Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's Official!

All reports are in, and the findings are unanimous. This was, in fact, a fantastic weekend!!!
Family, friends, food, video games and God !!!

What makes a weekend fantastic for you?

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I have to admit, I was feeling pretty proud of myself! I dedicated hours to analyzing fifty-five incident reports for one of my residents to collect data to present to his case worker. You might be thinking, "So what?" but, keep in mind the population I serve. When I refer to incidents, I really mean incidents. So this is not fun reading, folks. So, fifty-five incidents all within forty-seven weeks. Twenty-five of these incidents involved sexual misbehaviors. Yep. And this kid is twelve. Like I said, not fun reading. Twenty-six of these incidents involved aggressive or threatening behaviors. You get the picture. The list goes on and on. The numbers are astounding. This child literally does nothing but instigate and sexually act out. Sounds like I'm being pretty cold hearted, huh? But it's true! And I'm beginning to understand why. This poor child has been in over ten foster homes and facilities in his twelve years of life. He has endured abuse and neglect. He has never felt unconditional love. His own mother did not want him. And now he's left so isolated, feeling unattached. What easier ways are there to have intense interactions with people besides ticking them off and being sexual with them? And as he does these things, he is rejected. Isolated even more. So he ups the antics. Even more aggressive. Even more sexual. He is now to the point of threatening to kill others and propositioning people, both at least once per day. Connection. That's all he wants and this is the only way he knows how to get it. The only possible real connection he could really have right now is with God. There truly is no one else in his life except people paid to speak to him. And so I've been thinking about this a lot. A twelve year old boy, already deemed a predator, possibly even facing the registry. What possible connection with God could he already have? How could a connection be established when this child seems to have no sense of any entity outside of himself and his pain? What will God do with this child's life, after already committing such terrible deeds? Is it in God's plan that this child would do such awful, harmful things? The questions just go on . . . I started out feeling proud, but now I just feel . . . blah. But somehow in my questions, in all these thoughts and blahness (it's a word!), I feel the most connected that I've felt in a while. Weird. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Picture's From Home

Premonition of Peace

I love being creative, the problem is, I sometimes lack in ability.

Yesterday, for some reason, all day I had a strong urge to sketch a bird.

I haven't really drawn in years, so I tried to cast the thought aside, but it kept returning.

Finally, I decided to entertain the thought for awhile. Eventually, the image became quite vivid, and I had a clear picture of a bright green bird in my mind.

Later that evening, I settled down with a pad, pencil, and some oil pastels. I began with the bird, and for the most part, was pleased with the results. But something was missing.

An apple.

For no rhyme or reason, I knew that an apple was the missing part of the picture. And so, I added the apple. No background. Nothing else. Just a bright green bird and an apple.

And it was done.

It was evident my skills were quite rusty, but somehow I felt satisfied with my creation. But I couldn't help but wonder . . . Why a bird and apple?

So I did what any modern day man in a quandary would do. I Googled it. And found:

Many dream experts agree that birds symbolize premonition and future.

In some cultures, the apple represents peace.

Hmm . . . .

Tonight in small group we discussed there are no coincidences in life, only miracles.

I can't help but feel that maybe being inspired to make this picture was God's way of "commenting" about the feelings I recently expressed in a post called "Surrender" on March 17, 2008 . . .

Or maybe it's just coincidence . . .

I'd like to think not.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

My Random Happy Easter Thoughts:
Today was a beautiful day!
It was warm and sunny!
Celebrating something
The resurrection of Christ!
beautiful people!
I love my family!
fantastic message!
Something I needed to hear!
At a
fantastic church!
Fantastic food!
Mmm, deep fried turkey!
wonderful reflections!
Jesus went through all that for us!?!? WOW!!!
wonderful nap!
wonderful evening home alone with my wife!
Nothing is quite like spending quality time with Kimberly!
What a beautiful, fantastic, wonderful day!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Much like this poor cat, I have a twitch. It developed recently and tends to reside in my left eye, also much like this cat.

It started on Friday, maybe even Thursday. It plagues me every where I go, but most especially work.

Like today, for example. Being the ever-so-caring person that I am, I sometimes find myself leaving my desk and going out to the floor to . . . offer guidance to an adolescent who has . . . somehow indicated they need it.

They often find the most creative ways to communicate this need. Very original.

Anyway, each time I did this today, maybe three times (I was extra caring today), my eye would twitch like CRAZY!!!

It's an incredibly annoying sensation, and it makes me feel quite foolish, but I look pretty crazy when I do it. So maybe I am . . . extra persuasive in my guidance with what I now refer to as my crazy eye.

