Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Snapshot: 112812 1500 PST

Rocking out the lion's feet.
Sipping green tea.

Diagnosing and treating the Little Mermaid with Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Watching the Munsters in the background. 

Yep, I'm a nerd.

300.7 Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A) preoccupation with imagined defect in appearance. If physical anomaly is present, the person's concern is markedly excessive.

B) preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

C) preoccupation is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


A sad, but true, commentary of modern mainstream culture.

Freely do and say all things.

Except speak the name of Jesus in a non-blasphemous way.

That's just offensive.

"I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation..."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

all in the name

Snapshot: 112112 1200 PST

*Ah. May. Zing.

This is why I'm going back to school.

I've spent the greater part of the last decade working in residential treatment with at-risk and troubled youth.

On most days, I count it as a blessing.

It didn't really ever occur to me I might end up doing something different. In fact, I used to be insulted when people suggested I move on to something else because I, and I quote, "deserved more."

So when I decided I was going back to school to get a Master's degree, maybe even a doctorate eventually, I had a difficult time conceptualizing the reason why. I could hardly explain it to myself, much less others.

Of course, there's always the go-to reason. Money.

But why else? There's gotta be more, right? To leave the job I love.
To abondon this calling and move to another...

I work with an older gentleman. He's a great staff, and he can throw-down like a champ when a restraint is in order. At sixty(?), he's in far better shape than I am now at twentynine. Based on this information alone, I'm guessing I'd break a hip doing a floor restraint by the time I'm his age. So, the longevity of this career is a reality. How can I maintain a presence in this field after I'm unable to chase children out of traffic and snatch shivs from their hands like a ninja?

Be a therapist.

There's a ministry component to it as well. Providing unconditional care for these kiddos, even after getting kicked in the jimmy, is a gift. There's no better way I can think of to demonstrate Christ's love. But I want to network within churches and offer support to hurting believers. How?

Be a therapist.

So there are those reasons. But there's more. That something I've had such a hard time putting my thumb on. It finally hit just this past Sunday morning. The perfect example smacked me right in the face. More specifically, the nose.

Crap. Lots of crap.

He overflowed the toilet. Again. He's notorious for it.
The bathroom flooded. Twice. Maybe three times.

Tongs were involved. Yeah, it was that bad.

Two hours. It took two hours to remedy the issue and finish getting everything cleaned up and sanitized. Two hours.

Have a melt down. Cry. Scream. Break something...
I'll gladly ride the ride with you and see you safely through.

But plunging toilets, making breakfast bagels, and folding laundry admist the crisis counseling?

Crap. Lots of crap.

So, as I stood ankle deep in toilet water, power struggling with a reluctant teen to fish out his own dookie from under the sink, it all came together and made perfect sense.

This is why I'm going back to school.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Snapshot: 112012 1800 PST

Chillaxing with my crew.
Jude E. Pie and Zayah Boy.

Rollin' deep in Legos and jammin' to the mad beats of Dragon Tales.

Hardcore, yo. Hardcore.


"Brothers, the Ministry is Supernatural," by John Piper.

I love this quote, and this post. When we try to breakdown God into logic and fact, we diminish the power of His majesty, which is far beyond anything we can conceive.

Walking in faith is just that: walking. In faith. Not always knowing what to expect, but taking the next step anyway. It's a journey. Unexpected and unexplainable things happen on any journey worth taking.

Those chills you feel down your neck on Sunday service? They're not just from the ceiling fans cranked up a little too high by the chubby media guy who'd probably not be so hot all the time if he'd drop a few pounds.

That gut feeling you get when someone is hurting or in need? That's not just a combo of a bad burrito and logical deduction. Let's face it, you're not that smart.

That's the Spirit whispering in your ear.

Open your mind to God. And your heart. The heart excepts things the mind cannot.

Snapshot: 1119 0249 PST

My body is confused.

I've not really slept much to speak of for about 30 hours now, but after working my usual three overnight shifts for the week, it just feels wrong to sleep during "normal people" sleeping hours.

Completely exhausted.
Yet totally wide awake.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


"... Sin speaks a dead language... God speaks your mother tongue... hang on (to) every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did... (do) not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives... remember, you've been raised from the dead into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live... So, in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly... Offer yourselves to sin, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God... to live openly in his freedom!"

Romans 6:11-18 (MSG)

MOG 111712


Wishing I could shut my mind off.
And my heart.


Trying, and failing, to just reel myself in a little.
To feel in control.

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I'm proof - Public Sinner Number One - of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off - evidence of his endless patience - to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever. Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time - One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always."

- 1 Timothy 1:15 (MSG)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Snapshot: 0111412 2300 PST

Giant fuzzy bear-foot slippers

+ Steaming hot, ginger spice tea

+ Walking Dead, season 2

+ Purring kitties happy to have momma and daddy home

+ My love wife right next me


*Now that's my kind of math!

courageous faith

Sure, he kinda looks like a schmuck in this picture... but that's just 'cuz I was the schmuck on the other side of the camera taking it. This guy here, he's not really a schmuck at all. In fact, I've heard him called a lot of things, and "Schmuck," is never one of them.

