Saturday, January 01, 2011

Homemade Stew -- Another Sign I'm Healing

So tonight after working all day to clean out my cupboards, freezers, and fridge, I made a stew from scratch.  Big deal, you say.  Well it is a big deal for me.  It's yet another sign that I've turned another corner on the road to wellness.

Nearly four and a half years ago I did nearly everything from scratch and spent a whole lot of time in the kitchen cooking food for my family.  In a way, cooking was a creative outlet and one of the few things that my ex was good at telling me I did well.  After my heart attack, after the kids started school, after my marriage fell apart, after my church dumped me, I kinda lost my creativity in the effort it took just to keep my head above water.

The past few years have seen me working to establish a business that would support us all as well as getting kids to and from school.  It has meant long hours and survival was still the name of the game.  But finally, some time is opening up for me to have some time to do things here around my home.  In fact, I'm downstairs in the kitchen/livingroom more in the past month than I have been in the past year.  I'm engaging with my kids and other people more.  Maybe more than I ever have in my life.

Sometimes you don't know you are depressed until it begins to lift.  I think I've been depressed for a long, long time.  The new sense of hope and optimism I have feels very strange and I'm not used to it yet.  I'm also not used to knowing that someone loves me to a depth I've never known before.  Getting used to it is taking some doing, but I think I'm gonna enjoy this.

I wonder what I'll make tomorrow.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Why "Deformed" Musings?

I realized after I just posted on Face Book that I might end up with some new readers who might be wondering why I called my blog , "Deformed Musings."  Here's the story:

When I first started up this blog, I was in a Presbyterian micro denomination called the Reformed Presbytery of North America.  I was trying to self consciously think and express myself from a Covenanted Presbyterian Christian worldview, so I called my blog, "Reformed Musings."  If you go back far enough in the history to 2006, you will see how this eventually all unravelled ending with my excommunication (along with my entire local congregation) and my disenchantment with reformed churches.  Hence the name change.  I was feeling a bit cynical at the time.

When I think back to the amount of fear, angst, and emotional turmoil that I lived in around this time, it is like reading the story of someone I knew but who no longer exists.  It's like it happened to someone else.  Except I probably won't be darkening the doors of a reformed church any time soon.  I still have a number of triggers that need to be disabled and in time I will get to all of them.  In the meantime, the name will remain until I can think up something I like better and which is more indicative of where I really am and want to be.
Divine Appointments

Today was my last day on the job for cleaning the home of one of the local doctors. They were truly a delightful family and cleaning their home was a snap. No toilets were involved!

Today I spent close to an hour and a half visiting with their guest who was there babysitting while my employers were working. It had the feeling of being yet another of those divine appointments that God apparently likes to set up for me. In fact, the number of divine appointments seems to be proliferating lately.

I attribute a lot of that to the type of work I do. When you know how to de-stress people from their various issues, including those from the past, inevitably you fall into discussions about things of the heart and soul. And inevitably, core issues about the nature of God and man get discussed.

I wish I was more competent at sharing my faith. Since having the bs and religion beat out of me by life and my own poor choices, I no longer have the comfortable vocabulary of evangelicalism to fall back on any more. It doesn't feel organic to me any more. What does feel organic is just loving people enough to let them talk, asking the questions I am led to ask, and passing along lessons learned through hard experience. More than anything, most people just want to know that they can share what needs to be shared without fear of judgement. In short, they want to know, "If I screwed up, do you still love me?" Having learned experientially that this is how God loves me (and has always loved me though I didn't realize it), it's much easier to say, "Yes, I do" and mean it. Unconditional love works miracles of healing, so I've found.

God knows our flesh and remembers that we are dust. We would do well to remember that of each other. Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Commodores - Sail On

Marc, this one is for you. Please just go away....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just When You Think You've Made Progress...

I've had to have far too much contact with my ex-husband lately. We just did an exchange of our respective tax notices today. He's also been around regularly to pick up children for their soccer practices and games. I don't exchange any words beyond what is absolutely as I have nothing to say to this man, or else far too much. Sometimes the rage just bubbles up inside me. Rage over what should have been, over what was lost, over his constant unwanted intrusions into my life.

