Colorado Strong

1483185_10100134654433953_80094942_nIt’s been a rough few days here in Colorado.  You could make the case we’ve had a few rough years.  Between this spring’s flooding, Aurora’s shooting, Columbine and innumerable other tragedies our fair state’s become a place where people seem to think bad things happen.  And bad things do happen here – just as they do everywhere.  We seem to have played host to a fair share of the headline grabbing stories.

On April 20th, 1999 I was a sophomore and in my newspaper class at Littleton High School.  Suddenly my editor in chief shouted “Oh my God!” while she was on the phone with her mother.  We wheeled a television into the room.  We watched as the news became reality to us.  A mere 5 miles from us – no less then ten minutes down the road – there was something terrifying unfolding in the halls of a Littleton area high school.  And it changed us.

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When The Church Repels You

IMG_2393There’s something unique about sitting down to talk with your young adults pastor and you’re absolutely convinced you should be leaving said young adults group…and then by the end of the breakfast with him you’re questioning every single idea you had in your head.  No, it’s not as fun as it sounds but it’s absolutely necessary.

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What about the Change?

IMG_0842I’m about to bloody my theological knuckles, so buckle up.  Strap in.  Brace yourself.  And hold onto something.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

I figured I should put that warning there since there’s a chance I’ll be metaphorically and rhetorically crackin’ skulls with today’s post.  And I can’t take credit for the inspiration of these words.  I blame the twitter user ENT Monkey.  Dude even has a website.  It all started in the early morning hours today with this tweet.

I got a kick out of it because it felt like a nudge in my side.  You when someone pokes you and taps you on the shoulder to draw your attention to something?  That was this tweet for me.  I responded.

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NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 31 – The End is Here

526543_10100105870197793_1441852955_nHere I am on the last day of National Blog Writing month.  I made it!  With a few days missed and a couple filled with content for National Novel Writing month – I made it!  Looking back on the last thirty days much has happened.  I left my five and a half year job for better pastures.  I started doing my devotions on a daily bases more.  And I began to understand how the last few years have affected me in all of those areas.  In that measure alone – NaBloWriMo has been a success.

It’s also Halloween today.  Adults will dress up in costume and kids will do the same.  It’ll be a right merry day.  Or something.  I’ve never really enjoyed Halloween.  Even as a kid I wasn’t a fan.  I don’t know why.  So if you’re celebrating and dressing up – go nuts.  Just get a designated driver and save the police, courts and your family the trouble eh?

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NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 28

IMG_0523It’s Monday.  Commence with the gnashing of teeth and tearing of ritual sackcloth!

I’m back podcasting about church, Jesus and the future of it all.  I’m a bit bonkers and wander with my ideas but it’s fifteen minutes worth of marinating on the future of The Church.  Give it listen and tell me how wrong I am.

NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 26

487600_10100102522805993_1931938180_nSometimes getting away from it all is the best medicine.  Upon leaving my former employer I began to discover as I job searched that I had more time than I knew what to do with.  I realized that I had allowed myself to get swallowed up in the job.  It happens to the best of us.  We turn into workaholics and while sometimes that is a good quality it is a very bad thing to run at full throttle all the time.  So I find myself out of gas and on a very large desert island.

I found that I now had time to write.  I found that coffee shops were something to visit.  And I found my way back to daily conversations with God.  That last one might need some explanation.

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NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 22

This is “A Unwritten Letter”.  Couple of years back this was a fresh emotion playing upon my heart.  This is me writing a letter to the someone to finally close it out.  I may do more of these for National Blog Writing Month.  We’ll see.  Onwards!

******

IMG_1100I wish I could have told you how I felt about you.  I wish you could have heard me describe how when I looked into your eyes I felt as I’d come home finally.  I had hoped you’d see what my heart was doing as you walked away or when you smiled.  Or when you did just about anything.  The laugh, the roll of your eyes when you were annoyed with me.  The way you looked beautiful no matter what kind of day you’d had.  The manner of clothing and colors that never failed to accentuate your beauty.

You were something to me.  You probably realized it and did the smart thing by putting distance between us.  The signals you gave were pretty clear.  You didn’t want me that way.

The truth?  You were the first girl that when I hadn’t seen you I felt a strange tugging in my heart.  I realized the terrifying truth.  I liked you and probably more than you would have been comfortable with at the time.  Or anytime.  I clearly missed you.  And that was scary and wonderful at the same time.

