Friday, December 28, 2007

Yeah , that would be cool

I am up really early today , not sure why I just woke up @ 5 & I can't go back to sleep . So , that's ok, I would really love it if this very noisy cat would go somewhere though .
I haven't been getting that much sleep, but for some reason I can't sleep any more today. I guess I am thinking too much. I have been thinking a lot about different things. About my family about God about all the things that are wrong in this world. I guess if I let them my thoughts could just take over my life, some days they do.
Maybe I should think less, you know the old cliche ,"less is more" . Yeah .
Christmas was awsome, I really enjoyed my whole family except for my oldest son who is still in Jail. But I did get to hear from him that day and he sounded so much better than he has in a long time. Man I tell ya, when he is clean he is a completely different person. But the drugs take over. He is the kind of addict that you can't leave alone, you have to watch him every second and you never know what he is going to do next. He must be a real hoot to get high with.
The one thing that has caused me the most pain has been my inability to reach Tim. I used to make him go to church with me when he lived with me. I don't think it made a difference for him at all, maybe planted a seed in him, but over all I doubt that my forcing him to go to a place he hated was doing him any good.
Now he is in jail. I know how that is , it really sucks. Especially if you are like him and have no money and medical problems. They basically keep him in solitary confinement(it's the medical ward ) 23 hour lock down 1 hour out a day to go out to rec or make phone calls, no tv not much to do at all. The one thing this has done for Tim is made him stop and think . One thing about being locked up, you are forced to be alone with yourself. You can't drown your thoughts out with music or activity. Some times in prison you can get drugs, but I would estimate that this is fairly rare. Tim is in county, he is really extremely bored, I know.
He told me that he has been reading the bible, I hope he has , I mean I believe him, I just hope it is making some sort of sense or at least making him ask some reality questions. I don't think my son is well, mentally that is. At least when he is using (which was all the time) he shows all of the major signs of being a psychopath. He has no regard for anyone else. He hasn't thought about the ways he hurts people in a long time. I believe that somewhere in that boys head there is still a good person, I hope so. And you know as a dad , I can never shake that image of him as a child . My heart breaks for him because even though I know it is largely self-inflicted, he has a lot of pain in his life. I want it to stop, or at least become manageable for him.
I ask that if you read this , you would pray for Tim, Because you know what?I'm not ready to give up on him. I know he thinks I have , I know my mom and probably his mom think I have, but I haven't . I have come close , he can't live with me. But I will always love him , if he killed hundreds of people or became the most evil thing I could imagine (a lawyer) I would still love him. ( the lawyer thing was a joke, I was getting way too serious there) . Bottom line , I love my son. He is no different than any of the rest of my kids (including the one I did not provide any DNA for ) and I will always love him. I hope that some day we can have him around on holidays and maybe even some other times too. Yeah , that would be cool .
I do also want to say that Christmas was really great in spite of the Tim thing and the fact that I was pretty broke (still am, I need to pay my electric today by 5 to keep the luxury of electric light). Because of some act of God in my favor I was able to provide my kids with the second coolest Christmas toy you can receive ( A drum roll would be appropriate here ) ************
*********** AIR HOCKEY!!!!!**************** and here it is in all of it's awsome wonder

I hope your Christmas was this cool.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday night/ Sunday morning rambling

