Poverty Gift

The message is in

God will win,

Yesterday was the rest of the

Best parts of me,

If I have passed then

I can outlast whatever will

Come my way

What am I missing if

I am fishing for a blessing

Without cost,

Without pain,

Without rain to work through

Without puddles to cover up for–

The just expect rust for breakfast

The criminals expect paper milk

And evaporated ramen flavors–

I do not get what I deserve–

I am so sick of the lack of love

I have for the abundance of stuff

I own—it must be harder for me then

To receive mercy

For the poverty gift

Unwraps the riches I think

I have, and I so have a need

To learn more on how to

Be poor

Often

Not a child anymore,
But I go back there
I easily remember what was
So messed up and hard
Let the River Flow streamed its
Dream on the screen door,
The Interstate in my pores–
It became a daily grind to never
Stay but to always hide–
Often is no longer a caution
For often is the number of times
you failed me, you tore into me,
You broke what I had as a twig
In the wind, a bruised reed,
A unforgiven deed,
A passed down curse for the hearse
You prepare for me–
Lonely is for the lonely and
Not for the extroverts
Or the comics,
Or the master of homiletic,
I preach a great sermon on
Together, but we can live alone
In the balmy weather of ease,
Of sunlight as acceptance,
For the currency of the future
Is paid by living in the present–
For today is the day not to go
Back or to go forward, but today
Is the day to live

A Line

A line has been crossed,
Over into, above onto,
Below and beneath the darkest
Of dreams,
“nor things present”
These ones are uneasy,
These ones are not easy,
Present means today,
Present is now,
Rain and clouds
And light that comes in
Between Halloween days,
Noah came to this life,
Came with all his heart,
Now he grows to fast now,
Now I am not very present
To watch him grow-
“Things to come!”
Yes, I never will know
The dark is getting darker,
The perverse man boasts in his
Darkness, and the clouds cover
Me again,
I have seen it all,
I have also said I have
Not seen anything,
I am still young,
For the twenties are
Slipping away now,
I am getting old,
Getting less bold about
What I cannot do,
Who I won’t be,
What I do not have
“All things working!”
Slave away at me,
Stay away at me–
What is God?
What is me?
What is a choice I
Cannot see,
What is those white halls,
Those painted blue lights,
Those midnight fights with
Peace,
Now it works cause I work
Too, now I live, and death
Does to,
Through is my new cue,
Around does not exist
Anymore,
Dodging the bullet is
More of a bullet to take,
To bleed, to feel, to
Be present,
This is the line to cross,
Where nothing hinders anymore

You mean in real life?

We are the students and he is the teacher. But is what we read in the text(the Scriptures-John 5:40), actually supposed to carry over into real life? Yes. The answer is yes.

I am sitting at Starbucks after a very long few days. The last few days have been busy as heck, as the last few months have been. I started off the new year setting the bar high for myself out of a love for not wasting precious time that has been given to me. This year 2014 ( 9 months still to unfold) will mark many indelible memories inside of me and many milestones. 10 years ago this May is when I graduated high school and ten years ago in September was when I first moved to Kansas City to be apart of a 8 year run at IHOP-KC. I am now in a place in life of still learning and still preparing for the future. If I got anything out of IHOP it is that revelation. It is the simple revelation of: Holy crap! I do not know anything! I am reminded of that verse: ‘You are God in heaven, and I am here on earth; I will let my words be few'(paraphrased). But really, all that I have learned and am learning boils down to two words: follow through. And really: follow me!

James 1:22(ESV)
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves”

I think in our weakness and our lack of eternal perspective we can think that the book doesn’t really need to be lived out in our lives. Its like when your parent’s correct you, whether big or small, and they tell you that their correction is to prepare you for real life. Wait, my parents are actually thinking that their teaching needs to be lived out, you mean in real life?

The answer is yes and Jesus in His kindness does not just give the command and then leave us alone. The whole point of Him leaving( and it was not just one reason over another) was for the Holy Spirit, or the comforter, or the teacher to be with us when Jesus would ascend into heaven.

