Just a few examples. And yes, I've had or am preparing to have every one of these conversations. Some of them again. The cursing in front of the kids thing? Yeah, that's tomorrow at 3:00 pm.It's going to be terrible. Prayers appreciated ;o)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
This is only Tuesday, but I have already asked myself, "Are you kidding!?!?" so many times. But instead of actually verbalizing this thought, I have to make the most ridiculously obvious statements, such as these: - "Well, I'm sure your attic is very nice, but it's still not appropriate to lock your child in it. " - "I understand that this line of work can be overwhelming at times, but saying "$!#? this!" is not a positive way to role model stress management for our clients, and I'm going to have to ask you to never do that again." - "You know, I think you have a lot of self-control. I don't think the devil is in control of you right now, and your medical records don't show any sign of something latched onto your brain like you described to me . Maybe you should lay down."
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today we watched Horton Hears a Who. My favorite part of the movie is when the Mayor of the Who's convinces his people to believe that Horton, a giant elephant holding their whole world on a clover with his trunk, is real. The mayor simply states to Horton, "We're all here, Horton, and we all believe in you!" Now bare with me here, because this is a stretch, but Horton made me think a lot of Jesus. He was willing to sacrifice everything to save a world of people who doubted his very existence. Horton didn't change his mind about risking his life to save the Who's after they rejected him, he continued pressing on. Now, Horton was obviously not the son of God, and he was not crucified, but there are some similarities here. Right? And somehow this silly movie broke my heart, to think that even as Christ was nailed to the cross, he didn't get a "We are all here, Jesus, and we all believe in you!" And I can't describe how much, or why, but I want Him to have that moment so badly. I want to be one of the microscopic Who's in the background, screaming praises to the savior who has come to save our tiny little speck, saying , "We are all here, Jesus, and we all believe in you!"
-It's 3:30am. I'm exhausted but can't seem to sleep. -I have a strange feeling I can't describe. It's similar to anxiousness, but somehow very different. -I also have a weird feeling in my nose. It's almost like that tingling feeling you get right before a nosebleed. Perhaps its just my spider senses tingling ;o) -I have a song stuck in my head that I wrote a couple weeks ago. It doesn't feel finished, which makes me crazy. I feel like God wants me to share it when its done, so maybe that's why I'm obsessing so much about it. -In my sickness and boredom I started reading Twilight, much to Kimberly's delight. So far I'm a big fan. -I want spinach ravioli. Mmm . . . -My head hurts, but I think its from not eating much. -Supernatural is an addictive series. We blazed through season one, finishing it up today then started season two, four episodes deep! -I wonder where some people get their sense of entitlement from and am amazed at just how inconsiderate some people can be. I've come to expect it from certain people and yet it still hurts when I see them use others as a door mat. -Now after reading Twilight, the book of Luke, and blogging randomness, I'm going to give falling asleep and third shot!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Today I had a little pity party for myself. I am still having some stomach sickness, and although I'm not making quite as many trips to the bathroom, some new symptoms have popped up including another stinking sore throat and a headache. Kimberly did a little research and thinks that my "flu bug" might actually be more related to my ulcers and acid reflux, symptoms of which could have flared up after eating some bad food the other day. And by bad, I mean really good. I began feeling sorry for myself. When will I feel better? Is this how sick I'll get every time I self-indulge? Then I started thinking about having to go back to work tomorrow, still not feeling great. Do I have to? Yes, I have no choice in that matter. And I really can't stand my job right now anyway. Also, I began examining a particular relationship I have with someone who I love dearly, but am so frustrated with right now. Sometimes I feel used and manipulated by this person, and I began wondering about how significant I really am to them. Which led me to wonder my significance overall. Yeah, I know. Wah! I told you it was a pity party. But it was short lived. And now I just feel ashamed for forgetting how blessed I am. For my health. For having a job. For my friends and family who I know care. One positive thing about pity parties is that they always seem to end with rejoice. Weird.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
So yeah, I still feel terrible. I think I might have the stomach flu. I have a song stuck in my head that I use to sing to my cousin Collins when I was his caregiver. It's called the "I Feel Like Pooh Song." I would sing it to him in this crazy voice when he was sick, and it always made him laugh despite how miserable he was. Because of his health problems, he was sick a lot, so it felt great to get a laugh out of him. The crazy voice and tune of the song would always stay the same, but the words would change according to his symptoms. Today, we would have sang something a little like this:
This is the I feel like pooh song Because my stomach hurts and I want to puke too And thats why I hate feeling like pooh!
