Thursday, January 31, 2008


I struggle with pride. That being said, the process of being humbled pretty much sucks. The Bible says that pride comes before a fall, I learned this is true in my adolescence when I was a poser skater. I wore my Vision Streetwear hat with the brim flipped up, I had the skater fanny pack, not to be confused with the old lady amusement park fanny pack, I had the Vans shoes and the Santa Cruz skateboard a friend of mine stole for me. I used to build small ramps to do tricks off of but never actually pulled off a trick, unless you count the time I launched off of it and tried to grab the board, but it flipped and I came down on the nose of it with the butt end on the ground hammering the thing into my groin, trick. I thought I was so cool until there were girls watching. I remember this one time I was skating around doing some small time tricks and noticed I had an audience of 2 girls watching me. It was an awesome thought, I felt famous like John Lennon until I fell face first into the ground during a routine push off of the board. They laughed and got up and walked away and I sat there watching them leave with blood on my face. I still am sitting there with that blood on my face. I have put my foot in my mouth and pissed people off and argued with people for hours all while knowing I was wrong, but could not bring myself to admit it. Why do I do that kind of stuff, I ask myself reluctantly? Because it sucks to be wrong. It always sucks to be wrong. But the truth is that everyone is wrong sometimes although I do have friends who I seem to never be wrong, they are just that smart. But my prayer lately has been to be made humble which is not a process I recommend for a lot of people because the process isn't comfortable. It takes a lot of work in your day-to-day. You have to learn to keep your mouth shut even when you are right, and say only what will build up others because what good does it do people for your pride to be boosted at their expense? So this is my quest, and I am being proactive about it. God changes people, and gives the strength, conviction, and encouragement to succeed, and He also expects us to work at it. It is all so dumb though. I have learned my whole life that the moment I think I have done well for myself I am cut down. Why has it taken me so long to realize that I was falling because I was taking credit for what God has done. Pretty eye opening experience to me, so that is all. The End

Monday, January 28, 2008

Invisible (For The War Children In The Sudan)

Lie in a bed of paper bags
Sit and listen to the fireworks crack
I was a soldier
I was a brick
But I can't remember the last time I laughed

Abducted from my bed
bandits blazed around my head
I was a child once
I killed my brother once
But I can't remember the last time I bled

But in the night I fly
through the courtyard
to the cellar and lie
beneath the ruins of a church that fried
Hidden beneath the feet that stomp our cries

I had a birthday
a day ago I was 13
But I wasn't young
I was my mothers son
I was an orphan once
Mixed in the soil I walk
My mothers blood

It isn't me
It isn't me I said
To the shells that fall my finger pulled
It isn't me

Today has got me thinking
Maybe the lights don't mean home
Maybe the roof resists the raining
But it won't keep you from being alone

These are song lyrics I wrote on New Years Eve 2007


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Little Building That Holds People That Hold God

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Why do churches not get this? I look at my surroundings, the churches around me, at least the ones in comfortable, yet modest, downriver Michigan and see a bunch of smaller churches trying to become mega-churches. Their plans are to build the biggest and most state-of-the-art buildings with cafe's and bookstores and visitor centers with all of the splendor of Solomon. Yet, not much is being done for the people that need help. It is weird that churches believe that they can get helping others accomplished in-house without having to go out to the ones who need them and help. So many churches have become self oriented just like the the people that reside in them and not much real religion is being done at all. No wonder people call us hypocrites, because churches are being run for ourselves and not for God. We do so many things with an agenda, we only do the ministries that may increase our numbers, not the going to Detroit stuff and helping a struggling soup kitchen or mission, no those won't turn into numbers for us, and the saddest part is that people are also loving with an agenda. They love others, or they think it is love, just to get them to accept Jesus or to come to church. God never commanded us to love others to convert them, the act of conversion is not something we can do anyways, God works in peoples hearts and uses others, not us. God commanded us to love others because we should love others, to model Christ, to live how God purposed us to live, not to manipulate people into following what you believe to be true. This is the single biggest reason I hate tracks with all the anger inside me. Because most people are not using them as a guide for witnessing to people, they are handing them to people they don't know and watching them walk away with no care of any real conversation. A friend of mine found a stack of particularly judgmental ones in the bathroom of the theater he works at, like you are going to go to the bathroom, see a track, pick it up and receive Christ all while washing your hands under the unsanitary blow drier. I am sorry if this offends some that rely on passing out tracks to fulfill their quota of loving people but it simply is not love. Try building a relationship with someone at work, talk to them about things in their lives, about TV or about movies or music or books or marriage or life. Be honest about who you are right away. Be honest about your sin, pray for that person, a lot. Ask God to open opportunities for you to share the Good News that Jesus brought to us and He will. Then your witness will come naturally, organically, and will hold more respect and credibility with the person you are talking to because that person knows you and knows you care about them. I don't know about you, but I do not make eternal choices like to live for Jesus by following some stranger that passes me a slip of paper or holds a sign in my face as I walk right past him. Do you? I would like to hear some things that we can do to reach out to our communities in love, let me know.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Racial Treehouse

