I woke up this morning with a very heavy heart. Yesterday might have been one of the best days I have had in a really long time and It’s ironic that a hard day would follow an intense day of joy and peace, almost as if there is some force that wants to steal away any kind of blessing we find in life. I find this to be true more than not. I was reunited with someone that is so dear to my heart, that the fact of them not being part of my life would be the death of the life I feel inside. As I sat there and listened to his story’s and all things he was learning I had almost forgotten that we hadn’t seen each other in over a year. His eyes beamed as he told me he loved and missed me. I felt like a man who had been given water after wondering around in a blazing hot desert for years. I couldn’t get enough nor did I want it to end.
who ever said “life is easy” must have been smoking something wacky, cause by no means is it easy or fair. Life is cruel sometimes! Sometimes it makes no sense at all, And what’s even harder is to stand up and walk even though we are bruised and hurt badly. To choose forgiveness over hate and anger, and to trust that there is something bigger fighting on our behalf. I once heard a wise man say that “there are two kinds of people, those who play victim and point there finger at everyone else, and those who point the finger at themselves and choose to own their story, and get up and learn to live within it”. I pray that I am the second. I just want something tangible, something that is real. The ability to trust that I haven’t been given more than I can handle.
As we hugged and he held on for a bit a deep sense of hope arose in my heart! In the end the truth always wins. In the end love always wins!
When I was a little boy I was so afraid of the dark. So much so that I would be laying in bed and have to pee and well I wouldn’t go cause I was sure there was something out there to get me. I would hold it to point of no return and then bolt down to the end of the hall where the bathroom was and flip on the light, “Safe”. I had this fear of monsters as a child. Maybe one to many shows on TV that I wasn’t suppose to be watching. I was just scared of the things I didn’t know. I would do my business and then look back down the hall to see if anything was out there. It would take me a while to build up the courage to run back, being I had a little less motivation than my reasoning for going to the bathroom in the first place. Eventually I would build up the nerve and take off running back for my bedroom. I was so sure that what ever was out there, that was trying to get me had moved from the hallway to under my bed. I would run full force and then leap, “landing safe” yet again.
I don’t really have a lot of memories of ever really calling out for help. I think I had this underlining thought that I wasn’t suppose to be scared of things that weren’t really there. I still was though.
As I have gotten older my not wanting to call out for help hasn’t changed much. I don’t know why hiding from the things that hurt and scare us are so natural. I have found that God is the only healing force that gets me through the monsters of life yet it takes everything in me to believe that. I’m trying to learn to let go and trust and most importantly draw closer to God.
I was going through one of the darkest and scariest times in my life these last few years. Peering down the old dark hallway wondering if there would still be love on the other side. I was sitting with a friend of mine talking about the darkness we find our selves in, and we could only come to one common ground, that the only way out of darkness is to draw near to light, it is to draw near to the life giver so that our lives can be healed.
I named my new record and my song closer for a reason. Even though closer is such a simple thought it is one of the most vital point of our faith. I think that God desires our closeness with him much more than we realize. Where we spend our time is what makes us who we are. I don’t know about you but I want life and I want it in abundance, making closer why I live.
Well it is 2011! By god we made it. Not really sure what we made but we are here, a new year. Now I assume that everyone is always asking you what your new year resolution is, and when I hear this I kind of cringe, maybe it is the lack of come through of the resolutions I have made in the past or the fact I get a little disheartened at things that come out of a place of deed rather than need. But the idea of a Resolution is great if you think about it. We are choosing to lay down the bad things we possess in exchange for something new and of value. The come through is not always as consistent as the want to come through, but success never comes without failure of some sort. I have been thinking this over for a few days and trying to come up with something in me that I would like to see change and be different, I guess I will share with you where I decided to land my plane.
My Resolution~ is to stop trying to be cute and clever and start to be more intentional and true.
I think that we live in a time where is it somewhat in to be “cute” and “clever”. The clever little one-liners that trick others into believing we are cuter than we really are. Twitter and Face Book are notorious for this. We try so hard to think up little lines that are designed not to change people or their lives but to self market ourselves and get people to believe in a shallow idea of who we really are. Now please don’t miss hear me, cause I don’t really think it is wrong to be cute or clever, for me it is a matter of heart and truth and motivation. If our motivation is to woo people into our selves then I feel it is something that we should take a deep look at, but if it just a reflection of who we are and our hearts are pure, then well so be it.
I am trying to just stand in truth of who I am and stop worrying if people like me or not. The reality is that there is always someone who doesn’t like you. That is the beauty in difference. People see things differently than the next, and so cycles the ever changing world we live in.
I pray over this blog and my songs all the time. I never want to be just a noise that drowns the truth from people’s lives. I want my life to have purpose and meaning, and hopefully by the power of a fiery eyed Rabi who sacrificed his life so that we could find a road worth traveling upon, you will find life here as well. What ever your new years resolution is let it be done with intention and truth. Welcome to 2011!!
