Sunday, May 31, 2020


I never thought I'd see the day where I not only reference the once popular infomercial mistress, Susan Powter, but also long for a day where any person is willing to forgo joining the masses and consider the meaning of those words.  Well, today is the day I consider those words and step outside the comfort of my keyboard anonymity and share my heart.  Yes, I'm the ever hated white male that apparently has no idea about how life should work.  Yes, I'm a Bible believing and gun toting supporting individual that apparently isn't in touch with how outdated my beliefs are.  Lastly, I am one of just under 600,000 people calling Wyoming home, where somehow the rest of America thinks we still lack electricity and move around town in a horse and buggy (oddly enough the latter of the two still does happen during certain parts of the year).  So please, if you're reading this, I hope you keep an open mind knowing this evil man's thoughts are shared with a heavy heart and not one word is typed without thought and prayer.

First, the country I grew up knowing is no longer what I see.  Yes, I saw division.  I saw hardships endured by many that weren't fair.  Yes, I saw a community torn between races.  No, I never really experienced the hurt that these items I saw created in friends, classmates and those I worked with.  Yet what they went through is nothing that compares to what is happening today.

Yes, the unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd are more than tragic.  They are appalling.  I can't find a means to even think there is justification for their murders.  How could anyone actually find an excuse for the actions of police and former law workers?  I have no answers for that question.  Nor can I find an answer for why the justice system failed them in the immediate aftermath of their murders.  I'm sick just thinking about this.

Sadly, the following words are where I know I'm going to lose many of you.  Those I lose will probably even tell me that my whiteness proves I have no compassion for anyone and will never understand the purpose of a protest.  I'll agree, you might be right.  But again I ask you at least hear me out.

What could justify arson, theft and assault as a means to protest the inexcusable murders of black men?  What is being accomplished to the betterment of race relations by burning down the minority owners business?  Is stealing a new TV healing wounds or creating a greater chasm? Is this a protest or a chance to exercise complete anarchy?  Are those rioting doing so in memory of these two men?  Or have the rioters and looters moved past the point of honoring and seen a chance to commit crimes because the can?  Again, there is no easy answer, if one at all.  This too is making me sick.

Here is what is making more sick: news sources that are presumably reliable telling me that the riots are a normal response; a president that seems to be unable to stop himself from posting on Twitter; politicians blaming others for creating the race and financial divide; christians being arrogant enough to say that, "it wouldn't happen if we just trust Jesus more (or something to that line).

Do I believe that there are some hard working journalists that are trying to present facts?  Yes, but not as many doing so as often as once was.  Do I believe the president needs to be on Twitter so much?  Nope, but I also believe he's doing so for more than just spewing whatever is on his mind.  When politicians are continually blaming others for the ills of the laws this country has, do I think the finger pointing is a way to get me to support them?  Nope, no and not at all.  I believe that if they stopped pointing fingers and honestly made an effort that things might have an opportunity to change (more than just DC, but also right where you and I live).  Do I believe that a faith in and a relationship with Christ is needed in my life?  Considering my opening paragraph that is an easy answer.  BUT!!!  I do not believe that a simple cookie cutter statement will solve anything for those that believe differently that I do.

Tell me then, how do we heal the hurt this is going through?  I will never understand the possibility of not being able to take a jog without getting shot, or having a grown mans full weight on my neck cutting off my source of air.  I can empathize with those emotions.  I can empathize with their families as they walk through the loss of their loved ones.  If I can't relate, then tell me how I can help.  Where can I make a difference?

Don't tell me that the riots, arson and thievery is similar to the Tea Party when those protesters didn't physically injure the law enforcement of the day.  You won't convince me Dr. Martin Luther King would support these forms of protest when he preached against violence of any means while he too was violently murdered.  Don't tell me a part of history means something in support of your argument/explanation when you conveniently ignore that part where Rosa Parks protested without violence.  Don't tell me condemning the "protests" is demeaning the death of two black men especially when I told you earlier it is making me sick.  Again I ask, what do we do to help change the current state of affairs?

