Sunday, April 22, 2012


Webster defines failure as:

1a - omission of occurrence or performance
1b - a state of inability to perform a normal function or an abrupt cessation of normal functioning
1c - a fracturing or giving way under stress
2a - a lack of success
2b - a failing in business : bankruptcy
3a - a falling short : deficiency
3b - deterioration, decay
4 - one that has failed

When I talk about my fear of failure it is the 3a definition that drives my cerebral processing...emotionally though, it is my fear of being alone, uncared for, unloved, or abandoned because I am not good enough that too often drives my actions...I am only writing this factually, it is important for the rest.

The rest is that I am learning, which means I failed at knowing everything :) ...I am learning about grace, about kindness, about love, about brokenness, about the needs of people, about the person of God that exists outside the box I had put Him in...I am learning a great many things. These lessons come in many different ways and from many different people, often from unexpected people. One common truth though is these things need to be thought about and reflected on, pondered if you will. I am finding questioning what I thought to know for certain, looking at things from a different angle, is often when I learn the most

It was a Facebook post by Whitney Fowler, a friend from Mission Year, that has my mind racing right now, a post that has me questioning my definition of failure (3a).

"remember that defeats are only temporary, it's the giving up that makes them permanent"

My response was something like, "ahh, wait, I am really only failing if I give up."

For some of you, that is a no-brainer and you have lived a life full of confidence and grace but there are those of us who condemn ourselves more greatly than anybody else ever could.

Today, I will enjoy thinking, living with the truth than even if I stumble in this race of life that it does not mean I am DQed from the race my Creator intended me to be on from the beginning of time. No, stumbling means I need to get back up and press forward towards the originally purposed finish line.

If it is the giving up that makes the defeats permanent, let's all dust ourselves off and press forward towards that finish line.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tim McGraw

This trip to Vegas has been enjoyable so far. I have experienced a few firsts, including my favorite part...a few hours at a spa. An 80 minute massage (did you know you were supposed to get naked for those?), saunas, jacuzzi the craziness of a city that doesn't sleep (and doesn't want you to either) it was extremely relaxing

I miss home, the boys, church, routine, even work...really, even work, and friends.

Tony Marshall is graduating today, the Corbin's at Converge, the Wagenmakers, Thornton's, DeBones and many others at J-Road for the start of Love Mission...and there was even a special speaker at Olivet Church I thought about seeing which would have brought a completely different group of people, much older friends that go back to me at 15 (the math on that is 17 years)

Missing home and friends doesn't mean all my thoughts are on that though...

I will try to sum it up with this...Tim McGraw's song "My Best Friend" was playing on the radio this morning while getting ready...I heard this song often because of Phil Morse and his country fetish and I grew to like it a lot. It really is a good, no great song. Started to sing along a little bit before I had to turn my head from the guys with me because the emptiness hit me. This moment reminded me that not all is as it was. I was reminded that she really is gone from my life in "that" capacity (as her absence here also reminds I was leaving to Detroit she was coming home from Chicago). While this tearing of the flesh still hurts in some ways and will for a while (didn't Shrek say something about being like an onion and having layers)
I have become more certain than ever that healing is happening. I know this because during this same song hope came over me. Hope for this friendship...hope for a future

Without knowing this brokenness so much would not be...and I am more thankful for that everyday

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


after inviting myself to a friends house to dinner tonight, (where are my manners, right?) i am left pondering some of the points of our conversation.  conversation that wasnt planned or scripted or for a specific purpose other than catching up.  i hope i brought something to them.  i know they brought something to me.

there are parts of our conversation still resonating in my mind.  statements, questions, encouragement that has sparked a wildfire of thoughts within me.

in a part of our conversation i was telling how i am learning that my personality can be one that needs people but also, at the same exact time will push people away.  i told them how in part i am anxious and fearful of what could happen, even to the point that i become like a coward, and do nothing at all.  yes, while it is true that somebody that has had a spouse become indifferent to them (for whatever reason they have) and leaves will find it difficult to trust people in certain ways...but my need for safety runs deeper than that and stems from other experiences in my life.

a major thought that keeps coming to mind, is what is my purpose?  why have these things really happened, and not just this divorce, but all of my life.  what is coming next.  will i be brave enough and committed enough to follow God in this.

perhaps it is not time for me to know.  perhaps i am still like a person recovering from a major surgery and need to heal.  i am asking the questions though...perhaps soon i will understand the answer...

