Dec 28, 2004

My Heart

I have been reading Wild At Heart by John Eldredge and God has been showing me a lot through this book. One thing he said real struck me and I wrote it down on an index card and carry it around with me:
"You must ask God what he thinks of you, and you must stay with him until you have an answer. The battle will get fierce here. This is the last thing the Evil One wants you to know." So I have been asking God that question for a few days.

The first thing God brought up is a poem that he gave me last June. When I say that he gave it to me, I feel like he really was writing it to me.

For the Broken
Written June 16, 2004

Poet, touch every hand.
Drop down every weight.
Lift every burden.
On the lead-lined highway
Brokenness calls out;
Desperate cries,
Subtle sighs,
And pleading groans pour forth.

At the foot of the mountain
I hear the strong, quiet voice of God whisper,
“You are mine; I am not finished with you.
Take heart and be courageous.”

I walk, my head held higher.
My steps planted more firmly.

In desperate moments
People are hurting.
“Be my voice.
Be my light.
Be my hands.
Be my comfort.
Be my vessel of grace.
Be my Living Water
For the broken.”

“It is the not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

God gave me this, and then reminded me of this when I asked him what he thought of me. What I love about this is that God wants me to help others, and then he says to me, "You're doing well, be strong, I have more to do in your life. Get out there and be involved in people's lives."

I have more that God has shown me that I will post later.

Dec 9, 2004

Scattered Thoughts

I have all these random thoughts flooding into my mind: Work; past friends; Freedom in Christ; future and present friends; my children's salvation and how they will walk with Christ; mistakes made and lessons learned; filling in for my son's Awana Leader tonight; I am all over the map and I am overwhelmed!

I have been learning, or re-learning a lot about God's Word and how important it is to knowing God. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Hebrews 4:12
"The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
I just think of the Word working around in me and doing stuff, cutting through me and really changing me on a core level. When I let it marinate within me it brings about a peace that really does "surpass all understanding." I used to deal with huge struggles with lust and impurity years ago in my early college days. I was in bondage. One of the ways to change my thought life was to memorize scripture. I carried around index cards with verses on them and I would set a countdown timer on my watch for 15 minutes and and I would recite the verse every time the alarm went off. I carried the verse cards for years. I eventually stopped carrying around the cards.
About 5 years ago when I moved from the city I grew up in I started carrying them again. I was at a low place spiritually and felt very dead. When I moved I had none of my friends around and I was very lonely. God brought me to where we moved to, his hand was in it all. I felt like I was so stagnant before I moved; I took my Christian friends for granted. I had my family but I was empty and God drew me back to him. I started writing in a journal again and drinking deeply of God's living water, his Bread of Life, his Word.

Everything did not change overnight and suddenly I had lots of new friends. I think for 4 of those years I was in the wilderness, still desiring friends and still lonely. But the difference was that I was no longer spiritually asleep. God woke me up and drew me to himself. At times I would have an oasis of friendship and I did keep in touch with my friend from my old city, which is about 100 miles away. I would call and email and see them all about twice a year...But that is not not the same as being in the same city. God has been building me back up. I would not trade what this all for anything...It has not been easy, but it has been good.

So what is next? I don't know. My couselor a couple weeks ago asked me a question out the blue when we were talking about what I would want God to do for me, if I could have anything and right away I said I want a group of guy friends. Then she said something that caught me by surprise, "So have you asked God?" And the truth was, no, I hadn't. I had talked to my sister, my wife and some distant friends about it but not really talked to God. She brought up Matthew 7, you know, the section that talks about "Ask and you shall receive, etc." I had not asked God for some friends. God is all about relationships. I just went and read that section now:
Matthew 7:7-12
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I had remembered the part about the bread and stone, then fish and snake part, but I don't know, I guess I didn't apply this section of the Bible to me very much. I am going start praying this way more. Maybe it is because I didn't have very good father experiences growing up: either absentee in my real dad or abusive with step-fathers. I am now a father and I think I can see these verses in a whole new way. I want the best for my kids....And God wants the best for me and wants to "give good gifts," to me. Sometimes I don't ask....Sometimes it is hard to ask...