Here's my suggestions.  I'm a person, blood flowing through my body just as yours does.  My pigment might be a little lighter than yours, but it's still a pigment; I can't change what you or I look like.  Let's treat each other like people.  Let's shake hands when we see each other.  Let's have civil conversations about our differences to hopefully find some similarities.  Let's not burn down others properties as a means of retribution - you're only hurting someone else while not getting what you seek in justice.  Instead of blaming others for our actions, shouldn't we accept responsibility?  I have a free will to decide how to respond as do you.  The tragic deaths of two does not mean I have no other choice than destroy things.  No!!!  I actually have the choice to peacefully protest brutality and unnecessary force.

I know I'm missing solutions.  I know that as one of the most vilified individuals in America right now my words will fall on deaf ears.  I'll also be told how ignorant my privileged self is because I don't know how to walk in the minority persons shoes (again, see above).  But I'd like to think that my desire to see healing is something we all should want.  I'd be remiss to think the healing won't hurt no matter how desperate we need it.  Most importantly, don't tell me how wrong I am in these words when you only want to tell me about my ignorance and wrongness instead of contributing a possible solution.  You do that, and you only prove that you are a part of the problem.

Please, let's work together for change.  Let's work together to use more than conversation as a means to vent.  Please, see me as a person that passionately cares about you and your family as I will work to believe the same of you.  We need to raise our expectations of ourselves to help heal as opposed to just accepting life as we see it.  Are you up to the challenge of making yourself better?  I'll work on myself and hope you'll work with me in improving each other.

For a little fun, give this classic from Billy Joel a listen.  He might have been on to something when he wrote it.  Pretty sure he could add a few more lines today.

Time to, "Stop The Insanity!"

Sunday, November 24, 2019

There Is No Stupid Question

Life is a beautiful thing.  It can also be ugly, funny, horrific and about any other descriptive word you can think of.  Usually, all those things will describe your life.  Or my life.  Each moment in life is broken into moments where we see things in those moments.  One minute we can be on top of Mount Rainier, overlooking the beautiful sights of Western Washington.  The next minute we can be trying to find the rip cord as we free fall towards earth.  We may be rejoicing at the birth of our 5th child, or mourning the loss of a loved one.  Each moment, distinct in our perception of how life is and how we walk through those stages.  They make us.  They break us.  We are today because of those yesterdays.

How do we handle those yesterday's?  When do we heal?  How do we heal?  Do we ever, "get over," each of these moments?  How do we, "move on," when heartbreak hits?  How can someone celebrate life when they are going through cancer treatment?  So many questions that all pertain to living each day when  the hits, the punches, the falls, the get back ups and the victories are everywhere around you.  We ask the, "what if's," and the, "did this just happen's," constantly.  Like the Energizer Bunny, the questions seem to never end.

All of us deal with these questions and answers differently.  Me, I don't have the answers to many, if any of these questions.  And the answers I might have are different for everyone.  And your answers might help me out, but not your neighbor.  I don't get it.  I would love it if there were a simple answer for all of life's crazy.  But, I'd also get really bored if every one of your life's questions were the same as my life questions.

But, there is one thing I know.  One thing I've had to explain to some of my Uber riders that I'll share here.  Ask.  Ask me how I handle things.  Ask how you should look at things.  Ask how your brother has survived his loss of his wife to the auto accident.  Ask how your sister has lived with gestational diabetes.  Ask your best friend what it's like to retire from the military and how hard it's been to get a job in the civilian world.  Ask your aunt how they have kept a smile on their face when your cousin continues getting arrested.  Just ask.

For me, you asking about my cancer, the effects it had on me, might still have on me and what it will look like in 10 years is therapeutic.  It helps me focus on the blessings I have in life; the thankfulness of seeing each day on what is borrowed time.  Ask about the scars of self imposed failure during the battles of cancer.  Ask.

I pray we learn to ask.  It shows others we care.  It brings an inexplicable healing to you and I.  We'll start building each other up.  It will allow us to have personal exchanges that our phones aren't letting us have anymore.  It will take away the Instagram likes and replace them with high fives/fist bumps/hugs/smiles.  It could change your world.

