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GandalfTheWise

Who are you? Really?

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5 hours ago, Madelyn said:

A side note, I'll be absent from this forum for awhile, but while I'm gone I'll be thinking and praying for you all. Please keep me in your prayers while I attend to a few things. This is a beautiful family and I'm so thankful for each of you. 

We'll be waiting for you Madelyn. (((hugs)) We're thankful that you came here to be part of our family!

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12 hours ago, Kaiallan said:

Gandalf that is very encouraging! I too, even still, stand in the mirror and I don't speak but I look at my reflection and I hate myself. I spit at myself in the mirror. I just don't like who I am, which is nothing. I do believe I'm just in transition and that God will show me who I'm meant to be. There's a reason I'm the way that I am and you're the way that you are. Only you can be you and only I can be me. Nothing is a good place to start. A lot of people have to lose a lot and put down a lot before God can take their hand. I come empty handed except for some fears, which are becoming less and less an obstacle. 

I wonder if you know just how inspiring this is . Many Christians would never admit to feeling the same way ;)

I believe God loves it when we come to him honestly, especially when we realize how much we need Him. And it is hard because we live in a world that places a lot of demand on us to perform. Even in church I find that the performance driven mentality is prevailing all the time. 

Gandalf, thank you for this. I love this thread. In fact, I think it is one of the greatest threads I have ever seen here.

I feel safe to admit that I am often far from sure who I am and what I am meant to do. I am so used to masks that I often no longer know who the real me is. I have been walking this road for so long and I sort of expected to somehow be past certain issues by now. 

I find it interesting that peace and relaxing is a common theme in these answers

The one thing I really long for right now is this (and I know I'm not alone in this): I need rest. When I say rest I don't mean like a holiday. Rather, I need to enter God's rest more often and for a longer time. I need a space and a time where I can really sit with God (and maybe some trusted friends just to be there) and seek His will for me. Beyond another sermon, another song, another piece of advise, another 5 point formula for success, etc. Some of the best church services I have ever experienced were those where the Holy Spirit took over, changed the whole program and just started ministering to people where they were. No sermon , no expectations, no altar calls, just the presence of God. I remember wishing that those moments could go on forever and realising that it was what I have wanted the whole time. I wish the church would allow that more often.  Only God really has the answers I seek. Even Jesus often took time off to spend time with the Father. 

God is so amazing. So patient, so loving, so kind. People are so much harsher than God is. I am so glad I am in God's hands and not  in the hands of another human judge. Praise the Lord! :hurrah:

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@IainL  I'm not going to quote your whole post though I could.  Some great observations there.

I spent over 30 years as a Christian with a performance driven mentality, but I had cast it into such positive spiritual terms that I didn't see it for what it was.  I was so focused on "bearing fruit" that I didn't realize that it had become an idol to me.  I'd read books on church revivals, evangelists, and the great things God has done in history, and I basically set those things up as idols in my life.  My whole spiritual life and ministry efforts were geared toward seeing fruit, converts, disciples, doing classes to learn how to do this and that, and seeing God do things like I read about in Acts and in books on church history.   Over time, I just started to mistakenly believe that if I would just pray enough, work hard enough, be serious enough, be holy enough, then all those things would start to happen.  There were many things God laid on my heart when I was a young Christian that I saw as my calling and goals for life that I had tried to be dedicated enough to bring about.  I'd count my hours of prayer, chapters of the bible read, etc. and compare those to the heroes of the faith, figuring that if I could commit myself to the same things for long enough that God would surely move.

In a nutshell, God spent a few years working on me to move me from focusing on *doing* to *being*.   He finally showed me that all those things He had put onto my heart when I was a young Christian were not goals or a calling for me to make myself worthy of and to bring about through my dedication, but rather they were promises.  I had hit a point where I had given up and forgotten all those things because I thought I had fallen short of God's call.  God reminded me of those things a few years ago.  I realized that those are things that are just going to naturally happen as I become and live as the person God created me to be, and they are going to look a lot different than I had pictured.   As I mentioned somewhere in another post, I had given up on my feelings, but God brought those back making me realize they were an integral part of who I was.  In a large part, those things God is going to bring about will be because of that.   All the gift and talent inventories I took had me labeled as strong in leadership, teaching, discernment, and encouragement, but I never was able to fit into any ministry or church for more than a few years at a time in spite of my best efforts.  God finally showed me that it was not about fitting in and doing expected things, it was simply about walking with Him as the person He made me to be wherever I happened to be.  A friend in the ministry once commented that I seemed to have a gift of ad hoc leadership, something that would just show up as needed.   I realized that all those years of seeming to hop from one bad situation to another was God just putting me where I was meant to thrive, in the middle of paradigm shifts, chaos, and problems when normal structure and order wasn't working.  I've found that God wants me doing things with my entire heart and soul deeply engaged where it is something that naturally flows out of me.