It might not be the most beautiful song I've written, but it always made Collins crack up ;o)
Friday, December 26, 2008
Its getting late enough to be early, and I just threw up a little. Just enough to make me wish I could throw up more. I was so excited because we bought cocoa today. But instead of enjoying cocoa, I'm drinking Alka-Seltzer. Lame! I'm hoping that either the Alka-Seltzer kicks in, or I throw up 'for real.' There is definitely something in my stomach that needs to be calmed!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Ephesians 1:3-10 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Christmas has been interesting this year. Working with sexually maladaptive kids has all sorts of obstacles, but one of the hardest ones is to schedule visits. Some cannot be trusted in the community while others can. Some have family and some don't. Some are allowed to leave campus but not go home. Some have victims in their family we must keep them from. The list goes on and on, but we finally got the visit stuff squared away. Today I had a Christmas party with the kids before all their visits started. It was an interesting way to celebrate the holiday, but it was a lot of fun. The kids got onto the topic of how some families decorate using images of a black Santa, while others use images of a white Santa based on their own family's ethnicity. One of the kids got really upset and stated that 'Santa was white' defensively. His peers told him to calm down, saying that Santa wasn't even real, to which he started crying. I was shocked to learn that this teen who molested his sister and watched pornography on a regular basis was still naive enough to belief in Santa. We had lots of snack foods for the kids and played some games for bags of candy. Then the kids opened their gifts. Each resident gets $50 worth of presents. Some of them didn't seem to care much while others were very appreciative. One kid in particular became so excited when he saw he had seven boxes to unwrap that he had to leave the room to calm himself down. He continued to thank God and cry as he opened his gifts. He specifically asked for Cool-Aid Jammers, so we bought him five cases of them, a sweatshirt, and a remote control car that transforms into a dinosaur. It wasn't much, but he was very grateful. Another resident wanted a cross necklace, but didn't think he would get one for under $50. He was so surprise to unwrap one! My staff got lucky and found a really nice cross that was really on sale, having enough money left over to buy him a hoodie. It was such a blessing to see these kids so happy.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
So, I've already blogged once today, right? In fact, it is a very nice post about how wonderful my day was. There is even a slide show! But I just had an experience I have to blog about. Our apartment is cold. I mean down right frigid. My toes burn! You get the picture. I went to the balcony to make sure the door was tightly secured, as we have an extension cord going through it to the outdoors for some Christmas lights. Well, I opened the door and gave it a swift swing shut and saw a small flash of light near the bottom of the door. I looked to see what was going on and realized that I had busted open the extension cord and flames were literally shooting out the tiny lesion that was formed. I wasn't sure what to do, so I tried to blow out the flames. Momentarily they wavered, but returned angry. I was afraid to touch the cord to unplug it because I thought it may electrocute me. Then I realized it was the cord to the lights that was burning, not the extension cord, so I unplugged the extension cord the lights were receiving electricity from. At this point I blew the flames out again, and without the continuous flow of electricity, the fire stayed out that time ;o) Whew! What a way to get your heart rate up in the middle of the night! Thank God the apartment didn't catch on fire!
Like nearly every Sunday, today was a wonderful day. It began the best way any day could, with an awesome service at FFC. Pastor Kris did an absolutely great job of creating the perfect atmosphere to feel the presence of God today. He had us all crying! Worship was awesome, too. James put together the perfect song set and really utilized the church's resources to manage the environment very well. Our cousin Alyssa joined us today. After church, we all grabbed a bite to eat at El Carreton, which is always so tasty! After eating, we went to Orschelan's to purchase a Christmas gift. Kimberly and Alyssa fell in love with some of the free puppies there. Then we headed over to Wal-Mart to do a little more shopping. If you didn't know it was Christmas, you'd sure figure it out at Wal-Mart! There is wrapping paper, ribbons, gift bags, decorations; everything Christmas every direction you turn! After shopping we headed back to the church for youth group. I spent most of the time there working on a project that I think is finally done. I'm very excited about it, but that's a whole other post ;o) Today was Captain Crunch night for the youth group meal, and Mmm it was good! One of the funnest things about volunteering for the youth is getting to spend time with lots of great people. Alyssa rode back to Muncie with us and we played one of out favorite games; Call and Click. -V- is fairly familiar with this game ;o) When you stop at a red light or a stop sign, someone calls out something goofy that everyone has to do, then someone clicks a picture really quick. Some of my favorite call-outs tonight were; pick your nose, look angry, stick out your tongue, and look like a chipmunk! Oh yeah, and it was blistering cold outside today!!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Last Tuesday at work a friend told me that God was going to make me miserable until I gave Him everything He wanted from me. My friend was right. I rejoice in the Lord and am grateful for all the blessings He has chosen to give me, but I feel a dull pain in my soul. You see, later on Tuesday evening after the conversation I had with my friend, I was wondering more about what God was wanting from me and thinking to myself, "If I could just have some sort of confirmation." Then God spoke to me so clearly, "If you want confirmation, I will give it to you." I shut down. I shut him out. I was scared. A beautiful gift denied. Here I was, God himself offering me guidance, and I forced myself to draw away from Him. I have treated my Heavenly Father like the wind, attempting to keep Him at bay and moderate Him for my comfort by opening and closing a window. I feel . . . well, miserable. Just as my friend said I would. But I find comfort knowing that my disobedience will not forever divide me from my savior.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Oh, the holidays! It can be so stressful. I have been working on arranging visits for all my thirteens clients. Many of them come from broken homes and some have contact with both parents, needing more than one visit scheduled, so right now I'm looking at arranging around sixteen visits. All but about five of these visitations will need means of transportation provided in order for them to happen. Lots of safety plans have to be set in place, which means lots of meetings where I have to tell parents how to . . . parent. For example, "Mr. and Mrs. Lame Parent, its important that you not allow your child to look at pornography while on visitation." DUH! But you wouldn't believe how many looks of surprise we get when we tell parents those types of things! So anyway, I've got my hands full right now, and I have people all around me freaking out about all the little issues that pop up when dealing with this stuff. But the thing is, I'm the one taking care of it, not them, and I'm two steps ahead of the game, but it's hard to focus when I have a mob of people spazzing out around me. So just chill, I have this under control . . . I think.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
We humbly welcome thee to our abode, but beware, we reside in none other than the Dragon Territory. Within the lower caverns two dragons have lair. One, called the Doubly Dimwitted Dragon, bestows ghastly flashes of jagged teeth protruding from not one, but two ferocious heads. Do not be overly wary, for this dragon doth not have the sense between its two heads to be dangerous. The Great Dragon, the largest of all the known creatures, also slumbers restlessly in these lower quarters. Step lively and be certain not to wake her, lest ye wish to be her next meal. Slipping carefully through these caverns, make your way up the mountainside, but be warned to shield your ears from the cry of the Shrieking Dragon. It's banshee call will disorient you and soon have you tumble to your peril if you do not heed this vice. One last beast stands between ye and thine destination. The scent of the Fire-breathing Dragon's smoke alone is enough to make a man gasp for air hopelessly. Tis best to hold thy breath wilst creeping past her cave. Good and brave traveler, thy hast not journeyed in vain! Warm greetings! Welcome to apartment 16G!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Ever see this scene in the Wizard of Oz? Dorothy struggles to reach the Emerald City, then to fetch the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West, all in attempts to go home. Then, after all that hard work, Glinda the Good Witch says, "All you need to do is click your heels together three times . . ." Now, the next time you watch this part of the movie, watch Dorothy's face carefully. For a second she looks like she's about to give Glinda the beat down for not explaining in the very beginning that she was standing on all she needed to get where she wanted to go. I've been thinking about this a lot today, oddly enough, and wondering why the heck I'm dodging all these dang flying monkeys and catching backtalk from disgruntled fruit trees. Just maybe I, like Dorothy, already have everything I need to get where I'm supposed to be. Click . . . click . . . click . . .
