Mar 4, 2015

wash shin ton talk

That keeps me away from painful blood love

It's the people that build the place and the place is empty without the building that the love people create

It's the people that are the place

Places are empty without the ones that fill in the memories with shared laughter, tears, and love.

And the love in the people that draws the prodigal back to dusty dirty, cramped highways

and the love that pains in loss of love in the blood bound people

and the fear of seeing the blood bound faces in goodbyes

wraps around this not being home

and preference is a choice in a big open space

but love is a coagulating agent in the get-out-of-Dodge highway calling

and my eyes may open to the space to improve that thick dreary heat blanket

that thick black out curtain hung up to keep out


And your black out curtains are me screening my calls

and your heat aversion is my blocking out social media

and your desire for mild weather is me sweating out the heat

and getting lost in wondering what is out there is forgetting that the place is nothing without the people

and the people put meaning into the place and all of the exploring is meaningless without the quality of life breathed into it among the acceptance of those that are in the inner circle

because what is an adventure worth if the wisdom and experience gained from it is never shared at all?

Just don't leave out the coagulating love.
that nuisance of a thing holding onto in the blooming of the bluebonnets and the thick humid heat blanket

Dec 31, 2014




Kai turned eight yesterday. 

"...The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a desert spring along the road...Return...the Lord has heard about your misery."

"Therefore after Hagar referred to the Lord, who had spoken to her, as El-roi (the God who sees me) for she said, 'I have seen the One who sees me!'"

Will I allow You to? I'm jaded. I flaunt. I'm free and I'm giddy with freedom. I'm going back to Texas. I'm leaving this - island - for the humid stale big city.

'It takes so long to get places.'

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34

But I do worry about not having enough money. Just scraping by. We just scrape by. 

"Stop judging others, and you will not be judged...Do for others what you would like them to do for you." Matthew 7:1, 12

I judge. I judge often. I dislike those who offend me. I'm so consumingly critical. But I've had to be. My cynicism has kept me afloat. I criticize because I have to keep a tally of what's real and isn't. In being wise to let go of the mold, am I being careless? Structure and faith kept me in compliance; now freedom, thought, self-discovery, move me to move. Gonna move out and on and, someday, up. 

2013 is over.

I'll love my kids.

I've been delaying feeling something. Even now I pick at my nails and focus on that instead of writing. I'm realizing that there are those in my life who add nothing to it- just stress. 

I got my first thumb wrinkles last week- like Granny's. 

Jesus loves me - the Bible tells me so. 
    I'm loved. I'm loved. I'm loved.
Jesus completes me - I'm filled, resolved, not lacking.
   Jesus has made me a new creation. 

Old things have passed away.
    All things have passed away. 

You give me the desires of my heart. You put them there. 

To want 'just normal' feels dirty.

Remind me of how to love without holding anything back. Immaturely. Embarrassingly. 

"The Lord replies, 'I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.' The Lord's promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over." Psalms 12:5-6

Make me long for You to rescue me. Right now I must have that longing. I'm going into this with the support of family and close friends only. No church first. My legalistic training tells me this is wrong. My intelligence tells me this is freedom. Normal. Normal to live without boundaries. But I know that my growth process, my movement, is far from over. I have to love like You. But I can't fix my heart. I can't heal all the years of abandonment. You can. You can make me into a whole person; or show me that I already am one as long as I am in You and You in me. The older I get the less I know. 
Abandonment breeds unease. Resentment. Panic. Low self esteem.

I have forgotten You complete me. I have relaxed my grip on You and Your perfecting perfect love. I have searched myself and scrutinized myself until nothing isn't revealed, at least for now. But to let You back in?!!! To let You heal me?! To let You be You?! Can I just please be sure of one thing? Can my longing be put on the back burner to Your loving-kindness? Can I accept myself and that You love me? All of my shattered conceptions of the church and religion need You to fill in the brokenness. Yes, just You. Before I get too far away. 

And we're leaving Kansas. And I couldn't be happier. 

Abandonment breeds dependency.
Breaking the destructive cycle of dependency is chaos before it is freedom.
Being unparented is chaos. That chaos returns when that dependency starts to be broken. 

So I gave the church authority over me in valuing their approval above Jesus' and my own. 
Why it's so hard to just accept who He says I am in Him and how He says He loves me.

If I'm rejected by one, I'm rejected by all.

