Tuesday, December 12, 2006

C'ya Later...

Last post for a while - too much to do, and I really don't have time to keep up with this anymore. Good news is that we are making progress with Kim's recovery... but we are swamped right now, so I gotta cut back to just the things I really have to do right now. Thanks to all of you who have become "blog friends", and I wish you all the best, especially Dion Pugil, Darla, Michael, MelaniePearl, Marc, Stephen and Margie. I may still try to surf some of yours now and then, but I won't be posting here for a while.

C'ya Later...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bye bye, Rummy, Bye bye....

I ran across this late night tribute to Rumsfeld, and wanted to share it with my friends....


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

"Nobody joins a cult. Nobody joins something they think is going to hurt them. You join a Religious organization, you join a political movement, and you join with people you really like." This was a quote from the new movie Jonestown - The life and death of Peoples Temple.

Each time I have revisited this topic over the past 30 years, I have been touched in a different and deeper way. Initially, I was most touched by the loss of so many people, especially the children. Later on, I was amazed at Jim Jones, and how he could be so deceived and diluted, and to believe the things that he did.

This week, I heard the quote above, and was struck with something completely different. I have been thinking about the people again, but this time, about how they were deceived. They didn't start out wanting to be deceived or to join a cult. They joined a religious organization. It was a political movement to break free from government control and the American religious system. They were attracted to and surrounded by caring, loving people. Their leader seemed to make so much sense, and provided clear leadership and purpose - at first. But in the end, it all led to death.

There is a song by Jim Cole which says, "Complacency's a poison, taken one drop at a time. It fools our minds to thinking that everything's just fine..." - for so long, we were involved in the American religious community, and I can see from that experience how easy it is to yield undue control to the "authority" of the leadership. When religious leadership steps out of the servant role and into the controlling role, they have placed themselves between the believer and God, sometimes even acting AS God. This can be a dangerous place of control and undue influence.

Christ came as the ONE mediator between God and man. Any time a person steps into that mediator role, whether clergy or layman, it is to usurp God's place and authority.

u·surp Pronunciation (y-sûrp, -zûrp)
v. u·surped, u·surp·ing, u·surps
1. To seize and hold (the power or rights of another, for example) by force and without legal authority.
2. To take over or occupy without right: usurp a neighbor's land.
To seize another's place, authority, or possession wrongfully.

The one good thing that has come out of our past is that we have been awakened to an awareness of this type of control and abuse that some may attempt to use to control and bewitch believers. This type of control serves its own purposes and agendas, rather than God's, and it attempts to conform others to its own image, rather than assisting them in developing into the fullness of the measure and stature of Christ.


Monday, October 09, 2006

A Special Thanks....

As our family as gone through difficult times, I have been thankful for so many things.

For my dear wife - She has endured the pain and suffering, difficulties and burdens, with great love and great strength. Though her body is weak, her spirit is very strong. I love her more now than ever before. She is my favorite. I long for the days when we can enjoy better circumstances together, but I am thankful it is her that I am sharing this experience with. She has shown me the real meaning of life and love, and that it is about being and not doing.

For my sons - Both boys have demonstrated such perseverance and strength, faith and hope, joy and peace during this most difficult time for them. Our youngest cannot even remember mommy being able to care for him or being well. Both boys have such strong character and are genuine, loving and kind. They both have said the thing they want to be most is a daddy. They said they know it is hard work, because the daddy has to take care of everything and everyone, and the mommy's role is to love the babies, but they want to be one someday. They have held me up, prayed me through, and loved me unconditionally.

For health for our kids and me - Our kids haven't been sick in almost 2 years. They have been in school, around others who are sick, and yet, they haven't been sick at all in almost 2 years. Not even a cold, and neither have I.

For our immediate and extended families and friends - Our families and friends have all pitched in to help with caring for our children when we have to travel, and have helped with expenses and needs. They are tireless in their love, compassion and generosity, and often, it is overwhelming to be able to receive. For our closest and most faithful friends - We have a few very close friends who have hung with us through all of this. They never once judged us or tried to "fix" us. They just love us, and have made themselves our local family, since all of our biological family is out of town. We have been amazed at the generosity of so many, of both their time and treasure, to help us through this time.

For provision - We have been provided for. Through all of the expenses, especially the ones lately, where the IV Antibiotics have all been "out of pocket", since the insurance company and my employer would only pay for the first 30 days, we have been well cared for.

For help - We have had help from a special lady, who comes faithfully twice a week, to help us out, so that I can run errands, buy groceries and so much more.

For our internet friends, who have prayed for us, encouraged us, and even a very few who have sent care packages to us, lifting our spirits on the heaviest of days.

For neighbors - We have had two neighbors who consistently call to ask if they can pickup items at the grocery for us, or help in any way, and then refuse to allow us to pay for what they buy for us. Even when we give them a list, they often come back with more than we asked for. Two more neighbors have dropped in just at the right time with meals. They just "happen" to be making extra, and thought of us.

For two very special, generous and industrius friends - We have two friends who helped us work through difficulties. One modified our home to allow wheelchair access to the bathroom at a very low cost, and another built us a hitch platform to carry the scooter at a low cost, making our lives much easier.

For my employer and 1st and 2nd line managers - My employer and my managers have been very understanding during all of this time. They have allowed me to flex my schedule to be able to make the numerous trips out of town for treatment and appointments for Kim's care. They have worked with me through so very much.

For the TRACS program - TRACS arranged for a wheelchair ramp to be built at cost for us, which has opened up a new world.

For the late Robert Ludlum, whose books have provided a refuge for us. As we lie awake and read just before bedtime each night, we have been able to, for a little while, enjoy the exciting, clandestine experiences of his protagonists and heroes, while not wanting to put down the book in the midst of such incredible story lines. What a gift!