Ask.  It's not stupid.  Just ask.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Remember The Ass

Nobody likes rhetorical questions.  Unfortunately, sometimes that is the only way to make a point.  So, I'm gonna ask a rhetorical question.  May I talk to y'all for a few minutes?  Good.  And, may I recommend some popcorn, 'cause things 'bout to get good.

Kanye has stirred up a lot of discussions about a lot of things.  Is he a Christian?  Is he Born Again?  Is it just a money grab?  But what about his past, he called himself...  Okay, can't comment on any of those questions.  I won't comment on what I know nothing of.  Mine isn't to determine his heart.  Mine isn't to determine intentions.  Or honesty/sincerity.  I don't know the man or his family.  I don't know where he has been and what he has seen in his life.  So this post isn't about any of this.

This post is for everyone that has had comments questioning Kanye.  It's for all of you that think his actions are fake.  For those that believe it's just a money grab.  It's for those of you who are speaking in, "righteous judgement," of all Kanye discussions.  Also for those that are using the power of your inner keyboard warrior that just want to chip in with your expertise and knowledge of all things Kanye related simply because you find that your words are the only words that matter as if you are the only one with direct communication with God himself.  (***WARNING: If any of these descriptions give you a complex or a guilty feeling, this post is for you.  You WILL BE OFFENDED!***)

Many years ago I discovered a great skit with Bob Newhart playing a psychiatrist.  He provided simple yet a very easy to understand method to follow for his clients.  So simple it was only two words: STOP IT!  Yup, two words.  He wasted no time providing much needed guidance.  Sure, his clients were confused and frustrated they couldn't get any other advice, or share any more of their problems before they were offered these words.

In the great words of Bob, here's my words to:
The person that says Kanye isn't saved.  STOP IT!
The person stating it's a money grab.  STOP IT!
Those that think he shouldn't have gone to Joel Osteen's church.  STOP IT!
Those that think he's a wolf in sheep's clothing.  STOP IT!!!
Anybody speaking ill of anything and everything this man does.  STOP IT!!!

Need any explanation of those words?  Confused about either of them?  Good.  So just do everyone a simple favor.  STOP. IT.

Again, this is NOT me talking about Kanye.  I don't know him, don't find his actions pure or impure.  Genuine or not.  NOTHING about this post is a form of support or lack of for Kanye.  Nope!  Yes, duplicating these statements because I'm sure some of you a certain I support him and know that I'm deceived along with the rest of those welcoming him to the faith.

Let me be clear my dear friends.  You christian that is using your justified righteous anger when you discuss Kanye.  Do you not remember that God used the following to prove a point, win lives, convince people to do as he asked?

An ass
A whale
A tax collector
A prostitute
A star

That's just a short list.  Need more reminders on what God does?  How about these?

John 3:17 - God did not send his son to judge the world but to save it.
Hebrews 11:6 - And it is impossible to please God without faith.  Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Luke 19:10 - For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
Luke 11:10 - For everyone who asks receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks the door will be opened.
Hebrews 5:11-12 - There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don't seem to listen.  You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others.  Instead, you need someone to teach you again in the basic things about God's word.  you are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
Matthew 7:3 - Why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?

I could go on.  But, I won't.

See, christians forget that Christ became sin so we would not.  He died so we could live.  He told the thief on the cross next to him that he would not be forgotten and would see him at the right hand of God.  We forget that David committed adultery and killed another man to commit said adultery.  But, we still know that David was a man after God's own heart.  Committing sin seems like a strange way to pursue God, but we all sin, just like David.  We forget that Saul persecuted Christians before he became Paul.

Here's my point.  God can and will use whatever he desires to bring glory to his name.  Luke 19:40 warns us that the rocks will cry out.  Kanye is crying out.  He is teaching.  His name alone is bringing people to churches that would never set foot in a church if not for Kanye.  Can you convince me that I have a chance to speak to the masses like he is?  Are you able to convince me that you can put out an album that everyone talks about?  No?  Anyone?  Oh wait, that's right.  You don't own 2 ranches in Wyoming, or a shoe line, or married to the porn star, or have recently announced you're running for president in 2024.  See, the very fact he's doing something to get people into a church, listen to a gospel album or simply talking about God, he's doing something so many of us christians aren't.  Shame on us!!!  And good on him.