But that's not how You value.

In giving away my value I open myself up to panic.
I'm not rejected any more.

"But I trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He has been so good to me." Psalm 13:5-6

You stay the same through the ages. 
    Your love never changes. 
There may be pain in the night, 
    but joy comes in the morning. 
And when the oceans rage, 
    I don't have to be afraid. 
Because I know that You love me, 
    And Your love never fails.

Every little thing gonna be alright.

Maybe it would be a wonderful thing to move back into that neighborhood…

Remember all the comforts you lacked? -painfully so
That’s how you are equipped to love. -help me with my disbelief. I doubt every solid thing in my body.

Here we are good. Growing up slowly with plenty of tales. Pen still moving passionately against empty paper lines.

What’s life gonna look like from here on out? What are You gonna look like from here on out? My inner battles. Will You conquer me? Conquer me to defeat me and release me?

Just know you’re not alone.

These five. These five precious ones. Where my heart is. Where my investment is. Principally. Wonderfully. Amazingly.

Help me to be still. Quiet my soul.

Every little thing gonna be alright.

I'm always afraid to write on first pages. Always wanting to skip it and come back to it later when there’s a better thought to share. Red gave me this pen and journal for Christmas.

Lawrence has been a time of self-discovery. A time of becoming a singular family. Of new birth and stumbling and relearning to think. I think. I feel. I stumble. I fall. I get angry. I stay angry. You prevail. You reimagine my faults to Your glory. You reshape my jiggle to put faith to feet. Lawrence was my escape from a cultish mindset I created within myself. For myself. I don't think it’s right to be so self-serving. I don't think it’s right to sacrifice so much to bless the blessed. I thought that way a long, long time ago. But now I feel it in my bones with conviction.

I may not be completely healed from the havoc wreaked on my infantile family, but I see direction toward it. Maybe now I understand a bit. A bit to make it better. Make it better to put faith to feet. All the pent up-ness, put it to use. Challenge my challenged self to be out of the box and used to be useful. To be (cheesy) Your hands and feet. How can I be Your light if all I do is be enlightened with the enlightened? This is better. This is good. This is my itch being scratched. Yes. And I'll read Interrupted again and see again what’s for me. Get my thoughts together and questions and ask. I’ll ask and dig deeper. I’ll ask and get answers and know that there’s a growing light, apparently, that I'll join and not be a radical among radicals with empty zeal, but a tempered vehicle to be used to overflowing.

“Will You not revive us again? That Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, Lord, and grant us Your salvation. I will hear what the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yes, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its’ increase. Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway.” Psalm 85:6-13

Somewhere in there is the answer to my fear. To my self-doubt. It’s there. So what’s obviously seen there in my bleeding heart? Pain? The bleeding? The hurt? Fear. Deep founded fear. Fear rooted in every scary thing that’s ever happened to me. A scaredy cat. But a deeply caring one. Concerned with being genuine and also guarded against further injury. Strong.

You are strong for being who you are despite all that you've lived through. Mercy and truth. No judgment. No punishment for you, Denise. No joke. In all seriousness, I've got you covered. In MY righteousness, a soft electrifying kiss of peace.

That stillness. That which surpasses all understanding. Everywhere. Truth springing up from the ground and righteousness looking down on me. As You give what is good. The land, my land. My heart. My soul. It yields its increase. You. Mercy, truth, peace, righteousness. It yields You. My depths are yielding You. Despite my irrational logic. You are coming out. Despite my bleeding heart. You are springing forth. Therein lies my boldness. The ability to stand on firm ground and allow my words to be spoken to be heard. That glorious freedom that I am not my own but was bought at a price. I am not my own, but am a pearl of great price. You sold everything to own me. Radical churnings of my heart aren't hidden away sins against You, against humanity, but rather, You pouring out revealing Yourself hidden there tucked away in all those years of blindly tucking away Biblical devotions, studies, quiet times. You speak directly, profoundly. Loudly at times. Because. Because I am Yours. My small bleeding heart is the fertile ground of the parable of the soils. And out of Your tireless efforts You are calling out the dead seeds to spring forth life. The life abundant to love. Abundant to move. To lead. To step into Your footsteps because You step before me. You are my pathway. My deep rooted desire to please You is an open door to your movement in my life. Despite me! Despite my blindness. Despite my stubbornness. Despite my temper. Oh, my temper!!!