We are so very blessed. We recognize God brought all of this into our lives, and is our consistent and faithful provider, but it is good to remember, and to remind ourselves and others that God truly will never forsake us nor leave us, and that He always provides, even in the seemingly bleakest moments.

May we all know the fullness of the depth, height, breadth and intensity of His love for us.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Now there's a church I just might be able to go to...

I saw this again the other day, and was reminded of a few things. I've been so disappointed with so many church environments that promise so much and deliver so little, it would be truly refreshing to see this on a church sign out front.

I mean, wow. How I enjoy hanging out with people who just don't know anything, and aren't selling anything or trying to build their own empire. It's so refreshing - no "holier than thou", no judgement, no comparisons - just people seeking to know God in a deeper way, and willing to admit how much we don't know.

We may be wrong. We may be right. It doesn't really matter to us, because we are growing to know God more, and we are encouraging each other to just "be"- be who God made each of us to be. We don't have the answers. We don't need to "fix" anyone, because they may or may not even be broken, and only God really knows.

I would love to continue the discussion with any folks who happen onto this site and are interested in this discussion. If you're looking for a philosophical, hermaneutical, homeletical debate, please pass on by, but if you, like me, realize that the only things that matter are real and intimate relationships and knowing God, then come on by and stay a while.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

At the Bottom of Everything...

This song cracked me up... Especially a couple of lines, like "While my mother waters plants, my father loads his gun." It has been amazing to me sometimes to see how people think (or don't).

Maybe this is an exaggeration, but I think it makes a great point.


At The Bottom Of Everything Lyrics
Artist(Band):Bright Eyes

So there was this woman and
she was on an airplane and
she's flying to meet her fiancé
sailing high above the largest ocean
on planet earth and she was seated
next to this man who you know
she had tried to start a conversation
but really the only thing
she heard him say was to order his bloody mary
and she's sitting there and she's reading
this really arduous magazine article about this
third world country that she couldn't
even pronounce the name of and
she's feeling very bored and very despondent
and then uh suddenly there's this huge mechanical failure and one of the engines gave out
and they started just falling thirty thousand feet
and the pilots on the microphone and he's saying,
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Oh My God, I'm Sorry"
and apologizing and she looks at the man and she says,
"where are we going" and he looks at her and he says,
"We're going to a party, it's a birthday party.
It's your birthday party, happy birthday darling.
We love you very, very, very, very, very, very, very much."
and then he starts humming this little tune and it kind of goes like this:

One, Two, One, Two, Three, Four
We must talk in every telephone, get eaten off the web
We must rip out all the epilogues from the books we have read
And to the face of every criminal strapped firmly to a chair
We must stare, we must stare, we must stare

We must take all of the medicines too expensive now to sell
Set fire to the preacher who is promising us hell
And in the ear of every anarchist who sleeps but doesn't dream
We must sing, we must sing, we must sing

And it'll go like this
While my mother waters plants, my father loads his gun.
He says, "Death will give us back to God,
just like the setting sun
is returned to the lonesome ocean."

And then they splashed into the deep blue sea
It was a wonderful splash

We must blend into the choir, sing a static with the whole
We must memorize nine numbers and deny we have a soul
And to this endless race for property and privilege to be won
We must run, we must run, we must run

We must hang up in the belfry where the bats in moonlight laugh
We must stare into a crystal ball and only see the past
And in the caverns of tomorrow with just our flashlights and our love
We must plunge, we must plunge, we must plunge

And then we'll get down there,
way down to the very bottom of everything
and then we'll see it, we'll see it, we'll see it, we'll see it

Oh my morning's coming back
The whole worlds waking up
Oh the city bus is swimming past
I'm happy just because
I found out I am really no one

Monday, July 10, 2006

See you on the other side?

A few years ago, I was talking with God about our relationship. I wanted to really understand His love and perspective, and to be able to see myself as He sees me. He responded with the song below, complete with guitar chords, and touched my heart in a very deep way. What perhaps touched me the most was how far off this was from what we were presented with at church at the time. I think if we ever really grasp His love and how He sees us, we will forever be changed.

For us, we hear all the time "It's all about You, Jesus". But for Him, it's about US. There is nothing holy or wonderful about "wormy" thinking ("I'm nothing but a low-down, dirty, rotten sinner saved by grace", "I'm not worthy of His love", etc.). These are entrapments and bondages and we are not to take them up again once we have received His love, grace and forgiveness and have been made new. "Behold, all things have passed away - everything is new". In many places in scripture, He tells us that He is our "Ishi" (husband). I can't imagine that any husband would rather his bride lay at his feet all the time, or only serve him all the time... (after all, she is his bride). I believe he would rather take her into his arms so that they might fully enjoy each other, investing their lives together, building a strong, loving, lasting relationship.

Perhaps this is a stretch for you, but this is the relationship God has brought to us... He is available to us, and desires that we draw near and enjoy Him and that He could enjoy us. There are so many traps along the way - busyness, obligations, legalism, religion, feelings, unworthiness, fear, and so many more... but if we can see through them and see Him, we will never be satisfied with anything less. Can you hear Him singing to you? Calling to you? Do you see Him waiting for YOU? Oh, how He desires YOU... See if you can hear Him...

Waiting Here For You

1st Verse:
I’m waiting here for you, My beloved Bride

Waiting for you to lay all those things aside

Have I asked for your service? Your worship, or sacrifice?