Monday, December 15, 2008
- I'm sick. My face hurts. My ears hurt. My throat hurts. I am producing so much snot I wish it was worth something so I could sell it and live off the profit for a few months. But thank God for antibiotics! I am starting mine at 8:30pm tonight. - It needs to snow! I mean, really, if it's going to feel like a Winter Wonderland, then it should look like one too! - I am feeling really pumped about our Jamaica missions trip in January. We were so blessed over the weekend by donations. All were equally appreciated, but some just blew me away! I actually choked up about two of them. I am blessed with amazing people in my life! Really. - I am also feeling anxious about our Jamaica missions trip. I stand in amazement at the generosity we have been shown, but we are still struggling to generate the funds. I know we will continue to receive donations over the next week or so and continue building our own resources, but the deadline is this Wednesday, so I'm unsure of what we'll do between then and when we get all the money in. - Today was wonderful at the doctor's office. I only waited two minutes! - I want to take a day or two off from work to get well . . . but can't ;o( - Last night I couldn't sleep again. I dosed off around 3:00am, then I received a work call at 6:30am and couldn't fall back to sleep afterwards. I'm talking to a doctor about this the first week of January. Guess it's caffeine 'til then. -And then I am reminded:
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
I rejoice in my health and my medical care, in being able to go on a missions trip and in having the 'rich person problem' of wondering how its all going to get paid for. I rejoice that I am blessed with a job with income and that I have a bed to lay in at night and a roof over my head. I rejoice for the way God has provided for me and taught me through all these things and through the amazing people He has put in my life. I rejoice in the Lord and the gift He has given me. -So then I rejoice in this reminder I received about rejoicing ;o)
Saturday, December 13, 2008
This has been a wonderful week for me! I feel like I've had a lot of opportunities to really be the person God has wired me to be. And guess what . . . I've been sleeping, too! Almost each night, as soon as my head hits the pillow, I am overwhelmed with things I want to do, non-stop thoughts, and creative ideas. But not this week! And I think its because I've actually been doing and not just imagining. I have been creating a nativity stable at the church to kind of disguise the big screen thats center stage, which I'll blog a bit more about tomorrow. It has involved some envisioning, some carving, molding, painting . . . all sorts of great things! Also this week, I've written some songs and then had the chance to sit down with Nate C. and work on them yesterday, which was a blast . I've also been dabbling with a symbol for the youth group. So much creativity, and yes, finally sleep! Woohoo!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Today I took a working day at home to get caught up on my staff's evaluations and to go over the results of two of my clients' polygraph tests. I have been very productive and am amazed at how easier it is to get work done outside of that environment. I only have two more evaluations to complete, then I will be finished with my work for the day!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
So, they other day I was working on a creative project using oasis foam. I have been carving it, and it becomes very messy. Green dust just flies everywhere. Well, after all the foam was finished being carved, I needed to paint it, but it was covered in a thick blanket of the green dust. I gave it a quick blow to clean it off, and guess what . . . I inhaled some of it. So now I have some of this crap lodged somewhere in my right sinus. It burns. Badly. I have sneezed so much today and the right side of my face hurts. I can't blow my nose enough, as my body is producing seemingly endless amount of mucus trying to flush my sinuses out. I considered using saline solution to try to clean out my sinuses, but I kind of have this issue where water in my nose bothers me. Go figure. Drowning and what not. So I guess my face is just going to hurt for a couple more days . . .
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So, today I arrived at work and immediately just wanted it all to stop. I have adapted an unpleasant response to just being there, usually feeling anxious. I thought to myself, "I have a lot going on right now. Maybe I could take a half day." I discussed this over with my supervisor who simply told me to use my discretion and that she trusted me. So I left a little after noon to run some errands. A few hours later, I realized I had a text message from my BOSS's BOSS asking me if I was going to be at a group recognition party I was suppose to be attending. I had completely forgotten about it, and by the time I got the message it was too late to go. Not good. So now I'm praying I don't get into too much trouble. This just got me thinking, I'm going through a weird phase right now. As I am discovering more about what God wants to do with my life, it is harder for me to do what I am currently doing. I don't think I'm quite where He wants me right now, but I know that in order to glorify Him I need to put forth my best effort no matter what I'm doing. But I don't wanna! So here I am, stuck between wanting to be a complete slacker and wanting to give my very best. It's like one of those dumb moments where you sit at a stop sign and wait for it to change green. You know you've done it at least once! Just like a stop sign, my life isn't going to suddenly turn to something different on it's own. I've got to push on the gas and go, and stop waiting for things to change that never will.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Man, this picture is a blast from the past! The goofy looking toe-head is me, and the kid with spiky mullet is my big brother. We were rocking out the leisure suits in '88. It seems weird to say this picture is twenty years old, but it is.I am asking everyone out there in BlogLand to please pray for my brother. No, unfortunately the problem isn't that he is still suffering from this tragic hair. It's something far more serious.
