1 Aug 2015


Submitted by theshovel

How is that so many who claim to be following the Biblical edicts regarding the conscience so often overlook the simple reality of the “cleansed conscience” through the once and for all sacrifice of Christ (as mentioned in the letter to the Hebrews)? If anybody had been struggling with conscience it would have been Jews who struggled under Law, but it was demanded that in Christ such a cleansed conscience had become reality … rather than a potential possibility.

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You know what happened today? I was driving to the store with my daughter and we were talking, and I was telling her about how I posted all this insane stuff that was going on inside me, and all of a sudden I heard a small voice remind me of a verse in the Bible. So when we got home I looked for it and found it.

2 Corinthians 4:8We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
God reminded me of this.
When I get in these funky thought patterns and everything seems insane, it's only normal. We have an enemy that hates Christ. And we are weak in our flesh.
Ephesians 6:12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Sometimes it gets really dark. But I still keep pressing on. And I want to be an encouragement to all of us . Life is full of concerns and uncertainties, but God will never fail us.
I have a small story,
I moved out to Pa from NJ, and when I first moved here I went to this little place called the Jelly Shack or something like that. Well this little old lady, she must have been about 80 or more , was so nice to me ,and she knew I wasn't from around here. My NY accent gave me away. She made all this homemade jelly and pies and stuff. She had her own cookbook and I bought one. And as time went on I realized I was taking up to much of her time, and I apologized and was trying to leave and felt bad. I was so amazed by her whole way of life that I was asking her all kinds of questions.
Well she turned to me and said, Why do you feel bad? There is nothing more important in life than people. She was actually enjoying my company and conversation, and her time was not being wasted. I felt so good inside at this woman's outlook on life, that I wished I had a kind gentle spirit like she had. I will never forget that old lady, maybe I will go back one of these days.

Hi Nerg0,

 I have read that article a few times and the struggle has been an issue with me. Slowly I am trying to understand what Christ really did.

Galatians 5:1.So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

He has set me free, but I keep taking that freedom back. And you know what really makes the pile of crap higher? As I was going through all the religious indoctrination , somehow being “great and powerful for God” was assaulted on me , as something to be trying to achieve.

And since I am such a failure and cannot attain this “great and powerful for God” , I am not really a Christian , I have shown myself to be a fake , there is no power of God in my life , no evidence of Him in my life. So I just kind of hope that God doesn't disown me and send me to hell when I die.

 What a great way to go through life huh? I just can't seem to stop sinning and sometime i just say “F-it”. What kind of God lets the people He loves stay in this condition? So I come to the conclusion He is mad at me. And then the guilt piles up I ask for forgiveness and repeat the whole thing over and over.

 And maybe in reality I am mad at myself and blaming God. You ever see the movie about Mozart (-Amadeus-) the guy who goes crazy and at the the end of the movie he is walking around saying ” I absolve thee” to all the other crazy people , I hope I don't end up like him. LOL. He was jealous that God gave a great talent to someone he thought wasn't deserving of it. The mindset of this world  “to be great” is a common thing, even in religion.

 I don't want to be great , I just want to know the Love of God. And there seems to be something blocking my way. And I keep thinking it is because I keep sinning. I keep seeing this evil in my heart, if only God would remove it and make me clean like all the other Christians. When I first got saved it was the most wonderful thing I ever experienced. Then I went back to my old ways and have never been able to recover. I have secret sins that I enjoy.

He knows that I am a liar and cannot be trusted, because every time I try to change my ways I keep going back. I promise you God that if you get me out of this I will listen to you forever. Yea right. You know how many times I have said that? I am embarrassed to even try to tell the truth.

My first love for God is gone , I ruined it. Can this be forgiven? Or has God thrown His hands up in disgust at me? All these years of torment has not been healthy. So I stopped going to church, stopped reading the Bible. But I keep trying to talk to God everyday. I cannot talk to other Christians about this, they recoil in horror at me, so I stopped even trying to communicate about what's really going on inside me, and just did the praise the Lord thing. I am excommunicated from all other Christians because of my condition.

Except for here. I haven't been excommunicated from here, …. yet. And I hope you don't look down on me for expressing myself. It's easy to repeat Bible verses. It's not easy for me to live as alive in Christ.

It's hard for me to be “Christ centered” I am not Christ, I am me, I am me centered. How do I throw my old self on the cross? Maybe I don't want to throw myself on the cross. Because I don't see the real meaning behind all this. Maybe I am blind ,and a blind man cannot make himself see.

For some reason I am in this state of being and I can't get out. God help me. He opened the door for me to be free , and I want to stay in prison. Or maybe I keep making new prisons for myself so I have to keep asking to be set free? Maybe I am free and just don't realize it? Maybe He threw the key away and left me inside? I just don't feel “free”.




What a bad trap I have been in for many years. Revolving around sin but , it has been from bad teaching and it becomes part of my thought process. Growing up as child to late teen years I was a Jehovah's Witness.