All I’ve really wanted is for you to love Me all of your life

2nd Verse:
I’m waiting here for you, My beloved Bride

Waiting to share with you My heart and My mind

If you are willing, if it’s Me your thinking of -

All I’ve really wanted is for us to share our love

3rd Verse:
I’m waiting here for you, My beloved Bride

You once were taken, dear, from my wounded side

If you will come unto Me, then you will see great things

Come share My love, My Bride, in the shelter of My wings

Will you love Me? Will you be with Me?

Will you truly be Mine?

I am waiting here for you, if you only have the time.

I am waiting here for you, if you only have the time.

I am waiting here for you, will you find the time?

©Jeff Dean, 2003. All rights reserved.

So - can we cross the bridge from performance, works and service over to the land of pure love, grace and intimacy with God? I hope to see you on the other side.


*By the way, the photo at top was taken by my sister-in-law at Jekyll Island, GA, a couple of week ago.

Hope in the Midst of Chaos

This was posted recently by Kim Clement. It was a great encouragement to me personally...

July 6, 2006

Kim Clement: "Hope in the Midst
of Chaos"

kim clementThe Word "Crisis"

The word "crisis" in the Chinese language has two symbols that define its meaning. One represents "potential danger," and the other represents "hidden opportunity." So it appears that the Chinese indicate in their beliefs, that a crisis isn't always a bad thing. Even though there is potential for danger, there is an equal amount of hidden opportunity. They have the attitude that a crisis has the potential to take them to a better place.

See From God's Perspective

This brings us to the subject of perspective. We take away the hidden opportunity when we blame God for whatever "crisis" we have found ourselves in. We must learn to see from God's perspective, and draw truth from chaos. God will show you the measure of opportunity that can come out of a crisis.

In Hebrew, the word for crisis is the same word they used to describe a "birth stool," which was the seat Jewish women sat on as they gave birth. So during a crisis, you are giving birth. Out of this pain, you are going to bring forth something great, and it will come from within you. Instead of trying to lay blame, remember that God has given you a promise.

When Joseph was falsely imprisoned, instead of hiding away in misery, he prospered. Joseph believed he was to take advantage of his circumstances. He knew he would make it through--to the promise God had given him. He prophesied and interpreted dreams while he was in prison.

Hidden Opportunity

When you find yourself in a crisis, you must function as though you are already living in your promise. In crisis, do what God told you to do, and you will find what is hidden.

The hidden opportunity is the potential danger, because we are preached to on a continuous basis about how bad our circumstances are. We are not often encouraged enough to discover the hidden opportunity. The Bible says that God shares His secrets (hidden opportunities) with His servants, the prophets.

Instead of showing those who are lost and blinded by sin that there is a hidden opportunity in their present circumstances, the church is constantly trying to get rid of those who have problems that are too hard to deal with, such as homosexuality and pedophilia.

Your crisis can become the birthing ground for unrealized destiny. Crisis always produces equal measures of devastation and opportunity, and anyone will agree that it is considered an unpleasant thing.

Dwelling Carelessly

Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish...."

I did a study in the Scandinavian Bible on Proverbs 29:18, and their version is slightly different than our English version. The Scandinavian version says, "Without progressive revelation, the people dwell carelessly." To dwell carelessly means to live loosely by speaking badly of one another and fighting one another.

When a church is dwelling carelessly by gossiping and fighting with each other, they have no progressive or future insight. This usually happens when the eschatology has the escapism perspective (we must get out of here). By adapting this kind of thinking, they have taken progressive revelation away from the people.

What is Hope

When you have hope, but have not seen it, that is progressive revelation. Paul said in Romans, that hope is no longer hope, when it is felt and seen with the natural eye. Hope is only hope, when you DON'T have what you are hoping for in your hands yet.

Without hope, you will not live. When God gives you a sure prophetic word about your future, hope is once again given to you (activated). When you don't have something in your hands, you work harder to get it. The eschatology that teaches that we are "going home" soon, takes away any hope for the future. Why should we sit around and wait?

Look Forward to Your Destiny

We are tired of the church that tells us to sit around and wait for Jesus to come back. We know that He will return, but we also know that no man will know the day or the hour of His return. We aren't to know the time of His return, so that we can continue to hope and work towards our destiny-- both as a whole human race, and as individual souls.

I encourage you to get some progressive revelation in your life and continue to look to the future. Don't worry about the mistakes of others, but help them to see from a divine perspective, and continue to progress in revelation.

Push for your destiny, and keep hope alive when the enemy rises up against you, because hope will keep you alive!

By Kim Clement
Prophetic Image Expressions

Thursday, June 29, 2006

He LIKES ME, so I can just BE...

You know, a while back, I realized something really significant. It's not that I'm that smart - but
when God shows you something so very clearly, it's pretty hard to miss.


There. That's it. It's so simple, yet so life changing when we really "get it". I really get it - HE LIKES ME. I mean, I knew he always loved me, and that's great. Like a parent of a teenager - never stops loving the kid, but doesn't always LIKE him or her. But HE isn't even like that. HE LIKES ME. He made me just like I am, and HE LIKES ME. Wow! What a freedom.

Maybe you weren't raised like I was. Maybe you are going "yeah, I get it, so what's the big deal?"

The big deal is this - as a child who was raised to be a performer - one who could never measure up to the expectations - THIS IS HUGE. I always knew it wasn't about works, and that I was secure in God, but I was always left with the picture of Him being disappointed or upset with me over my poor choices, my "sin", and so forth.