He has battled substance abuse off and on for many years now. Based on a conversation I had with my father today and a gut feeling that I've had for a while now, I think my brother has reached a dangerous point in this struggle.Please pray that He is consumed by God and that he surrenders every aspect of himself to Christ so that he finds freedom from the bondage of addiction. Pray that he role model for his son that any obstacle can be overcome with the grace of our heavenly father.
Also, I'd appreciate prayer for my parents. This has been a roller-coaster for them for around fifteen years now. Please ask the Lord to grant them peace of heart. They have been wonderful parents to both of us.Lastly, please keep my nephew in your prayers. My brother's struggles have taken a toll on all of us, but mostly his son. He is a great kid and it would be awesome for him to see his father's transformation through the power of Christ.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Here is the first step to something I'm writing:You are firelight in dark You are burning in my heart You are the air that I breathe You are everything You are Hope and grace Such Mercy for me You are Power Strength and Glory You are love You are love, Jesus You are love You are blood inside my veins You are the one who bled to save You are the melody I sing You are everything You are How and Why You are Creation Truth and Life The one Salvation You are love You are love, Jesus You are love You are firelight in dark You are burning in my heart You are blood inside my veins You are the one who bled to save You are everything You are everything You are Hope and grace Such Mercy for me You are Power Strength and Glory How and Why You are Creation Truth and Life The one Salvation You are love You are love, Jesus You are love You are love You are love, Jesus You are love You are blood inside my veins You are the one who bled to save
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Today was very uplifting. I had the privilige of praising our Lord on the worship team today, something that seems to dramatically effect me for the rest of the week. During rehearsal, things just didn't really seem to fall into place right, but this morning God's presence was with us and it all came together. I also got to have a great conversation with Marggy about her exciting calling to be a missionary. PK then preached straight to my heart. Seeing so many abused children who later become abusers themselves, I often feel weight-down by the unfairness of it all. But, as Kris discussed this morning, I should be so thankful for the unfairness that a person like me, so unworthy, can find salvation through Jesus Christ. Kimberly and I grabbed a bite to eat, then we headed back to the church so I could have somewhere to work on a project that I'm really excited about. Then it was time for Youth Group, which is always awesome. Pink gave the leaders a sneak peek of the new youth room, and it is looking fantastic! When we got home I came across a couple very nice emails I received today that really blessed me. To top it all off, we went to do a load of laundry at the laundry mat and just happened to run into someone who used to be a resident in the treatment facility I work at. She was a very difficult and unstable client to work with, so I was excited to see that she was functioning at a high-enough level to be implementing independent living skills like doing her own laundry. We interacted some, which was awkward, but I was amazed at the progress she has made in her social skills. While sitting at the laundry mat waiting for the dryer to complete, I jotted down bits of a song that have been bumbling through my head the past few days. It almost immediately felt like something I am suppose to share, so I'm excited about it. It's all about how awesome God is. Maybe I'll post what I've got so far sometime soon. Well, that's about it for today. It's only 12:18am and I'm feeling pretty tired, so I'm looking to a good nights' rest. Mmm sleep! Holler!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
So tonight's inability to sleep has led me on a search for the perfect picture of a human heart. I've been dabbling with a project, creating a symbol with significance. The image has been conceptualized, now its just a matter of making it happen. Part of the image involves a heart, but not just any heart. I can close my eyes and clearly see what I wanted, but was having a hard time putting it on paper. Finally, I've found some illustrations to help guide me. I discovered that some people collect antique medical anatomy illustrations, and some are even nice enough to post images of these illustrations online. What an awesome thing to collect! Coming across these images will really help me get back on the ball for this project, hopefully finishing it very soon. Hooray for eccentric collectors!
God has placed it in my heart to write songs that ease believers' discomfort with questions and struggles they have in their walk with Him, helping them articulate thoughts and feelings they might be having a difficult time expressing or processing. Creating this medium for people to bring these things to God in is my passion, no matter how small the audience. I remember the first time I had ever heard the song, "Speak to Me" by Audio Adrenaline. At that moment in time, these words from someone else seemed to be coming from my very heart. It helped me piece together and verbalize my feelings to God, and as in any other relationship, things dramatically changed after my communication with Him became more precise. This is how God wants to use me to help others. But He has invited me to do something a little different for the time being. Between some personal study, Sunday mornings at FFC, and growth group discussions, I have been inspired to just focus on who God is for a bit and what it means to be eternal creatures and how this reflects His glory. Writing about these types of things has a completely different feel to it. God is just too . . . awesome to comprehend, so I'm finding it impossible to complicate, which hardly makes sense at all. But like I said, it's something a little different.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
What is it about nighttime that jump-starts my brain? Whatever it is, I'd really like to bottle it to use during the day! I joke now, but when my alarm clock goes off, there will be no laughter. I used to take some pretty hardcore medicine to knock me out at night, and I don't want to go down that route again. I'd hate to completely lose this time for uninterrupted creativity. After all, this is about the only time the work calls stop. However, speaking of work, I do have this little job thing that requires me to wake up around 8:00am each day, so it might be a good thing to fall asleep before 4:00am. Any other night owls out there? What can you suggest?
