Saturday, January 31, 2009

What I Loved in Jamaica: The Beauty of God's Creation

It was impossible for me to be surrounded by such raw beauty and not feel the presence of God.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Back to Work

So, this week at work has been intense. It was hard getting back into the swing of things, and there are lots of extra stressors thrown into the mix right now, such as the annual board of health inspection. I've also come along some information a couple times this week where . . . well, I guess they're just situations that are terrible and maybe even harmful but completely out of my control. It's been tough to know things without really knowing them, so there is nothing that can be done. Grrr! I really hate that. But I've been very fortunate. Yesterday was a rough day and I heard about something that made me so angry. It's just so unjust! But then we had worship practice, which just sort of made me feel very peaceful. Afterwards, we went to Pink's house to watch American Idol and I even found myself laughing! Today was another day of hearing things I wish I could never have to know. But again, it ended well. An evening with awesome friends! So that's been my first week back to work. Monday I'll be completely back into the routine, attending out of county court. For a kid who is actually doing great!!! What a lovely change ;o)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What I Loved in Jamaica: The Fellowship

I had the blessing of going on this trip with some really great people. Marggy said it best when she told me, "God works miracles, but He prefers to work through people." Well, God definitely worked through this group of people to touch my heart, and my funny-bone!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What I Loved in Jamaica: My Wife

I was very blessed to experience the trip to Jamaica with Kimberly. It was wonderful to see God use her to make His mark in the hearts of others. I enjoyed watching her lovingly play with the children and protectively hover over Rylan like a mother-hen. She's going to make a great mommy one day ;o) I am so thankful we were able to take this trip together!

What I loved in Jamaica: Marggy

If you haven't had the pleasure of getting to know Marggy yet, I suggest you do. Her love for Christ and obedience to God amazes me. She also happens to be rather fun to pester. PK and I had a blast taking tons of pictures of her and giving her a hard time.
Make way for the Wata Queen. Please, no flash photography.
The Many Faces of Marggy from Nathan Harris on Vimeo.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What I Loved in Jamaica: The Locals

The Jamaican people we met were amazing. They were content with what little they had, teaching me so much about joy. Of course, there are stories to tell about each one of them, but no story, no words can convey what God did in my heart through these beautiful people.

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's Time!

I am packed. Finally. The water pipes are thawed and I am showered, which will make traveling more pleasant not only for myself, but for my companions as well. I am very excited now, which seems to result in me singing a lot without even being aware of it. I keep suddenly realizing its 1:00am and thinking the neighbors probably don't appreciate all the racket I'm making. The next thing I know, I'm singing again and going through the process all over ;o) My fill-in for work is well-trained and a very caring person, so I won't have to worry for a second about my kids. This will be very nice. When I went to New Orleans in June I took business calls, and it was a pain, so I feel very blessed that this trip will be different. My mom and mother-in-law are helping out with the pets, so there are no worries there either. All I have to think about is ahhhh . . . While packing, I thought I should grab a notebook to write in while I'm gone. There are at least a dozen around here, but I happened to come across one that was well hidden under the bed. It was the notebook I wrote The Edge and Break Me in. These are two songs that I was very blessed to have been a part of writing. God not only moved me with these songs, but I think He touched others' with them as well. Maybe this is a sign of a creative storm about to start brewing! I can only pray so ;o) The camera is packed, along with six batteries, a charger, and two memory cards, so expect to see some slide shows in about a week and a half! Peace!


Tomorrow we are off to Jamaica, and I am so excited! I have a lot to do to prepare. First off, I wanted to sleep in today, which I did ;o) I typically can't fall asleep until around 1 or 2:00am, and we have to get up at 3:00am to head out to the church tomorrow. So I imagine I will probably just not sleep tonight, so I stocked up on rest this morning ;o) I need to go get my tetanus shot, then head to work to finish preparing my fill-in and to review evaluations with three of my staff. I have some scrips that need filled and then I HAVE TO PACK. I'm sure there are things we'll need to go to the store to get . . . And I'm positive I'm forgetting some stuff. I'm guessing today will be a muli-post ;o)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Today With Mi Familia!

Confession 011409

Yesterday one of my clients was sentenced to the Department of Corrections. I was ecstatic. I feel that it was justice. I feel like its what is best for him and the community. I hope he will benefit from it. But I took too much joy from it. Instead of assigning staff to transport him to the nearby detention facility, I decided to do it myself. Then, instead of transporting him in a vehicle, I escorted him by foot. Yep. We walked, which is customary as it is only a brief walk. But it was snowing. A lot. And the only reason I wanted to walk is so I could savor the moment, knowing exactly what every step was leading him closer to. And I did savor. Every single step. The meditation of my heart was most definitely not pleasing to God.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lob BOB: Volume I

There has been enough suffering. The time has come for it to stop. Operation: Lob BOB BOB is a network of organized mobs reeking havoc in the city of La Abdomen. All culprits involved are not yet known, but it has been discovered that the brain and heart of the operation are the criminal organizations Acid Reflux and Coeliac D. Acid Reflux has been sighted in the northeastern quadrant of La Abdomen causing destruction and leaving behind it’s signature graffiti known as ‘ulcers,’ while Coeliac D has run a muck in the southern/central area of the city, causing mayhem. A special force unit called The Meds has been on the case with little to no avail. A secret agent, code named Dietitian, has been contacted and will soon join Operation: Lob BOB. A realist might say BOB can only be somewhat subdued, yet never fully destroyed. I am an optimist. BOB will be lobbed. I will translate in case you're not fluent in Na’Thanish: I am still experiencing a burning and tingling sensation in my right upper abdomen. I have affectionately named this pain Bob. My doctor attributes this to Acid Reflux and ulcers. I’ve been taking meds, which seem to only help a little now. I also feel a tight, twisting pain in my lower abdomen. My doctor thinks that this is caused by Coeliac Disease, which is an unnecessary and frightening way of saying that I’m just allergic to gluten, which can also affect the body’s absorption of nutrients. I also tested positive for mild allergy to lactose. The meds I am taking have no affect on this pain. The only way to manage Coeliac is by diet, which can also alleviate the discomfort of Acid Reflux. So, I’m dreading it, but when I return from Jamaica, I’m going to see a dietitian. Perhaps I'll be losing weight soon!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Right Around the Corner

