My Dark Night of the Soul: Wretched

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dark night of the soulWords cannot express at how consistently amazed I am at the constant flow of grace and mercy that Father God gives me, despite my constant failings at striving to “be holy like He is holy”. My mouth says one thing, my mind knows what I should do, but I end up doing the opposite anyway. I am a wretch, my sinful self amplified, making me hyperaware of my state of wretchedness. But, that’s actually a good sign, as the Holy Spirit that dwells in me illuminates things, allowing not only His sanctification to progress, but shining also on the fact that it’s only the grace and mercy that flows over my by what Jesus Christ provided on the cross that gives me hope and joy.

I curse my wretched flesh, but I know it’s mortifying. The Holy Spirit continues its work in me, despite this dark night of my soul. I praise You, Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit…

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AUGUST 15

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For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. – Romans 14:8

Monday. It happened, finally. Again. Wherein I absentmindedly thought at one point, to myself: “I should catch up with Grandma sometime this week.” Followed immediately by my brain reminding me that, in fact, I cannot. Because she’s gone. Forever from this world. No more catching up. No more chit-chat. No more Grandma.

Now, suddenly, my chest hurts, and my eyes are leaky.

Also feeling a bit of building anxiety about the meeting with Gary later next week. Don’t know how that’s going to play out, or what it is we’re all going to be discussing. After everything that’s happened this summer, if somehow things work out that I won’t be helping out with the youth group for whatever reason, then…so be it. I’m merely a humble servant, and if I am deemed unworthy to be a part of the kids’ spiritual lives, then I accept my fate. We shall see.

As you may have guessed, I have something of an inferiority complex. If you only knew…

Reading A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick. Rather heady, in a simple kind of way. Bit more of a potty mouth than I expected, though.

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July 31, 2016

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I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life. – Psalm 119:93

It’s been a while. A while since I’ve posted something substantial as far as brain droppings go. A while since I even posted some kind of general update to at least prove that I still exist on this plane of mortality. Did’ja miss me? I’m sure there’s at least a couple of you that did. Hi, Mom.

As it stands, I wish I had something positive to report. Even something as innocuous as “Doing fine, life is good, totally blessed,” and other similar posts I generally gloss over in my social media feed. Then again, even if I posted something like that and meant it, I’d have friends and acquaintances calling me to see if I’m feeling okay.

It’s not easy being the negative charge on the proverbial battery of life.

Boy howdy has 2016 been a trying year. I believe I began wishing for some kind of reset button around May or so. Here we are, the tail end of July, in the middle of the wicked season that is Summer, and there were two events in the past couple of months that have made me want to count this year as a wash. Just to give you an idea of what’s been happening to keep me from wanting to keep up with the content on this blog o’ mine:

My final grandmother passed away at the beginning of June. She was a week or so away from her 90th birthday. She passed away in her sleep; but it was the months leading up to her passing that took the most out of me and my family. It was tough, watching her fade away like she did. I’m still mourning her loss. I suppose I will for a while.

The second thing that hit me pretty hard this summer was something that I really did not see coming at all. Which is why, three weeks after it happened, I–and sever others as well–am  still feeling the whiplash. I can’t really get into the details at the moment; I’m still processing things, and I’d like to get as much information as possible to make a fair assessment of the situation. Let’s just say that, as of today many of us are finding ourselves without a church to call home. Like I said, I’ll probably go into more detail at a later post, I just want to be able to do so in a way that’s gracious and not falling into the realm of sensationalist muck-raking. Because we’re getting enough of that with this current election period, amirite?

Until next time, I hope to shake off the dark fog I’ve been in for the past few months to get back to posting my brain droppings, reviews and other fun stuff. It’s a struggle, buy by the grace of God I go. Cheers, all.

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So, here we are. The tail end of the month of May. Which means, we’re officially at the half-way mark of the year that is 2016. And since there hasn’t been much as far as “content” on this blog of mine, outside of the usual NSR post, I thought now would be a good time to bring anyone still reading this up to speed as far as the goings on in the life of your beloved Uncle NecRo.

