Episode 33…That’s a wrap or maybe a Season?

Just 19 more…

But it just ain’t gonna happen.

No more new episodes for now.

I have decided to finish out the year with reruns of previous episodes.

Maybe we’ll just call that season one. For now.

It’s no one particular thing. Just a mash up of a lot of little things. Sometimes life and technical stuff just are not made to go together.

The additional responsibilities of my new job.

Increased responsibilities at church.

The focus of building my ministry.

Not being able to find convenient times to talk.

Rushing to always get this thing out on time.

In a way it got to be very much like a business.

Sometimes things just have to go away.

What is nice is that the recordings will be there for our girls. I know they don’t really care now. One day they will.

There is sadness. A sense of failure. Some relief.

The next months will be a time to refocus. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Where we truly able to help anyone? Why? Why not?

And to answer the hardest question, did Liz or I benefit from it? If so, how? How can we put more of that into our everyday relationship?

Finally, a big thank you to all these who have listened to the journey and lived the ups and downs with us.

I pray that somehow, somewhere, someone got something from this and was able to use something that pushed their relationship forward.

God Bless.

 

Photo by Kristian Seedorff on Unsplash

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

Episode 31…Only the Lonely

 

Today’s episode does not feature my wonderful wife. Sorry, you just get me.

I promise it is for good reason.

She has been busy. Really busy. The last thing I wanted to do was unindate her with any philosophical questions and deep conversations.

I know she just needs a break. But is not getting one anytime soon.

For the past five days she has been gone anywhere from 12 to 15 hours.

In addition to her regular work schedule, she has been recording a CD with the church and moving her place of business.

I have helped as much as I could. I thought it would also be a big help to just let her be for this episode. I knew I could pull this one off by myself.

So, I reflected mostly.

About what I am trying to accomplish here. What lessons have I learned? What lessons do I need to learn?

When to back off? When to lean in?

I tell why this  is weird. 

See, I am not the guy who needs a lot of attention in a relationship. I am the guy that can lie in bed and just be touching feet in the silence to know that I am loved.

But the past five days have been hard. The communication has been short bursts.

She gets home, I am already asleep.

I leave for work, now she is asleep.

I felt neglected. Not in a bad way. Just a little on the outside looking in. It’s just a short season.

She left the house at 7 this morning just to continue moving her business.

This is after working all week.

This is after rehearsing and recording a CD with the church.

This is after spending five hours helping another lady prepare for a baby shower.

So, I felt like the best thing I could do was just tackle this episode myself and show some praise for all she does.

And it is hard sometimes. Knowing when to back off and when to just let the river rage by and search for calmer waters.

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

 

Episode 29…Bad things…good People???

It is an age old question…

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I’ve had this very conversation with several people. It seems to be the one universal question that Christians and Atheists alike can sit down and talk about and then politely agree to disagree.

Life can be good, not good. Fair, not fair. Why is it that some people seem more predisposed to not good and not fair?

Is it about the choices?

The circumstances?

A documentary I watched recently said that this one question keeps more people atheist and turns former Christians atheist more than any other question about GOD.

How can a GOD who is supposed to be loving and merciful let people languish in a toxic and fallen world?

Why can’t people who love him or choose to do right prosper and live long, distinguished lives? Why would that sam GOD not wipe out the people who deliberately choose to do evil?

As long as we are on this side of eternity, we will never truly know.

Anyone can be taken away at anytime. Perhaps we should pay less attention to the evil ones. Focus on the good ones before their live are cut drastically short.

I don’t have the answer. No one does. We can only choose to keep believing. Holding strong to faith.

The reason I pray the prayer of Jabez is so that I can be free of the evil that exists in this world.

Put your guiding hand over me.

Keep me from evil, so that I feel no pain.

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Photo by IV Horton on Unsplash

Best Friends?!?!…

What is a best friend anyway?  I have never really sat down and tried to tie any real concrete things to one. I had a best friend once. In middle school. That probably was one of two times in my life that I truly talked to someone about anything.

Nothing seemed to be off limits…

If we were doing something, we were doing it together come hell or high water. But it was only for a season.

Is it even possible to have one best friend your whole life? Or do you just get different ones in different seasons.

The thing I wonder most about..

Is it possible for men and women to be best friends?

Honestly, I am still not sure. You see, I get this picture in my head about best friends sitting in front of the television with the pizza box sitting in their undies. One farts. Then the other tries to one up the other one. And around and around it goes until one concedes that the other has the “winning” fart.

I hate conversations like these because I try to put logic behind such seemingly illogical concept. There is nothing concrete about one’s perception of a “best” friend.

That is the one thing I loved about sports and lifting weights. The Numbers. The higher the numbers the better things were. Excluding golf of course.

Sports is tangible.

You can see it.

Feel it.

Smell it.

Hear it.

The numbers won’t lie. You may not like what you see but the numbers reveal something about you as a person. It’s simply quantifiable.

True Friendship on the other hand is not.

It’s just a mess of random emotions about how good or wanted you feel. Then if you live with someone, and in the case of men and woman, have sex it just complicates things even more.

So, I tired of thinking about this and being to much in my own head about it.

I am going to stop digging now.

“Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Unchurching?…

As someone raised in the church and saved at age 11 I have done a lot of church. Listened to all types of music and sermons I have long forgotten.

And I dwelled…

Mostly in complacency. Mostly in that happy place. You know that place where you think you are being a good Christian just by showing up on Sundays. Then living Christlike enough the rest of the week.

But that seemed like only half the picture.