I am really relishing in some old memories here at Starbucks( my one and only hangout spot when blogging-most of the time). I remember working through many life issues and many many questions of this very struggle. I was on the night watch(the midnight to 6am shift) in Kansas City at this place called IHOP(house of prayer) and I would end the night at the other IHOP(house of panecakes).

At this time in my life I was just getting to know my roommate and now best friend, Zack Hensley. In the early days of blogging I probably mentioned Zack all the time. Zack and I would slam down chicken fingers, onion rings, lots of honey mustard( for me) and skillets and bacon for Zack. We would be our extroverted selves and just hash out the intensity of what we were learning. IHOP-KC is a wonderful place for learning and also sort of overwhelming. Really, no matter how old you are or where you are in the Lord the amount of knowledge and information coming out of Kansas City is so amazing to me but looking back I realize that I needed to talk through it daily because it was so much for me to take in. Ten years later I am still working it out. Zack and I would hear the same Oasis Wonder Wall song play at the same time every night and watch the sun come up. 2006, 2007 were those glory days of both IHOP’s. I look back at this very tension. I wanted to find ways to not face things. I probably wanted to not take responsibility for things. And daily I asked myself: am I a man? Am I a man of God? Am I not what culture calls a man, am I one in light of who Jesus is?

This same question still haunts me but can only be found in the words of Life. It is easy to read it but it is way more difficult to live it. And I mean in real life. Where people misunderstand who you perceive you really are(not always but a lot). The real life world where most people are reluctant to receive you when you say: ‘ I am a Christian.’ The real life world where no one mentions Jesus in an interview or some pseudo doxology in a thank you speech. The real life world that thinks there is maybe a God but this guy Jesus, well, we will leave that for another time.

Real life is not something I have mastered or have figured out. What I do know is that when given the option to cheat at school by asking people in my class for help when I am not supposed to I face what I know to be right verse what would be the easy way out. The temptation  to cheat is real. I know God sees and that keeps me in check with what I am doing. Even if man does not see, God does and judges in righteousness(all the time)! That is scary good news. Everything we do is in constant check from the one who formed us and formed everything around us. The challenge is to face what is the right thing to do, even when no one receives you, acknowledges you, or even commends you for it.

I don’t think there is ever an easy way out of anything. Rather, God in His mercy adjusts things sometimes where it seems easy and it seems like we get out of it. More times than not He is asking us to face it, to face it in real life, to live the words He has given to us and to be an example to a world that has trouble seeing Jesus in our lives.

Real life is the test. Daily life is the test. At work is the test. Even at church is the test too. I would want to focus more on how life is outside of your church circle. Its not that things are easier at church, its that its a different test at church then it is when you are outside those four walls. Real life is demanding real men and women who will make the word a part of their lives. God is not dead, so maybe we don’t have to say Revival, but an awakening and a move of God that goes so deep in all of us.

If we can live it in real life then we have lived to the capacity that God has called us to live. What is your real life situation? Where are you being tested? What do you need to walk out from scripture that you are not walking out right now? There is grace for follow through and there is grace to do, as James says, the word. Live, today, live. If you need the pancake experience( like I had everyday at 6:15am) then find someone to do that with. A friend that can love you through the many seasons of life. Do whatever it takes to be a doer and not just a hearer of the word.

In Christ,
Jared

The Forecast

Its good to be writing some new stuff. I have been posting older reflections(some with weird, obscure formats–sorry about that) but it is because this blog just passed 100 subscriptions just the other day. I say this to say that, I want the new people to enjoy older reflections that have been long gone.

This is a fresh poem written today. I am just taking in everything that I heard this past week at the Onething conference. A whole post dedicated to that will happen. I am still processing but the storm will come in life. Life will be hard; difficult; full of disappointments(as some would say); and full of plenty of time to choose what to believe in. I am holding on to the fact that it will be hard until I die, but my choices will affect as Mike Bickle recently said, ‘the depth of my choice affects the depth of my experience in God.”(not word for word).

So, here’s my reflection..