Besides still doing NECRO SHOCK RADIO, I’m also recording and producing another podcast, called WILL CODE FOR BEER. Essentially a PUBcast, it’s more or less the recording of the various conversations the constantly mentioned (and alluded to) Coven of Exalted Geeks have on the night we converge at Sean O’Casey’s in Omaha. Then, I chop the entirety up into half-hour long bits and post them here on this blog that was recently set up. Things tend to get wacky. You should check ’em out, if you have nothing else better to do.

Once in a while, there’s a special Nerd Rage Episode, where we get together after watching a movie, and discuss our thoughts on the thing. So far, there’s one for Batman V Superman, and Captain America: Civil War. Coming soon: X-Men Apocalypse.

Earlier this month, at the beginning of May, the four seniors in the youth group graduated. The final night for the season was the last week in April, and there was hardly anyone there who didn’t find themselves verklempt. Proud of those kids, I am. The second week in May, though, my own nephew/godson Christopher graduated High School. Here’s the obligatory pic:

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Also having graduated on the same weekend as Chris (and thus necessitating having to miss out on it due to helping with the open house and all that) was my cousin’s eldest, Trevor Donahey. Here’s the obligatory pic:

TREVOR DONAHEY GRADUATION PIC 2016

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Gads, I’m still wrapping my head around how these two lads are now 18 and moving on to the next phase in life. Only six more years until my next nephew graduates. Better pace myself, here. Feel old, I do.

I didn’t help out with the annual pancake feed that my aunt and uncle does with their Volunteer Rescue team in Dunlap, Iowa this year. The idea was to bring along the two younger nephews to it, so they could gorge on breakfast stuff and have some fun hanging out with the cusins and riding on the fire trucks. Which I did. And they did. Only, I made the grave mistake of taking my blood pressure and diabetes medication without any food, which resulted in enough of a pain level that resulted in me having to leave after only an hour or so. Fortunately, my sister and brother-in-law decided to attend the feed also, so the boys just rode back with their parents. I felt awful having to leave so soon; but, I was feeling even more awful physically. I got back to the Haunted Victorian without further incident, and after an extended nap the pain was gone and I was back to my normal self. And by that, I mean the post-nap depression swing was in full-force.

I trust everyone managed to enjoy their Memorial Day. Everyone reading this in America, that is. If you’re not from America and have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s a day set aside to remember those who died in active military service, traditionally by drinking copious amounts of beer and eating obscene amounts of grilled meat.

Merely good-natured ribbing, my dear Alphonse. Cheers, all.

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Article: CONFESSIONS OF A DEPRESSED CHRISTIAN: Staring Into The Void

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empty eyesSomething is missing. That much I know. I’ve had this feeling, gnawing inside of me, for decades now. No, I know that the feeling that something is missing is a constant. While the closer I get with God, the longer I go down this journey, the stronger the hold the Holy Spirit has with me, the more I’m aware that this sensation that something inside of me is missing is there. I have been learning what it means to be content with where I’m at, what I have and where I’m headed. He is my Lord in the darkness as well as the light, the high points and the low points, the peaks and the valleys. He is my all-in-all.

And yet…something’s missing. A dark, sucking maw that hasn’t been filled yet. Empty. I cannot fill it, no one else can fill it but God, and that’s in his timing. Yet, that sensation persists. And it always gets the most pronounced and amplified this time of year, it seems.

This is the major reason why I’m not that big on participating in the Holiday Season. I’m a terrible liar, and thus I’m not able to bring myself to pretend to be happy for the benefit of others. So I avoid being around people as much as I can, save for the family gatherings that really do pick me up a bit. But, ultimately, I have to bear this feeling that’s something’s missing…not alone, for I have the Holy Spirit with me always. But I do wish I knew what it was this will all benefit for His glory.

Because, in the end, I know that’s all this is leading to, really.

