No Post

I began a post and had not saved it yet when Chrome crashed.  I guess it was not meant to be read.

Do I have to write an entirely new one?  That’s such a bummer.  It was called “No Direction” because I don’t have any direction today.

I am just waiting and waiting.  I’m normally really good at that game (really good) but days that involve traveling I am not as good.

So what am I doing?  Listening to “We Built This City” by Starship.  You remember that song?  I think my father liked that song.  I do not recall exactly.  

This leads to serious YouTube problems.  Songs from those days.  They show up and I have to play just one more.  And still it is only 6:40ish.  Here we go…



Waves of Pain

I have a wonderful life.  I sometimes suffer pain from sadness, loneliness, depression.  I do not want or need your sympathy.  I do not want or need your suggestions on how to change my thought patterns (or anything else in my life) to avoid this pain.  Today I am documenting my experience from yesterday for informational purposes only.  Again, I do not want or need your sympathy.

I wake up and it is not instantly upon me.  It is there, deep in my chest.  I can feel it but the weight is not heavy.  I wake my son up so he can get ready for school.  I make myself busy because that provides temporary relief.  I drop him off at school and my head is under water.  I get to work and dread the schedule but God gives me enough strength to get to my first appointment.  I solve the problem and chat with the client.

I return to the office.  It isn’t so bad.  I remote into a few computers and begin to resolve more problems.  I am masking it now.  I know the difference in myself.  One of my employees walks in and I make a comment about having no friends.  It is difficult to avoid using words like this when the pain is so intense.  It was so painful I could not think properly.  I go to a meeting and I find it unlikely that I hid the pain I was in.  I eat lunch.  Just another short distraction (5 minutes or less).

The pain continues to crash upon me.  It won’t stop.  Someone drops off some money to me.  I try to act like I am not in pain.  But there is no telling what they thought.  I meet someone to go vote early.  They see the pain in me.  It is too severe to hide at this point.  I fake a smile for a picture and return to work.  Head to the bank to deposit the money that was brought to me.  Find out I did not count the money properly.  The mind was gone well before that occurred.  Return to my office.  A respite.  Even so brief.

Dad calls.  Wants to schedule a weekend with Blaine.  I barely have enough strength to have a conversation with him.  Why won’t he stopped talking to me?  Please Lord, make him stop.  Make them all stop.  The call is over.  I can focus on the pain again.

My daughter texts me about my plans tonight as if this socialite had plans.  Seems there is a movie she wants to see.  Then she arrives at my office.  Our dinner and movie date is schedule.  The pain continues.  I make it through the next hour at work, by the grace of God, only His grace gets me through.  I did not accomplish anything but I survived.  I pick up both my kids and head out to eat.  We arrive but wave after wave of pain is crashing upon me.  I do not hear the words they are saying.  I am barely holding myself together.  Holding back tears.  I remember three waves during the 45 minute dinner.  There might have been four waves but I’m not sure.  I do know that I finished my food in three minutes – Kristen timed me for some reason.

My mind, normally well ordered, is in disarray.  It has been most of the day.

We head out to the movies.  I was hit at least once by a wave of pain on our way.  Now distraction.  My daughter next to me, laughing, joking.  Another brief relief from the pain.  Yet it is quick to return.  We are not out of the theater yet and I can feel the wave building.  Slowly building inside me.  I drop them off, head home, and crash into bed.  Free from this last wave of the day.

Today begins…

I could have described additional points to yesterday but my mind still lacks focus so I will have to leave it at that.  Two weeks ago ended my 110 day streak of days without major depression.  I experience the sadness most days but those 110 days were probably the longest streak I have ever had.  At least I do not recall ever counting that high before.

I was just thinking about the focus on the pain.  I am wondering if that helps ease the pain or intensifies it.  If the Lord sees fit I will contemplate that today.

Belongs To Another

Well after five days of sadness, I recovered to a neutral.

