The Abusive Relationship

You used to be there in my life
a shadow of dread
a threat of consequence
for missed deadlines
or poor performance appraisals
or because I didn’t look or
talk like the rest of them.
the robots
the others abused
the broken and beaten down…

You used to be there in my life
uniform pressed and starched
puffed up with self-importance
standing on the necks of
your inferiors.

You used to be there in my life
like a dark lumpy bruise
Just under the surface
isn’t it funny how much like
a wound you were to me?

You used to be…
past tense.
in my rearview
like an abusive relationship
unhealthy, and jealous
I kept coming back to you…
but not anymore
out of my cage
sprung back to life
bruises all healing
and you are no longer
in my present and future.

The Farewell of Tad -“see ya later” (A poem)

You asked me to officiate your son’s wedding.
You, my lifelong friend
a medical survivor
still fighting each day
as antirejection drugs slowly
killed you.

On the drive over
I reminisced about my childhood
how you always seemed
to be at the center of it
How I looked up to you
like the big brother
I never had.

You spoke so freely
of love and affection.
Me – so guarded and jaded
surprised by your emotional

You rode with me to the
wedding site
shotgun and honest.
You told me not asked me
that I would perform your funeral.
I responded in outrage
and told you to linger on
and fight the good fight.
Yet I could it in your eyes…

After the wedding
with my family in tow
We said our goodbyes
and you hugged me and
told me how much you loved me
My heart was warmed
my brother
my first best friend…

and that was the last time
I saw you in the land of the living
and true to my word
I did your funeral
making my way in the cold
winter to shiver at your graveside
Your quick words of kindness
still swirling in my mind
I whispered the amens
a benediction for the end
of death
Yet, as I stepped back
into my car
I could imagine you there
a year removed when flesh and blood
you sat there with me.

This is not the end
Just a “see you later”
my big brother,
I love you.

Beyond the Finite Universe.

You once asked me if I felt accomplished
to think on it now
greying beard
crows feet growing each passing year
I am not wiser
because of time
I have not become more
or found the secrets to this life
I am still its student
and I have much to learn.
The drive for accomplishment
is a loud clanging band of one
beckoning others to look on
and clap…
full of hubris
sprinkled with an
unhealthy dose of
I would like to think
that I have left a mark
on the side of the universe
as it ever expands.
But I am reminded
of its infinite glory
and this insignificance
of breathing
how small am I?
Still, I long to measure
this existence
with thoughts
to pass onto my descendants
the things to invest in
and the things to run from.
Life, fragile and limited
can break the finite confines
and carry on beyond the course
of one’s skin and bones.
Thus, it would be an honor
to tarry here after I have
long past my due date…
through the fluttering of words
on a page
and on into the hearts of my
children’s children
a ripple in a pond
moving hearts,
ebbing courses
and nudging lives for good
now, this
is interesting…

Urban Bedouins (Prose of truth)

There is a peculiar smell associated with packing tape. Boxes with “this side up” stamped on the sides, brown and crisp all stacked up in neat lines. This is what we are good at. The professional packer. The seasoned traveler that gets “the itch” after two Christmases have passed.

We are chameleons at adapting to new environments. It is a learned trait that pushes nostalgic feelings aside and presses the “this is an adventure” mantra out into the universe praying that one day those words will become reality…but they never will. Yet, with the U-Haul packed and the Tetris champion still undefeated in solid blocks of boxes without gaps or air pockets – the nomadic tribe that is our family piles into borrowed vehicles and closes yet another chapter in yet another state. The unspoken rule of not looking back nor clinging to a past that will only haunt and hurt. The city disappears from our rearview mirror and once more we are between homes. We are between spaces of rest and leisure, where familiar paths lead down into what can be imagined within the unfamiliar landscapes of the next chapter.

We are urban bedouins designed to travel and explore. We are adaptive and flexible and we purposefully seek out what the next hill and valley will reveal to our ever-hungry souls. Tomorrow does not bring dread as one more sleep lingers within this in-between time from one chapter to the next. When we are here in this space we are invisible, unidentifiable, and travelers without compass or map. And there is comfort here. No roots left in our past, we are merely succulents leaning towards the sunlight of tomorrow’s day.

Someday perhaps we will stop our exploration and the frequency of our journeys. We will sleep in beds we own and are not borrowed. We will travel familiar roads without the lingering nomadic call to move on. Perhaps at that moment those roots, shallow and malnourished will find fertile soil and we will dig down, down, down and we will finally be home.

Until then, the urban bedouins journey on…

Revealing All of Our Embarrassing Sins…

“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” -John 4:29

Imagine experiencing this.
Someone knows you, I mean knows you thoroughly. All of your mistakes, your failures, and your deepest, darkest secrets. Can you imagine the shame and embarrassment? I can. Some of us would be absolutely mortified of this prospect. Yet, standing before Jesus the Messiah, this Samaritan woman is filled with complete joy and amazement.

