Older

You can’t be this stuck. Like mud, like slipping, like missing it always. But, that is how you feel?

And maybe its the right path. Maybe it is no longer maybe. It’s is a now. It is a suddenly. You can’t be this naive either. You sat on it for years. For fears. For further evidence look at the way you have spent your time.

Look at the way you have spent your money. Look at all the things you have saved, and the scraps you have thrown away. Look at your life. That is the proof that you need. You are stressed out because You have to keep giving. No one is asking. You are a mess, but a good mess. A good kind of wreck.

This heart is broken. It really feels that way. Things have not changed. I miss a lot of people and I can’t go back.

And I hate it when people share to much online. But I got time. I got a lot of time to stop wasting.

To start speaking. Truth. The Ruckus was never for me, it was for us. It was Fort Collins, Loveland and everything high school. It was everything we did and didn’t do. It was adolescence.

It was where we owe a lot. I am sorry world, I am not really. I have moved on. I don’t know if this is for you, but its all for me. That sound selfish. That sounds like, “who is this guy,” he doesn’t need anymore attention..or does he?” I know I have always pressed publish really fast. I know I have spent all day looking at the past. All the receipts. All the expenses. All the bounced checks. All the fees. All the parking in the wrong place tickets. Forward. Forward is a must.

Balance can never be achieved by trying to be balanced. It can’t. I think 3 years ago I started over. And its still a process. I felt it daily. I spent 5 months sitting still.

I spent a lot of time watching the white walls. And washing the night fall. Time after time. By Disneyland, of all places. Fireworks nightly. The best part. Selling cigarettes for quarters. Quarters for calls. And a long list of people to talk to.

No one wants to know everything about you. Maybe your spouse is that person and that seems like that sounds healthy. No one really needs to know everything about you.

However, why do we feel like no one understands us? I can talk a lot about stories. Some that have made this blog. More that are in video form, and even more that just live in this movie of a mind I have.

No one really needs to know it all. People that love you just want you to be around. They want you to last a really long time. I got to see my little nephews get big and grow up. Noah Kai and Jedidiah Sky. They are moving forward, too. You know?

I don’t have good grammar. I have worked more on pursuing good stories. Now, its a new season. Its fall. It is closer to the holidays. It is when everything gets darker, and colder. We are expected to be at our brightest.

How can you be, if no one knows you? I got out of that place. I was there for five months. It wasn’t a prison. It was freedom. It was pain facing. It was life changing.

It was better than riding the circuit. See, now that I am out its been harder to have boundaries. I don’t mean relational boundaries. Most of us have never figured that out.

You like someone and you share your heart, and your thoughts and then it doesn’t or it does work out. Is having boundaries related to how little you say or don’t say? And don’t people get mad at you when you hold and hide and don’t confide in them?

No one has to know everything. The Ruckus is going. It is continuance. It is a noise that will carry. Can’t we stare at love a little more? Can’t you stop chasing the wrong kind of noise? Love has to be the loudest noise you chase.

It will make you. Break you. Ruin you. It will start your day. It will flee those long nights.

Older. That’s you now. That is where you are at. Time just is what it is, but it can’t be controlled. It can’t go back on you, and you can’t go back on it. A new it. A new life. A new hole in the sky is here tonight, today, tomorrow. The Ruckus. That is any noise you can make. That is any commotion you can create. The Ruckus without love is, well, just getting older. Older without love is just age. And everyone dies, eventually.. Am I an age? Just 30. Almost 31. You got a lot left in you. I know you do.

You got a lot of time to make things right. To live right. To be anything more than just a number, an age. Be older. Be forward. Be the Ruckus. Cause I had five months, and that’s all you need sometimes.

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Memory Wars

Inspired by my last week of being 29. November 13th is coming soon to a theater near you. As a child my parent’s would ask me, “Where is that movie playing?” I would say, “in theaters everywhere.” Switchfoot songs and especially their last album Fading West has been a source of inspiration. Here’s to the memories we have..good, bad and eternal.

Remembering to often

Waiting for the coffin,

Another nail for the unseen

Hail,

Remembering those words You

Spoke way back when

That red couch was my best friend—

Anger for the stranger, anger before

The manger now I am the manager

Of my own destiny,

Now I am forgetting the nails, the side

Splitting of Your body, a doubting Thomas,

A doubting spill of the dross,

I empty the burnt things,

The new signet rings,

The sealed love of the greatest

Song to sing, one more week before

The twenties end,

One more 30 years to get it right,

To live with waste is as good as

Haste, for I cannot move forward alone—

All or nothing at all is the song I sing,

Slipping away past the memories that

Haunt me, everyone has a fractured father,

A broken mother, a lost brother, a beautiful

Sister—but is heaven really my family,

Are my enemies really actually with me?

