Lingerdog's World

My blog focusing mostly on my creative writing endeavors, but also with updates on my life and how I am serving God.

You know, there aren't many times, in my opinion, that we really take stock and realize how greatly we are loved. We sometimes take it for granted, and then in a time of loss people will come together and we will be reminded of just how loved we are.

But how often does this happen without loss? Sure we feel the love of our children, and our spouse. Sometimes our parents and close friends, but what of extended friends and family.
Tonight was a night to be reminded of the love others have for us. I can only speak for myself but I know without a doubt that I am loved greatly, and not because of a time of loss, but seeing it clearly in a time of great rejoicing and being reminded that we are loved, I am loved.
Tonight at my home church, three other men, men I would count as brothers not just friends, and myself took another step in our spiritual journey. As Mike put it, we stepped through the door God had placed in front of us for this time.
Seeing Mike there with his mother was a blessing to me. Seeing my father there with my mother was a blessing as well. Although I did not ask them, I would be sure that Brad and Tim themselves received blessings tonight.
We have all answered the call to preach, tonight our church recognized that calling in us, Licensing us to preach the Gospel of Christ, standing behind us, encouraging us in our spiritual growth in that direction.
Pastor Matt preached a message about how we are to answer this calling, a message of encouragement in the calling, and a message that reached out with the nail scarred hands of Christ to those that are lost.
At the end we were presented with a Bible and a framed license, the church recognizing the calling placed upon us, and the men of the church came and prayed with us.
After that so many in the church came by to congratulate us and tell us they were proud of us, and encourage us as we go.
Not just those that knew us, but those that had come as guest of the other men. So many telling us they were proud, telling us they loved us, so much encouragement, so much happiness, so much joy, and so much of the Spirit of God in the room.
My cup is running over. I can not explain how much of a blessing tonight was for me. So many friends, and family there saying they are proud of me, standing behind me alongside the church and these other men of God.
Tonight, I know I am loved and I need not soon forget this.
So many other words were spoken, and actions taken tonight to show I am loved that there is not space here for me to do justice to them all.
To Pastor Matt, and Howard, Amber, Lee, Mike, Tim, Brad, to my family and friends, Johnny, David, Will, to my church family, and all the people not named here, I thank you so much for all you did tonight, for the outpouring of love and support and encouragement.
I am so blessed by God.

Prayer, do we really believe in the power of it? I know a lot of times we say we do, but do we really accept it's power, or do we take it for granted when we pray? I imagine we would all say we believe in prayer, especially those that have seen answered prayer in their lives but take my personal experience. Two and a half years ago, I was saved but out of church, not serving like I should, neglecting my Bible, neglecting God in my life. I still said my prayers at night though, and one in particular I prayed every night, that I be made a better Christian. Now I didn't know what that entailed, I knew I needed to go to church somewhere, I figured that would make me a better Christian, but even though I wanted to get up and go, I couldn't find my get up and go. So I guess I thought praying that prayer, God would put it on my mind more, impress upon me the need to do better. I learned God's ways aren't our ways. I lost my wife, my marriage over, I didn't know where to turn so I turned to God. I got back in church, I started serving.

So God answered that prayer, not in the way I thought He would, but He did answer it, and yes it was excruciating at first, but God helped me make it through.

So I was studying and thought I understood Proverbs 3:5, I interpreted it to trust God, don't try to figure it out. No matter what happened in my life, trust God and don't try to figure it out. I didn't know how personal that verse would become to me, and how I would be tested in following through in what I was hearing from that scripture.
But think about that, don't try to think your way out of a situation, trust that God is using it for His good, and guess what His good is going to be good for you even if you don't get it at first. Don't question what happened just trust that God is in control. And verse 6 reminds us to acknowledge Him in all ways and He will direct our paths. If we trust Him and acknowledge He's in control of our life, He's going to lead us, He's going to show us the way. He's going to place us on the path He wants us to be in. Do you get that part of it, He's going to direct you to go where He wants you, it's part of acknowledging Him, it's giving Him control over your life.
When you give Him that control, He's saying don't question what's going on, don't be a back seat driver, trust that He has His hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. He knows the best road to take, even when to us it looks like a hard road. See to God it isn't a hard road, it's just a road and He knows if He wants us to get down that road as long as we trust Him we will make it because He strengthens us, He does it for us through His strength. He carries us when we're too weak, He helps us until we can walk the walk on our own.
The Lord is that good shepherd that leads us beside still waters. He leads me in the paths of righteousness. When I am in the shadow of the valley of death, He is there with me.
Are you letting Him lead your life? Do you want to lead or do you want to follow? Do you want control, or would you rather God direct your path?
Lead or follow?

