Category Archives: Where the Spirit leads

Welcome to a new Blog Home

I’m a writer. I write about what I think is important at the time. I write about stuff that just needs to get out of my heart and head. (This stuff’ll drive you crazy if you don’t let it out!) I write about topics that interest me. I respond to bloggers in other universes. Mostly, I write cuz I gotta write.

For the past few years I’ve been living over at Blogger. It’s been a really great time! But, I think that it’s time to move to new digs. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs, and a vast majority of them swear by WordPress. So, here I am. As time goes on I’ll add some fun stuff…widgets and images and stuff to make this a tad homey-er.

I’ve imported my posts from Blogger so that they may be readily available for you or me. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time. Feel free to scroll through them. They will give you a better idea of who I am.

Hopefully, on this leg of my journey I’ll get the chance to meet you.

Won’t you take a minute to introduce yourself. Join in the conversation and let’s write!

An Update of sorts

My deadline of May 31st has come and gone. I think that at this time I am going to press ahead with a fiction. I’ve been able to get quite a few notes written. Mostly from memories, but some that ask questions. Maybe, too many questions. How do I start? How can I articulate complex emotions and passions in a way that doesn’t devolve into some kind of voyeurism? How can I honor God and be a blessing to others? How can I avoid ‘preaching to the choir’? Because, I have no desire to tell my story to a very narrow and somewhat ‘prickish’ segment of the culture. The story is not necessarily about, nor for, the kind of faith communities that I have been a part of. It is a story about human frailty and Yahweh’s faithfulness.
I have wrestled with how to present real people in real-life situations, (some of them not all that pleasant). Much stress and a few tears have gone into this part of the process. Thanks to our Good Creator, I came across a blog post by writer Wendy Murray this morning. She is a very sensitive person who has gone through a lot of trials. She loves Jesus and desires to honor him and his people. She struggled with some of the things that I am now striving to deal with. In her post she wrote:

As writers who also happen to be people of faith we have to be willing to look straight into the world as it is and at the people who inhabit it for who they are. They are real. They are weak. Sometimes they have sex outside of marriage. Do you know anyone who says the f-word? Have you said it in the past week?

For me, this was Ruach Elohim, God’s Breath, filling my lungs; my mind; my heart. Write what is real. Whether others accept or reject the story is not my worry. My task is to tell the story.
Thank you, Wendy!

How the Holy Spirit can show up anywhere.

This past Sunday I went with my wife to the church that my son and his family have been attending. Before going, I went to the church’s website to get some information about them. I was not impressed. And, after attending the service, I was less impressed. It was the same church that I had left. Only it had a better grasp of technology. It was more polished. But, a rock that is polished is still a rock.
They are a typical evangelical church. They truly love Jesus. And, they truly think that they are following Jesus. However, they, like so many other fundagelical churches think that their way is the ONLY way to follow Jesus. I disagree alot.
Their service was very much a patriotic thing since it was Memorial Day. Now, I do not want to take away from that. I am all for the veterans who have given so much for this country. But, I absolutely think that the Church MUST stay somewhat aloof to political leanings and patriotism. Ours is a kingdom that is NOT of this world.
Their guest speaker was Vietnam veteran who had lost both legs to a landmine. Of course, the requisite sympathy was evoked. But, this guy spoke to me. He talked at length about following a call. To me, that is like pouring gasoline on a fire. I do not think that I am following the calling that God has given. I feel like I am prostituting myself in order to pay my bills and keep health insurance for my wife and me. His words haunt me. I am deeply troubled. Could this be Ruach Elohim, the Breath of God, speaking? Could this be the Spirit that Yeshua told Peter and the others would come and teach them all things saying that I had no faith? Maybe. I am not sure. All I know is that in the most unexpected place, God may have spoken.

Moods and the Necessity of Keeping On

Again, it’s been awhile since I posted anything here. Honestly, I just haven’t felt like sitting in front of my computer and creating something that I think someone…anyone…would want to read. Now, for someone who enjoys writing, that can present quite a dilemma. What happens when a writer just doesn’t feel like writing? I don’t know. What happens when a doctor doesn’t feeling like ‘doctoring’? Ok, that’s not the same. But, you get what I’m alluding to. I have plenty to write about. That’s not the problem. And, hopefully over the next week I’ll get some of that out here. No. My issue has been that I just haven’t been motivated to do this.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that as I have been praying over the last year and a half about vocation, I keep being impressed by one word. ‘Write.’ My response to this voice has been, ‘Ok! Great! Uh, write what?’ That’s a pretty big question. If God wants someone to write, you’d think that there would be some kind of follow-up. “Ok, now here is the inspiration. I have a project in mind and I want you to get ‘er done! Write this…..”
Well, that’s not how it works, apparently. Recently, however, I have been motivated to move forward. With what, I’m not sure. But, since it’s harder to hit a moving target, I thought I’d better get to locomoting. I’ve set a deadline of May 31st to have a project set. Not sure if it will be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or a ‘project to be named later.’
That’s where I am this morning. Fortunately, I am on vacation for the next 10 days. Who knows what the next week will bring? Already, this A.M. I had a memory return to the front of my brain. A memory of adolescent love. Hmmm…. For those who know me well, this could be a dangerous endeavor. But, one must follow where the muse leads, I guess.
I’ll try to update this blog from time-to-time about this leg of my journey. But, getting the brain and hands to communicate can sometimes prove problematic. We’ll see. After all, it is a journey…not a project.

Good news from Cleveland this week. Maybe, we can make it even better.

