Our New Normal [s] » Our little family's realization, that there is no normal

Day 20: Of disappointments, setbacks and beat downs – Part 3

My Pursuit

What does it mean?

This is the 21st Century, after all. We are reading this in a blog; thanks to this amazing technological development we call social media. There no armies to fight, no Amalekites, no Philistines, no Ziklag, no burning ruins…

Our chase as a family is different than my pursuit as a dad and as a husband. Your family’s “chase,” your “pursuit” will look different than ours, yours is different than mine. In my personal case, I realized that my pursuit, my chasing “the bad guys,” my pursuit of what was kidnapped and stolen has to do with my attitude.

I have realized that I need to be:

More patient,
More supportive,
More encouraging,
Less critical,
More available,
More respectful…

Than ever before.

That’s the way my fight looks. And it is not easy. I guess that is why it is a battle.

On the family front, our battle has taken an “All of the Above” approach to attacking this ailment. We are doing or have done: IVIG (intra-venous immune-globulin, a blood derivative and experimental treatment), steroids, chemotherapy, anti-rejection (immune-depressant) medicine, gluten-free diets, lactose-free diets, sugar-free diets, vitamins, supplements, anti-oxidants, red berries, blue berries, Chinese berries, colostrum, homeopathy, aroma therapy, omega oils, essential oils AND, of course, prayer, fasting and faith.

As a family, our battle has been to throw EVERY FRIGGIN’ thing at this JDM! And, doggone it, we will not stop pursuing until we overtake and recover!

Arms Raised

Next, here is the first thing David did. David “fastened” himself to GOD.

In all practical terms, the only way I know to do that is through praise.

Psalm 103:1 “Bless the Lord o my soul and all that is within me bless his Holy Name”

So many times i heard it and just as many times I ignored it… But try it.

Next time you’re in church (if you don’t go to church, try that), try it. And I’m not talking about a half-way bend at the elbow…

You see, when I was growing up and the times we would go to a Catholic mass, there would be some people that would “go cray-zay” and bend their arms at the elbow and (GASP) turn their hands so their palms would be facing upward. Those were the wild ones. Some would become (BIGGER GASP) “charismatic.” I don’t mean to poke fun at my Catholic brothers and sisters, or any denomination for that matter (I’m sure you have seen the same at your nth Episcopal church down the street). But I do encourage you to try something different.

Remember “BUT David”?

What he did was go against the rest. David should know….

I am not sure at what point in his life David is writing the psalm above, but it sounds like his soul and, at least, part of what was within him did not want to “bless the Lord and his Holy name.” Why else would he need to self-talk that way?

It almost sounds like he’s saying, “Soul, you will praise GOD! Body, I’m telling you, you will exalt the name of GOD or so help me… Well… GOD, I won’t feed you today!!! I will bless the Lord with all my life, whether I want to do it or not!”

Here is what I did in Sydney, Australia, while at a worship session during Hillsong Conference 2013: A full-on, arms extended, raised in a capital “V”. Head tilted back. Eyes open, then closed, then open again, then closed again… You get the picture. Maybe a little tear here and there. (Maybe! I’m not admitting to anything. I may or may have not cried). Completely ridiculous and embarrassing, if you had seen me.

Just try it. You should.
And here is what I discovered:
Praise may not provide the answer, and it often does not, but it does help to deal with the questions, our WHAT.
How? I don’t know. I did not design this program, but I think this works by shifting our focus:
From our here to his there
From the terrestrial to the celestial
From earthly to heavenly
From natural bounds to supernatural limitlessness
From me to HIM

From I am to The “I AM

Raised hands provide a change of perspective and force a change in priorities. You see, the world does not look the same when your gaze is directed heavenward. Nor will the same things matter, when you assume that position.

“Well, you’re just saying that because you’re a Christian.” And while that is accurate, you are correct in assuming that I face life from Christian point of view, take a look at this TED Talk (sorry, I watch a lot of these) on the science of body language. In it, Dr. Amy Cuddy talks about how this “victory” position (hands raised in a V and chin raised) has the physiological ability to alter our body’s chemistry to increase good substances and reduce bad ones. Particularly, she studied other “power” body postures to help us elevate testosterone levels and lower cortisol in stressful situations. Her results are clinically proven and very convincing.
Imagine if only physiologically this has such a powerful and immediate effect (GOD made us this way!), what could happen when you add the spiritual component of praise?

You’ve just fashioned yourself a weapon to go after (pursue) the bad situation, the condition, the frustration!

You should feel a little like Liam Neeson in the movie Taken…..

what I do have is a particular set of skills” (watch)

Praise, the crazy kind, is how I believe we get to fasten to, strengthen and encourage ourselves in God, in our day and age.

Psalm 103:1 “Bless the Lord o my soul and all that is within me bless his Holy Name”


Make your own one. Get by yourself, maybe in your car, and try one loud and proud! If someone is staring, just tell them, “I’m fastening” as you pull on your seatbelt. Most people are trying to avoid eye contact, anyways. And, then this coming Sunday be the crazy one in your church. If someone asks, just tell them, “I’m fastening” as you pull on…. Never mind. Just tell them you’ll behave next week!

August 9, 2013 - 4:24 am

Julia Goguen - 🙂

August 9, 2013 - 11:52 am

Freedom Goguen Martinez - I’m fastening…

August 9, 2013 - 3:14 pm

Sissy Taylor - Love that TED talk too! You are SO right -we look at “those” people in church – guess we had better “be” one of them 🙂 Thank you AGAIN!

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