things that tick me off

too hurt…








in conversations over the past few weeks, i’ve had people tell me that i’m hurt deeply.  some of these people have known me for a while, some of these people are new to my life, and some have been acquaintances but have just been recently made aware of my story.  while i am thankful that people can identify with my story, unless they have walked with me from the beginning of the hurt, they have no idea how far i’ve come. a select few people who God placed in my life to walk through me with this would be the first to tell you how much different i am.  warranted, i have bad days. i have days where i go back to the wound because it’s a known place.  there are times when i will talk about what happened in a very negative light, and then ten minutes later, i will capture that and move on.  we all have bad days. even me.

what prompted me to write this post is a few interactions i had with people. it’s no secret that i love to be heavily involved with church and ministry.  i long to minister again not because it does anything for me, but because i’m called to it and the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. i’m rambling, back to my point.  i had people tell me that i was too hurt or damaged to effectively minister to people….

now, i want to take a step back and see the truth in that.  i have been hurt. not just through the ending of my marriage, but a 5 year ordeal of the enemy with his boot on my throat kindof hurt.  every turn, every decision under attack.

listen friends, and listen close. I KNOW that satan does not want me to do anything remotely connected with God’s kingdom because he has attempted to take me out time and time again.   i mean if our pastors and church leaders have to be pain and hurt free to minister to pained, hurting people, then who is gonna be able to do that?  i don’t know anyone who is qualified, well anyone who is honest about their hurt.  if you are going to be effective for the kingdom, you WILL be attacked, just get ready.  and it sucks.  it sucks hard. it is some of the most intense pain that i have ever experienced, but God NEVER wastes a wound.  Romans 8:28 says it.

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

that’s everything, not some things, not what He picks and chooses.  EVERYTHING!

now i’m not bashing anyone.  i know people are well meaning and have my best interests at heart.  i totally get that, but you are looking at this situation as i exit the tunnel.  yeah, there is still gonna be some junk on me, thank God, He’s still working to clean me up, but I will not back down or shirk from the calling He has given me.

so know that your leaders are not perfect, they struggle, they strive.  they get ugly emails every day from people who let their preferences get in the way of the reconciling work of Jesus Christ and guess what… HURTS. but they keep going because of the call. they keep going because of the hurt. they keep going because it’s what they were meant to do.

so don’t tell me that i’m too hurt to minister to people.  it’s because of the hurt that i am able to.


another song….

Untitled As Of Yet-Chuck Harris 2011


i sometimes think

that we all feel

like we are getting

the raw end of the deal

we are so

self immersed

we have this overwhelming need

to always be first


but there is so much more

i should have told you way before


i’m sorry

please forgive me

i know you want to share your point of view

but really

that’s not the issue

i’m sorry i let you think

this was about you


it’s not about

you or me

or the table for one reserved

for your pity party

let’s dig right in

to the heart

we may not solve it today

but it’s somewhere to start


there are so many things

we could focus on and discuss

but we usually choose

the number one topic…us.

one of my favorite artists…

is a guy named Chris Rice

he’s most famous for “The Cartoon Song” but limiting him to that is like saying Bobby McFerrin’s greatest triumph is “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (McFerrin wishes he had never recorded the song)

Chris is an amazing songwriter, and writes wonderful thought provoking songs.  i heard a story once about a girl singing one of Chris’s songs at a conference that John McArthur was speaking at.  She sang the song “Big Enough” and when she finished, McArthur got up to speak and rebuked the song saying, “He can assure everyone that God is there.” this story was relayed to me by a guy in a church we once attended who certainly thought he had all the answers.

i think that is what bugs me about “scholastic theology”.  in the search for truth, we gain knowledge which puffs us up with pride.  with that pride we begin to think we can know everything about God, and if we are prideful and know everything about God well then we certainly can’t have any doubt now, can we?  how is it that we have lost the awe and mystery of God.  even David, the man after God’s own heart questioned throughout the Psalms.  the disciples cut and run, would you call that doubt?  so i can’t possibly explain it all and i don’t think that Dr. McArthur really listened to the lyrics of the song becuase “God if you’re there” is only part of it, and taking lyrics out of context and quoting to make your point.  i’m glad that you are so sure of the workings of God and the universe Dr. McArthur.  your faith is certainly greater than mine, but sometimes i feel like David and other times i feel like Chris, but i “Figure He’s big enough”

Big Enough by Chris Rice

None of us knows and that makes it a mystery
If life is a comedy, then why all the tragedy
Three-and-a-half pounds of brain try to figure out
What this world is all about
And is there an eternity, is there an eternity?

