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Posts Tagged ‘God’

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I am by nature a worrier. Anxiety is something that is part of my physical make-up. It’s hereditary. It’s just there. I don’t like it and wish it would just go away.

But…

I’m learning some pretty cool things about my anxiety.

I don’t need medicine for it at this point.  There was a time when Zanax was definitely necesaary.

Not right now.

When I needed it I took it.  It was hard at first.  Admitting that I needed medicine was difficult.  But I was in such a bad place that I couldn’t get to any level ground without it.

Last week anxiety showed up in some crazy ways.

I was distant from my wife.  I didn’t even realize it until she said that she felt something wierd between us.  It was obvious once I stopped to think about it.  But, until she said something I was just going with the flow.  Which, in hind sight, was really stupid.

Because….

I was alone in it….

I hate being alone.  When I worry I alienate myself.  It felt so good to just say “I’m scared to death about…..”  She knew.  She held me.  She loved me and didn’t think any less of me.

Then..

On Friday I got a call from Amy.  It was a number I didn’t recognize.  She introduced herself.  She asked if I was Davis Everly.  I said, “No.  I’m Mr. Everly, but there is no ‘Davis’.”  She said she was with Salli Mae, a student loan company and that I was the co-signer on a loan that was over 150 days past due.

Holy $#&%^!

To make a long story short, I’m a victim of identity theft.  Two student loans…one for $28, 976 and one for $13,100.

I used the f-word about 100 times in 10 minutes.  My credit score is more like an Alaskan temperature reading at this point.

What made me so angry?

Fear.  Anxiety.  The worry that told me I would lose something.  Money?  The ability to borrow?  Security?  Control?

How silly.

Wow.  I’m not as far along as I thought I was.

I’ve taken a step back and have tried to get some perspective.  It’ll all be fine

This past weekend was a not-so-subtle reminder of what it’s like, how good it is, to just let go of all that stuff and just trust.

TRUST.

“I’m desperate for You.  I’m lost without You.”

Father, I trust You.  I don’t want anything to do with my care or well being.  I’m just gonna leave it up to You.  I smile when I just chill out.  I’m at peace when I just let You take care of it all.

It’s good for me to just chill out…

I love trusting You.

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together

I read this from Rabbi Albert M. Lewis, who is the Director of the Emeritus College at Aquinas, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a weekly columnist for The Grand Rapids Press. He wrote this using all single syllable words. Its an old discipline of simplicity, but the content is far from simplistic.

What if God were to speak to us now; to give us a fresh look at what’s real, true, and the core of our world? Might God say, “Be just, be kind, care, share, give, take, love, laugh, cry, feel the pain, and dance in the time of joy”? And what would we hear? Would it be what we want to hear, or what was said? Could we each hear in our own way? Must we all be of the same mind? Must the one who hears at twelve feet fight with the one who hears at twelve yards? Will the black one and the white one and the child of the land all know God in the same way? And if not, will they then fight?

What if God said, “I grant you a gift: a world full of peace, health, and food for all. I give you a time, now, when each may sit by his vine and by her fig tree and none will cause you fear”? Would we heed the words? If God came to each of us in a dream, would we hold the dream in our hearts and souls, or would we cast it off as just a dream? What would it take to look deep within, where we live and know truth, and there to find the one God, who cries for us and waits and hopes and says, “I am here. Do not fear. Live, love, talk, and walk hand in hand with me. Let no child learn war anymore, but let each bring what is right and just in his home and in her land!”

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Henri Nouwen has this to say about the Church, as in the people, the Body of Christ….

Superabundant Grace

Over the centuries the Church has done enough to make any critical person want to leave it. Its history of violent crusades, pogroms, power struggles, oppression, excommunications, executions, manipulation of people and ideas, and constantly recurring divisions is there for everyone to see and be appalled by.

Can we believe that this is the same Church that carries in its center the Word of God and the sacraments of God’s healing love? Can we trust that in the midst of all its human brokenness the Church presents the broken body of Christ to the world as food for eternal life? Can we acknowledge that where sin is abundant grace is superabundant, and that where promises are broken over and again God’s promise stands unshaken? To believe is to answer yes to these questions.

I’m meditating on this today:  the idea that God Almighty had it in mind to entrust us with His work, even though He knew and knows the crap we’re capable of.

He calls Peter a rock and me His Beloved.

Certainly I have to believe it if He says it, right?

Father, I love the Church in it’s many forms.  I love that You are more than capable of making it all work even though we screw up much and often.  It’s good to know that it’s really all up to You.

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Is And Does

do you? no I
believe
I can’t believe
it reaches out it reaches
lover, leaver, same and found
lost and found.

here and well
can you tell the reason
the rhyme it sounds so good
and all the ins and outs
of yesterday
are tomorrow, are fine.

It just is and does
It is and does
It just is and does
It is and does

not up to you
Truth is true
and that’s for sure
i’m living toward
what life is for
i can’t believe i’m found, i found

It just is and does
It is and does
It just is and does
It is and does

Its Love Love
winsome calling me is Love Love
ravage wooing me is Love Love
It is and does

the sound of Love
the Love of sound of
Love Love

i hear Love i hear Love

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My wife and I had another chance to steal away on the bike last weekend.

I can’t seem to get enough and I want to ride more and more.

Not just around town but long, leg stretching jaunts into the mountains, up or down the coast, through the city….anywhere.

It’s therapeutic to have so much time looking through the face shield of a helmet.

