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I guess I had more to say… I’m not a pile of crap.

2/13/17

I thought the last post would be my last. Turns out that I have more to say. The last post was written in pain and anguish. This, however, is written in joy.

A dear friend who I had not seen in some time told me recently that they were bewildered as to when “this” happened to me. It sort of made me giggle. Leaving the “faith” and the church is one of the best things to happen to me. But, this is for that dear friend.

To those who are believers, this may be your final straw for me. If so, I understand. I’ll give you a few minutes to say your goodbyes and unsubscribe.

I’m much more comfortable in my skin now than I was at the time I wrote the last post. I was trying to sort of say goodbye, to reassure folk, to please people and help them to not worry about me. I felt that I was betraying them.

But the truth is, cognitive dissonance is more dangerous than virtually anything that I can think of. I believe that many of us walk around with it and we’ve just learned to live with it. We’ve learned to simply accept brazen contradiction. We’ve allowed ourselves to compartmentalize and do mental gymnastics to no end.

For years, I had been coping with cognitive dissonance. I was tortured inside with conflicting ideas, thoughts, whatever…

So, how did this happen to me?

Well, I started paying attention to the cognitive dissonance.

What does that mean?

Year by year over the last decade, I found myself searching for harmony in logic. I’ve always adored studying apologetics. As I studied, I would try to pay attention to what would “click” and what would not.

If we’re all honest, we know that there’s things we *all* believe that, were we to examine them, and apply even just a bit of the socratic method to, they’d fall apart. We like to assure ourselves of our surety, but, it’s somewhat desperate.

Year by year, I found myself dismissing more and more of the scriptures. I would pick and choose what made sense in light of science and reason. Less and less would hold weight. To me, I found the Bible to be more and more of a mess.

But there was a sort of turning point. You know that sort of moment when you say something out loud and realize that it really means something to you.

Well, one morning, I woke up early and stumbled upon an article about this mom realizing how unbalanced her son’s views of prominent women were. He had complained that *all* of their books had girls as the main character. So, she had him get all of the books out, and they counted which ones really did. It was only about 27 out of 100.

She was fascinated by this. She did research and found that it’s a big cultural problem. Our minds are conditioned to see women, even if given an equal time share, as taking up *too* much time.

I reposted this article on my facebook page. On the way to work, a friend commented that he read it, and said something along the lines of, “I think the woman is misguided. God made us that way because men are supposed to lead the way.”

I was disgusted inside by the sentiment. I realized right then and there that I had to pick one or the other. I asked this fellow, “So, let me ask you, if science tells you that your faith or religion is wrong, shouldn’t you do away with a misguided belief once science has explained what is *actually* going on?”

He said no. Faith is faith, and always trumps science…

I know, his case is extreme. There are many, many folk of faith who DO NOT feel this way. I get that. But, you know very well that there’s a problem there.

Some atheists (you knew I was going to say the word eventually, didn’t you) like to use the phrase, “we go one god further. “The point is that, no matter what your faith, you are an atheist in regards to thousands of gods who’ve come before yours.

It’s worth questioning it all.

It was little moments like what I listed above that simply got the ball rolling. Moving outside of the religious/church community that we were living in gave me the permission that I needed to start tugging on the yarn.

The more that I pulled, the more it all fell apart in piles of logic.

I found myself realizing just how convenient all of my “faith” was. It was my upbringing and culture (as it is yours). It was always tailored to suit my needs. It always conveniently helped my find my car keys. I think you get the point.

Stepping back, I realized just how much of the Bible I had cherry picked. I see in a ton of the Emergent Church. They’re making their own god. It used to bug me, but now I see that I did as well. I tailored my god to suit my needs.

Right now, our culture needs a social justice working Jesus who won’t banish the LGBT crowd, who will defend refugees and oppose injustice. But, oddly, that same Jesus is being used by Trump’s supporters to back up other actions as well. Hell, Bannon, mr. White Power himself claims to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

I found it odd how much we can all use this book to defend what we want it to be.

I started giving myself permission to listen to podcasts and videos from secular humanists, atheists and the like. I found their questions to be quite profound.

One that got me thinking the most was that, if the God of the Bible, or even of the Q’ran really wanted us to know him, and know him well, was this really the best he could do? I mean, really, this was bleak? A book that is endlessly contested. Translations upon translations. Denominations galore… I mean, if YOU wanted to communicate your existence to people, wouldn’t you do better?