Why is hard for me to ask God for things? Is it pride or self sufficiency? Is it because I'm not sure I'm worth it? I'm not sure why I don't generally ask for things like this from God that I really want.

I do know that I'm going to start asking my Father who likes to give good gifts

Dec 7, 2004

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty

Egg shells float around inside,
scattered about, lodged in crevices.
Cracked and chipped,
the smooth covering gone.
I am broken.

My outer shell is gone,
I am crushed and exposed,
wind-whipped and bare
to the elements,
the harsh winds blow through,
I am weary.

I’ve fallen off the wall.
Collect the pieces,
put me back together.
From the broken remnants
heal me
make me whole
in you.

I give you my broken heart.

December 7, 2004

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Dec 6, 2004

Ebbing Away.......

Ebbing Away

Don’t waste your life.
Don’t know when it will stop
Death comes to all, you know not
where your days will
Live life well, don’t waste your days.
One day’s promise unkept quickly
becomes one week
then a month
then years have gone by
Regrets only Remain.
Heart attacks, cancer, high blood pressure
High cholesterol, overweight, and out of shape
The stress and pressure constricts
And life leaves many quickly.
The endless days of invincibility
Give way to seeming fragility,
Our youth runs away.
Not old, yet not so young.

Never forget:
Love God
Love one another,
People are all that REALLY matter.
Don’t waste your life,
It is slowing
Don’t let regrets
Only remain.
Live purposefully,
Live passionately.
Seize each day.

December 6, 2004

I wrote this after hearing of a lot of people getting sick at church, some heart attacks and other things. A friend of my sister's who is 39 was recently diaganosed with a bad cancer, not sure which one. This was a healthy person. I said something to her that struck me later. I told her that this was probably the beginning of hearing about a lot people getting sick, dying because we are getting older. Now 37 is not old, but it is different than when you are 22 or so and you have your whole life ahead of you, "The World is Your Oyster," I felt invinicible then.

Now I feel....more human...less superman. And at the same time I want to make my time count, not just frittering it away.

Nov 4, 2004


I was on such a roll of blogging and now it has been over a month. But beyond marking another blog notch I was really making progress in healing some of my brokenness. What happened? Well, work got really busy for one, and that was actually an answer to prayer for job was so boring that I felt like I was going to die of boredom. In mid September I was "loaned out" to another to department to help with project management. My regular job was Telecom Analyst which had morphed from doing a ton of interesting things to basically doing a tiny bit of this and that, replacing headsets, mundane tasks and hunting for things to do in between killing time on the Internet. I was miserable work-wise, but actually had time to work on improving myself, seeking God, writing poems and such, all while "working."

Since September 20th it has been a whirlwind of activity and I certainly have not been bored. I traveled 3 separtate times to another state to my compainies IT Mecca, so to speak...our IT Operations center...All of three trips were in less than a month period...Ironically enough I said I would love it if I could travel about 3 times a year...I didn't know it would be 3 times in such a short period, and that even included a long planned Promise Keepers conference!....My wife loved that! Well, actually she did very well with our 3 children that she homeschools, her Masters Program and just living...but she was very glad when I got back. I now am leading a project, backup on another and inheriting a new project....The project managment department may keep me for good....

