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Breaking the Chain

March 24, 2007

One of the most interesting ideas that I have heard in a while I heard last night. It involves how we are tempted, or more specifically what Satan is “allowed” to tempt us with.

Take for example the Biblical story of Job. Satan enters and requests that God allow him to tempt Job, which God does grant on a limited basis each time.

Another is a seeming recurring temptation theme within families over several generations. Perhaps the sins of the father are carried on with the sons. For example, Abraham’s trip down to Egypt and his lying about Sarah being his wife. Not long afterward the same thing happens to Isaac, Abraham’s son, when he travels down to Egypt too. He lies the exact same lie.

Another example is the weakness that David had with women, is carried out and also quite evident when just looking at the number of females in his son Solomon’s life. These hundreds of females ended up being Solomon’s downfall.

So how does one break free from a generational sin.

Perhaps the first step is realizing that it is a sin, instead of rationalizing it in one way or another. Our minds, coupled with the cunning of the devil, can come up with numerous rationalizations to justify the continuation in the sin.

After acknowledging the sin, the next step is asking for forgiveness from both God, and anyone that you may have wronged with the sin. This forgiveness can help humble us and mend relationships that may have been strained because of the sin.

However this is where most of the resolving ends, which is both bad and sad, because the one thing that is left is the temptation to re-enter the sin. The devil is both patient and persistent, and he will bombard us with both rationalizations and the temptation until we end up falling back into it.

So is there a way we can break this chain of hereditary temptation?

I believe there is. I believe there is a third step, one that may have been forgotten, but more likely, one that the devil convinces us to put aside.

What I found interesting from this idea is that there are only two individuals who can grant Satan license to tempt us: God, and ourselves.

In the case of Job, Satan gets his permission from God to do the tempting.  Why did God allow it? Job asks the exact same question, but the response isn’t one he really likes.

So what about ourselves? Why would any of us even want to open the door to temptation?  Perhaps something has fed us a lie that we need something within the sin to make us complete, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  Perhaps it doesn’t come from us internally, but the doorway is someone else in our lives, someone who wants to push us into something.  It might even be generational, when the sins or weaknesses of the parents end up being the same struggles of the children.

The third step, and the one that will break the chain, is to acknowledge in spoken prayer (so the universe can hear as a witness) that you acknowledge and renounce the [sin/temptation/failure] in your life, that you ask God to break the stronghold that the sin cause or was a part of in your life, and that you ask Jesus “to take back the ground that was given to the enemy” through the [sin/temptation/failure] and that that you yield that ground to His (God’s) control.

This is a pretty simple prayer, but I am a testament to it working in my life.  It is this prayer (well a variant of it) that helped me break free from my bitterness.  It is also this prayer that helped me break free from another temptation that I have had for a while.

Since I don’t know the extent on how far this blog will be read, I am not going to elaborate on it.

It has been around 24 hours since I prayed the prayer about this sin, and from almost immediately afterwards until now, I have had no temptation in this area.  I also have no reason to believe this area will be a problem for me, because I have no intention of ever making it a problem for me again! If the temptation returns, then I will have some words directed at God about it, but I don’t expect that to happen.

I know this works because it has worked in my life.  If you are struggling with something, I encourage you to pray this prayer and to adapt it to your specific issue.  God wants to help you break the chain, and so do I!

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Starting from Scratch: An Update

March 20, 2007

During the past few weeks, the prepress department (my work) have started “upgrading” our system to a new, and supposedly ‘better,’ one.

What began with the supervisor and another worker being gone for a week of training up in Canada, has now blossomed into a brand new system, fully installed and almost completely set up and ready to use, and when I say “new,” I mean we are changing everything, well everything except for the most problematic device (one of the printers) which is another story/rant in itself, and a relatively new processor that doesn’t need changing since it was updated a year ago with this system in mind.

We are ditching the server, all the printers (minus the one I mentioned in the previous paragraph), and the plate-setter, which is basically everything I deal with on a day-to-day basis.

This has made work more stressful and more time-consuming than normal. It is also one reason for not as frequent blogs.

However, another thing is starting new too—me.

Last night I hit another hole in my heart, or to put it more specifically, I ripped another hole in my mostly healed from bitterness heart. While before it was bitterness inside, this time it is pride. While I had done the workbook exercises on the pride thing a few nights ago, they really didn’t do a whole lot for me. I believed I was honestly asking God to help me from the heart (vs the head), but nothing was really happening. Maybe a sliver of feeling here or there but nothing significant, like I was expecting in an area that I knew was an issue with me.