It terrified me at first, and took great courage to muster up the bravery to say, “I would do better.” I would also have made the moral questions a whole lot more clear.

Wait a minute… am I more moral than the god I grew up worshipping?

When I realized that even my 9-year-old could easily improve on the unclarity and morality of what is supposedly the proof that a god exists, I had to rethink things.

I may be offending you, but it was an honest question. God isn’t supposed to be the author of confusion. But pew to pew and corner church to corner church, YOU GET A DIFFERENT PICTURE OF WHAT IS SUPPOSEDLY THE SAME GOD. That’s NOT clarity.

It all fell apart the more questions I asked. Even exploring the historicity of it all, the origins of the idea of hell, and the outright mythical nature of the entire book.

I could go on and on. But, for those who’ve known me for years, I wasn’t “faking” it. I was trying so hard to please god. I was desperate to make him happy and do his will. I pushed past my conscience so often. But I hated myself so much… I hated me with a vengeance, I had to keep pushing to be better and get better.

But in the crowd, all telling you to keep pushing, keep trying to be “holy” it’s very, very hard to hear your inner voice saying, “Stop it! I can’t think! I can’t see straight!”

It’s amazing what we can do and give our lives to when we work together, both for good and bad. We are powerful as a species. I mean, we are amazing. We can create such magic and wonder… or destruction, pressure and doubt.

There’s an old friend of mine… actually, I’m not entirely sure I can call him that. You see, he was part of the church group we lived in for 11 years. But, he believed some weird, wacky stuff. He didn’t toe the party line like I did. He wasn’t a people pleaser like me. I would set aside reason and critical thinking to get approval. And boy, when you stop doing that, people sure notice.

But this fellow, he was a friend to me. I was not to him, however. I looked down on him for his odd ideas. On the same note, though, I loved his kindness and sincerity. He would look at you and see through you.

One evening I was actually enjoying some time with him, having a glass or two of wine together. He said something that occurred to me the day I finally admitted out loud that I no longer believed in the god of the Bible. He said something along the lines of, “John, I think that the end of all of this is atheism.”

I was shocked. (this was about 10 years ago) “What are you talking about?”

He laughed and replied, “I think that the culmination of all of our struggles with religion, belief and all of this, is atheism. We’re going to realize that it’s us. It’s been US all along. We, together, make this.”

What a bold claim. And from what I can see, it’s true.

You see, this supposed god had answered my prayers since I was a kid. Now, I was taught as a young one, as well as an adult as recently as a few years ago, that there was nothing good in me. If it was good, it came from a god. If there was beauty that anyone saw in me, it was the creator, and not the creation.

The end thought, that I still feel in my very skin, (and I’m sorry to be crude) is that I’m a piece of shit, and god is what is lovely. Sure, people will tell you that god loves you and such, but, in the end, they’re still teaching this idea that he really can’t stand who you *actually* are day to do, you need a blood sacrifice for that… for the *father* to be able to look at you without revulsion.

Now, you may bristle at this. “Not my god… no, that’s not Jesus.” But it’s a seething undercurrent in ALL of the theistic religions. We’re messed up to the core, and we need this other thing to save us. We long to be saved from ourselves and it’s so, so relieving to put the pressure on something else, to hope in something other than our desperate, ever evolving selves.

But, from what I can tell, it’s us.

It’s me. All those times that I came around and did the right thing… it was me. All of those times that we got through, it was us. Because we are beautiful and wonderful.

We ARE what we make ourselves.

I’m going to therapy now. It’s helping. We’re talking about deep seeded beliefs about ourselves. One that came up for me, right away, was believing that I’m *always* ruining the world for everyone around me.

But I don’t ruin things. Frankly, I love to make the world more fun and beautiful for everyone around me.

Quite frankly, I’m learning to look in the mirror, and actually smile a bit.

So, yes, in regards to faith, I am an atheist… and it’s been a longer time coming than I think I even know. All that means is that I don’t see proof that there’s a god of any sort behind all of this.

This is not my belief… Atheism has no tenants. It has no belief system.

As far as belief systems… I’m re-learning those. The ideas of Secular Humanism are helping and make a whole lot of sense to me. I’m trying to be slow to adopt any beliefs. The only real one that I have is that I am precious. YOU are precious. We are precious.

