Saturday, December 31, 2005

night be gone...

Good riddance 2005...may the dung of your year be the fertilizer to grow something worth the agony of trudging through your days.
 
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning...Hear O Lord and be gracious to me; O Lord be my helper. You have turned for me my mourning into dancing,
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.
-Psalms 30:5,11

Friday, December 30, 2005

The fluid that love bleeds...

I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue with God.

-Job (13:3)

 

The book of Job is painfully healing.

You have a good man that has a bunch of really bad stuff happen to him.

You have a lot of close people around him that totally misunderstand him and his trial.

You get a lot of arguments, accusations, pain, suffering and emotional bleeding.

You get to hear the devil.

You get to hear Job and you get to hear God.

Job’s friends sound right but they are not.

Job makes sense and God doesn't.

In the end life moves on and more good things come.

 

A book of arguments about life…defiantly worth having when life kicks you in the teeth.

 

Anger --no peevish fit of temper, but just, generous, scalding indignation --passes (not necessarily at once) into embracing, exultant, re-welcoming love. That is how friends and lovers are truly reconciled. Hot wrath, hot love. Such anger is the fluid that love bleeds when you cut it. The angers, not the measured remonstrances, of lovers are love's renewal.  -C.S. Lewis, Prayer: Letters to Malcolm.

Dad and sons...

Fred, my dad and us three brothers.

Mom and sons...


My middle brother Marc, me, My mom Kristy Ann, my younger brother Matt. This was the first Christmas we have all been together as family in over 20 years. Matt and his family left back to Thailand today, that made our time together bitter sweet.

Looking for worms...



Dreshawn (My stepsister's son) Micah. Nic (My brother Matt's son) and Lilly(My brother Marc's daughter). We had 11 grandchildren at our Christmas get together in Portland, that makes for a high energy experience!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

King Kong

We saw King Kong and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe while in Portland.
L/W/W was ok...good for kids 6-12 years old.
Someone said it's LOTR for girls...made me laugh, kinda true.
Not bad but just not what I hoped it would be.  
 
Kong was simply awesome!
I am going to see it again for sure.
Best monster brawl ever between Kong and 3 Rex's, fantastic!
A bit creepy in parts, a nod to Jackson's horror background but overall I thought it was all I had hoped it to be. Quite an accomplishment to make a movie that no one will remake.

We are only yesterday...

Please inquire of past generations and consider the things searched out by their fathers.
For we are only yesterday and know nothing because our days on earth are as a shadow. Will they not teach you and tell you and bring forth words from their minds? -Job 8:8-9
 
This passage of scripture captures the heart of why I love reading and especially old books.
I think the bible obviously embodies this truth the most but I find similar treasures hidden away in the dusty pages of forgotten books.
 
I came away from my trip down to Portland with a suitcase full of wisdom thanks to my Dad, my brother Matt and Powels Books.
 
The Royal Path of Life: published in 1893
Parables of Kierkegaard
Mere Christianity: C.S. Lewis
Emerging Churches: Gibbs/Bolger
A Golden Treasury: Puritan paperback
The Christian's Great Interest: Puritan paperback
The Glory Of Christ: Puritan paperback
Spiritual Growth by Pink
Saving Faith by Pink
Solomon on Sex by Dillow
 
Ahhhh the beauty of a good bookstore, I can find titles I have been looking for in minutes when I go to Powells that I have not seen in Spokane at all. Spokane sucks when it comes to bookstores and our corporate intelligence and depth of spirit reveal it.
Bad books...bad thinkers.
 
I loathe the poverty of it all.
 
 

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

And now unto him who is able to keep us from falling and lift us from
the dark valley of despair to the bright mountain of hope, from the
midnight of desperation to the daybreak of joy; to him be power and
authority, for ever and ever. Amen.
-Martin Luther King

As the new year approaches I find myself clinging to the truth above.
I will be glad to see 2005 pass and for a new year to come.
I pray that I will walk with the wisdom gained from the shadows of the
last year.
I pray that I will chase daylight with renewed vision.
That the grip of disappointment will be broken through surrender.
That I will be able to apprehend what I was apprehended for in greater
dimensions.
That I will learn to bravely love in wisdom's light, again.
That I will dare to jump in the lion's pit even though I might lose
the brawl.
That I won't sleep in Delilah's lap and lose my vision.
I pray for the armor of light to protect me from myself.
I long for deeper meaning, fuller life and awakened passions, governed
by submission to His will.
I pray that this would be the year that Christ would be all in all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Like a bear lying in wait...

He has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long; he has walled me in so that I cannot escape...Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, he dragged me from the path and mangled me...He has filled me with bitter herbs and sated me with gall. He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust.

-Jeremiah the prophet.

 

I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul...Who are we that you make so much of us, that you give us so much attention, that you examine us every morning and test us every moment?...Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands...Your hands shaped and made me -- will you now destroy me?

-Job.

