One Word 2011: Momentum – Halfway Point


At this point in my life, halfway between the beginning and ending of 2011 – I would say that I am definitely picking up momentum in some ways, while slacking in others.  On the more positive side – I am definitely making attempts and strides towards getting out more and doing some things that make me feel passionate and alive! One of those things – the main thing I am striding in – is my creative side.  I have started writing poetry again in earnest and have been going to open mic and spoken word events for several weeks now. This has led to me having a great boost in confidence as those who hear me read my work are enthusiastic and keep telling me how good it is.  I also decided to finally put the poems online as well; the last time I was writing was at the infancy of the information age, and I lost over 155 pages of my early poems (that I was writing from about 14 years old) as my computer rejected the file that I was trying to save to a website (circa 1997-98.)

This time, with a more sturdy and global internet, where blogs are all the rage …. I decided to take the plunge and store them online again.  And this time I was more successful.  My new blog is called Poet: Whispers and can be accessed at http://poetwhispers.wordpress.com. I have been encouraged by all the positive things spoken about the poems that have been released – one of my blog friends has commented that she’s read the poems and said they left her “bug eyed and speechless!”  I had to clarify if that was a good thing … hehe (she assured me that it was; her way of saying WOW!)

Going out so often has the double benefit of helping to boost my confidence AND helping me to come out of my shell more. As another friend of mine has commented to me just today – she is proud of me for continuing to push forward and come out of my shell in spite of all I have gone through recently.

Now for the less positive side.  I have lacked motivation and drive to pursue the God who I know is the only one I can really, truly able and capable one, and because of that, I have seen negative momentum … it is now officially a year since my wife and I separated, and we are now faced with the decision how we are going to end our marriage. I have struggled with personal sins as I tried to cope, yet had a mental block for a long time against God and his church.  I saw and felt a pulling back towards Him recently, but again, it has petered off.  I struggle, because I still feel rebellious towards the good-boy image that has been over my life – that is one of the stigmas I want to break off.   I have constantly been telling others that I am only human and not God come back in the flesh, as those who interact with me in real life have seemed to believe (at least, this is how their actions towards me have led me to think they believe) and, now, with the seeming inevitability of the demise of my marriage, and my moral struggles and all the rest of it, the church came up woefully inadequate in providing a safe place for me to heal and feel secure.  So, I have hidden myself away – and that has only stopped recently with the poetry excursions.

So.  There it is.  My momentum for this year has not always been positive.  But it is what it is.  And I am still believing God for somehow helping me to get out of the mire.  I have prayed for the desire to change.  I have said, “Help me to want this.”  And I guess that that in itself is momentum in the right direction.

When you read this, it will more than likely be June 8th. My birthday.  My wish for this day, and for the rest of my 33rd year on this earth, is that God would not leave me comfortless, and that he would continue to pursue me until I find him again.

Personal Devotions: Sonship


Welcome to the first Personal Devotions post for 2011!

I have started to use Youversion on my Blackberry to get back into reading the Word.  Last year I was interacting with the Scripture using the Daily Audio Bible website and community, but in November I couldn’t keep up the momentum… it petered out.  So although I almost made it, I didn’t finish reading the entire Bible last year.  It was becoming a lot to take in all at once – Brian reads from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms and the Proverbs every single day – as well as gives his own inspired commentary on what was read.  Then he would pray, and there was also be a section where people from the community could call in and ask for prayer, pray for others in the community or give a praise report.

It was  great. But it was a lot to take in as the year progressed and my battle with depression deepened.   So this year, on the advice of a few good friends, I have endeavoured to look for another strategic Bible plan that will ease me back into the reading of the Word.

I had downloaded the Youversion app on my Blackberry for a while, but hadn’t really used it much until I was challenged to read the Word more – specifically the Psalms.  I decided that I would find a short Bible plan using the smartphone.  And this is day two.  I’m reading a Psalm and a Proverb.  that’s’ it.

But today I heard God speak through his word in a way that I have not heard in a while.  I was arrested by Psalm 2:7

I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.

I heard him: YOU ARE MY SON.  I cried out to him, “I have not felt like your son in ages!”  But in spite of what I feel or don’t, his word still rings true to my heart today.

This Scripture naturally makes me think of Romans 8:15 as well

15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, Abba,[b] Father.”

And looking at Proverbs 2, I was also arrested by the beginning two words: “My son”  The entire chapter spoke to me, but I am picking out the part that I really feel impressed on my heart right now.

1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.

I have had so many depressed moods, so much negativity, so much pain – that focusing on the positive was a welcome change.  So here is my devotion for today.