I could lay out a whole list of words and names used to describe him; father, friend, worship leader. BUT blah, blah, blah... BORING!

Let me tell you what else he's been called.
Actually... I probably shouldn't. Not appropriate, I guess.

You see, this man is not only my dear friend and brother in Christ, he's also been a co-worker of mine for over a year now.

Henceforth the inappropriate names. You see, the kids we work with... nah, I'll get to that later.

Back to Nate. He's one of those weirdo people that moved from IN all the way here to SoCal as a missionary and church-planter. One of many Branches.

No job. No home. Just faith. Courageous faith.

And, unbeknown to him, that courageous faith would lead him to an under-funded, ill-equipped group home in the barrio, where he'd serve *crazy children, earning about one third of the pay he'd get if he were actually doing what he went to college to do.

*crazy children. I know, it's sounds harsh. Just keep in mind, this home we work in houses the sickest kids in San Diego, literally just one step away from hospitalization. They are the youngest, and most mentally-ill and aggressive kids within the entire organization. I love them, but they CRAY-CRAY, and running through their actual diagnoses would be another post all of it's own.

These kids. They go for the jugular. Literally.
But Nate remains unshaken. He stands firm.

By far the most stable man I've met.

Today he was recognized at work with an award for his achievement. HR and the CEO make clever ties between core values of the organization and the awards they give their staff. Appropriately, Nate was recognized for his courage.

Standing firm on his foundation of Christ, I've yet to see Nate shaken. And, let's be honest, if a person were to be shaken anywhere, it'd be a place where children take orders from the devil, eat glass, paint walls with pooh, and stow away shivs to shank you with when you least expect it.

Yep. That's the place. That's his mission field. That's where he serves the Kingdom, and with courageous faith.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Snapshot: 111012

Today was a great day at work; the best kind of work day there is, in fact!

A few crisis here and there.

Just enough to bust out the 'ol mojo.
Make me feel all important.
Make the time go by past.

But not enough to make me stressed.
A perfect balance.

Plus, a kid wrote out my name for me all spiffy :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

we have not been satisfied with His greatness

All of us have failed to glorify God as we should

"All of us have failed to glorify God as we should. What does it mean to "fall short of the glory of God?" It means that none of us has trusted and treasured God the way we should. We have not been satisfied with his greatness and walked in his ways."

"We have sought our satisfaction in other things, and treated them as more valuable than God, which is the essence of idolatry... "

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. - Romans 1:21-23

"Since sin came into the world we have all been deeply resistant to having God as our all-satisfying treasure..."

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. - Ephesians 2:3

"This is an appalling offense to the greatness of God... "
"Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the Lord. “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." - Jeremiah 2:12-13

Quest for Joy: Six Biblical Truths- Day3
- John Piper

 *** Now, if you're reading this and are new to the faith, I want to encourage you. This is just one day in a series of a bible study I'm doing. Undoubtedly, it will be followed up by messages of His love, grace, and mercy. You can and will achieve satisfaction  in Him.

Yes, we fail to glorify God, but He will continue giving you chance after chance to honor Him. Seek forgiveness and repent (turn away from sin and towards God) and don't become discouraged. He redeems all things for His glory.

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Thursday, November 8, 2012

watch this. pray for him. maybe throw down some $$$

We've really only had one real face to face interaction, ever, but through a mutual passion for God and songwriting, and amongst lengthy emails and blog-stalking, I consider him a dear friend and brother in Christ. This young follower has ministered to me in ways he'll never know, and I'm so blessed to see where God is leading him!

satisfied with all He is

Every human should live for God's glory

"If God made us for his glory, it is clear that we should live for his glory. Our duty comes from his design. So our first obligation is to show God's value by being satisfied with all that he is for us."

"This is the essence of loving God..."
And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." - Matthew 22:37

"Trusting him..."
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. - 1 John 5:3-4

"Being thankful to him..."

Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! - Psalm 100:2-4

"It is the root of all true obedience, especially loving others..."

Because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people - the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel... - Colossians 1:4-5 

Quest for Joy: Six Biblical Truths- Day 2
- John Piper

no greater honor

Rise up! Stand with godly confidence and conviction! Engage with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Call upon the Spirit of God to empower you! March onto the battlefield with one goal in mind; to bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior. Speak His name and demonstrate His love! Do so with humility, yet know this: there is no greater honor.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pitch Perfect

Yes, I did it. I watched Pitch Perfect.
And yes, I'll admit it. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

Very funny. Quarky. Some good vocals.

Did you know Anna Kendrick could sing?  I didn't! But dang she sure 'nuff do!

When I was first accepted into Ball State University allllllll those years ago, it was originally as a vocal performance major. Of course, the furthest I ever got through the program was the application, audition, and acceptance process.... then reality and self-consciousness settled in.