So I went from deadend boredom to a fratic whirlwind of activity. I lost all balance and normalycy and am trying to stagger back into a new "normal." It is quiet in the house: My wife is at class and all 3 kids are asleep...but it was all I could do to resist just zoning out in front of the T.V.....making myself busier. Why do we sometimes do that to ourselves? I find that sometimes I don't want to slow down because then I will have to be silent with myself, alone with my thoughts and alone with God. When I was out of town for work I had the nights to myself. I had an "assignment" so to speak, for counseling. I had a picture that I was to draw. It was a picture of a bridge with one side of left side of it my past and the right side of it my future, I can make it anyway I wanted to make it, and then I needed to put myself somewhere on the bridge, where I think I am in relation to my past and future. After work I found an art store, picked out some drawing paper and some really cool woodless pencils...By the way I like art and various times have drawn and painted....Anyway I was really looking forward to spending a lot of time working on this. I bought the art supplies on the 2nd day of my 2nd trip. That night I went out to eat and later went to a Barnes and Noble that was right accross from my hotel. I set myself up with a Starbucks Coffee at the Barnes & Noble Cafe and then started doing some "practice drawing," sort of to warm up. I found myself drawing a pine tree, I love drawing or painting trees. Well my practice turned into the actual bridge piece with a big pine tree at one end of the bridge. After I finished the tree and some of the bridge that sort of looked like the Golden Gate Bridge, at least in outline, I suddenly started taking the black pencil and scibbling over the whole picture. I blackened the whole page. I kept going back over the tree so it could still be dimly be seen. I also went back over the bridge, that used to be black, with the white pencil so it could be still seen. I also made a broken piece of the bridge falling down into the water and wrote on it, "My Parents Divorce." The whole page was then blackened. I was breathing hard and had to get up and walk around to look at some bridge books. Ironically I found no "bridge books." The whole drawing incident was rather disturbing for me. I had really been looking forward to this excercise, but it shook me up. Before my business trips I was planning on working on my bridge picture every night. I did not work on it again the rest that trip that had 2 more nights. I also did not continue with the picture on my next 3 day trip. I kept being "busy." Stayed late at the office, till about 6:30 a couple of times. Went out to eat, went to other Barnes & Nobles, read some books, wrote in my journal some--I did not open the bag again that contained the picture and pencils, although I packed it and had on my 3rd trip.
I only came back to it on the day I had counseling again. I took a little longer lunch to work on my "homework." I was still disturbed. I started a 2nd and 3rd pagel; each page was more like a snapshot of a point in my life rather than a timeline. Almost two weeks have gone by and I have counseling again this coming Monday and I have been "too busy" to draw any more.

During this past month and half I have I have had a great time with all my new work responsibilities, but I have been hiding from the pain of the past. I have almost been on high with all the new work excitement, almost drunk. The "buzz" of everything has masked my need to look back, to do the hard work of dealing with my pain, my brokenness.....
I need to slow down and draw close to God, so I can hear him above the noise, his voice that is often quiet and whispers...

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God

Sep 18, 2004


I went to counseling and my couselor asked me, "What would Freedom look like for you?" I didn't really know. She said that Jesus came to bind up my wounds and proclaim freedom for me. She paraphrased Isaiah 61:1
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach goodnews to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners"
Jesus repeats this in the Gospels, here in Luke 4:18
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed...."

What would freedom look like for me? That is a really hard for me because I think there is a part of me that is legalistic and performance driven: "Did I journal enough, have I read enough?" and so on. I am really trying to let these ideas marinate with me. My counselor told me to meditate on one or two verse and really get them from head into my heart....she said to not do to many...That is hard for me to do...I am not one for moderation, and to coulple that with the ideas I am learning about desire in The Journey Of Desire, I just dove into freedom head first without checking the water.

I started looking up some verses on Freedom in my Bible's concordance and using the cross reference in my Bible and study notes. I came up with a good handful that I really love and I want to grab onto them and start letting them marinate and percolate within me.
Galatians 5:1
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
John 14:6
"I am the way and the truth and the life."
John 8:32, 36
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Psalm 119:32
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

All of these verses are dripping with freedom and I want to dive in and swim in the Freedom that Jesus brings.

"What would freedom look like in all areas of my life?" I am not sure but I going before Jesus and asking him to show me.

