Outside

Oh no
Oh no oh no
It looks like something just broke.
Something fell outside of my head.
Something opened up inside of my head.

Was that my sanity sanity?
Did my mind go sideways wammity?
Uh oh
Uh oh uh oh
Here we go again.

Ohhh that’s when it just becomes the worst!
I’m talking to you, then wam bam it hurts!
Then I’m way outside oh my oh my!
A dozen feet tall and smaller than a football.
What’s that he’s saying? He doesn’t make sense.

Shut up, shut up, I’m way out my fence!
It’s not like I suddenly just went dense.
Quit crying
Quit wailing
Be a man
That’s all they can say? Oh man, oh man.
Somebody call the waaambulance.

Okay, okay, let’s keep this cool.
So I’m messed up, just play the fool.
It’s not like all the short ones stop and stare…
But here we go, oh no, right back down again.
Who needs a ladder to see over the wheel?

Did you know it’s all I can do
To look you in the eye?
And did you know it’s not your fault,
I’m just a gimpy kind of guy?
Let me be, uh oh uh oh.

I think I’m in the ceiling now…

Some Thoughts…

Balloon animals don’t last long.
Twist words at your own peril.
Tangle thoughts with trepidation.
Nothing that is inflated won’t pop.

There is more wisdom in mirth
Than understanding in pomp.
A man with three legs cannot swim.
Nor can a rooster lay an egg.

If a bandage will help, use it.
Life is too short to spend on yesterday.
Tomorrow is never worth today.
If somebody says it hurts, it hurts. 

Birdcage of the Broken

Flood him with feeling,
Starve him from seeing,
Take lace from shoe,
Put sand in the brace,
Fill up the breach with timber,

Take a match!
Take a match!

Yeah, this one’s trash,
Just a little bit brash.
He lived it on the wild side,
And now he’s cut apart.
What a fool, what a shame!

Take it all!
Take it all!

Maybe what’s cutting isn’t him,
What if what’s breaking is new earth?
Do you see seed or recedency?
Roots are invisible, bruised easily,
But if it’s like a reed, will it break?

Break the bruised!
Break the bruised!

Let the Work be made whole,
Let what cleaves finally form,
Allow the eager to enter,
The desperate to be saved!
Prevent what is rent to this extent!

Take me, Lord!
Take me, Lord!

Amen

Can God cease being God?
Can a man beg He begin being Him?
Should I take up watch over snow for fear it may not melt?
No, though shadows of death cloud the valley,
I say to it, “Be lifted up! Make a way!”
This donkey bears a King.

Who You Callling a Liar?

Is God good? Is the Bible true? Why does it matter?

I challenge you to find older questions than these. And I’m going to claim to be arrogant enough that I can answer them, at least inasmuch as I understand the asking of them. The Bible tells me to exhort as if God Himself were speaking, and indeed, if I claim to lean on the wisdom of Yahweh, I should have an understanding of it.

So, is God good? Why should I believe that He is or isn’t?

Big questions make for big answers, so let’s narrow things down a bit and apply Occam’s Razor. If God is not good, then He must be lying when He says He is. The Bible makes every conceivable effort to tell us that God is good. Even in His judgements, He only calls out those who disobey Him. Therefore, if God is NOT good, He is a liar.

To move forward, we have to conclude that either the Bible is wrong when it says God is good, or that it is right. The law of contradictions rules out any other option.

Now, why would the Bible deliberately lie to us? I know that’s also a really big issue, but I honestly cannot see how. We can all agree that the Bible tells us that God created the world. So to think of God as something that isn’t limited by the dimensions we humans can see would not be far-fetched. (A two-dimensional drawing on a page could not comprehend its artist any more than a human can fully grasp God.)

So why would a God that exists above (outside, beyond, etc.) our observable reality think it necessary to tell you that things are different than they really are? Why would God (who is still the only single one who’ll take credit for making you) arrange everything to work the way it does (earth’s rotation angle, Jupiter’s amazing ability to catch almost every celestial object that might threaten Earth, DNA, gravity, entropy, etc.) with perfect precision and then tell you something about Himself that isn’t true?

