Murph Notes

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Sunday, February 25, 2007


For a long time now tears have evaded me. It may have been the anti-depressants or the Adderall or the combo but I could not get the waterworks to work. This has been very odd for me because for most of my life I have been a very atypical male in this area; I have tended to cry at movies, special occasions and even some commercials.

With my recent career change you would think I would have had many a cry-fests for myself, my family, my Church and those I love but not so. The salty water did not flow until...

Last Sunday I sat in the back of SFUMC and watch my (I gotta get used to not calling them that I guess) teens lead worship in the midst of their Discovery weekend. And what happened? I balled! I cried and cried and cried. Some of the waterworks were for joy and some for sheer pride and others for grief and anger and all kinds of emotions. I love those kids so darn much and I miss them so darn much. Even now as I type the tears well up in the corners of my eyes.

Reflection - I don't know if that is what I need right now. I want to yell and scream, I want to turn back time, I want to change minds and hearts, I want to be more courageous and yet more cautious.

What I don't want is to accept it, to move on, to let go, to move forward, to release it all. That is what I find those closest to me who know me and love me the most encouraging me to do. But I know they are looking at me and what is best for me and trying to exercise wisdom in advising me. They are trying to balance that with what is right also and I know it is hard not to be prejudice towards taking care of Michael.

It is hard to know when to fight and when to surrender and what to fight for and what not to fight for. Motives can be tricky and throw multiple shadows that overlap.

Today I snuggled up with T. and my girls on the coach and watched a "Wrinkle In Time" which I had recently finished reading to my daughters. As I watched I cried. I cried when I watched and heard the themes of love, hope and this wonderful word "glory" weaved into this fantastical

I was made for Glory. I was created in love for Purpose. Fear -Bah! I really am unique and special. I am a New Creation with Gifts. I am weird and different and Glorious!

These are not the thoughts that have filled my head lately. I have retreated into "surviving" and being afraid and living by sight not by faith. The seen has eclipsed the unseen in my world.

I am like the dude in the Bible who cries out "I believe, help me in my unbelief". I want to belief. I want to reach for the dreams I believe God has put in my heart but then I see the checkbook or some other such reminder of the day-to-day and the "reality", which is not real but feels more real than that which is, grips me by both wrists with such force that I can barely think.

I wish I could tell you that I am going to choose to believe and reject my thoughts of the recent but I just don't know...

I don't know what I should do. I have prayed but 1. He isn't answering yet or 2. I am not listening as I should or 3. OH... I just don't know...

This all seems so self focused doesn't it? Interesting.... I must think on that some more.

I need to put a post in here on my Bible Study notes from yesterday. It was cool and interesting stuff.

So today 2 of my favorite girls from SFUMY called me and I need to call them back. It is hard but I need to. Golly I miss them. Should I let them go or not? Tough stuff eh?

I have the same problems with my family and close friends. I don't call them because to do opens up the door of feelings and it is so hard to feel sometimes and still stay together enough to do what I am supposed to do to provide for my family.

Peace of Christ that passes all understanding fill my eyes with light and tears.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Belly Buttons

So my grandma had here gull bladder taken out this morning and guess what? They didn't even cut her open. Know how they got it out of her? They took it out of her navel?!?!?! Can you believe that? And to top it off they won't let her keep her gull bladder but they are going to let her keep the stones that were in it. So all these years we have been wondering why God gave us belly buttons and only know do we find out He intended doctors to suck our gull bladders out of them. I love life!

Out Of The Mouth of Babes

I was IM'ing with with one of of the teens from SFUMY last night and she got all up in my grill and asked me about my spiritual life-all accountability like. I was shocked, a little bit put off, but mostly proud as heck of her.

So this morning I was having my quiet time on the porch and read a few quotes that are really pushing my meditation engine.

"The world does not understand theology or dogma, but it understands love." - D.L. Moody

""As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples." - Jesus Christ

So I want my day to day living to be defined by love but when I reflect on recent day to days I see nothing out of the ordinary to that effect. I need to be more than nice, polite and good. I need to be different - LOVE. How does Jesus love us? He lays down his life for us. So I need to, let me get this right, lay down my life for my fellow Christian sister and brothers? What does that mean? What does that look like for me and in my day to day?

Look at the word Jesus uses -MUST; it's not a suggestion but a "gotta" - a command. Do we as Christians take the King seriously or, because He is different than us and not of this world, do we tend to live without fearing/honoring Him and His command(s)? Whew! This is tough stuff for my meditation gears.

So thanks to R. for pushing me and Jesus for reminding me how much He loves me. I just can't get my head around such love, yet alone what it means to love other Christians in the same way.

R. asked me if Youth Ministers even needed to have quiet times because they are always praying with people and preparing for Bible Studies and such. I told her Youth Ministers need times with Jesus even more because of such things. If we don't have them then it all becomes a "job" and just the "work" we do and we loose sight of the fact that it is always about a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Say What?!

Someone I consider a friend wrote this to me in an email this morning:

"Sometimes doors close for a reason.
We have to live through the questions of life."

I am chewing on it.

I think I need to start taking up the discipline of daily blogging again. There is so much going on in my life, head and heart. It is seems too easy to just not pay attention to it all. I just want to keep my head down and plow without reflecting.

Recently I was separated from my position at Saint Francis United Methodist Church. (aside: Isn't that word "separated" just as sterile as one can get?) and a good friend told me I MUST take time to reflect; I MUST NOT jump right into trying to find another job and the "what next" of life or it would cripple me.

I have tried to do both so far I guess with not enough attention to the reflection part. One of the students from SFUMY recently taught (or re-taught) me an important lesson. Evan said he doesn't connect with God through reading or studying the Bible. He does through doing though - through serving (I explained to Evan that he still needed to be in the Word and to develop the disciplines of reading and studying). We don't all connect with God in the same ways. Even more to the point, we often connect with Him in different ways in different times in our lives. I am reminded of Evans lesson, which I need to thank him for, today because I was thinking this morning that I "reflect", sort through feelings and ideas, and gather my "take-aways" mostly through conversation with others. Most of the time I am able to get there through writing also.

In that, and this is not a pity trip, I do not have any friends locally to really talk deeply with, I think I shall commit to the blog. I will have to find a way to make sure only some people can read them though so I do not hurt or further confuse my students and others at SFUMC who do not need anymore confusion or hurt.

"We have to live through the questions of life." I am hearing that 2 ways. One, we just have to endure through them and secondly, we GET to REALLY live through the questions of life. It is in the time of crisis when the fog is the thickest that we are the most alive. How can I embrace such an idea when it is coming full force against the thoughts and feelings I have?

Take every thought captive... So much discipline is required when I feel the weakest. When I am weak... The Word of God won't seem to leave me alone in such wandering wonderings. I almost resent it at times. "Just leave me alone! I know! I know, but that is not how I want to feel right now; not what I want to follow!"

Say What?! Be still and know...