I prayed another prayer too. This one.

Lord, fill me with your spirit this week. In scripture we see the spirit come in different ways so I would ask that you send your spirit as rain to refresh me, send your spirit to open rivers in me that I might become an overflowing tributary of your spirit's fullness to others, as wind to breathe new life in me, as a fresh anointing of oil to give me practical wisdom for life, fill me with holy wine that I not be filled with the things of this world, come as fire to refine me into what you would have me be to inflame me with a passion for your work and send your spirit as a dove to rest upon me and grant me peace.

I took for granted that God would answer it, I thought He'll send His spirit and It will do these things in me and I'll be lifted and I'll be somehow better for it maybe. But God's ways are not our ways. See I missed something big.

For the Spirit to refresh me as rain, I need to be a dry and thirsty land, I needed to be parched.

To become an overflowing tributary of the Spirit's fullness, to be filled with that river I would need to be emptied of myself.

If the Spirit was going to breathe new life in me, then I have an old life I have to let go of.

If I wanted to be anointed with His wisdom, I had to let go of my own.

To be filled with the wine of the Spirit, I had to be emptied not just of myself, but of the things of this world that live in me.

If I wanted to be refined by His fire, I would have to accept, there are things in me that need to be burned away.

And if I was to receive peace, I would have to experience turmoil.

See God answers prayers, it's true, but His ways are not ours and He will use our prayers to make us look more like His son, to conform to the image of Christ. We pray for what we want, the Spirit in us communicates what we need. And though we don't always understand it right away, it's what we need, it's necessary for us to be what we were called to be. Because sometimes we let stuff, people, ourselves get between us and God, and He has to move those things so we can get closer to Him.

Like the preacher said Sunday night, if you love anyone, or anything more than God, then that person is in danger because God will move the things that keep you from Him. That's how much He loves us. That's grace, not that I would find Him, but that He came for me. Not that I was looking for Christ but that when I was running as fast and far away as I could on a slope getting steeper and steeper on a path straight down into hell, that when I was running from God, He outran me! That is grace that He would come for us, who ran from Him.

A journey is always began with a single step, and usually the road is smooth because unless you like hiking and are a masochist, why would you start a journey where the road is hard.


The other thing about a journey is they end. Sometimes we think we know where the journey will take us only to find we can't go as far as we thought. The way gets too rough, or too steep, and sometimes the person we were on the journey with decides they are on a different journey than the one you are on.

Left cold alone and heart broken on the trail you can turn back, go start over, see if someone else wants to take the journey with you.

Some find their original companion there ready to tackle the journey with them this time.

Some see that their journey is to be one of solitude and loneliness.

You can decide to just stay where you are on the path, see if someone comes along to rescue you in your abandoned state.

You can abandon the trail and go searching in the wilderness for something that will ease what you feel. Your hurt, your pain, a broken heart.

Still you can choose to go forward, hoping someone else abandoned along the way will find you, or you them, and through shared pain journey together, stronger and more fulfilled in the journey than either of you were while walking alone.

You have to ignore the fact that the person that left you on the trail is going on like you never meant anymore to them than a bug in the road. You have to ignore that abandoning you didn't effect them at all. And when they say they are sorry, remember, it isn't because they are sorry they hurt you, it's just to make them feel better about crushing you.

So you keep walking, you choose a path of solitude, at least there you'll be safe, you think. As long as you stay to yourself no one can hurt you, the last two times you let someone walk with you they saw fit to destroy you, whether they meant it or not.