Today's BibleGateway verse was John 6:35, which led me to skim through the whole book, coming across John 1:5-6:
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Now in my random mind, I started to imagine the tornado and weather advisory alarm tests on the television. You know, the ones that say "this is just a test . . . " Unfortunately, its not quite so simple when Jesus tests us. There is no long annoying tone and reassuring voice in the background telling us, "Chill out, dumby! This is just a test!" For me, I imagine the tests are more like creeping doubts and insecurities. For a very long time now, I've had a pretty specific vision of how God has wanted to use me, and I get pretty pumped up about it. But then a doubt or two will creep into my mind, and the next thing I know, I'm wondering if its what He's ever really wanted for me at all. So right now I'm wondering, "Is this just a test?" Are these doubtful thoughts and insecurities just opportunities that God is providing me to proclaim my faith in Him? If so, man! I've been failing that test!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
So, just like . . . maybe five or six hours ago I posted this song. But what else am I suppose to do at 4:51am? Well, I should be sleeping, but I can't seem to, so I've been working on a couple different things. Partly this song some more. Still same song. Next step. Again ;o) More minor messing around with some lyrics here and there. Shortening the alternative chorus a bit. I shared earlier, so what the heck! Why not again!? As I said in my last post, while I work on this song Ephesians 4:22-24 just keeps running through my mind:
Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires (the 'mud'), to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self (His 'clothes'), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.It really is different. Promise! A whole half of a minute shorter too ;o) Just remember: voice + 4:00 am = not so fantastic high note somewhere towards the end. Enjoy, and let me know what you think! Lyrics below.
your clothes V1// i've walked away/ from those awful things/ i've closed the door/ on all that before/ i've poured the shame/ and poison down the drain/ i have repented / how many times will i hurt you //CHORUS// father i just want to make you proud/ every time i stand i fall down / these are your clothes / no one would know/ i have covered them in mud/ holy father wrap me in your arms/ tell me how to be more like you are/ these are your clothes / no one would know/ lord please wash away the mud //V2// lord i have turned/ to you, i have learned/ what is right/ guided by your light/ i've found my way/ lord if i stray/ i will repent/ how many times will i hurt you //CHORUS// Bridge // you've called me to / be more like you / lord help me be / what you want from me/ i just want to please you/ i just want to please you/ i just want to please you lord //CHORUS B //these are your clothes/ no one would know / lord wash away the mud / these are your clothes / i want the world to know/ your mercy and your love //father i just want to make you proud /every time i stand i fall down / these are your clothes/ these are your clothes / lord please wash away the mud
Monday, December 1, 2008
Same song. Next step. I've been messing around with some minor lyric changes here and there, adding a bridge, and creating an alternative chorus. I was running through the changes this evening and thought I'd share. When I'm working on this song I keep thinking of Ephesians 4:22-24:
Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires (the 'mud'), to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self (His 'clothes'), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.Check it out and let me know what you think! Just remember, I never claimed to be a musician, Todd ;o) Lyrics down below as usual!
your clothes V1// i've walked away/ from those awful things/ i've closed the door/ on all that before/ i've poured the shame/ and poison down the drain/ i have repented / how many times will i hurt you //CHORUS// father i just want to make you proud/ every time i stand i fall down / these are your clothes / no one would know/ i have covered them in mud/ holy father wrap me in your arms/ tell me how to be more like you are/ these are your clothes / no one would know/ lord please wash away the mud //V2// lord i have turned/ to you, i have learned/ what is right/ guided by your light/ i've found my way/ lord if i stray/ i will repent/ how many times will i hurt you //CHORUS// Bridge // you've called me to / be more like you / lord help me be / what you want from me/ i just want to please you/ i just want to please you/ i just want to please you lord //CHORUS B //these are your clothes/ no one would know / lord wash away the mud / these are your clothes / i want the world to know/ your mercy and your love //father i just want to make you proud/ every time i stand i fall down / these are your clothes / no one would know/ i have covered them in mud //CHORUS B // these are your clothes/ these are your clothes / lord please wash away the mud
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
- I studied Vaccai's Method of Contemporary Italian Opera for three years.
- I played Woodstock in the Charlie Brown Musical, and Gad in Joseph and Technicolor Dream Coat.
- My new favorite color is a nice bright blue. Usually I'm a lime green fan. Not the crayon color lime green, but the actual color of limes (completely different!).
- I enjoy wearing my great big lion's feet house slippers when its cold.
- I love music, but seldom listen to it. Usually when I'm alone in the car, the radio is turned off so I can sing to myself and practice whatever new song I'm writing. Or I'll just drive in silence. Or think out loud.
- Banana runts are the best runts of all.
- My hair has been nearly every color imaginable except for green. Hm . . .
- I am credentialed as a juvenile sex offender professional through the state of Indiana after thirty-six hours of training and a six month supervision.
- I love to read, but have a very hard time finding a book I can really get into.
- I have probably written at least two-hundred songs within the past ten years. Maybe ten of them are what I'd consider good.
- I am addicted to Burt's Bees chap stick.
- I love food way more than what I should.
- I have a persistent pain in my right side that I have affectionately named Bob.
- I really enjoy being alone.
- Superheros fascinate me!
- I would much rather watch cartoons than anything else, except for Heroes.
- Sometimes I like to sleep in socks.
- I hate making the bed.
- Nerds are my favorite candy. I also love chocolate oranges.
- I fell in love with my wife when I was fifteen.
- My favorite article of clothing is zip-up hoodies.
I'm sure I have another hundred weird quarks, but for now, these will do ;o)
Friday, November 28, 2008
Today I carefully added all the blogs I follow using the blog list widget to the actual "Follow" function on the blogger dashboard. It took way to long! I quickly realized this was a waste of time. I enjoy keeping updated on everyone's blogs, but I would much rather visit blogs directly than simply reading posts through Google Reader or on my dashboard. You see, I feel like I'm actually stepping into someone else's turf when I visit their blog.What does their template look like? What font do they type in? What widgets do they use? Are they playing music?