I changed majors about four times... I guess the weight of reality didn't get all that heavy 'til later in life, lol... But alas, this cheese-tastic movie hit a chord in me (heheh, chord- get it?).

It was reminiscent of some hopeful ambitions I once had. It made me laugh a lot. The soundtrack was rad. And I watched it with my Love, which makes everything enjoyable :-)

And Anna Kendrick did this cool cup song thingy.
Here she is doing it again on Letterman.

a worthy challenge

Christian nation vs. Mission field

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

MOG 110612

Almost five good days in a row!
I'm so grateful!

I've felt in control; able to steer my thoughts away from negativity.
Strong enough to harness my emotions.

Aware of God's presence.
Closer to Him in prayer.


...are the moments I learn someone has been touched by something I've written.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

pants on fire

mask-free and fearful

I love this image. It's the perfect portrayal of life for many people with bipolar I and II, as well as other mood disorders.

Always changing, one extreme emotion to the next. I'm not talking about normal fluctuations. I'm talking about the kind that effect work, sleep, relationships, general well being and ability to function.

A lot of people change faces, but not their expression. A smile might become a frown, but you'd never guess what's really going on under that mask they feel that have to wear.

I've been on a soapbox lately about these masks.
I've been trying to live authentically; mask-free. It's a lot easier to do in writing. But face to face? That's where masks come in most handy.

The hardest part? The fear of stigma. I've been really struggling for about two months now. Again, it's easy in writing. Mood logging and blogging. That's comfortable for me. But face to face? Mask-free?

As soon as I reach a point I'm ready to remove the mask...
To show my I-am-not-okay-and-need-your-help face...

Something happens. Or happened recently, I should say.

Last week I had to send out a text to couple of trusted Godly men saying something along the lines of, "I'm sick. I kinda don't want to be alive right now..."

And as difficult as it was to get to that place of reaching out like that, I find it almost just as difficult to share the relief I feel today.  

I know. You read that correctly. Weird, right?
If I completely live mask-free, you're going to see my face.
My real face. The one that's always changing.

There are these people. I log into FaceBook and see them daily. Literally within one hour they post about being the happiest person in the world to being a devastated victim to a cruel world full of crueler people.

Unfairly so, I judge them. It's in my nature. "Drama," I think. "They're all drama."
Yet I don't want you to think or feel that way about me.
Which, this judgy thing, it really gives me something else to work on...

I say I want to live mask-free, but I'm fearful.
I have a lot of faces. They change a lot.
What does that say about me?
And what will that make you say about me?

But regardless, here goes...

I had a spiritual experience last night.
I feel close to God and to other people again.
Today has been good.
I feel joy and hope.

My face has changed. 
Literally, overnight.

This smile is not a mask. It's real.

I am fearful though. Fearful this rapid change ultimately means I'm crazy.
That I'm one of those people. Drama.
Fearful you will think I'm crazy and one of those people.

Fearful this is all just a fluke and I'll wake up tomorrow back in a pit of despair.

But for now? I've committed to just rolling with it.
I feel good. I'm throwing caution to the wind and running with it.

My face. Smiling. No mask. Honest smiling.

Friday, November 2, 2012


"You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse..."

"Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering... fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it..." 

Philippians 4:8
Roman 12:2 (MSG) 


I don't necessarily try to be better than anyone in particular.
I just desperately want to be better in general.

Better than me.
Better than this.

Good enough to belong. To be. To have a place that's mine.
Good enough to be needed and wanted. Used. Not used.

Those thoughts and feelings are irrational, I know.
They just reflect where I'm right now.

But this quote. It's a great way of looking at myself. A great way to look at now and tomorrow.
Where was I yesterday? How can I be one step further today?

It's a step-by-step goal.
It's progressive. It's realistic.

And it's better than the direction my mind has been taking me lately.


my kids

I suppose I should consider it a blessing to work with all the teens I've encountered as a childcare counselor...

But if I were to say that's how I felt... I'd be lying.

Some kids are nightmares to work with. These are the kids who make you appreciate your days off. These are the kids who usually make for great stories after the smoke has cleared, figuratively or literally. These are the kids that make other people intrigued when you tell them what you do.

Then there's those kids. The one's that fade away with time. It's sad to think, but there are dozens of kids I've worked with whose names and faces all blend together into one blobby conglomerate of general chaos.

And then, there are my kids. I think every staff has them, or maybe it's just me. But every now and then, I meet a kid who I just know I'll impact in some way. The kid you'd take home and make part of your family. The kid whose name you'll never forget, and not because they climbed up on the roof or smeared their poop all over the bathroom... The kid you love and somehow know they love you back.

That kid. I'm pretty sure I've referenced this phenomenon before.

And now, here I am. I once offered them something they now offer me, years later. I had a wonderful phone conversation with one of them just a few weeks ago, and I found this awesome post in my FB timeline from another kid today.

Of course, they're not really kids anymore.

Making me almost a thirty-something. Gulp. Almost... I digress...

But they're still my kids.
And they still bless me.