(2012) by Michael John Cusick
p 13the force that motivated his mission now holds him captive
p 15if we seek on the physical level what can only be obtained on a spiritual level.. we set ourselves up for never ending cycle that only leads to desperation, despair and bondage
p 16serpent told woman ‘you don’t die. bod know that the moment you eat form that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on.. you’ll be like god, knowing everything.. from good to evil
what we need to let go of.. thinking we know things
garden enough ness
p17oswald chambers claimed that all sin is rooted in the suspicion that god is not really god.. (can’t trust)
p 24it had never occurred to him that beneath his shame filled compulsions were a hunger and thirst for something legitimate and good
p 29he could only break free as a result of the restoration of his heart
p 34when we demand, we leave no room for love because we go from being lovers to consumers.. the problem is not that he’s thirsty.. but that his desire has become a demand..
40only when we recognize the deeper rupture in our souls will we feel compelled to seed god w a passion that wells up from deep inside
41most of the time we think of integrity as exhibiting good morals, having strong character, and diligently obeying god’s commands.. actually, these are all consequences of integrity.. integrity itself – taken form latin word integer – means to be whole.. just as a whole number is known as an integer, a whole man is known as a man of integrity.. a man who is whole is a moral/obedient man.. each of these flows from integrity
42our brokenness is our only requirement for receiving god’s grace
43no matter how many acts of obedience we perform, our probes are internal.. if you could somehow stop (whatever addiction)you sill wouldn’t be dealing with the problem below the waterline.. you’ve only clean the outside of the cup ..
44understanding ourselves at this level is not about the ‘what’ of our sin (addiction) but the ‘why’
even deeper .. ie: maté addiction law – not why the addiction.. why the pain
46what it means to move toward my inadequacy instead of away from it
48the problem.. the survival techniques that helped us go on when we were young prevent us from thriving when we are adults.. out solution becomes the problem
49a man’s soul is wounded in two ways: wounds of presence – hurt from things done; wounds of absence – hurt from things not done
50wounds not healed.. pass on unresolved pain to ones we love
51greatest barrier to life of freedom.. i s not our brokenness.. it is brokenness unsurrendered..
57none of the things i listed are inherently bad, and some of them quite admirable.. what each share in common is their remarkable ability to provide a counterfeit sense of being centered.. counterfeit good always appeals to a legit desire..
58we might make a god out of alcohol – turning to it addictively to meet all sorts of inner needs – or maybe we make a god out of not drinking alcohol..
59we being journey from slavery to freedom when we expose the counterfeits at root of our brokenness and admit our thirst for the real thing.. at best they (counterfeits) put a band aid on the problem.. at worst, they create more stress thru procrastination, overspending or overconsuming
60they give us temporary permission to live in denial; they help us suppress inconvenient or uncomfortable truths.. but the escape is not real.. doesn’t last.. worship is reflexive in all of us.. you worship someone/thing..
61we are fooled into thinking an idol is serving us when in reality we are serving it…. tozer suggests that idolatry is asking ‘what is god like’ and getting the wrong answer.. so we take matters into our won hands.. turn to something/one we believe will provide us with what our souls need..
62if we’re temped w something from which we can’t seem to break free.. pretty certain it has become an idol in our hearts
64they worshipped and served created things rather than the creator – ro 1:21-25
we give up hope of ever satisfying the goor desire in our hearts..
tim keller: ‘idols cannot simply be removed.. must be replaced.. if only uproot them.. they grow back.. by god.. but by god we don’t mean a general belief in his existence.. most people have that, yet their souls are riddle w idols.. need a living encounter
67guilt: i have done wrong… shame: i am wrong.. belief we are defective ,flawed, bad, or worthless..unbearable.. springsteen’s better days: ‘it’s a sad man who’s living in his own skin and can’t stand the company’
68crucial.. determines how we experience god.. and whether we experience the good news as good news, or sort of good news
shame first appeared in garden.. naked and unashamed before god mean they were both free and able to offer exactly who they were.. w/o holding anything back or hiding their true selves.. they were fully known, just as they were created to be, and they were fully ok w that.. this led to an uninhibited intimacy w god and w each other
garden enough ness
importance of fittingness.. fully known .. rather than knowing knowledge.. (tree)
69when adam and eve reached beyond god’s provision.. the consequences were as swift as they were dramatic.. shame’s first words – ‘better go hide’.. because ate of fruit from tree of knowledge of good and evil.. eyes were now opened.. . their newly gained knowledge of good and evil made them keenly aware of their loss of innocence.. went form being naked and unashamed to hiding and covering their true selves
70hiddenness became self protective strategy in relationships.. shame became a barrier to mercy, love, care.. andrew comiskey: ‘shame is the raincoat over the soul repelling the living water that would otherwise establish us as the beloved of god’
71hiding our true selves goes against god’s design for us. it’s not natural, and it never leads to life
72the voice of shame should never be confused w the voice of god.. god never turns away from our brokenness.. when we desperately try to maintain our appearance, we end up delaying our rescue
73since garden.. all of us have followed ie .. by attempting to earn love.. we believe in order to be loved, we must perform.. performance: 1\ a treadmill that never stops.. never enough 2\ rooted in pride.. self sufficiency 3\ leads to false self
74hiding, performing, pretending prevents us from receiving what our hearts long for.. a false self can not be loved.. doesn’t exist.. we can only be loved for our true selves.. as unlovable as we think we might be
78humility.. if properly understood, is the antidote to shame.. (at core of humility is trust.. trusting god and others w who you are)
80nothing to hide, nothing to lose, nothing to prove.. a completely new experience of freedom
nothing to prove ness
what do you long to hear.. who can you trust with you
84carl jung: all neurosis is caused by the avoidance of necessary pain
94gerald may, the awakening heart: ‘the freedom question then is not whether we can do whatever we want, but whether we can do what we most deeply want
99dallas willard has suggested that much of what passes for the gospel today is a reduced gospel, a gospel that simply involves believing the right things and being forgiven.. led to a focus on life then and not now.. what our lives look like on outside..