What HE has shown me is that all of that was COMPLETELY dealt with at the cross, and that the righteousness of CHRIST has been IMPUTED (put on, placed upon, attributed to, accounted to) ME (and YOU). "He, who knew no sin, was made to BE sin, that we (who knew no righteousness) would be MADE TO BE the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD." 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Not only that, HE LIKES ME (and YOU). We can be free to just BE who He made us to be. It's not what we DO that determines who we are. We are who HE says we are. Who we ARE will determine what we DO, if we only realize who we are and whose we are, and that He isn't angry with us. HE LIKES US.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Being Really ALIVE

The article below really spoke to me today. Kim and I had been talking about how our circumstances had brought us to a place where we were not really living. 4 years has been a very long time. I mean we are surviving, but not really enjoying the simple things and the true blessings around us. Our friends have been so very good to us, and our families have been even more amazing. Another friend called us last night (we are in North Carolina, for another trip to the doctor), at the end of a very difficult day, to tell us they were praying, and that they felt God leading them to send us a title for the next few months to help cover medical expenses. God never ceases to amaze us. He told us at the beginning that if we would let go and not try to "work it out", He would bring us through in a "most unexpected way". Well, he continues to take care of us month by month, day by day. Some days, I have felt like I couldn't go another step, only to find a friend coming along side, to help hold us up.... We have been givers for many years, and have met needs of others, and it has been very humbling to be in a place of such great need, but I will forever be grateful to all of those who have helped us in such real, tangible ways. Prayer is incredible, but prayer coupled with action is even more amazing. We are so blessed to be surrounded by such incredible friends and family, and yet - some days, it's really hard to live - to just enjoy what we DO have, and enjoy what we CAN enjoy. There isn't much Kim can do right now - she can't walk, stand, drive, even sit up or feed herself sometimes, and the strain on all of us can be tough, but we must learn to live here. We can't put all of life on hold until this time ends. We have to live - each day. I thank God for what He is teaching us here, and long for the day when we truly live regardless of our circumstances... in complete peace and the strength that only comes from Him and the relationships He works through in our lives.

Some well meaning folks have felt the need along the way to impress upon us that our situation is a result of something wrong in our lives. After living through that and hearing God's perspective on it, I will never be able to lay that crap on anyone. I also don't ever want to hand out "pat answers" or "just believe" statements again, either. They're hollow when you are in such a place that you realize you have no control over the situations or bringing them to an end. Only God holds the answers, the ending, and the results. They are all His, and we would be better off just listening to what He tells us about ourselves, rather than trying to figure out how to "fix" others. THANK YOU GOD for the friends who have loved us and not tried to "fix" us. God told us He likes us the way we are, and we are so thankful for friends who do, too...


Ras Robinson's Posts can be found at http://www.injesus.com/index.php?module=group&task=details&GroupID=RB005YO1


Ras Robinson
Jun 20 2006 07:00AM

June 20, 2006. Live it boldly. Awaken to the new day before you. Rise and shine. Let the glory of the Lord radiate from your life today. The bird nests outside my window are empty. The baby birds are becoming adults. They are singing with all their heart and voice that this is the greatest day before them. Here is My word to you: Greet this day with a smile and with a determination to make someone happy today. Get lost in serving others. Show the world around you what Jesus looks like in the flesh. Dare to be bold and very courageous in all you do. Refuse to live your life sparingly. Rather, live it abundantly and overflowing with His fullness all day long. Reckon yourself dead to sin and to yourself and explode through being alive to Christ. Fervently express the indiscernible Jesus living with your body. Live it boldly.

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

IRONIC, isn't it?

I thought this picture was incredibly ironic - PEACE ON EARTH in an old picture in front of the World Trade Center... What an amazing prophetic paradox of irony...

taken from "Ironic" - Alanis Morissette

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn't it ironic...dontcha think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought...it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
"Well isn't this nice..."
And isn't it ironic...dontcha think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought...it figures

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you're already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic...dontcha think
A little too ironic...and yeah I really do think...

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought...it figures

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

Ever feel this way? I know for us, with all we have been going through, it seems like alot of "would be" opportunities are before us, and yet, we are so blessed, and so well cared for, and so tremendously and unconditionally loved... isn't it IRONIC how we can be going through so much and yet be so completely surrounded by the love of God? Wow. amazing. sometimes in the most difficult of situations, we find ourselves and find God in such a deeper and more intimate way...
How ironic that the times of greatest gain are often during the times of greatest loss...
and how the love of a friend who doesn't have to explain "why" you're going through what you're going through can carry you through...


Friday, May 12, 2006

Freedom Time, Anyone?

Freedom Time
by Lauryn Hill

Everybody knows that they're guilty,
Everybody knows that they've lied
Everybody knows that they're guilty,
yes resting on their conscience, eating their insides.

It's freedom, said it's freedom time now,
It's freedom, said it's freedom time now.
Time to get free, oh give yourselves up now,
it's freedom, said it's freedom time