 

I realize that voicing ones struggle with God seems to be more than some people are willing to bear. You can complain about life and especially people and we will eat it up but if you dig into the character of God, it seems to shake us. We don't want to face our fears. We tuck our questions and hesitancies into a nailed shut box and place them under a neat little corner of our faith under the stairs. Hoping that they will rot away in obscurity and not reveal their frightening faces. But like the crate in the movie Creep Show, sooner or later someone or something in life will open up the crate and then all hell breaks loose.

 

Even Jesus was forsaken.

 

Whatever that means theologically, it at least speaks volumes emotionally and spiritually.

But the comforting thing to me is, that Jesus had no problem voicing His complaint and accusation publicly. He shouted loud enough for others to hear and for the disciples to write it down.

 

Scandalous.

 

'Read your complaint,' said the judge...'Enough', said the judge. And now for the first time I knew what I had been doing. While I was reading, it had, once and again, seemed strange to me that the reading took so long; for the book was a small one. Now I knew that I had been reading it over and over; perhaps a dozen times. I would have read it forever; quick as I could...if the judge had not stopped me...At last the judge spoke. 'Are you answered?' he said. 'Yes,' said I. The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered...I ended my first book with the words No answer. I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face, questions die away. What other answer would suffice?

-Queen Orual in C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces.

December 23

Handling snakes, sitting with scorpions and gnashing gravel

So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who when his son asks for a loaf will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish he will not give him a snake will he? If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! –Jesus

 

Luke adds, what father would give a scorpion to a son who asks for an egg.

 

Scorpions, snakes and stones…or…Bread, fish and eggs?

Ultimately my faith stands or falls on whether I can believe that what Jesus says here is true or not. What do I choose to believe? What will I choose to see?

 

Life has a way of stitching my mouth shut, hamstring my desire to hunt and can drain out my strength to beat on doors. I have cracked open enough hard hatched eggs to discover a stinging scorpion lunge out and sink its poisoned tail into my faith filled soul.  I have wept for the bread of life and have often been served up a goulash of gravel. I've found the fangs of a serpent in the mouth of a fillet of salmon, more than once.

 

There have been so many situations that have appeared like they were going to kill me but in the end…they don't. I end up handling snakes, sitting with scorpions and gnashing gravel and not being slain. It is a mystery and a miracle to me.

 

The real serendipity-do-dah is when I actually begin to see that there is hidden manna in these dark moments. That a good gift might come in a really crappy, poorly wrapped box. I must confess sometimes I think God can't wrap a present at all. How many times have I sat there looking at some situation and said…what good is in this?

Where is the “how much more” stuff that Jesus was talking about?

 

In the end I am left making a choice to believe that my Father knows how to give good gifts and trust Him in the process of unwrapping the gift. It may take time and I might hurt in the process but I trust He will see each tear as a feeble prayer of faith in who He says He is.   

Friday, December 16, 2005

Worlds die and are born in a kiss...

Each friend represents a world in us,
a world not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

-Anais Nin
 
So true but the opposite is true too...sometimes those worlds die.
 
Relationships change, stuff doesn't work out, people give up, the hurt is too deep or the damage too severe to comprehend anything else than move away from the pain. I am not saying that is God's will but it is how it often unfolds.
 
I am reminded of the story of Naomi, Ruth and Orpah.
 
At a critical moment pregnant with pain from the past, uncertainty about the future, despair over the present; we see Naomi encouraging her daughter in laws to return to the life they have known and go back to their friends and families. She begs them to leave her for she says "The hand of the Lord has gone forth against me." The next verse says "They lifted up their voices and wept again and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her."
 
The suffering in the parting kiss is brutal to those who have tasted it's soul stinging touch. Tears and kisses are deceptive, they are not always what they seem. Sure it makes us feel good to receive them, they whisper promises but the reality is they are more often merely a wish or a dream than commitment. They speak of sentimentality but not covenant. They come gushing out when the one giving them has been indulging in some form of self serving romantic vision of the present.
 
You can be betrayed with a kiss.
 
Betrayed into thinking more of yourself than you are.
Betrayed into building a life on emotion and receiving instead of giving.
Betrayed into giving for something in return.
Betrayed into following pleasure in the form of man pleasing.
 
Ruth captures the true picture of love in the following verse:
Where you go, I will go.
Where you lodge, I will lodge.
Your people, will be my people.
Your God, will be my God.
 
I thank God for the Ruth's in my life. Those who have chosen to embrace the hardships, endure, fight through, forgive, pray and most importantly simply clung. You know who you are. Even in the midst of this hard season when many things have been so difficult; you have clung on to me, even when I have attempted to push you away. This season of trial has revealed more than my own heart, it has revealed yours as well.
 
Worlds have died and have been born in a simple kiss.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

give...

Give to everyone who asks of you and whoever takes away what is yours,
do not demand it back. -Jesus in Luke 6:30
 
This verse is like a sword tip to my throat.
It presses me, pins me, pricks me and makes me bleed.
 
What do you do when your heart has been taken away?
When your spirit has been stolen from you,
and life has sunk it's vampiric fangs into your soul
and drained you of all your hope?
 