I've found that all of the old passion and fire is back, but this time, (this is hard to describe), it's like they are an integral part of me and something that is healthy and focused.  I find that my gifts, talents, and experience are now tools to be wielded.  I've found that "my yoke is easy and my burden light" has become much more descriptive of my life.  I'm still growing and seeing changes and learning more what that means, but that couple years of moving from doing to being are among the most transformative in my Christian walk.  It was a process where God (through various means) slowly unveiled who He meant me to be.  There were some instantaneous divine revelation moments, but it was most definitely a process and journey He was taking me through.  Instead of a young zealous believer who is more driven by fear of failure and falling short of God's call, I'm now much more comfortable just being myself and walking where God happens to be heading and doing whatever seems to be natural to do.

 

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Posted (edited)

 

WATER: Rapids

ANIMAL: Eagle

PLACE: Golan Heights

HOLIDAY: 4th of July. Hello fireworks! 

AWESOMENESS: Seen heaven twice. Saw both my grandpas and my son I lost three years ago. 

Two years ago met a woman who was blind in her left eye and prayed with her. Saw her a week later and she had just visited the optometrist. She used to wear glasses and optometrist told her she is now  20/20 in both eyes! Yes, the blind do see. 

Was homeless at the time and needed to experience this just as much as she did. God was telling me that I still mattered. 

In college was on a trip to help a friend, our brakes went out and didn't have enough money to fix them. Prayed for a miracle and it was answered. Brakes were fixed. My friend saw the angel afterwards. I did not. Saw the results tho! Our angel was one hell of a mechanic! 

8 years ago had a knee injury that didn't heal up after surgery. Long story mirroring the lame guy and good samaritan. People who saw the injury went to church and didn't help. An Army Ranger got me help tho. An old Marine prayed for the knee and felt like my knee was hooked up to a cow fence. The strength was restored.

A few years ago my best friend from college and I prayed with my friend who had two blown discs in her back. She was using a walker. 

God restored her back. Saw her back straiten before my eyes. My buddy said he saw a white light while we prayed. When we left she was done with the walker and two weeks later the doctors said she didn't need surgery anymore.

In Iraq drove lead truck for 7 months and wasn't hit once. Know of twice of an angel being next to my truck. Couldn't see'em but had that feeling like I was being watched.

Almost shot a car in Iraq-thought it was a suicide bomber- heard God tell me to take a second look. I obeyed. God was protecting a mother and three kids. Hope they are doing well. 

 

The lame walk, brakes get fixed by angel mechanics, God also does chiropractor work and the blind do see. I'm living proof. Cant tell all these stories without crying still....

 

 

Edited by Road Warrior
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On 4/15/2018 at 3:56 AM, GandalfTheWise said:

They become part of the family.  Here's our 120# lap dog keeping my wife warm.  And yes, his paws are that large.  

wifeanddog.jpg

"LAP" ???!!!! Dog. Yeah, okay. He's fabulous. Totally. Awesome. The kind of animal you want close to you for eternity in the new earth. Along with whatever else takes your fancy, but the above, that is special.

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@Kaiallan Hi. Your posts, how well they are written, the expressiveness and emotional honesty they diffuse,  the humility with which they are presented, seem in a sense diametrically opposed to the person you describe in them. You sir are a writer. An artist. An observer. And eloquent with it. Gifted. 

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@Kaiallan Hi. Your posts, how well they are written, the expressiveness and emotional honesty they diffuse,  the humility with which they are presented, seem in a sense diametrically opposed to the person you describe in them. You, sir, are a writer. An artist. An observer. And eloquent with it. Gifted. 

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On 4/12/2018 at 4:35 AM, GandalfTheWise said:

Question Set 1

WATER: What is your favorite kind of water in nature? and why?