No, Denise, it’s not just others who are blessed to be handcrafted. You were painstakingly created. This tiny you is a product of a perfect Creator. In His image you were made. Not an image of fear and self-loathing, but of bold righteousness to love despite obvious rejection. No matter the response. Radical creator or radical things.

I’ve nothing to fear.

Thankfulness breeds contentment. Contempt of self breeds isolation in bitter mistrust.
No, Denise. The blessed life isn't reserved for ‘the Others.’ You are a dear beloved ‘Other!’ A member of the elite creation able to stand toe to toe to insurmountable foe not for vain glory, but eternal purpose. Rejoice! Again I say rejoice! And let your gentleness be known for the Lord is at hand. Therein lies your peace. Therein lies your validity. Therein is your access card to the elite society of value. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. These bleeding wounds bleed this righteous truth. This intangible peace. Accessible by faith poured out on the cross. Tiny heart of infinite value chosen to be loved and healed and respected by Masterful Craftsman eternal.

To be bold to be enough to be myself. Painstakingly, priceless, mighty me.

-but oh, to live that!

Someday it will resolve. Someday it will get better. Some imagined moment when all the stars align to bless us one with spontaneous combustion. Then all will be well. All is well in the someday imagined. Meanwhile we pine. I pine. With you all is well.

The little children brought to Jesus. Little tiny holding up a broom singing to Jesus how much she loved Him. Placing her hand over the televangelists to pray accept Christ. Precious.
Did she hate me? That was what I saw in her eyes that middle of the night. Hate. Contempt. She despised me that night. For complaining. For nagging. Trying to get her to stop drinking and go to bed. She hated me for telling her what the right thing to do was. She shamed me. Rejected me then. Broke my self-esteem in one fell swoop. Never recovered. No, I never did.

“Don’t stop the children. No, let them come to Me. For such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Would you get over it already! Years!!! It’s been years!

Then you don’t, can’t, understand this feeling- the experience of being cursed by safe haven-creator-all-powerful-source-of-life-nurturer-mother. Turned from beautiful love serenity into confusing battlefield. Minefield! She was never safe again. No, never.

But I got to You.

“But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must also be your servant. And whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served, but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

Serve others. Serve others and don't get angry. Serve others and don't get angry and love them. Serve others and don't get angry and respect them. Respect their motives. Respect their desires. Respect their boundaries. Respect their preferences. Respect their limitations. Respect their gifts. Respect their wishes. Searching out motive is a form of control. Because if I know what makes you tick I can set off your hot spots and reopen wounds not yet closed.

Like a problem or a work in progress. Every small piece of me I give to her she fails to know what to do with. Maybe she panics even.

Dec 15, 2014

with the windows open

and there was all of that time and it was all used up
and there were all of those beautiful beating hearts added to the we
and then there was the shock of the great sad loss
and then there were us we
and the quiet
and sitting in the quiet
and leaning into the quiet
because the crazy noise of to dos and shoulds had gone
all gone
far away gone
like two states away gone
and then just like that the crazy noise was three doors down
and there was the crazy half dozen we
and we were standing
and we were thriving
and we are still
 and we are still

Sep 5, 2014

If Then And Now

Being near tears at times during the day because all those experts in all those books I've spent hours reading prove true. That these little minds do want to learn and do teach themselves when left to it. They invent games. They ask for help when teaching themselves to sew. They make art. They teach themselves computer programming. They create worlds in pixels. They learn to cook. They learn to help. They mirror compassion. They mirror frustration. They seek out companionship. They plan ahead. They pool their resources together and set goals. They ask hard questions. They teach me to not feel guilty to ask questions. They absorb my every ounce of energy to think and hinder housework. They are excellent chore doers. They are worth it. They are gifts. They remind me to be kind. They remind me to practice mercy. They remind me to smile. They make messes. They make big messes. But so do I. They have freedom to play at the sewing machine for hours. It's not nonsense time wasting. They have freedom to play with water guns and soak themselves. It's not foolishness. They have freedom to spend hours on Scratch creating a computer game. They have freedom to run outside to play in the minute long end of the summer showers. To collect their drops in cans and bottles and canisters. To absorb the change of temperature as the big sun sets into night. To watch the bats fly out at dusk. To visit with family and to greatly appreciate all that is beautiful and unique about each member. They have freedom to write letters to friends, to cousins, to whomever however many letters however long. They have freedom to paint. To value what they paint. To value what others paint. They can make messes with vinegar and food coloring and baking soda and glitter and cornstarch and make big messes. They are learning to not ever feel like the creative and the fun and the silly are luxuries reserved for some other time. Reserved for some other people. They are learning to be cooperative. To be considerate. To be creative. They are learning the mechanics of the sewing machine. The workings of game programming. The value of plenty of good books on hand to read. To not feel guilty for being curious about what doesn't fit in the classroom.