I want to close with what I started with and put more of Isaiah 61 because I think there is so much great stuff in there. In the middle of Jesus wanting to provide freedom for me I know that what he does in me he wants me to do for others, he wants me to be his vessel, or put another way, he wants me to be Jesus with skin on.

Isaiah 61:1-6
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion-
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Aliens will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the LORD ,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.

Update: I put these words into a website called Wordle and it made a really cool Word Collage:

Sep 10, 2004

Busy...Blog blog blah...Need to slow down

I have been surfing through A LOT of blogs lately and see that there are a ton of great blogs out there to read: Christian, Writing, Politics, and on and on. I started this blog to help me through the process, the journey, the expedition of moving toward healing my brokenness. I find myself reading and clicking, reading and clicking, reading and clicking, blogrolling, etc. I find myself somewhat overwhelmed with all that is out there and as my wife and I like to joke about, I am not good at Moderation. I was just saying that I have mellowed out in doing things in excess in recent years and my wife just laughed. I have ADD and that explains a lot of things. There are a lot of great things about having ADD: passion, creativity, the ability at times to focus like a laser. There is also the negative sides: not being able to shift gears very well, forgetfulness, sometimes being too frank. But God created me as I am and I like who I am. I can do things to help myself such as making reminders on my Pocket PC, email reminders from Yahoo, etc. But there is also the part of accepting myself as I am and giving myself some grace.

I have been reading a couple books by John Eldredge, Journey of Desire, and The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God and I can say that they are both excellent books but I have not taken the time to let what I have been learning soak in. Instead it is work, blog reading, work, blog reading, take kids soccer, eat some dinner, watch tv, go to bed. Repeat.

I find that I fill my time and mind with so much stuff that I don't give myself any time to marinate on what I am learning. I wen to Counseling almost 3 weeks ago and I have not really spent much time at all dwelling on what I need to let soak in. I have not looked at my past, I am just letting myself be carried along on a wave of information overload and busyness. It is very hard to hear Jesus whispering:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 I wrote a poem about these verses last week but I need to read it again:

Green Pastures

In green grassy fields you call to me,
“Slow down, and sit with me.”

Most times I don’t hear,

I keep going like a train stuck in its track,

Life’s noise blocks out your whispering.

My heart aches for your gracious, compassion touch,

Slow down, slow down.

The wheels of life keep rolling,

The clatter of the tracks block

Your quiet voice.

Freedom whispers,

Slavery yells out in subtleties,

“Hurry up and get busy.”

While the way of freedom quietly calls,

“Slow down and sit with me.”

“I will refresh the wear
and satisfy the faint.”
“Come to me all you who are weary,
and I will give you rest.”

September 1, 2004
Jeremiah 31:25
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
Matthew 11:28
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

I hope I can put these words into practice....I need to slow down

Sep 4, 2004


Music can do wonders for me when I am discouraged. As I am driving in my car a song will come on and God will touch my heart. I can sing really loudly as I if I am in my own rolling temple with God. A song that has meant a lot to me this summer is by Casting Crowns:

Who Am I

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt

Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star

Would choose to light the way

For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am

But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done

But because of who You're


I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow

A wave tossed in the ocean

A vapor in the wind

Still You hear me when I'm calling

Lord, You catch me when I'm falling

And You've told me who I am

I am Yours, I am Yours

Who Am I, that the eyes that see my sin

Would look on me with love and watch me rise again

Who Am I, that the voice that calmed the sea

Would call out through the rain

And calm the storm in me

I am Yours

Whom shall I fear

Whom shall I fear

'Cause I am Yours

I am Yours

Lyrics by Mark Hall
Music by Casting Crowns

Sep 2, 2004

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Between Iraq and a Hard Place , this is a very informative "insider's" blog by an American Foreign Service Officer who is currently over on assignment. He is the brother of my wife's friend.

