Monday, September 29, 2008

The Lights When Squinting Appear To Be Lasers

So there is this kid who always wanted to go to the fair, but when he got there, he looked at it's beauty and the lights that lit the sky up like Christmas Eve and he started to obsess over leaving. It wasn't that he didn't love the fair; the opposite. The fair was more than anything he had ever hoped for, so beautiful that the thought of it being over and the rides packed away to leave was so devastating. It was so painful the never really sat back and enjoyed the ride, only dreaded the moment it was over. At the end of the night when the lights went out, all he had left of the ride was the memory of being there.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sleeping In Gardens

It would be nice if I had the money to travel. I would love to go and meet every person I speak to on the internet. I feel like I am missing out of some pretty great lives corresponding over the internet. I am missing family dinners and beaches with seagulls. I am missing the thing that makes relationships with others amazing, proximity. Humanity. You don't get these things from the keyboard or monitor. You get them from eye contact and physical touch and closeness. When we become messages sent in a really fast bottle, we can lose our humanity. You love, but not clearly, we feel but not intensely, and we get angry and sometimes forget that the recipient is a human being who still feels whether or not we speak in person over the web. We text too much, we chat too much, we email too much, and embrace rarely, if ever. I wish I was rich so I could meet all of you. Sit down and watch a movie with my Australian friend, eat dinner with a family of many children rescued by brave and loving parents, Have a coffee with a heart broken friend, feel sand under my feet. I wish I could do these things, but I can't. So I pray for you instead, and smile at the fact that someday we will meet where the sun never falls and there are no more tears or crying. That day will be a good day because as far away as we are to those we care for, we are family. May God open your eyes each day, flooded with joy, and may they close in peace. There is too much hurt in the world. We need love of a different kind. The kind that sees each other clearly, not just through a screen. Truth is I don't much care for myself most of the time, that's why I write. I need to get things out of me. I am angry at the entire world, and love to release it. I am guilty of so much, and I need to relieve the pressure. I don't know what a good father and husband looks like, so I read about the lives of really, really good fathers and husbands. I am broken, especially now, and weak. I get strength through others who suffer too. I think that is what God had in mind when he made us. He chose his disciples and of those, there were three who were very close. He brought them in his anguish to just be physically near him as he bled tears in the garden. They fell asleep. I fall asleep sometimes on my friends too, and I am sorry for every time I closed my eyes to you. Jesus didn't need them there, their presence made him feel better, their physical proximity gave Him comfort. This is the life God had in mind for those who know Him.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When Flowers Die

Today a flower died. I never saw her, never met her, only heard about her and saw her heart in her husband. Darren, your faith teaches me how to be a better man, a better husband, a better father, and most of all a better Christian. My prayers will not cease, but be redirected to your comfort and healing and courage. I will pray daily for Olivia. I know you only for this blog, but we are connected in the family of God and for my wife and I today, we mourn too, with you. May God bless you and keep you safe delivering courage when you are scared, comfort when you are hurting, and carry you through these rough days.

Monday, September 22, 2008

In A Bubble

The thing is: When you give up so many things in your life for something, and you work so hard trying to do the best job that can be done, not just the best job you can do. When you find out there are those you are serving and working so hard for that do not value it, it is devastating. People are abusive criminals sometimes. They want to worship God with their mouths, then turn on them in the dark and stab them. Right now it sucks to be me for a lot of reasons, but God is good, I have to believe that. I know that. Even if I am dragged through hell so see God's hand.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Don't confront me with my failures, I have not forgotten them.

Jackson Browne

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If I Could Talk I'd Tell You

You can lead a horse to water, you can even make him drink, but you can't change his point of view.

From Caedmon's Call- Standing Up For Nothing

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Moment Of Clarity

I had a moment of perspective today. I have been struggling through some pretty stressful things and on top of those things I did just OK on a test that I studied my face off for the last week today. I have been pretty stressed lately to go along with this seasonal depression I am going through, so I went to the river. That's where I go when I need some air, it is the Detroit River, so it isn't very good air, but it is different air. You need different air to get different ideas sometimes. So I go all moping around and praying, trying to figure out what is to be learned from this and I got an answer immediately. A sea gull flew from the handrail I was leaning on and snagged a fish right with precision accuracy right before my eyes. It was beautiful. It made me thing that there may be tests, there may be people who oppose you, there may not be enough time to do all you need to do, but that bird will still be plucking things out of that water. It is instinct, and it is a tool given to them by God to survive. I have tools too, things God has given me and still plans to give me. It was just a test, they are just people too like me, and that bird will keep snagging fish from that water whether or not I see it happen, because that is what it does. Well survive is what I do. I survived a heart attack, a suicide attempt, and many other things because of God. I will continue to survive for as long as God wants me to survive.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Believe In You

I was at church yesterday having a particularly hard time paying attention because of an exam I have been studying for for DAYS. Anyway, I got consciousness back for long enough to really get what the pastor was saying. He was telling us that we have no right to give up on people, or to entertain the notion that we know what God is going to or not going to do. That hit home with me, because I have realized that there are people in my life that I had kinda of given up on making a decision for Christ and choosing to live constructively. I had allowed my lack of success in reaching some people to make me give up, when I reality, it was never me, we are relying on God to change people. Which gives me no right to give up on anyone, so I will not. One of these people is my best friend who I have spent years trying to model Jesus to. I realize I have failed horribly so many times, and I continue to pray for him. But I have noticed that I do not carry the same faith in the actions of God that I used to. I used to believe that God had me in this person's life for a purpose and somewhere along the line I forgot that and need to remember it again. Nothing is an accident, if anyone should know that it is me. So I will believe again. I will look at those who I have doubted and believe in them and believe that God has something for them and is using me to help them reach that destination.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Endorsement Goes To...