And once upon a time I sat in a living room and pulled out second hand encyclopedias and read for the fun of it, and I sat in the shade of decades old pecan trees and observed the ant lions for hours, and I swang on a sun bleached yellow plastic swing and sang my heart out, and I walked around Granny's yard as she pointed out all of the different herbs she grew. Smelled them. Pinched them. Tasted them. Observed her ingenuity. The reused scraps of fabric she tied the stalks of the plants back with. Memorized the shape of her disfigured pinky nail and the story of how it got that way. The plastic milk jugs she reused to collect rain water. Observed the mosquito larvae wriggling in their pools. I memorized the cracks in the sidewalk as I explored to the end of the thousandth Kayton Ave. block. Memorized the coo of the turtle doves. Made potions with the pollen of the pecan trees. Laid on my back on the still hot summer sidewalks to observe the stars. Observed mollies give birth to live young. Memorized what my aquarium fish book taught me about bettas. Spent hours watching my betta flare his gills at my finger poking the glass of his bowl. Watched him jump out of the bowl to grab his ball-pellet of food stuck to the tip of my finger. Spent hours watching wild life documentaries. Watching educational videos from the library. Sign language. Reading lips. How to draw. How to belly dance. Knowing what shelf in the library had my favorite books on how to draw animals. Books about fish. Goosebumps. Science experiments at home. Pulling apart the flowers of the crepe myrtle trees. Squeezing their soft petals out of their buds. Dissecting the seed pods of the mesquite tree and remembering that it leaves hands sticky. Those racing ants that speed over its' often horizontal trunks. Races in class to see who could write the most in a minute. Reading and reading and reading. And staying up all night to finish my newest Goosebumps book. Catching tadpoles in the Frio. Catching minnows in plastic cups. Scooping up algae from the nasty bottom and sides of a circular plastic pool with aquarium nets. Picking up pecans to eat fresh; the only way they should be eaten - cracked open against another. The acidic nastiness of accidentally eating a piece of the not-soft wall of the inside. Melting ice cubes with table salt. Often being the last one to get the joke, but the first to understand why.

These days with these littles brings my little days up to the surface. But I was an alien in my tardy after the bell school attending. Forced to push out of mind the trauma of mean words in alcohol drenched late nights. That little me was never safe it seemed. The learning institutions said education was a way out. They said I had a ticket out of the pain because of above average test scores. That didn't solve the dependent maternal child. Didn't solve the loss of fraternal lucid guidance. And the cool security of these little four smiles sits in stark contrast always to that lost little me one. That frizzy haired too skinny one. That one who sat in adults' presence at times for only their criticism for not eating enough. For not focusing enough on school. For not being able to shake off the weight of the trauma of the beer binging induced fear. Insecurity. King David said, 'My sin is always before me.' So it was with the lack of coordination of the little me. The continued insecurity. The broken loss of fraternal lucidity. That saintly fraternal hole. Always it sits before me. Then just as weakly now. And I grieve for what was lost. And I am lost for what could have been. If only the joy I found in getting lost in long walks was nourished. Valued. If only that curiosity for all things biological had been encouraged. Not by mere words. Words of encouragement by adults older and wiser couldn't touch the surface of the daily sadness, the daily weight of everything not being okay. They were empty words of encouragement then and they continue to be empty shells of encouragement still. And teachers' eyes would light up at little me's immediate understanding of ideals and equations and themes and formulas and theories and mechanics and definitions. And teachers and counselors would hold little me up on a pedestal with stars in their eyes with all powerful hope of my home life not being triumphant over my above average test scores. They said, I think, that those tests would be a way out of the broken home. Of the pain of the broken home. And little me wanted desperately to believe them. Desperately to have hope. But even little me knew better. The hope of the future with the above average test scores was a false hope. Saint Paul's description of a hope that doesn't disappoint was absent in those test scores. How could a high test score erase the pressure of the maternal child in need of care? Still in need of care. Her glory and mantle of pain never failing to eclipse the achievements of that smaller than average little me.