ANIMAL: What is you favorite kind of wild animal?  and why?

PLACE: What place on earth would you like to go see?  and why?

HOLIDAY: What is your favorite holiday? and why?

AWESOMENESS: What is the coolest or most awesome thing that you seen?  and why?

I grew up in a coastal town and learned to swim in the sea. I was surfing by age 8, and a life-guard at 13. I competed nationally rowing surf-boats in my late teens, and am still mind surfing at 65. So, the surf. I can sit on the beach for hours watching dolphins surfing, and sea gulls skimming waves. Every wave is different, and when in the water, each one a different challenge.

Favorite animal was a black cattle dog who was given me by the wife of a deceased farmer I worked for. So constantly willing to work and please. And when not working a great companion just walking through the bush or around the farm.

@GandalfTheWise You'd love New Zealand. Lived there nearly my entire life and swore black and blue that I would never live anywhere else to anyone who had the time to listen. Now I live in Australia. But only because of my answer to number 5. Where I would love to go, well, equal first to two places. Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa (look it up on youtube and you will see why) and any game reserve in Africa. 

My favorite holiday is Christmas. I don't celebrate it as the birth of Christ, but it is a great family reunion each year with the added opportunity for witness as it is the one time of the year everyone is willing to hear the gospel without too much prejudice. 

This one was easy. My life at present is awesomeness. I retired from farming in 2016 and my daughter and son-in-law immediately invited my wife and I to come and live with them in Melbourne. We are now thoroughly enjoying watching 6 of our 12 grandchildren grow up at our feet. Well sort of at our feet. The oldest, at 17, is 6'5". The youngest is 4. Just loving life at the present. And they all love Jesus to bits. 

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6 hours ago, Road Warrior said:

[Edited for space]

The lame walk, brakes get fixed by angel mechanics, God also does chiropractor work and the blind do see. I'm living proof. Cant tell all these stories without crying still....

Wow...   two things were running through my mind as I was reading this,  it's amazing what God can do, and you have walked (?hiked, trekked, trudged, slogged, marched?) a unique challenging path of life where God's intervention was needed.   It's awe-inspiring to me to sense such a tender heart toward God and others after having experienced and been through many of the things you have.  

You remind me a bit of my grandmother ( :) hang on... I'll clarify)   It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized how difficult her path in life had been.  She lost her first husband in a tragic farm accident (in front of part of the family) and raised 3 little kids as a single mother during the great depression.  Years later, lost her oldest son in a peace time military air crash.  And then after that, lost her second husband.  She spent most of her life poor.   Yet she was one of the most contented and peaceful people I knew.  She had little education but surrounded herself with books.  Fast forward decades, and among her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, and spouses by marriage are a couple PhDs, a couple MS degrees, a lawyer, a millionaire investor, a couple small business owners, a few engineers, and an award winning author.  Her quiet patience, faith in God, and probably many prayers left an amazing legacy to the world.  That transcending resilience I saw in her, I also see a bit in your post.

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3 hours ago, brakelite said:

"LAP" ???!!!! Dog. Yeah, okay. He's fabulous. Totally. Awesome. The kind of animal you want close to you for eternity in the new earth. Along with whatever else takes your fancy, but the above, that is special.

I don't want to get too far off track with the dog, but he is a special one.  His full kennel name is Watson the Blessing.  He's a therapy dog we take to libraries, senior centers, and memory-care centers.  I also sit outside stores with him when my wife shops.  He probably has 3000 to 4000 interactions with different people per year.  He loves meeting people.  He'll go up to completely strangers, and politely nuzzle (never licks) and snuggle against them.  He seems to sense when people need him.  I've seen a few people start crying as he snuggles.  He knew something was wrong and went over to do something about it.  One lady was going into the store after her 3rd funeral in one week.  She had her face down by him and he'd just alternate between staring into her eyes and nuzzling her face.  A few years ago after I had quit a job due to almost collapsing due to stress, he knew something was wrong with me and would spent much of the day following me around the house and laying down where he could keep an eye on me.  He's also highly intelligent, knows a ton of tricks, enjoys pulling carts and carrying things to help out.   Over the years, he's opened the doors for me to interact with many complete strangers.

The bible seems largely silent on pets and eternity, but if part of the New Earth is anything like Eden where Adam was mostly surrounded by animals and nature, I think there's a place for gentle souls like this dog.

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