God if You’re there I wish You’d show me
And God if You care then I need You to know me
I hope You don’t mind me askin’ the questions
But I figure You’re big enough
I figure You’re big enough

Lying on pillows we’re haunted and half-awake
Does anyone hear us pray, If I die before I wake
Then the morning comes and the mirror’s the other place
Where we wrestle face to face with the image of Deity
The image of Deity

God if You’re there I wish You’d show me
And God if You care then I need You to know me
I hope You don’t mind me askin’ the questions
But I figure You’re big enough
I figure You’re big enough

When I imagine the size of the universe
And I wonder what’s out past the edges
Then I discover inside me a space as big
And believe that I’m meant to be
Filled up with more than just questions

So, God if You’re there I wish You’d show me
And God if You care then I need You to know me
I hope You don’t mind me askin’ the questions
But I figure You’re big enough
I figure You’re big enough
‘Cause I am not big enough

something that really ticks me off…

is when there are two lanes of traffic that move down to one.  everyone has ample warning, there are signs and everything.  we all move over, but some jerkface in a luxury sedan or some soccer mom in a high dollar SUV just stays in the closing lane and then expects everyone to let them in at the last possible second.  HELLO MORON, THAT’S THE REASON TRAFFIC IS SLOWING DOWN!  IF YOU WOULD MOVE OVER WHEN YOU SAW THE SIGN, WE COULD ALL KEEP THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC GOING, BUT SINCE YOU ARE “BETTER THAN ALL OF US” I GUESS WE HAVE TO  LET YOU IN!

i’m serious. it makes me road rage/red faced angry.  it makes me want to say wirty dords.  and that is the case.  they cut because they feel they are, or where they have to be is more important than everyone else.  we really don’t have traffic problems in Lufkin (only around the middle school), but just today i was leaving a space for another car in the oncoming lane to turn, and an Escalade went around me and filled the space.  i was like you are kidding me.  if my kids hadn’t been with me, i may have been tempted to show them the middle finger of fellowship, but i didn’t.

and we wonder why kids push each other for places in line.  you only have to watch the car pick up line after school.  our children come by the me first mentality honestly because they see it every day.  entitlement and selfishness are learned traits.

now the real question, does it tick me off because i’m righteously indignant, i hate what i see in myself, or i’m jealous that they keep cutting and we keep letting them?

what is wrong with American Idol…

my web friend Rand wrote a great post about it over at his blog Rand’s Ramblings.

i can’t really say what has happened, but the show is crap this season.  no one is rolling out ANY creativity.  it’s basically just a big Karaoke contest. Crystal will probably win and right now Tim is putting together some decent performances, but there is NO MAGIC.  NO WOW FACTOR, but they’ve “had a lot of fun, because they thought it would be fun”

basically the winner of this season will be the next Taylor Hicks.


and next season when Simon leaves the show will die a slow painful death.  ratings will plummet and sponsors will bail.

at least  Seacrest has his radio career.

has Idol held on for too long?  is it time to bow out and go to the next thing?  people ask me why i still watch when it’s so sorry this season.  i guess i’m invested in the show.  i knew Kelly Clarkson would win season one.  i didn’t think Carrie Underwood was all that great (i have since repented of that as she is one of the best Idols EVER) i just look at all the careers launched by this show, (some who bowed out early are more successful than some of the winners) and think wow, what an opportunity?  what success?  Idol has been tweaked and run through the wringer, but the format has remained essentially the same, you get the votes, you get to stay.  the show has evolved somewhat, but i guess not enough to last more than 10 good seasons.

there have been bad seasons before, but this one is just a real stinker.

so i’ll say, “Idol, you better get it together.  Please stop the lipsynched group numbers, and get some people who can really sing with artistry.  That is all.”

a little of my story…

I grew up in church.  The denomination is really not important.  I was there every time the doors were open as far as I can remember.  I thank my parents for loving me enough to take me.  I have fond memories of Sunday School and children’s church.  I remember sitting in “Big Church” watching my parents sing in the choir.  The summers were always punctuated by Vacation Bible School.

As I got a little older, I would read my bible and then ask bigger questions.  I remember the men, women and pastors in my churches attempt to answer those questions.  I guess there were times that I had bigger questions than they had answers for and they would tell me, “that’s just the way it is” or try to change the subject all together.  It was at this time, I also remember seeing and hearing things that bothered me.