Instead of flinging poo at Kanye, shouldn't we be praying for him?  Shouldn't we be excited that people are beginning to believe when they once didn't?  Shouldn't we be getting a little uncomfortable and joining Kanye in sharing what God has done in our lives with others?  Shouldn't we all just, STOP IT?

Remember, sooner or later the ass is gonna talk to all of us.  Or will you be running to Nineveh when God says go?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Bite Your Tongue and Clean Your House

"Are you the one that's come to set me free?
'Cause if you knew who I am, would you really want to die for me?
They say you are the cursed man, the one who hangs from this tree
I know this is the one and only son of God but tell me, who the fuck is he?
So tell me!"

These lyrics had you.  You were invested.  You knew the singer was talking to someone about Christ hanging on the cross.  But then you read that one word.  That single word will forever trip you up.  And any band using that kind of word certainly isn't a band you need to listen to.  Any, "good christian," won't listen to music with that word in it.

"I throw caution to the wind and suck your sweet poison,
Your body's everything, your body's everything.
As I trip on my desire I dive into your fire,
Your body's everything, your body's everything."

Then there's this song.  It seems like a pretty suggestive song.  I mean, what kind of band would sing such a sexually charged song?  No way any, "good christian," should listen to this song!  Obviously this singer is having an affair.

"What have I become, now that I've betrayed
Everyone I've ever loved, I pushed them all away
And I have been a slave to the Judas in my mind
Is there something left for me to save
In the wreckage of my life, my life..."

There it is!!!  A biblical reference without cursing or suggestive lyrics.  This band has it down, biblical reference, clean lyrics and admitting they have failed, questioning if they can be saved.  Finally, I gave you lyrics that any, "good christian," band should have.

So tell me, which of those three bands would you listen to?  You and your desire for perfection in lyrics and messages in the lyrics, what band of the three above would you support and listen to?  Choose wisely, you never know what you are claiming to support if you don't consider everything.  Also, no cheating by typing in lyrics for Google to help you.

Decide yet?  Here, let me give you a couple clues.  Two of the songs were on albums banned by christian bookstores because of the perceived offenses of the songs.  One of the songs never made it to a christian bookstore because the band isn't a christian band.  Two of the bands have toured the world and played some of the largest venues and arenas in Russia, Germany, Mexico and the US.  The other band plays bars, houses, churches or anywhere they can get work.  Now, which of these songs is the best song to determine which band is the, "good christian band?"

Exactly!!!  You can't tell just off the lyrics.  The first song is from P.O.D. and is called, "I Am."  Yes, the very P.O.D. whose lead singer helped found the Whosoever movement.  The very band that isn't afraid to share their faith with people.  The second song is "Everything" from The Classic Crime.  They are a band with a collection of believers and non believers.  They just play music.  But, their lead singer writes from his christian world view.  The song was written as a love song to his wife.  Two great songs, both songs that christian retailers were afraid to put on shelves because they felt the songs would offend people. 

That last song is from Fozzy and is appropriately named "Judas."  Never heard of Fozzy?  Yeah, not a christian band.  Their lead singer is the popular wrestler, Chris Jericho. 

What's my point here?  I don't know.  Actually, I'm not certain I can fully explain my point.  At least not without offending the masses.  Sure, I know the bible talks about the tongue and how it can spark a flame, cause a wild fire or is a restless evil filled with poison (James 3:1-12).  Also, I know that Psalm has many verses about the tongue and the mouth uttering wisdom (Psalm 37:29-31) or David's plea to keep his tongue from sin (Psalm 39:1-3).  BUT!!!  I just can't find where the Bible says, "Don't swear."  I'm also a firm believer that ones language is up to the person.  If you don't have a problem with language, speak as you desire.  It's between you and God.  And, I'm also a believer that if my language causes someone to struggle, then I probably shouldn't talk a certain way around them when it is offending them.  Finally, if you get offended at someone who speaks a way you don't condone, then maybe you should avoid the things they do, lessons they provide, etc.  Just remember, you can't hold everyone up (or anyone up) to your standards when they may not believe like you do.