We are precious because of the value we put on ourselves and others.

Life has more meaning to me now that it ever has. Ever. This just might be the only day that I have. Each day, I get to ask myself, “How will you spend this day? What will you do with these, quite possibly, your only moments with breath?”

So, when someone messages me, or tells me, “I still see god in you.” More than anything, I find this to be offensive. Not because of your intent, your intent I’m sure is good, but because we aren’t acknowledging what we’re actually saying there.

We’re saying that god, or “good” hasn’t left you. You’re not a godless shell. But I’m more me now than I’ve ever been. And I patently reject the idea that if it’s beautiful in me, then it is otherworldly. No, what you’re seeing in me, is me. It’s the me that you loved. It’s what you’ve always seen in me, and in many cases, I’m finding “me” to be more amplified than ever.

I am actually starting to like and enjoy being me.

I’m not crap, and neither are you.

____________________________

In regards to the questions of faith, I didn’t get into those on purpose. If you want to question yours, which I actually do recommend EVERYONE doing here and there, there are plenty of places to start.  I’m not going to create a blog about those things. This blog has always been about life and loving life. I’d like to keep it that way.

If you have questions, fire away… I may or may not answer. If you get nasty, I will simply delete your comment and move on with my life.

Recommended reading –
On The Historicity of Jesus – Richard Carrier

The End of Faith – Sam Harris

Anything by Matt Dillahunty

A Universe out of Nothing – Lawrence Krauss

Winnie The Pooh – Milne (just seeing if you’re still reading)

Final Post – A matter of conscience

What do you do when it just stops? What do you do when you just can’t muster any energy to have faith anymore… to believe in something that you’ve devoted your life to?

I haven’t written on this blog for some time, and I believe that it’s indicative of just what I was going through for the last couple of years. A lot of people write about this after they’ve figured it out, or really solidified what they are. I thought it could be nice to say goodbye to this blog, and begin a new chapter.

Up front, I’m not an atheist. This isn’t that announcement. Sometimes, because of my incessant guilt and shame obsession, I wish I were.

Sometimes I really doubt a lot. But, I talk to God… at least, I think I do.

I don’t even know that I’m an agnostic. I don’t quite know what it is that you might want to label what I believe. But that’s actually kinda the point, I’ve grown weary with worrying about beliefs, and stuck in a rut of not living. But, I talk to God, all day… at least I think I do.

Sometimes it’s hard to know. But am I saying that to just make people feel better about where I’m at? Maybe. That’s another big part of the point.

I’m writing this because I don’t want to tell the same story over and over. I don’t want to explain myself over and over. In reality, I don’t have to explain myself to anyone, but there are people who have invested many years in my life, and I’m attempting to explain my heart in order to honor them. They matter. They know who they are. (and if they’re taking the time to read this, thank you)

What is happening to me is difficult to explain to those who’ve poured love, help and concern into the last 11 years of my life. I have been hesitant for fear of disappointing them. I adore them. They helped me through some of the toughest years I ever experienced.

For decades, however, as long as I can remember, I’ve believed myself a monster. It wasn’t a constant thing, but more like one of those core memories that shape the constant things. If it were in Inside Out, I’d have a Monster-Demon-Possessed-Island. I didn’t think about it all the time, but you know, it’s back there.

Mom and dad would have their church friends rebuke the “demons” in me. They always wanted to fix me. And I found great comfort in the structure of the children’s home that I lived in as an 11-15 year old.

Looking back, it seems that after that I sort of went from authority structure to authority structure, finding people to please and make happy. I learned to survive that way. Adapt and become what they really want you to be… that was my motto. But I didn’t know that.

I am no victim. If I am, I do not know who by. It’s just me, it’s mine. It’s the path I’ve been walking.

All the time that I’ve been walking my path I kept looking off into the distance, hoping that one day I wouldn’t be a monster anymore. I was hoping that one day I wouldn’t be the piece of crud that I believed myself to be.

People pleasing, blending in to someone else’s agenda, became the prime way that I fought my own self-hatred. If I was making them happy and becoming a good me, then I could feel good.

Again, no one made me do this… I thought I had to in order to survive. It’s mine.

If I’m honest with myself, I know that over the last two years I’d been becoming increasingly skeptical of the stories in the Bible. I was having a very difficult time enjoying fellowship with my church. I simply could hardly relate to it anymore.