Sarah Palin for president!

If you haven't seen Sarah Palin's speech from the RNC, you should watch it. It was pretty inspiring. It gave me a reason to vote this year in an election that has brought me no excitement at all. She may not have been in politics for long, but look at what she has done while in politics. She sold the government jet on ebay. She got rid of the personal chef, and she did away with the limo. Alaska may not have the population off New York, but it runs with the same government that she has somehow reformed in Alsaka. I like her. One of my friends are going to vote for her just because she is easy on the eyes, so maybe there is hope for the Republicans after all.

The Time Machine

I have seasonal music. Not just Christmas music, I have that too, but music that I typically only listen to during that particular season. It is music that puts me in a different state of mind, like when you walk into an elementary school and smell the pencil shavings and crayons, it puts you back into 1st grade eating paste and picking your nose. Or I walk into an old church and smell the carpet and pews and I am instantly back in a crusty old lady made teddy bear costume performing an annual Christmas play expected to make mistakes so everyone can laugh and say how cute I was. And I was cute. I like that feeling. It makes the sad days better, like now. The
following are just a couple of my Fall seasonal listenings and watchings. Post yours in the comment section.

Tori Amos
Cat Power
Counting Crows (I have to admit, I listen to this one year round)
The Cranberries
Johann Johannson
Ryan Adams
Denison Witmer
Elliott Smith

Great Expectations (I know the book is better, I just like the movie)
The Electric Grandmother (One of the few that make me cry)
The Halloween That Almost Wasn't
The Myth Of Fingerprints
Harold & Maude
Vanilla Sky
All 80's Horror Movies

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

To Be Awakened By Rain, But Finally Awakened

The other day, I stepped outside at about 11 PM to sit on the swing and listen to some music because it was so nice outside. Well, I fell asleep and was awakened at 6 AM by the rain smashing bricks on my face. I had somehow laid down on the swing and was crunched up in some origami looking shapes. My neck still hurts, but I don't regret it. Sometimes it is good to sleep under the stars. I wish I did it more. You wake up scared and disoriented, but it makes you appreciate the warmth of coming back inside where you belong. I think that is what God does with us. I think He lets us make mistakes, some very bad ones even because it is beneficial to step outside of where it is warm to experience the fear of being out in the cold. God doesn't cause our sin, but He does allow it and I think He works in spite of it maybe even using it to reach us. God is good. If I know nothing else, I know that. Sometimes we just have it coming though, and we have to see a little of life behind bars to remember the joy of Christ's love.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

August And Everything After

It is now entering my favorite and least favorite time of the year. During Fall, I get excited, and nostalgic. I take walks, I drive around just to be out. I look at old houses I have lived in, and I sit under trees with books. However, the Fall also brings on a pretty major depression every year. Every year, I get broken. I enjoy the ghosts, but hate the demons. You can't have one without the other. I will wake up one morning and have a hard time getting out of bed, then stroll to the bathroom mirror and get pissed at what I see. I'll stop and think about all of the great things and horrible things that have happened this time of the year. Both the great and the horrible cause pain during these times. My wife will ask me 5 times a day if I am OK. I will say yes, because I am. But I will be silent for a while, then wake up one morning and it will be gone.

I was saved in the fall. I tried suicide in the fall. My friend took his own life in the fall. I have walked aimlessly in the fall. I have awoken in strange place in the fall. I have had horrible nightmares in the fall. Yet I was resurrected in the fall, reanimated. So along with this pain comes a sense of excitement in my faith. I remember more vividly the moments I heard Christ speak to me the loudest, and I will remember hearing and listening. I will remember sitting in my apartment alone until most of you are getting up for work reading my Bible pouring cup after rotten cup of brown hot water. I was absolutely amazed with God. I wanted to know everything. I still do, but sometimes forget how I long for God. How I need to hear Him clearly, how I need to feel His presence, how I need His forgiveness. I need to be overwhelmed, to be overcome. I need to be broken and mended. I need the Lord. I need Him to fill my eyes, I need Him to weaken my knees. I need Him to break my will, I need Him to breathe. May our God give you everything you need, not everything you want. May God heal your bodies and those around you, May God bring you to your knees in worship. May God bless you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Aging Cheese






This is from a fun website called I was playing around with it and came up with these funny pictures that reveal what I would have looked like in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. I had fun with it, but it leads me to the question. At what age do people stop changing with the styles? I have a theory that people remain the way they are when they graduate high school. Maybe because there is less pressure to be cool, or because we mature and realize the futility of trying to remain cool. Except us youth pastors who look just like any other student except for with less hair. Not me though I have a beautiful Quoff, but most of my youth pastor friends have that back of the head bald spot going on. I try to remain, but I think that as you get older, you look more and more foolish trying to look younger and at some point we have to decide to go ahead and stop resisting and fall into a fashionable redundancy hoping to take on the sophisticated aged appearance everyone talks about. I was reading in Men's Health that there are sign posts that tell a man when to hang certain things up. At 30, no more print shirts or band t-shirts. At 28, no more holes in the jeans. At 23, no more cartoons. At 19, no more going to the mall to hang out. Well, I want to do all of these things still. Does that make me lame. Anyway, go do the website thing and have fun, send me the pictures, I want to see them.