Basically, what I'm saying is, if you demand your, "christian music," to be clean, free of foul language, not sexually suggestive or other, and only provides uplifting lyrics, then you might be sorely disappointed to learn that Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a full album of love songs to his wife; you might be disappointed when you realize Skillet talks about suicide frequently; your perception that TFK keeps things simple is wrong considering they wrote a song about divorce.  See, when parts of the Bible are graphic enough to receive "R" or "NC-17" ratings in a movie theater, then you should expect bands and christians to get the same ratings when they sing or talk. 

If you want to reach the lost, you gotta go to where the lost is you need to go where the lost is.  You need to talk their language and sometimes, that means getting dirty.  And when christians struggle and are willing to admit it, then let's get dirty with them; let's struggle with them.  Condemning only hurts.  Let's heal.  Let's restore.  Let's love.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Value in Yourself and Others

What are you worth?  A question many of us ask.  Especially the small business owner.  From assessing the value of time to how much the cost of material costs.  Did something need shipped or did they buy supplies at retail as opposed to wholesale?  Every little detail analyzed with a value determined.  A process with a never ending cycle.  But, this isn't about the small business owner.  It's about us as people.  It's about the people I work with, the many people I shuttle around as an Uber driver, about myself, my family.  It's about you, the reader.

Sadly, the value of self is crippling our society.  We doubt our existence is worth it.  We question if anyone really cares about us.  We question the motives of others and if we're just being used for their selfish pleasures.  We indulge in pleasure and then question why we put ourselves in places and situations we will regret.  Our bosses over work us; our kids don't respect us; our employees think we do nothing to better the company; the thoughts running in our minds and the harsh words on social media are trapped in our heads.  We suck, we aren't worth much when we screw up; anything and everything wrong with us is magnified.

Over the past week plus the conversations I have participated in and overheard is proving this.  My own struggles are confirming and reflecting that of society.  We are sinking our own ships because we can't see/don't know our value.  Be it our value to ourselves, our families or anyone else on a very long list of others that put any value into us.  Add to this, we don't truly understand the impact we have on each other, and the value we can create in others, be it for a few minutes or a few years.

So, what are we really worth?  To our parents, when we were younger we were their world.  We had value!  For some of us, we still have that value.  Unfortunately, some of us don't know our parents anymore as we are estranged to those we thought loved us.  So much for family.

Our formidable years have us, "finding ourselves," as we study, walk halls filled with others presumably like us, or working our first jobs and most importantly fellowshipping with peers we call friends.  Suddenly, a collection of cool kids, jocks, nerds, stoners and loners complete these years by walking across a stage; somehow thinking we've succeeded and I get to hang with my friends all the time now!  Within a couple of months, so many of those friends have moved on to their next chapter in life.  Stuck between being a kid and being an adult, we found ourselves having lost everything we knew as routine and replaced it with the uncertainty of what adulthood is.  More of our self perceived value is gone, just like the routine we once had with school.

So many adults seemingly joke about not wanting to, "adult." Truth: I agree!  I don't want to adult either.  Being an adult is brutal.  From bills, full time jobs with bosses begging us to do more than is possible, spouses (or significant others), families relying on us, caring for our aging parents and so much more that adult life brings.  These responsibilities suck.  But, it also means we are of value to someone.  We are loved and needed by people.  Hopefully, we are placing that same value in people.  Finally, we have value.  Or, at least we think we do and hope our thoughts are reality.

Truth is, we do have value.  No matter how hard it is for us to get out of our own way and believe in our own value, we are worth so much more than what we believe.  We tend to not believe in our own value because we don't hear/see that value as often as we need.  What is that value though?

What would happen if we really knew how valuable we were?  What would happen if others knew how much we valued their presence in our lives?  How different would your world be if you put value in both yourself and those around you?  What kind of value would you add when you show a complete stranger that you care about them because they too have value in this world?   How many marriages could survive the test of daily tribulations if we knew how much value our spouses had, and we could show them that value?  How many of our youth would stop killing themselves if they knew how much they meant to us - their parents/grandparents/teachers/friends?  However, all of these questions can't be answered until we can grasp how much value we have through the eyes of God.