So, our Jamaica trip is right around the corner. In June, the week before leaving for the New Orleans trip was a disaster. Satan threw everything he had at me, trying to make me feel I should stay home and focus on work issues that had come up. It was seriously the worst week of my life. I'm getting a little nervous. Much like last time, I have a couple court dates this week that are for some rather nasty cases, and it looks like another pre-missions trip week of disaster waiting to happen. So, prayers would be appreciated ;o)

This Day

This day is different somehow. Significant. And I couldn't possibly be thankful enough.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Thought

The most beautiful light imaginable is the light that reaches down into the deepest shadows.


Let me vent. This will only take a second. First of all, I'm sick of crap parents. I'm not even talking about the not-really-there kind of parents either. No. This is a breed of its own. My whole week has been dedicated to about two cases, all complicated by awful people that somehow get the privilege of being called parents. Forcing their children to watch pornography. Having sex right in front of their kids. Even doing sexual things with them. The list, amazingly and disturbingly enough, just goes on. Also, back in June, I found out that a resident had been molesting a younger child in placement. The victim suffered from post traumatic stress , and had to be moved to a different environment to address his mental health issues. The perp went to detention, but is back now. And he is being placed in the same unit as his victim, who still suffers from mental health issues as a result of the abuse that occurred in my program. What!?!? How could the victim be expected to live under the same roof as his abuser? Now, granted, they are being kept relatively separated. But they see one another from across the room. They pass in the hallway. I don't think this is okay. At all. But when I speak up I am reminded I have no say in the matter. And for whatever reason, I am continuously reminded that the victim has perped before too. This is no excuse. No justification. I am disgusted. And because I told you this would only take a minute, I'm done now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I am stumped. Officially. Nothing to write. No songs. No pictures. No stories. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. The big goose egg. Which might explain why I'm sleeping well. But I still don't like it. Hmm . . .

1Peter 5:10

"After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation" 1Peter 5:10
If I could just say these words to . . . well, a lot of people, and somehow make them believe.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Countdown is On!

Only ten days until the missions trip to Jamaica! I am becoming so excited! As I try to prepare myself for the trip, memories of New Orleans keep popping up, so I thought I'd share one of my favorites. I was at the Carpenter's House 2, a great resource for people in need residing in the 9th district, and decided to sit down and play with a kid who looked desperate for attention. One kid multiplied into two, three, four . . . they just started coming out of the woodwork! Emily Sebree really blessed me by recording a few seconds of it, so I'll never forget. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Our new Youth room, the 3:7, opened today and its fantastic. Great work, Pink. You rock!
Slideshow soon to come!

I Love Sundays . . .

that's all ;o)

Saturday, January 3, 2009


On January 1st, I began the new year in a wonderful way. One of the first things I did was check my e-mail, and came across a very touching letter an online friend had sent me. It was very meaningful to read it because, you see, the past few weeks have been very anxiety-riddled for me. God placed a music ministry in my heart a very long time ago, but I constantly fight two battles when I think about this calling. The first battle I face is the question of whether this is what I want, or if this is what God wants. Tammy explains this nasty little conundrum far better that I can here. The second battle I face is a sense of complete foolishness, a long series of doubts I have about my ability and talent, and lack there of. I have strongly felt for a while now that this new year I would have an opportunity to accept God's calling for me or to completely deny it. Both are terrifying, therefore the anxiety. So, in this spiraling mess of thoughts, prayers, dreams, fears, and doubts, here are some excerpts of what I read the first day of this new year:
"(Your song) "Your Clothes" really affected me. For the past few weeks, everything I've done has been shaped partly by that song". . . "The revelation that everything I do is done in clothes given to me by God really hit me" . . . "I wanted to share with you just how great an influence what you write has on people" . . . "So, scary as God's call to music is, don't stop, and don't just wait for something to happen either. You'll need to make it happen (sorry, that's even scarier, and believe me, I know all about that) but with God's guidance of those plans you make, they will bear amazing fruit for His Kingdom" . . . "Anyway, enough rambling. Happy New Year Nate - 2009's got a great story waiting to be told!"
What a great thing to read, and yet its twisting knots into my stomach to think about. And God's calling doesn't quite, it only grows louder and more articulate. "Father, I just want to make You proud . . . " But how?

Dragging My Feet

I am currently writing a curriculum for a parenting class designed for parents of sexually maladaptive children. I will be teaching this course once a week for three hours, twelve consecutive weeks. Then I will break for three weeks before doing it all over again. But I really have no desire to at all. I don't think it will be very effective in this particular atmosphere. And I'm not being compensated for this. So I must admit I've been dragging my feet a bit. Time to buckle down ;o(

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My 2008

Pictures. I love them! There is no better way to document life. Just this year alone, Kimberly and I have taken around three thousand pictures of each other, loved ones, little projects we've worked on, good times, goofy moments, random things that catch our eye . . . the list just goes on! Well, I went through and selected some of these pictures to summarize my 2008. So here it is, all in order beginning with the first pictures I took of the year back in January at Youth Group, and ending with the latest Christmas pictures. It's all condensed down to one song, so don't blink, it goes fast ;o) Enjoy and Happy New Year!