Weatherman tell me the forecast
Do I have what will last?
Inside is where we should live
But outside the world does hide
Behind that, storms they are
Forming, winds they are coming,
Ears they are humming and
Deafening the voice that speaks
And calms the storm—disaster, once
Was my master and ruled me daily,
Steady was far from me, faithful and
Fruitful did drift away—my dreams
Kept me going, for so little was spoken
Over me—where could this life please
Be, the forecast is dark, dreary, deadly,
Not lively—cloud and loud hang over
Me for the future is full of conflict, full
Of scandal, full of a candle in need to
Stay burning—I ask if I can truly win,
When the world seems to be drowning
In sin, Noah save me from the flood,
From the pain that life brings, from
The things called suffering and
Resistance—forecast me a safe
Life with a good wife and a good
Thing and kids to add to my last
Name—bring me now, all these
Things—but truth be told, the
Weather is cold, a lie, a shadow
To come—for light and love shine
Through the seasons and the many
Reasons for my dedication—clouds
No more stay over me because I have
Given all of me—to this cause, to this
Flame, to this love that takes my name—
And one I know not of waits for me,
Waits for all who see the storm,
See the clouds, rejoice in rain,
Rejoice in the pain—press through
He says this new year, make it clear
Where you stand—that bad weather
Won’t change your stand—stay steady
When you feel uncertain, stay steady
When he pulls back the curtain—for
The one storm I can’t escape will
Come down from the sky miles
High and convert the earth from
Storm to clear, from pain to gain
From a life of suffering to seeing
His face—and that truly is what
Makes me wait—for weather, I ask
Come and stay, through it all, I
Stand—waiting!

Innocence

Thinking upon the American dream and youth.

Innocence taken

Innocence mistaken

Window panes clearly

Death now nearly— upon

Them, a clear view

Of the dream hits

Them in the chest

Aspiring to be the best

They can be, for this

Sunny town cries out

From the ground, who

Will love them now,

What dreams will

They achieve, will

He receive a reward

For His suffering or

Will the dream be

The buffering to

The next life?

Always Change

So things now are always changing,

Life is switching its years beneath me,

Friends are changing, lives and wives are added each year,

Death has it vices, life has its verses, songs always being written,

One man worthy of these tears, pain now always up at nights, pills to change

The situation, now thrills to add, pomp and frills to this party now,

Prodigals now are returning again, abortion raging within, hope now seems

To far away, a man on the sky, is there really another way, another room invasion,

Another calculation, I am stuck in the octagon, fighting as the only way to survive,

So hello yellow sky, cabin fever, spring happening before me, fireflies now guiding

This night drive down 435, now change is always happening, friends are shifting

Out of this life, moving away, to the west coast chasing new dreams, new streams

A new gold rush, a new hush, hush, a new silent departure, now the future is new,

The belly in you is getting bigger, that baby of yours is gonna take up some new

Time, a new rhyme and that is not a crime, now responsibility sits on you, calls

Out to you and wisdom she does move now calling out on the streets, time is now

Not in my control, earth is never gonna get better, now broken gravity, now broken

Cavity in these teeth, rotten me for hoping in me, now Lord bring on your eschaton,

Please Lord change these changes in me, cause I can barely see, just empty stats

Fill the screen, cause the earth really is not getting any better, Lord can you change

Now all that I can’t change, come now and rearrange the pages I am reading, the

Things that are screaming now, earth shifting, so please now let change take

Over, let escape be over, jetway romance no more, escaping into you now

I want to be at, tender is the cedar I am on, feeling now my companion,

Love the best kind of time I can spend it on

New In Life

I think somehow in the goal to daily blog and to fill the ‘you are at 1,125 posts’ quota I have stopped updating you all on what has been happening in my life. In between the droughts of not blogging in the past I have usually updated on life and work and random thoughts and perspirations of wanting to blog more. So, instead of making tons of promises(like finishing my medicine story) or other short stories and creative posts I am simply just gonna give a quick update of what is going down in my life.

Work!!!

So, since October I have been working at Trader Joes in Leawood. Life has been so good at this place! I love my job and love the peeps I get to work with. I really am not saying that to suck up to some manager that might randomly find this blog. I worked at Trader Joe’s in Laguna Niguel Jan. 2009 to April 2010. Since July 2011 Trader Joes is now here in Kansas City. Grateful to this place and the few days a week I am there! Its been great and a source of writing as well, as my interaction with people and what they say in passing usually ends up in some kind of piece of writing.

