Friday, July 31, 2009


Awake, smell some coffee, go to work, come home, tidy up, laugh with family, get frustrated, watch electronic box, go to bed.
Awake, smell some coffee, go to work, come home, tidy up, laugh with family, get frustrated, watch electronic box, go to bed.
Awake, smell some coffee, go to work, come home, tidy up, laugh with family, get frustrated, watch electronic box, go to bed.

Shout at God!

As if it was his fault.

This is a curse of mankind. Work till our fingers bleed. Work that we sometimes feel no satisfaction in. Work that we do because we need to maintain what we have been given. Work that we feel under-appreciated in. Work that makes us dread going to sleep at night. That makes us constantly yearn for our 2 weeks vacation, if you get that at all. It is a terrible curse, a consequence of original sin. To top it off, we get to get old, get sick, and die too. I don't like it one bit. But this is the consequence of sin.

It is a very good thing that God has given us hope. Don't forget that He has changed you forever, and redeemed you from your sin, although we will still feel it's consequences. Living for God gives us a very good reason to keep going every morning. I often need a reminder of that when things seem bleak for me. I need to be reminded that most of the time, I love my job and have been so blessed by God to be given it. I remember feeling sick the night before because I hated my job so much and didn't want to go. I remember the 21st birthday in which I called my boss in the middle of the night and left a message quitting as a birthday present to myself. I could not have felt more happy, until the rent was due and forced me to have to move back to mom's for a bit.

God is with us, His name is Emmanuel because He wants to be here. Life is easier when we remember we aren't alone.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coming Home

What do we have left?
No money? Food? Friends?
Should we move?
With what?
Can we start over?
Conversation over. I'm going home.

The prodigal son is my life story. Always going from one thing to another, somehow forgetting to bring the most important part with me. I tell the story and leave out the best part. You can run and run, and poke your nose into everything that pleases you in some way, anything that brings temporary fulfillment. Anything to make you feel less lonely, but in the end, you will come home.

Left to my own devices, I run to empty, sputter, and stall. Somewhere in the middle of the trip, I wonder if I have gone to far to have enough energy to get home, if I will drown this time, realizing too late that I am going nowhere, but can't turn back.

The prodigal son nearly killed his father with heartbreak, walked away through the gate and out of his life. No postcards, no letters, no phone calls home. No intention of returning. He had all this money and the opportunities were endless. He had so much fun spending it all, giving himself over to whatever came his way, whatever filled him up. Then he was broke and empty. He was broken from the false promises, the allure of the splendor of the big city. He had to go home, to beg for forgiveness.

It is beautiful that Jesus used this story. It gives people like me hope that He really means it when He say's "Nothing can separate you from the love of God." No matter how many times we nail him to that cross, He still begs the Father to forgive us, because we do not know what we are doing.

Have you stopped lately to really remember what that means. It is easy to get caught up in failure and start believing your are a failure. As much of a jerk I can be, He still wants me as a son. Coming from a person who had no dad, this is hard for me to realize until I look at my own son. He could reject me over and over and I would still walk in front of a bus for him. Jesus did worse to prove that.

If the devil has you. If you believe what he tells you: Remember what God said.

If it weren't for grace, I would be the person beating my back with the whip until I was out of strength. Because the whip was made for the fool. But instead, Jesus took the whip. Forgave me. And said this is enough. So it is.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nothing Gold Can Stay

What makes a person forget how to sing? Sometimes it is just a lack of practice. Everyone who has been a believer for more than 10 years would probably agree that the months and years directly following their conversion, if they had a conversion experience, some just always believed and couldn't name a moment, that those times were golden. They remember singing, they remember staying up late with their Bibles, they remember taking notes on Sundays, they remember trying to convert all of their friends with very limited success, they remember not caring what others thought about their conversion, they remember not having any thoughts other than those of their new King. I remember those days vividly and treasure them beyond anything else.

But sometimes the gold can't stay.

Nature's first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

--Robert Frost--

But when I say that, I mean only memories, only precious times that seem so innocent, when you yourself seemed so innocent. Not that the gold that is God ever goes anywhere, but the way we experience it changes over time just like a love that you have with your spouse changes over time. It doesn't go away, it doesn't diminish, it just changes, it gets better.

Years later, after you have experienced further learning, sat through and participated in so many debates, watched so many believers slander each other, been beaten down and discouraged, laughed at, been hurt by the church, dragged through the world and all it's temptations, the gold loses it's luster a little...or a lot for some.