Sometimes writing is like putting a puzzle together, I put out all these thoughts on paper but after I have laid it all out I have to go back and sift through them in order to make a complete thought. That is how this blog has been coming out. I wasn’t even really sure what it was that I was trying to say other than just getting out some thoughts that have been plaguing my mind and heart. Sometimes it is just the confession of the reality of my mind that helps me to heal and see the reason I am dwelling there. I have been so hurt and angry lately. I tried ignoring it but the out come of that is always the same. It is still there when I choose to stop hiding.
When I was a kid I was walking on top of this wooden fence. Don’t ask me why I was walking up there. Maybe it was the thrill of doing something dangerous, or the fact that I thought I was quite invincible when I was a child. As I was walking a crossed it I stepped on this loose board and it swung up and hit me in the back of the leg, taking with it a large chunk of my flesh. Quite morbid I know yet it happened. I was staying at my aunt’s house, and so when I walked into her house with this gushing wound, she freaked out and rushed me to the hospital. I have always been quite fearless yet I do not handle pain well at all. I avoid it at all cost. When I was at the hospital they needed to give me a shot to make sure I didn’t get any bad deceases or infections in my wound. I know that the shot was for my own good but there was know way in hell I wanted a giant needle entering my body let alone my wound. It took 4 nurses to hold me down, as I yelled and kicked and protested there needle sticking. I was 10!
The reason I bring up this story is because sometimes walking through the hurts and pains of our life is much like someone sticking a giant needle in us. Even though the out come is healing, the pain of walking through it sometimes feels unbearable. The past few years have been the most painfully times I have ever had to walk through in my 33 years of life, some self inflicted yet some not. But through all of it there is still this small still voice that beckons my heart to live. To not give up or throw in the towel, and believe me I am beyond throwing in the towel, I am at the point of burning it. I have tried praying it away yet it remains. I do not understand the evil that prevails in our world, and how we let it prevail in and threw us. But I guess we would never know the light if there was no darkness to compare it to.
I have been praying for my enemies, praying that god would bless them, that he would pursue their hearts and teach them about love. But even more than this I have been praying that God would give me a genuine love and care for their life over mine. The Gospel is easy when we only give it to those who we enjoy and love already, but when we choose to walk the gospel out with those who make it hard, then I believe we start to see the real power that it holds. There is nothing harder if you ask me then choosing to love the people who hurt and rob you of life and joy. But there is nothing more freeing either!
I am a lover of coffee! Some say I am obsessed a bit, not sure if it is the fact that I do not function properly in the morning until I get my cup or the fact that if I am driving down the road and see a coffee shop, it takes everything in me to keep my eyes on the road and keep driving. Not sure if any of you have ever seen a bugs life, but if you have and can remember a scene where the bug sees the light of the bug zapper “the light is so pretty” as his friends yell “look away” “don’t do it” zzzzzzzzztt!! Pretty much me in a nutshell. I have tried to wean myself from the gravitational pull of the bean goodness but lets just be honest, this is not going to happen. If it is true what they say about “you are what you eat” then I most defiantly am a coffee bean.
I frequent a local coffee shop not far from my house on a regular basis to read and write and just clear my head. I love to be in the hustle and bustle of people even if I do not know anyone. I think it is a just the comfort of knowing that I am not alone.
Speaking of not being alone there is this woman who is always at the shop who I believe is certifiably crazy. She sits in the middle of the coffee shop and has full conversions with herself or someone for that matter. She is always here, in fact if she is not it kind of throws me off a bit. Sometimes I wonder who she is talking to, if she can really see them, and if she really hears them talking back to her. I wonder what has brought her to this place of craziness. The thing is she seems to be having the time of her life, laughing and smiling and enjoying the company of her invisible friend/friends. It reminds me of the scene from Patch Adams where Patch is in the mental hospital and his roommate will not leave his bed because he is afraid the squirrels are going to get him, so patch proceeds to get an invisible gun and start shooting the squirrels. The scene goes on as patch and his roommate yell and laugh as they extinguish the invisible varmints and overcome his fear of squirrels. A beautiful scene of helping the helpless. I watch people in response to her as they realize she is crazy. I think she makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable, and rightly so it is not everyday you encounter people like her. It is a sobering reminder to know that God loves her as much as he loves anyone of us. I would like to believe that the person she is talking to is Jesus. Maybe he is wooing her, sitting with her, talking to her cause know one else will. I might never know whom she is talking to but I know that God is speaking to me. Teaching me to love the loveless. Teaching my heart to have compassion on the people whose lives are different than mine. Teaching me to open my eyes to see that he is moving in and around our lives like a raging fire.