Well, it’s been nearly a week since the news broke that Michelle Knight, Gina Dejesus and Amanda Berry had been found and released from hell. I was in the kitchen when my wife started to carry on about something. I walked to the living room and she said that Amanda had been found. We watched intently as the story of horrific imprisonment and abuse began to unfold before our eyes. Relief! The families’ hopes had been realized. Gina’s mother had been the ‘point’ of years of hope for her daughter. “Never give up hope!” became a rallying cry for her and the countless others who supported her and Amanda’s families.

But, for me, something wasn’t quite right about how the story was being told by the local media. Everyone on air kept talking about the ‘good’ ending to this decade long ordeal. Yes, every year that passed dimmed the hope that the girls would be found at all, let alone alive. And, here they were! Yet, there were years unaccounted for. There was the loss of innocence. There was the loss of family and friends. There was the loss of self as each of these young women became the ‘property’ of one deranged individual Man. And, this is the story that is missing from all of the good news. One human male thought that he had the right to abduct, imprison and abuse these women. One man, Ariel Castro, took his male privilege to the extreme and subjected three young women to inexplicable horror. But, is he only one man? What is it that causes a person like Castro to consider for even a moment that he has such ‘rights’ over other human beings? Why did he think that it was ‘OK’ to take girls for his own twisted pleasure?
A person whom I have come to deeply respect for her views on issues of sexuality and abuse of privilege, Jennifer D. Crumpton, blogged the day before these young women were found and released. I had read her post and viewed a linked video that night. She wrote about the ‘rape culture’ that is so pervasive in our society. I’m not going to tell her story, but she talked about how male privilege covers up male abuse of others. We live by a double standard in which an abuse victim is re-victimized by media and peers while the male abusers are referred to as ‘boys being boys.’ How ridiculous and perverted! We allow male privilege to rape, imprison and kill, then we all act horrified when an Ariel Castro appears. Ariel Castro, who was embodying the very ‘rape culture’ that we allow to flourish in our midst.
Yes, it is great news that Michelle, Gina and Amanda have been freed. It gives hope to the thousands of other families who have missing children. I hope and pray for all of these that they, too, can be reunited with their loved ones. But, the awful truth is that we continue to allow our culture to embrace gender violence in the name of male privilege.
Please read Jennifer’s post:
And, take 20 minutes to  view the linked video of Jackson Katz, PhD.
Perhaps, if we can use the God given minds that we have, and open our hearts to God’s Spirit and to one another, there may be a truly ‘good’ ending to this story.

Our Common Human Frailty

This is not the post that I have been planning to write. That one is going to take another couple of days to prepare. But, I’m really having a difficult and emotional moment right now. You see, my dad is getting up in years. He’s 84. That’s ok, I guess. But the real issue is the dementia that has robbed him of his life. I just came from the rehab center that is his current home. He had surgery to remove his gall bladder a couple weeks ago and has not been able to return to his ‘normal life.’ I understand that dementia redefines ‘normal.’ But, I was totally unprepared for what I saw today. I will not go into details, but suffice to say that the light…no, the fire in dad’s eyes has been extinguished. I remember playing tennis with him way back in the day. He never had mercy on me, even though I was some 26 years his junior. He wanted me to learn! Today I looked into his eyes and saw…well…nothing. They are pale blue and lifeless. He even told the nurse present that his wife was gone and I am gone. He knows. The time for exiting this life is ever so near. I am preparing a eulogy. I think that God the Holy Spirit know that Bill’s life is nearing its culmination. I pray that I can do justice to the life of this man. Formed in his mother’s womb, grown up in the sight of Yahweh, and passing in the grace of God through Yeshua Ha Mashiach.

Selling God

A couple days ago I drove past a local church. It is a fairly large Assembly of God church. On the sign outside were the words ‘Healing Service.’ Now, I’ve seen hundreds of these signs over the years. Sometimes the type of service changes. It may read ‘Deliverance Service,’ or ‘Revival Service,’ or any number of other kinds of service. I have attended these services in the past. Shoot, I’ve been part of the administration of them as a worship leader! So, why was I offended when I saw this particular sign? After all, aren’t we supposed to encourage everyone to come to the ‘house of the Lord’?
I think that part of my reticence has to do with the apparent arrogance of the sign. It implies that only at such and such a time, God will have office hours. If you come to our church during this time you may experience some kind of super-natural intervention that may alleviate your present, less than satisfactory condition.
This opens an incredibly large can of night crawlers. (If your intent is to go fishing, maybe this is ok.)
First, there is the overt arrogance of a small group of people, (re. white males), who have an inside track to understanding the movement of the Holy Spirit. They think that if they can schedule a spiritual event, then Ruach Elohim, the Breath of God, is compelled to show up and do their bidding. As I read the scriptures I see the Spirit hovering over the deep, coming and going like the wind, doing anything other than what is predictable. So, to think that this Spirit can be harnessed into our understanding of time and space is wrong-headed at the very least.
Another thing that stands out is the advertisement of the event. To place a sign outside of a building implies that this particular place is the only place where God will be on whatever particular evening. I don’t want to be crass, but the only words that come to mind right now are “bullshit.” (Sorry to offend folks who are sensitive to language.) God is God. God does what God wants to do when God wants to do it. We CANNOT be so arrogant as to say that God will be available at whatever time and place we deem proper and in line with our human agenda.
But, the most offensive thing in all of this is that God is commodified. God is marketed on signs outside of churches like a pot-blessing dinner. (How I hate that Christianese term!) God is revealed to people in a way that shows humans as the ultimate arbiters and administrators of Spiritual truth. I don’t see God in a box as I read the Scriptures. Perhaps, we should be taking a more human like approach realize that God is God and we are not. No one can control what and where the Spirit moves. Absolutely not on a sign outside of a building.