This morning however, I feel someone else’s pain.  I cannot even pray for them directly because I do not know who it belongs to but it is intense.  I would say nearly debilitating but I suppose that is relative.  Some people can handle more than others.

Some days I would rather not know who it is.  When I know who, I often know why.  We tend to have the same problems in cycles.  It is quite odd.  I remember a girl who saw me three years in a row in August.  One of the few times each year she was sober.  I did not see her the previous two years but I do know that she was clean every time they popped her for testing.  I did however see her twin sister.  Hmmm, that seems strange.  Last week, she asked someone to take her into rehab.  I do not know if she made it.

A few weeks back someone came to me and asked about a feeling they were having.  Then asked if that was something like what I feel.  I believe it is but it is difficult to say.  I could probably drown out this feeling but would it return to the person it is coming from?  Would it be more than they could bear?  This specific individual is dealing with issues they do not want to accept.  It is hard to accept the truth when you want something so badly.

Time to stop writing and wake up the kids.  Time to start their week…

117 Psalms

It is a particularly small psalm.

For great is his love toward us

Those words are so beautiful and sweet to the ear.  And the grace to know these words is a wonderful gift.  One we do not always receive.

It seems like a good prayer – give us the grace to know how great your love is toward us.  Amen.

Someone Died

Physical death is one of those things difficult for me to grasp.  My thoughts on death formed around the age of 12.  I remember them forming.  The thought pattern on death is my own and does not appear incongruent with my faith, never has.  But I do know it is incomplete.  The finality of it isn’t strong.

Eli’s father overdosed.  Eli is five.

I never met his father, David.  As I have reflected on his death, I wonder if there was anything I could have done.  The answer must be yes.  What could that thing have been?

Death’s finality isn’t strong because I do not believe death is final.  I can remember the idea forming oh so many years ago.  I remember it so vividly.  And now knowing that we are just sojourers, exiles in this world, the idea has only grown stronger.  Except it should be different for those that are unbelievers, nay, it is different for them.

I had a conversation with a guy recently.  Death scares him.  I probed, attempting to find out this world view but he was hesitant to say anything.  Even the alcohol did not open him up.  There are many reasons why he is hesitant to talk to me but I did learn some things.  He doesn’t really believe in anything.  There was nothing.  He was born, will live.  Then he will die into nothing again.

It has taken a year to get this out of him.

So I contemplate death, not in a morbid way because my death is of little concern, consequence.  But in understanding those that do not see death the same because they cannot.  They have no hope.  I must pray.  Always pray…

He Changes Times…

I saw something today that just knocked the wind out of me – as they say.  I escaped it for a bit thinking about “forward thinking” and then “free thinking” (if such a thing can exist).

I broke down and upgraded my Logos 4 Bible study software to Logos 7 which was just released.  I got a lot of new references with the upgrade.  I think about 800 new books and the like.  I was most excited about the sermons of Charles Spurgeon.  I found volume one and read the intro.  That will be a project – read the hundreds (thousands?) of sermons by Spurgeon.

The emotions returned.  They pulled me down pretty far.  Ericka distracted me the second time.

I would enjoy a nice conversation about the ramifications of autonomous cars, asteroid mining, whether free will exists or not, or something along those lines.  One with a spouse who knew me.  I am thankful for what I do have.  I remember just last week continuing a conversation with Kristen on “Black Lives Matter”.  That was a two hour joy.  Oh, it was not all on that topic of course.  We discussed many things as I am sure we will discuss again this Wednesday.

She has enjoyed her entrepreneurship class in high school so far.  Thus, part of our talk was on businesses.  She already has the idea for the business plan she will write for the end of the class assignment.  A marketing company – using social media.  I would actually be interested in seeing her attack the idea from a mobile perspective.  The business name (idea) “Mobile Marketing Ingenuity” has been in my mind for over a year.  I remember when it occurred to me and how I was missing something.  I have still not found that missing piece.