Give, and it will be given to you. -Jesus (vs 38)
 
My hands are empty and I am finding that if I try to wait for this promise, it does not come. But if I keep my hands open, something seems to be available still. Small and seemingly insignificant but I trust in His hands it can grow.
 
It is a mystery.
  

Sand Under My Feet

Open handed, as vulnerable as a new born.

All within me wants to close my grip,

Turn my face, save myself.

 

Can’t replace the sand moving out from under my feet.

Life is changing, shifting, renewing,

Beyond my control.

 

I must simply embrace it, watch it, and feel it;

Let it move away into the unknown.

 

I stay, but the sand goes.

Bewildering, mesmerizing and frightful tingles.

Pulling me, drawing me, leaving me.

 

Ever shaping landscape of the soul,

Rising, falling, swirling and blowing.

Each new season is fresh but scented with pain.

The old is gone but still haunts the soul.

 

The waves are receding again,

And the sand has covered my footsteps.

All is drifting away…again.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Rise up from death...

Father of heav'n and Him by whom
It, and us for it, and all else for us,
Thou mad'st and govern'd'st ever;
come, And recreate me, now grown ruinous;
My heart is by dejection, clay,
And by self-murder, red.
From this red earth, Oh! Father,
purge away all vicious tinctures; that, new-fashioned,
I may rise up from death before I'm dead.
-Donne, a mystic English preacher.
 
Thanks Dad, this one nails it on the head.
 

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Thanks Next-Wave

The Next-Wave E-zine published two writing pieces of mine, an article (Stop Channeling Marsh Brady) and poem (Four Horseman Ride) in their newest web publication, check it out at: http://the-next-wave-ezine.info/issue84/

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wrestling God...






















Jacob wrestled with God in the night.
He struggled alone.
He entered his grapple on the verge of returning to the promised land.
He fought for a blessing that he had so often in the past thought was found in people.
His wrestling would end in daybreak.
He prevailed but not until he was wounded first.
God changed his name.
He would not walk on the promise land the same, ever again.
He cried out to know God's name for himself.
He lived.

In the digital garden...

















Here is my new thrill, an Apple Powerbook G4.
I have converted and feel oh so free...from the PC.
I have taken a juicy bite and it has opened my eyes and made me wise.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Just be faithful...

Mark Hatfield tells of touring Calcutta with Mother Teresa and visiting the so-called "House of Dying," where sick children are cared for in their last days, and the dispensary, where the poor line up by the hundreds to receive medical attention. Watching Mother Teresa minister to these people, feeding and nursing those left by others to die, Hatfield was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the suffering she and her co-workers face daily. "How can you bear the load without being crushed by it?" he asked. Mother Teresa replied, "My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, I am called to be faithful." via http://scott.club365.net/
 
This is a truth that has painfully eluded me.
 
I want to be successful and too much of my self worth has stemmed from trying to be successful in ministry. Which when boiled down, has been a fragile thing to build my self worth on because people fail, grow slow, sin, struggle, live lives of duplicity, are like changing winds and they come and they go. Most grow happens over time and the moment when it is seen more clearly is when they most likely are not around you anymore.
 
I feel jipped by that, because I want to see it, actually I want you to see it. 
Because then I will feel successful.
 
 
  

Friday, December 02, 2005

Your thoughts exposed...

You do not have to sit outside in the dark.
If, however, you want to look at stars,
you will find the darkness is required.
The stars neither require it nor demand it.
-Annie Dillard
 
A sword will pierce even your own soul,
To the end that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
-Luke 2:35
 
A strange prophesy indeed. Are we really ever prepared for such an experience?
A painful path to gain the purposes of God...a piercing path. The unveiling of the heart is a very important process to God. He uses whatever means necessary to open it up and reveal the truth that hides within. There is something revealed when we see another's soul pierced through. Thoughts of many hearts are exposed. Who is really living and who is really dead. Who will seek to save their life and who will seek to lose it. There are those who run from a public crucifixion and those that will dare stay at the foot of the cross.
There are Peters and John's.
Those who watch from a distance and those who enter into the suffering.
There are also those who run away.
 
Hearts will be revealed.
 
I am not sure if you know what it is like to have a sword pierce through your very soul.
I do, now, and it is brutal. I am not sure which part is more painful, the sword or the revealed thoughts of those hearts that you thought you knew.
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Coming alive again...

I know it's been a while since I have had much to say.
I lost my voice and only now am I finding it again.
 
I have been recovering from a nasty scorpion sting of the soul.
Don't be fooled, death has a sting this side of the grave.
Its a merciless bite.
 
Asking how I am doing is like a man telling a birthing mother in labor pains to buck up.
Simply no point of reference.
Not that I don't appreciate the many prayers, cards and calls but honestly you don't want to know anyway, trust me.
 
It's like the smell of nursing home...most people cant endure the stench to carry the burden.
 
Thankfully this pitiful life of mine isnt built on the sand of my own abilities, wisdom, strength, faith, gumption, hype or emotional mirages but on the rock of Christ.
Which simply means...He holds me, not the other way around. 
 
 
 

Coming Back From Necropolis

Coming awake again.

back from the city of the dead.