Perhaps she has for too long with her shame. Maybe, as the town’s pariah, she finally found someone who understood her, even showed her respect, and still did not shrink away in disgust and outrage.

Jesus asked her for a drink of water, yet He was there for so much more. He was there to offer her more than just surviving a disgraced life, and she was all too familiar with living with the scorn of her neighbors. Jesus offered her not only a listening ear but in His very presence a modicum of redemption and love. Isn’t that what agape love does for all of us? This Godly love, coming to our level, picking us back up, knowing all that we have done…and despite this knowledge of our shame – still loving us? God, in human flesh, making a way for us to be reunited – Imago Dei restored within us. This atonement: too good to be true, and yet it is. Living water flowing through us, restoring us, renewing us, redeeming us.

“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did…”

Before a wound can be healed, the healer must first see it. Then, all of the impurities of that wound and the potential infection must be removed and the injury – sanitized…

Jesus saw this woman – wound and all. Then living water was given to her.

Still today, Jesus longs to come to each of us, no matter if we consider ourselves sinners or saints, and He wants to see our wounds, our deepest darkest secrets, our shame, and the things that keep us from truly living. He wants to see it all, and he wants to remove the infection from us. Jesus doesn’t want to shame us. He doesn’t want to embarrass us. He comes to our level and offers us this living, restorative water for our body, heart, soul, mind, and spirit.

Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did…”

“…I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10.

If you are still seeking something in life and you struggle with internal shame and sadness in some of the decisions that you have made in life – Jesus desires to give you living water that will cleanse you and help you to live again. This is a new year with new hope, dreams and aspirations. Perhaps, for some of us, it is time to allow Jesus to cleanse us and restore us – and He will.

Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did…”
It’s not as scary and embarrassing as you once thought it was.
Come and see Him today!

Something more to ponder today! God Bless you!
Check out my new podcast on Spotify I will cover more topics like this over on that site so subscribe and get notifications when the next episode drops:

Retrospect & life.

you once asked me,
with a hint of frustration,
what you were good at.
If I could only answer that
in but a simple sentence
I cannot.
The book I would
have to write
to explain all the things
that you do
would be immense.
It is not
about being good
but in your case
you exceed
those boundaries
and for that reason
I cannot
fully put into words
the depths
of your mastery
nor the breadth of
your intuition.
But perhaps it has never been
about the goodness
of something
but rather the
journey we take
along the way.

After Midnight

When you drifted off to sleep the other night
I was wide awake.
I heard the deep melody of your breathing
and I was jealous.
My heart was still racing
still clanging around
trying to catch my thoughts
as they drove flatout
foot on the gas pedal.
so many what-ifs
and careening plotlines filled
the spaces between my ears
I can still hear your quiet snores
wishing I could join you there.
but it was not to be
too many thoughts
too many heartsick fears
all bottled up
longing to be let out of
their cages
so for ages
and ages
I just lay here
listening to you sleep.

Calling Out To God – A devotional.

“…The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love Him…” Psalm 145:18-20 (NIV)

A few years ago I had the tremendous opportunity to serve on an emergency disaster team that went to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island and killed nearly 3000 residents. When I was asked to go, my original response was that I did not speak Spanish. I was reassured that I would be okay and that I was needed. So I went. My flight left in the early hours of the morning and by late afternoon following a couple of layovers, I arrived in Puerto Rico feeling completely unprepared, still I was excited. On the drive from San Juan to the barracks that we would be staying I immediately saw the physical toll Maria had caused on the island. Trees were parted like waves in the ocean as the fierce winds ravaged all in its path.

I recall having to aggressively drive through thick traffic without the aid of traffic lights and any kind of right of way laws. It was like driving in a third world country all over again. For the next two weeks I was deployed with my emergency disaster team distributing food and water as well as being the correspondence officer (Public Information Officer). I spent days down at the JFO (Joint Force Opperations) working with wonderful people who were equally committed to helping people in need. Through all of this experience I never felt more undeserving of being and serving in that capacity. I often thought that other, more capable people could do this job and serve better than I was serving.

Sometimes self-doubt can paralyze us and make us feel unadequate for the tasks we have been assigned. Still God provides everything that we need to serve him, all that we must do is put one foot forward and then the next and faithfully follow Him. Faith, especially when we cannot see what the next step looks like, is hard, and yet it is so rewarding.

I remember calling home and hearing my wife’s voice on the telephone. Sometimes we had limited cell phone reception because of the damage to the infrastructure, but when I did get through I experienced a real joy in hearing my wife’s familiar voice.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, if God’s voice is not familiar to you, perhaps you need to spend a little more time listening and discerning as you pray to Him. He desires to hear your voice too. He wants you to call out to Him and trust Him as He leads you through life, sometimes through paths that are unknown to you.

Are you near to God today?
How is your relationship to Him?
What needs to change so that you can have a closer relationship with Him on a daily, even moment by moment basis?