Check it out, it is a very well written blog and gives info you can't get on nightly Network News.

Romans 8 from The Message, What a great passage!

I was feeling discouraged at work today and went to my PDA where I have a bunch of my favorite chapters from the Bible stored. As I walked around taking a break I read through this great chapter and was greatly encouraged, there is just so much there! Take a few minutes just to soak up this great passage. I usually read the Bible in the NIV version but a change of version can help me see things in a new light.

The Solution Is Life on God's Terms
Romans 8

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once andfor all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep
healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us. Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them--living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead
end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored. But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells--even though you still experience all the limitations of sin--you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives
and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's! So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it--yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us--an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!

That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun. So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us--who was raised to life for us!-is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing--nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable--absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Sep 1, 2004

Hazy Memories

Primordial Past

I can't let go of the memories,
memories that haunt my present.
Like a backward beacon, they
call forward to my present.
Call out screaming,
the insidious memories, so painful
they hit me.
The recollections hit like bricks
falling from a 20 story building.
They smash my subconscious,
the past and the present merge.
I walk in a fog, my mind muddled.
The train of my thoughts keeps jumping
the track, memories
they just attack.
I want to run and hide,
close up my psyche inside.
Like diving down to the depths of my primordial past,
the subterranean grey matter bubbles up
thoughts of recollections.
They are as dim and dark as a moonless night.
Can't shake those mysterious fog-like thoughts,
they are blowing through the locker room of my past.

I shall sleep in a peace that Jesus will provide.

January 31, 2004

This just came bubbling out of me in a free writing exercise for a creative writing class I took this past semester. Other such poems just seemed to come out of me and I did not really think consciously about them, they just pore our sometimes. This is poem is one the many pain poems I have.

Aug 31, 2004


At work today someone asked me how I was doing and all I could say was, "So So."
Sometimes that's all I can say to someone. I can't put on a happy face and don't want to really get into the details of why I feel the way I do. Heck, I didn't exactly know how I felt, just that it wasn't good. After this exchange I grabbed my lunch and walked out of work, across the street, and went and sat down under this oak tree in a small park that is a like a little oasis for me.
I started writing in my journal and then read some of a book I am slowing reading, The Sacred Romance by John Eldrigde. In the section I was reading it was talking about Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump and how he struggled with God after losing his legs. We don't always need to lose our legs, or something that significant to struggle. It can be even harder when what we have lost is unseen. There are lost childhoods...lost families...lost name a few. The book went on to talk about a section from Acts,
Acts 16:26-28
"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' " The author was talking about how God engineers our circumstances to draw us to Him. As I read those verses in Acts some other verse in Joel popped into my head.

Joel 2:12-13
"Even now," declares the LORD ,
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning."

Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity."
I felt God's love coming to me through these verses under this Oak tree while I was eating lunch. As I read through those verses more verses came to me.
Psalm 119:32
I run in the path of your commands,
For you have set my heart free.
And then John 8:32, 36
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
God wants me to know him intimately and he loves me. He wants to show his grace and compassion to me. Most of the time, I just need to slow down enough to spend some time with him. I need more times of rest under his Oak trees.

Aug 26, 2004


Tonight I was sitting on my lawn picking weeds out of the lawn and reading a book called "Write Your Heart Out". As I sat there reading cars drove by and I thought, "I really love to write." At times I feel guilty when I could write and I don't. But there are times when your just life happens and you need to enjoy it. I need to enjoy things like kicking the soccer ball around with my son, things like reading a good book, things like holding my son who just woke up from a nap, like watch a favorite show on TV. I am a writer and will always be a writer; I need to relax.