I recently donated a kidney to a much loved friend who has done much good to and for me. That sparked a discussion in the car today on the drive to school. One of my sons said something to the effect that he would donate a kidney to either me or his father if we needed one. I remember looking at my son like he had two heads. Why in the world would he donate a kidney to THAT MAN? But then this is his father he is talking about. It amazes me how strong the bond between parent and child can be. It amazes me that someone could feel that level of care for someone that I feel nothing for beyond the rage.

For a time I had reached that happy place of indifference to what my ex-husband was thinking, saying, or doing. As long as he stays out of my way, I'm good. But then if I find him intruding on my life more than I like, all the old rage rises up. I guess I'm not done healing.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm Back

After a hiatus in which fear of man ruled my life and where I was afraid to speak my mind because of what others would say or think, I'm back.

For a while it was too hard and there were too many things going on in my life to enable me to do much by way of writing. But the writing bug is biting again and so here I am.

I did attempt an anonymous blog after I closed this one off to the public. It is no longer anonymous and you can read the posts by going

Monday, April 07, 2008

Where the Line of Antithesis Lies

Sometimes in our desire to pursue and maintain truth, we draw the line of antithesis between ourselves and other Christians, forgetting that the real line lies between us and the world. Here is a small snippet of something that Douglas Wilson wrote recently on his blog, "Blog and Mablog."

When we gather to worship the Lord, when the call to worship is uttered, the Holy Spirit gathers us up, and ushers us all into the heavenly places where we then worship God in the name of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We have not come to a mountain that can be touched, but rather to the heavenly mountain of Zion, the New Jerusalem. We have assembled with all the holy angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. Moreover, we are doing this with all the saints all over the earth, time zone after time zone, in successive waves. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord shall be praised.

There are two thoughts in this that should comfort us. The first is that, because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, in whom we all make our approach to God, we all do so as members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Before the throne of God, where all of us assemble every Lord's Day, there are no denominations -- just a multitude that no man can number. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. We are to grow up into one unified perfect man in history precisely because this is already given to us in the heavenly realms. [Emphasis added]

The second encouragement is this. As we worship God in the heavenly realms, we are rising above the culture wars. This is not because those conflicts are now irrelevant, but rather this is our only successful way of fighting them. In our worship, we pray this: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are engaged this morning in glorifying the name of Jesus Christ in heaven. As a result, we may then ask by faith for God to do the same on earth. As the name of Christ is glorified on earth, as it is in heaven, the kingdom is coming, the will of God is being done. It is the will of God to exalt the name of Jesus Christ.

As the name of Christ is exalted by God this way, the secularists who do not wish to honor the name of Christ discover they have no countermeasures for this. There have nothing available to them that can stop this. Be encouraged, and worship the Lord this morning.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Depression, Guilt and Miscellaneous other Things...

One of the things that you should never do if you at all think you are depressed is to take the MMPI -- one of a form of psychometric testing. The test will confirm the depression, but the other stuff they tell you in it could very well push you over the edge. When I did one recently no one told me that the test results would come back in a totally negative light. Now I am not one who believes herself perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but to read this sort of negative report without anything to balance it off on the other side was almost enough to have me considering whether all my friends and family were completely and utterly blind not to mention a little crazy themselves if they could love such a miserable specimen of humanity as myself.

Depression sucks big time. You look perfectly healthy, can function to a certain extent, but inside your head you are sick. Your serotonin levels are down and out, your feel good neurotransmitters have gone south, and holding a positive thought can be difficult. And then there is the embarassment of it all when people casually ask you "How are you?" and you burst into tears to their and your horror. You sit in your house and there are whole sections of your home that you are afraid to go into. You see that things need doing, but somehow, mustering the energy to do them seems to be beyond you.

