Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hush: Goodbye to Blogging . . . For a While

I feel like things are going to be changing in my life soon. And it's scary. It's exciting to think God might be using me to do something new, but for some reason I am fearful. I'm barely comfortable where I'm at now in life . My comfort zone has been extended over the past several weeks and I'm just now becoming accustomed to it, but it's not quite what God would like for it to be just yet.

I'm not sure what He wants me to do, where to go, or how to get there. But it's not this.

No more processing. It's time for prayer. It's time for me to stop asking, to stop speaking, and just listen. Hush.

Today at Youth Group, Pink talked about prayer and discussed how the number 40 is significant in the bible. He inspired me to really focus on praying and listening to God over the next 40 days.

So along with some other things, I'm am going to stop blogging for the next 40 days. Oddly enough, this feels like a big sacrifice for me. Blogging has been a wonderful experience for me. It has allowed me to be creative, to express, and to process. But now it's time for me to stop and allow God to create in me, to express to me what He wants from me, and to allow myself to be guided through a process. I am planning to spend the average hour a day I spend on blogging with God instead. Praying. Worshiping. Listening.

I will still occasionally check my e-mail, so feel free to send me a message ( or to comment on this post or previous ones, as all comments are automatically e-mailed to me.

The final thought I would like to share is this song I wrote today on our way home from Youth Group.



a thousand questions
and new ones everyday
until it's chaos
a train wreck in my brain
so destructive
half the things I say
too distracted
in my thoughts to pray

only when I've tried everything else
I remember to remind myself


hush, be still
listen for God's will
hush, silence
wait for His presence
and He will speak


a thousand choices
foolishly I've made
stop the chaos
silently I'll wait
no more destruction
can't do things my way
look through distractions
for what God will say

I've not tried until I have held my tongue
for so long I've spoke, now the time has come


hush, be still
listen for God's will
hush, silence
wait for His presence
and He will speak

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Playing Around With My Look

I am playing around with my blog's appearance. I changed it twice today. I might need a hobby.

I'm What's Wrong With the World!

The last couple days, I've felt very moved by what the bible says about loving one another and being humble. However, I don't think it's a coincidence that while God has been laying His truth in my heart, it's been extremely difficult for me live it out.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
I've had a very difficult time having a loving heart recently. Something inside me wants to be angry. I actually left work for a while today just so I wouldn't act hateful towards a co-worker. There are legitimate frustrations I feel with this person, but they do not warrant this kind of anger. Today my prayer isn't that I stop feeling this anger. My prayer is that I would truly want the anger to stop.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Humble, Love

Matthew 18:2-4 He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 1 John 4:7-12 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. Phillipians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

My Turn!!!

It's now my turn to wretch around in misery ;o) Around 4:00am this morning, I woke up with a terrible stomach ache! I called-in from work for the day. Besides this crazy pain in my stomach, I really don't have any other symptoms, I just want to try and get as much rest as possible so I will be better as soon as possible. I've had jobs in the past where I could just make myself go in, no matter how I felt. I mean, if you feel sick, you're going to feel sick anywhere you're at, right? Sure, there's that whole 'spreading the germs' thing, I guess. But I just can't seem to function at my current position when I'm not feeling well. Besides, no one likes a grumpy cottage manager, so it's almost like providing a social service for my kids and staff ;o) Kimberly also called-in to work. Here we are, at 3:00pm, still in bed. As nice as it is to be home together, being sick just isn't a couple's activity. Especially with only one bathroom in the home. Some things, like being sick, are just best to do alone ;0)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Growth Group and Regurgitation (Don't Worry, There is NO Connection)

Last night I began to look through my bible . . . no, scratch that . . . I've been using Bible Gateway, which is awesome, to find some verses appropriate for a lesson I'm planning for our growth group this weekend. I found enough to get started, and I began to put it all together today when I got home from work. I'm a little nervous, but so excited to share with my group what God has been doing in my life. I've been working for about 3 and a half hours now without even realizing how much time has gone by!
So as I'm totally in my own little world with God, Kimberly has been throwing up violently all evening.
Don't worry, I've taken breaks to take care of her, but she's pretty miserable, so keep her in your prayers ! By the way, isn't this picture great!?!? I mean, I'm sure Kimberly would disagree at this very moment, but I'm not the one puking, so I'm thinking it's hilarious! And you wouldn't believe it!!! She's in the bathroom getting sick again, as I type! Poor thing!