All or nothing are these memories,

Remembering feels like a curse,

Tomorrow could be the hearse,

Tonight could be the end—I will

Never know, I will just trust today,

And live with memories that have

Shaped me

Sermon At My Church

I got to preach last month at our Sunday night service. Got to speak on Righteousness. It has been such a blessing being at New Life in Pomona. I love this place! Thank you Cody, Craig and Billy.

How to Help your Kids with Depression

My mom has helped me so much over the years be more than just a default I need your help parent but has been my rock and my friend. Just like the into the light video this is the start of a series of videos tackling depression. My mom talks about what a parent can do. Filmed where it all went down in Laguna Niguel at Salt Creek beach.

Ever Changing Terrain

Down with the roaches

Now I have all these approaches

Lowly on a colt

Lightning in the bolt, I am full of the cult

I sipped it for years—

Are we sick with wondering

Or are we just wandering?

Hopeless romantic,

Feeling pedantic,

The rules have changed

The terrain has shifted

No longer does man choose love or

Choose good or choose anything anymore?

Lovers of self, lovers up on the shelf,

Saving mercy for a rainy day,

A storm to come,

Our love is on numb,

This pain is growing

The gadgets are losing their grip

Its an endless maze of what is next—

Bigger, faster but worse and worse it

Gets—cycles of regret, adulthood is

An ever evolving force–

Its remorse, but really it is not

Its regret but really its apathy

Its pleasure, its endless pleasure

But to what measure? To what end?

To where now can we comprehend?

Its evil all around, its a lie to believe anything else

Its still a choice, I choose heaven, not Hell

Into the Light: behind the scenes of Courageous Minds

This is a making of video for a project with Tri City mental health services here in Pomona where I live. Mostly shows my family and how they have been a huge part in the journey of battling depression. I am so blessed and grateful to them and so many other close friends. To God be the glory!

Meaning Behind the Prose and other Memorial Thoughts

The last few months has been a very prolific time of writing a lot of my stream of consciousness flow of poetry. This blog has had many aspirations in forms of video, some stories, mostly essays and movie/film reviews but out of about 1900 posts now at least half of those has been poetry. I am a huge fan of myself. And does it get anymore self-centered than that? Yes, it can and yes, it can.

I am a huge fan of myself through the lens of God’s saving grace. It is much more than just a one time thing when we embrace Jesus. Our lives tell the story. As Paul says in 2 Cor. 3-‘you are our Epistle!’ I am the living epistle of Christ and all He has done in me. My brothers and sisters in Christ, so are you. The greatest testimony to the world is our love for each other. When people can see committed healthy friendships and healthy loving marriages..at this point in the world that says a lot about the God we love.

I am a huge fan of the journey. A lot of what you have been reading the last couple of months has been about living on this earth and knowing that you are made for another world but that world is going to stay on the earth in the form of a ‘new earth!’

C.S. Lewis( who gets quoted more than any other person I know) said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Of course anyone can read this and think that anything on this earth really doesn’t matter so I can do what the gnostics and Greek thinkers did and disregard this creation we live in. NO!

The Apostles desired to be present with the Lord..they had such an intense expectation of heaven, yet it was their focus on eternity that enabled them to “enter the Kingdom with much tribulations!”

The line, ‘the earth is now, the earth is future, the earth is not going anywhere’ just makes sense to me that today matters and so does the future hope of restoration and so does an established truth that the earth is not going to disappear or explode. This is not the season four finale to Lost where Mr. Linus moved the island..literally..it disappears and ends up somewhere else..now we were all really, really lost after that.

I am being a little funny but nonetheless eternity has been in my mind. We have so much emphasis on how to live today and how to pull God’s blessings into our lives right now but is that really it? Is the purpose of life to make a checklist of presents we want for Christmas and one by one God sends someone in the form of a man to deliver them to us? Is the incarnation just about gifts?