But you didn’t want that.  So I quietly buried those emotions, feelings and hopes.  I had to toss some gasoline on it and let it burn for a bit longer than I anticipated.  It helped clean the wound I’d caused in my heart trying to chase you.  I patched it up and walked on down the line.

I still miss you sometimes.  I guess that scar tissue with those emotions will never truly fade away.

NaBloWriMo 2013 – Day 8

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Photo taken at the University of Colorado Hospital by Aaron DeLay

Every year.  Every year I do this thinking, “This year I can do it without having to catch up.”  And every year I end up behind the eight ball cursing the keys my fingers run desperately across.  It’s the way of the keyboard and you would think I’d eventually figure this out and accept it.  But you’d be wrong.  I’m still missing day four and the fact that I’m still talking about it means that it’s going to stick in my metaphorical craw until I manage to pound that day out of the keyboard and into the internets.  And so goes the life of a NaBloWriMo lifer.

Today is a day I’m thankful for friends.  And it brings to the forefront something I’ve been marinating on for a week or so.

Let’s pause here as I feel the need to explain marinate.  I usually don’t jump to conclusions or shoot first.  I’m a thinker.  I like to take things apart from all the directions (there’s a one direction joke in here somewhere) and examine the nitty gritty.  I’m always thinking on something and it’s why I use the word, ‘marinate’.  When you’re preppin’ the good meat you have got to let that stuff marinate, soak and sit in the custom made juices.  And so my brain needs to do all those things before I can go forward with something resembling confidence.

So I’ll marinate on things until I can make my call – and it’s usually a very decisive one given that I’ve taken all that time and effort.

Unpausing here – we had a guest speaker at our young adult group last week and as a part of her getting to know us gig went around to some of us before service started and queried what we’d want to know from her or ask her to see if we’d be a good match to be friends.  There were a lot of serious and hilarious questions she pulled as she walked around.

The thing that stuck with me is this.  I’m very picky with my friends.  I either want to spend time with you or I don’t.  I work 50 hours a week on third shift.  My time is precious.  If I make the choice to make time to spend with you – that is a huge thing for me.  Making time for folks in a fairly busy schedule that includes volunteer work and church in the middle of the week – it’s a big deal.

Over the last year I’ve met many new friends and reconnected with a few old ones.  And I’ve found myself paring down the people I spend time with – perhaps subconsciously more than I expected.  I have significant trust issues with friends and I also don’t like losing friends which would explain my reticence.  It was still alarming to realize how I was managing my friends or lack of – and it was amusing to take that apart piece by piece this week.

It’s taken 31 years but I’ve finally begun to understand what a friend is – and how that really looks.  Not like it does on television or movies or even in books – but in the big ugly that is the world out there.  I’m still fine tuning (that is a weird expression) my friendships because people do change and relationships ebb and flow.  But I’d like to think that I’ve come full circle from wanting to be friends with everyone and invited to everything to being ok with sitting on the other side of the pendulum nearer to the middle – for the moment.

And so, one more day of National Blog Writing Month is down and another personal discovery is cross off the list!

To sign up or get more details on this whole project there’s a facebook group heretwitter here and a website here.

NaBloWriMo 2013 – Day 3

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photo taken early 2000′s by Aaron DeLay at University of Colorado Hospital stairwell.

Often with NaBloWriMo the challenge isn’t sitting down every day and writing – it’s coming up with stuff to write to fill the space of a blog post.  That’s why NaBloWriMo is such a challenge – and why it’s fun and terrible at the same time.  You wonder how the folks whose life blood is blogging and writing manage to keep on truckin’.

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How Ministry Makes Us Better

You could also probably title this post “Volunteering Makes Us Better” but I like the ring of the original.

There is great truth in the statement.  I’ve been doing children’s and youth ministry since 1992.  That’s 21 years of my 31 years on this planet.  And I can tell you this right now – if those 21 years had been spent outside of ministry and volunteering – you wouldn’t recognize the man sitting at the keyboard right now.  You probably wouldn’t want to hang out with him.  There’s a good chance he wouldn’t care about much outside of his own world.  The women in (and out) of his life probably wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.  He’d be a jerk.  Douchebag.  Probably a slacker or even a player.  There wouldn’t be a humble bone in his body.  Oh and he’d have the language of several sailors and the respect of several less.

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