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.