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.

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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….

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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…

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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.

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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?

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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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