Traveling at night with a hidden moon,

No one-way tickets sold.

The cost back home is deeper than these pockets can fill.

Clinging on to someone else’s will.

 

Quite a ride down a veil of tears.

Broken promises litter the streets like empty needles.

The streets are flooded and no one seems to be able to stop the rain,

And the umbrellas are all gone.

No sirens are heard because hope doesn't hang out around here.

 

Everyone's mouth is stitched shut,

So they won't lose their souls.

If you hear anything it's a painfully long exhale.

A stale wind that carries a thousand murmurs.

Brings a smile back to Death again.

 

If you touch the ground you will freeze.

A numbing cold seizes the tongue. 

That's why no one is on their knees,

And the singers are all mute.

 

The bar is full but the bottles are empty.

All the cafes serve food to people with no noses.

The hookers are all too old.

The drugs are all expired.

The records keep skipping,

It's all so painfully tired…

 

Faces sitting at the bust stop for way too long.

Just waiting, with broken watches.

And all the schedules are wrong,

And the signs are all backwards.

No ones dressed to go anywhere.

 

I want to hitch the hell out of here,

But I've lost my thumbs.

The boys attempting to clean up the leaves out front...between chasing each other, knocking down the old bees nest, throwing leaves and bascially taking longer than needed to do the job but than thats what boys do, right? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Footprints out of here...






















How long, ADONAI? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I keep asking myself what to do,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long must my enemy dominate me?
Look, and answer me, ADONAI my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death.
Then my enemy would say, "I was able to beat him";
and my adversaries would rejoice at my downfall.
-David in Psalm 13:1-4.

I am weary with my sighing;
every night I make my bed swim,
I dissolve my couch with my tears.
My eye has wasted away with grief;
It has become old because of all my adversaries.
-David in Psalms 6:6-7

If I make my bed in hell, You are there.
-David in Psalms 139:8

I take comfort in knowing that the man that God said was a man after His own heart, was one who was acquaintedd with the dark. We have been taught that God is light which is true but not complete. Misunderstanding that truth has snuffed out a small lamp that is needed in shadows. David understood the complete and healing truth when he said:

If I say: "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me , and the light around me will be night," Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. -Psalms 139:11-12.

Even Jesus descended into a place described as a prison of spirits. Whatever your theological opinion is of that scripture, the poetical part of me grabs on to knowledge that even here...in my hell, He has been.

That means there are footprints out of here...

Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds light,
so when we are in sorrow,
then the light is nearest of all to us.
-Meister Eckhart

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Can’t See The Sun From Here

Bleeding on the altar of innocence,

Starring in the face of malevolence,

Stung in the hive of circumstance,

lost on the gamble of chance.

 

No path back to the sun…

 

Brutalized by the winds of defiance.

Stabbed in the back with cold kisses.

Nailed to a cross without a voice in the trial.

Buried alone…forgotten.

 

No dawn again…

 

Existing on the frayed edges of hope,

Watching myself slowly disappearing,

down the deep well of silence.

Forgotten how to remember,

Living in the sun but its feeling like December.

 

The birds have stopped their singing…

 

There's no pupils in the blackness,

Ice forming from your breath.

The record is skipping while I keep tripping,

I'm dancing with death and she's still laughing.

Just waiting for the stars to reappear.

 

But can't see the sun from here…

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Breaking the breastbone...


Our defintition of art is the breaking open of the breastbone, for sure. Just open-heart surgery. I wish there was an easier way. But in the end, people want blood, and I am one of them. -Bono, U2 frontman.

I read this recently in the Rollingstone interview with Bono and came to a conclusion�I live this way too. My definition of LIFE: is breaking open the breastbone. I cannot seem to endure surface living for very long and find it near impossible to tolerate it. I usually will bleed first and regret it later but in the end I am glad that I have dared to live so vulnerable.

Bob Dylan said in a song: I gave you my heart but you wanted my soul.

Living naked has cost me dearly, in fact, the more vulnerable I have become the greater pain I end up embracing. To love in this world is to welcome suffering. The mystery is how to allow the pain to baptize the heart but not drown the soul�a path not easily walked or understood.

Prophets are slain and the poets kill themselves.

The truly human life, which is a truly spiritual life, is a vulnerable, dangerous and shattered life. Prophets dare to speak and people would rather live in silence...the silence of feeling, of heart, of mind. To be an oracle of reality, forces people to respond to truth, the truth of how they really feel or think or are living. People usually have only stones for prophets because they force us out of the shadows that we live in.

Poets drag out the heart kicking and screaming and compel her to wail, to weep and to prophesy, to slit her throat on the knife of brutal honesty. Honesty strangles herself with her own hands. It�s a Greek tragedy for sure; but a necessary death that testifies that there are still those�who know how to live.

God gave us preachers to remind us that we will not live forever. God gave us poets to remind us that we're not dead yet. -G.K. Chesterton.

I testify that�I am not dead yet.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Skin me



Shed the skin I'm in.
Pushing, pulling, life or death,
Surviving or thriving with each frantic breath.
Its got to come off, hanging like old mans skin,
This body needs new threads to be alive within.