So, I'm a complete procrastinator. Especially if I have to do something that doesn't interest me. For example, a long, LONG time ago, I signed up for a couple independent courses, one of which is my LAST requirement to complete my bachelor's degree, the other was just for the heck of it. Well, things began to get a little crazy in life, and school was no longer a priority. By the time things settled down, it was too late to complete the courses by the deadline. I was pretty embarrassed, as I had TEN MONTHS to complete ten assignments and two exams for each class. Not too challenging. But I didn't. So here I am. I took the courses again, and again WAITED. I signed up for them in January and am just now getting started. It's GO TIME. I HAVE to get this crap done. I'm not looking forward to it because I HATE statistics, but I'd like to be able to go to grad school at some point. It's not only hard to do because of the subject, but I lack motivation because I've already got a job that's paying me as though I DO have my degree. Don't get me wrong, I make next to nothing, but based on my current level of education and experience, my employers did give me a graduate's salary, which is slightly more than a non-graduate ;o) And I'm already in the field I want to be in. Plus, time management is not so easy right now, what with having thirteen kids and all ;o) So keep me in your prayers. I've only got until around October, so it's definitley got to be a God thing!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Today's Plan

  • Play video games with cool people.
  • Take my dad out to celebrate his belated birthday.
  • Do laundry. Lots of it.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Catching Up

Today I played catch up. But not in the “Oh, good! I got so much done today!” kind of way. It’s more of a “Oh, all this sad stuff really caught up with me today! And man, it really sucks!” kind of way. This really doesn’t happen to me too often, but when it does, it hits me hard. I’ll catch up, then be okay for a few more weeks. I guess it’s not just sad stuff though, the happy stuff makes me really emotional during these “catch up” times too. For example, I’m currently working with one kid who has had the most awful life. I mean, just really terrible. He’s been in placement for the past four years and finally, yesterday, we met with a foster family who is considering taking him in. They really were a wonderful family, practically tailored just for this kid. They even led a Christian youth group. I was just so overwhelmed by the whole situation, thinking about how terrible this kid’s whole life has been and all the abuse he has endured, mixed with thoughts and hopes that it all might be over soon and a new chapter in his life, a happier one, could be beginning very soon. Sometimes catching up means coming to terms with situations that don’t have such an obvious silver lining. Today when I got to work, I was informed of something very, very terrible that one of my clients has done in the past, but has never admitted to doing. It was one of the kids I have really placed a lot of hope into, thinking his level of risk to re-offend was very small, and that he has taken responsibility for all his actions. But this new information changes everything. I have made it a point all day to avoid this kid. He is eighteen now, but was sixteen when he committed this particular offense, old enough to know better, old enough to understand exactly what he was doing and what kind of torture he put another human being through. I am disgusted and have a strong urge to hit this kid, which I’m totally not going to do, but in my defense, he is technically an adult now. (For those of you who don’t know me personally, I would NEVER hit a client. EVER. Even though it’s tempting at times ;o) These are just a couple examples of what’s going through my mind today. So here I am. Catching up. Thinking about children living through the worst imaginable circumstances, thankfully surviving them, sometimes re-enacting them, then hopefully recovering from them. Looking for the child in the mess. Looking for who they REALLY are outside of the mess. Looking for myself in the mess. Looking for God in the mess. Catching my breath. Catching up. Thank God it’s Friday!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

2:05am Songwriting and TMI

So, at this very minute, it's 2:35am. I woke up about a half hour ago with a terrible pain in my stomach. Yep, you probably guessed it. I have a case of late-night-diarrhea, henceforth the "TMI." So as I'm sitting here in misery (yes, thank you, I am quite a big baby) I began to think about the light of God and how He can guide us through the darkest shadows. Not exactly what I'm in the mood to think about at this moment, and no, I'm not considering my current state as a "dark shadow." ;o) I'm really not sure what brought on this thought. I just started singing "Take this burden, Lord. Take it from me. Take this pain. I am too weak. Take my sin. Take it away. Take temptation. I need Your strength . . ." Somehow this led into a version of "This Little Light of Mine." I'm not sure how I got there, but it happened and it flowed pretty nicely. Then again, 2:00am 'flowing nicely' really may not be all that nice ;o) Perhaps I'll feel differently when I'm more awake! So I guess this will be my little creative project over the next few days, cultivating these personal thoughts and ideas and somehow meshing them with something old and classic. It just ceases to amaze me how and when God chooses to provide me with inspiration. He's been reminding me a lot lately that I'm on His schedule, not vice versa. I'm just hoping His schedule for me would include sleep at some point tonight ;o)

Can a Keyboard Shock Me ??? Really???

So, the letter T is missing from my ibook. The past couple days, the tip of my finger has a slight tingling feeling after pressing the spot where the button used to be. You see, if you push it just right, you can make it work. If I am writing something lengthy, and am using the T a lot, (or lack of T, I should say) my finger actually kinda burns a little. Is my keyboard shocking me? Will I end up waking up on the floor disoriented, smelling like charcoaled flesh, with some crazy-white-person fro ???
Really . . . Will I ???

Looking in the Bible For . . .