More sensitive than most. For the slight and small nuances of life and facial expressions and tones in speech and choice of words do not go unnoticed by my hyper-sensitive eyes. So I say that had another person gone through that slightly-rougher-than-what-most-go-through childhood, they would have fared far better. All of the offensive glares at me. The look on supposed to be mother's face as she shot me the finger when I whined about not being in bed late on a school night. When she looked at me with dislike, hate even, in her eyes, I could never shake the pain of that rejection because for me the pain was far greater. I felt it deeper. Longer than most others. And drunk adults would tell me how I was an old soul. They would tell me their secrets because they considered me an equal. I was intelligent and observant and slow to speak. So they took advantage of my innate wisdom by confiding in me the pain of those secrets. And I was left in charge of the groceries. And I was trusted to take little sister to school. To discipline her even. And I was just a broken little girl. And I was just a broken sensitive intelligent little girl. And I hurt more than most. And I understood more than most. And I thought more than most. So I was more vicious in my pain than most. I was more free with my venomous tongue than most. Deep hurt and lack of nurturing led to justification for disrespecting the hearts of others, even myself, more than most.

And with hot tears welling up in the soft pockets of my not-quite-hazel-mom-eyes I say never. Never to allow the needs of little me to eclipse the glory of these four littles. Never to allow the shine and hope in their eyes at the wonder of the ant lion to fade. To never put out the joy they have when they seek to create a cape for puppy stuffed animal. I say never to be a child in need of them ever. I say never to be unwilling to treat my mental illness. To always be lucid and present in their lives. To be present and to answer the phone when they call. To never leave them waiting long after the dismissal bell has rung. To never pass out drunk and leave them to fend for themselves. To never sear images in their minds of me being lost in an illusionary reality. To never quench their dreams. To allow them the freedom to dream. Not wanting them to remain children dependent on me for life. My mom heart asks, "Why?" and "How?" How could a maternal heart allow it's needs to selfishly swallow whatever light of potential found in their sweet sensitive child's eye? How?

But not 'how' and 'why.' No. Just the determination that it will end here. That it won't continue and spread it's filth past me. No matter my awkwardness and insensitivity to the nuances for the deeper understanding of the whole. No matter the pain of the past their present joy conjures. No matter the dependance on heavenly grace to treat the pain. My pain will be treated that their light and life of curiosity will thrive and not be quenched. And I will not put the weight of my pain on their shoulders ever. And I will defend their right to innocence as long as I'm able. And I will be open and honest with myself and my God that I will never prove to be too big a hypocrite to bear any clout. And my heart will break alongside theirs. Not to shame them.

And the pain of the lost potential of the past is a reminder always for the need of empathy. For never being able to understand the situation of another in its' entirety. Never having the audacity to say to another person to, "Get over it." To never think that. To never say to another, "You shouldn't let that bother you." To never assume to have all of the answers to another's questions. No never. The pain behind eyes forged in the complexity of the broken home is a mystery to those aliens eating three square meals a day. Foreign to those, even my littles, who say, 'Good-night Mom and Dad," every night. Never, no never, assume quaint platitudes will ease the pain of the untreated mental illness. Ask the children of those ill. They suffer for the ignorance. Never assume as a sitter-in-central-air-conditioned-home to have the answer to rampant poverty evident in overgrown lawns and broken down cars in lawns and second hand ill-fitting clothes. I don't know. I could never know. I will never assume that my ignorance of the struggle of the lesser is great enough. I can't know. The weight behind the eyes of the child awed by the luxury of buying name brand food. That's untouchable by my privilege. So the pain of my past, may it never cloud my ability to empathise. I can not know. I can not ever assume to know the situation of the other. Of the struggling. Of the less than. Of those who could now benefit from my charity. No above average test score or extravagant gift will heal the pain of the little one lost in their broken home. No legislation will solve the injustice of little being in need of home.