Skin me to blood with reality's razor.
Peel off the old me with violence if need be.
My past is suffocating me with lethargy's pillow.
My present darkness suited me with a straight jacket,
And liberty is singing painfully off key.

Choices have tattooed my skin from the inside out
The fabric of my soul is dyed with dreariness.
Once vivid perceptions have grown dull with familiarity.
I've fallen asleep reading the lines of my own story.

Perception is what we want it.
How can you truly be free imprisoned in the cell of me?
I hear emancipation singing.
Her vulgar words are contractions that puke me out.
And I will spill out like a feeble colt.
Desperately kicking spread out on all fours.
Straining for balance on the world I've been in...
but never really lived in.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Here is the completed painting that we commisioned from artist Matt Whitney revolving around Jacobs Well in John chapter four. It's a vision and values painting that seeks to express the kingdom life we are seeking to live out as a community of faith. Christ as center, living water, searching, healing, conversation, going vs coming, being the church vs going to church etc.  Posted by Picasa

Here is a shot of my friend Matt Whitney and I after the reception for the Jacob's Well painting. His wife Heather and Matt came over from Seattle for the official reveal tonight. We had a pretty good turn out for the shin dig.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Not all who wander are lost...


In the middle of our life journey I found myself in a dark wood. I had wandered from the straight path. It isn't easy to talk about it; it was such a thick, wild, and rough forest that when I think of it, my fear returns...I can't offer any good explanation for how I entered it. I was so sleepy at that point that I strayed from the right path. -Dante, Inferno, Canto I

J.R.R. Tolkien said, "Not all those who wander are lost". I am not sure if you ever have been lost or thought you were lost for a moment; It's near impossible to let go of the adrenaline-pumping urge to find your way in such moments. In fact the need to get found all most always eclipses the ability to enjoy wherever you may be. We always need to fix things. What if much we face simply can't be fixed? What if it just is as it is, this side of eternity? What if we are wandering and wandering is the point? What if being lost is the point. Why do we need to have answers, conclusion, finality, explanations and closure? God likes to give us a compass, not a map?

What if the thorn is to remain, in order for grace to be experienced?

What if grace is the end and the thorns are the means?

A man must wrestle till the dark centre, that is shut up close, break open, and the spark lying therein kindle. -Jaocb Boehme.

I am finding that the direction of my tears is the issue. I have begun to move from crying to crying before the Lord. It is a subtle difference but one is simply a soul bleeding to death and another is a holy sacrament.
One is solitary and the other is shared.

I know that wrestling till the dark centre is cracked open is a spiritual truth that promises to bring about life through death. But the experience is a mystery, much like Moses must have felt as he took that step from clarity into the dark tempest that was the consuming the top of Mount Sinai. Leaving the path we have known in order to discover the path yet walked, calls us to fear and wonder all in the same moment. Which in reality is what we all experience in the face of death...fear and wonder.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Whispers About Tomorrow

Encircled by violent winds,
Chasing off the past and leaving the present naked.
An arial assault that pulls everything asunder,
Like an octopus prying open my thoughts.
And yet, you are not here�

Baptized in a fire that doesn�t burn from above.
Its molten madness crawls up through my weary limbs
And bores through my weakening veins.
Leaving me squirming in a pool of my own vain sweat.
But you are not here�

The ground is shaking violently,
Leaving me nowhere to stand.
I�ve found my face and lost my feet again.
Angry gods utter groans from the depths,
That threatens to swallow me into the abyss.
And still you can�t be found�

On the breath of chaos a butterfly is gliding,
Landing on my chest like a pollinating honeybee.
Spiraling into the tempest of my soul,
To silence the screamer and awaken the quiet.

Faintly heard are you�yes, you are still whispering about the future.
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 07, 2005


What an amazing interview with Bono from the band U2. Even if you are not a U2 fan, I encourage you to read the interview. I found it fascinating, encouraging and engaging to watch how God continues to speak out of Nazareth.
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 04, 2005


I want to take a few moments and say a big thank you to everyone for their support and words of encouragement. I don't want to send a negative message to anyone that I consider a friend in this season of my life. You are important to me and I don't want you to feel that my pain is somehow revolving around my involvement in your lives. Its far more complicated than that. I have many people here in Spokane that I feel blessed to be in relationship with, many who scratch my back too. You know who you are, and I appreciate you very much.
 Posted by Picasa

Peeling the S off my chest...

This article completely nails right where I have been and why I pulled the brake this week in my life.
I have taken a lot of steps to reorient and reposition myself to face and deal with the different underlying causes of this whole burn out. Not an easy process to go against the very drives that got you to where you are but it has to be done in order to get to a more healthy place.

I am done being a messiah...not a pastor, but a messiah.

