Sunday, October 30, 2011

Keeping it real 103011

"Can you kids be good long enough for me to poop!?"


Church notes 103011

Matthew 20:20-28

Two brothers send their mother to Jesus to seek a high position in his coming kingdom.

     - Jesus challenges them to consider what they're asking and to consider the suffering necessary as followers of Christ. "Can you drink from the cup I drink?" Etc.

Matt 20:26 "but whoever would be great among you must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be your servant, even as the son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
   -servitude should be lived out, opposed to the worldly concept of greatness
   -humbleness, selflessness, operating not out of pride

- I must examine myself in comparison to Jesus, measuring pride vs. humility.

Humble people:
-fear the lord
-are Christ-like
-accept their place
-make good leaders
-consider others
-are quick to repent

By nature, we are not humble. Humbleness takes pursuit and is fruit of a relationship with God.

Pride and humbleness are easily confused and can look similar. If you're avoiding sharing gifts or leadership to avoid attention or to appear humble, you are focusing on others perception of you, which is PRIDE.

What can we do to become less egocentric and more others/God-centric? How do we become more considerate, loving others before ourselves?

What would happen if we no longer expected to be served, but lived to serve others and God?

     - To truly understand God is to accept we have nothing to offer him for our salvation. We make no contribution. Its an undeserved gift we must gratefully and humbly accept, without pride.

     -there is a joy in surrender to servitude and freedom of living a life without pride

Friday, October 28, 2011

Keeping it real 102811

"Resident M ran through the house yelling 'Llama! Llama!' in his peers' faces and made many references of various sexual acts with llamas."

-Something I'd never written until now, and I've had to document some messed up stuff over the years.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I was introduced to Palomar Mountain last Wednesday, and I loved it so much I went back yesterday! My new favorite place!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

They Know

These stinkin' kids. They drive me crazy.
And they're bad. Really bad.

But I love them.
God has broken my heart for them.

And they know it.

They know I can't stand them.
They know I love them.

They know I keep coming back because God makes me.
They know there is a God who loves them enough to make me love them too.

They know.


Dear crazy chick,
     I'm gonna avoid you like the plague. Cuz that's what you are.
A plague. Harsh, huh? Well.... you are.....

Dear disillusioned parent,
     Your child is good? Really? If this is your definition of good, no wonder he hurts people and destroys property. Face reality. Before reality is charges of man-slaughter.

Dear old radio evangelist,
     Sometimes I tune-in on my way to work and learn a thing or two. But King James translation? Who are you trying reach, Shakespearean actors? Furrealz.

That's all. For now...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary!

Kimberly is an incredible wife. I've experienced her love and devotion in a powerful way, as she supported me through my most recent bought of anxiety and depression. She loves with God's love, regardless. I'm blessed to have her.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Something Cool and New to Me!

Somehow these things have failed to catch my notice until now, but aren't they beautiful? I'm not even sure what to call them. Some kind of pine cone, maybe? Anyway, a few kids at work have been collecting them under the trees, much like I used to collect the brightest, most colorful autumn leaves I could find as a kid in Indiana. I just had to take a few pictures of them. I only had my cell phone with me, so none of the pictures turned out quite so fantastic. But they were fun pics to edit anyway!

Monday, October 17, 2011


This kid, he's not just a little rough around the edges.
He's plain rough.

He's a bully. He's a thief. He's a liar.
He's . . . rough.

But he has a thirst for prayer.
Every night we have to pray together.

And sometimes I'm so touched by his prayer requests.

I see an incredible transformation in its very first stage.
It's rough.

And completely amazing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Church notes 101711

Matthew 18:1-14

-Christianity is always one generation away from extinction.

The disciples asked Jesus who was the greatest in the kingdom. Jesus stated it was the children, which was counter-cultural of the time.

Matthew 18:4, "Whoever humbles himself and becomes like this is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

-Children humble themselves and don't have shame of their reliance on adults.

     -This is the way we should be with God: completely dependent and unashamed.
     - Invite God into all areas of life, the way children invite others to share life with them.

- Children are most likely to become fully devoted followers of Christ.

- When you open your heart to a child you open your heart to Christ.
     - Make room in your heart for children and others and you make room in your heart for God.

- You're better off drowning yourself than leading a child or follower into sin. (Matt. 10:6)

Read the parable of the Shepard and the missing sheep (Matt. 18:12-14)
     - Notice the emphasis on 'little ones.' Reaching out to the lost means reaching out to children.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

K? Thnx!

Please don't eat bugs in front of my group-home kids & tell them its a source of protein. That may be true, but they already exhibited enough behaviors shunned by most of society.

Friday, October 14, 2011

from the mouth of babes 101311

"Feel better about the argument you had with Marshall?"
"Yeah. I talked to Jesus about it."
"Cool! That always helps me, too!"
"Yeah, I just said, 'Dear Jesus, forgive me and make bad things happen to Marshall. 
 Like he will have to fart a lot or something.'"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

from the mouth of babes: 100911

Him: Whattaya mean I can't watch PG13 movies!?!? I watch pornos, homie!