There's a war in the mind over territory for the dominion
Who will dominate the opinion, schisms and -isms
Keeping us in forms of religion,
conforming our vision to the world church's decision
Trapped in a section, submitted to committee election
Moral infection, epidemic lies and deception
Insurrection of the highest possible order
Distorting our tape recorders from hearing like under water
Beyond the borders fond of sin and disorder,
bound by the strategy of systemic depravity
Heavy as gravity, head-first in the cavity without a bottom
A fate worse than Sodom
What's got 'em drunk off the spirits,
truth comes we can't hear it
'when you've been programmed to fear it
I had a vision I was falling in indecision,
appalling, calling religion some program on television
How could dominant wisdom be recognized
in a system of antichrists and majority rules
Intelligent fools, PhDs in illusion,
masters of mass confusion, bachelors of past delusion
Now who you choosin, the head or the tail
The bloodshed of the male, or confidence in the veil
Conferences at Yale discussing doctrines of Baal,
causing people to fail, keeping the third in jail
His word has nailed everything to the tree,
severing all of me from all that I used to be
Formless and void, totally paranoid,
enjoyed darkness as Lord, keeping me from the sword,
I was blocked from mercy, bitter than cerasee
hungry and thirsty for good meat
we would eat and still dine at the table of deceit
How incomplete
From confrontation to retreat,
we prolonged the true enemies' defeat
Destitute of necessity
Causing desperation to get the best of me
Punishment till there was nothing left of me,
realizing the unescapable death of me
No options in the valley of decision
The only doctrine supernatural circumcision
Inwardly only water can purge the heart from words
The fiery darts thrown by the workers of the arts
Iniquity, shapen in, there's no escaping
when your whole philosophy is paper thin
In vanity, the wide road is insanity
Could it be all of humanity?
Picture that. Scripture that!
The origin of man's heart is black
How can we show up for an invisible war
Preoccupied with a shadow, making love with a whore,
aching in sores, Babylon the great mystery,
mother of human history, system of social sorcery
Our present condition needs serious recognition
Where there's no repentence there can be no remission,
and that sentence more serious than Vietnam,
the atom bomb, and Saddam, and Minister Farrakhan
What's going on? What's a priority to you?
By what authority do we do
The majority hasn't a clue
We've majored in curses,
search the chapters, check the verses,
recapture the land, remove the mark from off our hands,
so we can stand in agreement with His command
Everything else is damned, let them with ears understand.
Everything else is damned, let them with ears understand…

It's freedom, said it's freedom time now,
It's freedom, said it's freedom time now.
It's freedom, I'm a be who I am,
it's freedom time, said it's freedom time

Everybody knows that they've lied,
Everybody knows they've perpetrated inside
Everybody knows that they're guilty
yes, resting on their conscience, eating their insides.

Get free, be who your supposed to be, freedom, said it's freedom time now, freedom, said it's freedom time, freedom, freedom time.

Lauryn Hill is one of my favorites & well known from her history with the Fugees.... but this song is awesome. It is so cutting and directly aimed at "the system" - you know the one - "the system" that controls people and keeps them enslaved to its purposes. The same system that always has agendas - usually the self-serving, "using" type of agendas and motives. And to top it off, add a healthy portion of pride, false humility and indignation at any questioning or skepticism aimed at it or its use and misuse of the resources (money, people, etc.) to build serve itself. Perhaps freedom is really just laying down all of the religion (the man-made stuff, not true religion - true religion is, after all, taking care of the widows, orphans and poor, right?), deception, selfishness, hostility, criticism, jugement... and the list goes on... and instead, choose to simply BE and simply LOVE. Hmmm.... It's one I think I need to ponder for a bit... How bout you? Jeff

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Nothing in Return....

"You Owe Me Nothing In Return"

- Alanis Morissette

I'll give you countless amounts of outright acceptance if you want it
I will give you encouragement to choose the path that you want if you need it
You can speak of anger and doubts your fears and freak outs and I'll hold it
You can share your so-called shame filled accounts of times in your life and I won't judge it
(and there are no strings attached to it)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it's my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

You can ask for space for yourself and only yourself and I'll grant it
You can ask for freedom as well or time to travel and you'll have it
You can ask to live by yourself or love someone else and I'll support it
You can ask for anything you want anything at all and I'll understand it
(and there are no strings attached to it)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it's my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

I bet you're wondering when the next payback shoe will eventually drop
I bet you're wondering when my conditional police will force you to cough up
I bet wonder how far you have now danced you way back into debt
This is the only kind of love as I understand it that there really is

You can express your deepest of truths even if it means I'll lose you and I'll hear it
You can fall into the abyss on your way to your bliss I'll empathize with
You can say that you have to skip town to chase your passion I'll hear it
You can even hit rock bottom have a mid-life crisis and I'll hold it
(and there are no strings attached)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it's my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

Isn't that what real love and friendship at the truest level is like? We have been very fortunate, as we go through these very difficult times, to be surrounded by a special few who we are able to completely be this way with. It goes both ways. Anything is ok between all of us. We truly accept each other, and put no expectations on how the other will act or react, handle or mishandle situations, make good or bad choices or decisions, or anything else. We simply love each other unconditionally.

That unconditional love has utterly changed our lives. Irreversable change has occurred in my heart. I am no longer content with superficial relationships that are prone to offense, disappointment, disillusionment, unrealistic expectations, masks, and so much more. It is so comfortable and safe to be with friends who truly love you, and to be able to still be safe and secure, even when I am at my very worst.

To Greg & Jodie, I will forever be grateful. Their love for us, and friendship with us, has been truly one of a kind. They have seen my best and worst, and yet, they have loved me unconditionally. I am thankful they were able to hang in there with us when most others disappeared. Our love for them has grown as well. There has never been a place for judgement or correction or "fixing" - we just hang out, enjoying each other, sharing in each others' lives. They are our family in the truest sense of the word. We are blessed and our lives are richer for knowing them.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Represent = RE-PRESENT?

What do we represent?

I've been thinking alot lately about the word "represent". What in the world do we really represent?

I broke the word down into two parts -
"re" - to do again.
"present" - to show or demonstrate.

So what do we really "re-present" to the world?

Do we present Christ again? Do we look like Him to the world?

Do we "re-present" anything? or possibly even "mis-re-present" something or someone?

Perhaps what we "re-present" is the core of what we really love and believe, about what is important, about the world, our God, ourselves and others.

Monday, April 24, 2006

  • What the Bleep?!?

  • What the "bleep" do we know? I mean, when it really comes down to it, what do we know?

    I used to think I knew alot. Perhaps I know very little. But I do know Who loves me. I do know He wants the best for me. I want to live intentionally. I want to discover the endless possibilities for altering my everyday reality.

    Perhaps our bodies respond to what we think and say about ourselves. Perhaps this affects the condition our bodies are in and how they function or fail to do so.

