Saturday, June 30, 2012


"Pornography is the substitution of reality for a more pleasurable fantasy."
Interesting...  Many more things fall into this category than what one would initially assume...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

faith and falter

He sat across from me and nervously stumbled over his words, dancing around the truth his heart yearned to share. I recognized the dance immediately, like a man standing on the edge, reeling for the rush but fearing for the fall

The pain. The weight. The worry. In a flash, his burdens were revealed to me; an empathic immersion of hearts and minds. I, too, began feeling a heavy weight. Should I relieve him of the struggle to speak and simply say the words for him?

After some time, the truth came from his own lips; the burden was shared and will no longer be carried alone.

But I've been left wondering. What would have come from sharing my revelation?

I have had a similar encounter myself; another heart for God had heard my pain and so she came to me and spoke of what had been revealed to her. Hope rushed through me as she shared, hope and remembrance that God is larger than any burden I will ever carry, burdens that He wanted me to leave at His feet. In that moment I felt the tremendous love of my Heavenly Father, that He would come to me in comfort through one of His servants. It was a pivotal moment in my walk.

In fear, I was not obedient in my conversation with this man, as the woman had been in her conversation with me all those years ago. I failed to leap in faith for the healing of another.

In faith, I often pray to be used, but falter when that very prayer is answered. And therein lay the problem; somewhere between faith and falter.

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Ouch. Today the enemy bit me in the ass. Hard. Its been a while since I've had a day like today. Well, to be more accurate, its been a while since I've felt quite like I did there for a few hours this evening. I've been working on a new song that, at one point, I felt was really powerful and divinely inspired. Maybe that's it. In fact, I know that's it. Usually these storms hit right when I'm in the midst of something I'm feeling really positive about. I'm loving school, I'm feeling good about work again, I'm three pounds away from being in the one-hundreds for the first time in years, I've got a lot going on creatively... there's of lot of exciting things happening in my life. So when I'm struck with this completely overwhelming sense of purposelessness, worthlessness, nothingness... it's like a rug is being pulled out from under me unexpectedly, and I'm hitting the floor hard. After just a few short hours the panic sets in; is this my life again? Am I about to be miserable again? How long is this going to last this time? Sigh... but I refuse to give in to it. I'm clinging to God and speaking directly to the problem. "Not this time!" I'm personifying the depression and anxiety so I can differentiate it from myself; its not who I am, its not part of me. God did not make me like this, and He is my Healer and Savior. This is something outside of myself being imposed on me, therefore its something that can be fought.

Now. I just need to rinse and repeat.
And repeat. And repeat. And...

what if?

"What if? What if a miracle unknowingly occurred while you were sleeping last night, and your biggest life struggles were magically resolved? How would your life be different? What would you observe that would eventually lead you to the knowledge that a miracle happened? What would other people around you notice?

This is known as The Miracle Question.

When my professor demonstrated this key component to solutions-focused therapy, I cried a little. It didn't stir any profound thoughts within me, but it inspired me to stir something profound within others. Her delivery was immaculate. Beautiful.

A phenomenon typically occurs when a person is presented with this scenario; the changes they 'notice' as they walk through this imaginary world of 'What If' are mostly inward.

"I wouldn't feel worthless." "My spouse and I wouldn't fight." "I'd be free from the weight-of-the-world I carry." "I wouldn't by so worried."

The point is, more often than not, most things inside a person's ideal-miracle life are achievable, at least to some degree. Stepping out of our bedroom to stumble over a pile of money isn't our hearts truest desire, as our culture would have us believe. Money is nice, but more than anything, deep down inside most people want to change themselves. The therapist walks their client through this scenario and helps them pinpoint what some of these things could look like if applied to real life and how to attain them.

Miracles do happen. Prayer is powerful. What if we applied The Miracle Question to our prayer life? What if we walked through this scenario and looked for new ways to rely on God and sought His will in them? What if we prayed over being transformed according to His will and for His glory instead of over worldly circumstances?

What if we prayed solution-focused prayers?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Snapshot: 062312 1200 PST

Watching these guys wear themselves out at the pool. Maybe this will mean a smooth bedtime tonight!

They get a little rough with each other sometimes, but I figure its gotta be low impact violence since they're in the water, lol!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

baby eyes

Baby eyes, so beautiful, seeing the world and everything in it for the very first time.

Naturally, its something we only experience once in a lifetime. But sometimes we're blessed to be given a renewed perspective.

In fact, God presented me with one of these opportunities recently.

To know Him and His glory, to know art and music, to know love, to know light in a dark place...

All as though I just discovered them...

All it took was just a few hours of conversation with someone who actually is discovering all those things for the very first time.