Lord, I have not felt like your son for ages. I can say like the Prodigal, “I am not worthy to be called your son.” But you call me son anyway. Even if I fail.  Even if I fall. Even if I decide that I am still feeling rebellious… all of this time you still call me son, and still seek my heart turning back to you. I ask that you will acknowledge my baby steps, and help me to increase my momentum. Thank you Jesus. AMEN

One Word 2011


In an earlier post I mentioned my friend Alece who shared her concept of focusing on one word as the guiding post for the entire year, rather than coming up with a laundry list of New Year’s resolutions.  Last year her word was RISK, mine was RESURRECTION.  This year, she chose to LOOK more to find Christ in even the mundane things, I have had a personally rough year and have chosen to move forward, gaining MOMENTUM along the way.

As I was perusing my Facebook page just now, I realized that this concept has been extended to Facebook!  Alece has created a One Word 2011 page at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Word-2011/182416081777208?v=wall.

This concept seems to be taking off! It seems so much easier to focus on one word rather than a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’.  I can attest to the fact that ‘resurrection‘ has yet to manifest itself in my life in a full way – but you can’t resurrect something until it is dead.  In fact, I would say that there’s been a lot of death in my life recently – emotionally, relationally, even spiritually – but I would also say that that is the reason I chose my word for this year as MOMENTUM.  In order to get the resurrection I seek, I have to find a way forward; I may start with baby steps, but intend to pick up the pace as I continue.

So here’s my plug for this concept – Even as Alece exclaims “Holy Crap!” at the explosion around this concept – I’m doing my part to spread the word!

So come along! Focus on One Word tis year… and be revolutionized by God!

One Word – Momentum


(Author’s note: I will return to Bajan culture in my next post. This, however, is where I am right now…)

My friend Alece of  Grit and Glory has started a tradition at her blog called One Word … where you condense the tradional New Year’s Resolution into a single word and focus on that one word all year.  You can read about it in her latest post.

My word for last year was ‘Resurrection’.  In a lot of ways, there has been a lot of death in my life.  Death of relationships, of trust, of the passion that once drove me into the arms of the Saviour… a whole lot of death.

I have had some great friendships and people who have pulled me from the brink of the abyss, and some who have even walked through the valley of the shadow of death with me.  I have great respect for them, and, though the majority of them I have never met in person, I hope to rectify that pretty soon.

As I stated in an earlier post, “I guess I’m in the perfect place for God’s resurrection that he has been talking to me about since last December, because I have no fight left in me whatsoever.”  But that has changed somewhat.  I now am feeling the urge to MOVE – to move forward and not stay in my state of death.  Now I am convinced that the only one with the power to lay his life down of his own accord and pick it up again is Jesus himself, but I also acknowledge that resurrection is possible only through him.  I can’t do it.  I can’t make myself get up and be back to my old self – but I can move forward as much as I can and continue to press in whatever way I can.

Therefore, my One Word for 2011 is momentum.  This is defined by http://www.dictionary.com as:

force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical objector course of events:

The car gained momentum going downhill.

I have started to try to work on myself and will continue to come out of my cocoon of pain along with some wonderful friends, both here and online.  But as I have started, I will attempt to continue.  Here’s to FORWARD MOMENTUM!!!!

What areas in your life do you need to focus on for next year?  Go over to Grit And Glory and read the post – and come up with your own One Word focus for 2011!

A Quest for Passion


I have blogged before about my problems and issues over the past couple months.  You can read about some what has been going on in a couple places:  here and here and here and here; you can also get a better picture of my emotional state currently by reading up on the resurrection theme in my life right now.  I thank all of you who have prayed and supported me in one way or another.

During the time that I have gone through my emotional trauma, I suddenly realized that I am not the ‘me’ I was when I started:  I used to write poetry profusely when I was a teenager,  I love jazz but hardly spent any time pursuing the pleasure of listening to it,  I never lost my liking for computers but stopped being a gamer – I never played video games and when I started playing any again I was reduced to the silly games on Facebook (can anyone say “Farmville”?)  I hardly used to go out and though I enjoyed my life to an extent I realized that I was missing the things that I liked to do for ME.

That’s a far cry from the guy who used to be a master of Super Street Fighter – my favourite character to play was Chun Li … when my neighbours liked Ken and Ryu 🙂  (I was sorry I never thought to taunt them when they got beat by a girl 😆 )

Well all that aside – it’s time to find my passions again.  The dictionary.com definition of “passion”  includes this definition:  “a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.”

During this time, I have decided to slowly pick myself up and do things that I haven’t done in years – or have ventured out in for the first time.  Certain things are coming back slowly – my passion for things electronic and gaming is creeping back (seems that took the hardest hit!)  and I’m more able to let my hair down and enjoy myself.

And I’ve started writing poetry again! It’s slow to come back again – that passion almost died along with the love of gaming. (Maybe they were in the same vehicle when it crashed? Anyone? Anyone? Ok, bad joke…)

I wrote one that I posted on here recently – if you’re interested head on over and read Luscious… An Ode.  It was written off the cuff and has a twist at the end.   Hope you enjoy it.

Are there any passions that you have lost that you think you need to get back to?