100in jesus god ushered in a new covenant.. a radical operation that deals w sin at the deepest level – our hearts jer 31:33: ‘i will put my law in them ind and write it on their hearts.. ‘ .. previously laws written on stone tables.. now.. in our hearts/minds.. now resides in us.. heb 12:24
was it ever outside of us..? made in his image et al
on each heart ness
101your good heart is what is most true about you
102men tell me they struggle.. w (whatever addiction) is because their ‘heart is desperately wicked’.. referring to jeremiah 17:9.. but for the man who has trusted christ.. this is a paralyzing mistake.. god has given him a new heart.. this is no small side issue
or uncovered the one already in him – otherwise.. in image ness?.. otherwise.. we’re deciding that some action has to happen
col 2:11: sinful nature stripped away..
103your sinful nature is no longer who you are..
was it ever..?
i think this is no small side issue
so important i need to say it again.. paul was telling us we are not our sin nature.. crippling.. we must not confuse our sinful nature w our new hearts
seems crippling too to think we’re getting new hearts.. (like he gave us damaged goods).. rather than that we were enough when we were born.. in his image..
jer 31: ‘a man will not need to teach his neighbor/friend anymore.. he will not say ‘know the lord’ everyone will know me.. all of them’
yeah.. seems like we’re adding a pre req.. a pre req were people are deficit w/o us.. telling them.. et al.. i think it’s more about creating conditions for people to listen to..uncover.. strip away.. to what’s already there
when it seems all you want is the relief of (whatever addiction) something inside you wants more.. what are you thirsty for
104reality of your new heart is that deep down, your inclination now gravitates toward god’s heart ps 37:4: ‘delight yourselves in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart..’
wish he’d quit saying ‘new’ heart
105goal is not to turn off facet of (addiction) but to turn on faucet of trust.. trusting that he has restored my heart.. that my heart is good
restored heart.. that resonates more..
i began to understand just how much energy i had spent on sin management.. trying to repress the cesspool.. as i stopped putting my energy into shutting off the facet from cesspool, my real passions began rising to the surface.. pipes in my soul getting unclogged.. something starting to flow that i didn’t know was there.. john 4:14: ‘spring of water welling up’
also – ‘didn’t know what was already there’.. not new.. just uncovered.. unclogged.. huge diff
the me who was truly meant to fly
107i began to realize that my desire for attention and affection was good.. longing for beauty was good.. thirst to live w freedom and wild abandon was good.. the light and passion inside me was good.. my heart was good.. of course it was.. it was the heart of jesus.. his poem: ‘his light that i’m defined by .. and it’s brighter than it seems’
108 – the invisible battlejohn eldredge: ‘the story of your life is the story of a long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it’
111purpose of the battle: control of the human heart.. (satan) exists to block you, in whatever way possible, from becoming the man of god you were created to bel.. he hates your soul.. he hates how your life can make god known.. if he can’t kill your soul.. he’ll try to convince you to cover it w shame and get you to hide.. he’ll try to convince you that you can never change..
112philip yancey: ‘we are never more godlike than in the act of sex.. we make ourselves vulnerable.. simultaneous.. experiencing for a brief time a unity like no other.. ‘
113should it come as no surprise that the evil one would make the destruction/desecration of sex a primary target in his war against all that is good/glorious.. this is so much bigger than being accountable to someone and trying to remain pure.. an intense battle because it s the arena where god desires to demo who he is and what the’s like.. what communion w him is meant to be
114he (jesus encounter w satan) was unshakably solid in his id.. he neither caved in from insecurity nor acted out in self defense.. he knew who he was.. the beloved son of god
how many have gotten caught in the snare .. because they had something to prove..
115addictions give the powers of darkness the right to act as squatters in our hearts.. addiction acts as permission.. as vacancy-sign..
(then 2 page prayer.. pray everyday until you are totally and completely free)
yeah.. i don’t think prayer works that way.. reciting other people’s words..?
140when empty.. being alone is almost always a scary thing.. when full.. almost always a joy.. it wasn’t being alone i was afraid of; it was emptiness.