In June, we did a concert at that same Children’s home I lived in so long ago, and that day something just clicked inside my head. I was driving down the road, listening to our Dragons EP, (which, by the way, is all about this… though I didn’t know it when I wrote it) and I just started bawling.

I’ve been believing a whole lot of lies about myself. I’m a grown man and I don’t have to be afraid of being who I am.

That may sound stupid to some, but not to me. To me, it was the most liberating thing I’d ever experienced. EVER.

That weekend I knew that we would move out on our own.

If there’s anything my friends of faith and godlessness alike have taught me, it’s that you have to obey your conscience. If you can’t do it, then you just can’t do it.

I realized that my conscience was so messed up. I had to move out on my own. I had to figure it out and start over. I knew that I was pretending to be something that I wasn’t. I knew that this wasn’t a matter of disagreement, but of heart, and my heart simply wasn’t in it anymore. No one had hurt us and no one made us do it. I simply wasn’t there anymore.

But when I moved out, something happened that I simply didn’t expect.

Every passion for my “faith” or “religion” stopped. Every urge, every desire, every obligatory bit of drive was just done. I wanted to hide in a hermit hole and be alone… but no, I wanted to play with my kids. I wanted to just be done.

It was gone… just, not there. Suddenly I found myself panicking going, “What the heck do I even believe about anything?!?” I was terrified that I’d made a huge mistake.

This subsided when I saw the conversations growing between my daughters and I. When I saw myself making decisions based on what was good for our family and not what my guilt or shame was dictating.

So a month or so ago, I gave myself permission to be officially done, at least for now. I gave myself permission to say, “I am not a Christian.”

But I’m not done, and I know it.

I’ve tried learning about atheism, zen, whatever… I’ve talked to people who’ve left the faith. I’ve tried to bolster it. I’ve got nothing.

I get up each day and talk to “God.” I ask, “What are we doing today?”

And in some ways, I’m happier than I’ve been in a very long time.

My guilt and shame addictions are non-existent for the most part. That’s a big deal. A life-crippling, emotionally paralyzing big deal.

The self-hatred has no place in my home. I won’t allow it anymore.

I’m teaching my kids that it’s okay to question anything you don’t see evidence for. I’m teaching us to be kind and merciful to each other as well as our neighbors. I’m teaching them that they don’t have to be afraid to be themselves when they walk through the streets… that, in fact, the world needs more colorful little girls who are unabashedly themselves.

The world also needs more dads who have their dad bods and aren’t afraid to play with princesses.

I don’t know where I’ll land. Honestly, I’m not worried about it. My faith was so desperately tied up, twisted into and weaved into my people pleasing that I couldn’t, in any way, distinguish the two.

I can’t sort these out while still in the middle. Imagine trying to untangle a ball of twisted up twine from the center out. It won’t work. Instead you have to be on the outside of it all to sift through it.

So, we’re simply restarting many aspects of life. We’re going to move across the state and begin anew. We’re going to dance in the moment, right here and now. We’re going to keep asking questions because, well, anyone who knows us knows that this is what we do.

We’re going to play and live today.

Now, to some, this may sound like many things. Even the act of writing this was excruciating. For the most part lately, I just feel calm and peaceful, but when the voices of what I *think* others will think get going in my head, it brings on a stress that’s like no other… and then I get dishonest.

I can’t debate this, it’s simply my experience and where I’m at.

I can’t sit around and be talked into anything by some random blogger or facebook user that reads this. It’s simply not where I’m at.

I’m going to take some time to live. Some may think that this is a loss, that we’ve lost faith, or that we’re giving up.

I will argue this. I feel more alive than I can remember feeling in quite some time. I’m not hanging anything up. I felt a song calling me away, and I just had to follow it and see where it led. Now I can’t look back. Our hearts simply aren’t there anymore.

It’s hard to not fear disappointing, or even angering those who’ve invested in us. It’s hard to even work up the language to describe the experience or the thoughts.

But… declaring to my friends that my conscience wouldn’t allow me to work against them and pretend to be one of them was one of the hardest and best decisions that I’ve ever made. But I’m glad I did it, and I’m so crazy excited to see what’s next.

My wife and I, (and even our kids for the most part) believe that in our case, we simply need to start new to figure out what we even want, and who we even are.