My mind needs to take a break from writing sometimes and needs to let everthing marinate around in there like a good stew that always tastes better the next day. I get myself all wound and coiled up like a spring and the guilt of not writing bounces around in my head. I don't know if I will ever be a writer full time but I will always write. Finding ways to put writing into my life is a way to keep writing. I volunteer to write articles for my church newletter that comes out once a quarter. I write poems, but have not written any in month of August, that's ok though, everything will be ok. I will keep writing in my journal and I may someday write a memoir (can't everyone do that?). I will write in this blog, and others. I have a novel in me about a dog name Fido that keep I working on here and there. I will keep collecting my writing quotes and one day will put together some kind of quote book. I will improve and grow in my skill and craft; having fear over not writing does nothing for me. I won't be dauted....

"I am a writer if I never write another line; I am alive if I never step out of this room again....the problem is not to expand a feeling, but to condense a feeling--all thought, tangled and tumbled in the empty crowded head of a writer--to one clear thought, one clear form, and still preserve the enormity, the hugeness, the unbearable all-at-onceness of being alive and knowing it, too." ~Tess Slesinger, A Life in the Day of a Writer

And I will follow Ray Bradbury' advice:

"...if you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer. . . For the first thing a writer should be is -- excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches; God knows it’d be better for his health"
~Ray Bradbury, From: "The Joy of Writing", ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING..

Aug 25, 2004


God is so graceful to me. I went to counseling on Monday and I had so much more hope when I left. I have been very afraid of facing my pain. When I told my counselor that I have been avoiding time alone with myself and God she asked me what I was afraid of. I didn't really know what to say, I couldn't put it into words. Fear is like that sometimes. The fear of the unknown can paralyze and overwhelm. After talking a while it came to the fact that I was scared that I would be out of control of my emotions. Back in the early 90's I had a time where I was very heartbroken and was crying all the time, but I was still functioning even in the midst of all the pain. I went to school, went to work, saw friends and still functioned in my life. I felt worried that once my emotions started flowing it would be like a car rolling down a steep hill. Would the brakes hold and allow me to stop? We then walked through all the worst case scenarios and gave solutions to each one and that helped me. I am a very emotional person and sometimes my emotions can really rattle me and roll over me. It helps going things logically, step by step. That is not my normal way; I think my logic is more like "scatter shot logic", jumping from A to F, maybe back to B, then I could go all the way to step Z, and so on.

My counselor said that God is so full of grace and he loves me just as much when I meet with him everyday or only meet with him 3 times in a 2 week period, which was the case for me. There are times when I know things in my head, but emotionally I am not there. My counselor also said that God is "Wooing us back." When she said that my mind went back to that verse in Job that I posted the other day:
Job 36:16
"He is wooing you back from the jaws of distress to a spacious place from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with good food."
I watch for repetition or patterns and when I see them I see that God is trying to teach me something.

My counselor said that I need to be easier on myself with the "shoulds." I "should write in my journal everyday," "I should read my Bible everyday," "I should be writing poems," and on and on. She also said maybe I just need to give myself a break during this time and do things that make me feel comforted and safe, such as "going to a hill and just sitting there reflecting on God's nature." When she said that I immediately thought that I am going to play my guitar. I used to play my guitar a lot, singing and playing worship songs to God from a book, or sometimes I would just make up my own songs on the guitar and sing them really loudly to God.

So when I got home I pulled my guitar out from the back of my closet and tuned it up. I played for a few minutes and then put the guitar out on its stand in my room as a reminder to "go on a hill" and play my heart out. I couldn't jump in right then because I had to take care of my kids.

Fear does not need to have a strangle hold on me because God is wooing me and loves me so much.
Isaiah 41:13
"For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you."

Aug 23, 2004


I have been browsing through a lot of different blogs and learning the ins and outs of blogging and was happy to discover Blog Rolling. There are quite a few excellent blogs that I have found out there that are both well designed and well written.

I find that my hunting and searching through the various blogs has been one way to distract myself from my upcoming counseling appointment that I have at 5 P.M. today. It is much easier to focus on something such as setting up a blog or how to blog than face myself and the issues I am looking at. Honestly, at times I am scared to look at myself and the pain. I just want to be "normal and happy," whatever that is, and not have pain so close to the surface. But I know that will not do. If you stuff the pain it will come out in one way or another.