I am finally getting my sleep schedule under control. I have been getting into bed between midnight and 1 AM which is really good for me, I know some are sleeping by 9 PM, but midnight to 1 is a good time for me. I have been less tired in the morning and more productive throughout the day. I feel pretty good about it seeing as my old average time was between 3 and 4 AM, this is a significant step in the right direction. It is Martin Luther King day, and I am not really contemplating racial issues, is that wrong? My friend Josh and thought of the phrase Racial Treehouse, but I don't know yet what it refers to yet, it's organic though so I think it can grow legs and carry us into fame somehow. I understand the randomness this blog has taken on, but there is a time for everything and today I just finished a talk for Liquid, the high school youth group, and I am really tired of trying to be concise and to the point and organized in what I write, so today you get randomness, which is really more of my personality anyways, if you know me. I hate talking on the phone, I love fruit leather. The End

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What Does It All Mean?

Prayer is weird. I sat in the shower today, yes, I said sat, and was praying. I have been really sick the last few days and physically, mentally, and spiritually drained, as I prayed something happened that has happened so many times, especially when I seem to need it most, God spoke, I think, if I were sure I would staple it to my Bible, but as a person that makes mistakes, I can only speculate on what God is doing. I am praying and hearing God at the same time which is weird because that happens often, I am the one speaking and I am learning from God at the same time. Well today I was praying for my extended family, when the thought of praying for my sister, long lost, came to mind as it usually does. As I was praying, I am pondering the events of the past 10 years with my father, how I had tried to contact him 3 times and found out from my sister that he had gotten the messages I put in the bottle for him. I was sitting and thinking...WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN. Why, I ask myself all the time, why did all of this happen just to not get anywhere? I think I may know of a reason now. I thought of that stupid story about the lifeboats, the one where the priest is in the church during a massive flood and the three lifeboats come to save him and he turns them down saying that God would provide. The priest dies and in heaven he asks God about it and God tells him, "What are you talking about, I sent 3 lifeboats." Well, I hate that story mostly, but in this case it pops into mind. I figure that standing before God one day, or even in his life, my father will have to answer the question about me to God. He is without excuse. It is a morbid and sad way to look at it, but God has given him 3 chances gift wrapped by the person he has victimized and in all three cases, he has denied me. He is without excuse, maybe that is why this all has happened, probably means a lot more than that, but for now, that is something, some sort of answer that I think I need to move on. God is denied daily by His own children, Jesus denied first by his friends, then by millions and millions, children are denied life by irresponsible people, it happens all the time. We deny, deny, deny, what we do not want to hear, but denial never means we are correct, the truth is the truth whether we like it or not, we are without excuse.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Some Sentimentalness