But last night I had an epiphany on where the root of my pride is located. I, more specifically the workbook, wasn’t worded correctly for my situation, and I needed to ask God specifically for help in a specific area only broadly touched upon in the workbook.

From what I can tell, my pride is rooted somewhere in my need to be recognized, which drives me to be better than everyone around me, which usually leads to either impatience with those around me, or that I subconsciously place myself above them, viewing them as inferior in whatever way I succeeded in. Then when I wouldn’t be recognized for my hard work, it flipped around into either resentment/bitterness for not being recognized, or me getting caught in the trap of self-pity that easily landslides down a very steep hill.

Do any of you know where I am coming from here?

Well knowing about my problem is half the battle, and to be perfectly honest with all of you, I really don’t think I can do the other half on my own. I am not even sure where to go from here. Obviously, I need God and all the help he can give. He is probably the only one who reach down there to the roots of this pride, and so while I am keeping my inner-ear open to him, tell me if He prompts any of you about something for me, either in person or here on this post.

So tonight (one night later), I am writing this, and declaring I am starting from scratch, but unlike work, where the buggiest piece of equipment is the only thing not being replaced, I am set on cleaning things up right the first time, and any help any of you can offer would be much appreciated.

Will it be as seamless as work is going? Probably not, and that isn’t saying much, because the transition at work has so far been anything but seamless.

Will I stumble? Probably, and I will probably outright fall too, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is becoming who God wants me to be, and I know it isn’t a bitter pride-filled person so I do know I am moving in the right direction.

So with all that said, thank you for reading this blog and thanks-in-advance for any advice, whether it is lending me a hand or an ear, or any other Spirit-prompts meant for me.

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My Pride and I

March 17, 2007

Pride. I have it. You may or may not have seen me with it. I think it has masked itself pretty well, at least to me, behind a cloud of bitterness and skill, with a touch of rebellion in the mix.

Several weeks ago, I went through some steps to help me resolve bitterness in my life that I was carrying from my past. I even wrote a blog shortly afterwards about how my heart disappeared into a black-hole emptiness feeling.

Now, I come to the next large rock in my path: Pride.

Tonight I learned that there are two different types of pride: Obvious Pride and Hidden Pride. Obvious pride, the one usually associated with the term, is focused on myself and on lifting me up. While saying I am good with computers or with sound equipment is probably not prideful, saying that I am the best in this area, or that I am better than you are, is.

The other type of pride—hidden pride—is a little harder for me to come to grips with, mainly because it is where my pride is mostly at. Hidden pride is pride that focuses on me and on my pain. It is when I become so self-centered on myself and feeling sorry for me that I can’t relate to others.

This defines me pretty well when I am feeling either agitated or depressed. I like throwing a pity party for myself whenever I am especially down and I’ll either end up turning overtly antisocial, or if not that, I’ll mope around, often times sub-consciously trying to pull others down to where I am at.

Pride even embodies a remarkably similar characteristic that I experienced when I gave up my bitterness, and it rang a bell to me, really alerting me of this fact, which happened when it got described like a black-hole-like effect. Pride ultimately wants to suck all the attention from others to me, which ultimately ends up leaving them dry and me not full.

Perhaps the bitterness from my past helped give me a blind-spot or distraction to me realizing my pride issue. Perhaps it is pride that is keeping my heart from fully healing my pain from the lost bitterness. I really am not sure. It may very well be both of the above.

I do know that pride is a key, quite likely the most common one, that will lock up any chance of resolution for any of the other areas of our lives. It is up there among the big three or four hard hitting issues that face everyone at one time or another.

However there are several (very likely more than I list here) Biblical principles to keep us from becoming proud:

1. Never draw attention to your achievements. — Proverbs 27:2 (I personally have a hidden pride issue in this area specifically that I am going to deal with.)

2. Do not view yourself too highly. — Romans 12:3, 16

3. Always give God credit. — 1 Corinthians 1:29

4. Focus on loving others and not yourself/myself. — 1 Corinthians 8:1

5. Reject every thought that exalts itself against or above God. — 2 Corinthians 10:5

6. Work towards humility. — James 4:6

I’m sure there are way more, but I’m sure you get the point: Pride isn’t good.

I am convinced now that this blind area of hidden pride in my life, coupled with miscommunication, are the main reasons for my not having many relationships, or many close friends.

Perhaps, after doing the exercises to free myself from this sin, I will finally be able to feel healed inside.

I’ll keep you posted.

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I’m Back

March 12, 2007

Sorry for the delay in blogging over the past 5+ or so days.

First there were computer troubles, and then I ended up starting from scratch, and so you are reading the blog from a newer computer owner.