I know I was attempting to combine several ideas into one and I kept reaching and reaching.  Yes, I will attempt to remember this in our next talk.  I imagine this could be combined with autonomous cars.  Yes, that is the direction we should progress towards.

On a business note, I still have not found a partner or two for the new business.  And yesterday at some point I was able to integrate another idea into the business and create a third business out of the one idea.  It will be rather interesting if God allows me to do any of this.  When I was talking to Him yesterday, I told Him I couldn’t do any of this without Him.  There are very specific things that need to occur for any of my projects to progress and eventually succeed.  None of which are under my control.

So I began to crash again tonight.  Writing has helped slow it but not stopped it.  I have been praying the verses in Daniel 2 for a few days.  Daniel 2:20-23.  The beginning of verse 21 says “He changes times and seasons” and that is very true.  I have not surrendered the day to the sadness.  If God does keep me one more day, His name will be praised forever and ever.  If God does not, His name will still be praised forever and ever.  It is a great prayer so go ahead and read it.

It is only 8pm.  I suppose I will try to read a bit more.  That is always a distraction of some level for the mind.

The Old Me

I think I much prefer the old me.  He feels like home.  You know?

Monday morning, I began to crash and just repeated “into your hands I commit my spirit” a few times while in anguish.  He took it away.

Last night it began to creep in.  I was listening to “Lost On You” which I remembered makes me very sad.  You know just what I always like to be.

God seems to rip people away.  I wrote some words along those lines on Wednesday.  It seems most true.

Still, He has not allowed me to fall into the deep despair.  Monday will be the beginning of week 6, if it continues.  Yes, I count the days.  I count many things.

Today, honestly I both want to fall into that despair and do not want to fall.  It is an odd problem.  I tried to pray but that did not last long.  I just wanted to put words somewhere.  If only I could share the words from Wednesday but they are a lot to understand or misunderstand.  Will I rely on God to prevent the fall?  Will I allow myself to be taken once again into it?  What will the outcome be?

I woke up Monday morning with a song in my head.  The only song of his in my playlist.  It is one of my favorites right now.

I do not think this music is much better for my frame of mind but I do not stop listening to it.  Asking for trouble?  I suppose.  Why not ask?

Will couple 165 please take the floor?

There are projects to work on today.  I suppose I will accomplish some of them.  I’ll probably have to pause, stop the music so I can focus and stop dancing in my chair.


The Lord Provides

I told you back to basics last time.  I still read my Bible, articles, books of course but my basics go back to prayer.  A simple prayer at that – the Lord’s prayer.

I pray for His glory for as long as I can.  Then I pray for my daily bread and His glory for as long as I can.  Then I pray for forgiveness and thank Him for His grace (which is really the same thing) and for His glory for as long as I can.  Finally I pray for people and, you guessed it, His glory for as long as I can.

I, of course, use the phrase “as long as I can” not in a completely literal sense.

The change was fast in my life.  I found it amusing because I started this prayer Monday night and then again Tuesday morning.  Before lunch time on Tuesday, Ericka (my office manager) said I must have been praying for work.  I told her that was not exactly what I prayed for.  I prayed only for the things mentioned above – His glory, daily bread, grace (forgiveness), and people.

He is Jehovah-Jireh.  The Lord Provides.  And He provides all all my needs because He is all I really need.  This morning I was in Deuteronomy 8 – “mankind cannot live by bread alone” – which I also found amusing.   The Word is my life.  I do try not to be disjointed but it is my mind generally.  You are lucky I rearranged the paragraphs or it would have been much more difficult to follow.

It is my year of prayer.  I think I have grown quite a bit.  And I know I have a long ways to go.  Never satisfied.  Always pushing forward.  Strive towards the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

There is plenty about prayer to learn.  Plenty about reliance on God – reliance on His providence.  Trust in His sovereignty.  It has been a good few days.  We never know how long it will last though.  And it does not matter because I have Him, all that I need.