I had been carrying this ring around in my pocket for months before I asked Laura to marry me. I just could never find the right time or the right place. I was completely sure that I wanted to marry her, I knew that after our first date when I immediately came home and wrote it in my journal. I just could not find the right time. I was nervous, not because I thought she would say no, we had been talking about it for months, it was more a matter of when and how. My hands were sweating like any cliche in any random love movie, we went to Olive Garden and I got the idea that this was the time, this was it I could not keep putting it off, it was annoying to carry around this ring in your pocket with no real plan to unload it. So I gave it to the waiter and asked him to put it in the bread and when he brought it out the entire wait staff were standing around, waiting for her answer. She opened the bread and saw it and I asked, politely, not all caveman like to marry me. After she said yes, the place erupted like Joe Louis Arena after an Yzerman goal. Inside I felt the same way, I was relieved, happy, excited and I felt like this was such a right and undeserved gift from God. 8 years later I still feel the same way. There is warmth in the love of a family, my wife, my kids, in-laws. I am apparently the only person I know that gets along with my in-laws, I guess that is because my family growing up were always my mother and my brother, that's it. All of the sudden I have 2 more brothers, a couple sister in-laws, 2 grandmas, a mother and father in-law, and a bunch of cousins. It was weird and still feels weird, but when I sit with all of them at holidays and whenever I can see why family is not overrated at all, family is everything.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cleaning House

Cleaning house today, dusting off furniture, putting away papers, scrubbing tables, vacuuming the ceiling. For those that are not married, we vacuum the ceiling because our wives are crazy afraid of spiders, so the little pieces of cobwebs must be removed. I know that cleaning the house on a Saturday is neither a hot or sexy way of spending a weekend, but it is something we must do. We need to do it in our homes and we need to do it in ourselves as well, the place that God desires to or does dwell. We carry too much junk around. I look at my life and I cannot believe that God would ever want to live in this ghetto. The floor is teeming with roaches, the dark parts infested with rats. What a great God we have that sacrifices Himself on a daily basis and lives in this filth, but it is always time to clean house, to change, we need change, I need change.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Anatomy Of A Bad Mood

I am having a crappy couple of days. I feel tired and weak, I don't feel like doing anything which is weird because usually weather changes make me happy. I was reading an article today in Men's Health that said that moods and emotions are caused not by your brain, but by the way your body adapts to it's surroundings. Which is why so many get bad days in the middle of the winter and so many are happy during spring. The article says that if you want to change your mood change how you react to your surroundings, like look at the color blue, which I guess is a calming color or force a smile because if you do this enough your emotions will follow. This is the one that is a little hard to swallow for me. Most of my life I have been faking smiles like some moron rodeo clown running around in a pink too too with a purple crown. Maybe it doesn't apply to people who are chronically in a bad mood or depressed, or maybe that is just me. But I find it hard to fake smiles anymore for any reason, the older I get, the less I care about others thinking that I have it all together, I become more transparent with age due to my increased laziness in not having the energy to put on the wig and floppy shoes to jump around for people. Maybe I am getting the flu and that explains the spike in hormones and Z rays and angry vapor that surrounds me lately.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

In Search Of Whales

Gray whales migrate farther than any other known animal, about 12,000 miles every year. The blue whale's heart that weighs 1,300 lbs and only beats about ten times per minute. (By comparison, the human heart beats at least 70 times per minute.)

It takes a lot to stay in one place. It takes a lot of heart and soul and perseverance. You look at the whale, it has the biggest heart of all and beats the least, maybe that is why they never stay in one place for any period of time. They are elusive because they do not make much noise, they rise to the surface to breathe then back to the abyss quietly moving from one place to another. What makes them so restless? Could be their need to keep moving to pull in food, or it could be they do not have the patience or heart that it takes to stick it out in one place. Neither do most of us. Our fathers leave us because they have no heart, our children leave us because they have no time, our friends leave us because they have no money. What is so bad about hanging around for a bit, calling someplace home and treating others as family living here. Why can't we make friends with the guy who works at the Tim Hortons down the street, or the waitress serving us? We should. We should make that effort instead of glossing over people like useless facts while studying. We should take the time to get to know a person because we may be missing out on who they are and how they may change you. Friends are pretty precious things to have, especially the ones you can count on to be there for you. But if we pick up and leave everything unfinished or even untouched we will never know that, they will just be facts that we have glossed over in search of something important, In search of whales.

I was the first person in the world to say Sipowitz in 2008