I never imagined that I would be doing this but I am trying the "better living through chemistry" approach. I am doing a few supplements in addition, but the motivation to eat properly, take my supplements, exercise, do stress-relieving sorts of activities, etc., is HARD to find. Somehow I have to try and do this, earn a living for the kids and myself, and make a whole bunch of decisions and judgements at a time when I feel the least capable of doing any of it. I totally get why some people become workaholics. When I am cleaning a house or doing a kinesionics session on someone, I have brief times of being in control of something and being competent at it. The temptation is to do more of what gives you that feeling.

Even though it feels like my world has become unglued, the alternative, ie., returning to Marc and that marriage, are out of the question. As bad as things are now, I will NEVER go back and endure that again. I have a small measure of self respect now, and I enjoy the freedom of being an adult and free from the particular stresses that living with him imposed. I have no guilt whatsoever about ending this marriage aside from the disruption it is causing in the life of my kids. I wish I could spare them all this turmoil and uncertainty, but not at the cost of returning to marital tyranny. I'm only just beginning to grasp the fact that not only do my kids deserve better, but so do I.

On the topic of guilt, I received what follows in an email the other day. One of the things that I am attempting to grasp on the subjective level is the whole idea of grace. Grace truly is a scandal in its unfairness. We all desire and need it, yet it is so counter-intuitive in many ways. Works righteousness comes so easily to us. We want to be found worthy through our own efforts. The following story is an illustration of how it really works.

The Devil and the Duck

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingsho t fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved!

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes" But Sally said, "Grandma , Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fish ing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally just smiled and said, "Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help" She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.

Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."

Thought for the day and every day thereafter?

Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.)...whatever it is ...You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven.

He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness; He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved

Go ahead and make the difference in someone's life today. Share this with a friend and always remember: God is at the window!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Stand - Rascal Flatts

This could well be my theme song...


You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless
Like you've lost your fight
But you'll be alright, you'll be alright

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand, Then you stand

Life's like a novel
With the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon
With only one way down
Take what you're given before its gone
Start holding on, keep holding on

[Repeat Chorus]

Everytime you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place

[Repeat Chorus]

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me--

So it's been 47 years, 12 children and 3 and a half grandchildren later. Think it shows???

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

One of the Best Christmas Presents ever... one I won't be able to see until next August. Yep, I'm going to be a grandmother again! Yeah me! Yeah, Ben and Tonya!

The best part of being a grandmother is that you get all the pleasure of the baby and none of the work.

I'm going to post some adorable pictures of my youngest granddaughter soon. And if you are lucky, I'll post some pictures of me in the next month or so. My daughter, Trista, has become quite the photographer and I am having her do a photoshoot of me for my birthday.
Merry Christmas

I didn't think I would ever hear myself saying those words ever again, nor writing them either. Some would claim this as evidence of how far I have fallen from the "attainments" but I choose to see it more as a form of liberation from yet more rules that I was living under.

The assumption in the circles I once inhabited was that if you said the words, "Merry Christmas" that you were giving assent to the Roman Catholic church and all its doctrines, as well as corrupting the worship of God. However, now that I have had some time to sit down and think about it all away from the noise one of the things I have noticed is that no Christian I know of actually claims to worship God through the use of gifts, trees, tinsel, jolly elves, candles and all the other typical accoutrements of the season. In fact, most of the Christians I know do focus on the birth of Christ as the beginning of the work that Christ came to accomplish. These other things are rituals that may or may not be used to remind one of Christ, or else something good merely to be enjoyed for the pleasure they give, like the beautiful display of lights that some people indulge in.

Last night I went to the candlelight service at the Baptist church I now attend. What we had there was a focus on Scripture. I have to tell you that I can't ever think of the story of Christ's birth without being gripped at the heart level by what it all entailed. It is such a profound story how all the hopes and desires that Israel had been promised were finally seeing fulfillment in the tiny Lamb of God, born in Bethlehem, the city of David where the sacrificial lambs for the Temple in Jerusalem, five miles distant, were raised.

So many things come together in this story for me. The birth of Christ is a story of redemption in itself. One year I made a point of looking up all the people listed in the geneology found in Matthew. You have people who committed incest, a prostitute, a murderer and adulterer, idolaters, and other notable sinners. Yet all these sins were redeemed in the One who came from that lineage.

