Category Archives: honesty

Closer

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.

 

 

 

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The healing Needle

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!

 


The Bean of Crazy!

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.


Grandfathers and Fishing trip!

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.


Trains, Planes, and pot smokings hippies!!

this is another old post that I thought was worthy of a revisit.

So here I am again, sitting on another over filled flight. Unhappy people all around me, you know that feeling of sitting next to some random person you don’t know, with no room to move. All around are babies crying, and “that” little kid kicking the back of your seat. Wondering what am I doing here? Flying has become a way of life for me. Always flying to the next city. Always far from home, in fact home has not been seen now for almost two months. Missing it, missing life when it stood still.

You see life has not always been like this. Music is not something I have been doing for years and years. I never wrote songs cause I wanted people to listen to them. I Just wrote cause it was a way to release all the stuff that is bottled up in side of me. It’s my way of telling God how I feel. I just express my feelings best in song. Maybe that is why you are here. Maybe you felt connected to the words and feeling of the songs and so found your self here, reading my blog. I try to think up reasons of why people listen to my music. There is better music out there. Maybe I have found a fad and well I am here today and gone tomorrow.

Who knows really? Life is so funny sometimes. It’s so unknown. How we go from point A and end up on point B is so beyond me. The journey is so unknown. Maybe that is what makes it so exciting. The discovery of ones self, the Finding of your beliefs and deciding to have faith in something. It is crazy how it all works.

I remember back to the age of twenty and my young carefree way of living. Not really thinking to far ahead but taking life and enjoying it as it came. Life was always an adventure. I had this love to go new places, well had is a bad word to put there cause I still do. So yeah, I love to travel. I didn’t have a car so well I would throw up the thumb and wait for some random chap to say, “Hey I think I want to give that guy a ride”.

It is amazing the type of people that will pick up a random stranger. Usually they are completely crazy or its some hippie guy that had smoked way to much pot, that I was wondering how is it that he can still drive or some girl that was feeling sorry for my baby like face And was like “ he looks harmless” or you no the pastor that was like “I am going to save this random traveler from death to life in the matter of a hour or more”. Those were the typical people that I would encounter.

On this particular day it was a young hippie Kid, and quite an interesting one at that. He was rather high and lacking a lot of sleep so I could tell you that, my life flashed in before my eyes a couple of times. He picked me up on my way to Bend Or. I was heading home to see the folks. He was full of stories and interesting ideas. he kept telling about how if you held a rock and listened to it you could find its energy. He kept explaining to me his way of seeing things and how life was exciting to him. Telling me about his life and how God is real to him. He talked about the rush of jumping into ice-cold water and the shock value that that would bring to ones body. He called it “a natural way to wake up”. As I sat and listen to this guys stories and watch his face light up when he talk about something he really loved, he taught me something. He taught me to live my life with passion and love. That it is better to live positive than to find the negitive in your everyday. That sometimes you can see both but it is a matter of which one you choose to walk in. I might not agree with everything he stood for but that is again the beauty of life. He found joy in the things that God had created. I found that refreshing.

I feel sorry for people that try to put life and God into a box. Thinking they have it all figured out. Thinking that somehow cause they have read a few books they have some corner on life that others don’t have. If life has taught me anything it is that the older I get the dumber I really am. It is by grace that we have walked this far and it will be grace that walks us the rest of the way home.


Sucker punched!

