly very wrong - but it is the way i honestly feel.

lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#408825 - 09/03/12 08:26 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
BuffaloCO Offline


Registered: 07/14/12
Posts: 440
Loc: USA
Hi Traveler, to me there is no question that you are worthy. For years I believed I was unworthy and beyond God's love. I believed that because the only place I found any kind of affection sometimes was from the abusers, and they told me that to keep control over me. I don't buy it anymore. I know I am a long way from perfect, but being perfect is not a measure of our worthiness. Only one perfect person ever walked the earth, and for the rest of us...we can participate simply because we are redeemed, forgiven and Children of the Most High God. I'm not standing on the edge anymore, and am happy to have friends like you here and in Church too.
_________________________
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” - Plato

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#408826 - 09/03/12 08:58 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
quasimodo Offline


Registered: 09/03/12
Posts: 8
Loc: Kansas City, Kansas
Lee, I believe in something more powerful than myself. Call it God, call it god, call it anything you want. I do not believe any "God" would let that happen to anyone. But it does. So, for me, I take something that has happened in my life and try to use it to better myself. We have to learn to do this with the tragic things which will happen to us. Like the death of our parents, or cancer, or getting in an automobile accident, or any of the million shitty things that can (and often does) happen. I have learned to use crap like that to make me stronger. What else are you going to do? Quit? Give up? That is always a choice. The point is, you DO have a choice. I choose to get better. I choose to try to understand the things I can and the things I cant understand I just choose to be ok for now with them. There are so many things three years ago I couldnt grasp the meaning of and now I see some of the complexities of them. And I also see how simple some of the answers are that I have been making very complicated. I am working a very simple program that keeps my head in the right place, my feet always pointing forward and on the ground, and my heart in the right place.

Love to talk more about it. It is all AA stuff but it has changed my life, and it sure needed changing!

lb

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#408855 - 09/04/12 12:29 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
We are made worthy thru the spilled blood of Jesus Christ. That pastor called your name because he was led to do so. You were strong bro. I am proud of you for not rejecting this. I cry every Sunday brother. We are all unworthy of the sacrifices that were made for us. I would just go out on a limb an forgive me if I am wrong but you may have been feeling convicted. Maybe feeling convicted wrongly because of your feelings of wing unworthy , if that even makes sense. What I do in that case is just turn it over to God. I release all of me to Him. I can't handle it but he can. Pray first in everything brother and stay strong. This one little step on coming out of your comfort zone was a big step forward in a journey. A journey to that mansion that He has prepared for you. I am happy for you and completely understand.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#409663 - 09/10/12 05:01 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thank you all – Sam, Quasimodo, Buffalo, & Country.

no offense, but despite your encouraging words, i just wasn't getting it. i appreciated your efforts and i really wanted to believe it, but couldn't make myself accept it. Your combined wisdom and trustworthiness just wasn’t enough authority to convince me.

then Sunday came – I went to church with the same mixture of expectation and anxiety as usual. expectation because the message always seems to contain something intended just for me alone. anxiety - for the same reason. this time was no exception - and i didn't have long to wait.

before the service started, they were telling people to pray and while i was praying a picture came into my head that i had seen before - of Peter having a vision in Acts 10 of the sheet full of "unclean" animals coming out of heaven. i looked it up and read the passage and came to the part with the voice out of heaven when Peter refused to eat because they were "unclean:" "Do not call unacceptable what God has made acceptable.” AND – this happened !!!3!!! TIMES to Peter. Wow – I thought – could this be meant for me – is it talking about my own feelings of being unclean and unacceptable?

Almost before I finished thinking that, the pastor was speaking – telling a story about a time when he had been given a special message, commission or blessing by God and he was telling God that he was unworthy. He said that while he was praying, it was as if he heard a voice saying – “Do not call him unworthy who I have made worthy by my blood.” That made me start shaking and crying. i got it.

It was so precise and pointed. There were !!2!! messages – really the same message twice - and both together – one directly to my own mind through memory of a picture and the word of God – and the other from someone I know, trust and respect – who knew nothing of what I was going through. The strange thing is – this was before the sermon started – and it had little-to-nothing to do with the topic of the sermon. To tell the truth – the rest of the service was anti-climactic after that.