Sometimes we stop singing for a while, then next time a while longer, until we haven't sang in years. It isn't like riding a bike, you don't just shape up and be full of joy. It is God given. It comes with prayer. It comes with brokenness.

We have so much to sing about, we should practice.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Where's Waldo?

Day 3 of VBS was pretty great.One of my long time students taught the children for the first time and it is always nice to see a teenager step out of trying to be cool and give their fears over to God and reach out to another. It isn't hard to want to help these kids. Possibly the cutest group of kids I have ever seen anywhere. I will post a couple of them below.

This above little one who I still cannot pronounce her name, it's like Yaire or something, latched on to one of my staff (Brittney) on the first day we arrived and has been attached to her since. She really really likes to get in trouble and do the opposite of anything she is asked to do, and randomly disappears for long periods of time only to be found attached to Brittney. She runs to to the front of the line when we are handing out candy and grabs a handful and runs away laughing as we chase her. We all love her.

Above is Emmanuel, who somehow changed his name to Jarib over the past winter. He is fascinated with my touch screen phone and has tried the entire time to steal it. He leaned over to me after pulling up the sleeve of my shirt and said, "You talk about Jesus, but have violent tattoos." (Referring to a dragon I have on my right arm) Then later asks about my wedding ring which has trinity symbols on it and I explained the trinity, kind of. Then he said "You're talkin about the Holy Spirit with those violent tattoos on you?" So I picked him up and tossed him around for a while.

I tell you these stories because it is good to give an actual human personality to the faces we see inner city. These are real kids facing really large problems. Right now they are sweet and innocent, but what will become of them once they realize how lousy the world really is and are pressured into things they should never have to be exposed to? I guess that is why I see Jesus in them so clearly: Because I see the potential to show them the way to God early and pray that they do not stray from the path. If they do stray, I pray they will remember the teachings they heard about God, the prodigal son, forgiveness, and mercy.

Some people act as if God is in some Where's Waldo book where they are looking for any sign of Him in their lives. God isn't hiding or playing games. He tells us clearly where He is. He is in the needy, the hungry, the imprisoned, the widowed, the fatherless, the sick, the destitute, and the crippled. If you want to see Him, go there and reach out your hands and He will touch yours. This has been an awesome reminder of that for me. Pray for these kids.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Where God Is

This week is our annual Vacation Bible School service project with Liquid. I seemed to have forgotten from last year how much I love these kids. We volunteer at an inner city Detroit church to facilitate their VBS every year. God lives here. The streets are littered, the houses burned down or boarded up, and the people are mostly immigrants. Most of the kids have nothing, just little poor kids from the neighborhood, but so full of life and personality. It still amazes me that I live 10 minutes from where they sleep every night, some squatting in abandoned houses.

It is a reminder that this is where Jesus lives everyday. We have been given the opportunity to make a difference in these kids and show them that God loves them and looks to redeem everything around them.

There is this one little girl who lives down the street who comes every year. We know from one of our staff social workers that she isn't in the best situation she could be in. We know just from looking at her. My friend and I watched her walk home down a street we would never let our kids walk on alone to a home that was probably unfit to live in. It is heart wrenching to watch her go, and he says "If I followed her home, I would not sleep tonight." We all feel the same way.

No one thinks about her. We go about our lives everyday worrying about stupid things as she struggles to maintain. But this is where Jesus lives. Not in the stain glass. Not in the church buildings or creeds. Not in our greed. Jesus lives in the hearts of these kids. It would do us a lot of good to remember that faith isn't about us, it is about reaching out our hands to those who suffer.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Friday, July 10, 2009

This Is My Suicide Letter

Edited more footage of the movie I have been working on. For those who don't know which shouldn't be too many. I wrote and co-directed a movie based on my life. I know. We went through the editing schedule and turns out we will be done with initial editing in 3 weeks, then will be recasting for a couple new scenes and then we are done. Hoping to finish and have a premiere in October. Here is a teaser for the movie.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I will not apologize for being a Christian. I believe that Jesus came as God and human and sacrificed Himself to pay for my sins, past, present, and future. I am living in the reality that I can do not wrong to my God, even though I am full of sin. I will live my life as a sacrifice for Christ, knowing I could never earn what He did for me. This is what Christianity is all about. So I proudly call myself a Christian.

However, many Christians make it hard to not shy away from the very word Christian. It sucks to treat people badly. It sucks to act like you have everything figured out. It sucks to judge people as if you know their hearts. It sucks to label and marginalize people classified by their particular sin. It sucks to sing praises to God with your lips on Sunday, then curse others with those same lips any other day.