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Obligatory Thanksgiving Post (2015 Edition)

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turkey-carcassHere we are, the week of Thanksgiving. Which means that I’m in the midst of the Holiday Edition of my periodic Downward Spiral, something that begins when Halloween breathes its last at the strike of Midnight, and continues steadily until some time after New Years. By that time, I’ve blocked all of the light emanating in the domicile I reside in, and have a special soundtrack that features the likes of Dead Artist Syndrome, L. S. U., Saviour Machine and other darker stuff playing on an endless loop, while I sit on the couch and read ancient Gothic literature to the candle light to stave off the creeping darkness. Fun times.

But, if you’re worried you’re about to read a bunch of self-pity-ing whining that you would normally find on a blog of some emo kid, far from it. I’m currently at the part of the overall Holiday Clusterbomb where I like to refer to my level of depression as “whimsically melancholy”.

This year, due to the scheduling algorithm, I work on Thanksgiving. Which, for me, is fine. I fear that, in my middle age, Thanksgiving–along with Christmas–have lost all cohesion for me in terms of celebratory importance. They’re just days on the calendar for me.

Certainly, I enjoy gathering together with the family, sharing in a meal of some sort, and enjoying everyone’s presence. All of my memories of Thanksgiving gatherings with the family have been pleasant ones, and I actually look forward to any time we can spend together in that capacity. Only…we can do that at any other given day out of the 365 that comprise the year, and not just on one Thursday at the end of the second-to-last month of the year.

However, instead of focusing on the secular trappings of the holiday, let’s focus on the spirit of the day. And by that, I mean the “Thanks” in “Thanksgiving”. And thus, I share with you all a bit of a list of things I’m thankful for, things that may not be on your typical “I’m Thankful For…” lists. Also, they’re in no particular order, as these are more brain droppings than an actual structured list (as most of these blog posts are):

– ATHEISTS
Without them, I wouldn’t be challenged into thinking logically as to why I believe what I believe. You might say my Christian faith is stronger because of my unbelieving friends. And I’m stone-cold serious about that. No sarcasm whatsoever.

– HORROR MOVIES
Contrary to popular belief, horror movies don’t cause fear, but releases our fear. It’s the perfect genre for Christians to get creative in. And no, I’m not going to explain myself. It would take too long.

– GOTHIC LITERATURE
The old stuff, from the mid-18th Century to the early 20th Century, have a certain charm to them that seems to appeal to me more than a lot of modern horror literature. And I can look pretentious reading them, too.

– SCI-FI
Such bloody good yarns, such imaginations, such thinly-veiled commentary on present issues done in future tense. Also, robots and space ships and aliens, oh my.

– BOOKS
Do I even need to explain this one? Physical books; old, new, paperback and hardback, of all shapes and sizes…er, that didn’t sound as weird in my head as it does written down…anyway…

– QUORN NAKED CHIK’N CUTLETS
I’m no vegetarian by any means, but at those times where I need to cut back on the tender flesh of the innocent, I find the Quorn brand of meatless products to be more agreeable with faking out my brain into thinking I’m still consuming meat. And their “chicken” patties are the best ones going.

There we are, a lovely list to contemplate for our thankfulness of the season. Or whatever. I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with good things and happy memory-making. Me, I’m going to catch up on my reading and some writing at work. It’s dead, I’m told. Maybe pick up some pre-prepared turkey to at least overdose on tryptophan. Some traditions I like.

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In My Dark Isolation, I Muse…

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In My Dark Isolation, I Muse...Tired. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. The quad-fecta. If that’s even a word. This has been a very long stretch of banality, an endless valley of questions, struggling to understand, trying to keep afloat in this raging river.

Feeling like Elijah – after a victorious high, I plunge into the depths of depression. I can do nothing but lift His name up and praise Him in the midst of this despair and darkness. Despite my not wanting to, or “feeling like it”, I must. He is worthy of my praise.

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! for praise from the upright is beautiful. – Psalm 33:1

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. – II Samuel 22:4

Oh, do not let the oppressed return ashamed! Let the poor and needy praise Your name. – Psalm 74:21

I go now to mentally prepare for the day…

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