And my past is a foundation for the now comfortable present. And my past is a scar fire branded into my flesh. And my past and my pain are untouchable by your words. But I will not have that past mire littles' present. That their hearts will never bear the weight of mine. But where does said perfect love deity fit into these seared scars? For all of the pain that He endured it seems illogical to assume that my pasts' present pain is above His understanding. Yet so I feel. I push away His comfort in the guise of being too hurt to heal. Give these pains to Him, He asks. And so I attempt to do. To give to Him all the remnants of the hurt, but as I attempt to do this, the pain surges up to the surface again, and I have to halt the surrender. Can it hurt too much to have it heal? Can said clouded deity bring awkward hypersensitive then-little into the healing comfort of His said perfect love's heart? Questionable, says the learned cynic. I doubt it. Said master engineer of all things natural and physical. Master builder. Master Maker. Master creative heart behind the colors in the feathers of the birds of paradise. You, You say, to come to You all who labor and are heavy laden and You will give rest for our souls. You say You hear me. You say You are near me. I look into the eyes of my miracles of littles and I think I touch a tiny piece of what it must be to be Father Creator You, only slightly. But this small taste of the pride You must feel at the sight of Your miraculous creation is fleeting and I wonder if, at all, it is possible for You to ever wonder at me. That the tiny mind, broken in youth, mastering skill after skill of said assessment test of youth, that that is a miracle and a marvel You made that You have the right to be proud of. That you are proud of what You made when You made me. Them, my littles, it's true, I can not question the miracle of them, but me? Mighty Deity, how could broken and pained me be the apple of Your eye? Could You possibly sit above me and receive joy at my keen observation? At my ability to turn things, thoughts, observations over and over in my mind until at last maybe a glimmer of greater understanding of the whole is eeked out? Is that something You love?

It is easy to accept these four for being fearfully and wonderfully made. But me? No, I'm just little. I'm just alien tardy after the school bell.

And I never feel that the time for complete comprehension occurs ever. I never find that I have had time to think everything that I wish to think out to it's completion. Never enough because it's never compete. And does it matter that those journal pages are full? And does it matter that my littles are free to discover and be safe? And does it matter that righteous me has...

Aug 19, 2014

I want to get away

That I'd be able to see that there is no somewhere where this will be easier. That an answer isn't going to be found somewhere out there. Somewhere where things are quiet. At a retreat. A getaway. A hiding place. But here with me. There is peace here with me. Here with me now is grace to be kind. Grace to be quiet. Grace to be. There's no where to go to where this peace will surpass understanding. Just the  now. Just the here. Just the me and the You and all the in between happening driving up to madness. That the escape and hiding place rests now. Here. Within the loudness of toddler needy babble. Within the bickering of stir crazy too close siblings. Within the now where later is too late. Where here and now all things are chaos and noise and mess. Where the schedule is a restricting mental body bind and all things are sketchy and fuzzy and jumbled. And maybe if I close my eyes long enough and think that all the quiet and peace is at hand, set strongly within me, that the ability to be quiet, to be a comfort and not another stressor, and to be still and desire nothing but to be in the here and the now where there is need and comfort that abounds and abounds all the greater with my very desperate need, then that in the here and the now all that is grace and peace would fill in the frustration of my lack.

Aug 15, 2014

What I'm reading changes me sometimes

"...that a budget is a moral document, and when you look at a church budget, you know what that church is about and what it values. In most cases, you will find that church budgets show that churches are self-centered. The reality is, many churches spend little on anybody or anything outside the church. If you look over almost any church budget, you will probably find that the church is paying its bills and taking care of its own needs. It has been said that the church should be the only club in the world that should exist for the benefit of its nonmembers. Few church budgets give evidence of that...Across the board, more than 90 percent of the church offerings we give on Sunday mornings stay inside the building (some denominations have as little as 2 percent going toward external, missional needs.) This is the antithesis of what the early church was doing. In the book of Acts, it says that the offerings were put at the feet of the apostles and were distributed to folks as there was need (4:35.)"  --Shane Claiborne//Tony Campolo, Red Letter Revolution

"We can sum up very quickly what people need to teach their own children. First of all, they have to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness, and passion. They have to enjoy all their talk and questions, and enjoy equally trying to answer those questions. They have to think of their children as friends, indeed very close friends, have to feel happier when they are near and miss them when they are away. They have to trust them as people, respect their fragile dignity, treat them with courtesy, take them seriously. They have to feel in their own hearts some of their children's wonder, curiosity, and excitement about the world. And they have to have enough confidence in themselves, skepticism about experts, and willingness to be different from most people, to take on the responsibility for their children's learning. But that is about all that parents need. Perhaps only a minority of parents have these qualities. Certainly some have more than others. Many will gain more as they know their children better; most of the people who have been teaching their children at home say that it has made them like them more, not less. In any case, these are not qualities that can be taught or learned in a school, or measured with a test, or certified with a piece of paper." --John Holt, Teach Your Own: the John Holt book of home schooling

