Saturday, May 28, 2011

something good

Peanut, well... he's cycling. There are all these behavioral patterns you pick up on when working with the mentally ill. Some of the patterns have fancy scientific and psychological explanations, while others don't. And Peanut, well, nobody can quite say whether or not there's an explanation for his special brand 'o craziness; he's just too young, under-treated, and under-observed to know yet.

Regardless of what we may or may not 'know,' the voices that plague Peanut's mind from time to time are back. Back with vigor. Despite a formidable arsenal of prescribed routine and as-needed drugs, Peanut has been missing out on some zzz's. Apparently that devil is a big mouthed sum*B and just won't shut up long enough to let the poor kid rest. Last night especially.

So we prayed together out-loud.

As if someone had unplugged a stereo blasting lousy mariachi music, Peanut's eyes suddenly popped open as I said "Amen," and he exclaimed, "Dang! Thanks Jesus! The voices stopped!"

I was skeptical. The kid is a people pleaser; he knows I'd love nothing more than to hear him say 'Jesus made the voices stop!' Ten minutes later he called for me and asked, "Are angels real?" He then explained he saw a man in his room with lots of curly golden hair. "He was kinda scary, but he didn't make me feel scared. He made me feel safe," he said.

Oh, Peanut, always making me question what I 'know.'

But there, this event in itself, the seeing of something not scary, something new yet comforting... its a tiny little break in the cycle. Something different. Something good.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My boss...

... loves God. Its so nice to work for someone that loves God. Especially in this field.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

a thought to end my day with

I've already spewed enough (too much) negativity about my day today via FaceBook, Twitter, and in face to face conversations. So, lets just fast forward to an ah-ha! moment I had on the way to my car tonight after clocking-out for the day.

I am a missionary.

I know I'm here to serve God . . . here, as in life, as in Cali, as in where I work, etc. . . to share His love. That's the mission I've been given.

And something about just using that specific vernacular; missionary, servant, etc., it just clicks in my brain. It makes things look different . . . feel different.

So when I reflect on my day through the mindset of a missionary, I see something altogether different; a struggle, yes.

But a beautiful one. A glorious one.

So, yeah. Nothing profound. Just a thought to end my day with.

Monday, May 23, 2011

One-Minute Writing Prompt: Phrase

Write about an unusual phrase or saying one of your parents liked to say when you were growing up.

My dad used to refer to things as being "cuter than a newborn speckled pup." If it was something super cute, he'd add a "sittin' underneath a little red wagon," to it.
Like, "Well, ain't that just cuter than a newborn speckled pup sittin' underneath a little red wagon." Sigh. I love my dad.


The last couple days have been delightfully lazy!

Sunday after church I came right home, and have pretty much been here since.

Naps. Junk food. Video games. Movies. Guitar.
Lots of time with Kimmy.

Ahh! Its been so nice! Seems like we're always on the go.
We need at least one weekend like this a month!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

catching up

Kimberly and I had a good time catching up with this girl on Skype today. I love hearing where people are at in life and seeing how God works in any given circumstance.

Angie, in particular, is just one of those people who carefully seek out what God is doing all around her; this is one of the things Kimberly and I like so much about her, and this is also one of the things that made our chat with her today so interesting.

Just another reminder to always be attentive to what the Spirit is doing. Thanks, Ang!


By Him for Him

Could it be!? Yes! Yes it is!!! Last Sunday, May 15, PK delivered the fourth and final message of the Branches' first official series, SKEPTIC. Where has the time gone!?

This particular message addressed the question 'who does God use?'

I remember the first time I heard PK share this message. It was at FFC. The series was titled Doubters 'R Us at the time.

The scriptures and message spoke directly to my heart then, and did again last week.

I've been created by God for His purpose, and so have you. What a blessing!!!
Click HERE to listen to SKEPTIC week 4!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Think back to the last time you began a story with, "I remember when I was a kid . . . " Now, examine the accuracy of that story.

Maybe its a fishing trip your grandpa took you on once or twice. But maybe that trip was so flippin' sweet you'd like to remember it as the highlight of your life every summer as a kid, that is, until you discovered girls and personal hygiene. Or maybe it was your mom's pie. Maybe it really was the best pie ever. Or maybe it was just good pie with a lot of sentiments attached to it.