I am actually insulted by the false cookie cutter euphemisms that we champion as “the Gospel” that really just sound like a five year old getting told that Christmas morning is coming really soon and you better be good or else Santa might skip you this year. Yet, the heart behind the gift giving has more to do with how I behave in order to “receive” something. Yes, ‘we have received every blessing in Christ Jesus’ and Ephesians is an incredible book on who we are in Christ, but I think we mistake God’s blessings with earthly provision. Yes, God does provide for us so in that sense we are always to be grateful. Jesus commanded us ‘do not worry about your life’ and also says, ‘is not life more than..’physical’ things. But as followers of Christ it seems much more sound to say that before the gifts came to us the ultimate gift of Christ atoning for our sins was to be given to the world. What then was the point of Abraham almost killing his Son out of his unrelenting obedience to God? We see that God was testing his faith but God was also getting humanity ready for Christmas. God was getting the world ready for the ultimate gift in the closest form possible. Jesus as a man. Jesus as fully man and fully God. Hear gratitude in these poems and in these posts. I don’t want to relish in how much life can suck but you do have to embrace that. I want to relish in this unwavering faith in God’s goodness no matter the newscast, no matter the Drudge Report.

If you have heard the idea in the last couple of months that life is not always what we think it should be, then you are hearing correctly. I transpose the past into a lot of things so sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Here’s what I mean: “Ink from coldplay plays on repeat—” Yes, this song is so good right now and I don’t know why but I just listen to it and probably in writing but the next line is a childhood image on middle school and high school relationships: “All those past lovers, past flings, past heart strings plucked and thrown in the gutter, was it better?Was it worse? Or did I never know true love first?”

I think I want to change the world and I don’t really believe it sometimes. The other main idea here is love. Skyscraper love was from thinking about tall buildings and how the one time I went to Times Sqaure it seemed so insane how high up those buildings could go but the clouds, the darkness and the things in the air could blur the Skyscraper and the skyline. I wrote: “a city life is scary, A club drug is passed down to me, who drank this before? Come out of her it says, out for good, a shout for short, a proclamation for long!” The idea that we have built altars around sin and death and have called it ‘just having fun’ is sickening to God but heartbreaking more than anything. Our role as followers of Christ is not to point out people’s addictions( when we have our own too) but to do Ephesians 5( a passage I’ve been in for a couple of months). We walk as children of light and in this walk we expose the darkness by the way that we walk.

Memorial Day is more than just honoring the troops. It should also be a reminder of man’s identity crisis. When man does not know who he is, he is prone to violence. I don’t say this to make a trite statement against the military. It is not a small thing. I just made a presentation last week on PTSD and the treatment options in them. In the research I watched videos on these therapy sessions with those who fought over seas. It was very eye opening and something I can’t connect to. But I also want to cut through the sentiment sometimes and turn the camera on the person doing the filming. I love war movies and I hate them at the same time. I realize that my ethical compass gets broken when I see what I am seeing. Even films that add humor to mask the rather death like tendencies of war still work it for you and make you question your birthplace. I don’t understand war but I do make a RUCKUS about the Gospel. Their is something far scarier than war coming onto the planet. A great shift. The line in poems for me is “the great rearrange/ a rearrange.” Jesus returning to the earth will start the greatest war the world has ever known and it will be more severe then anything we have ever seen. Can we face this warrior Jesus and embrace his perfections and trust in His leadership?

I.S.I.S. is not our enemy. Islam is not the enemy. Though the expression in the extremists is gnarly and has yet to really interrupt our comfortable lives the forces of evil will make I.S.I.S. look like a high school shooting rather then World War 3. We love violence. We love Mass Effect and Call to Duty and Grand Theft Auto and everything and anything that has to do with blowing heads off people. For men its a disgusting perversion of how we are meant to fight and meant to war but for love. We are God’s warriors not just warriors. I don’t give a crap about trying to be tough and study how cool weapons are and how fun hunting can be( I am not slamming that) but their is a difference between thinking just being a man is being tough, violent and that you know about guns and engines. False love and false war is in us and upon us. The war against porn is in tandem to the war on false war. Why else would Jesus put anger and lust right next to each other in His Sermon on the Mount. Memorial day is about honoring those who have suffered but anything that is suffering apart from Christ just in turn is the creation worshiping itself. You will die in your sorrow without Jesus. I remember mercy and love but I do not support false masculinity. I honor and respect what the troops have done but I realize a more home front battle is being fought and it is over what the man is. A man is to be conformed to Christ and to be like Him in every way and which of our lives.

Let us remember our warrior King, King Jesus.