The S is being stripped off my chest, maybe you didn't think it was there but I have unfortunately lived like it was there. So if I seem distant or not too available or I don't show up or my phone only seems to take messages...don't take it personal, I am simply getting my messiah tattoo scraped off my soul.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I am taking a month off from most of my duties at the church to spend some time healing. I have been in a really tough place for a while and finally just pulled the emergency brake on my life. I need time to catch my breath, come up for air, focus my eyes again and try to reconnect with Gods vision for our lives.
Everything is on the table, the etcha-sketch is being shaken and its time to press the pause button on all the drama, chaos and emotional tornados that have been touching down almost daily around here. It was tough to just cry uncle...but I had to do it. Please pray for me, my family that we would be able to get still enough to hear the whisper again in all the storm.
 Posted by Picasa

From the day of the ordained to the day of the ordinary...

We are making a shift from the day of the ordained to the day of the ordinary.

-Neil Cole author of Organic Churches. A great article on living out simple church Vs complex church. Its worth the read if you care about stuff like that.

http://www.the-next-wave-ezine.info/issue83/index.cfm?id=6&ref=COVERSTORY

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

a fresh breeze...

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks inside, awakens.
-Carl Jung
 
 

I returned last night from blitzkrieg trip to Portland, OR. for a visit with my family and reprieve from the drama of Spokane. I got to visit my younger brother Matt and his wife Thanita who have returned from Thailand recently. The above picture is of my new little niece, Nisha, cute as can be. It was great seeing them and also seeing my brother Marc's new house that he has bought. I hung out with Jason Miller for you that know him and caught up on his life over a good beer. It was a really needed break from all the pressure that has been going on here in Spokane. I also got to unload on my dad, one of the few people in my life that I can be real with. Thanks Dad for sharing my burdens, you make them lighter. You have been a source of wisdom, strength and encouragement over the years that I treasure more than words can say.
 Posted by Picasa

On Halloween of 1517, Martin Luther changed the course of human history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg, accusing the Roman Catholic church of heresy upon heresy. Many people cite this act as the primary starting point of the Protestant Reformation. Most people have no real idea about why they are worshipping in a Protestant church vs a Catholic church.
I encourage you to do two things to understand the reformation...read The Freedom Of The Christian by Martin Luther and watch the recent movie called Luther. The small book which is available to read online if you do a search and the movie will bring about a clearer understanding of the history behind your church experience and most likely a better understanding of the gospel of faith vs the gospel of works.
I read the book this weekend thanks to the recommendation of my friend Tony Allen and devoured it. It is simply one of the best books on grace, I have ever read. I will be sharing more about it later but I wanted to pass along this little gem that helped liberate the church from a gospel of works into the freedom of Christ and his work. I highly recommend reading this book, it may change your life, literally! And the movie is great too!

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 28, 2005

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Redemption in drinking blood...

I am soooooo fascinated by this amazing story and I can't wait to read the book!
I am sure you are familiar with Anne Rice and her Vampire books and the movies spin off: Interview with a Vampire but did you hear about her new endeavor? God is truly at work in this culture. I have preached and taught for years about how God was going to use Goliath's sword to cut of Goliath's head and I see it on so many fronts. It is an exciting time to be able to engage our culture with the truth. It excites me that God is showing up in the most unlikely places! He is not afraid to incarnate himself in Nazareth again...those places that religious people say nothing good can come from.
 
You amaze me again...I am so glad I serve you Jesus, you rock my world.
I pray I will live a life as daring as your example to me. You give me stones...
 
The Gospel According to Anne Rice
http://dickstaub.com/links_view.php?record_id=5010

wishing for the new...

Thinktopia is an idea engineering company that generates better thoughts through thinking.? We work in a variety of media, from designing brand futures to media development. We remind you that success is for the people at the precipice…the entrepreneurs, innovators, risk takers, and dreamers. We remind you to never stop thinking. Proactively seek out fresh answers. Find partners. Remember that you are only as smart as the people you surround yourself with. Seek out people who are smarter than you are. Nurture them. Reward them. Because they are the future. Become cosmonauts of change. Motivate forward. Find your buzz. Remember that life is a continual uncovering. Most of all, discover the things that thrill you and do them. In the end, they are the only reason to get up in the morning. www.thinktopia.com
-Pat Hanlon, company description. (lifted from www.dickstaub.com)

 

I pray that at my funeral these kinds of things will be said of my life. I long to embrace and perpetuate this kind of atmosphere throughout the different spheres of my life. To live at the precipice is the challenge when so much of life calls you away from the edge.

I need to be constantly reminded of the above challenge. These words are like a magnetic north to me, they set my internal compass. I want to realign myself with the buzz again.

 

By following Christ all that is mentioned above became possible. When I entered the realm of Christ, in fact,…all things became possible. All things became new. Everything was born again, fresh, renewed or became pregnant with new possibilities or opportunities. Unfortunately religion doesn't thrive on the new but perpetuates itself by encasing itself in a protective cocoon of the old. As Jesus said in Luke 5:39…No one, after drinking the old wine wishes for the new; for he says, “The old is good enough.”

 

I am desperately wishing for the new…

Monday, October 24, 2005


Well, I tried some other lighting options but nothing seemed to work better, so I am going to let LeeElla try. But for now, here is the latest painting, again the colors are more vibrant in person, but you get the gist. It is inspired by the parable of the tree that starts out small but grows into a massive haven for the birds of the air...only there is no birds here. I tried a watercolor version first but it sucked big time. So I tried an acrylic version and enjoyed it much more.
 Posted by Picasa

never a right time...