Then I am struck by how disruptive letting the Holiest of Holies into your life can be. Mary was without fault in the conception of the Holy One of Israel, yet she bore the infamy of being an unwed mother for years afterwards as her Son was taunted by Pharisees who knew that Abraham was their father, but who is YOURS? All His life, He did unexpected, "outside the box" things that upset and offended the conventions of the society He was born into, yet there were infallibly the right thing to do. Let this remind me that I will sometimes do unconventional things that will upset people yet still be right in God's eyes. To my own Master I stand or fall.

May this season be one where the Holy Spirit speaks to you anew of the redemption, hope, and joy to be found in Christ.
This one is for Chrysalis,

Chrysalis, you have always intrigued me. Please email me privately because I wouldn't mind corresponding with you in a less public setting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Everyone at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with teh feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them, and that they will never have a decent night's sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake someone else up so that they can feel this way too.

Lemony Snicket Horseradish: Bittter Truths You Can't Avoid

And on a related thought -- When you think no one cares, try missing a payment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Wisdom from Lemony Snicket

Recess is part of the school day designed to give children a break from the more unpleasant aspects of the educational system, but so many school yards are full of villainous students that recess can often turn out to be the most unpleasant part of the day.
Labor Day is a holiday honoring those who work for a living. Laborious Day is a lesser known holiday honoring those who cannot stop talking about their work.

It is one of life's bitterest truths that bedtime so often arrives just when things are really getting interesting.
Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course. Piracy, for example, is a tradition that has been carried on for hundreds of years, but that doesn't mean we should all attack ships and steal their gold.

Lemony Snickett ~ Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter.

Lemony Snickett -- Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mad TV Bob Newhart Skit - Mo Collins - Stop it

Good sound advice on how to deal with your problems and issues...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Bitter Truth

Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the crimes, follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother's wombs, and then there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.

Lemony Snickett Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Great Big Sea - Feel it Turn

A poignant song

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Mom Song

Thanks to Raging Calvinist for this.

When I Go Down

I'll tell you flat out
It hurts so much to think of this
So from my thoughts I will exclude
The very thing that
I hate more than everything is
The way I'm powerless
To dictate my own moods

I've thrown away
So many things that could've been much more
And I just pray
My problems go away if they're ignored
But that's not the way it works
No that's not the way it works

When I go down
I go down hard
And I take everything I've learned
And teach myself some disregaurd
When I go down
It hurts to hit the bottom
And of the things that got me there
I think, if only I had fought them

If and when I can
Clear myself of this clouded mind
I'll watch myself settle down
Into a place where Peace can search me out and find
That I'm so ready to be found

I've thrown away
The hope I had in friendships
I've thrown away
So many things that could have been much more
I've thrown away
The secret to find the end to this
And I just pray
My problems go away if they're ignored
But that's not the way it works
No that's not that way it works

When I go down
I go down hard
And I take everything I've learned
And teach myself some disregaurd
When I go down
It hurts to hit the bottom
And of the things that got me there
I think, if only I had fought them

Any control I thought I had just slipped through my hands
While my ever-present conscience shakes its head and reprimands me
Reprimands me
Then and there I confess
I'll blame all this on my selfishness
Yet You love me
And that consumes me
And I'll stand up again
And do so willingly

You give me hope, and hope it gives me life
You touch my heavy heart, and when you do You make it light
As I exhale I hear Your voice
And I answer You, though I hardly make a noise
And from my lips the words I choose to say
Seem pathetic, but it's a fallen man's praise
Cause I love You
Oh God, I love You

And life is now worth living
If only because of You
And when they say that I am dead and gone
It won't be further from the truth

When I go down
I lift my eyes to You
I won't look very far
Cause You'll be there
With open arms
To lift me up again
To lift me up again

Church Sign Smack Down

Click on the link above for something pretty funny.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given to you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to his service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to his father and saying, 'Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present.' Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries, God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now..."

C.S. Lewis

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sorry this is so small. This is my youngest grandchild, Elora Ann and myself.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Summertime Friends...

Monday, September 03, 2007

My Grand-daughters (so far) Top -- Keiannah who is now 6, and beneath, Elora Ann, who is now eight months.