A reality check from the Bible: Rom. 3:9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

I believe this is why we needed a Savior to begin with. The truth is, we are saved through Jesus, but still are pretty worthless in the grand scheme of things here in these perishable bodies. So if you want to go out and judge other people for their sin, be prepared to identify your own, because you are not without it.

Faith is about brokenness. Without the brokenness their is no need for faith, because you don't need a savior, but if you are like me, and you are, you have needed a savior since the moment your were born. This is why Christ came.

On the other hand, there are people out there like Jay Bakker, a pastor and son of the notorious Jim Bakker, who has started a campaign to apologize for Christianity. He and others believe we are all bad. I will address this now.
Are you going to apologize for all of the services performed almost exclusively by Christians, like soup kitchens, orphanages, pregnancy centers, charities, hunger programs, clothes closets, AA, NA, and the thousands of other ministries? Or are you just going to focused on the Crusades and the Christians who act stupid?

I have heard so many people hostile to the Gospel use the term 'Most Christians' or just "Christians" when applying a negative remark. I have to ask these people: Have you actually met most Christians? My Christian friends embrace the hurting people. My friends love unconditionally. You should come and meet my friends, and I think you might see things differently. There are a lot of immature Christians and I hope and pray they keep moving forward in their faith, but do not mistake some for all, that would be a real tragedy.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Riverboat Captain

I think I could work on a ship. A captain, or first mate, or the guy who slides down the big long rope. I love the water, not so much sharks, but the water is cool. I don't get sea sick, I don't mind working hard sometimes, I love sleep overs, and I would drink a lot of coffee. I would wear the big yellow slicker thing and grow a massive beard. If only you could just work for a few days at a time, then go home, I would miss my family.

I used to want to sail away, me and Gumby used to make these plans on driving across the country and hopping aboard some ship on the west coast and working all summer, or until we reached somewhere nice, then quit and just stay in that city until we got bored. We would do odd jobs with our limitless talent and looks and be happy that way.

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers. I am pretty sure I would have died pretty quickly, not because of my own mistake, but because Gumby probably would accidentally kill me somehow. I just wanted to run and wanted a change, to be someone totally different. Didn't think about the fact that I would catch up with myself soon enough. You can't run. We try so much, but we can't really get away from ourselves. I would drink so much...Always the guy who got too drunk at parties, always the guy who took it too far. Most of us try to escape somehow, whether in alcohol, or hobbies, travel, or whatever. I think the issue is that we look at other people's lives and something about them is different so we make the mistake of believing that person has it all figured out. Meanwhile they are trying to escape somewhere too.

I was in the shower praying yesterday. I have been praying that God show me life to the fullest for the last few years. I never believed I had it or was even close to what Jesus was talking about in those passages and always wondered what was broken in me that would not allow that life to happen. I wanted real and lasting happiness and contentment. I got that on one level, but there is always this thing that holds me back. I don't even know what the thing is, but I know something in me could not move too far forward as hard as I try. So I prayed and prayed for "this life" and never got anywhere. I prayed yesterday as a habit, blindly hoping but not believing that God would answer.

Then He did.

The thing that has held me back is my belief that I am as disgusting as you could be before God. The doubt that I would really stand before God and find my way into His Glorious eternity. I forget about grace for myself. I see it in everyone else. Everyone else is worthy of God's grace, but not me. This is pride. Pride can go two ways: You can think too highly of yourself, and you can think too lowly of yourself as though God's promise is not good enough. That He should come and die for me again and again. What a lie that is. I am ashamed I believe it more often than not.

The answer?

Forget about my past. Forget about my sin, it is gone. Stop breaking down every time I make a mistake, even if it is the same mistake I have made a thousand times. Keep walking, keep breathing, and know that I am forgiven. That is life to the fullest I think.

If someone asked me what life to the fullest meant, I would tell them that.


™Zombiehaven 2009. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Run Away

I went on a trip up north when I was young. My mom was always looking for things for me to do that men do to make up for not having a dad around, so she would ask random guys whom I had never really met before if they could take me up north with them. This one guy had a son about a year or so older than me. He was a divorce kid, so he was spending the weekend with his father. I made fast friends with this kid as he showed me how to ride a dirt bike and hunt snakes. At the end of the trip, he told me he was going to run away from home. I didn't believe him at all, what 12 year old really runs away? So I invited him to come to my house when he ran away and stay in my 4 foot by 4 foot shed. I would bring him food if he could survive the heat and be quiet. I never thought he would do it. The next day I got a call from him from a pay phone 10 miles away, 25 from where he lived. He wanted to know where to go from there. Luckily I knew and I met him at the park across from where I lived. He had only a back pack with one set of clothes and some water. Andy and I had no idea what to do. Do we tell, surely we weren't so stupid as to actually keep him in the shed were we?