I am currently looking for some verses from the bible about the importance of people connecting, helping one another, and gathering in His name. Maybe something that describes how and why this pleases Him. I'm also looking for something about sacrifice and risk-taking for God. If you have something like this that you'd like to share with me, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

What's Up With Randolph County ???

The facility I work for currently has 135 residents in it, maxing out at 165. 12 of those residents are from Randolph County. Doesn't sound like a big deal? Well, get this: this facility is also currently working with 38 different counties. 38!!! If these numbers were distributed evenly, that would be a little more than 3 kids per county. But no! It's just a couple here, a couple there, then BAM! 12 from good 'ol Randolph. Out of all the counties we have children from, Randolph County has the second highest number!!! Madison County is at number 1 with 14 residents under our care. So, what's up with Randolph County? They even have their own facility which usually keeps a consistent head-count of 13. So really, we're looking at 25 juvenile delinquents produced by Randolph County. And that's only counting ones under treatment as opposed to more punitive placements such as detention alternatives. As of 2007, Randolph had 25, 859 people in it. So based on population, Randolph County is relatively small-to-medium sized. So, what's up with Randolph County ???

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Here It Is . . .

Check out my new template. It's not at all what I'm wanting, but it was easy enough to figure out, so this is what I went with. It will hopefully be changing again soon. I really want to have three columns, but can't seem to make it happen. But alas, the metamorphosis has begun!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I want to change my blog template, but . . . I don't know . . .

Break Me

On E

I ran out of gas today. I had been running on E for a while. Luckily, I was close to work. Not close enough to walk though. I tried calling other managers for help, but no one was in their office yet. I finally got a hold of one manager. He's an alright guy, but he's the kind of person you don't want to ask for help from. He sent his intern to give me a ride to a gas station. I bought a 1 gallon gas tank and filled it up. The intern brought me back to my car and left promptly. I poured the gas into my tank, then realized my keys were still in the intern's car. I didn't have her cell phone number to call her, so I had to call her manger, the one you don't want to ask for help from, and he called her for me and had her come back to give me my keys. When I finally got in my car and started it, I was still on E, but I had enough to drive to the gas station and put a little more in. When I got to work, I was given some pretty off-the-wall news. I needed to respond to it, but wasn't sure how. It's really weird, but it seemed to take a lot out of me to deal with the situation. I guess I've been feeling a little like I'm running on E myself lately.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'm Not God

Recently, a person I know has made some bad choices. Choices that we're all capable of making. So I starting thinking, what leads a Christ-follower to make those types of choices? I don't really have any answers, but I definitely see the importance of a humbled heart. I tend to make the best choices when I keep in mind that only He has the answers. Only He has the key to joy. If it's my idea, it's BAD. It HAS to be from God to be right!!! But we live in this place where we can become strong, smart, beautiful, rich, successful by worldly standards. In short, we become like gods. Not THE god. False gods. Lifeless, worthless idols that mean nothing. In talking with the person making these choices, in talking with others who have been involved, and through prayer, a song has began to form itself within my heart. It's called Break Me. It's almost a prayer. A prayer for God to humble me. To break me down so that I will never forget that I am not god. I cannot bring myself joy. Only a shallow, pointless happiness, that will quickly fade. Break me. It's not finished yet, but as soon as it is, I am going to post it. It's been building up inside of me since last Wednesday. And it's almost done. So close it's making me crazy. But I need to remind myself, I'm not god. It will all come together when God, the REAL GOD, wants it to ;o)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Crisis Diverted

I summoned the power of Grayskull, and mustered up the strength to pick the TV up (see previous post) from the floor, and put it where it belongs. Tomorrow, I will be summoning the power of Ibuprofen and mustering up the strength to walk upright, without a hunch.

Now What !?!?

So, I had this bright idea to move our TV. Alone. It's big. And heavy. Really heavy. Last time I moved it alone, I dropped it. Oh, how history repeats itself. It may or may not be too heavy to get off the floor myself, and Kimberly's been having some back pain lately. So it's just sitting on the floor. As am I. Thinking, "Now what!?!?"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Know This is My Fourth Post Today, But . . .