A Big Idol

One of the big idols in my life was (is?) family.  Prior to my divorce I had made family my god.  After my divorce, God opened my eyes to this.  He continues to open my eyes to this idol (and others) in my life.

The past few days I have been going back to basics.  I suppose it started with a podcast on Sunday about the Lord’s prayer.  Or was that Monday.  Yes, it was Monday.  I have seen the spark in my heart and pleaded with God to fan it into a flame once again.

This morning as I was reading Psalm 7 and not too impressed with my options for praying, I read the first verse of Psalm 8.

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory in the heavens.

This reminded me again for at least the second time today that God should receive all the glory.  I told you the basics.  Hallowed be Your name, Lord!

Then people came to mind and I see their problem with the family idol.  It is so obvious that I’m not sure how I missed it for all this time.  [Yes, I realize that part of the reason I have been blind is my lack of caring for people over the past few months.  I have plenty of my own problems.]  But now that I have seen it, how do I, in love, tell people to examine their lives for this idol?  When I say people, I mean many people flashed before my eyes.   Even now they continue to enter my mind.

One of the meth girls I know had a baby earlier this year.  CPS has been called on her many times by many people – even random people seeing her abuse the baby.  She does not have a home.  She lives with random people, jumping from place to place.  CPS can’t catch her – she jumps to the next place as soon as CPS learns where she is.  I do not know where she is.  All I get are the stories.  It is sad.  Last night’s story…more of the same.

So we pray.  Pray for babies.  Pray for parents.  Pray for families.  Pray for God’s glory above all else.  Pray for His glory to be made known in all things, in all situations.  Hallowed by Your name, Lord!

5 Years Ago

Five years ago, July 3, 2011, is a day I cannot forget.  It was the first time I had been to church service in quite some time.  I had been to Bible study, Sunday School, and other things but not a service where the Word of God is to be preached (Baptists sometimes call it “big church”).

I went with a hard heart.  And what I saw made me weep.  It was song after song of America worship.  Even the preaching of the Word was less about God and more about the worship of America.  This was my perspective of church on this holiday (and others like it).  It is still my perspective.  Which church has the biggest flags?  No wait, which one has the most small flags all over the grass?  No wait, which one has the most patriotic theme inside?  I could go on.  And there is no doubt that many (most?) of these people worshiped America more than they worshiped the God who created the universe.

I left church service that day and cried.  I cried for the church.  I cried for our country.  I cried for myself.  When did America become an idol for the church?  When did the time of worship for God turn into a worship of America?  Christian – this is not your country!  We are foreigners, exiles, sojourners in this world.  We are worshipers of the one true God.

The following day, July 4, 2011, the weeping continued.  I went to my office and opened my Bible and began reading Philippians.

Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose.   –Philippians 2:1-2

When I got to those verses, the love of God overwhelmed me.  God saved me in that moment and my life changed.

I got a text this morning.

Praying that the pride in our nation that is preached today across our country will not hinder us from loving and going to the nations…this Sunday is a rough one for me.

My response was to be encouraged because God saved me five years ago on a holiday weekend just like this one.  It brought me to tears.  Weeping once more because of the grace He has poured into my life.  Despite all the bad things I continue to do, His grace has saved me.

I have been fighting apathy, bitterness, anger, and lack of caring for people for an amount of time I would rather not disclose.  I plead with God to free me of these things, put me back like I was, in love with Him and His grace, in love with the image bearer of God.  And yet here I am a broken vessel.  He reminded me of something this morning.  Something I now recognize that He has been showing me for a few days (weeks?) – God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing (1 Corinthians 1:28), but I am a worm, not a man (Psalm 22:6), but who indeed are you—a mere human being—to talk back to God? (Romans 9:20).

Praise be to God that He delights in saving the sinful immoral outcast.  –David Platt

God came into this world to save sinners.  Like me.  Like you.  Praise be to God.