As mere humans we have no ability to comprehend how much love/value God places in each of us.  I can't explain why he loves and cares about us.  I'm never gonna understand why he places so much value in me.  Or you.  What I do know is that if he cares so much about you and I (he allowed his son to die), then I should probably find ways to place a sliver of that value in people.  I need to be the one who helps others place value in themselves and those they live with.  Is it possible, that small acts of adding value into others can change the worlds we live in?

I have hope.  I tend to over analyze a lot of things.  But this; over analyzing our value (independently and corporately), is impossible.  How amazing it is knowing that someone believes in us, supports us and knows how valuable they think we are.  They know that without us their life isn't complete.  Their life would have a huge hole in it if we aren't around.  More importantly, what an amazing gift we have knowing that no matter what, no matter how alone we are/may be, despite how invaluable we feel, that there is a God and father in heaven that will do anything to show us he loves us and we are so precious and valuable to him.

So to that young lady about to go home with a random guy from the bar: you're worth more.
To the wife whose husband has left her and their kids because of a moment of fleeting fun with another woman: you're worth more.
To the young man that is about to have another one night stand: you're worth more.
To the teenager ready to hang themselves: let us hang onto the rope for you; you're worth more.
To the young adult with a bottle of prescriptions about to swallow them all: you're worth more.
To the young man with a gun to his head because no one understands how alone you are:  you are never alone; you're worth more.
To the couple that questions is the effort worth it: you're worth more together, the work will pay off.
To the pastor wondering if he is making any difference in people: you are, and you're worth more than the doubt you are gripped by currently.
To the teacher that wonders is any of your students listen: they do and you're worth more teaching them than starting over in a new career.
To the single person looking for a hook up every weekend: you're worth more, just be patient.

We all have our doubts, our fears, our questions, our loneliness and more.  But, we're worth so much more.  Can we start showing it to those we come into contact with with more urgency?  More intentional words of worth?  Will we believe that a death of his son is enough proof of the worth God has put in us?  I promise, I'm gonna work on it.  I may fail, but I'm gonna work on it.  Will you join me?

This song has brought me to tears many times over the last year.  Please, listen. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Broken Healing

What do you think of when you hear the word broken?  Do you hurt?  Maybe you just dropped something in the kitchen and now you have to clean it up.  Now you're frustrated.  Maybe broken brings frustration because you can't put something special back together.  As for me, broken has been a word that has many meanings and ones that not many people will associate well with.  So, pull up a seat, brace yourself for a glimpse into my over analytical head and hopefully, join me in changing our perception of the word broken.

Merriam-Webster classifies broke as an adjective.  It describes something.  Of the many definitions, I'll highlight just a couple.
   1: Violently separated into pars
   2: Damaged or altered by or as if by breaking (not working properly/violated by transgression/disrupted by change)
   3: Made weak or infirm
   4: Not complete or full
   5: Disunited by divorce, separation or desertion of one parent

Ouch!  Working in the medical field, I see a lot of broken.  Being a person I can feel and see a lot more broken than any x-ray/MRI/CT can ever see.  Specifically, I find I live that broken every day.  So do you.  You may not see it, but the broken is right in front of you.

The only time humans weren't broken was back when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden.  The second Eve took a bite, and the second Adam chose to follow her lead was the last time humans were unbroken.  Today society has taken broken to a whole new level.  As I see it, every friendship has an element of brokenness.  Every marriage has a fracture.  Every job can make even the strongest person weak.  Every single one of us feels incomplete at times.  Brokenness isn't selective either.  It cares not profession, age, race or gender.  It cares not how successful one is.  It will hit you at any moment on any day.  When your brokenness hits you it'll be with a Mack truck and wave it's big middle finger at you.

In our brokenness we tend to look for comfort in something and someone.  Music, religion, friends, spouses or other things.  Previously, this has worked for many.  It's worked over the years and we can trust it will work for many more years.  BUT!!!