More Family Photos -- Top photo is the entire gang, including old ugly (and I don't mean me!). Next photo is of my grand-daughter Keiannah, and my grandson, Rogan. Next is a shot of my eldest, Trish, with her husband Codey, and daugher Elora whom we adora. Beneath is my eldest son, Nathanael, and his girl, Trinity. Another wedding of one of my offspring could be in the near future. Lastly, the day of Ben's wedding there was a train wreck. I think this is sort of a cool shot of the happy couple with the burning train engines in the background.

This is my son Ben and his new bride, Tonya. Aren't they a nice looking couple?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

[.x.] good charlotte, emotionless [.x.]

This song is for the X.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Super Progress...

When I consider that I used to wear a size 20 and am now needing to buy size 10 in a lot of clothing, I think I have made super progress. Some day I'll post a before and after picture once I reach my goal weight and have firmed up a few remaining spots. In the meantime, I sure like having the problem of having to find a way to replace my over-sized wardrobe...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Am I A Feminist?

It appears that some confusion exists in the minds of some of my readers about where I am now compared to where I used to be philosophically. Recently someone asked if I was now a feminist who now hates marriage and children based on some of the things that have appeared on my blog in the last few months. I guess it depends on what you mean by feminism. If you are thinking the Betty Freidan style of feminism, the answer is no. If you mean the sort of liberal feministic egalitarianism that allows for women pastors/elders, etc., in the Church, the answer is no. If you mean the baby-hating, zero population growth, pro-abortion feminist, the answer is still no.

I'm anti-tyranny.

I'll try to explain. Remember the story of the Pharisees going after the disciples for rubbing grain through their hands on the Sabbath? Remember Jesus' response to them? He reminded them of the story of David and the shewbread and then stated that God desires mercy, and not sacrifice.

In certain circles people can get their heads all twisted up with propositions and principles and then start sacrificing people on the altar of those principles, forgetting mercy in the process. Case in point: being against child spacing or limiting a family's size and then requiring homeschooling of all the children even in situations where you know that the mother in the home is stretched to the limit and not receiving much, if any, help from her spouse, and then condemning her in the process for not living up to the ideal. This is a situation similar to that where Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for tying burdens on people's backs and then not lifting a finger to help them.

Love of propositions as opposed to love of God and people can have a very dehumanizing effect on the human soul. It will make you unyielding and unmerciful and all with the highest motivation.

I'm dealing with the fall out of a broken marriage and seven minor children that need to be looked after. I am having to work after 26 years as a full time housewife with all the qualifications for working in a donut shop, and the adjustment for everyone is huge. I am not only going to have to continue to provide for minor children into my 60's, I also have to plan for my own financial future. I could be a lot more specific about what is happening in my life, but one thing I have learned is that anything that I say can and will be used against me. One person in particular, who reads this blog, does not do so with my best interests at heart.

Am I against marriage? Not at all. The World's Shortest Fairytale tickled my funnybone, especially the part about not being farted on. There are worse things in this world than being single. If the chance to marry a Christian man who is kind, loving, and a partner comes along, not a "patriarch" who wants the prestige and honor of the position, but doesn't want to do the work, then I'm willing to consider it. I'm not having more children. At the age of 46 and after 12 children and 20 pregnancies, I think I have done my part in populating the world. I'm still doing babies and toddlers at the same time I am a grandmother and now have to work full time at something. Can you blame me for not wanting to add to what I am already carrying? Any man who wants me, had better want and accept me for who I am, and not for my ability to procreate. This doesn't make me anti child. It just means that I am finally giving myself a break from the unrealistic ideals I used to carry.

My own circumstances have forced me to look past principles into what happens to people when they are applied in a wooden and narrow way. It has forced me to look at others with more mercy and less of a desire to sacrifice them on the altar of my absolutes. The Bible was written, not just for people who do it all right and have the picture perfect marriage and a large brood of godly, obedient children. It was also written for the rest of us who don't match the picture on the cover of The Teaching Home magazine.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

World's Shortest Fairytale

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl, "Will you marry me?"
The girl said "No."