We decided to keep him in the shed. It lasted only a few hours before I secretly went inside and told my mom what had happened and she called the kid's dad.

I have no idea the reason or the home life of the kid. I only know that every picture I had seen of a family was broken in one way or another. I think that is the main area of interest to the enemy. To kill the family, the structure of everything that resembles God. It has been working. Marriage is viewed as something that can be walked away from, something that is not final, because it can always be left behind if need be. Or if the "Love" just poof, goes away. All the while culture shows us that life with split homes are healthy and sometimes advantageous to the children and are a viable option if the couple wants to split.

A split family is never advantageous to anyone. I realize that there are many cases of abuse, or one just leaving another that require splitting. I do not condemn that nor would Jesus. I do believe that it is impossible to fall out of love, being that love is an action and a commitment, not a fuzzy feeling we get. I believe that you should not marry if you cannot make a lifetime commitment to the other as the vows clearly state in the death do you part section. God hates divorce. It says so in His Word. I believe we should hate divorce too. I think that more consideration should be taken for the children suffering in the wake of our decisions.

Like I said before, I do not condemn anyone, I am in no place to do so. I had a child in high school and wasn't able to work it out with her mother and now my daughter has to suffer that consequence. An awful penalty she pays for my crime. I just feel so bad when I get teenager after teenager coming through my youth ministry who has been torn to shreds by their parents. I also feel badly for the people who have been through a divorce, because I know it hurts them too.

Marriage is a picture of the union between God and us. The Bible calls us the bride and Jesus the groom, who will one day live together in harmony. This is a relationship that will never be separated. Marriage was meant to model that.

Before I married Laura, I was speaking to my mother in law about marriage. She was joking about how she would kill my father in law before she left him. She said something really cool to me. She said, "You don't get divorced." It was simple and I don't think she would ever remember it now, but she has been married forever. They instilled this in Laura as well, to never give up. Marriage is hard and it hurts often, but it gets better when we fight for it, not when we leave it behind.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Broadcast Static

I have returned. Thanks to a few brief moments that change everything.

My brother Andy reminded me that life was perfect. He is right, it always has been. I may feel lonesome, I may feel nostalgic, and I may feel rejected, but life is perfect. Things happen because God allows them to happen, and He allows them not because they are out of His control, but because He loves us and desires to teach us. I would like to say I could learn an easier way, but I know I cannot. I was never the kid to take a person's word for it, I had to try it myself and learn the hard way. God teaches me mostly through the pain of my own mistakes. Some were not my mistakes, they were others mistakes, but mistakes I learned from none the less. I would not trade the pain for happiness all the time, because the pain teaches happiness, just like the law and sin teaches grace.

I was at church yesterday, and I watched one of my students whose mother spends a great deal of time worrying about her and praying for her, come home from a trip and latch on to her mom like she hadn't seen her in years. Then she grabbed her little brother and did the same. I have had conversations with her mother about how disconnected this child seemed, and now this. Now she embraces all that God has given her, forgetting about a very unfortunate early childhood. It reminded me of the reparations of God. The things God does in our lives that change everything.

It reminds me of when Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand and the pharisees dropped their stones and walked away, filled to the brim with sin. Jesus didn't condemn the adulterous woman, He died for her. Go and sin no more. Repent. Walk away from the things that fail you and fail God. Remember them no more because they are gone, and don't look for them in other people. We have every reason to be happy. We have every reason to sing and to migrate to each other. I guess I forgot about the reason I write this blog in the first place. I write to keep a record of what God is doing in me, so that I can see where I have come from and others can see God working in me.

I will try not to write so many negative things without balance, and will try to write even when I don't feel like singing, because when you have faith you force yourself. And sometimes being honest makes you better. 90 percent of therapy is just being able to spill yourself out to another person. I have made it my joy to spill myself out to anyone who will listen because Jesus hid nothing from us, not when He lived, not when He bled, and not now as we live with His Spirit.

A special thanks to Andy who sings with me across the country. Next time I see you, you are getting a piggy back ride.


™Zombiehaven 2008. All ideas and photos are copyrighted under Zombiehaven. Anything used from this site, must have written permission.