    Are we limited by what we believe to be true? If our beliefs changed, would it change or eliminate the limitations?

    If you'd like to look at things like this, and maybe stretch your "thinking box", click on the "What the Bleep?!?" line above... The video can be purchased from PBS if you are interested... Another "What the bleep" is coming soon to theaters - It will be called "What the Bleep?!? Down the Rabbit Hole"... Let me know what you think about this....

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    The Wall

    The Wall


    I'm woven in a fantasy,
    I can't believe the things I see
    The path that I have chosen now
    has led me to a wall
    And with each passing day I feel
    a little more like something dear was lost
    It rises now before me,
    a dark and silent barrier between,
    All I am, and all that I would ever want to be
    It's just a travesty, towering,
    marking off the boundaries
    my spirit would erase
    To pass beyond is what I seek,
    I fear that I may be too weak
    And those are few who've seen it through
    to glimpse the other side,
    The promised land is waiting
    like a maiden that is soon to be a bride
    The moment is a masterpiece,
    the weight of indecision's in the air
    It's standing there,
    the symbol and the sum of all that's me
    It's just a travesty, towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
    I want to see

    Gold and diamonds cast a spell,
    it's not for me I know it well
    The treasures that I seek
    are waiting on the other side
    There's more that I can measure
    in the treasure of the love that I can find
    And though it's always been with me,
    I must tear down the Wall and let it be
    All I am, and all that I was ever meant to be, in harmony
    Shining true and smiling back at all who wait to cross
    There is no loss
    As I read these words, I am reminded of my own path, and how God so diligently and faithfully has touched my life, steadily reconciling who He made me to be with the reality I live out. Many times, the process is painful, almost unbearable. Yet, He is there, helping me to tear down the wall, holding me together, reforming my heart and life. Many times, the wall is of my own thinking and making, and is due to the deceptions and lies I have believed. The wall appears to be solid rock, and yet, it is thin as paper. Perhaps the most difficult thing to obtain is the thing one already has been given....

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    A Most Unexpected Way...

    Since I last posted, we have been to NC again and had the Groshon catheter installed, and started IV Antibiotics for my wife Kim (Being_Me). I have been signed off on the procedures for administering IV's (M-W-F) and for dressing changes (weekly). Not much difference yet - she still is unable to walk or even stand for more than a couple of seconds. She cannot get up on her own, and has to use a wheelchair. We are working with a local group to try to get a wheelchair ramp built, because getting out of the house in an emergency right now would be difficult. We are covered for the first 28 days by insurance. Beyond that, we have to appeal - the initial request was denied. The cost, if we have to pay out of pocket is about $1000 per week, on average. At first, this was overwhelming. We didn't sleep much. God told us that if we would let it go, and let Him have it, He was going to take care of us and provide in a "most unexpected way"...

    An amazing thing has happened. A family member sent our history to someone at their church to ask them to pray. The pastor got the message and took time during a service last Sunday night to share it with the congregation. He had all the men in the congregation come down and pray for our family. Then again, he talked about it at the staff meeting. Now, a group have started putting together a flyer and contact to collect funds and help us with expenses. Also, some family members have already contacted us as well, wanting to assist with expenses. My dad has committed to cover the cost of the wheelchair ramp. My mom is a nurse and has helped out with additional supplies and being available to answer any questions. She even came up to stay with us to help with the first dressing changes, and cleaned our house. My sister-in-law satyed with the kids for us to go to the Dr in NC. All of our family have offered to help in any way they can. Uncles and cousins have sent money, as have friends, and friends of friends and family. We are just overwhelmed at the caring and outpouring...

    God is truly taking care of our needs in a most unusual way, and we are so blessed. I know He will see us through to the end. There is also new news from recent tests that may well be the cause of the loss of motor skills, etc. Every step of the way, God has been holding our hands and leading us along. We are so blessed, and in a most unexpected and unusual way.


    Sunday, February 26, 2006

    Fellowship of Suffering

    We have discovered, over the years, a fellowship of suffering. It's a little like being a member of a club you never wanted to join. The other members are awesome - many broken, transparent, hurting, with a deep sense of loss, but nonetheless incredibly kind, loving, supportive, very solid people.

    The man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. -- Michel de Montaigne

    We have been through a great deal of suffering over the years. I responded to them in many different ways, but discovered early that suffering can produce what nothing else can in our lives. We have suffered the loss of loved ones who died so young. We have suffered through the loss of 3 miscarriages, and the emptiness left by the absence of those precious ones. We have suffered through pains, disappointments, realization of disillusionment, betrayal, and so much more.

    For the past 4 years, we have been going through very difficult circumstances. Kim has been very sick during this time. There are many who want to label this as cause & effect, saying "there must be something wrong in your life for this to be happening to you", or "you just aren't having enough faith", etc. For some reason, some people feel they need to judge us and our circumstances. Thankfully, our Daddy holds us close, telling us He is at the heart of this, and will deliver us. We are also often amazed at those who come along side us, encourage us, and love us just the way we are. Some as a few miles away, and others are across the world, but we are nevertheless amazed at their love, caring, prayers, and concern for us.

    I thank God for the fellowship of suffering. It is so good not to be alone when situations seem so very overwhelming.

    I wonder if others out there have had similar experiences.


    Tuesday, February 14, 2006


    When I have been at the deepest times of shaky footing and even free-falling, during some of the most difficult days of my life, I can feel so totally out of control (as if I was really controlling anything anyway).