I was encouraged by reading a blog entry titled from the "jaws of by distress" by IPHY over at, i took the red pill, (an excellent blog). While I don't know all the circumstances of her family pain and brokenness from childhood, I was encouraged by her candor and the better life that she has built with her own family. I was especially encouraged by the verse that she put at the end her post:
Job 36:16 "He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food."

The "distress" that I felt as a child from about age 7 or 8 to age 15 still haunts me today. Sometimes I hear God wooing me to his table but I am scared of facing the pain again. So I distract myself, not always consciously, but sometimes knowingly. I need the freedom from the restriction, from the wounds that bind me. I know God is with me as I am on this journey to healing; I just need to meet with him and let him do his work on my heart. I know God will finish in me what he started, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Aug 20, 2004


I started counseling about a month ago and since then I have, at times, been hiding from both myself and God. I know I can't hide from God but I sure can get busy and fill my time up and go from surfing the net to watching the Olympics to listening to the radio, and on and on. I have been afraid to look at my past and the pain. I had been trying to write out the pain through poetry, but the pain is just always under the surface. So, I decided to go to a Christian counselor and I have gone 2 times so far and I go again this Monday, August 23rd. When I went almost 2 weeks ago I was really shaken up and I cried. Now I know that is the sort of thing one does with a counselor, but I was caught off guard. I end up leaving that time with a lot to think about. There are a number of things that I want to resolve but I didn't really know I had self-worth issues to deal with. That seems like such a cliche.

To back up a little, on my first visit I told her about my broken childhood stories and gave a bunch of my pain poems for her to read. She brought up one of them, "For The Children", which I talk about my parents divorce. She read part of it back to me, which was a little weird, but anyway here's what she read:

"You think the pain is gone, then suddenly the scab
is ripped off your wounded heart—again. . . . . .
The pain has shaped your whole life.
It's like you are wearing rose colored glasses
but these are more like gangrene covered glasses
thatyou can't throw away.
You try to shake it, you try to find healing and solace
and at times, you do.
But you know that damage has been done
and at any time or place there might be a reminder
that you are collateral damage
of a marriage tossed away:
a radio commercial for a quick and easy divorce,
Hollywood couples changing marriage partners
as if just changing into a new outfit,
a Blended Families Bible Study at church,
someone you know who has thrown in the towel—“It’s just too hard,
we've grown in different directions and don't love each other,
All of these things, like little daggers, prick and poke you,
reminding you of what was taken from you."

My counselor focused on the part about the gangrene glasses and how in this poem, and and others, I really saw myself as wounded and that she said that this is true, I can't change this. But also at the same time, I was a fully devloped personality when I was 8 years old and that now there are great things about me and that I am so valuable to God. I was hearing her, but she must have seen that I was not getting it because she repeated it a couple different ways until there was a bit of understanding in my eyes. Next she did something that really struck me hard:
She took one had and she said that hand represented me as a child who was wounded. Then she took her other hand and said that that hand represented God valuing me as a person who I am today. Then my counselor put one hand on top of the other and said they are both equally true. That simple illustration made me cry, a lot. While crying I said that I felt robbed of my childhood, uncared for, unloved.

I sat in my car afterwards and jotted down a bunch of notes on an evelope and the image of putting both hands on top of one antother kept coming back to me. Since my counseling on August 9th I have been a little numb and scared. I don't know what I expected, but I was surprised at the emotion that came up. I have been trying to hide from myself and God. But I can't hide from God. A couple days later I read in Psalm 139:7-12, the following, which I have read many times and I have know them intellectually, but not emotionally:

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you."

I could go on a lot longer but will close off for now with a verse that I am going to be clinging onto for a while:
Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the
and saves those who are crushed in