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Preview for The Love Well Letters

As I look back on the last several years and the journey I have been on to get this book published, it has been one of excitement and frustration. Several years ago when I had my stroke and I was going through the difficulties with the heart device, I had a doctor tell me that they felt led in the Spirit that I would one day right about about what I had gone through to share with others.

Little did I know that I would be adding in an extra adventure about my whole, as well as my time in the new age and occult. Suffice it to say, this book will probably always mean the most to me of what my life's journey has been.

I would really like to thank Steve Bremmer for his constant guidance on this process and for helping me process some things that I don't always grasp, and for his love and patience. In addition, LaRette, for you teaching me love and patience, and always putting the finishing touches on my book in small ways. Your love means more to me than you will ever know. Also, thank you to my website designer and marketer Rita, who has really helped transform so much on my website.

My book will be out on January 23rd of 2024 on Amazon. It is ready currently for pre-purchase in kindle on Amazon and the paperback version will be ready for purchase on that date. I would appreciate your love and support. Again, my intent in my writing is to have the Holy Spirit work with you on your healing journey.

In closing, I was told by some of my reviewers that they enjoyed this letter the most. I know recently, I have been working on bitterness and forgiveness still after having some dreams. I hope that this helps you on your healing journey.

On Forgiveness

 

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will you Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15

 

~ ~ ~

            For the most part, I have considered myself a relatively forgiving person. I feel like I have given others chances when trespasses have happened between us. I have had to learn a lot about boundaries in my life, both for myself and toward others. It wasn’t until after the shamanic journeying conference and having to go to the homeless shelter that my pastor pointed out that I was starting to become the bitter older man in a cardigan sweater. The once loving and open heart that I had was closing. I didn’t care anymore, and it scared me.

         My pastor suggested that I read the book The Freedom Factor by Dr. Bruce Wilkenson. This book describes a Jesus-centered process in which you list all the people who have wronged you and go through the process of forgiving them. Once you have completed the forgiveness process toward others, you begin to work on self-forgiveness toward yourself. Trespasses that you have done toward others, as well as self-hate toward yourself, must be forgiven.

         During this process, I realized how much anger, sadness, grief, condemnation, and bitterness I had held onto for several years. I was stunned, particularly by how much these emotions manifested since attending the shamanic journeying conference and homeless shelter. The Jesus method was far superior to any new-age material I had ever done. When I started on that book, I wondered if I had ever really forgiven anyone.

         I was slack-jawed at how much healing took place with this process. I felt like all the people I had in bitterness jail had finally been set free. I felt a sense of peace wash over me, and I had the awareness come over me that if trespasses occurred, I immediately wanted to go into this process of forgiveness. I was committed to not keeping the anger, bitterness, and rage in my heart. I no longer wanted this toxicity in my soul.

         When Peter was talking to Jesus in Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus said, “Then Peter came to him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus told him, “I do not say up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

         One of the things I have struggled with in my life was being a doormat with people. It has been a long process for me to learn healthy boundaries. I honestly feel that being patient with others is a strength I have had throughout my life. I have been committed to working things out in love. I was committed to having a deep connection and intimacy in my relationships. However, looking back, I have tended to stay in unhealthy situations and relationships longer than I should have. I used false compassion in so many of these situations. I have had to learn to accept that sometimes, others are not willing to grow or change. No one is wrong. My values always want to be moving toward Christ, love, intimacy, and connection. I now realize that, for many of those situations, I did not complete the necessary forgiveness work to set my heart and the people I had been close to free.

         I believe Jesus is correct; it doesn’t matter how many times someone trespasses against us. We must continue forgiving as often as the trespasses occur and set healthy boundaries. I discovered through Dr. Wilkinson’s book that, as I did the deep forgiveness work, the anger and bitterness began to fade. I found that the Holy Spirit would clarify what needed to be done with those relationships. Sometimes, it was better boundaries. Sometimes, it was cutting people out of my life. Sometimes, I had insight into what I needed to change to make the relationship more loving with that individual. Each case was different. The forgiveness work will increase your awareness to be free and to have your relationships with others transformed and renewed.

         I have been listening to Don Henley’s song, “The Heart of the Matter.” The lyrics strike me to the core and are needed more than at any other time in history. “The more I know, the less I understand. All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again. I’ve been trying to get to the heart of the matter, but my will gets weak, and my thoughts seem to scatter. But I think it’s about forgiveness. Forgiveness. Even if, even if, you do not love me anymore.” What a different world we would live in if we took these lyrics to heart and applied them to everyday life.

         One of the most challenging exercises in Dr. Wilkinson’s book was on self-forgiveness. I have discovered that men often secretly and unconsciously deal with guilt, shame, feelings of not being good enough, and feeling unlovable. Men do not want to admit these feelings. They are painful and strike deeply at the core of our masculinity.

         I have found that sitting with all of these feelings is a profoundly challenging exercise. The more I work through it, the more I understand my identity in Christ. I must accept that finding one’s identity in Christ is a process. Patience is required. The most humbling thing that we as human beings can do is to keep it real. Humility is needed, and we can let go of acting like we have it all figured out. I do not. I am where I am. I have learned to acknowledge the small steps I achieve with the help of the Holy Spirit. I give it 100 percent each day, doing my best to carry out my marching orders from the Lord. I keep moving each day to heal my divided heart. I must remind myself that I am a new creation in Christ and that Jesus took away my guilt and shame on the cross. The enemy likes to come at me with those thoughts and feelings of guilt and shame. I can say that when I complete an exercise of self-forgiveness, I always feel a sense of peace, calmness, and wholeness inside my heart. I have learned that the spirit of pride and the enemy come against me when I do not want to forgive others or myself. The enemy does not want me to be free. Be aware of these two things and work through the forgiveness process.

         In closing, I would like to challenge you with some questions to ponder as you potentially prepare to engage in forgiveness work.

●     What stops you from doing forgiveness work?

●     How would your life look if you started to work on forgiveness toward yourself and others?

●     Do you hold back on forgiveness work because it gives you power and control over others?

●     Do you feel like if you started to forgive others, it would feel like you were letting them walk all over you?

●     What would be the most significant barrier toward forgiving yourself? Is it guilt, shame, embarrassment, or not feeling like you deserve God’s grace or mercy?

         Wrapping up this letter, I want to leave you with the Mike and Mechanics song, “The Living Years.” This song impacted me as a young child. This song described a hurtful and toxic relationship with my father. I felt that God spoke to me at an early age to use this song as a compass to work out my relationships in love with others and to never take anyone or anything for granted. I urge you to listen to this song and read the lyrics in your own time.

         “Say it loud; say it clear. You can listen as well as you hear. It’s too late when we die to admit we do not see eye to eye. So, we open up a quarrel between the present and the past. We only sacrifice the future. It’s the bitterness that lasts. So do not yield to the fortunes you sometimes see as fate. It may have a new perspective on a different day, and if you do not give up and do not give, you may just be okay.”

        

        



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