Today was a strange day for me. I'm not sure what is going on with me, but I feel like God is pulling on me in some way that I can't really figure out yet. What is it I am supposed to be doing?
I know that Something is going on here, I just don't see what my role is in this place where God has placed me. I can feel it , there is some thing , there is a purpose in all this madness. I have been listening to this series of talks about being missional and incarnational. This Michael Frost from Australia has been saying some things that are ringing true in my spirit. I can't deny that a lot in my own life must change and I find myself asking this question ,"Who am I?" . I don't really know, I know God has changed me I know that He has shown me favor in this life and has allowed some really hard (but maybe necessary) things to happen in my life.
So, I find myself here. Not a lot of planning went into this on my part. I am just trying to make ends meet the best I can I am not in love with my job , I wish I were but I do try to always remember that I am supposed to be holy and sinless. Really tough stuff.
I'm not good at being holy I am not sinless and I find that I really do want for more of the old sinful lifestyle I used to live.Who the hell am I kidding? I am still pretty sinful.
I can say , I love Jesus . I want to be more like him. I can say that I feel a burning passion to help , who ever it may be at different times with the things they need. I guess there are just times when I feel paralyzed, by my own guilt and shame, by my shortcomings. I am so not like Jesus, how am I supposed to be him to someone else? I really don't know, I pray that God will give me some direction in that.
Seems really complicated , but it's not it's just really hard.
Well , I am going to go get ready for church then I will go to work and try to be like Jesus . Especially on Sunday's it can be really tough to do with all that "church" crowd coming in leaving tracts and giving servers $2 tips for a $30 check. I am supposed to say ,"hey we aren't all like that , I don't look down on you ." But to follow actions that solidify the not yet Christian's position about Christianity or "church " people is pretty hard and it can get tiring
Peace be with you

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Tonight I am not feeling very well.
I met a man today , his name is Randy. Well that is what he told me it was anyway.
He doesn't look good at all and came into my workplace to warm up. He seemed desperate and ashamed , but he also had an element of pride about him. I tried to talk to to him twice today. The second time I was able to talk to him more, but both times he ended up walking away from me as if I was just trying too hard or coming too close, like with a wild animal, you can get so close but the moment they feel threatened they run. Randy ran . Once he ran with a cup of coffee and a cigarette, the second with a few dollars. I drove home crying , I don't know why other than I can see my self or one of my children or parents being like him. He was kind of dirty , but aren't we all? What was so threatening to him about me? Am I trying to hard? do I really care about this man? I don't know him, have never seen him before today. But I cried because of him and I got kind of angry at another person at my workplace for calling him a bum. Randy didn't ask me for one thing. He did say he came in to warm up because it is kind of cold outside tonight. It's not that cold, but Randy doesn't look well and he is very thin. I don't know when or if I will get this man off of my mind.
I'm not sure I want to.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Old Souls

I just learned of this girl who ,in my opinion, has a very old soul. Amy Winehouse is a jazz/contemporary singer that I had never heard of before today.I am sort of out of the loop so to speak(I really don't watch t.v. and I mostly listen to christian radio when I do) I don't learn about a lot of trends until some one else tells me about it , or like today I stumble upon something that piques my interest.
I saw this article, about her mom issuing a plea for her to come home and they would help her get well.
Mrs. Winehouse, I can relate. I Have a son, 20 years old. that's him in the foreground. He has a drug problem,further complicated by his diabetes. He was diagnosed at 18 months old , so it has nothing to do with anything he (or we ) did or didn't do about his health. He was just chosen to have diabetes. It has been a heartbreaking road. I still find myself dealing wit conflicting emotions about him. I love my son, I really wish I could trust him. I wish I could take the desire to get high away from him. He has stolen from every member of his family and gotten himself into trouble and seems to have no concern for anyone around him. I watched this video and it made me sad. Because I see my son in those eyes. Amy is 4 years older than my son Tim , I think their generation is crying out for help that we aren't sure how to give. I can't wave a magic wand and make this world less sad. I can't fix every broken thing. I can't change the past , I know that we as parents hurt our kids(I know I hurt Tim) but we can't change the past, we can only move forward.
I know that I have failed my kids in many ways over the years. I have always loved them and I have always wanted a good life them, yes even for Tim , even now.
How did these kids get to this point? How does such despair grip someone so young ? What is it that hurts this bad? It hurts me to see the pain in my son's eyes or to hear the pain in the voice of such a beautiful young girl. Why can't they see that they have a future? It's not over yet, there is a life out there for you.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Church Home?