    It's never comfortable, for me, being crushed, stretched, broken, transparent, vulnerable, naked, alone, destroyed, smashed to pieces, and left in a dark room.... I recognize the value of the process and the result, and that phenomenal growth can take place during these times, but it's still really hard to let go and fall. My tendency is to try to hold on with all my might, grappling for the edge of the ledge that is slipping away from me... until....
    I find peace in the midst of the storm and begin to hold on to Him instead...
    I think this sums it up pretty well...

    "unknown" by Lifehouse

    This doubt is screaming in my face
    This familiar place sheltered and concealed
    and if this night won't let me rest
    don't let me second guess
    what I know to be real
    put away all I know for tonight
    and maybe I just might learn to let it go
    take my security from me
    maybe finally I won't have to know everything

    I am falling into grace to the unknown
    to where you are and faith
    makes everybody scared
    it's the unknown the don't know
    that keeps me hanging on and on and on to you

    I got nothing left to defend
    I cannot pretend that everything makes sense
    but does it really matter now
    if I do not know how
    to figure this thing out

    I am falling into grace to the unknown
    to where you are and faith
    makes everybody scared
    it's the unknown the don't know
    that keeps me hanging on and on and on to you

    I'm against myself again
    trying to fit these pieces in
    walking on a cloud of dust to get to you

    I am falling into grace to the unknown
    to where you are and faith
    makes everybody scared
    it's the unknown the don't know
    that keeps me hanging on

    and I am falling into grace to the unknown
    to where you are and faith
    makes everybody scared
    it's the unknown the don't know
    that keeps me hanging on and on and on to you

    And so I hang on and on and on.... as I fall into grace - safely in the arms of the Lover of my soul... the infinite One, who is able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine, and although I may not know what tomorrow holds, I know who holds me in His arms, comforting me, and wiping away every tear, as He gently binds my wounds, calms my fears, and deeply loves me. I am transformed.


    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Upside Down?

    Are we living life upside down? I recently rediscovered a song (it was re-released on a new Russ Lee CD) that had meant alot to me in the early 80's. The words are just as pertinent today as they were then - maybe more so....

    John has a new way of looking at life
    He's tired of his job, his kids and his wife
    He says the secret to his success
    Was in leaving and finding himself
    Now he's someone to somebody else.
    And you say we've risen to a new age of truth
    You're calling it a spiritual Godly pursuit
    But I say, I say,

    What if we've fallen to the bottom of a well
    Thinking we've risen to the top of a mountain
    What if we're knocking at the gates of hell
    Thinking we're heaven bound
    What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves
    When we should have been thinking of each other
    What if we reach up and touch the ground
    To find we're living life upside down.

    We've got a program for saving the earth
    While unborn children are denied their right to birth
    One baby's blessed, another cursed
    Have we made this world better or worse
    Now that the life of a tree comes first
    And you say we've risen to a new age of light
    You're telling me what used to be wrong is now right
    But I say, I say,
    (repeat chorus)

    What if we're living, what if we're living,
    What if we're living life upside down.

    The lines that particularly hit home today in our world are you say we've risen to a new age of truth, You're calling it a spiritual Godly pursuit and you say we've risen to a new age of light
    You're telling me what used to be wrong is now right, and the chorus. Have we, as a generation, lost our compass of what is wrong and what is right? Perhaps things are not as they appear. I believe it's worth questioning:
    What if we've fallen to the bottom of a well
    Thinking we've risen to the top of a mountain?
    What if we're knocking at the gates of hell
    Thinking we're heaven bound?
    What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves
    When we should have been thinking of each other?
    What if we reach up and touch the ground
    To find we're living life upside down?


    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Daddy, I've Come Home...

    This poem was written by Danny Steyne, shortly after his daughters were kidnapped in December, 2000. He recieved his answer in the miracle of a phone call from the FBI on February 2, 2006, letting him know they were found safe, and were coming home....
    more can be found about the story at www.elijahlist.com today, under News Extra...

    I expect you
    I look for you every day
    My heart cries out for your presence
    In the house that is your home
    I expect you suddenly
    To appear at my front door
    Saying words I've longed to hear
    Daddy, I've come home. . .

    When I read it, several things struck me. The love of a father for his children - that ernest expectation of their return, the longing for them and the pain of thier absence. I hear in his words the longing to hold them close, to tell them he loves them.

    I also hear in these words the heart of a Heavenly Father, whose heart is crying out for the presence of His children. He also ernestly awaits their return with expectation. Oh, how He longs for those of us who are so busy, so unavailable, so distracted and unaware, to appear at His "front door", saying those words He's longed to hear - "Daddy, I've come home..."

    There Must Be More....

    I thought of this as I was reading Kingsjoy's (David's) latest blog...
    There is a song that has been a cry of my heart for much of my life...

    "There Must Be More" by David Ruis
    Lord I groan, Lord I kneel
    I'm crying out for something real
    For I know, deep in my soul,
    There must be more

    Lord, I'm tired

    Yes, I'm weak
    I need Your Power to work in me
    'Cause I can't let go - I keep holding on
    There must be more
    There must be more

    River flow
    Fire Burn
    Holy Spirit breathe on me

    There is such a renewed hunger in me to know God so much deeper. I realize that this is an unexhaustable pursuit - I mean that He is unexhaustable, and though I know Him deeper and deeper, His depth is infinite. He is completely amazing and wonderful - the kindest person I have ever known. He is my friend, my God, the Lover of my soul, the Lifter of my head, my salvation, my restorer, my sin-bearer, my burden-bearer, my ISHI (husband), my comforter... and so much more.

    Yesterday was one of those "Verse 2" days, from the song above. I was so tired, and so weak. Our circumstances sometimes feel so completely overwhelming to me. On those days, I really need His Power to work in me, to do what needs to be done, to love those around me through me, to keep me consistently kind and gentle toward those I love, and to express transparently my love for Kim, and really appreciate her fully, in a way that she can understand and enjoy.