Today's society is so broken that not much is healing the brokenness.  Don't believe me?  Turn on the news.  What do they typically report on?  Most of the time they make you wait until they get done with the "headlines" before they get to the weather (unless it's the weather that is making your local news).  Then you have to wait until the last 7 minutes to get any sports report (again, unless it is one of the top national items that is a hot topic).  Hop on Twitter and you'll be bombarded by the brokenness politics, racial angst and more.  If you turn on your favorite radio station, chances are you'll hear about a musician gone too soon because of a drug OD or suicide.  Even Hollywood is getting caught up in the brokenness.  Their awards show have all of our favorite actors speaking out about some cause (mostly worthy causes) that are highlighting the ills of our world.  Broken!  Our world is broken.

Now for the church.  Many seek comfort in a church.  We should go there.  We should be able to find solace in a place where there is God.  When people don't find that comfort, they are broken one more time.  They lose trust in christians.  They lose hope that their brokenness will ever be healed.  I'd like to think it doesn't happen often or is just a few isolated cases.  But my eyes and ears tell me differently.  I've seen the hopeless walk into a church and be shunned because of the clothes they are wearing.  I've seen the stares piercing those with the body piercings and tattoos.  I've seen the judgement from the self appointed righteous towards those that drop an F bomb by accident because their kid broke a toy in the nursery during an outreach event.  Hey church, you're broken too.

How do we fix this broken?  I'm not an expert.  I'll never claim I have the perfect answer.  But, I believe that my perfect answer tells me to love.  I believe he tells me to forgive.  And I suck at love.  I suck at forgiving.  I am horrible at taking a deep breath and waiting 10 minutes so I don't add to someones brokenness.  But, that is what I believe the God I know is asking us to do.

Instead of heaping burning coals on the broken, why don't we take time to listen.  Instead of wondering why someone can't just move on after a loss, why don't we take the time to hear their breaking and break with them.  Instead of getting mad at someone breaking us, should we try to understand what is going on in their lives causing them to break us?  I'm fairly certain most people don't try to break others.  Sometimes, people don't know they are breaking us, especially when they are breaking themselves. 

Remember, you're broken.  It's okay to be broken.  You can be put back together.  If you're broken, then so is the person you live next to, so is your co-worker, your child, your friends and those you go to church with.  If all those people are broken, then so are your pastors, your bosses, your city leaders and your state leaders.  Yes, that means your favorite movie star, sports hero and even your national leaders are broken.  If you can be put back together, then so can they. 

My goal for me to share with you is to help restore you.  I want to see you smile again.  I want to understand what is breaking you.  It'll hurt, I know it will.  We'll probably cry.  You'll probably hate me at times.  I'll probably give you some questionable advice.  It's okay though.  It's because I'm broken too.  And you can help me heal too.  Together, we can find a way to be unbroken.

Together we can love, we can forgive, we can become so beautifully broken. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Dr. God, Engage Kill Switch

Dear God,

The last several months have been a roller coaster of epic proportions. And as fun as that sounds, I'm kinda tired of the ride. So how about you just hit the kill switch and let everyone off.

And just like the roller coaster expectations of screaming, yelling and fear, I find myself needing to scream, yell, cuss and be angry for being on this when I don't want to be.  But, I can't.  I can't yell, I can't cuss, I can't be angry.  Instead, like the one gripped by fear on their first roller coaster, I am speechless.  Well, not speechless, but close to it.

I guess I just don't really know how to respond.  Sure I'm angry.  Yes, the words of frustration are plenty.  But, I'm thankful.  Like Job not cursing you, I'm not.  I'm thankful that I'm learning to lean on you again.  I'm thankful that my family is alive.  I'm thankful for the friends that surround my family.

I sit and wonder what's wrong with me, ya know, considering I'm not angry.  Why am I unable to scream?  Rage has been the option for many a men better than me.  Yet, here I sit, teary eyed some days, and find myself thankful.  Maybe it's because of what you've already seen me through.  Maybe it's because I'm fairly certain there is more you have for me to learn.  Whatever "it" is that keeps me from all out rage is a blessing in disguise.  Maybe it's just because I know things could be a lot worse.

So for now, God, I guess my only request is that you hit the kill switch on this roller coaster.  You know I have emetophobia and I'm pretty certain that if the ride keeps it's current pace of continuous upside down twists and turns, my wife and daughter are gonna get sick.  That won't be pretty.

Thank you, God.