I think we may be onto something here. Today was the second week in a row that I attended Beacon Community Church . I had been there before a long time ago , my wife and I went there and for what ever reason we didn't keep going. We did attend a church where her Mom goes ,a Lutheran Church. So any way I have not been attending any church in months, I felt that it was just too hard to try after working Sat. night to get up for an 8:30 a.m. service and , ever since the pastor that married us left the church, things have not been the same. He really made us feel welcome as a family. There was utter & complete acceptance for our sometimes annoying bevy of children. In this one man I think we saw a demonstration of grace that we wanted to emulate and that made "me "want to be there anyway. It was always different after he left and I don't want to sound like I am following after a man, I really try not to fall into that trap.
At any rate we all went to church together this week and it was really good. God spoke to me last week in a way that made me want to come back for more this week and I prodded the other members of this household to go this week,which we did. And this week God spoke to my wife and myself in a special way. We both had the same thought(even though I didn't say it to her) that,"This is the right place for us". Let me explain a little:
One thing that we have both been thinking about is,community and what that might look like here ,now or maybe in the future. How can we play a role in that?
We also have been thinking about what we can change here , in our home to make a difference in our children's lives and our own.
I have started reading a lot of stuff about the Emerging Church, New Monasticism and Post Modernism.
I think that God has put it on our hearts to change the way we think about everything and we have found evidence that this is really what God is doing.
I say ,"I think" not because I doubt what God is telling me, but only because I don't want to make assumptions about what God is telling Johanna, she is her own person unique and different from anyone else .
I know for sure that we agree on much of this stuff. We also went to a David Crowder Band concert for our anniversary and we both love his work and message(especially "Remedy" their new cd) which also talks a lot about works, not that our eternal salvation is about works, but we need to change things. This world is not going to last for our children's children the way we are living and doing business.
So today we went ,the first Sunday of Advent and it was a communion service. I have not taken communion in months (in the Lutheran church we take it every service) and I really needed to be a part of that again, I need to be in a body of believers and be fed with God's word. So any way the "conversation" was about Hope and how that relates to the Christmas story. How we have made it some fairy tale where there is all of this awe & wonder but no despair , no fear. We celebrate Jesus' birth but miss the reason for celebration.
So it was about moving into truth , not denying there are problems or trying to ignore our circumstances but facing fears and and loss and grief . Going head on , hoping in God knowing He loves us and is with us and we will be ok. That God will not fix everything for us but we will be ok. because he cares about us . He will not race to stop every perceived injustice that makes us uncomfortable,on our time table for our whims. But he will rescue us. He may have a different plan than what we think , but his is better anyway.
Also , during communion the guitar player played a song that spoke to both of us . It was familiar , a song by David Crowder "surely we can change" that will tear your heart out and show it to you (especially if you are in the same shape I am in lately)and if you are a lover of God , at some point you will have tears welling up (if you listen to the words).
So , I look over at my wife and she is sobbing. And I could tell that she was Not just distraught but she was feeling like I was and that maybe this is a good place for us. Because our walk with God (I believe ) MUST be personal, and our focus should be outward,but we also need that rest ,that encouragement we get from a corporate worship experience. I don't think that this should be my focus (any longer) but I think I need to be strengthened by that setting ,by others who are trying to walk this path and live the way God wants us to.
So, maybe ; we have found a church home.

The Weight : Noun 1. The vertical force exerted by a mass as a result of gravity.

I feel it pulling me , compelling me . I see darkness and I see light I wrestle with both compulsion and revulsion, disgust and hope.
I'm not sure where I stand.
I feel lost, but I feel like I can't be lost.
The need of immense love to fill the unfathomable depth of the sorrow.
The theme of this planet seems to be a slow funeral dirge that stabs humanity in our collective soul, bleeding , feeling faint, we are all like ashen statues empty lifeless shells of people with purpose, people who loved , people who hated now it is nothing. Abyss. The darkness is growing , this place is cold, the love is dying .
What will we do ?
What will I do?
Could I fly? Could we? Are we just men and women, fleeting ,temporary?
Is this it? Where is this kingdom we seek & why does it elude us?
Are we blind? Deaf? Dumb? What the hell is the problem exactly?
And why,
as introverted and selfish as I am,
is this heaviness pulling me down so?