My Sister

Ashley Nicole Martin!

"Who is she," you ask? She entered into my life as Oingo Boingo and I was Ka-Ching. Island Lake Camp was the stage and these were our stage names. I entered her sphere of reality as a actor portraying an actor. At Island Lake there was a reversal of pretense, whereas in the outside world one may shield the fact of their faith behind a world-wise shield of cynicism, in this world the air is dense with judgement and "holy rebuke". I was violently departing from this falsehood internally while flying with kamikaze speed into a stronghold of Christian pride. Enter Ashley four weeks before camp ended. We were friends immediately as is we had known each other for many lifetimes with the simple details of our lives just formalities. She was an oasis of acceptance in this desert of seemingly judging eyes. Thus our sojourn began.

Ashley and I were roommates for a year in a place called Maple Leaf, in Seattle. Our apartment was previously a brothel, with a drive-through. It was a casa style building with stucco and a rotting overhang for a porch. We affectionately dubbed it the "Mexican Whorehouse." Ashley suffered me and suffered with me through depression, addiction, two doomed relationships, and all the other benefits of walking away from Jesus. Through all of this she was a beautiful friend and persevered in spite of my abuse and generally disagreeable state. If love is tempered by trial then, as it stands today, ours is stronger than most.

What makes Ashley a treasure of God would be cheapened if I tried to portray it fully now with my feeble words, but even as dipping a ladle in a raging river will not bring forth the power of that river, it will still give a taste of what makes that river rage.

Ashley is the picture of female intuition. She so often has been the perspective that cures my blind spot. Her gold-green eyes that curl at the edge like Cleopatra, see much more than a face when she looks out. Her vigilant heart sometimes drives her to anxious fear, but somehow she shines even brighter in the midst of desperate need. She channels God's beauty through submission, the fight in her igniting through suffering toward God.

If the laughter that has erupted between us could be bottled it would drown the sorrow of the world. Our handshakes, code words and knowing looks comprise a language all their own. We two people that are violently different endured each other, we bled into one another's lives painfully yet with joyful irreversibility.

She now lives in Portland, but it might as well be Pluto. In moments when the world seems cold and bitter, memories of our friendship warm my soul. God's love runs in her veins and she transfuses those lacking with that sustaining flow.


Faith, Hope and Love

New Year's Eve.

To a girl.

I want to bring in the new year with your voice in my ear. I want to share what I have, but will it be anything at all? My heart is timid. I long for your great treasure and wonder if my hands are worthy to behold it. I will approach with all the fear and trembling of a priest on the Day of Atonement.

I will inevitably be unworthy, but I will accept grace if it is offered. To enter your presence will be worth the risk.

I cannot wait.

"This is the holiest and the most unholy thing I have ever done"
From "Perelandra" by C.S. Lewis


Plank Vision

Life begets Life.

Death begets Death.

Love begets Love.

Hate begets Hate.

The world is a mirror and what we see in it reflects our hearts.

Hate begets Hate.

Love begets Love.

Death begets Death.

Life begets Life.

Barbarians in the Nursery

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame
You say

One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it's

Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot.
You gave me nothing,
Now it's all I got
We're one
But we're not the same
Well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other


Angry Bastard

What do I know?

My heart is ragged. I don't have a clue what is going on in my life. I fear that I can't trust my own thoughts. My heart has proven to twist every brain wave to it's dark intentions. If I had a dollar for every time I thought that I had the answer to this darkness figured out I could probably afford counseling again.

My heart wants to wallow in self-pity. I'm inconsolable. I cannot let go of this martyr spirit. I cry out to God with this pitiful, pain-driven moan. I say, "Save me, give me life, make all these promises worthwhile." I honestly don't believe I can keep on going as a Christian if it just keeps getting harder and more disappointing. If God is teaching me a lesson with this darkness, then I wonder when it will be done. When am I gonna get whatever He's trying to say to me? And if this isn't some lesson, well, I dare not even consider that option.

Maybe I will. So say my salvation is no more. Say I blew it. Say I'm Judas, a tool, an example of what not to do. Maybe I'm the seed that fell in shallow ground. I shot up and withered. That's what it looks like to me. I was so in love, and now I feel like I'm outside suddenly not knowing what happened. I fear I wanted too much. Maybe everyone was right, and I just got my hopes up way to high. I can just hear there voices,"You thought you could live without medication? You thought you would be a tool of God? You thought you would ever amount to something?"