And so the girl lived happily ever after. She went shopping, drank margaritas with friends, always had a clean house, never had to cook, stayed slender, had a closet full of shoes, clothes and handbags, and was never farted on.

The End

Friday, June 29, 2007

Things I See Out My Window

So I am sitting in my office on the phone, looking out my window. I see a graceful white-tailed deer eating grass on my front lawn. All of a sudden the deer lifts its head in alarm and then bounds off into the woods -- pursued by a baby clad only in a diaper. James strikes again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On fiire - Switchfoot

For those tempted to cynicism because of experience with Christianity... This is where reality is found.

Switchfoot - This is your life

This is your life. Are you who you want to be?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jars Of Clay - I Need You (Live)

The words say it all...

A New Way to Post Lyrics

You just gotta love YouTube. Now I can not only post lyrics, I can also post the actual music video which makes the lyrics just that much more meaningful....

Relient K-Be My Escape


I think this is one of the most engaging pieces of music I've heard lately.

Monday, June 11, 2007

When I Go Down

Sung by Reliant K

I'll tell you flat out
it hurts so much to think of this
so from my thoughts I will exclude
the very thing that
I hate more than everything is
the way I'm powerless
to dictate my own moods

I've thrown away
so many things that could've been much more
and I just pray
my problems go
away if they're ignored
but that's not the way it works
no that's not the way it works

when I go down
I go down hard
and I take everything I've learned
and teach myself some disregard
when I go down
it hurts to hit the bottom
and of the things that got me there
I think, if only I had fought them

If and when I can clear myself
of this clouded mind
I'll watch myself settle down
into a place where peace can search me out and find
that I'm so ready to be found

I've thrown away
the hope I had in friendships
I've thrown away so many things
that could have been much more
I've thrown away the secret
to find an end to this
and I just pray
my problems go away if they're ignored
but that's not the way it works
no that's not the way it works

When I go down
I go down hard
and I take everything I've learned
and teach myself some disregard
When I go down
it hurts to hit the bottom
and of the things that got me there
I think if only I had fought them.

Any control I thought I had
just slips right through my hands
while my ever-present conscience
shakes its head and reprimands me
reprimands me then and
there I confess I'll blame all this
on my selfishness
yet you love me and that consumes me
and I'll stand up again and do so willingly

You give me hope,
and hope it gives me life
you touch my heavy heart,
and when you do you make it light
as I exhale I hear your voice
and I answer you,
though I hardly make a noise
and from my lips
the words I choose to say
seem pathetic,
but it's a fallen man's praise
because I love you
oh God, I love you

and life is now worth living
if only because of you
and when they say I'm dead and gone
it won't be further from the truth

When I go down
I life my eyes to you
I won't look very far
cause you'll be there
with open arms
to lift me up again
to lift me up again

Two Best Friends, Reprise

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"On Fire"
Song and lyrics by Daniel Victor and Jonathan Foreman of Switchfoot
They tell you where you need to go
They tell you when you'll need to leave
They tell you what you need to know
They tell you who you need to be
But everything inside you knowsT
here's more than what you've heard
There's so much more than empty conversations
Filled with empty words
And you're on fire
When He's near you
You're on fire
When He speaks
You're on fire
Burning at these mysteries
Give me one more time around
Give me one more chance to see
Give me everything You are
Give me one more chance to be... (near You)
Cause everything inside me looks like
Everything I hate
You are the hope I have for change
You are the only chance
I'll take
When I'm on fire
When You're near me
I'm on fire
When You speak
And I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries
These mysteries...
I'm standing on the edge of me [x3]
I'm standing on the edge of everything I've never been before.
And i've been standing on the edge of me
Standing on the edge
And I'm on fire
When You're near me
I'm on fireWhen You speak(Yea)
I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries... these mysteries... these mysteries
Ah you're the mystery
You're the mystery
Telling the Truth

There is much in relation to all the RPNA church crud that I have been holding back on my blog for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons was because there was one particular person who influenced me and who has a disdain for people who bare their hearts for the general public. For a number of years I felt like I had to keep this person pleased and happy with me in order to have their approval and good opinion and to keep them off my back. Well, that is yet another chain that has fallen from me in recent months.

