Spirit in My Blood


There is a spirit in my blood that drives me to pay, drives me to play, drives me to drift.

Once I tried to drown it.

Once I tried to cut it out.

Once I tried to put it to sleep.

Once I tried singing it sweet Psalms so it would retreat.

No liquid could quench it, no cut too deep, no rest for the weary, and no white flag of defeat.

 

 

 

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A River Runs


A river runs through me, crooked and swift.

Oft its banks are breached, its waters spill into the plain.

Oft it recedes, exposing the bed.

Sometimes I swim and sometimes I float.

Always it carries me.

 

 

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Advice From the Well


I fell into a well…again.

I’m cold and, wet, and the concrete in my blood is starting to set.

I’m not sure how long I’ve been here, but people have begun to gather.

“He’s just doing it for attention. It’s the fourth time this month that he’s fallen into a well.”

“Have you tried not walking so close to wells?”

“Maybe if you tried really hard to not fall in you wouldn’t.”

“Didn’t you read the book I gave you on how to avoid wells? I’ll drop it down to you so you can give it a look.”

“I know exactly how you feel! Once, I was stuck in a well for a whole night!”

“Have you tried climbing out? Maybe you can just climb out.”

“You are going to be such an inspiration to anyone who ever falls into a well.” While you’re down there, you should write about your experiences.”

“You should go see a well expert. They will be able to help get you out.”

“Don’t worry, soon you’ll get used to living in the well. I know lot’s of people that spend most of their lives in wells, and they live very productive lives.”

“Have you tried yelling for the guy that built the well to come pull you out? I’ll tell you what; I’ll start yelling for you.”

 

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Drip


I try to scrub clean drip by drip, but the stain’s as stubborn as ever.

I pray to the faucet, but it just won’t run.

They say, ” Pray the right words and maybe you’ll turn him on.”

Never been great at talking about mess, so I sit there silent, drips drying into regrets.

The man who talks to the faucet gives me three easy steps.

  1. Turn the handle.
  2. Stand under the water and scrub away stain.
  3. Put some money in the offering plate on your way out.

Cooling my tongue drip by drip, wondering why a faucet requires a daily quip.

The lady who talks to my brain gives me three easy steps.

  1. Take this pill.
  2. Stop being thirsty.
  3. Put some money in the offering plate on your way out.

Maybe you’re not a faucet. Maybe you’re a well.

Maybe you don’t need turned on. Maybe you need drawn from.

 

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There’s a Man in the Sky


“There’s a man in the sky,” they say.

His beard as long as the ocean deep.

He’s paving his roads with American gold

while is children convert all his enemies.

 

“There’s a man upstairs,” they say.

Clanging his chains like a Holy Ghost.

Whispering his secrets among the walls of your heart,

And for one small gift, and a weekly visit, his spirit will never depart.

 

“There’s a man in the book,” they say.

Look real close, he’s there.

Study every sentence, parse every verb,

And when you’ve found him, tell everyone you’re sorry,

But they’ve simply misunderstood.

 

“Let him into your heart,” they say.

He’ll show you the way!

Unless you’re brown, a democrat, or gay.

 

I’ve been to the sky, no man to be found.

I visit the attic, nothing but disease.

I’ve declined all the nouns, trying to avoid my fate.

And my heart? I invited him in! He even brought wine!

But still my affections they waiver.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

I’m becoming deaf to the calls of the savior.

 

 

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Me Too


A little over two months ago my friend Mike Campbell asked me to put together a video testimony that addressed some of my journey with my mental health diagnosis to be shown to his student ministry. I was a little hesitant to do this for a few reasons, the biggest being I find some of this story incredibly embarrassing. I agreed to do the video, and was encouraged to share it with a broader audience because of the feeling that it may be helpful for those who are struggling with mental health issues in the Church. It is geared specifically to Mike’s youth group, but I believe the main points to be universally relevant. At the risk of being just another voice in the large crowd of folks who talk about these issues, it’s my hope that if nothing else, you as a fellow struggler will find solace in a voice that is simply saying, “me too.”

 

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What We Fear: Flying On a Plane Beside a Big Animal Dressed as a Clown While Watching a Michael Bay Movie


I’m afraid of a few things. The short list would be heights, the ocean, any animal that is bigger than me, flying, clowns, and Michael Bay movies; you know, just your basic run of the mill stuff.  We are all afraid of something, and if we were honest with ourselves we all probably have a list of items that if we could help it we would rather just avoid.  My fears might seem silly to you, and if you told me some of yours I would probably chuckle on the inside while keeping a sincere and understanding demeanor on the outside, because it’s rude to make fun of other peoples fears to their face.  Unless of course your fear is opening a tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls. I can’t help it, I’m going to laugh at you.  Sorry Aimee, but it’s really funny to watch you try to do that.    

I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately, because I’m weird, and that’s the sort of thing I do.  It seems to me that there are two types of fears.  There are surface fears, the stuff that sends us screaming out of the room, and then there are the fears that lay deep in our soul. These are the fears that keep us up at night. It’s the fear that we will be alone, screw up our kids, go broke, not be cured, fail, or simply not matter when it’s all said and done.  These are the fears that often under the surface influence many of the decisions that we make in this life.  

How many decisions have you made based on fear?

It’s pretty interesting to me how many times Jesus encourages those who were following him not to be afraid.  I don’t know the actual number of times, I’m sure some Bible scholar much smarter than I could figure that out, but it seems to me that he says it a lot.  One of my favorite examples of this is tucked away in the middle of Luke 12.

“Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom.”-Luke 12:32

I like this one because it puts in my mind the picture of a loving father patiently explaining to his child that the thunder outside really can’t hurt them because it’s just noise.  Jesus has just finished explaining to his disciples that the stuff they spend their lives worrying about and being fearful of in the end doesn’t really matter.  It’s just noise.  That’s not to say that it’s not important or uncomfortable, it’s just that the Heavenly Father already has it taken care of.  

Jesus came to take care of our deep fears.  When we follow after him it frees us up to acknowledge that while these fears may wear on us, they do not have to define us. When we realize this it frees us up to make decisions based on what’s best for His Kingdom not what best muffles our fears.  

This type of decision making begins the death of “safe” Christianity and the beginning of a kingdom focused relationship with our Father that loves us.  

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