And then I came back here and read what you guys wrote. And it all fitted together. I am not unclean. I am cleansed. I am acceptable. I can believe that. I can’t argue. I may not feel it yet, but maybe someday I will. In the meantime, I will remember the !!!3!!! times God told me this – through you all, through the picture/scripture and through the pastor.

this is the kind of thing that happens to other people.

thanks again,
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#409667 - 09/10/12 07:11 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
This made me smile early this morning. The Angels are rejoicing and there is a mansion being prepared for you Lee. My heart is so happy for you. The battle has already been fought bro. We are delivered because of His blood spilled for us. Congrats Lee and I just wish I could express how much I needed to hear this message you gave. Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#409670 - 09/10/12 07:57 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
This is really great news, Lee, well done! Peter was commissioned to the ministry to reach out to people of all backgrounds and faiths, to bring them the message of God's Kingdom. I absolutely bow to the authority of Peter's God. Well, that and I can't float a sheet, am not that great of a cook, and don't care for roof tops wink lol.

Please keep processing this, letting us know how you are able to be consistent and even progress in this line of thinking. I am very proud of your ability to listen to Our Heavenly Father and have His Word make such healing inroads into your life.

Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#409671 - 09/10/12 08:51 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
I think this is a good lesson for all of us, but especially myself. I struggle with these feelings all the time as well.

Thanks for sharing your journey with me.

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#409676 - 09/10/12 09:16 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Lee,
This is really what is letting me know that all things happen for the glory of God. This is from the devotional part on my daily Bible reading from my churches free app on the one year Bible. You shared your story then I read this. Wow.


The enemy's primary weapon is fear. When disaster loomed on the horizon, Ahaz was overcome by fear, but the bold word from the Lord enabled him to remain calm, relaxed, and confident.

Paul said, "Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you!" (Hebrews 10:35). And that reward is a "faith that assures our salvation"

(v. 39).

When the battle seems overwhelming, what choice do you have but to stand firm? If you turn and run from the enemy, you will not stand at all. Burn the retreat bridge! Your only option is to stand-and when you do, God will fight for you!
Larry Stockstill
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#409683 - 09/10/12 10:14 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
expom Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Australia
Hi Lee,

Despite having been brought up in a Christian home I continue to battle with the things you describe.

When I look round church and compare myself with where I imagine everyone else to be I do not measure up - to my imagination of the spirituality of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I feel unworthy - unworthy of the Promises of God; unworthy of the Salvation of Christ by His shedding of blood on the cross. I feel that God's salvation was never really meant for me - I kind of got in on the act because I found out about it but it feels as if I snuck in rather than being "called" or "chosen".

I've struggled for years about the issue of my Loving Heavenly Father permitting me to be violated as a boy. I've gotten angry at Him for Psalm 139's verse 16 "Every day of your life was written before a single one of them came to pass".

I feel that there is little point in me praying because one word from me and God is going to carry on doing as He pleases - who am I to influence Him?

Yet in all of this God has come to me on many occasions like you describe and here is where I am at now:

Yes I am unworthy of God's salvation = Just like every body else on the planet. Isaiah 53 v 6 etc tells us that we are all in the same boat. But it is God's choice to love us and also (and this is a tough one) to like us. His choice.

When I compare myself with others, I do both myself and them a disservice. I am with me 24/7 and am convinced of my own faults. I am with the others only for a couple of hours each week when they are at their best. I am not comparing apples with apples. God also had a good laugh with me because He pointed out that those exact same people felt exactly the same about themselves in comparison with me ie they felt like crap because they saw me as so holy. I still smile at the irony.

God showed me His intention of Psalm 139. His intended perfect plan for my life. The fact is that my life does not match His perfect plan for the simple reason of free will.

I struggled with free will for a while but I'll explain where I am up to with it.

If God is God, and is who He says He is, then He created humans with the intention of permitting us to be able to choose whether or not we wanted to worship Him, obey and follow Him. He had created angels who were made to do these things without choice - no free will. To me its a bit like the love we get from a puppy verses the love we get from a girlfriend. In order for me to be free to choose to love God, I must also be free to not love Him. By definition then, the man who violated me while I was a boy, was exercising his free will to do me harm - wrenching my life away from God's perfect plan for each day.

The psalmist implies that there might be a chance to read how our lives were planned out rather than how they actually turned out.

I am learning that my heavenly Father is nothing like my earthly father: He really does want to spend time with me; He really is interested in my day; how I spend it; how I react to it etc. I'm still struggling with the asking for things bit of prayer but while I live I will continue to pray for my kids' safety, for their eternal salvation, that they will settle down with partners who feel comfortable spending time with them in prayer and reading the bible.