It's what a person writes about in combination with all these other factors that allows me to feel like I am getting to know them. Like following them versus knowing them. If only I realized this about myself before I spent forty-five minutes copying and pasting thirty-seven blog addresses ;o)
Today my dad called me to let me know my cousin, Collins, passed away. I think he was fifteen years old. Collins was born with cerebral palsy. He was believed to have had a stroke when he was around two or three, worsening his condition. His communicative abilities where extremely limited and he was considered a spastic quadriplegic, having very little control over his body movement. He was unable to manipulate his muscles to the point he couldn't eat and was tube fed since he was about two years old. When Collins was about three, I started taking care of him off and on through the summers. When I turned eighteen I became employed through JRDS and became his caregiver. I worked with him in that capacity for about four years, then felt it was time for me to move on. After no longer being his caregiver, it was difficult to maintain contact with him due to the awkwardness that developed between myself and his parents because of my departure. Years have passed with only a couple of scattered visits here and there. My mom has kept me updated on his status, and I learned he was having some new health complications. His lungs were not functioning properly and his bones were fragile and breaking. After a long stint in the hospital, he returned home the other day and I strongly felt I should visit him and give his parents support, but I found every excuse not to; Thanksgiving was coming up, I've been sick, I'm lazy. And now he's gone. I am so happy that this young soul, once unable to speak, is now singing praises to God. He is no longer bound to the confines of his bed, but is dancing for His glory. There is joy in my heart for him. There is some sadness, some unanswered questions, and some regret. But mostly joy.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
As January quickly approaches, I become more and more excited about our upcoming missions' trip to Jamaica. This past summer, God decided He wanted to use my unskilled hands in New Orleans and I haven't been able to stop thanking Him for that experience since. From the day I returned home from the trip, I've been anticipating another missions' trip, and its finally about to happen. Over the past couple months, God has really been working in my heart, molding me and guiding me. He has spoke to me, in his quiet yet resounding voice, telling me"Sing." I am trying hard to be obedient, to follow where He leads my heart, and as I do so, I'm beginning to understand more about what He wants from me. The revelations I experienced in New Orleans were tremendous and impossible to explain. I can only imagine the volumes He will speak to my heart in Jamaica. I am so blessed to not only be attending this trip, but to be going alongside my wife. I already feel that God's presence will be so strong on this trip, that we will grow so much closer to Him and to one another as well. I am asking for your prayers, as we begin to prepare our hearts for this experience. We want to learn more about God's will while in Jamaica, getting to know Him more intimately while demonstrating His love to others. Kimberly and I have continued to place our faith in God as we have taken on the financial commitment of this trip. Although we have been saving funds, it will be an impossible task of paying for it without the blessings of God. Along with your prayers, financial support is needed. If you are interested in providing us with financial support, you may mail checks to:
CSI Ministries 1714 W Royale Drive Muncie, IN 47304
Please include our names, Nathan and/or Kimberly Harris, on your check. Donations are tax refundable. All funds must be in by 12/15/08. Any support is greatly appreciated and we truly thank you for your consideration and prayers.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I've been trying to learn more about the birth of Christ the past few nights. Its very easy to find embellished nativity scenes, completed with fake snow on top, but its not so easy to find an accurate view of what things really looked like. I've been reading and looking at images trying to find answers, and happened to come across advertisements for a musical called Liverpool Nativity. Its a modern day story of the Virgin birth, and it really triggered me to wonder what if Mary and Joseph really were an interracial couple traveling in present day, looking for acceptance, or an asylum as in the musical. What if our Christ was born under a bus stop shelter, or in a cardboard box to a homeless woman? What would the nativity scenes look like then, 2,000 years afterwards? Would they be accurate portrayals? And how would this affect believers? Would it be harder to believe in a virgin birth happening in today's world? Would this world accept a 'new' savior? I can't image this world without Him . . . What do you think?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Ephesians 4:22-24 Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Last night, you see, I could not sleep. Too many thoughts in one big heap. A jumbled song. An endless care. Nerves and worry, what a pair! A story to tell but no one's awake, All coiled inside like a big snake. Fragments of days forgotten about. A whisper of joy, almost a shout. I counted backwards. I counted sheep. I counted the hours I could not sleep. I read and I wrote. I tossed and I turned. But still could not have the sleep that I yearned. As the night past, I nearly wept, Feeling such envy as my wife slept. Then sometime past four, I drifted away, The answer to hours of prayers that I prayed. ZZZ
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Church was great! Pink led a wonderful worship service that I had looked forward to participating in since Thursday night practice, but alas, my cold would not allow it. They sounded great! PK delivered an awesome message that was so uplifting and spoke directly to the heart of the congregation. As I sat there in church today, I watched all the pastors and volunteers of our church; Pink leading with the band and singers making beautiful music, PK preaching, Margie praising, Jeff and Debbie at the alters, Brian and the AV crew doing everything they do, the greeters, Tammy at the coffee shop with her helpers, and Tonya with her volunteers teaching the children. I just felt so grateful to be there at that very moment, to be somehow a part of something so amazing. Just watching it function. Flow. Serve one purpose. After church we had a very enjoyable lunch with Kimberly's mother, then headed to Youth group for the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drop. Another incredible 'just-watch-it-happen' kind of thing. Absolutely wonderful. Not only will eight families-in-need have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, but ALL THOSE KIDS that participated in the activity are beginning to learn so early in life what it means to be the HANDS of GOD!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Kimberly and I fall into the same category as so many other American families: BUSY. It just seems like there is always something to do. And the truth is, I like our lifestyle. I love being around great people. And I like to always be doing something. The problem is, its starting to take it's toll on me. Yesterday, the doctor told me he thinks I have perforated ulcers in my stomach, meaning the ulcer(s) have most likely already ate away a hole in the lining of my stomach. He attributed most of this to lifestyle. A busy life usually means a poor diet and a high level of stress, which is mostly true for me personally. He also blamed lifestyle for this dumb cold I've had that's been lingering for weeks, saying my immune system can't catch up. He asked me a few questions and determined that I needed a career change. He went on to tell me it sounds like I enjoy my life outside of work but need to make a few changes to get plenty of rest because even positive stress can be difficult on the body. The fact is, he's right. I've been considering a career change for a while now and need to manage stress better. But making these types of big changes just seems . . . hard. Changes are on the way, but its a process. So for the time being, I am just thanking God for all my blessings, asking Him for strength, and have taken this whole day, and hopefully more to come, just to rest. And I kinda like it ;o)
So, on Tuesday at lunch, one of the greeters asked me if I used to go to a church in Fishers. I reminded her that the last time I ate at this establishment a few months previous, she asked me the same question. "Sorry lady, I'm not your long-lost friend or his twin brother." Then yesterday I went to a doctor I've never seen before. As soon as he entered the room he began insisting he knew me. I explained that this is the first time we've met, then he jokingly suggested that I have a twin that he knows. He continued to say he knows me and teased me, saying that maybe I seem to be familiar to him because he's 'watched my latest movie.' After my appointment, I returned to work to help host a Thanksgiving dinner for our kids and their families. I was the water and coffee server. Towards the end of the dinner a teenage girl came up to me to tell me I looked like a country singer. As I was leaving the event several minutes later, a few kids stopped me to let me know they thought I was 'Hanna Montanna's dad' when they first saw me. I get this stuff a lot. Someone is always telling me I am someone I am not. Occasionally it is annoying, sometimes it's awkward, but usually it's just funny. Every now and then it's a tad bit insulting. "Please don't tell me I look like them!" but again, it's usually just funny. But what's funny is, how many different people can one person look 'just' like?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
. . . but not in the direction they are suppose to be. It seems like I have a thousand things I should be doing at work right now, but all I can think about is this HERE.
