God came to my room last night.  He stood near my bed and asked me, “My son, what is it that you want?” 

A list began to form in my head.  One by one items fell onto the list.  I thought about my health, my career, my home and my future.   

Then I thought of Solomon who, when asked a similar question by God, requested wisdom over material things.  And so my self-made piety rose up and searched for something that might impress God.    

But as I looked upon this God standing in my room, I was filled with the overwhelming sense of genuine care emanating from Him.  He had, indeed called me His son.  My soul longed to reach for Him..  to cry out Abba, Daddy.   

I saw my list and it immediately broke down one simple item…. Fear.  All these things bore the common theme of fear. I knew right then what it was I wanted. 

So I asked Him.  “Father, I don’t want to be afraid.”

My Father took one step and gathered me into His arms.  The arms that stretched out the very universe and created everything, cradled my seemingly insignificant little soul with a furious and focused love. 

Then He spoke.  Like a quiet, distant rumble of thunder, His voice filled my ears, then my mind and finally, my heart.  “Oh, my son, you’ve never had to be afraid.”

Getting Out Of Yourself – A Testimony

It was three years ago on Thanksgiving morning.  I was scheduled to do meals on wheels with Pastor Don and a few others.  The Meals on Wheels program (a nonprofit org) doesn’t operate on holidays.  So the elderly shut-ins don’t get fed.  Churches will volunteer to take the routes on those days and deliver the meals.  Our church takes the hard areas of North St. Louis because that’s where we are. Continue reading

I Don’t Wanna Die

I don’t wanna die, I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all.

The immortal words of the immortal Freddie Mercury from the immortal Queen song, Bohemian Rhapsody.  Those words are in my head lately.

Life is a series of wins and losses.  It ebbs and flows with positives and negatives.  We develop philosophies to endure or learn from the negatives and highlight the positives.  After all, we just want to be happy.

But the philosophies are generally smokescreens designed to help us to fool ourselves.  In fact, a lot of the time, I philosophize that life itself is a smokescreen.

I have a philosophy.  I’m a cynical person.  I distrust.  I see the worst in things.  Therefore I’m rarely disappointed.  Or am I?  I have a difficult time taking things at face value.  So I feel like most things in life are a sales pitch for happiness but there are hidden costs and agendas.  And more often than not, I’m left with buyer’s remorse.  So yeah, maybe I am disappointed.

The cynical part of me listens to Freddie’s words and really takes them to heart.  If you believe in God, then you probably believe in the afterlife and a greater meaning and purpose to our actual lives.  And if you believe in a greater purpose, it’s not much of a stretch to believe that it comes with a personal responsibility.

The Bible outlines our responsibilities.  It outlines the pathway to the afterlife.  All roads lead to the afterlife.  Our responsibility comes in which afterlife we will be attending.  So the Bible outlines the concept or sin, of redemption, of Salvation, of conduct and behavior and ultimately, heaven…  or hell…

The Bible outlines guilt, damnation and judgment.  It outlines the wrath of God.  It scares the hell out of me.

But it also outlines grace, mercy and love.  I am not good at grace or mercy… or love.  Like everyone else, I want to go to heaven.  Like everyone else, I’m terrified to go to hell.  The late, wonderful, Larry Norman wrote a song called “Why Can’t You Be Good?”  And I ask myself that and many other questions…  Do you really love God?  Why is your ‘relationship’ with Him so minimal?  Why do you think the thoughts you think?  Why can’t you be GOOD?

Sometimes I think about the grace of God and I wonder…  Maybe for me, grace would be that I was never born.  Then I would never struggle with God, sin or judgment.  If I wind up being one of those that He says “depart from me I never knew you”, wouldn’t it be better to have never existed?  I think about it and sometimes decide that is the grace I needed.  But it’s a moot point now isn’t it?

My band, Sombrance, has an instrumental song that we wrote (and have not yet recorded).  It’s an ambient, drifting song.  I named it Drifting because as we play it, I feel that sense.  In the bigger picture, I feel that way in life.  Years and years are gone and I am still the same wretched man I’ve always been.  Sometimes I try to draw near to God, other times I am too ashamed, afraid or guilty to include Him.

Positives and negatives, wins and losses, good and bad…  Some days at the feet of God, most days alone and adrift in the waters of a foggy lake.  I’m sorry that I don’t have a positive spin to throw on the end of this blog to ‘redeem’ it.

I don’t wanna die.  I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all…