Like most people I am pretty busy and so I don’t have time to write a normal blog right now.

More to come in the next day or two.

~CrazyCoolCam

P.S. Here is the installment in my I’m Out Saga. I wrote it last week before the computer failed. Enjoy.

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I’m Lonely: (I’m Out—pt 3)

March 12, 2007

Is it possible to be contently single when everything around seems to scream “Find someone!”? Almost everywhere you turn, there are things marketed toward either couples, or suggesting that hooking up is the goal; many colleges around sport unofficial slogans to the effect that one goes there to get their future spouse; and, the goal of virtually every fairy-tale is that Prince Charming questing to find his “beauty” whoever and wherever she is. Is it possible to escape or effectively ignore all this non-sense.

Just now, in another tab of my browser, I have an ad blaring to me “Girlfriend season is here.” Maybe this is what has plagued me during every spring for most of what I can remember. After all, late winter though summer vacation is “girlfriend season” in my mind. That is the school-year hookup time “so couples can get together just in time to look forward to a summer apart vacation” irony (since it usually ends in breakups via long-distance), but with this, and virtually all forms of media blaring this message comes the realization that only once during this time of year did I have a girl-friend.

I am not going to back on my statement/resolution to wait for God and staying “out” of the scene (that I stated in pt 1 of this set). I have had my experience with looking at the “smaller signs” and it ended up not working out, and so this time I am going to stick to my original plan.

Some days/nights/weekends are harder than others, and I know that’s a fact of life.

At any rate, this is just a stream of thought.  It hasn’t fully been thought through, and I am not sure when or if it will ever be.  Thanks for reading.

~Cam

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Technical: The A in my Shape

March 6, 2007

So far I have learned that my Spiritual gift is an administrator-server-giver and that my Heart/passion is for efficiency. Now I come to the letter A, which is short for Abilities. From the way I see my abilities, most all of them can be grouped under the broad category of “Technical.”

While growing up, I was able to very quickly grasp technical ideas and understand how they fit together. Things such as computers (both hardware & software), sound systems, audio/visual equipment, and most other things I was, and still am, able to learn with minimal difficulty.

When I mix my efficiency passion with my technical abilities, I usually am very quick to discover better ways of doing things, and if I tack on my secondary gift of server, it takes virtually any task I do and will either shorten the time, increase the quality, or do some combination of both. This is often shown at work when I can usually be found multi-tasking up to six projects at once.

When my H and A letters mix with my administrator primary gift, things don’t always go as well. I don’t know why this is. Maybe it is a self-fulfilling negative mindset towards administrating or leading. Maybe it is the public and extroverted nature usually associated with administrators clashing with my actual extremely introverted and shy self. It may even be something as small as never being taught or shown how to lead, if that is a “learnable” skill, or something in the back of my head making me think that if I do lead then either people won’t follow, or that people won’t like me because of it.

One of the biggest ways to piss me off is to agree to go out and do something, or agree to meet me somewhere and then bail out without calling to tell me beforehand, or at the very least before I have waited too long for you.

At any rate, my abilities tend to lean towards most anything that doesn’t involve people or leading. I pick up on things pretty quick and work well behind the scenes. I remember on one occasion, being dropped, at the last minute, into a position where I was coordinating tech stuff for a drama that was moved indoors and needed the stuff run. This situation was very ironic and unique because it landed me in charge and all the people who would normally be my bosses followed my point.  Afterwards, the guy who would have normally been my boss came to me and told me that I did a good job coordinating.

This situation may be a glimpse of where I am called to, but right now it seems far out of my element.  Time will tell.

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Invasion of the Body Scanners

March 6, 2007

I also ran across this article, which while not nearly as amusing to me as the last one, is quite interesting.

Invasion of the Naked Body Scanners

Basically, expect to see a change in major airports in their security checkpoints.  The metal detectors are becoming a thing of the past, and “backscatters” are coming in.

While many might object to this type of screening, I think it is a great improvement to the current system.  Like the article states, it can detect things that normal metal detectors wouldn’t, like ceramic knives and liquid explosives.  The only real disturbing part of this would be thinking about some pervert airport screener checking you out from 500 ft and numerous walls away, but then TSA probably screens their employees to weed that sort of thing out.

Know that this system isn’t perfect.  Where their is a will, their is a way.  Terrorists will up the bar once again, but these measures might be enough to keep the novices and wanna-be terrorists out of our planes.  Terrorists will need to rely on figuring out common enough materials that could combine together to make weapons, and I’m sure they already have.  So we are stuck at an apparent catch 22 with another freedom sliding through our fingers.