I mean, look at this cat. I get the feeling it might bite any second now . . .

Don't worry. I've had all my shots!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Many birds surrender to captivity. They welcome the provisions of their keeper and grow to feel a certain security in their confinement.

Occasionally, however, a bird might reject captivity. This is the bird that relentlessly flaps it’s wings, pacing it’s cage and squawking loudly.

It's important to me to be authentic. Genuine.

I am this bird.

I act as though I have no sense to what hardships I might face without my Keeper. As though I have no appreciation for the unearned provisions.

And what happens to captive animals when they reject their new environment? Usually, they simply die.

The truth, it’s not captivity I am unable to surrender to. It’s God. He provides me with everything I need. But I am still having a difficult time just letting go.

And I don’t know why. I’ve surrendered before. What's so different now? I’m not really facing confinement. No cage. Just freedom. True, soaring freedom, as I only feel when I am completely surrendered to God.

God is my keeper, but He doesn’t want to put me in a cage. I’m doing a fine job of that myself. He wants to see me fly, as He created me to do. He wants to provide for me all my needs.

He is a loving Keeper.

So why can’t I just surrender as I have before?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Some Kinda Chick!

It's all so consuming. Completely draining. There are people who face these things in this field far more than myself. How do they do it?

I know how I do it.
She is so supportive. I couldn't do it without her!

Days like today, for example. The world was far too serious, too dark.

She made me have fun. She forced my mind out of the shadows. I had absolutely no choice.

You see, today we went on a date to pet chicks. Baby ducks were an added bonus.

It was Kimberly's first time ever seeing, much less holding, chicks or baby ducks in person.

She fell in love with them all immediately. Especially the ducks. She actually cuddled them!

Seeing the woman I love overwhelmed with such innocent, childlike wonderment just made everything else seem to . . . fade away.

For twenty minutes, nothing in this world existed but her, myself, and a bunch of chicks and few baby ducks. How amazing!!!

I am so blessed to have Kimberly in my life!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pop Music

Pop music.

It's like poop.

Everyone does it.

Nobody talks about it.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I am a fly.

Well, not really, but today I played the part.

I flew right into a sneaky, sticky, sickening, spiderweb.

Completely foiled.

It was a trap and I totally flew right into it.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Words of Wisdom

"Life is short . . . Seize the day, 'cause tomorrow you might die."


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1, Episode 1

"I laugh in the face of danger, then I hide until it goes away."


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1,
Episode 3

*Today I took a trip down memory lane, all the way back to 6th grade. With no cable, we frequently watch TV series on DVD, usually ALF. Today we mixed things up a little and watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the first four episodes of the first season.

I am also excited to report I have not left home once, ALL DAY, with the exception of going outside a little, but that doesn't count. This is the first day I've stayed home since we've lived in this apartment, besides one day that I was super sick, which was NO fun and again, doesn't count!

Thank God for lazy days!!! and DVD series!

Snow Day!

For some reason, I completely LOVE snow and ice. Looking out the window and seeing snow piled up a good foot or two, it just makes the world seem cozy to me.

And to this day, I still get an overwhelming urge to run outside and play in it. Feeling the snow crunch under my feet. The way it feels when the wind blows snow flakes into my face. Knocking down icicles and hearing the satisfying "
tink" they make when hitting the ground.

Of course, there's always that moment of sadness. Seeing how the once
pristine blanket of snow is now marred with my footprints. The crystalline icicles now shattered on the ground.

But, then the feeling of coming back inside afterwards! Changing into warm and dry clothes to lounge in, maybe drinking some hot chocolate. Feeling completely content to just be home.

My mission in life today might be to take a walk out in the snow later. . . Then spend the rest of the evening doing . . . nothing ;o)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Reflections, Perceptions, and More

Today in training I learned about different self-images, world perceptions, and the ramifications of different combinations of these things.

I imagine someone looking into a mirror, evaluating what they see, then turning to the window to view the world and all the people in it.

How do these two images interact with one another and influence who we are?

As I've been recently reflecting on my own spiritual identity, I can't help but wonder how these perceptions correlate to a person's relationship with Christ.

Keep in mind that the generalizations about images and their implications of a person are completely based on research, not my opinion. However, the correlations made between these images and a person's relationship with Christ are completely my own uneducated speculation. For some people, a relationship with God can be very private and might not be reflected in the images and perceptions they share.

Some people look into the mirror and see someone they do NOT like, but when they look out of the window, they enjoy the view. Research shows that these people tend to be depressed and peer dependent, not quite feeling adequate on their own.
In relation to God? I believe these people see His glory in all creation but themselves.