And what does the world expect you to do? A huge act to show your love, to show they should come back? Twenty seconds of courage to lay it all out, to explain what you feel and hope they feel something too? How'd that work out for you before, you chased for half a year, wasted that time. You found some healing sure, but why chase, why must you always chase?

It's because you're insecure, you don't realize you are good enough and someone should meet you halfway rather than make you do all the running. There's a reason Atlas shrugged, no one can hold the weight of the world on their shoulders forever.

But insecurity is a disease, it eats at you because you value others opinion of you more than your own. You believe if they tell you you're good enough maybe you will start to believe it.

Insecurity is in my backpack on this journey. And it's heavy. It weighs down every step I take, every move I make. People wonder why you stand stooped, it's either because of that weight, or because someone hurt you again without realizing it.

There's a broken heart or two in my backpack too. Not ones I've caused that I'm aware of, but my own collection of them, because the truth is, broken hearts never really go away. Even when you think it's been mended, it shows up when you least expect it and reminds you of how worthless you feel sometimes. Reminds you that you weren't good enough, that when you were at your best, it still wasn't enough. It tells you that you shouldn't love someone with your whole heart because when you do, you risk everything.

You risk falling into a black hole from which there is no escape.

So why do it, why risk it again, isn't two broken hearts enough for one life? Especially when it's from the only two people you ever loved. Never have you loved someone that didn't end up hurting you because guess what, they didn't love you. They didn't just leave you on the trail, they left you bruised, bleeding, in pain, feeling like you can't go on.

You feel ashamed. That's because you're a failure, you know it's true, if you weren't a failure you wouldn't be feeling this right now. If you weren't a failure you wouldn't have a broken heart right now.

Shame and failure in your bag make it too much to carry so much as you may want to go on, you sit, you can't take it anymore, the thought of another step is just too much to take, why keep going forward, why allow anyone into your life ever again, they're all just going to hurt you.

And what's so bad, what maybe hurts the most is you're told, trust me, you can tell me what it is, and you fall into that trap because you couldn't trust, the very words you say close the door between you and cement it shut.

You stare at the door before you that you know is closed to you forever, a door you were afraid to go through in the first place because you didn't want to be hurt, and you find out, you should have just stayed on your side of the threshold.

Life is pain to you. And no it isn't fair, but who said it was supposed to be?

Every journey ends it's true, even when you thought there were miles more to go.

And you may never understand it. How you can be walking in the same direction one day, and twelve hours later it's just you again.

You may never understand how you can love two people with all your heart and be told everything is okay one night, and the next day find out it's completely over.

You may never understand how you can have two different people give you the same speech as they break your heart.

You have never felt as unloved as you do right now, and you may never understand that, why you have to go through it again.

But you rest in the shadow of the cross and you remember Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

You know, trust God, and don't try to understand, don't try to figure it out, just trust God.

Life is full of light and shadow
O the joy and O the sorrow
O the sorrow
And yet will He bring
Dark to light
And yet will He bring
Day from night
When shadows fall on us
We will not fear
We will remember
When darkness falls on us
We will not fear
We will remember
When all seems lost
When we're thrown and we're tossed
We'll remember the cost
We're resting in the
Shadow of the cross

And though it may be hard, this is all you can do, quit thinking you have any control over your life and where you end up, learn what you are supposed to learn, ask not why it's happening but what you are to learn from it. If God chose to break you down in pain again, if He saw fit to break you for some reason, ask only that you learn what you are supposed to from the experience.

Why do I write this? Because, it's how I process, how I deal, how I release my pain. It's my outlet, it's how I keep it from eating me alive. And if you don't get it, that's fine, heck probably no one reading it anyway, who wants to hear about someone else's problems?

But it helps me to put it out there, so I do.

But I also write it to say that, every journey ends, and this is the end of mine.

Another thing about journeys, a new one is waiting to start as soon as you're ready, who knows where the next journey will take you, or what kind of person you will be as you embark upon it.