Thoughts come and go.

Some of them rattle through checklists of supplies and gear and things we should have grabbed on the way out the door.  Others analyze the road, the wind and the air temperature;  the traffic and cockpit display.  They sometimes turn into words spoken to the people in the cars around me who can’t seem to get out of my way.  It doesn’t matter that the tones simply reflect off of the plastic of my visor and become amplified as they return to my head in a condescending reminder that I’m the one breaking the law.

Sometimes I think about the next ride.  The whens, wheres, hows.  I’d love to see the Redwoods.  Oregon’s not far then when you’re there….

It’s a very anonymous place.  No one can see or know me.  It’s safe there.

One of my many ruminations on this trek was this poem from The Lord of the Rings (no, not the movie).  Mr. Tolkien masterfully hides so much of what’s going on and what will happen into some short verse:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Yeah, you should read it again…maybe a few times.

It’s beautiful.

For the purposes of this post and the divigulgence of thoughts from the road I’m forced to just reflect on one portion of this poem.

The line “Not all those who wander are lost” sang to me all weekend.

I used to be so into the destination.

Let’s get there.

Leave on time, arrive on time.

The trip is wearying at best.  Get it over with.

To be out there on the road, on the way, was a necessary evil.  God forbid if I ever got stuck there.  Oil levels, tire pressure, gas and snacks all checked pre-trip insured that all would go well and that I would arrive unscathed.

To get stuck or delayed or diverted was not going to happen.  It couldn’t happen.

I was scared that it might happen.

That was then.

I’m not like that anymore.  At least not as much.

I’m starting to get it, I think.  The journey.

What I see from here is that it is beautiful.

Sometimes it’s even much better than the destination.

My anxiety.  My fear.  My lack of control.

Those things have taken much from me.  I should say that I’ve allowed them to.

Maybe it’s peeking at 40, maybe it’s the loss of all opportunity to have control.  Maybe both, maybe neither.  What ever it is that’s got me seeing differently, I’m glad for it.

I love to wander.  More so on my motorcycle than in life, though.

But as it is, I wander in wonder at least.  Most of the time.  Well, sometimes.  It’s hard.  It sucks sometimes.

I love to realize that I’m not lost in this wandering.  My default is to see those who wander as aimless and purposeless and hopefully arriving somewhere soon.  I used to feel sorry for them or offer a hand.

Naive.  Arrogant.  “Privileged.”

The hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man.

That’s really mind boggling.

I think it might be raining in Oregon though.

My rain suit is out in the garage.  I guess I’ll just have to pack it, too.

photo by Linda Everly, late day shadows, HWY 101 North in Marin

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What is the world we’re not supposed to love?  Is it a thing or is it a set of ideals?

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

I have a seminary degree.  I’m pretty clued in on the original language.  I’m just thinking about what I’ve been taught my whole life.  The “world” or “worldly things” is so hard to define.  Is it my sinful self?  Is it all of our sinful selves combined?

I can see what Scripture says is in the world, but that doesn’t really define “world” does it?

For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

And then Jesus says,

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?

Why does He then say,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…

There are basically three Greek words for ‘world’ in the Newer Testament: one that speaks of time (as in aeon), one that speaks of geographical inhabitation and one that speaks of order (which is the word used in the passages above).  The transliteration is kosmos.

So, what is kosmos?  What is this thing that God Himself loves but asks us not to?  And once we figure out what it is, what does it mean to not love it but be in it?

Just some honest questions, and I’d love to hear your thoughts….

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Remember this shot?  I sure do.  MJ comin’ through in the clutch…again!  I love it!  For years I worshiped this guy.  I had the shoes, the baggy shorts and wore the wrist band up by my elbow on my left arm during games.  I watched him, listened to him, read books and magazine articles about him, went to see him whenever I could.  I slept with my basketball and played hoops every waking moment.

Remember this commercial?

In my diligent pursuit of being like Mike I discovered some very important facts that, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do anything about…

1.  I’m white.

2.  I’m short.

3.  I’ve had 4 knee operations.

4.  I’ve never been drafted by an NBA team.

5.  Drinking Gatorade doesn’t help.

6.  There can never be another Michael Jordan.

Well, I’ve gotten over it.  I’m ok.  I still love to play basketball but have definitely learned my limitations.  You are probably snickering a bit about how silly it is to try to be like Mike, and I get that.  I wonder, though, if we can see how much greater the silliness of a message from a pulpit or a book or from inside our own head that tells us to be like God.  Now that’s laughable!  Sing the Gatorade tune with those words:  “Like God, if I could be like God.”  HAHAHA!  Eventually we realize it’s not really that funny because we ourselves and so many countless others are trying to be like God.  And we can’t.  We try, we fail…we try, try, try.  Wasn’t that the first sin?  “I will be like the Most High”  And didn’t that first sin try to convince us that eating the fruit would make us like God?  This has been an errant pursuit for far too long.

God’s original plan was for us to be us.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…

He made us and we were us. Already in His image. He said it was very, very good.  Why do I try and try to be something I’m not nor could ever be?  Why do I strive for perfection when it is impossible?  Why is it so hard to see that I have been made in the image of God?  Even typing those words freaks me out.  I understand that we are fallen, but we have been re-born, brought back from the dead, restored.  For me, I’m learning to journey to become more human, more fully alive, as was intended.

It’s freeing to know that I don’t have to make the last shot to win it all…

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