Another reason was because I know that those still in the RPNA (General Meeting that Never Meets) make those of us who are disaffected brethren the topic of conversation after their society meetings. I have heard that some of them give one another "high fives" for not belonging to The Effort, which was an informal meeting of those of us who had questions about the way we were being governed, and that not belonging to The Effort or having those same questions has now become yet another unwritten term of communion for those who are still "in" or who want to be "in".

You can call it pride if you like, but I just didn't want to add fuel to the fires of "I told you so" that I know is circulating in that sphere. The prediction was made by one of the elders wives that those who were "excommunicated" by that phoney church court would end up all over the map in terms of what they were doing. IOW, none of us would hold to the "faithful" positions that the RPNA (GM) had taught us. Well thank God, many of us are being freed from all that mess, is all I can say. It may look like being all over the map to outsiders, but what I am seeing is that some of us are finding our way back to God and that the Lord is using a variety of methods to accomplish this.

So why have I decided to open up and share what I really think and feel? Well, I know that I am risking more of the same stupidity from the phony law advocate that I experienced recently. I am also making myself more of a target for those after society meeting conclaves and telephone conversations where the faithful gather around the elders and they all "tsk, tsk" together over the latest evidence of depravity and unfaithfulness on the part of the disaffected. However, I am not writing for that audience. Instead, I want to share what I am thinking/feeling because I know that I am not the only one who thinks/feels this way. One of the worst things that can happen in this sort of situation is to feel isolated and alone in what you are experiencing. By sharing my own angst, concerns, questions, and even triumphs, maybe someone out there will be encouraged to think that perhaps they aren't crazy or even "Thank God someone understands!"

I don't know if any of you are familiar with the concept of stages of grieving that have been identified by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, but don't be surprised if you find yourself experiencing this. I know that I have. In the past few months I have found myself swinging through most of the stages at one point or another. But as one friend told me, you can be completely self conscious about which stage you are in, but it doesn't do a thing to help you get through it any quicker or easier. Well yeah. The only thing I can recommend is that you just ride the waves knowing that at some point they will stop heaving and tossing you about.

Why grief? Many of us invested a lot of time and energy in this enterprise. There is the loss of years that went into this and the result is what? Being given over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh and classed with scandalous persons who make sin a way of life. This has the same feeling that you get when you find out that someone has slandered you and accused you of some serious sin. You feel guilty and slimed by it, even though it isn't true.

Then there is the grief over lost or divided relationships. In the RPNA they say they don't practice shunning, but what do you call it when one of the elders has nothing to do with members of his own family who don't agree with him on every jot and tittle of his own profession of faith? Now if you happen to be a child of this elder and you see what happens to other family members who don't toe the line, how much room does that leave you for being honest about what you really think or feel? And if you think that this sort of thing keeps them in line -- well guess again. Do we really want outward conformity at the expense of honesty and the means of getting to the heart of matters? Some people are experiencing divisions in their own families with husbands, and children being pitted against wives and mothers. If you don't think that this causes grief, guess again.

The elders' record for restoration of the lost is dismal. Just recently the elders sent out a rebuttal to The Effort's paper and they also wrote up a document on steps to repentance in order to effect reconciliation with the disaffected. But guess what? I don't know a single person who was excommunicated who received this document. I only found out about it when one of the insiders, who was subsequently excommunicated himself, sent it around. So who was the intended audience, I have to ask? Talk, and apparently writing, is cheap. These so called undershepherds take the example of the Great Shepherd, who left the 99 to seek the lost one and turn it on their heads. They strike the flock and scatter it instead of gathering it back in. Not that I want to be gathered back to this particular fold, mind you. But still, you get the point, right?

So the upshot of all this is to say that even though you and I might be happy and relieved to be out from under all the restrictions, guilt, and control we experienced there, you might also still be grieving. It may be a happy and advantageous release, but it is still like experiencing a death and grief is just a part of all that.