Some people look into the mirror and see someone they DO like. A LOT. But when they look out of the window, the view seems sparse compared to what they see in the mirror. Research shows that these people tend to be narcissistic and value nothing or no one more than themselves.
In relation to God? There is none. These people are their own god.

Some people look into the mirror and see someone they like at times, and despise at others. When they look out of the window, they face they same battle they face in the mirror. Research shows that these people tend to be unstable. Emotional messes.
In relation to God? Warfare. I believe these people are in a love/hate battle with God, just as they are with everything else in life. The question is, which battle began first?

Some people look into the mirror and see someone they do NOT like, and when they look out of the window, the view is just as unpleasing as the one the mirror offers. Research shows that these people tend to be depressed and reject themselves and others. Endless unhappiness.
In relation to God? Cold.Hardened hearts refusing to soften to His touch, so removed from their savior they feel no hope. I ask, do they harden their hearts to God because they see no hope in life, or do the feel no hope in life because they've hardened their hearts to God?

Some people look into the mirror and see someone they DO like, and when they look out of the window, they enjoy the view as well. Research shows that these people tend to be well adjusted and likely to succeed.
In relation to God? I believe these people are the people who reflect His image. They see the world as His creation and exude Christ's compassion everywhere they go. And thank God for these people! These are the people that touch the lives of others, showing them there is beauty in the world, even inside themselves.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Picture Time!

I love taking pictures!!! Somehow, they have a way of revealing beauty in the ordinary. This is something I've been trying to focus on recently. The marvel of God's creation is all around. Sometimes, I just need to look through the right lens to see it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Don't Worry, I Didn't Forget About You . . .

I also REALLY miss my wife!!! I love you Kimmy!!!


I am currently in Indy for a three day conference held by the Indiana's Association for Juvenile Sex Offenders Program. I was dreading this experience, but now I find it quite refreshing!
*I am surrounded by twenty-seven other people who's life is just as much of a circus as mine!
It's actually quite funny to see the mad dash out to the hallway each break. You see, this is where the cell phone reception is the best.
*Tigers. Jumping through hoops.
All the program managers, clinicians, and case workers check their voice mails every opportunity they have in order to keep up with who is trying to touch who back at work. style="text-align: right; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;*Monkeys. Routine tricks. My message arrived promptly at 6:30pm.
*Peanuts? Popcorn? Anyone?
I knew this day would come. It was inevitable. The day when I receive a phone call to be informed that someone . . . has done more than touching.
*Clowns. Beeping noses.
I just never expected that I'd be an hour and a half away with no plan to return to work for five days!!!
*Tight rope walking. No net.
I am ever-so-calmly attempting to follow-up this incident from a distance. Keep in mind, I'm new at this and this is the first . . . "more than just touching" incident I've ever had to address. So . . . yeah . . .
*Freak show.
However, I am very fortunate to have staff back at work who are willing to really help me out and keep me updated. THANKS!
*Circus band. Strike a cord.
I guess this is also the best place to for me to have to deal with this, seeing how I am surrounded by other professionals with LOTS more experience than me.
*Ring leader. Cracks whip.
Guess what our breakfast conversation is going to be! THANK YOU GOD FOR YOUR PERFECT SENSE OF TIMING!!! *Crowd. Oo's and Ah's.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Road Trip and the Ultimate Destination

Ever aimlessly wander, and find yourself at a destination you never expected? A destination that nonetheless seems to be an inevitably important part of your journey? And what is a good journey without your favorite person by your side? A few laughs? A great song or two? Something a little deeper? And the people? Not the people you’d expect to be a part of your journey. Everyone else. The people that make the random gas stations memorable. The people that make want to forget certain stops along the way. The potholes, the detours, the breath-taking sceneries. The accidents you pass along the road. It’s all so tragic, beautiful. Seemingly endless. One destination onto the next, some standing out from the others. All important, being a part of one continuous journey, leading to one ultimate destination. This is no road trip. This is life. Mine at least. And I’m only beginning to fathom the importance of the smaller stops along the way, and how they all interact to determine the ultimate destination. I was reminded this weekend that the length of my journey is unknown, the proximity of my ultimate destination is uncertain. Because of this, I must be more mindful of my journey and the direction I am heading in, appreciating the scenery, learning what I can from it, and sharing what I've learned with my fellow travelers, as they hopefully share with me. There is no map for this journey, but there is a guide. GOD. I have not done well to follow God's lead and have had to travel through unnecessary obstacles. Above all, I must seek His guidance. When I have been been faithful to God's lead, I have been amazed at where He has taken me. I can't image how marvelous the ultimate destination is that he has in store, if I can only steer down the road He has directed me.