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:8)
Whatever you might be facing today, whether you feel inadequate for the tasks you have been assigned, know that God is watching over you and if we “trust in the Lord with all our might and lean not on our own understand…He will direct our paths” (Proverbs 3:5).

So…do you trust Him?
Something more to ponder today.

Hatred of Waiting (a Psalm/Poem)

I keep my foot on the accelerator peddle.
I am impatient.
I am anxious.
I am agitated.

Open roads: Driving "fast and furious" during the pandemic Canadian  Underwriter

I want my prayers answered.
Not an hour from now
or a day from now
or a month from now
I want to go fast

My heart is racing
I am out of the starting blocks
without much thought
only with the notion to move.
I want to go fast.

broken-rope-23354 - SPARK Creations & Company Inc.

But it is hard to go fast
when you are broken
torn and tattered.
Limping isn’t the same
in a sprint.

But I am constantly reminded to

gabydoodles | Art for Jesus! | Tattoo quotes, Be still tattoo, Tattoos

two of the hardest words for me to accept.

how can I ‘be’
when my identity is threadbare and fragile?
how can peace rule me
when all I know is the storm?

Keep an eye on the weather: Storms taking aim at the South could bring  strong tornadoes | KARK

I cry out to you oh God.
please answer me.
remove from me any evidence of sin
restore me
revive me
deliver me from the enemy
lay waste to the darkness,
destroy the lies
banish the liar forever
and cast your all consuming light on us.

Hate to Wait? Beat the Hate! – TEACHLY
I am waiting on you Lord.
deliver us
heal us
restore us
We do not want to live in this storm
I know you have called us to
so much more than this.

here we are.

“The Phone Call”

Conversations with my “Grampa”.

My grandfather called me the other day. Me at the gas station, getting ready to tackle a busy day at work, my mind on many, many things. Whenever my phone rings and I see his name on the caller ID, I answer the call no matter what. Now in his nineties, he still checks in and still has so much love to share with his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.

“GranStan” Go Cubs Go!

Years ago, stern-faced and marked with his signature mustache, Grandpa (or Grand-Stan as the kids now call him) looked down at me with a level of intensity that could peel paint off a wall and said, “I’m getting mad!” To an outsider, one would wonder what had happened to evoke anger, but in his own way, he was expressing this deep love that he has in an expression of “I’m getting mad,” which was code for “let’s go get some ice cream.” Memories are funny like that, one minute you’re a grown adult carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, the next you’re ten years old eating ice cream and heading to your first baseball game – the Chicago Cubs and Andre Dawson at Wrigley Field. I remember the smell of Gramma’s house, always warm and so inviting. The place I still long for when the days are longer than the hours I have to work with. Their home was safe and filled with Cherubs and delicate trinkets perfectly perched on mantels, coffee tables, and ornamental ledges.  

            “How ya been?” my Grandpa asks over the phone, with a voice still stern yet filled with care and concern. I tell him about my day and the kids, but I know he wants to learn more. He has a deep love for God, and he has a passion for all “his kids” to know the Lord too. “What is God saying to you these days?” He asks out of the blue. For a moment, I am caught off guard and wasn’t ready to answer a question as probing as this. Ministry is still running in my veins despite a pastoral career change, though some days I still ask the Lord, “am I on the right track?” Life is like that sometimes; one minute you’re ninety-nine year old, childless Abram plodding along in life; the next, you’re Abraham moving to an unknown land and trusting (albeit some days less than others) God with your very next steps. I still question God about things that I don’t have the answers to. I still find myself stepping out into unknown territory, saying, “Lord, I don’t know what today holds, but please hold my hand.”

You never really ever leave the ministry, you know?” my grandfather continues, “some people think ministry is just what you do at a pulpit on Sundays,” I tell him I know this, and I am drawn to the many faces I see daily. It is the “mission-field” of relationships in need of encouragement and love. It is a place I have been sent to minister within, and yet after years of focused service-based ministry, I am having difficulty with the tangible nature of “here and now.”

There are times where you miss what wasn’t healthy for you in the first place. Like God’s people, the ex-slaves of Egypt, wishing to go back instead of living free and waiting for a promised land. “I believe that God is blessing you, Scott,” my grandfather continues, “can I pray with you?” He asks over the phone. My heart is whole and overfilled with such love. The Lord is indeed blessing me, and I am so blessed to have such a loving, godly family and grandfather.

I will always pick up that phone when my Grandfather calls. Time is precious when we have so little of it to spend. The concerns of today always pale in comparison to the treasures that we possess in the wisdom and love of such people in our lives. Years from now, I will be old and coming to the end of my days. I, too, wish to pass that love of God and hope onto that next generation. I pray that when this happens, they will answer my call and know that they are loved…perhaps I’ll even “get mad.” I love you, Grandpa. Thank you for your relentless pursuit of God and me (and the rest “of us”). Keep calling, and I’ll keep answering just to hear your voice, and perhaps a “new” joke that you’ve already told me.

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