Will you be stronger from having been hurt again, will you heal better than you were before.

Will you be bitter, will the pain make you hate everyone and everything around you?

Will you go forward allowing what others think to influence and control the decisions you make in your own life?

Or will you love someone based on the merits you see in them, not needing approval from others before giving your heart away?

Will you be strong enough to stand, will you be brave enough to love, will you be open to a life of possibility?

Will you love without fear, will you care for those that haven't cared for you, will you mend relationships that have thrown you against the rocks time and time again, will you forgive those that don't even realize they hurt you and haven't asked for your forgiveness?

Will you give your heart away to someone that deserves it, someone that loves you as much as you love them?

Will you trust? Will you be open? Will you communicate your hopes? Your dreams? Your fears? Your insecurities? With someone that is willing to open themselves to you as you were them?

You can hide in the shadows if you want, no one would think there was anything wrong with that, they can see you're hurting, but when you're in the dark, you miss what's out there in the light.

One journey is ending, which new path will you take?

I had one, I saw a boy collapse as I drove by and I thought to myself, "he's just playing." The reality is, if someone else hadn't seen and called for help he may have died.


I've been told multiple times it wasn't my fault, how could I know, but in my mind I kept hearing, "turn around, go check on him" But I kept driving. When I came back by two ambulances sat there.

I was told multiple times I couldn't be blamed, you never know what people will do these days. The reality is, it was dangerous for the good Samaritan. He was in danger when he stopped to help.

I know I would want someone to stop if they saw me collapse. I know I would want the same for any of my friends or relatives.

It was very convicting to me about how sometimes still I say I want to live one way, and when an opportunity to put it into action comes along, I fail. I am refocusing myself for when these opportunities come into my life so I never do anything like this again.

MAtthew 25:35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


A lesson I learned this week.

DWYL

Such a good weekend, but man I just don't know where I stand anymore. I need to man up.

Leaving mcdonalds after church there was a man sitting there and I knew I needed to talk to him, but I kept walking, I was supposed to talk to him about salvation but I was a coward.

And at the same time I did something so stupid, putting myself out there more than I ever have to get shot down. I used to have some bad behavior but it was out of arrogance, today I knew better, knew I was pushing where I shouldn't, knew I was going to go to far, and then I did. And I should apologize, but I haven't, I need to man up.

Everything good from this weekend was erased in a few seconds of the old me responding.

I hate being lonely, but I don't date. I have felt that when God knew I was ready that I would know who she was, but I'm finding that maybe I was wrong and either she isn't coming, or it's more work than I thought it would be. Should I start dating? There are other fish in the sea as they say, and I have been putting my eggs in one basket. People tell me I should move on, doesn't matter how I great I tell them she is. They tell me I need to man up.

I'm thinking about her now though, even though it hurts, I can;t get her off my mind, and that's a problem when you feel more for a person than they do for you. It's a recipe for disaster, for heartache, and yet I keep on, to caught up in my feelings for her to let go, to caught up in my sureness of what we can be together. I need to let go. I need to man up.

How do you do that though, how do you abandon someone you feel so strongly for, just because the relationship isn't what you wanted? How do you walk away from someone you call a friend? I can't, and walking away isn't being a man.

It's what I would have done. The hurt would have been so much at just the thought that I would have crossed the bridge, burnt it down and scattered the ashes.

But even though it hurts now, it's worth it if I get to see her smile one more time. And even more so when I know I put the smile on her face.

What's the difference between being available, and being a doormat? I can't answer that, I don't feel like a doormat though.

Man up! Serve God. Got an offer to preach today, ready to man up. Ready to preach the word.

I still don't understand it though, how can I feel this much for her? How can I miss a friend like this? Why do I have these feelings? How do I get rid of them if nothing is ever going to happen?

Part of me schemes, thinking maybe if you do this or that she'll see you in a different light, but the realist in me knows, she'll never have feelings for you. She's in love with someone else and as long as that's the case she'll never be able to give you a chance.

Does that mean she might miss out on something special, yes. But it means I miss out on that something special too.