141loneliness to solitude.. restless senses to restful spirit.. fearful clinging to fearless play.. – henri nouwen
143our souls require solitude and silence in order to survive..
152you may get disoriented and lose your way, but you can always return to the highway.. it’s right there in your heart.. attentive.. alert.. about the life within..
156psalm 42 ‘as the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you’.. is a song of lament that reflects his grief over the loss of his community ‘why are you downcast oh my soul’.. the psalmist is engage in a convo w god.. but he is also engaged in a convo w himself as the basis for his dialogue w god.. it’s a beautiful pic of a man being attentive to his soul
i often wonder how my life would have been diff if i’d had a language at my disposal to help me understand what was going on in my soul.. a soul language
four actions will help you develop your soul language: 1\ id your triggers 2\ interrogate cravings (what is deeper craving) 3\ surf urges (ride them out till they pass.. instead of running into it) 4\ carry your tension (carrying pain rather than using addiction to release it)
161what does my soul really need right now
162sexual compulsions are disorders of intimacy.. they lead to isolation and loneliness.. even if a man is addicted to relationships..
163we should never measure transformation by the absence of sin, only be the presence of love..
166we are loved beyond imagination.. we discover that this alone defines our true id’s.. we are the beloved.. because of this,we are free from the compulsion to be someone we are not – to impress, manipulate, or attempt in our own unique way to earn love.. we are free to be who we are
167(on what is freedom).. at conclusion of civil are in 1865.. all slaves in south were emancipated
yeah.. i don’t think so
freedom is not just from something.. also toward something.. the ability to do what you most deeply want to, and to become who you most deeply are
free\dom et al
168god is concerned w so much more than giving you the energy to keep you from (whatever addiction).. he wants to free you from any encumbrances.. that prevent you from living the life he intended..
each time you surf (fill in addiction) i knew you were really surfing for me
190(another 2 page prayer to recite)
196beneath your brokenness.. your heat remains intact..
god longs to transform your (addiction) into strength.. it ons’t happen, however, thru more religious effort.. by recruiting one more accountability partner.. by deciding that this time you’re going to be more serious .. you can continue trying harder to do better until you give up form exhaustion.. or.. you can choose life.. means believing you were created to fly and sing the song in your heart..
from study guide questions link [http://restoringthesoul.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Surfing-For-God-Study-Questions.pdf]:
ch 2 – p4 – #6: In this process of finding freedom and wholeness, you must find your good heart and we will get to this more in chapter 6, but shame will not take you there.
ch 3 – p5 – #2: “If Thomas Aquinas’s words are true – that every sinful behavior is rooted in a legitimate God-given appetite – then identifying those God-given longings must be our first order of business.”
ch4 – p6 – #7 – He cannot heal what you will not let go of.
ch 8 – p10 – #1: Gerald May writes, “The freedom question, then, is not whether we can do whatever we want, but whether we can do what we most deeply want.” Where have you seen “freedom” abused in the church or culture at large as it has been defined as doing “whatever we want” as in the first part of this quote.
#5: Michael writes, “for the man who has trusted Christ, this (the struggle with porn = their heart is desperately wicked – referring to Jeremiah 17:9) is a paralyzing mistake. God has given him a new heart. His heart is no longer desperately wicked. This is no small theological side issue.” Do you understand the gravity of a person’s understanding of the gospel message and the implications this has on the way that a person lives?
ch 11 – p13 – #2: In an age of near constant distraction – a “hyper-connected world” – computers, iPhones, iPads, etc., being still, practicing solitude and silence is SUCH a discipline. “We have become, as Kierkegaard said, tranquilized by the trivial.”
#3: Re-read the quote from Henri Nouwen, p. 141. “To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play.”
#5: As you sit by yourself in silence ask yourself the question, “as I listen to my soul, what is it saying to me”?
#6: “We love because he first loved us” – 1 John 4:19. What do you imagine it might be like to sit in the presence of God with no other goal except to be delighted in?
ch 12 – p 14 – #1: Michael writes, “Knowing that you have a highway in your heart should be very comforting. You may get disoriented and lose your way, but you can always return to the highway. It’s right there in your heart
ch 13 – p 15 – #1: What are the ways that you typically try to impress, manipulate, or attempt in your own unique way to earn love? Can you think of one time/experience where this compulsion to be someone that you are not subsided where you experienced God’s free and abundant love? What was this like?
ch 14 – p16 – #1: As Michael tells the story of his father giving up alcohol, do you believe that you have it within you to decide to “grow up” and “learn to live as God’s free and chosen (man)”
??? grow up..and learn..???? or space/time to uncover what is already there
#2: What do you want to be said of you when you lie flat on your back and your days have come to an end
???? is that a good question/focus????
#3: Can you relate to having cop accountability? How about coach accountability? Have you ever experienced cardiologist accountability? Do you have this now? If so – fantastic! If not, can you think of a man who could provide this for you? Will you have the courage to ask for this
????? ugh.. accountability is anti love