After all, wasn’t it Him who told us not to lie? That’s where my instructions to tell the truth come from. If the Law of Gravity is inviolable, where do I start reasoning my way into thinking that the Law of Sin and Death is not?

I’ve made a bunch of logical gaffs in this, probably. And that’s awesome. Please don’t hesitate to question me on every one. I’ve left things out for the sake of space, not lack of an opinion, I assure you.

Iron sharpens iron. If we cannot discuss issues of life and death with each other, maybe we should start asking why they scare us so bad. When I get my panic attacks, my body screams that I ought to fight or run, but I often choose a third (worst) option, which is to freeze. If my brain wasn’t misfiring and there was an actual threat, I’d be cut to pieces. This is really, really real. Perception has nothing to do with fact.

I want to keep this short so that you have time to comment. There isn’t much more to be said about this without engaging an alternative viewpoint and that would be far better with input. Thanks for reading. You guys are awesome!

Why I’m a Christian (And Why It’s So Exclusive)

I waste a lot of time defending myself, so please pardon the crazy in me if that comes through. It’s ridiculous to just sit at home and wait for government assistance paperwork to go through. I can read my Bible and I can watch YouTube for as long as I want, but at some point, you crack a bit and just want to give anything back to anyone.

So here you go. My ramblings, musings and whatnot on why I am who I am and who God is to me. Not because I’m anyone special, but maybe there’s something here for you. It goes off like bombs in my heart. (Also! A perfectly suitable explanation for why I always want to pray with you!)

(I apologize in advance for the parentheses.)

If I have come to mind this year (madly presumptuous of me, maybe, but I know you exist,) you’ve probably wondered why Jeremy be acting so crazy. Well, to be honest, I went a little crazy. According to my doctors, anyway.

But it was bigger than that. My mental health is a grain of sand compared to my spiritual health.  

Should I digress here to address the existence of a spiritual world? I want to, but maybe I should leave that for another day. Let me just remind you that popular opinion has resisted any mention of a spiritual moral authority for less time than marijuana has been prohibited.

So, mental health is far inferior to spiritual health. Why? If the brain is a machine set up to process thoughts, those thoughts have a source and that source has to be something that isn’t my brain because information does not create itself. Therefore, my intellect is submitted to a higher something. (Also therefore, if I talk about my “body” or my “flesh,” I’m including my biological mental processes.) Which, since we don’t argue semantics here, I’ll refer to as a soul.

What is a soul? The word itself conjures up a sense of a person’s core being, or identity. The soul, maybe, governs the flesh? Isn’t my body just a machine? I read a lot and that’s what science has told me all my life. So, then, my soul is who I am. I am not my flesh; how could that be an identity? When I talk about who I am, I talk about my dreams and my fears, not my aches and pains.

Therefore, if I am a soul in a body, then what use is my body? Really. If I’m an immortal being created in the image of God (Yes, sorry, yet another massive logical leap if you don’t believe.), then why should I ever need my flesh?

Personally, that’s a very real question. I have a laundry list of things I can’t do because of my mental health. If I could be free from that, I’d be in heaven (ha!). And I serve a God who claims not only to love me, but to be love. Why would He put me into this cage in the first place?

image

(This is where it gets really awesome.)

Okay, deep breath. Consider this. We’re taught that the God Almighty cast Satan from heaven for trying to become God. Then we’re taught that any attempt to try and play God with our souls causes them to die and never see heaven, which is where we get sin. So Satan was in heaven at first and somehow got corrupted with this death of the soul (steady corruption brought on by sin) while he was there.

How and why that could have happened is just way bigger than me and I’m not gonna touch it. I know God is sovereign because He is and because I have seen it. And I know now that He’s also titanically patient to teach us not only how to avoid sin, but why.