I just feel so blessed with my wife, Kimberly. She is such a wonderful, caring person. Her passion amazes me and I couldn't ask for someone to love me anymore than she does. She is a great wife, an excellent daughter, a caring sister, a dedicated friend, a growing Christian, a bright student, and a hard-worker. And she's really starting to get this whole tea-making thing down pat, which is important ;o)

Behind The Edge

A few weeks back, while in New Orleans, God placed a song, called The Edge, in my heart. I had the wonderful opportunity to share this song last weekend as my testimony. It was the most amazing experience of my life, as the Spirit of God was with me. He truly took over my mind and body for a little over four minutes. I can't describe how wonderful it felt to be unified with God in that way. When He left me, not that He ever truly leaves, I thought I would fall down. My knees felt so weak, I was shaking, and later cried such joyful tears. I knew as soon as I arrived in New Orleans that God was going to send me home with a song, so I began searching for what to write. But God had other means of inspiration in mind, something beyond just searching within myself. God wanted me to connect with others. The initial concept of the song, the circle, came from so many discussions. So many points of thinking, "Hey! What a coincidence!" But the truth is, there is no coincidence. God makes us have things in common so it's easier for us to interact and glorify Him together. Donna, with all her wonderful insight, said, on the second day of the trip, "It's all just a circle, like we're all connected." And this was the very first line of the song God gave me. Audra, a couple days later, began to discuss how missionaries "live on the edge for God." I began thinking of how comfortable my life is, and how God wants me to live on the edge for Him. I wasn't sure how He wanted me to do this yet, but I did know He just gave me the second major concept of His song. Later, at one point of the trip, I was helping a poor man find some clothes to wear. I asked him if he needed anything else. Brenda, with her motherly wisdom, looked at me with an expression that only a mother could give, pointed at me and said in a hushed, yet 'this-is-not-an-option' kind of voice, "Pray for him!" And so I did. I laid hands on this man and lifted him up in prayer. God gave me the words. It was easy. So easy I was ashamed. So many people I've seen and thought, "I should pray with them," but never did because I thought it would be difficult. Throughout the whole week, getting to know the local people, getting to know my fellow missionaries, I grew closer to God. Learning to have fun with other people. To relax with them. To love them. To glorify God with them. God used these people; Brent, Donna, Audra, Tom, Todd, Emily, Jeremy, Jeff, Kevin, Ashley, Kristi, Brenda, Jaicee, and Lacey. He used them to bless me. Bless me with knowing them. Bless me with knowing myself. Bless me with knowing Him. Blessing me with a song in my heart that is far more glorifying and holy than anything else I've ever known. And so I've learned what living on the edge for Jesus means to me, in my life. It means stepping out of my comfort zone. Stepping towards others. Reaching out. Connecting. Glorifying. I almost instantly knew that doing this, living on the edge for Jesus, would mean sharing what He has taught me, sharing my testimony. I wasn't sure how exactly that was going to happen. Although God put a song in my heart, He did not put instrumental ability on my list of skills. So, not coincidently, I had to reach out to others for help. I first sought Brent's help, but he was going to be leaving for vacation soon. I was disappointed because sharing this song was going to be difficult at first, and after being in New Orleans with Brent, I felt very close to him and thought that would make this whole thing easier. But that's not living on the edge, is it? So I ended up asking Nate, who I've always thought was very nice but didn't really know personally. Nate was fantastic! So talented and so patient! He literally listened to me sing the song over and over until he had beautiful guitar accompaniment all ready to go!!! And a harmony to sing too! Working with him on this project was such a great experience for me personally, musically, and spiritually. I'm not sure how to repay him for how he has blessed me. So that's the story behind The Edge. It's God. Not me. He has been putting a new song in my heart since yesterday. This has been an awesome way to communicate with my Heavenly Father and His followers, and I'm praying this form of inspiration and dialog between God and myself, continues!

Lies, Love, and Prayers

There seems to be an epidemic of deceit right now. Kate says it far better than I ever could in a post, here. Basically, it just seems that everywhere I turn, satan is wedging his way in between people. Only very recently have I learned how powerful it is spirituality to be connected with other Christians, and how glorifying it is to Christ. And no sooner than I see it's importance, I see how angry it makes satan, and how he will stop at nothing to ruin these connections. But I refuse to allow satan's lies to disrupt the glorious love I share with my wonderful wife, Kimberly, with my family, and with church family.
Heavenly Father, You are great and wonderful. It is in your masterful plan that I have come to know and love the people in my life, the person I call my wife, and my family and friends. I lift up all these people to You and ask that Your presence be strong in their lives, and in mine as well. I am thankful that You have provided us all with a connection that glorifies You, and am grateful that loving Kimberly, and all these people, is in Your will and pleases You. May we continue to bring You glory in this way. Amen!

How Much am I Paying for This !?!?

No! I'm not being tortured in this picture, but I totally felt like it. I have several cavities and went to the dentist to have a few of them filled on Tuesday. They explained that they would be placing a rubber dam in my mouth to isolate the teeth being filled. I'm not going to lie, I nearly panicked! Seriously people! What if I had a stuffy nose!?!? I would have suffocated! It was awful! They can't possibly do this to children too, can they? Can you imagine how terrifying this would be as a kid! Fortunately, it was mostly painless, with minimal swelling or discomfort afterwards, but I couldn't help but wonder, how much am I paying for this?