Personal Devotions – Am I Dead? (Luke 10:30-35)


This is a twist on the “I’m not dead” posts I usually write when I have not written on my blog for a while.

Whenever people ask me how I’m feeling recently, all I can manage with is, “I’m surviving.”  That’s the best I can do at the moment.   I wondered how I could articulate how I was feeling, but I had a personal revelation: I am still working through my lack of passion – I’ve not done the things I have been passionate about for so long I’ve forgotten what they are….

I had a conversation with a friend on Facebook the other night, and he was trying to encourage me to fight the devil off and seek God and pray.  I didn’t want to be rude; I told him that I felt like the guy who got beat up and left for dead in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35)

30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.35The next day he took out two silver coins[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

I feel as though I’ve been emotionally beaten up and left for dead. I told my friend when he said that I’m “weak” and need to cry to God for strength, “I’m not weak. I’ve gone past weak.  When I was weak I felt like I lost almost everyone – and I’m not weak anymore. I’m destroyed.”  Now I know  that that’s harsh – but it seems like where I am.

In fact, I came to a realization just today – I guess I’m in the perfect place for God’s resurrection that he has been talking to me about since last December, because I have no fight left in me whatsoever.

In the above story, the man who was beaten up, in my opinion, would have had to have been unconscious.  He looked like a dead man.  That’s what made the other two skirt him.  If I remember correctly, the holy could not touch the dead – this would make them unclean.

I’ve felt that way myself – yes, there have been those who have been around, and I thank God for them – but the ones who separated cut deeper than the sharpest knife ever could.  My friend actually said that he felt partially responsible for my current emotional state, because he felt like he did leave me.  WOW.  I actually had to say that seemed like the first time someone actually admitted to abandoning me.

Now I agree, I did do my own separations. I will not stand and give an, “Oh poor me, everyone’s against me!” speech – at least, not without being fair and admitting my own part to play in it.  I have pulled away from those who I thought were helping me.  I did feel a sense of betrayal and loss, and I decided to close myself off.  Even when I tried to open myself up again I felt let down and pushed away, so I stayed away.

It took ages and ages to start getting away from my bitterness and resentment – and when I started to get over that … let’s just say I still have trust issues, as I expect others have of me.  So yeah, there are reactionary decisions on both sides.

But thank God Jesus hasn’t abandoned me. I may not feel it or want to acknowledge it right now, but he hasn’t.  I know that he’s the ultimate good Samaritan here, and I know that he’s sent others around me.  I’m doing what I can do – and waiting, like the unconscious man in the parable, to be picked up and taken care of.  I am waiting for the resurrection God promised me.

So, if you read this, and you want to help me – please don’t do it by telling me what I should be doing or what I am not doing because I’m just lying here.  My ribs are broken, it hurts to breathe and I’m sure I have other broken bones as well.  I can’t stand.  Come over and offer a hand, some oil and some wine (I like rich wine, not too dry, please.) *wink*  Seriously though – don’t judge me; just pray that the resurrection time comes quickly, and go according to what God says to you.

Personal Devotions – Trusting in the Power of the Resurrection


A couple of days ago I was stuck at this Scripture verse – 2 Corinthians 1:8-11  (MSG)

8-11We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part. (emphasis mine)

These verses have struck me ….  I really HAVE felt as though I won’t make it, that it is all over for me …and OH how I’ve felt like a death row inmate over my past indiscretions.  But the concept of the fall out of my actions forcing me to trust God totally – that spoke to me.  There’s nothing else without God.  And he is the God that raises from the dead! He is the God of the resurrection!

This Scripture gives me hope, because God rescued in the past, and he’ll do it again – “… as many times as we need rescuing!”  That is so awesome to me, because I’ve been in a cycle of trying to get out of needing rescue, and then needing it again, for a while.

And “[you] and your prayers are part of the rescue operation.”  I would probably be much further away if I didn’t have so many wonderful people praying and interceding and standing beside me….. I am humbled by the support of so many I have never seen face to face, as well as those I know personally.  “I can see your faces now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of [me]….”  Well, okay, not physically see your faces – yet – but I can see them in the Spirit… and I am grateful for each one of you….  And just like Paul said, I don’t want you in the dark about that, either.  Your prayers HAVE played a crucial part in my life – and I am eternally grateful.

Please continue to pray for me – and for a couple other people who need it:

  • Amy Woodell – suffered a stroke at 24  (more details here)
  • Mandy Thompson – recently finished a blog series on her struggle with infertility –  read her blog series “The Waiting”, and pray!
  • Lost Sheep – My friend who is going through a major set of oppression, and recovering from spiritual abuse.  Read her blog here.
  • Darla – Also going through some internal struggles …. read some more here.
  • Alece – Not only personally, but for her ministry at Thrive Africa – I wrote a post about her and her ministry.  Read it here – and go over and support the Ten Buck Tuesday initiative.
  • And anyone else the Lord lays on your heart today.