    Hosea 6 -

    "Come, and let us return to Yahweh; for he has torn us to pieces, and he will heal us; he has injured us, and he will bind up our wounds.

    6:2 After two days he will revive us. On the third day he will raise us up, and we will live before him.

    6:3 Let us acknowledge Yahweh. Let us press on to know Yahweh. As surely as the sun rises, Yahweh will appear. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain that waters the earth."

    It is amazing how God has used our relationship to break our hearts, bind up the brokenness, lift us up and heal us. It is so humbling to be totally transparent - for nothing to be hidden from someone you love so much. For that person to see your flaws and still love and like you. Oh, how my heart has been ravaged. I am broken, the wound is bound up, and I know the lifting and healing is coming, but oh, how I long for it. How hard it is to wait. So hard to want so badly to be healed and restored, but to have to wait for it. It would seem cruel if it were not for the knowing that all things are working together for our good. Somehow, this is little comfort while walking through this time, and yet I hold on... longing for the day. I am in such need of "watering"...


    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Questions and Answers...

    An excerpt from the lyrics of "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" by U2...

    We thought that we had the answers

    It was the questions we had wrong

    How many times do we search out answers in our lives? Do we believe that knowing the answers will help us get to where we want to be? How many conferences do we attend, how many books do we read, and how many messages and sermons do we listen to, trying to find the answers to the questions that race around in our heads?

    What are we going to do? How are we going to get out of this mess? What do I need to do to get healed? Why can't I stop doing that? What is wrong with me? Why can't my life be normal? Why do I have to go through this? and so on, and so on...

    Have you ever considered that the value of the answers to our questions are entirely dependent on the quality of the questions asked? If our questions are loaded with suppositions, how can we be sure those suppositions are correct? What if those suppositions are negative, does that somehow sabotage ourselves? If so, are there questions we can ask that have positive suppositions instead? Does it even matter?

    Is it ok to question anything? everything? authority and leadership? the Bible? even God?

    So where do all of these questions lead? Are there questions that exist that, when answered, provide us with solutions and outcomes that we desire? Do the questions that remain unanswered draw us to deeper fellowship and relationship with God and others?

    Perhaps the questions only lead to more questions... I don't have the answers, and I'm not even sure I have the right questions! But I do know I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and I know God loves me - and that He likes me.

    By the way, He likes you, too... He told me... ;-)

    I'd love to hear what you think about this...


    Soar with Me....

    From Ras Robinson, February 4, 2006.

    Soar with the eagles. All over the world I have given eagles to inspire My righteous ones. I tell you to catch the wind of My Spirit and lift off to the heavenlies every day of your life. You were never intended to forage, scratch and dig on the wilderness floor for your sustenance and blessings. Rather, you are to look up to the sky and the mountain from which comes your strength. You already know the joy of the Lord to be your strength. Receive My joy when you let the warm currents of the Holy Spirit’s love for you lift you heavenward. Lift your eyes. Soar with the eagles.

    Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

    So where are we? Are we scratching around the barnyard, afraid to fly, like a chicken? Are we making a bunch of noise, flapping our wings, and stirring up dust like a turkey? Are we feeding off of dead stuff like a vulture? Are we crowing about our circumstances or in judgement of others? Are we blind as a bat to what Daddy is doing?


    Have we recognized that we are as eagles, and we can soar high on the gusts of the Holy Spirit, realizing that the strongest gusts come during the most difficult times, and only those gusts can carry us so very high that as we fly into the sun (Son), our pursuers and enemies lose sight of us in it (Him)? When it is time to learn to fly, the adult eagle first tears up the nest, pulling all of the soft feathers and straw out, leaving only uncomfortable thorns. Then she takes the baby bird on her wing and flies very high. Finally, she tips her wing and allows the baby to fall. The baby eagle rarely learns to fly on the first drop, so the mother swoops under the baby and catches it. Then she flies high again and drops the baby, over and over, until the baby bird begins to spread its wings and catch gusts of air and fly... Learning to fly opens up a whole new world to the baby eagle.

    Has your nest been torn up? Has life become uncomfortable? Or maybe the you were flying high on a wing, and found yourself suddenly free-falling?

    I believe I hear Daddy today saying, "Come, soar with Me... It's time to fly..."

    I'd love to hear where you are in your flying lessons... I think I'm still in the "plummeting toward earth at an incredible speed, in disbelief that I was just dropped - again! after having the nest torn up and getting really uncomfortable" part... LOL


    Monday, February 06, 2006

    Who are You?

    Who are you?
    You might answer by giving your name. But your name does not define who you are.

    Who are you?
    You might answer by describing your job. That is what you do, but not who you are.

    Who are you?
    You might answer that you are so-and-so's husband or wife or father or mother or brother or sister or friend or son or daughter. These are all roles you may play, but not who you are.

    Who are you?
    You might answer that you belong to such-and-such a church or organization or have membership in a society or group. That's all well and good, but not who you are.

    The things we do are not what defines us. Changing what we do will never change who we are. Knowing who we are, however, can utterly transform what we do. If we do not know who we are, the world will be happy to attempt to tell us who it thinks we are.

    So - WHO ARE YOU?

    Our Deepest Fear...

    I recently read this quote -

    "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

    Marianne Williamson

    This touched me in a deep way.

    Who are we to deny that we are who God made us to be?

    When our circumstances become more than we can bear, what will we do? What will we do when the pressures are high? What about when there seem to be no others who are going in the direction we know we must go?

    Will we be afraid, or will be be bold? Will we stand or will we cower, afraid to step out in power and confidence in Him who made us, and in what He made us to be?