So, my friend, when satan accuses you of being unworthy of God's love; he's right but as others have pointed out; when God Himself tells us that we ARE worthy because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, then who is it that is going to be able to win the argument over God?

Lee, I take comfort in the fact that you already know the voice of God: you hear it; you recognise it for who it is; you obey it.

The gospels tell us to 'give to him who asks'. When you followed the direction of your pastor, that showed obedience, humility, courage, maturity - in short; a good example.

I trust you don't have too many objections to my interpretation of where you might be at and am sorry if I am projecting too much of myself into your situation.

bless you, my friend.

ADen
_________________________
I endured all my yesterdays. I prevail in all of my todays. I exercise my right to be able to enjoy my tomorrows. I choose not to do it alone.

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#409882 - 09/12/12 02:47 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Thanks again, guys,

i still can hardly believe this happened to me. but i guess that is the point. it is breaking down my disbelief and helping me to believe.

Scott - great to touch base with you again!
Country & Sam - you are both such encouragers!
ADen - no objections at all - everything you said was either spot-on for me now or has been true at some time in my past. thanks so much for taking the time to share.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#409905 - 09/12/12 09:29 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
We are all here to help each other and as Christians to hold up out fellow man at times. You helped me as well Lee.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#409906 - 09/12/12 09:30 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Fire can not burn where a fire has already burned. The forestry commission does controlled burns to prevent the spread of forest fires. Same can be said for our salvation. That battle has already been won. We have to stand at the cross where the fire has already been burned and thru our salvation we are safe from the fire. We are safe from the evil ways of satan. 
"Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from Gods wrath thru Him. " Romans 5:9
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#409907 - 09/12/12 09:31 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe
-John 20:29
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#410072 - 09/13/12 10:14 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Last night i went to the men's group that i unsually attend. the pastor who leads it was out of town so we had a different format - not as much teaching/Bible study - and more sharing.

i felt i was supposed to tell my story - starting with the first post in this thread and ending with last Sunday's big message X3 from God. i really didn't want to because i din't want to go into all the reasons for my feelings of shame, worthlessness and unworthiness. but there was a bigger group last night than ever before. and one guy had brought 4 street boys in their upper teens that he has been mentoring. there were 3 other young guys - maybe 20 yrs old. that made it harder for me to talk - but i felt more compelled to speak, too. maybe the things i was meant to say would make a difference in somebody's life - especially a young kid who might avoid all the wasted years that i have had.

so i did it. i didn't go into all the nasty details - but did say that my step-father was abusive and beat me and made me feel worthless and rejected and that in middle school older and bigger boys had bullied me and done terrible things that made me feel shamed and damaged and dirty. that was enough. i didn't break down but i did choke up and tear up a couple times. but i got through it and encouraged everyone there to believe that God will accept them if they come to him and has accepted them if the have already given their lives to him - and not to believe the lies to the contrary like i did.

i was about the 3rd to share. after that everyone there said something - even those who were there for the 1st time. the man leading was really surprised and told me later that he thought the honesty of my story caused others to be more open. during the sharing, at least 3 others said something about either being treated badly by a father or being affected by the loss of a father or something related to what i'd said. one was a college student, one a young father, and a man in his 60s said his father was verbally abusive and he never heard his father say he loved him till he was 45 and the dad was in his 60s. one of the guys said he had been a bully and God had changed him. afterwards, one of the street boys talked to me for a long time about his situation - fatherless, 12 kids, bullied, etc.

it was definitely worth taking the chance and doing what i was led to do. it is both humbling and building my sense of worth to see God using these experiences to help others.

Lee


Edited by traveler (09/13/12 10:17 PM)
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#410075 - 09/13/12 10:51 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
The best way to receive blessings from God is to bless others they Him. Way to go bro
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#410088 - 09/14/12 06:07 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
: Stay strong! Your test will become your test-imony, your mess will become your mess-age.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#410094 - 09/14/12 09:47 AM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
When the devil tries to remind us of the past just remind him of his future. Two hop open hand slap him in the side of the head
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#410103 - 09/14/12 12:27 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
It's in our struggles and weakness that God does amazing things. I'm always blown away when God uses my mess to help or encourage someone else, because I look at it and see a worthless, dirty mess and think that it can't possibly be of value or use to anyone.... then God reminds me he can literally take dirt and transform it into the greatest of all His creations :-)

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#410105 - 09/14/12 12:38 PM Re: don't know [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Amen to that JustScott. You helped me thru your video about releasing the chains of bondage and surrendering.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
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