Sunday, March 25, 2012

October Baby

The first thing I should say is this isn't a review of the movie October Baby. It is what is happening to me after I saw the movie.

I saw it twice this weekend. Once was an earthquake and the other a tsunami.

To back up, the soil of my life was tilled up earlier in the day Friday before I saw the movie the first time. I am a member of the Samson Society and have been for over four years. One of the distinctives of the society is that we walk with another man in what we call a Silas relationship. It's not an accountability relationship but an opportunity for self-disclosure.

Another distinctive of the society is that everything said in a meeting or in the Silas relationship is held in strictest confidence. You can bare your soul and it's not going to get spread around. It's an opportunity to peel off layers and to practice confession. It's a safe place.

Some misunderstanding people see it as a place of secrets but it is really a place where the deepest truths can be told. Once that is done there is room for healing, growth, reconciliation, restitution, and restoration.

So back to Friday: I met with my Silas for some deep work. There were some things I needed to reveal to him. It was the most shameful part of my past. It is the kind of thing that would bring an end to most friendships. I feared that once he knew the truth about me it would change everything - in a bad way.

But what I knew in theory needed to be learned in practice. It was an opportunity to see again what an amazing thing the Samson Society is and what transformation a Silas relationship can bring.

We are a group of men who realize our brokenness and that we can't fix ourselves. But we know that God wants to fix us as we walk in community.

So, I reveal myself to my friend and it is not the end. He isn't sitting on some high horse looking down on me. He is walking beside me as I move forward. The soil of my soul has been tilled and is awaiting new growth.

After talking for hours we were both empty of words. We had a few hours before the meeting that night so I suggested we go see October Baby. Nothing could have braced me for what was to come.

I was adopted at three months. Even so, I always felt I had a good home. I'm also heavily involved in the prolife movement. October Baby deals with abortion, adoption and also the dynamics of fatherhood and family life.

I can't even explain why but the movie tore through my soul - in a good way. There were probably many things that stirred in me but one that is particularly raw is the question of if I am wanted. Do people care if I exist? Could I go missing and no one would notice? I have always had problems in relationships, feeling like I am an imposition and that I am taking up time that someone doesn't want to give.

I saw the movie a second time on Saturday with my family. The devastation was far deeper than Friday. As I look at it I think I am seeing that I have a closed door on my emotions. It seems wrong to admit I have feelings. It feels wrong to express that I need someone or something from someone.

Recently I was trying to do the questionnaire to see what my love language is. I couldn't complete it because it seemed so imposing on someone else. I had to identify what I needed from someone. It seemed wrong and selfish.

So I close myself to others even when I know that is wrong or irrational. I have been fighting it but it's hard.

So October Baby tore me apart. I welcome it. I don't want to be what I am now. I am raw.

Philip

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Invisible Children - Dismembered

This post is not about Kony 2012. It's about the invisible children in our neighborhood and the Joseph Kony that operates down the street.

It's about the safe things we do to help us feel better about ourselves while avoiding costly long-term sacrifice.

Joseph Kony is responsible for around 60,000 children being enslaved into horrible situations. In the United States around 1 million invisible children disappear every year and over 11,000 disappear in Colorado every year. There are many Joseph Kony replicas that operate here in the US and in many of our neighborhoods.

To be sure, we need to work in many parallel paths. There are many issues that deserve our attention, action and money. The real danger is when we excuse or ignore our own sin and seem content at pointing the finger somewhere else.

Have you figured out that I am talking about abortion? Yes that is our own Joseph Kony and invisible children. We are guilty too and probably more so.

I call us out of comfort and complacency. Consider these words:

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the Devil are at that point attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested. To be steady in all the battlefields besides is mere flight and disgrace, if the soldier flinches at that one point.
~Martin Luther
As I said before, we need to be involved and passionate about many things but I would contend that if we ignore abortion it calls into question if we really care about any injustice.

Here is my challenge: watch the video below and look at the pictures in the link below it. Let your heart and mind be ravaged and broken for the true invisible children. Then start doing something long-term to defend them.

Abortion Video

Abortion Pictures

Here is the organization I work with that is directly involved in stopping abortions while defending women and children:
OR Colorado.

Feel free to dialog by leaving a comment.

Philip

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How to Improve Your Marriage - Act As If

I really like the advice in this video. When I remember to practice it, it really does make a difference.
Too often I let my mood or expectations create a bad outcome rather than acting "as if".


You can find more great advice on helping your marriage at:
Divorce Busting

Philip

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Confession

It's hard for me to say "I'm sorry."

Here is what I know about that: from somewhere deep inside I feel like I can't apologize until the problem is fixed. Time must pass that proves my repentance then I can show by my behavior that I am truly sorry.

Here is one problem: most of the time I am not fixed. The problem/mistake/sin recurs so I am back to the beginning over and over.

So one big benefit of this defect is that my family doesn't hear me say I'm sorry very often. It's easy for them to conclude that I am not or that I don't care or that I am oblivious to the problem.

Another thing that complicates stuff is when people throw the apology in your face. "You said you were sorry before so why did you do it again." That reinforces the bad idea that you have to be fixed before you apologize.

As I was listening to a message this last week I was challenged that a mark of humility is owning up to your sins and admitting them to God and other people. It was also very encouraging in saying that we are all messed up and will continue to be so perfection is not the standard.

I don't have a problem saying I am sorry to God. I know from experience and His Word how he deals with me. He doesn't bring up the past or question my motive. He delights to forgive and restore the relationship.

It's with people where the problem manifests itself and that's who I live with and sin against every day.

My most common sin is with my tongue. I agree with James 3:8 that says: But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. I can't fix it for sure. But what is impossible with man is possible with God. I don't set out to sin with my tongue but I do it over and over especially if certain buttons are pushed. I think over the past few years I have started recognizing certain situations that precede a fall. Just this last week God showed me some specific ways to avoid this sin. I need to see that if I go down a certain path I will probably end up saying something I regret. I need to pay attention when I see the sign - Do Not Enter - Danger Ahead.

But even with this I will still sin. So what I am going to try to practice is saying I'm sorry as soon as possible. I can't control what other people do with it after that. If I do the right thing then at least there is the opportunity for things to be made right.

Philip

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