A couple days ago I received some news that hit me so hard I truly felt I could not breath. The pain was way over my head. My mind started racing and thinking to my self that I didn’t know how to handle the blow of what i had just been given. As I wrestle for 2 days with anger and hurt, trying not to be bitter and choosing to walk in what we are called to walk in, that being forgiveness. it is one thing to claim we can forgive but is really different to lay down your pain and choose love. You could say that Good Friday this year was the realest it has ever been. That i truly felt a death of sorts. But as I sit here today focusing on the Risen Savior I am reminded that the reason Jesus died was for the breaking of sin and pain and death. I stand here today believing on the name of our lord Jesus, knowing that he is the only one who can save us from our messy lives.
I spent this Easter very alone. I longed today for family more than I have ever longed, but knowing that some how everything is going to be OK. Gods love does not change no matter the storms that life throw our way. Today I prayed and prayed that God would rise in me and in all of you. That his realness and truth would burst forth and life would be new.
I covet your prayers so much! I don’t know how to face the storm that lay in front of me.
if you can find the time to lift my life up, I ask that you pray Gods Strength in me that I might walk upright and to choose righteousness in the storms that I know I am going to soon battle my way through.
thanks much


Masterpiece

Tonight I watched Forest Gump and I would say that it has been a long while since I had seen it. I do say a great movie, and I think I had forgotten how good it really was. As I found myself lost in the character of Tom Hanks, my heart fell victim to his simply way of life. Live life honest and full and never look back wishing you would had done this or that. There is something about a good story that brings hope to our lives and stirs something deeper inside of us, or at least in me.

I wept all through the movie, not because of the story of Forest Gump but because of the story of my own life. I was saddened tonight at the fact that I sometimes just shut off. That I let my life go into what I would call, Autopilot. I am coming to the realization that sometimes to face the truth, it hurts, and it hurts a lot, and in order to heal and over come we have to face the mountains that lay before us. Just sometimes it is easier to not feel or least that is the lie that tempts us.

I want to love myself! That is in a way that says that I am satisfied with whom God has made me to be. I am learning that in order to love others we must first learn to love our selves. That until we feel true value of who we are there is no way we can see value in other people. I believe that is why the bible teaches us to love others the way we would love ourselves.

I was talking with a good friend tonight about the way we see ourselves. About how that view alters the way we live and the things we do. If we feel small or dumb, useless or ugly it affects how we act and the life we live. Yet if we feel beautiful and loved we radiate with joy for there is nothing better in the world than to be fully loved. I am trying to let the love of God penetrate my hardened heart. You see I have a hard time seeing the good in myself. I struggle with the view of who I am more than you would ever know. You might think that because I stand on a stage that somehow I am granted some kind of bubble the shields me from all the impaling hurts this life throws at us but it is far from the truth. I am insecure and scared just like the rest of us that is if we really get honest with our selves.

But the truth is that we are perfectly and wonderfully made in the image of God. That regardless of our history and our fault that God still sees the potential of greatness within our human shells. We are the making of his hands and the wonder and glory of who he is.
We are his masterpiece!


The Water Within

I have been I guess you could say a tear factory as of lately. Seems like it doesn’t take much to send me into a heavy cry. Sometimes it is just ridiculous what starts it. I was watching “House” the other night and I swear I cried for a better half of the show, now granted it was a quite sad episode but never the less the tears just kept a coming. It was about a little girl who had cancer and her courage to fight and find the best of the day, it was well moving me. I don’t know what it is about people concurring obstacles and over coming hardships that are so empowering. Deep down in us whether we want to admit it, we long to see others succeed. And when we do well for me, the tears just start pouring.

I have always been a crier, every since I was a little boy. My soul and spirit are very sensitive to things, and I can’t watch TV without bursting into a water hose. I use to think it was a bad thing and hate the fact that I couldn’t control it. I was teased a bigger part of my life because of how sensitive I was. But I have come to a place of embracing the fact that it is just who I am. Most of the time it is a weird joy-giving cry. A cry that somehow I believe is healing the wounds within.

Crying is such a weird thing, you know? Your body or mind feels something so much that it convulses and spits water from you r eyes. That you lose all composer and crumble, it is quite a mystery. The bible even says that Christ cried. I wonder what that would have sounded like. What would the God of all, sound like weeping his pain. Such a mystery, yet so profound. I really don’t have an ending to this post; I guess I just wanted to ramble some thoughts. Anyways hope life is in a place of deep feeling for you.

Shawn