What it means. How to make it mean more. Matching emotion with meaning. Maximizing the emotion.It's a message weighing heavy in my heart. Something I feel I am suppose to perfect to the best of my ability. But then what? God just seems to be whispering to me, "It's not done."
So many thoughts! Oh, the blessing that is my lunch hour. I would go crazy without it!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today I fell victim to the rumor mill. I just got back to work from a very nice lunch, when a staff told me that we needed to talk. I looked at him and said, "Uh Oh!" He told me that there was a concern I needed to be aware of, but that it also involved a compliment. He shut my office door then proceeded to tell me that he heard from a reliable source that another position on campus is being eliminated, leaving a veteran supervisor without a job. He said he heard from this 'reliable source' that the solution to this problem was to fire me, so the other supervisor could take my spot. He said the word is that I'm getting fired for 'not writing people up enough.' He said he liked having me as his supervisor so he wanted to warn me immediately. Of course, I did not believe anything he was saying, but to squash the rumor right away, I called my supervisor who assured me I was a great manager and that there was no better fit for my program. Rumor squashed.
Hooray, it was snowing! I was overjoyed, While stepping on campus, where I am employed. Warm in my coat, I zipped up with one yank, While someone was yelling, “Help! I’ve been shanked!” I breathed in the chill, I lavished the peace, Then nearly I slipped, in frozen feces. The snowflakes where growing, ‘til big as popcorn, When a child was caught, trying to smuggle in porn. Then I reached the cottage and what do I see? Juvenile sex offenders looking at me. Now, remember the chill. It made my throat sore. When I went to greet them, it came out a roar. Frozen they stood, so silent in fear. Shanks, feces, and porn. Hooray! Winter cheer.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I am feeling really great right now! I've been spending the past couple hours working on a song I've blogged about a couple times previously. It's got a long ways to go, but here's what I've got so far. Let me know what you think!
V1// i've walked away/ from those awful things/ i've closed the door/ on all that before/ i've poured the shame/ and poison down the drain/ i have repented / how many times will i hurt you lord //CHORUS// father i just want to make you proud/ every time i stand i fall down / these are your clothes / no one would know/ i have covered them in mud/ holy father wrap me in your arms/ tell me how to be more like you are/ these are your clothes / no one would know/ i have covered them in mud //V2// lord i have turned/ to you, i have learned/ what is right/ guided by your light/ i've found my way/ lord if i stray/ i will repent/ how many times will i hurt you //CHORUS// these are your clothes/ no one would know / lord wash away the mud / these are your clothes / i want the world to know/ your mercy and your love/ these are your clothes/ these are you clothes
Sunday, November 16, 2008
If you've spoke to me within the past week or so, or if you've just looked at me, chances are I complicated it in my mind way too much. You see, for whatever reason, I have been Mr. Sensitive lately. Wound too tight. I have left nearly every conversation I've had feeling like I've done or said something wrong, that the person I have spoken with doesn't like me, or that they are upset with me. Today it finally occurred to me that I was in fact being attacked, but not by the people I would assume. Instead, I am attacking myself, sabotaging nearly every interaction I've had and each relationship. I hate that, because it just isn't unpleasant for me, but for everyone around me. Hardly anyone has been able to say anything without me taking offense, which isn't fair. So, here I am. Trying to chill out a bit. Remembering it's not about me. Mr. Sensitive.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Today I spent my work day in Wayne County, assisting the family of the child I wrote about yesterday prepare for his return home. We spent a while creating a safety plan and just discussing potential risk factors they will have to address. I was disturbed to learn that not only was this teen being released to go home with his victim, but to live right next door to a preschool, no less. The therapist I work with and I just made the most of the day we could, doing our very best to protect the family and community from our client, and to force ourselves and each other to relax throughout the process. We even went out to a late lunch afterwards and managed to laugh some. Then after work, Kimberly and I headed out to the Canady's house for a very nice dinner and some time just hanging out. They are such kind people and it is rejuvenating to be around them. All the tension from my day quickly melted away. Now, all I can think about is just how thankful I am its Friday! To me, Friday means:
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The first half of my day was bad. Very bad. I can't begin to fathom how or why some things happen in life, but I guess its not for me to understand right now. Today I watched a 16 year old boy be released from my program to go home. Not good. He molested his 4 year old brother on 200 to 300 different accounts, and now he's being sent back home to him. As we left him, the teen begged me not to let this happen. "Please Mr. Nathan! Don't let them send me home! I'm not ready! It's going to happen again! I can't stop it!" He made these same pleas to the judge, but it didn't matter. The county is done paying for him to be in placement. I told the lost youngster that the only way he could avoid hurting his brother again is to completely consume himself with Christ. We had a brief conversation that I hope he took seriously. Then . . . it got better. Way better. Tonight we went with the Vickery's to see David Crowder's Band. God's presence was very strong, and I left feeling very motivated and inspired. One of my favorite songs he sang was "Can You Feel it?". Its a simple song, but is much like an anthem for me on days like today. He sings, "Life makes it so hard sometimes to know what's real." Uhh, so true. I'm so glad I had this timely reminder of what's real!!!