You know that dream you carry around with you each day?
It's kinda important.
Wasn't it what you were put on planet earth to do?
They say everyone has a calling, can you still hear it?
Doesn't it eat away at you?
That treadmill you are on, did it ever get too much?
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to do your thing?
Did you ever feel time was passing you by?
Just how many days have you left before your last?
Did you ever wonder about stuff like that?
Did you ask yourself "what was stopping you?"
There is never a right time.
You will be too old.
Too young.
Too something or other.
When was last time you took a risk?
Did you remember how alive it made you feel?
There are no guarantees of success.
It's not called a leap of faith for nothing.
It's not too late, honest.
Jump.
You might fall.
You might fly.

via: http://pernell.typepad.com/pernellog/2005/10/find_your_love.html

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Goldie Locks, Aqua Net and Spandex....

My love affair with hair was tragically ended around 19, when the little soldiers that were not Under Command started retreating into oblivion. Before that we shared wonderful fist pumping glory days when hair bands were on top of the world.

What grand clothes we wore...I mean, could you ever dream of how many ways you could wear a bandanna or shred your shirt and pants until they looked like a bear had mauled you. Don't we all miss the days when Aqua Net, spandex, boots and eye liner were the shared love of both sexes in the smoking pit?

Oh the pride bound up in long beautiful locks of head banging attitude. Tragically I think all that crap I poured on my lovely locks actually poisoned goldie and now if I let it grow out, instead of Dee Snyder, I look like a suffering chemo patient.

Yes, life crushes a man down into groveling humility. Then add a minivan, a fattening belly, disrespect from your kids, No more looks from the ladies, glazed over eyes from teenagers, fun stealing bills and being forced to suck off the coffee tit in order to pretend to have any resemblance of the Living After Midnight party animal you used to be.

Then the capstone of it all...we are left to attend reunion/comeback tours. There we are forced to face up to the fact that most of us are a pathetic resemblance of the rock gods that we were. Yes, though a few still cling to their thinning, mullet hair....we are now painfully ugly in tight clothes and the devil horns and guttural growls, now look and sound...ridiculous.

When did I turn into the Family Ties dad?

O the agony...Go west young man, go west...as far as you can from middle age.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

So true, on many levels...

I don't think it's very useful to open wide the door for young artists; the ones who break down the door are much more interesting. -Paul Schrader

Can a Christian have a demon?

Jesus says, The one who dips this bread in my dish is my betrayer...and Satan entered into him...Hummmm...intersting verse. A disciple of Jesus, having an evil spirit.
I am curious what others think of this verse?

The Holy Hipster

The Pope wearing Bono's shades.

Holy Kissing Batman!

Here is an interesting article on early church life and the place of the kiss among the brothers and sisters.

The death and birth of life...


1986...me getting baptized wearing my Stryper t-shirt. I had prayed to the Lord that I wanted to be baptized in a river, on a sunny day and in a place where I could go away and pray about what He wanted to do with my life. I got all those requests answered that day. I heard the call of God in the scripture I read that afternoon in Isaiah 61: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news...I knew from that moment which direction my life would go. Posted by Picasa

Is your church a poker up the butt...

OURS IS A CHRIST CENTERED CONTEMPORARY CHURCH WITH GRAT (sic) WORSHIP, SOUND TEACHING, AND NO POKER UP IT'S BUTT. YOUNG AND OLD WELCOME. COMFORTABLE CLOTHES, TATOOS AND PIERCINGS WELCOME. LOTS OF CELL GROUPS. A VERY COOL PLACE. -Church Listing , Relevant Magazine October 17th, 2005
I saw this on Dick Staubs site and it made me laugh. A poker up the butt...man, that describes it well, doesn't it! We are so painfully prone to such a religious attitude. I wonder how many people visit us and leave saying that to themselves. I know that I have left many a meeting and asked myself why I seemed like I had a poker up my butt. Lighten up man...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Yellow and Black attacked...


Thanks to LeeElla and Spencer, I got to see Stryper last night at The Big Easy. It was a total surprise they had me clueless that I was going to see this band. I saw them in 1988 on the In God We Trust tour. I knew they were coming to Spokane but didn't think I would really get to go, so the surprise was awesome. I had no idea how they would sound after these many years, couldn't be that good, I thought. But I was sooooo wrong, they were better! This concert KICKED ASS! Excuse my french but it was so true. Michael Sweet's voice was deeper and less gay and he could still hit those glass breaking notes on songs like 2 hell with the devil. I was stunned many times, flat out flabbergasted, jaw dropping moments that have not happened in a long while. They rocked hard, really hard...man, I just cant say enough how great this concert was. If they come near your city, make sure to see them, if you are a hard rock/metal fan, you wont be disappointed. What a blast it was...I just wish I had my hair back... Posted by Picasa

Here is the band today, by far a better band now in my opinion. These guys have aged well. Great band, great music. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 17, 2005

Stop channeling Marsha Brady...