I’ve said all that (because it’s amazing and) to get to this point. My generalized anxiety (I will often somewhat cryptically refer to it as my monster. It’s a bit triggery.) has taught me something about myself that I’m sure applies to everybody, if maybe in a less obvious way.

Oh man, can I get weird? Bear with me in a little folly?

We’re all infected.

Lame Walking Dead references notwithstanding, my soul, which governs my every decision, was not functioning like it should. See, I professed to be a Christian, and would happily tell you if asked, but there was something wrong with my decision-making.

In trying to “love,” I had learned to be a people-pleaser. That’s not Christian, that’s living a lie, and it ends up looking a lot like finger pointing (I don’t get to do that here, either. I’m very aware of how many times I end up throwing this in someone’s face.)

Maybe you’re wondering how that makes a difference. So what if I’m trying really hard to be a better Christian? We all mess up so what’s the big deal, right? I tell everybody my sins are forgiven, don’t I? Why can’t I just keep trying to love and be thankful that I have a get-out-of-hell-free card?

Here’s the brick wall.

God isn’t stupid.

You cannot trick Him.

He doesn’t change His mind.

(I’m tempted to add “I believe” here, but somehow, I don’t think God’s in the least bit held back by what I believe. And, you know, this is a blog.)

So, Forgiving God Almighty (and He is SO merciful, don’t get me wrong!) sees me going to the occasional birthday party and drinking a little a lot too much, but I still show up at church, so I’m doing okay, right? Most people don’t even go to church. And I’m forgiven! So why do I still feel like garbage? Why am I so messed up way deep inside? Like I’m making somebody cry but I can’t see who.

Maybe I’m not forgiven after all. (That’s a reasonable conclusion after years of guilt.) I’m not improving at all. I didn’t feel anything change. How long am I supposed to believe before it kicks in? (Worst drug ever, right?)

Let me pose to you a philosophical question and then answer it right away.

If you paid for somebody’s food, clothes, bills, speeding tickets, university tuition, wedding, honeymoon and house, you would expect, and it would be perfectly reasonable, to have a very good and very close relationship with that person, right?

What if all that person ever did was exactly everything you had asked them not to? For how long would you want to pay their bills? What if they started telling you about it and acting like they hadn’t done anything wrong?

A relationship like that doesn’t stay a relationship. Unconditional love knows not to tolerate treatment like that. It bears with it, but it does not stay.

For example, you could never really live with somebody as their equal, no matter how much you love them, if they were sleeping with someone else, could you? You’d feel like a prisoner whenever they weren’t paying attention to you.

So, it’s unsustainable to say I’m a Christian if I don’t believe.

This is where it’s so important to be sure what the word “believe” means. Belief isn’t a switch you flip. Belief is faith, isn’t it? It isn’t something you do as much as it is something you become. You don’t just instantly respect a new boss, you grow a relationship of trust and maintain it (at least) to avoid misunderstanding.

So when Jesus says “believe in Me and all your sins will be forgiven,” He isn’t talking about a one-time invitation of something into your life. So, so far from it.

To digress again, I grew up being taught to “invite Jesus into my heart.” I don’t regret that; it was the terminology people used and had nothing to do with intent. But it’s so very misleading. The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is given as God’s seal of approval. As a sign that we’re bought and paid for, not as Christianity in spiritual pill form.

Anyway, back on point, I was being a sneaky Christian. I was Clark Kent, whispering to everybody as quietly as possible, “I’m actually Superman.”

You know what Jesus does when you start pretending He’s not that big a deal to you? He says “Okay.” You know why? Because if your best friend said that, you’d reply the same way (Or worse. Am I right?). And then you’d go home and bleed, because they didn’t do that by accident.

But here’s the best part. This is what gets me weeping with joy sometimes. And I’m not exaggerating or saying that lightly. The same Bible that has so convinced me that I’m incapable of maintaining any semblance of the good that I want to do tells me that there is a way for that to be done for me. But it will cost my life.