Monday, April 16, 2012

blank screen

i have been sitting, staring at this blank screen, wondering what to write.  there are so many things i feel, but only so many of them stem from conversation that is safe.  it has never been my intention to bash or belittle kim, or to have my words impact the way people may treat her.  i care deeply for her still today.  i hurt for her.

it is the logical, analyzing part of me that believes statistics...but that is only part of the reason that i hurt for her.

here it is...i have her bible from high school.  i have read letters she wrote to herself.  i have read the journals she kept.  i spent more than half my life with her.  i like to think i know her...

i dont know what happened though...i know who she could be...i know what she aspired to be...and i know she is never going to get there the way she is going...

so i sit here in the quiet of the night and hurt for her.


and i feel helpless as i watch her waste her potential and throw away the things she once held dear.

i dont know when i am supposed to stop caring, or if that means i have not emotionally divorced myself from her or if this is all part of the grieving/mourning process associated with divorce.

i do know that i wish somebody would get her attention and speak deep into her soul...

it is odd to think that when i remarry, the woman God has for me will understand these feelings from a past life, and that she will know how to love me despite the wounds that are ever apparent right now as well as the deeper wounds associated with this divorce, marriage, and my childhood.

it is odd to think that God has allowed these events, all events in my life to shape me into who i am today.

it is odd to think that God has adopted me into his family, that he considers me a son worthy of a full inheritance.

it is odd to think that God considers me, as fallen as I am, to be his masterpiece and that he has prepared works for me to do.

it is odd to think that God knew everything about me, in completeness, while i was still in my mothers womb.

these things are odd think because i used to think i understood God and the ways that he works...but I have learned that I do not understand much at all.

I have begun to gain an appreciation of his ways...especially as I consider all the graceful gifts he has given that I do not deserve...that appreciation leads me to worship.

oh, and i want to go on the record as hating the term breast feeding...

The message I hear, the conflict I have

The message I hear is that she wants me to be ok with her taking advantage of me. The message I hear is that I should not trust her. The message I hear is that she has killed her conscience, that she has no compassion or consideration left for me. The message I hear is that she chooses to only care about herself.

The conflict I have is that it hurts to be taken advantage of. The conflict I have is to respond with jabs of my own. The conflict that I have is to protect myself. The conflict I have is to not forgive. The conflict I have is to not extend grace. The conflict I have is to hate rather than to love, to push away rather than to foster.

I hear her attempt to justify her actions and I think, say, bullshit. I hear her put all the blame on me and I wonder aloud, "how the hell did we get here?"

I am human and I lose some of these conflicts. I lose them often. My conflicts are what I need to worry about though, and not the messages, because the messages come from more places than just Kim.

I feel like I say this all the time, that I have gained little ground.

Father God, you know my heart. You see what nobody else does. Please renew me, please restore me, please draw me close again. Thank you for adopting me into your family.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

there is always a friday...

i feel protected today, this weekend, this holiday.

after being broken, feeling destitute and out of luck i came to a place where i finally gave up...and in that place i began to experience the grace and mercy of God in new ways.

today is a holiday that is better than every other holiday...this sunday is a holiday that screams hope and power.

there is hope in my life, despite what things appear to be...

time after time, there is hope that appears in scripture despite what the circumstances look like, especially as we get to look back into these accounts given.  how many times did Jesus heal the lame or the blind.  how many lepers did He make clean.  how many people held captive to a demon or possibly worse yet, their self image, did Jesus set free?

this weekend though as i looked back on the crucifixion and the events surrounding that time i was forced to think about the disciples.

the disciples didn't have the luxury of looking back like i do.  the disciples saw Jesus arrested and became fearful.  some lied while others fled.  some went back to their hometowns and places of work.  in one of his better sermons tony campolo described this as a friday.  we call it good friday.  we all have fridays don't we?

i have had a pretty long friday.  some of you have had pretty long fridays.  there are more fridays to come...there is always a friday.

but here is where the hope comes in...because we get to see backwards, we get to see that no matter how bad friday looks...even if we see all our dreams buried in a tomb...sunday is coming.

and on sunday, there is power!  on sunday there is a resurrection.  on sunday there is new life.  on sunday there is healing.  on sunday there is our Creator, waiting like a father with open arms to welcome us back home.

check this out from ephesians 1

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come

there are so many levels this applies, from our lives today to all eternity, and while it may be a friday...sunday is here!  and this truth leads me to want to worship my creator for all He does on friday when i cant see it and for every bit of sunday i get look back on.

Jesus paid it all video -

Tony Campolo -

Sunday, April 01, 2012

overwhelmed and frustrated...

i had this post mostly written out and ready to publish...and then i realized it was a bunch of whining...words saying how much things are not what i want in life and from life...but what good will that do.

so, here is my second attempt tonight...

friends, i am overwhelmed and frustrated.  i am in need.  it is hard to write that, and it will be even harder to click on the publish button.

i am not kidding either.  just to write those words, i am in need, is hard for me to do...because it opens up the chance that you wont care...or worse yet, that you will not think as highly of me as i want you to.

i am in need is me saying that i feel too weak to face these struggles alone.  i often feel alone.

i can admit this need tonight because i feel overwhelmed by the task and frustrated with this place in my life.

i am not asking for you to do things for me, for you to make my burden lighter, but i am asking these few things:

please encourage me
please pray for me
please talk with me
please include me in life
please listen to me

i know that this is just a season in my life, and that God is indeed using this time to draw me closer to him, but i know you were also placed in my life for this season as well.  thank you for being here.  thank you for helping me in my time of need.
(there are many of you that are wise and can have very good input into my life, but please resist telling me what to do, and what i should consider most import, but please feel free to question me as you listen so that we can struggle together.  please know that your questions will sometimes need time to be struggled with)