There are a lot of broken people in this world, in fact I would say that all are broken, but only a few admit it. We like to believe we are all right, that we have it all together; it makes us feel better about ourselves. It’s all right to be broken! It’s there that we become who we are meant to be. It’s not until we can lay down our own efforts, pride and control and rest in the fact that God is the healer, the author of life, that we can experience life the way it was intended. At least I believe this to be true. I pray that God would do in us the things we cannot do for ourselves, that he would help us to trust that he knows better than our best thinking.
A couple summers back I decided I needed to spend time with my grandfather since he was getting older and I didn’t know how much more time I would have to do things with him. My grandfather is more like a father than a grandfather cause he was the only man figure I really had in my life growing up. My father was and is still a drifter that really has no reason for living outside of his own wants and needs, a man that I will never be, by the healing and mercies of a loving God. My gramps taught me many things in my life, the art of chess, the Mickey Mouse way of fixing everything and the love of fishing. From the time I could walk I have memories of fishing with my grand dad. Hours and hours of patiently sitting and waiting for the lurkers of the water to bite my ever bobbing hook that I had placed there to lure them in. An art that I mastered at a very young age.
I decided that the best way to spend time with my grandfather was to do the thing that we had spent so much of our lives doing, Fishing the secret rivers of Oregon that have become some what of a passion of mine. Oregon is a very different place in contrast to the rest of the US. A land of hippies, rugged mountains and beautiful cold water streams full of massive Brown and rainbow trout. A sanctuary of life and beautiful memories that will live deep with in my mind till the passing from this life and in to the next. Oregon will always be my Home!
My grandfather and I packed our things loaded the Four Wheelers on to the trailer and headed east for one of the best fishing trips I will ever experience in my life time. We drove into the high desert of Oregon and parked our truck, unloaded the four wheelers and then proceeded a crossed the plains of sagebrush and Juniper trees until we had came upon these beautiful canyons full of lush life and cold rushing rivers. They were extremely hard places to access yet the best fishing is to go where others don’t. To be an explorer of places less traveled! It is kind of like God. Nothing good in life is easy, yet instead the best things are rugged and hard and sometimes seem impossible. The places you have to struggle to get to, I have found are the places you find the most treasure. So many give up when it gets hard cause maybe they just don’t believe that they have what it takes. Maybe they never had a father to tell them. Even if this is true, then hear it from my lips; I believe you have what it takes.
I have seen and done so many things in life. Things that I never dreamed that I would do, nor would I ever see. Life has been a journey of pains and joys, ups and downs, forwards and backwards and a lot of trudging through the mud. I just dive in and try what I do not know! This is by far a hard way to live but I have discovered things I never knew possible. I have failed a lot in my life but if given the chance to do over I would opt not. Experience far out ways redoes. My grand father taught me to always do my best, to always pick the hardest way, and to give it my all. That education is good, but heart is so much better. Little did I know that those fishing trips were counseling me on how to be a man of great heart, that you never know what lies beneath the water and that good things take a lot of work, but are well worth the struggle.
I have been taking a journey back to the simples of my faith and trying to just get back at the core of why and what it means to be a Christ follower. Sometimes I believe I get so caught up in the deep that I lose sight of the Simple. I have been reading a Book called “The Spirit of Disciplines- understanding how God changes lives” by Dallas Willard. He is painting the picture of the importance of spiritual disciplines and the growth and power that that has in our daily lives. Sometimes Fundamentals are not given enough weight and value, and the power that they hold. Some how in all this the church has painted the deeds of our lives as not as valuable as the faith that we hold. But I believe that as James has put it so clearly it say this- ‘But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:18’ the deeds of our lives are not as much about what we do, but they are a reflection of our heart and faith as we choose to follow Christ. We have deeds not because we are trying to earn anything but because our faith in Christ produces Fruit that in turn will be called deeds. There are so many Christians today that have lives that are powerless and really live no different than those who profess no belief in Christ at all. These disciplines have been looked down upon as things you do to earn Salvation, but what I am learning is that these disciplines are the very things that bring us to what I believe Christ came to fulfill and that is “life in abundance”. I think that if we really get a true understanding of lets say, the power of prayer, the reading of gods word, fasting, worship, and things of this nature we will begin to realize that they are more for our good than anything else. God doesn’t need any of things to be God, he just is. These things are what bring us to life and free us from the things that kill our hearts. God is for us and the power of these disciplines, are to bring us to a place of what it means to be apart of the kingdom of God. I believe that if our motives are just one thing and that is to please God then the power of this Gospel will do great things in our lives. So look at it this way, I read my word not because I was told to but because I believe that it pleases my father and that it is by the truth and truth alone that sets are hearts free. I read it because I have put my faith in something that is much great than my self! I pray not because I need something but because it brings me closer to the heart of God, And it is at his heart that we find the answers to all that plague our lives.
I made a cool little video of cohen! thought I would share! hope you enjoy
so i found this today and all i have to say as these girls blessed my socks off!