And here we come back to that important distinction between the physical world and the spiritual. And it’s also what keeps me through the worst panic attacks. What my body perceives as real and true (this apple is red) is not always real and true (somebody painted it, egad!). What my soul perceives as real and true, if it is left to its own devices, comes right back to itself, time and again. What do I want? What do I feel like? It instructs the brain to consult the body for instruction. But we already know that our bodies fail us all the time.

But when anchored in Christ (the Bible says “to abide,”) suddenly the soul has direction. And in finding direction, it finds a place to develop roots and grow because it is a Safe Place. And that growth is what turns a person from thinking about death to thinking about life. That growth is what the Holy Spirit does inside a person and it’ll change you before you knew you wanted something different. So we can say we’re Christians all we like, but you don’t become something by putting on a nametag.

In giving up my life, suddenly I receive it. In surrendering literally everything (not just a part anymore,) suddenly I receive back more than I could ask or imagine.

Not to make you squirm but because it’s amazing, here’s a beautiful example. The female egg has 250 million potential suitors but the only one that produces life is the one that gets all the way in. Not only should that give you a really fun idea of how amazing it is that you exist exactly the way you do, it’s a perfect example of the difference between abiding in Jesus and every other alternative.

That brings us to here, where I am now. This is why I keep on saying things that make people uncomfortable. I believe we’re a bunch of hell-bound sinners with a lot more than a get-out-of-hell-free card available if we’d just live like we were supposed to in the first place. We were promised life and life abundantly and we’re busy ignoring church or going there to see when God will finally come through and we “won’t be rich but we’ll have enough that we won’t worry.” (I’m quoting me there, from a year ago.)

I want to post this before the monster notices I’ve written about it again, so I’ll leave it there and hope it makes some sense. This is huge once you get it, I promise. I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that this is true and I do not often give bad advice.

I’ll close on this point. If I needed my finances managed, I would look for somebody who makes the best possible decisions for me. If there was an affordable way for me to get the best accountant in the world, I would do it even if I didn’t need one. In the same way, if it was possible for somebody else to be able to give you only the best advice in every situation (not just financial,) and you could afford it, wouldn’t you give the reins over to them? It would only be logical because humans make mistakes.

If you made it to the end of this, you’re amazing. This is just so huge. The part of me that’s always drunk on adrenaline says I’d better not step on your toes, but the cool, calm pool at the center of my being says to be still and share His love with His children.

(By the way, Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man. God was bragging that He got to be with us.)

Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

I wrote this for you. If you’ve been hurt by church like I was, or you think they’re a bunch of hypocrites, that isn’t the church; that is people failing to love instead of fear. That means you’re worth something. The devil doesn’t push back at you for doing the wrong thing.

Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

Nobody ever told me I could have this.
No one said Jesus gives more than hell or not.
Why didn’t you tell me He brings life?
Why didn’t anyone say it’s about more than just not dying?

So now it’s like I’m in the wrong room.
Now it’s like the walls are glass.
Yeah, I can see how you’re walking,
I can hear all your talking.

But this glass keeps lying to me.
Yeah, it keeps saying I’m worthless.
Like I can’t accomplish, can’t rise above.
It says God Jehovah can’t do more.

Well guess what.
I’ma tell you what!

All of those were lies
Yeah the glass just tells you lies.
I gotta look past, I gotta rise up.
Faith. Yeah they say you gotta
Believe in Him or it’s like He disappears.
I’m leaning too close, the glass is fogging.
I’m believing in You, but I’m doubting myself.

Can’t you stop and see?
Can’t you break the glass?
Yeah tell me He’s head over heels.
Tell me He’s ecstatic at the sight of me.

I know I’m bad, tell me how good He is!
I already know I can’t do it,
Why do you keep repeating yourself?
The victory is won! The battle is done!
I’m saved, free and whole!
I’m made clean and holy!
I’m regarded as undefiled. Untouched!

Thanks, but I’d rather have Him.
Thanks, but I’d rather be me.
Thank you for all your advice.
You’re just completing your life.

I’m gonna live mine.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 398 other followers