It doesn't hurt any less to find out slow or fast that I'm playing for second no matter what.

It doesn't hurt any less to know that no matter how much fun, how much we click, how much we can talk, how close we grow that she will always see him first as she waits for him, like you wait for her.

Man up! Either go for it all or go home, but quit playing it safe. You can tell her how you feel, if it doesn't affect her then know it isn't going to happen. Because let's face it, if it was going to happen, it would.

So accept the loneliness of your life. Accept that for you, this may be all there is. Accept that for you she's not going to come around. Man up.

I'm James Lingerfelt and I'm a Christian. Called to preach the Gospel of Christ to my neighbors.

Look to the story of the good Samaritan. The Samaritan was the beaten and left for dead man's neighbor because he had what the man needed. Just like we are neighbors to anyone who is dying and in need of the help we carry. And I mean the Gospel. We carry the thing that can give them life, can heal their wounds, can set them free, can give them hope and life everlasting.

I am a man that struggles just like any other man.

I have heartache and pain, joy and love.

I have people I like a lot, and others I could do without, but I have to love them just the same.

I have been a coward, not because of the things I won't do, but because of the things I chose to do. I chose to take the easy way, to join in making fun of others. I chose to drive past people in need of assistance. I chose not to tell a stranger about Jesus when given an opportunity. I chose to drop out of church for too many years. I chose to be a bad husband. I chose to live a life I can't look back at and be proud of.

I was a coward.

I don't have to be any more. I can open my heart to all the things the Lord has for me and accept that I was made for a purpose, that I am made the way I am to be placed in a certain place at a certain time to do a specific task.

I can accept that I am where I am now. I can accept that I am learning from this time things that God will use to carry me through future days.

He prepares me now because He loves me and wants me to be prepared not because He wants me to hurt or struggle with fear or loneliness.

He is an awesome God I serve. I joke that I am awesome a lot, I am made in God's image, any awesomeness you see in me is just a reflection of the awesomeness of God.

I am James Lingerfelt, a Christian, saved by grace through the blood of Jesus Christ who gave his life freely upon the cross after living a sinless life. That same Jesus that was then buried and rose again on the third day and appeared to many before returning to Heaven.

Shattered dreams like shattered glass litter the hallway of my heart
and I bleed from the cuts your words inflict
I know I said I'd never hurt again
but those were lies.
So I fall on my face and my tears rain down like a hurricane
and you won't know about my lonesome call
perched upon your ivory tower
too far away to see.
And I scream as loud as I can letting loose my pride
held in the expanse of my mind
and shamefaced I stand
letting myself go.
Into the darkness, into the abyss, silently I slip
forgetting all I've known
burying my dreams
with this sack of bones.
When it hurts too much to go on breathing
when it hurts too much to smile
I'll trust the cold ground
before your cold heart again.
It's been the same for far too long
there's a lion caged in my heart
roaring for release
straining at the chains.
These shattered dreams await a broken spirit
that knows no peace
no calm
no love.
Like a banshee scream ripping through my heart
comes the crescendo of pain
and my heart that beats no more
is in your hands.
And you just look at me and smile
as you rip it from my chest
because you don't care
the grave in your wake.
A broken life
a broken heart
a broken man
a broken dream.
I sit and cry out
my body shaken by my grief
as you walk away
and I gasp for life.
Too many times
too many times
too many times
its been this way.
The dreams that are shattered
the heart that is broken
and all I do is give up
and not even try.
Thunder shakes the room as I stand from my seat
to take my place in the hall of warriors
putting on my armor, gathering my shield
for the next time.
Walls I build around me
defenses for my heart
to keep them out
that could hurt me.
I build my prison walls thinking they protect me
never seeing that they keep others out
at the expense of my experience
and I throw away the key.
No one gets in this time
I'll live on my island and no one can hurt me
except myself and your memory.

Lingerdog's World

A Blog Dedicated to the ins and outs of my life, with occasional trips into creative writing.

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I love writing and am rediscovering that passion. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and want to tell as many people as I can about him and what he has done for me.