School!!

Since August 2011 I have been going to Longview Community College in Missouri. My purpose for school is to get into film as a major and creative writing. Right now I am doing the associate’s degree and the grunt work that goes along with it. Its been a ton of work and time consuming but totally worth it. 2 years from now I should be ready for the university and read for Film classes. So far I have taken English, History, some Sociology, Psychology, Literature and more english, its been great!

ATC!

Still am working with Zack and the team. Making new friends with Jackson Bohlender. We are putting our heads together to spawn some creativity for podcast ideas and the summer. Its been a joy and I love our team and teenagers.

Other News

Getting off medicine has also been a huge part of the journey. Since August 2011 to just a few months ago I have weaned off of three of the four meds I was on. The next step is to be off completely by the end of the year. Its drastically cleared my mind and given me a new wave of inspiration for the future. Reading Making Ideas Happen has been super helpful for the future creativity in me.

🙂

Voices

This is me trying to hear His voice, in the midst of all the distraction.

By the door now I have been waiting

In sweet desperate anticipation, tears lightly lately

Do accompany me, and weakness sweats inside of me,

She looks so gallantly at me, that voice of wisdom sweats inside

Jezebel’s dwelling place, she plans and sets the pace inside my heart,

A barometer of altitude sweats in me because now that voice is speaking to

Me, all these years I have been listening to you and now you speak in a way

I do not know, so I row and row for more understanding because you still speak

And wait for me—love cost everything and still I am here and sing, suffering

Desperately was I in 2008 when I released from the gate of sleeplessness

And waves of fatherlessness hit me because I was loved wrongly, out the door

He must go because its been to long now, and the release came a year later

Now we all need a loving father and a better getaway out of this place,

So we drove down highway 5 with much drive and ambition trying to

Now change my condition, for night sweats kept me in constant regret

With a balmy breeze of the cigarette and we clicked into a new gear

Because I was living in fear now, pillow cases dissipated and insomnia

Anticipated more hours from me, as I sweated nightly with drunken stupor

To guide me I now love thee more because suffering now accompanies this

Testimony, for Lord you gave all the glory you had to give and still you learned

And suffered instead and took the place of my grace to live in this Lexus life

Inside me now, for rich is what you have, poor was your choice and weakness

The voice you still speak in because you love that sweet discipline, for I have

Been alone now for to long, whispering in dark movie theatres alone now,

Watching kisses and love on the screen while feeling very uncertainly unclean,

Lord, now I still write in such a mess because I confess I need your holiness and

Touched am I all the time because I am always inside wasted time and space inside

Myself and she calls out with all the right highlights to drive me down this road

Of departure, wisdom she is out there somewhere and I am here still digging a hole

For the future home of wisdom to build upon and you desire that the walls start

Building upwards because raptor is not in here and an early exodus is not your

Style, for the wheats and the tares they split in me now, darkness dissipation inside

My hesitation, now in perfect calculation you require all of the home I’ve built for

You now, so Lord come and prune and fine tune my life because selfish isn’t in your

Dictionary, rather I stare at the symphony of the death of me and you up on that

Cross pushing me to be better and give it all so we can be together, for it matters

Now my weak life and that love from wisdom still speaks to me now

 

Separated

Just separate lives

And friends with wives

And kitchen knives no longer for sale

Culinary arts not so well, single to well

Boiling water always sweating and destinations

Now are unknown because I am still making my way

Home, pruning hooks added in this season for the glorious

Reason, life is hard and no one taught me that, at the top

Of the stairs living in fear all those years, screen writer about

All the pain, reliving what was once in vain, a half nelson so

I can still get out of it and world loudly praying about it,

Now I see all that comes to me to not compare myself

To the world out there, cause success today is a world

Away of sleepness night studying it right, if there was

No fruit inside my soul I would easily release the control

But because I am marching on I have brought the pain on,

Trials and separation inside this nation, who to vote for

I know no more, just kingdom Jesus to soon come and

Crashing down in the money town, top ten best places

To be is the world in front of me, so for now I don’t

Compare how to be another but me, I live in the beating

Of my soul defeating all that stands in the way of the future

Today