I've noticed God's presence a little more this week. I've taken the time to recognize the craftsmanship of His creation. I'm excited about what He's doing all around me. I've sang a little louder and wrote a little more. I've fallen in love with my wife all over again. My dread is being replaced with hopefulness and optimism when I think about work...

A new perception. Refreshed. Baby eyes.

Today's Writing Prompt: Dream

What dream do you have that could realistically come true within the next two years?

I want to have a master's degree in therapy.
I'm on my way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Snapshot: 061912 1500 PST

It's a beautiful day.
Gorgeous, really.

Upper 70's. Nice cool breeze.
Clear blue skies and sunshine.

There's a lot to do. Srsly.
But, as previously stated...
it's kinda awesome outside today.

So here I am, poolside with my laptop.

Photo editing.
Church notes and visuals.

And enjoying SoCal sun.
Life is tough :-)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Alas, the page views dwindle. I have abandoned this place of purging and peace.
Life is busy and beautiful.

Hoping to make time for writing soon.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Success and fulfillment are not synonymous.

Unfortunately, that's not something they teach you as a kid. Want proof? Just have a chat with a senior in high school.

Chances are, he's either going be too scared and overly uncertain about life, or not scared and uncertain enough.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I love the world of psychology; it’s all painted in beautiful shades of gray. But there’s very little room for black and white in this world, and that poses a problem for me.

You see, I believe in right and wrong.
Good and bad.

And, even as fond as I am of gray, I do believe some matters are simply best left black and white.

Universal truths do exist. 

Virtue and morals go beyond the mere pursuit of happiness and avoidance of harming others.
So when I’m sitting in one of my psych classes and something comes up, something that is or should be black and white, I feel torn...

I feel torn because I get it, I really do. Life in shades of gray is cozy.
Everyone is happy and free outside the confines of black and white.
Life without boundaries is easy.

But then I remember that the easy way of life, the wide gate, leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). We are eternal beings, made for Life in another Kingdom. We're in this world, but not of it. 
Torn between the two.

I love these moments. As uncomfortable as they may be, they break my heart for new-believers. The transition from being world-minded to more Kingdom-minded is difficult. It's a never ending process, but I think its easy to forget just how difficult it is to be torn.

For the sake of new and non believers you come into contact with, for the sake of the Kingdom, remember.

Friday, June 8, 2012

MOG 060812

I've been thoroughly enjoying having a visitor from IN (more details likely to come in a later post, some pics below :-) Playing tour guide is always a great reminder of what a wonderful place I live and why God has brought me here. Plus, my passion for photography has been amped up a little, since visiting all these beautiful places.

My mood has been good. I've remained mostly motivated and am sleeping well. Some minor anxiety and thoughts/feelings of worthlessness, but nothing overwhelming. Over all, I'm feeling great!


Seaport Village, Double Peak Park, Sunset Cliffs, Oceanside Pier, Grape Day Park, and much much more! What a wonderful week!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

always / never

"You will always repeat what you've never resolved."

her future is His

She caught my eye as I looked up.
Head bowed.

Bieber, bangles, and all the things that paint the face of a tweener all faded away.
For one moment of beauty, she was simply a daughter standing before her Heavenly Father.

In awe. In love. In youth.

Her future is His, and she will bless His kingdom.

Yep, that sums it up :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Do not be afraid!

Do not be afraid.

Failure is an opportunity to grow.
A chance to rely on God.
A moment His glory is undeniably not our own.

Facing possible failure is an exercise of faith.

We are weak and unable.
He is mighty and all-powerful.

And He loves us terribly.

Do not he afraid.

Slowly, bit by bit, I'm learning.
God redeems.

Breathing and Enjoying. Worth it? Yep!

Just finished slides and graphics for Sunday service.
Just in case you didn't catch the time-stamp down below...

Its Sunday.
Past 3:00am.

I also have a somewhat challenging paper due tomorrow evening for my theories class... which I've failed to even start.

That's me.

I'm usually pretty good about getting church stuff squared away by Friday night/early Saturday morning. And school, well, that shizzle costs some serious bank, so I typically make it one of my top priorities.

But this week?
I'm just not feeling it.

At all.

I just want to breathe. Enjoy.
Breathe some more.
Enjoy some more.

And that's exactly what I've done.
And I've love every moment of it.

Of course, I'll pay for it tomorrow when I'm exhausted from little sleep and slaving away over my laptop about the application of Rogerian therapy techniques...

But, breathing and enjoying...
Worth it?


Friday, June 1, 2012

Snapshot: 060112 2200 PST

Chilling with Mr. Morris, a good friend of ours who is visiting from Indiana.

He's officially a senior in high school, as today is the first day of summer vacation following his junior year.

We've already hit up Seaport Village and introduced him to In-n-Out!

Can't wait to see where else we'll end up over the next two weeks!