How often do you have a chance to ask yourself, “Is this my life?” and if it’s not, how often do you get a chance to start all over.

I think it’s worth asking ourselves this question each and every day, and live life today, here and now, playing along with the music.

We’re going to take this time to celebrate our family and dig in to see who we are and what beauty is there. And hopefully, we’ll get chances celebrate everyone in our path.

Oh, to live… it’s the greatest adventure.

 

phone addiction and indie rock for kids!

So, I’m at lunch with my 11-year-old today… and I keep having that urge to check facebook and such. I hate it. It’s really nagging at me lately. I don’t want my life run by that bossy little device. 

So, I came up with a tune, my wife even joined in and wrote a verse. It’s called “Daddy’s Bossy Friend” … and though, when you just read the lyrics it may seem tragic, wait until you hear the music and see the video we’re undoubtedly going to make for this. It’ll be great. 

But here’s the lyrics 

My mama’s got this bossy bossy friend

Their time together just never seems to end

Night or day he never seems to go away

Taking pictures and recording all the cute things that I say

 

When we’re talking he always interrupts

When out to dinner he always interrupts

When reading stories he always interrupts

I really hope his battery dies

 

Daddy’s got his own bossy friend too

When his friend is by his side then he will hardly look at you

But now and then she will hide and go away

And then we all have join in and hunt for her all day

 

When we’re walking she always interrupts

When we’re driving she always interrupts

In the movies she always interrupts

I really hope his battery dies

 

whether we’re sitting in front of the TV

In Church or in the store it’s always quite sight to see

It’s hard to get my daddy to turn and look at me

When his phone is in his hand

 

When his phone is in his hand, It’s always making such unreasonable demands

When her phone is in her face, it’s like she goes to outer space

 

I’m looking at this shiny little thing

It rings and flashes, beeps and sings

In my hands, maybe now I’ll understand

If I’ll push ALL of the buttons and do everything I can

 

When you’re talking I really want my turn

When we’re out to dinner I really want my turn

Read me stories later, I just really want my turn

Don’t let the battey die

 

Now you can watch whatever you want on TV

In church or in the store I’ll be quiet as can be

I doubt I’ll even notice if you turn and look at me

When your phone is in my hand

 

Turn off the phone and play with me

It’s time to turn off the phone and read to me

It’s time to turn off the phone and snuggle while I’m home

Blink an eye and I might be grown

 

…woke up with a secret

Today I woke up feeling like I knew a secret. The kind of secret that get you all excited because it defines who you are. I was almost giddy about it.

Recently I watched the movie “Jobs,” the bio-pic about Steve Jobs and his rise, fall and rise with the Apple Corp. It was pretty interesting, and really got me thinking.

There’s this one moment when he says his famous quote about realizing that the world around you, everything that you see, was created by people who were no smarter or better than you.

That hit me.

This man devoted his life to creativity. Is he my hero, no, far from it. He was disfunctional to a deep core, but I’m not here to write about Steve Jobs, I want to write about who we are.

So back to my little secret that I woke up with this morning, and what it has to do with Steve Jobs.

Well, what he said was true. And it’s true because of who we are in God. It’s true because we’re made in the very image of God.

God is love. It’s who he is. Love created us. Love breathed life into us. Love longs to pump through our veins and oxygenate our every cell. Love is written on us. Fear and rebellion are our perversion.

Yes, fear and rebellion are a perversion of our very being.

Love binds, connects, draws in, builds up. Love endures.

Fear drives away, disconnects, pushes, looks away and hardens.

Love creates freedom. Perfect love drives out fear.

I believe that Steve Jobs had the drive that he did because we all are made with the desperate desire to create written in our very DNA. It’s who we are. Being made in the very image of the Creator of the cosmos, it’s simply who we are.

We can try and try to create to satisfy ourselves. We can build our fortified castles to protect us from the world around us, but it simply will not, and will never satisfy. It will never be enough. The rabbit hole will only go further and further.

Creation without love will always end in disconnection and emptiness. It’s simply not the way our being was written. We are meant to be sons and daughters of the most high God. We are designed to join in with all of creation to sing, create, harmonize with him. We were designed to have fellowship, friendship, with the God who makes flowers bloom and causes the earth to keep spinning.

Is that not good news?