I really believed those things. The joy of believing those promises was so beautiful. I was like a child completely content to just know that he was loved. I fear that that love is gone. I'm so certain that everyone has got a Bible verse for me. God loves you this, no one can snatch you from his hand that. What the hell good are those words to me if I can't be sure that I am the one being talked to? I don't know that God loves me. How can I be sure that I'm not headed for Hell? How can anybody?

I came to rely on the feeling that God was giving me. That certainty of my salvation. My heart was set. But now somehow I departed from that certainty and now my heart is guided my mind to see all the evil possibilities. How is it possible to know that God really loves you if you can't feel it? I can't believe the words if I don't feel loved. I feel hated. I feel like I want to die. I can't help myself to even accept love. I am defeated by myself.

I want to scream at all the people who are out there saying, "Look at you sad sack. You've got a roof over your head, lots of opportunities, friends that care about you. Why don't you stop bitching about life, and step with the rest of us. Just suck it up and stop being a baby."

If you have thought those thoughts toward me, then fuck you. I'm trying to be honest with life. I realize my own fault, and if you think that I'm crying over spilled milk, then you have never known love, and have have never lived.

I'm a broken man. I'm selfish. My heart is black. I admit to the world that I have got know answers about life. This is my petition to God: I cannot help myself and I don't think that I even want to. Powerless. Okay? Are you happy now? I take responsibility for my sin. It's all mine, but as I try to find the desire to change I find that I am bankrupt. I have no good thing to offer. I am completely at your mercy. I can't take credit for anything. I've tried. I've given all that I could. It was a pitiful offering if you could even call it that. So it's this again. I feel like I've said this to you a million times. How many more? How many time will I have to learn the same lesson? Why do I have to keep on spinning in circles? I need you. I know I do. I just don't know what to do about it. Do something. Please. I've got nothing to give.

Please do something, God.




The longing is unbearable.

What creativity was in me has left. The life in my body is mechanical. What remains is a machine that thinks with only one goal in mind and mystery has become my enemy.

Although mystery is the joy of life, I haven't a got a dime to my name to toss into that well. I know that I'm cornered. I'm crushed down into nothing. Good intentions and false hope have betrayed me. This battle called life is confounding. The true complexity of it is as impossible to behold as it would be to see 360 degrees at one time.

I just don't know where to go or what to do. Where should I invest my heart? What can offer peace, what can offer truth? I want to find it in the Bible, but I fear that I foul it up. I can't understand because my mind is bereft of that initial faith. It seems that it dwindled down and withered. I hate to think this because I then have only to believe that I'm doomed, hated by God. How can I tell? It's clear that my self-diagnosis has failed me countless times. I've thought I had something pinned down so many time in the last few months, tidbits of wisdom that would carry me. I thought I had something I could build on, but now my proverbial house is blowing away in the storm. I hate that I am so fluid in all the wrong ways. I writhe around like a snake when someone tries to tell me I'm wrong, but when I trudge through my thoughts I refuse to put stock in anything. I guard so desperately the exterior but the interior is empty. What tragedy.

This seems so disgusting to me. My blog sounds like whiny, self-indulgent blather. I hate myself again. The clarity of truth in my heart has burdened me with it's memory now that it has left me. It is worse to lose your sight rather than be born blind. I'm infected with a foulness that I thought I would never have to know with Jesus.

Maybe this is exactly how it is supposed to be. Maybe this is exactly what every person who has ever loved God goes through. Maybe I'm just going through the typical experience and I think that I'm special so no one else could possibly understand. I just don't know. How can I?

At this point you probably are getting the theme. My own mind is treacherous. My thoughts are untrustworthy. The only thing that I know is that I want good. I know the difference between good and evil. I know the difference between life and death. The dilemma is that there is no way of telling what thoughts that would guide me are motivated by. My pride, self-destructive ego or the Life that is within me.