Me: Um... that's probably part of the problem. You're 11. And you live here now. And don't call me homie.

Needs and Wants

Ever run into one of those teeny tiny ankle biters that thinks he's a giant canine beast? There's a new kid in the group home I work in and he's just like one of those little dogs.

He is a constant reminder of my own self-centeredness.

One moment he's this big thug that's gonna kill me, and the next moment he's this crying little kid that misses his mommy and needs to be sung to sleep at night because he's scared of the dark.

There are these times when I need to yell at him to get him under control and keep him safe. There are times I need to point out his 'gangster vs. kiddy' personas because he needs to understand himself and his issues.

And there are times I WANT to do what I NEED to do because I'm frustrated. Because it feels good to yell at him. Granted, its what NEEDS to be done, but I sometimes find myself doing it out of WANT.

Its humbling.
I've had to pray all week for God to replenish my mercifulness.

And, of course, He provides, reminding me the difference between NEEDS and WANTS.

Even when they're the same.

taking notes

God does extraordinary things through ordinary people. I'm blessed to be surrounded by believers that surrender their lives for Christ daily, so I get to see a lot of extraordinary things done through and in them, and in turn I can feel the Spirit stirring inside myself.

Sometimes I want to share with people what God has does for me and others through them, so I make a mental note. "Hm, the way he just explained that made something in my brain click!" or "Wow, the arrangement of that song gave me chills. That was an awesome moment of worship."

The problem is, I apparently take down mental notes in disappearing ink. The excitement from whatever awesome thing remains, but I can't quite articulate what it was I found so powerful. So today I traded mental notes for a napkin and a blue highlighter. Conceptualizing my thoughts to jot them down made them easier to retrieve from my memory later. I don't know if it'll become a norm for me or not, but its a step of being intentional in how I love, support, and encourage servants. Its something I'm called to do, but I haven't put much effort into cultivating.

So here's to late starts!
Thank God its never too late ;-)

Are there any practical steps you can take in pursuit of your callings?

church notes: 100911

Matthew 17

Jesus appears in all his glory to Peter, James, and John. They saw Him as he appears in Heaven, his true form.

-Jesus was sinless because He always sought God's will. Our sin begins when we serve our own.

-Peter was overwhelmed with joy in the presence of the Lord.

-Pursuit of the Spirit of God is not an option as a Christian. His presence is our joy and His honor.
    -Develop a holy dissatisfaction with your spiritual. Desire more God in you always.
     -Develop a plan to grow towards God. Put forth effort to seek Him, thru study, meditation, etc.

2 Corinthians 3:18
Beholding the glory of God is transforming.

-Faith is not a one time event.

- Jesus pleases God as a reflection of himself. As we are transform to become more like christ, we become more pleasing to the Father.

-In His perfection and righteousness He loves us despite our imperfection and unrighteousness.
     -Our joy: His honor

What would it be like if we stepped into His presence completely, forgetting ourselves?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today's Writing Prompt: Week

What do you look forward to every week?

The Branches!!!

And Sunday afternoon naps.

I'm Swell.

I really am! Really!

Life is great. It always has been. But something in my mind takes a turn for the worst from time to time. It's difficult to explain. But I'm doing good right now.

Lots of prayer. Enormous support from my wife. Lots of love from friends. A few sleeping pills and some med adjustments. The upturn in mood cycling.

Bam! Back on top.

Its mental, physical, and spiritual. Its the perfect storm.
But for now, the skies are clear.

I've made an effort to address the more physiological aspects of it all. Realizing the frailty of my body and mind is a daunting thing. Overwhelming. It made the valley of depression and anxiety seem more like a pit; hopeless. But it all sinks in eventually. And knowledge is power. Truth.

I'll hit another valley at some point. But when I do I'll be more equipped than before.
And for now I'm at a peak.

I'm swell.

snapshot: 100511 1600 PST

Watching the rain,
and people pass by.

I love it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

church notes 100211

Matthew 16

Is God a co-pilot in my life? Or is He the driver?


Matthew 16:24 "If anyone would come after Me let him deny himself..."

-Jesus often speaks of dying to ourselves. This is a false self He speaks of,  not our true selves He created us to be.

-Surrender is an internal and external process; lives change inside and out.

-live with a rebellious heart
-live with a divided heart
-live with a surrendered heart

Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me..."

What part of my heart have I cornered off for myself? Am I willing to surrender it to God?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Its a great feeling.

No more chase or restrain or corral.
Just silence.

Its like God is patting me on the back.
"Good job. They're asleep now. Relax."

And all is well!

rock & refuge

"Blessed be the Lord, my rock... he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge..."

-Psalm 144:1-2

Refuge. I've been feeling it.
God is good.