His heart is to gather his children in and recreate all things, to set all things right. But we fight, and we are miserable. We separate, and we are miserable.

He longs for fellowship with us so badly, that he even came, in the flesh, to be with us. He walked with us… talked with us… taught us.

The Father gathers in. The lie of fear separates, divides, and kills.

Us trying to be anything but this is like a cat trying to be a dog, or a computer trying to be a toaster. We simply weren’t made to be alone. Rather, we were made to join in on the harmonious celebration of all creation working together in love.

I know, we can look around and see just how messed up things are and wonder what the heck this God is doing… but love also gives a choice. It wouldn’t be love, the love that breeds freedom if there wasn’t actually freedom to choose.

So I woke up this morning with a smile.

I’m God’s. I get to walk through my day and create. I can create environments of freedom, life, love and safety around me. I can move in the Spirit of the living God, the Spirit of the Christ, the anointed One who came in the flesh to show us just how amazing our life could be in the Father’s love.

I am God’s.

It’s who I am, and nothing else could ever satisfy.

… and it’s who you are too!

unfolded

Found this quote today…

We rush out the door and say, “Hey, how are you doing? Nice to see you.” We don’t even look people in the eye. Were not really talking to them. If you do that, you’re going to miss a lot of potential in other people… people aren’t things to be molded, like clay. That’s not your job. That’s manipulation–not leadership. People aren’t things to be molded; they’re lives to be unfolded. And that’s what true leaders do. They unfold the lives of others and help them reach their God-given potential.”     -Rick Warren

Too relevant to be reverent

Imagine it- the prophet Isaiah crying out these words…

“A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let th erough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'”

It’s intense, but… we’re used to that aren’t we. We’re used to extreme language. We’re used to shock and awe advertising campaigns, slogans, politics. Have we grown used to the Gospel?

Clear a way for the Lord?

What does that mean to you?

John the baptizer was the one who would cry out before Christ walked Israel’s streets and deserts. John loved the day of Lord so much that he leaped in his own mother’s womb at the mere presence of Christ, still in Mary’s womb. He declared himself unworthy to even untie our Lord’s sandals.

John bowed low.

This prostitute Mary, she bowed low too. She bought such expensive perfume, perhaps spent all she had to anoint the feet of our Lord. She cried and washed his feet with her own tears, tears of repentance.

Both her and John caused great stir; criticized and chastised.

Both gave their all to bow low before their Lord and master.

Mary didn’t hear teachings of grace and salvation, nor justification by faith alone. John erupted with holy rage at fallen Israel, at a people who had never made known to the earth the truly amazing thing that they had in knowing that God Himself had reached out and found them.

They explode in the face of conformity. The relevant stood by in disgust at the whore at Christ’s feet. The accepted leaders of Israel mocked John, and were jealous of this veritable wild man in the desert. And Christ, he slapped the powers in the face getting on the ground and washing the filthy feet of fisherman and sinners.

Mary and John, as well as others, were a peculiar people.

I’m supposed to be this too. I’m supposed to stick out like a sore thumb. I’m supposed to care what God thinks, about everything.

I’m His, and I am not fit to tie the thong of His sandals. I’m not worthy to let Him wash my feet.

Am I too cool to declare what Christ has done for me?

Are we too relevant to get on our knees and wash His feet?

Am I too concerned with the praise of men, relatives and friends to revere my God?

I do not want to live an unquestioned life, for I have been touched, washed, changed, delivered and lifted up by the creator of the universe. I know God. He speaks to me daily. He feeds me with His living Word.

I am doing a disservice to both myself and all around me if I do not declare the Gospel of Christ. He is Lord! He has risen! He is redeeming His own! And He is so very good!

And here’s where I’d like to go from there- my life is truly not my own. May this not be an old cliche, but the truth, it’s not mine, it’s His to live. If I am part of His body, then I no longer get to guide myself around… it’s His to do. I don’t get to turn this off, like a light switch. It’s all the time, every day, I’m His, and not my own. These hands are His. This tongue is His.

Does He complain like I do? Does He treat the weak like I do? Does He try to appease the arrogant and opinionated like I do? Does He spend and treat the world as disposable like I do?

God, take control.

Help me have the boldness of John and Mary. Show me how to step out, in boldness, and display my gratitude for even being allowed to know You.

Help me not be too relevant to be truly reverent.

You deserve my all.