"We Cannot Remove Pain-the Felt Reality of Evil-from This World
    I want to state an important truth from within the Christian worldview at this point. By removing pain from the human experience, Sam Harris is, in effect, trying to remove the felt reality of evil. There is one fundamental difference between God allowing a death to take place and me taking another life: God has the power to restore life, I don't. The story of evil is one part of a greater narrative. To ignore the greater narrative is to continue to raise particulars without accepting the general. In fact, there is no option left but to say there is no such thing as evil and there should be no such thing as pain....If it is possible in our finite world with our limited knowledge to be able to appreciate just one benefit of pain, is it not possible that God has designed this awareness within us to remind us of what is good for us and what is destructive? As horrendous as the illustrations may sometimes be, can we not see the moral framework that detects atrocities and resists tragedies? Could there be a greater, deeper answer than simply saying there is no God?....Wickedness is always excused as anything but the moral degeneracy that has resulted from each one of us becoming the god of God."  Ravi Zacharias, The End of Reason: A response to the new atheists 

Jul 22, 2014

Why have coffee past seven? Because it makes you crazy.

Because if I said all the things that there seem to be going on in my heart at any given time, I'd always be in tears. Because I think and think and think on my thoughts and why I think certain things and how and why certain things effect me and I think until my mind is racing. But sometimes it stops. Sometimes there are brief moments of clarity and I think that there is a purpose to all of the thinking.
Something about loving everyone.
Something about being open to everyone.
Something about being honest about my faults.
Something about being gracious with myself and my apparent special needs.
Something about not being quiet about the unique way I work.
About not being ashamed.
Something about that light flickering inside me.
Something about the big thing that is happening from the outside of the now institutionalized church.
Something about taking away its' glory.
Something about the hostility it breeds when it fails to meet the physical needs of the needy.
The emotional needs of the cast outs.
Something about the fault of ignoring the arts.
Something about love.
Something about honesty.
Something about the travesty that is being a beacon of light and a pillar of righteousness when one is a leader in the church.
Something about being above the falling.
Something about ignoring the frailty of the faulty human chosen to have His loved poured out in a clay vessel.
Something about failing to be quiet to listen.
To Him.
To others.
Something about respect.
Something about the failure of stewardship over this place we live.
Something about quiet.
Something about being broken for others.
Something about me not being able to be broken for others.
Something about being light.
Something about regaining the freedom once again that He gave so lavishly through the cross.
Something about something bigger than the smallness of one persons' vision.
Something about being so very human.
Something about respecting the writings of other very human humans.
Something about finding myself.
And finding that I am small.
Finding that I am silly.
So so silly.
Some thinking on the things men and women in power ignorantly spoke to quench who my small little me was.
Some thinking on the poison I spewed on others when I refused to think for myself.
Thinking on the irony of education and my lack.
Thinking on quiet.
The failed art of conversation.
The failed beauty of sitting alone.
Of listening for still small voice.
Of the travesty of strain man's vision can place on sacrament of marriage.
On the bullheaded foolishness loneliness sins to.
On how I have limits in my humanity.
On how the past is alive all at once with the present all too often in my reminiscences.
On how a perfect life, perfect marriage, perfect wisdom don't exist.
They are lies.
On contentment without bitterness.
And the peace through patience.
Something about being honest creating a usable clay vessel.
Vessel to be filled to be used, cracked, and broken and usedcrackedandbroken.
Broken often.
Often to be sorry and to wrought change.
Honesty the conduit to change.
Changing struggles to honesty to freedom from poison laced truth.
That I'd not be a poison.
That I'd not be a wall.
That I'd not be a soldier, but a listener and lover.
A talker only respectfully, but on the page as free bold vagabond.
On page fighting past fear.
On page free to free boisterous and please-be-quiet-you-talk-too-much carefree silly child again free again thinking in quiet me.
If only in incomplete fleeting doughy in the middle not finished hot dishes of fragments of thoughts.