Ah. It seems clear now. Faith is suicidal but only if you value the approval of man. To believe in something that you can't control or understand is to betray the fallen human instinct and also betray anyone who still abides by it. I must deny my allegiance to the Fall. I see that my mistake has been believing that blessings of a life of faith would cancel out the cost of that faith.

I will believe. My only option at this point is to devote my mind to the Bible. It is clear that my mind of it's own persuasion will lead me toward a death that I've been pardoned of. To filter faith through my intellect and trying fit faith into my intellect is trying to fit the ocean in a swimming pool. It is also like using mud to wash your hands. I cannot get clean using the dirty faculties I have. It is clear: I must abandon my reliance on my thought and my experiential understanding and submit my mind to the thoughts of God. I am hopelessly lost guided by intelligence. It's time to pray.


So. You pointed the way. I will submit my mind to your word, the Bible. I will let it transform my mind with out reservation. I will accept your truth without trying to control it or twist it to my will. I offer my mind to you. I pray that you give me the strength to stop trying to think my way out of obedience. I pray that you guide me as I relinquish navigational control of my life to you. I pray that you free me of the bondage I have submitted to under my intelligence. I want my thought to glorify you and reflect your truth. I pray that I can use my mind as a tool and sacrifice to you, rather than a hindrance. I pray to stop trying to work my way to you by understanding. I pray that I have the humility to love you in all your mystery and I pray to be consumed utterly by the unfathomed depths of your nature. I pray to accept you as a child, and lay aside my prideful attempts to master you with postulation. Allow me to enter your court as a servant, an unworthy sinner.

Jesus, sweet Jesus. I want you. I want to fall deeply in love with you. Drive the sin from my heart so you can reside in me more fully. Cleanse your temple, make me a pleasing sacrifice to you. Please let me accept your grace. I just want to be completely absorbed in You. I can't live another day with this sin. The things I do are so pitiful. They could never fill the need I have, yet I submit to them daily. It's tragic. I need your love. I need your grace. Create something from nothing within me. Grace does dwell in me. I pray that it flourishes without ceasing. I pray that I be consumed by it for the rest of my life. I want you. Hear me! I want you!

I'm broken yet again, and I need you. Please be here. I accept, I believe, I submit. I don't know anything outside of your word. Your truth is the place that I will build. I will make my home in your words. That's it. I surrender again. Here we go.




I have some questions for you. First off, what is it that I can know? What can say with confidence? Anything? Anything at all?

My mind is scattered like a coast town after a hurricane. All the innards of life strewn about in disarray. The secrets that lie hidden in the houses now are flung across park benches and street signs. With it all laid out in front of me in violent chaos, I'm simply overwhelmed by the incomprehensible weight of it all. Questions that torment me have no beginning nor an end.

Where do I even start?


The work is believing. The battle is knowing what you cannot know. Am I wrong? God?

If this is true, then it seems the protective veil between faith and delusion has been torn down. There is no defense for true faith. To truly believe in you, it seems I will have to accept that I will look and act absolutely insane. The Christianity I've known has been a interloped with the standard of mistrust that lies embedded with the flesh. It has been a mix breed of self reliance and true faith. God I want to cast myself onto you. I want to abandon my flesh. So much of human knowledge, my own knowledge, is tainted by the desires of my charred heart. I want to transcend past the need to have evidence and dive into you without reservation.

I see that I have asked for this so many times, and covered my eyes when the opportunity to seize it arrived. The cost is so great, Lord. I haven't got the courage, but I know what is to be gained, and I know that it is all that is to be desired. Give me the strength to purchase the pearl of great value. I have wrote the check so many times, only to tear it up. I want to cash it. I want to trade it all for what I know is waiting in You.

God. Father. Daddy. I'm a baby. Compared to you I don't scarcely exist. I don't know what to ask for. Trying to tell you what I need would be a farce. I'm at your feet begging for whatever your will is. I'm a beggar, saturated by my sins, entirely unworthy and despicable. Jesus, for you to consider my plea is grace immeasurable. To know that I have even been heard by You is more than I could ask, yet in my insolent ignorance I will dare even more. Save me. Transform my mind to reflect the truth of your reality. Wash away the infectious sin that crusts over my eyes, so I can gaze upon the Truth.

You won me.

You own me.

My now is yours.