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Showing posts from June, 2019

To Let Hurtful Words Go

To let hurtful words go.
To let them go up like smoke and blow away in the wind
To not capture them in a box and occasionally stick my nose in
And breathe their putridness as if I needed them to live.

To let others' foolishness or wickedness or offensiveness
Be simply silly
As I am silly sometimes
And hope everyone forgets in a hurry.

To stop sticking their words on me
With double-sided tape and globs of glue
To not press them into my heart of hearts
As if they knew the intricacies there
And that their words would touch me so.

To not take those words to the laboratory
And dissect them under bright lights
As if they were scripture.
To not stamp them onto records
And play them repeatedly on my Victrola
As if they were symphonies and I enjoyed them.
To not build my house upon them
As if they were foundational and universal.
But to let the words go
Like scents on the wind
Or flashes of color on the retina
Or the blur of bushes outside my car window.

To believe the best about someone
E…

Needing Jesus

My daily discomforts, misgivings, and grievances seem to cause me to dwell on either how much I need Jesus or see how much others need Jesus.

If I think too much about how much others need Jesus, I tend to turn myself into a god, high above the common man and their desperate needs. If I think too much about how much I need Jesus,  I tend to be absorbed in myself and my unworthiness without paying attention to the cure—like singing about how hungry I am in front of In-N-Out without ever going inside to get a burger.

Best to acknowledge that everyone needs Jesus and then get on with the acquisition of him, the setting my mind on his truths and then believing them.

What it Means to Believe My Kids are Sinners

Modern psychology seems to believe that a child misbehaves because something is wrong inside him, and a parent's job is to find out what that is and fix it.

Why did Jack scream at me? Is he harboring some inner fear that he won't have enough? Is he jealous that his sister got more than him? Is he still recovering from that incident when he was two, and I left him in the car?

Why did Evie not listen to her teacher today? Maybe Evie's surrounded by too many talkative friends. Maybe she's too young to be in school. Maybe she had a stomach ache. Maybe her teacher scolded her too harshly.

This sort of thinking is both tricky and dangerous.

It's tricky because it's so very close to the truth and yet not. Yes, if our kids' hearts are right, then their actions will be too. But no amount of therapy or proper parenting or ideal environment will fix our kids' hearts. Why? Because regardless of how children are treated, they still want to do things their own way. T…

Casting My Line Into Another

These waters are no good.
I've been fishing all day
And all I've caught
Is a shred of argyle,
A belt buckle,
A tangle of hair,
And a shoe lace.

I'm paddling out farther
To deeper waters.
I'm casting again
In another direction,
And while waiting for a tug,
I'll tell you the history
Of all my bad luck.

I was born an angler.
We all are, you know.
But my training was lacking,
For I was taught to fish in a puddle of sludge
With teachers who, more often than naught,
Hooked bits of me instead of tadpoles or guppies.

When I grew of age, I packed my tackle, line and rod,
And told my mentors what I thought of their "fishing."
Then I hiked to a river to find companions,
Who knew how to catch fish instead of me.

The river was crowded with anglers,
Full of tips, advice, and criticisms.
"Not there. Here."
"Not that. This."
"Not over. Under."
At first I obeyed
Until I succeeded to fish like they did
Catching the flies of fishers on the oppo…

Small Group Lessons on Anger, Fear, & Hurt

These are three weeks of homework assignments for a small group. I suppose they could also be used as discussion questions. I wrote this up because I like teaching and it popped into my mind.


Week 1

Prayerfully pay attention to yourself this week. Write down five times you experienced fear, anger, and hurt (5 times each). For each experience answer the following three questions:

1) What triggered each experience?
2) How did you act afterwards?
3) What do you think about your reaction.

Example 1: My daughter back-talked me. I was mad. I talked her down. That wasn’t right of me.

Example 2: A new project was dumped on my lap at work. I was anxious. I worked frantically, skipped lunch, and got home late where I snapped at everyone. I shouldn’t have been the one doing that extra work. It was Joe Smoe’s job.

Example 3: My spouse didn’t acknowledge any of the work I did today. I was hurt. I distanced myself. I didn’t want to bug him. He’d had a stressful week.

Feel free to write down times wh…