And it works the other way around, too. Ever listen to someone discuss their failed marriage? It's almost as if all traces of happy memories have been plucked from their brains. We make-believe. We pretend. Its natural. It helps us make sense of things. Memories and feelings are more easily processed and stored when they are consistent.

I have this kid at work . . . and his childhood has pretty much sucked. His family has failed him over and over again. No one wants to believe they are unwanted and unloved by the very woman who gave birth to them. So this kid, he does what we all have done in one way or another. He makes believe. But to the extreme.

He longs for the return of days that never existed, awaits arms that have never held him, and relives memories in his head that never happened.

But he has reached a point, a place of awareness, where the line between reality and make-believe is becoming more and more defined. For most of us, this line is so blurred and inconsequential. But for him, well, he is now facing the truth that his 'real world' and 'make-believe world' are two very different places; and both are crumbling.

We started writing a song together this evening. And it too is called Make-believe. Its such a small, small thing to sit and write with someone.  But I'll make-believe its a big thing, and maybe he will too.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Last Sunday at The Branches, PK led us into the third installment of our SKEPTIC series, highlighting upon a story in the book of Mark that I’d never really thought much of before. Basically, it’s the tale of a skeptical father who turns to Jesus and says, “Hey, if you can heal my son, then please do,” with some hefty stress on the word “IF.”

If you’re not familiar with the story or want to brush up on it, click HERE to check it out!

Lots of people say they either believe or don’t believe, but in reality most of us fall into the category of “sorta believe.”

I personally spent many years in this category. So what changed? Well, I found myself around some great people I could candidly discuss my doubts and struggles with. And then those great people encouraged me to act out on the faith I already did have. Instead of just standing still, I found myself moving forward, essentially beginning my walk.

So it was no surprise to me when PK strongly encouraged us all to 1.) Be honest about our struggles, and 2.) Act on the faith we have.

When the skeptical father approached Jesus, He did these exact two things; he was honest of his doubts (“if”) and yet he still approached Jesus and requested his aide.

SPOILER ALERT; Jesus healed the man’s son.

What jumps out at me in this chapter is verse 24, when the father cries out "I believe; help my unbelief!"

What a beautiful prayer! It’s a proclamation of faith, yet an honest statement that some disbelief may still exist within him. And it’s an act of the faith he does have; a prayer he makes based on his belief that prayers can be answered.

This is a prayer I hope I pray everyday until I see Him face to face.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

neither here nor there

-Took Mom to the airport to fly back to Indy this morning. It was a close one; thought she was gonna miss her flight, but she made it by the skin of her teeth! Sad to see her go. . .

-Called in sick at work today. Just didn't feel like I had it in me to chase the kiddos around today. I woke up this morning all achy and have been really wheezy. I'm hoping its just a side-effect of the vaccines I got yesterday and that it will clear up by tomorrow morning.
-And I needed some time to myself.
Zen time, I guess.
The inner-crazy still ensues and I thought a nice quiet day would help.
So far, I think it did.
-I also got to spend some good quality time with my wife today, which was greatly needed.

-Some exciting projects and endeavors on the brink. I'm loving them all!

-Not been so dedicated to the diet and exercise for about three weeks now ;-/ It was super hard to stay on track with my parents here. I never just gave up fully, but I definitely failed. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm excited to hit it hard again! Halfway to my overall goal!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I love my doctor. A lot of people crack on KAISER, and many of their complaints may be legit (I don't know), but so far, I've been very pleased with their services and healthcare. My doctor especially. He's great. Just felt like sharing ;-)
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Sunday, May 8, 2011


With mercy and grace,
compassion and empathy;
she loves wholeheartedly,
without reservation.

This is the love she gives.
This is the love she taught.

Thank you, Lord.

I am blessed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

snapshot: 050711 2300 PST

We just enjoyed a delightful stop at Extraordinary Deserts. It was my first time there. Mmm! I had a slice of Viking cake; a delicious explosion of chocolaty goodness ;-)

Today was a pretty sweet day. Slept in, worked out. Then we all went to Guajome Park to feed the ducks, right before Kimberly and Mom dropped me off at work.