Things like:

The choir tour that cost too much money, and I got made fun of because I couldn’t go.  Youth camp was far away and also very expensive.  Besides the kids who were going weren’t very nice to me anyway.  I remember seeing people who I thought were wonderful people at church, treat people outside the walls with such disrespect and disdain.

My fond memories of church as a child begin to dissolve and be replaced with a jaded cynicism.  My questions became more pointed.  I really wasn’t looking for information anymore, I was looking for the truth.  I wanted to see past the “Sunday Best”  and reverent fronts  into the heart of what these churches really stood for.  I kept receiving empty answers and spiritual cliches.  The sad part of the story is… I played along.  I wore my “Sunday Best” (more of my mom’s influence than mine).  I sang the special music.  I spoke the language.  I managed my sin.  I conformed into what a good, church going young man should look like….but I hated it, and when I wasn’t there I was completely different.  Until one day, I quit going….

A Few Good Raiders….

A transcript of the meeting at Texas Tech must have gone something like this:

Gerald Meyers (Tech AD): “Coach Leach, did you order the Code Shed?”

Kent Hance: “You don’t have to answer that question!”

Coach Leach: “I’ll answer the question!”
[to Meyers]

Coach Leach: “You want answers?”

Meyers: “I think I am entitled.”

Coach Leach: “You want answers?”

Meyers: “I want the truth!”

Coach Leach: “You can’t handle the truth!”

Coach Leach: We live in a world that has sidelines, and those sidelines have to be guarded by pirates with swords. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Meyers? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for James, and you curse the Pirates. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know – That the James shed incident, while tragic, probably won games. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, wins games.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties with your fat little girlfriends, you want me on those sidelines, you need me on those sidelines.

We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very bowl games that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide them. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way – Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a sword, and stand at post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to –

Meyers: “Did you order the Code Shed?”

Coach Leach: “I did my job!”

Meyers: “Did you order the Code Shed?”

Coach Leach: “You’re G**damned right I did!”

so i’ll be honest…

i’m a fan of Rob Bell.  i’ll quantify that with, “i don’t agree with everything he says”, but that’s how Rob would like it.  i think we could have some great conversations.  the thing i like best about Rob is his books and videos challenge my idea of my own faith.  he gets me asking questions.


that being said, he kicked me square in the butt yesterday with a passage from his book Jesus Wants to Save the Christians which he cowrote with Don Golden.

they are talking about Empires in the bible and then make these statements.

America controls 20% of the world’s wealth.  There are around six billion people in the world, and there are roughly 300 million people in the US.  That makes America less than 5 percent of the worlds population.  And this 5% owns a fifth of the world’s wealth.

One billion people in the world do not have access to clean water, while the average American uses 400-600 liters of water a day.

Every seven seconds, somewhere in the world a child under the age of 5 dies of hunger, while Americans throw away 14 percent of the food we purchase.

Nearly one billion people in the world live on less than one American dollar a day.

Another 2.5 billion people in the world live on less than two American dollars a day.

More than half of the world lives on less than two dollars a day, while the average American teenager spends nearly $150 a week.

Forty percent of people in the world lack basic sanitation, while 49 million diapers are used and thrown away in America every day.

1.6 billion people in the world have no electricty.

Nearly one billion people in the world cannot read or sign their name.

Nearly 100 million children are denied basic education.

By far, most of the people in the world do not own a car. One-third of American families own three cars.

One in seven children worldwide (158 million) has to go to work every day just to survive.

Four out of five American adults are high-school graduates.

Americans spend more annually on TRASH BAGS than nearly half of the world does on ALL goods.

Now, when many people get a glimpse of how the world really is, whether it’s through study or travel or reading statistics like the ones just cited, it can quickly lead to guilt.  We have so much, while others have so little.

Guilt is not helpful….honesty is helpful.  Awareness is helpful.  Knowledge is helpful

Guilt isn’t.

Human history has never witnessed the abundance that we consider normal.  America is the wealthiest nation in the history of humanity.  We have more resources than any group of people anywhere at any time has ever had.  EVER!

God bless America?

God has.

And we should be very, very grateful.

tomorrow i’ll hit you with what they say about entitlement…..are you ready?

so if you were subjected to this last night…

I’M SO SORRY.  i mean it’s on a time delay.  couldn’t they have “autotuned” that crap!

good thing Jennifer Hudson sang next.  although that might mean the end of those two little girls careers.

more on the grammy’s later.