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a child of God. I have been looking back to a song I started to write not too long ago that says "These are Your clothes. No one would know, because I've covered them in mud." Almost everyone has, at some point as a child, attempted to wear their parents' clothes. Maybe it was a grandparent, or an older sibling. Whoever it was, most of us have wanted to be like someone we look up to so much that we've slipped on their shoes, or we've pulled on their work uniform. But somehow this usually ends up the same. Maybe its because the boots were 8 sizes too big, or maybe its because the shirt was long enough to trip over. Either way, we end up falling, not quite ready to live up to our role model. Like a child, I want to be so much more like Christ, and so I imitate him. In a sense, I am wearing His clothes. But just like the small child who cannot walk in his father's coat without tripping over it, I always end up failing, too covered in sin and worldliness afterwards for anyone to recognize that I am indeed trying to be more like my heavenly Father. As I continue to think about this whole concept of being a 'child of God' I am reminded of another piece I started to write but never finished a while back. It was called Like a Child. I took everyday things that children do and reformed them to be something I want to do as a child of God. For example:
I will play in Your light like rain. I will dance while I sing Your praise. I will jump when You call my name. I will grow more like You everyday. Like a child.
So now my mind is racing to blend these two songs together somehow. I've got an idea or two, but it might take some time. Unfortunately I get very impatient with things like this, coincidently, much like a child. All while trying to wrap my mind around this concept, that God has called us to be His children and what that exactly means for our lives.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Since I've been done with school, I've been able to start messing around with my keyboard again. I haven't really written much of anything new on it as of yet, but I've been strolling down memory lane, listening to the music I've recorded on it of songs I've written in the past. Most of the songs are from a sad and frustrating time in our life, directly following the loss of someone we love very much to murder. We were already facing some other unfavorable obstacles at the time, so the sudden death was overwhelming for us. Songwriting was such an effective coping skill for me during that time, as I wrote several songs about the untimely loss of our dear friend. Today I was playing the music to one of those songs on the keyboard and singing along. I decided to record it on my laptop to share with everyone out there in Blog Land. The lyrics are very simple, but honest. The music and melody of the lyrics were designed to provoke emotion. The sound quality is very poor, since it's only recorded using the internal mic on my computer, but I'll post the lyrics below so you can make them out. Hope you enjoy!
Marva Rhea V1: marva rhea/ what a wild name/ but those who loved her knew it fit her fine/ marva rhea/ should be here today/ but she's not and we don't know why/ REPEAT V1// V2: marva rhea/ she had baby/ when she held him she shined like the sun/ marva rhea should be here today/ its almost like her life had just begun/ REPEAT V2// she was beautiful/ she was amazing/ she was marvelous/ marva rhea/ what a wild name/ but those who loved her knew it fit her fine//V2// marva rhea/ what a wild name/ marva rhea/marva rhea
Monday, November 10, 2008
This was such a wonderful weekend. On Friday, after work, Kimberly and I just relaxed in our apartment. I later decided to move the furniture around in our living room, which is oddly satisfying for me, then went to bed.When I woke, I just laid around for a while and created a new template for my blog, which again is very satisfying. When I got up, I played Thundercat DVDs while I cleaned the house, which was demolished after the busy week we have had and after moving the furniture.
Later that day we went to the Black's house for a game night. It's always great to go to the Black's. A few other cool people from our growth group came and we munched on yummy snacks and played Whatniff. It was a lot of fun!Sunday I went to church early for worship practice, which is always such a fulfilling experience. Debbie did wonderfully, giving us a great message.
Then I was off to the SCRIP table where someone came and introduced himself to me and told me a song I sang a while back is still ministering to his heart and wanted to know if he could find a recording of it anywhere. I was really touched by the man's kind words and knowing that God had used me to do something in this man's life.
Then it was back to Muncie to have lunch with the Lott's, which was a blast! They are such fun people to be around. After lunch, Kimberly and I headed to the Canady's house so Kimberly could cut Isaiah's hair.Then it was time for Youth Group. Bryan Vickery did a great job delivering the message and it was a lot of fun to eat candy and hang out with the kids. Then we went home and relaxed, preparing ourselves for Monday.
Friday, November 7, 2008
- a high level of creativity permeating every aspect of what I do
- glorifying and serving God in a manner that is direct and genuine
- guiding people through experiencing God's presence in a way that feels authentic to them for wherever they are in their walk with Christ
- working alongside high-spirited, good-hearted people
- helping people who have been broken
- a sense of purpose
- challenges and accomplishments
- being part of a lasting change
- being a leader in an environment where I can truly, whole-heartedly believe in and live for everything I am leading others towards
Just a bit different than my current position ;o) Just some thoughts, though. A few things here and there. You know, I wouldn't want to be picky or anything ;o)