The group-home was ultra laid back today; we pretty much watched Thundercats all shift. At around 9pm I strummed the guitar and sang a few songs and within a half hour all the kiddos were sleeping soundly. Kimberly and Mom picked me up from work, which was really nice. I felt like a third grader getting picked up from school on a Friday instead of riding the bus home! Loved it!

Then we hit San Diego, which takes us back to the little snapshot of my lovely wife and mother at Extraordinary Deserts.

The end.
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I need a new blog look!!!

but the creative mojo just ain't flowin'...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dear Readers I May Know in Person,

If you happen to be one of the few people who read my blog . . . it doesn't have to be weird.

I mean, what I'm trying to say is, it doesn't have to be awkward when you're actually around me in person. Its not like you've sneakily read my journal while I'm out getting groceries or something. I make a choice that whatever I post on here becomes public knowledge.

And if I mention something that you already know about because you've read it on my blog, it really is okay to say, "Yeah, I read about that." Its just weird to sit and talk on and on and on while having the impression you've heard this story before, and then I finally ask if you read about it and then you say, "Yeah, but I didn't want you to think I'm a stalker."

Yeah. Weird.
But it doesn't have to be!
It's just like being friends with someone on FB... kinda.

So, there. I said my piece. I've just made some observations and wanted to address them.
The end.

...when we pray

"The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray."

-Samuel Chadwick

From the Mouth of Babes 050410

"Nathan . . . does God hug? Like, does he give hugs?"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Confront, Confess, Conclude

After our little pirating incident, its been a total mess getting our internet service back on track and secure again.

Today the Cox cable guy stopped by to make some repairs to our network (which has been renamed and re-secured with a new password). After the repairman left, I jumped in the shower, and that's right about when our neighbor (the pirate) knocked on our door and asked my mom if we were having issues with our network, because he couldn't seem to get access.

My mom brushed him off, basically telling him she's a guest here and knows nothing about the internet situation. When I got out of the shower she told me about her interaction, and so the deliberation began.

What should I do? Should I just wait and see if he comes down to ask about it again? Should I confront him with the truth or make up an excuse?

I chose to confront him. I went upstairs and knocked on his door with no answer. Several minutes later I heard him up there stomping around and decided to go back up and knock again.

This time he answered.
It was an awkward interaction, but not unpleasant.

I confronted.
He confessed.

And that's the conclusion.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


It seemed like the right thing to do at the moment. He asked so nicely, and seemed so desperate. He had just relocated from up north, and didn't have an Internet service provider yet.

He needed web access to retrieve a conformation code from his e-mail account, something to do with a moving truck delivering his belongings later that morning. Or so he said.

I should have asked more questions, but I wanted to be neighborly; I recall all those little inconveniences that pop up the first several weeks after a big move. I wanted to be helpful.

Were I a smart man, I would have invited him into my home and offered him a few minutes use of my own computer under my discrete supervision. But instead of being a smart man, I'm . . . me.

So what did I do? I told him my network name and pass code.
I know. I know. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Within days of this act of kindness/foolishness I received a warning on behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. to immediately cease my copyright infringement activities.

Apparently, my upstairs neighbor is an asshole. And apparently he has awful taste in movies. I mean, really!? If you were going to risk persecution for piracy, wouldn't you at least go for something other than Sucker Punch!?!?

Oh, and yes, I'm an idiot.


Her: sleeping in a car is really uncomfortable.
Him: I know. I did it for seven years.
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There used to be a place I spent a lot of time in; a place I pretty much existed.
A dark place full of doubt, anxiety, depression, irrational thoughts, irritability, self-hatred...

I visited that place today. Thoughts and memories and interactions all skewed.
The overwhelming sense of meaninglessness, the sorrow...

And then the rejoice.

This place, its awful, yes.
But this is a place I once lived.
And I've been delivered from it.

These rare and occasional visits? I'm thankful for them.
I'm reminded of what incredible things God has done for me.