I wasn't allowed to have birthday parties, no holidays, had to bring a note to school stating that I couldn't salute the flag, it was all a sin. Do you have any idea how hard it is to overcome this type of brainwashing? Everything I did was a sin. And they wanted to make sure I wasn't joining the rest of the world in their sin. They ruined my childhood and joy I should have experienced. I am a cold person to this day. I still can't do any of these things today, without some sort of guilt , and it is all subconscious.

Even though I never liked saluting the flag any way ,I always thought that was a strange practice, logically anyway, so that really wasn't an issue. I hated being forced to salute the flag ,just because I thought it was stupid.

God hates these thing, they would tell me. So I was reduced to an spiritual anorexic soldier for God. All works, no grace. A brainwashed robot for God.

Nothing more. My emotions are twisted wreckage.

And most of the “born again” churches I went to didn't change things. Some made it worse.

But all through this, in my heart I only wanted one thing….to know God loved me and cared for me. And that I could love Him back.

Jim, thank you in your spirit of gentleness you are helping people like me.


Dear Arnold,

First, do not assume that you are alone in this predicament. Nor should you believe that it is God who has put you here. My friend, you have been eating from the Law “tree'”and quite a bit. Your sincerity has been taken advantage of by those who want you to be as “committed” as they are.

God has reconciled you to Himself. He no longer counts your sins against you. He desires that we trust and depend on HIm for what He came to give..the works and behaviors will indeed take care of themselves. Take your eyes off of those things and put them on Christ..your unconditional and loving Saviour.


He has ratified a NEW covenant with us..not like the Old. Learn of this..


Excellent, Jim!
Arnold, do a search on the shovel and read "How To Stop Porn Addiction?". The writing is based on Ephesians 4: 17-32 . The writing really spoke to my heart. The content is NOT about steps in getting over porn as the title may suggest, but the writing woke me up to realize the lying fixed mindset that I had unknowingly conditioned myself to listen to for years. Simply said: Although I was in Christ through faith, my thinking was twisted ... I was listening to lies housed in the old man that I had actually died to through Christ. The lying mindset I listened to told me I had to press-on more to feel like I had really forgiven others in order to feel victorious. BUT, our our actual real life, IS NOW In Christ. More and more I have come to see my Real Life in Christ especially when the reality of Christ breaks through that natural man mindset. Arnold, its a miraculous freedom you and I now have in Christ.

theshovel's picture

This is a powerful testimony, my friend Nerg0! Thanks for putting it out there!!


theshovel's picture

My brother Arnold, I am honored to be included as part of your journey at this time. It is a true privilege! I was speaking with another brother (and one of my closest friends) last night about the amazing connections that are made during the course of our lives where we discover that we are sharing our hearts together for a few moments every so often. There is such a real connection when the masks are pulled back and another person speaks from a place of real life. This is what I hear from you, and I truly appreciate it!

I remember the hesitance I felt when approaching, or being approached by, a person (or usually two) who was a JW. In Bible College we learned techniques and arguments that might tear down the false confidence that moved such people to evangelize. Somehow, though, I came to see that people are really just people, regardless of labels or affiliations. I’ll never forget the times when I first began to simply listen to what was behind the words of those who were trying so hard to win me over.

The funny thing was I discovered that I was hearing so much of myself in all of the strained attempts to get everything all figured out, especially the attempts to make the other people think I actually did have it figured out. That’s when I heard the commonality we all share and the desperation and the manipulation. That’s when I realized that I could simply speak to what I was actually hearing. And guess what? What I said would often connect, much to the dismay of the supposed elder of the two. I also understood and related to that.

If I could encourage you in anything, it would be for you to recognize the reality behind the scenes of whatever it is that you think you still have to carry with you from your past. I understand that your emotions are, as you said, a twisted wreckage, but please know that you do not owe your past history anything. What I mean to say is that the coldness you carry with you to this day is part of a life that is no longer who you are! And that, my friend, is good news. :)


I hear you, Arnold. I can relate to what you are saying in my own life, but my experience was just different types of deceptive religious issues. Through my years (i'm 62) I have come to realize the deception, struggle through them, and overcome them only through seeing my real life is in Christ. My REAL life and yours is on the living side of the grave where Christ has made us alive in Him and we are now one with Him. Rest in the finished work of Christ. I am compelled to trust my hearing of others through Christ's forgiveness and love for me. This is from no strength on my part, believe me. (I really appreciate Jim and others on this web site sharing their heart in revealing the miraculous life we have in Christ.) Thank you for sharing, Arnold.

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Random Shovelquote: No-man's Land (view all shovelquotes)

...to believe in Christ is not equal to an acceptance of the religion of Christianity, nor is it an avoidance of fact. I know, I stand on what appears to be no-man's land. Thank God for that! :) source