I think I resonate with the disciple Thomas, even though he often gets a bad rap. Thomas seemed to be quite a melancholy man and didn't mind voicing his nihilistic tendencies. Though coined the "doubter" I think we can miss something quite profound and deeply moving in his brief narrative in the scriptures.

First, the cry of Thomas's heart revolved around a struggle to enter the optimism and opportunity of the resurrection. His struggle with believing was deeply connected with his vision of the wounds of Jesus.

Pain, suffering and death of hope are often a debilitating experience that can hamstring the most vigorous faith. You can see Thomas's preoccupation with pessimism and death in John 11:16 where he sputters out something that looks more like a lyric from the latest dirge on the radio than a disciple of Jesus: "Let us also go, so that we may die with Him."

Wow that's not much a cheer..."Oh K, Guys...Give me a "D", give me an "I" and an "E"...what's that spell?!

Yet, even though Thomas proclaimed the rally cry of all religious manic depressives..."I won't believe, unless I can put my hand and fingers into His hands and side."
Still Jesus was able to reveal Himself to him, despite his doubt and unbelief.

I like this verse: After eight days his disciples were again inside and Thomas with them...

I haven't a clue how Thomas survived eight days in a small room with a bunch of religious, slaphappy, goofy grinning, joy gibbering, overcoming optimists...Oh the agony!

Yet, Jesus came.

I love the fact that Jesus just didn't show up in a TBN glittering robe, with superman symbol on his puffing chest and a whitestrip gleam dancing off his triumphant smile. He didn't prance in there and slap Thomas alongside the head with a trite scolding as he pushed by him to embrace his beaming buddies that were excitedly channeling Marsha Brady.

He didn't share a story about his wounds.
He didn't just reminisce about past pain with slightly cocked head and a far off look in His face.
He didn't just pray for Thomas or sermonize him or give him that disproving look that so often accompanies the face of those who are fueled by disdainful pity instead of compassion.

Instead he unbuttoned his robe and exposed his wounds to Thomas.
But not only that, he invited him to touch them; to feel the scars, to connect with the path of pain, to share in His sufferings.

Thomas needed a leader that would allow others to hear, see and most importantly touch his wounds; and in touching the wounds of Jesus, Thomas's unbelief and pessimism were healed.

Thank you Thomas, for being real.
Thank you Jesus, for not hiding your scars.
I am truly healed...by your wounds.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Here is my latest painting based on Hebrews 12:3 which speaks of not growing weary and losing heart. Both of which are taking place in this picture. The farmer is growing a crop of weary and the traveler has lost his heart on the journey. There is other imagery in the painting too, all of which speak about my life these last few years.
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 14, 2005

Like water pouring over rocks...

Loving anything, is an act of faith.
 
There are no guarantees, it is a gift that we are to give without thought of return.
It is a way of walking and it must be walked forward. If you don't walk forward in love you will stop walking. Because there will be all kinds of things you could stop and look at that would seek to prove to you that walking in love is futile. Disappointments, unforeseen choices, sin and the unpredictable course of the river of life. 
 
Love is brutally simple and the highest of all calls that is sounded form the lowest of all opportunities. It is potentially present in each activity, each moment and every person. It calls us to the painful and concrete realities of this world, it beckons from the wounds that can't always be healed. Love is like water pouring over rocks...it is a slow change.
 
It stands at our side and constantly whispers but doesn't make promises.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Trim the fat...

Ryan nails it dead on concerning "come to us" thinking vs "go to them" thinking in relationship to churches reaching seekers. Go here and read his excellent, concise and clear post. If the body of Christ could rub up against this piece of sharp insight, we could see her lose a bunch of dead weight.

going deep...

There are superficial artists, natural artists and supernatural artists...A natural artist is someone who just takes what talent they have and displays it night after night on stage, doing the best they can within [accepted] limits. A superficial artist is someone who shouldn't be up there in the first place because they've really got nothing to tell you...(The supernatural) that's someone who goes deep, and the deeper they go, the more buried gods they'll find...I'm not sure where I fit. You can call me any one of those. But I always felt that if I'm going to do anything in life, I want to go as deep as I can.
-Bob Dylan

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

If you cannot work with love...

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
- Kahlil Gibran
 
Enough wisdom right there to cause one to stare into their navel until one has found himself right back in the womb. Are we able to love our work? Imagine if what we all did today was done with love or should I say passion, be it, laundry, sales, speaking, driving or purchasing?
 
Maybe we need to sit at the gate and ponder the faces of those going by that enter with joy or at least have a deep sense of doing life consciously and not painfully vacant.
 
I am seeking to move from sitting to giving out of love...love of life, of truth, of sincerity and from the soul.
 
Get up...echoes at the gate. 

Monday, October 10, 2005


A larger shot of my Man Hole...or as the locals call it: The Center For Existential Studies Of Non-linear Thought.
 Posted by Picasa

My Man Hole...a haven, art studio, womb, lounge, library...basically a hotbed of artistic activism and hobbit hole all mixed up into one very sweet crib.
 Posted by Picasa