March, 9th – May 20th, 2004

The thought: “The truth is its own reward” struck me potently this morning. I’m sure it’s a quote. I hit a couple of web sites and didn’t find it, but I’m sure I heard somewhere else. God help me to hold onto that thought.

I’m thinking of all the little “programs” I’ve had a role in starting around here and now no longer have any significant  role in.

There is both Godly “pride” and sinful pride mixed up in these thoughts – no surprise. God forgive me. But don’t let me stop! This feels so right! I love getting these things going! It seems to touch on my essence, one of the things that “I love” – learning the essence of something and then letting it go.

It would seem the next item on the agenda is foreign missions…

God I ask that you speak again. I heard you when you first spoke…but I need to hear from you again. Where? Exactly who and how?

Are you still saying “Start with the men in the band”? Please show me the way.


God, I asked you regarding missions, “I need to hear from you again. Where? Exactly who and how?”  I heard you say, “Just obey in the little things: contact Keith Summers again.”

You gave a clear-as-crystal answer. It did not require hours upon hours of meditation, or any hocus pocus. In a way, the answers are given LONG before the questions are asked. The answers lie in your character, God.

Interrupted by Kevin the 18 year old meth-head….


Kevin was the beginning of a week DEFINED by interruptions. Lately God it’s like the peace of this last Summer is visibly fading. Brenda and I managed to get through an argument without me getting sucked into a bad place. I managed to truth-tell pretty much all the way through. Worship and communion were good – Dale M. came to me to make sure he and I were o.k. That was great. It felt good. Like the bow on the package. The cherry on the Sunday. There was MUCH good…and I feel like I grasped portions of it. I feel like I managed to avoid being consumed by anxiety and stress – but that is all. I was not consumed.

I didn’t come back to this journal ONCE all week. I don’t believe I stopped ONCE for focused, private time with you in ANY capacity ALL WEEK.

Ozzy [Oswald Chambers’ devotional book, “My Utmost for His Highest”] has been good to me the last couple of weeks. Today’s entry  included this thought:

“The root of faith is the knowledge of a person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success.”

Am I really getting this, God? As I read “A New kind of Christian” I am moved for the first time in a LONG time to consider the idea that I might lose my job, or that I might have to QUIT my job in order to align myself with your will. I think I have allowed myself to lean upon the false security that this church and her leaders will always hear your voice the same way that I do. The possibility of having to move in a direction other than my current vocation is brought into stark relief against potential complacency.

Jack Black might say that “I’m the man.”

God, I want to be a good Sam. I hear you telling me to keep on keeping on. Be who I am, not what I do. Be with me. I want to be Sam to my leaders. Despite what I might think is a “bad” call I want to be true to the mission. Even if we get to where I thought we should go, but via a different, more arduous route – let me remain true to my love for them.

So many “Sam-things” going through my mind…the disagreements, the misperceptions. Sam often advocated for the “right” thing, that if followed, would have ruined the overall mission. He had the right answer – but the right answer to the smaller questions is often the wrong answer for the big ones.

God you have blended a goodly amount of this paradox into every endeavor. I don’t understand it – but it sure makes life exciting.

Sam did not grumble (much) – and he never refused to follow. He always protected Frodo – even when he disagreed.

But who is the Gallum? Or does the story stop with me? Please keep me from making too much out of this…


This sense of disconnect still remains, Lord. Is it just the lack of discipline? Is it that I am SO fully immersed in my own life and perspective that I can’t function in the role you have for me? Serving others – focused on the “others”?

I’ve been feeling dishonest lately. I ended up telling one of my oldest fabricated tales at Group a couple of weeks ago! I can’t believe it! I stepped right into that behavior like an old pair of slippers. I’m not sure exactly when I realized what I was doing, but at some point I did. I couldn’t stop, and the thought of confessing it to the group is overwhelming. I’m not sure I can do it. But I will confess to you God:

I want the approval of those around me more than I want you, God.

I want to feel some pain right now – I want to put my face in the candle flames and feel it burn. I want to scream – I want to have an orgasm, I want to stuff so much food in my face that I pass out, I want to fly, to die, to sing and dance and vomit and defecate, I want to be emptied and filled, emptied and filled again…over and over.

Oh God, please.

I have failed at living in the moment. I am being defined by what I do and not who I am in you.

I’m hungry. I’m living fully in my skin, and not in my being. The Kingdom is not in my skin, the kingdom is in my being.


Did I hear you correctly this morning, Lord? I still look to Joanne and Cindy for acceptance more than anyone else, just because I have not “won” them yet?

Are they the modern “Debbie Jones”? [my chronic adolescent crush that was ever, un-requited]

Wow. There is a whole other facet to my identity that you didn’t even bring up on my trip: My obsessive thing for Debbie. That nearly defined my adolescence. What was I then, God? Was I some sort of proto-Sam? Did I change in an effort to become attractive to her? Did I try to be something I was not to gain her approval…or was she one of the few who saw me for who I really was?

Am I going through life trying to win the “one” I could never win?


Geez….ick. I really don’t like reading my own thoughts sometimes. I disgust myself. SO self-indulgent. So inward focused. It feels like “masturbation therapy”.

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