With where I am now I am constantly afraid I am not doing enough. That I am not showing up enough. That I haven’t talked enough.

Helped enough.

Praised enough.

Prayed enough.

Volunteered enough.

Lead enough people to Christ.

What is it about pursuing GOD that can seem so thrilling yet leave you questioning at the same time?

The title of this blog comes from a book I read recently. One of six in the past two weeks. A pastor of over 20 years just ups and walks away.

Not from GOD. But from the way he and the people around him were “doing” church.

Is it enough to just show up on Sundays for an hour or so and consider your walk done for the week?

I know I did. For far to long.

Then I took action. Found a groove. Got some mojo going. Started investing more in the church I was attending. Now to be moved again. To things beyond my comfort zone. To the larger world.

Beyond the confines of four walls.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love attending my church. There are some truly amazing people there. But there is something inside me still restless. Stirring. Waiting to be disturbed.

Lord, continue to move me to action. Beyond the confines of four walls. Make me useful. Change live for the better.

Mine included.

 

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Episode 24…The Breakthrough?! Part 1

Is it just me…

Or does our whole existence seem like one gigantic search? Or 1,000 puzzle pieces and no idea of what the big picture is of what it is we are trying to put together?

We either wait…

Or look for the breakthrough that will change everything.

But when you think it arrives, how can you really tell? Will it be the thing you need to lead to true and lasting transformation? Is this going to be another in a series of letdowns?

This is the first episode in at least a two part series that re-lives a great couples weekend event that felt like a breakthrough for some involved. Myself included.

Over the next few episodes we will journey deeper into the five stones of marriage. Liz and I are trying to find the things that lead to better communication and a greater intimacy.

The connecting is difficult…

At least for me anyway and I feel like it is difficult for most men in general. Men are not only action takers but we are simple. Connecting on deep emotional level is hard because it is not tangible.

You don’t see it. Touch it. Smell it. At least not the way my wife seems to crave it. Sure, there is sex. And a lot of men feel connected through that medium.

But how do we bridge the Gap? That space that exists between the expectations and reality. How can we make it easier for men and women to just be.

We will be exploring that over the next few weeks.

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Episode 23…Messy but how to clean it Up?

So, I will put this out there first. I never said communication wasn’t important. And never pointed any fingers.

All I Was saying…

Is to maybe look at what barriers are affecting the level of communication.

People, therapists, the “GURU’s” say all you gotta do is talk and things will somehow magically get better.

Communicate…

Those therapists and “GURU’s use it as a buzzword to avoid the laziness that comes with thinking deeper about an issue.

I talk to people all day long. Doesn’t mean it is effective or accomplishes anything really.

Like I’m famous for saying, “Without intention, nothing specific Happens.” What is it you want to happen?

Never heard therapists and “GURU’s” ask that either. Is there really a reason to talk, just to talk?

I even have to be a lot more intentional with what I want to accomplish when having conversation or communicating.

And, just to reiterate last week, what I apparently failed to get across is that before anyone can communicate effectively and deeply enough for transformation and deep bonding safety has to be first and foremost.

I can talk to anyone until I am blue in the face and unless it is intentional and received in safe environment then all the oratory skills Socrates could muster would be met with ill will.

And I am sure most of you probably know that Socrates had to drink poison because he was trying to communicate in a not so safe environment.

Understand this…

Communication is important and much more effective when transpiring in a safe environment backed with the intentionality of accomplishing an outcome.

Otherwise you may just be talking to hear yourself talk. By the way it is messy. And a lot of times happens organically. Begin with an outcome but don’t be derailed by visiting a few other stops along the way.

Thank you for understanding the episode in all it’s messy glory. It’s real. It’s life.

That is the way I like it. Unscripted and raw. Until next week.

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

All about that safe….about that safe….no trouble!

Maybe some of you would recognize the title as a play on words of a little tune that was popular a few years ago. If not, no big loss, I tried.

Stand up comedy was never really my thing.

When deciding about marriage and what was important to making it work, I came up with I believed to be the five most important “things” to have. But, of course I couldn’t just call them “things”. I needed something way cooler.

After much thinking I started doing some research on stones. We can think about stones in a couples of different ways. But, what came to mind for me was stepping stones. The way you might use them to go from one side of a river to another.

Assuming the stones are big enough of course.

Well, what I slowly remembered was that a “stone” is a unit of measurement in some European countries. It is the equivalent of 14 pounds. When I multiplied 14 times 5 I got 70.

Upon doing some further research I found out that the number 70 was the number of parables that Jesus spoke in the four Gospels. Not 70 per gospel but 70 if you add up the parables found in each of the Gospels.

So….stones it is.

Now, I like to think that the stones are in no particular order, seeing how each stone weighs the same. But then I realized that in order for everything else to work, the “safety” stone had to be the most important.

What does that mean?

It means that for any marriage to work well, I strongly feel that creating an environment of safety is the most important thing you can do.

Before your spouse can communicate…

They have to feel safe enough to talk to you. They have to feel like they can come to you about anything and you won’t yell, be negative, criticize, tell them there an idiot, or make them feel less than what they are.

Your job as a the head of the household is to make sure your wife (and kids for that matter) want to talk to you first about anything before they talk to anyone else.

They should know that you are not going to lose your cool and fly off the handle. If your wife doesn’t feel safe, both physically and emotionally, in the their own home then you really have to reassess what is happening in your kingdom.

Photo by Lydia Torrey on Unsplash

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

To all the Special Ladies!

 

Wow…20 Weeks already. Nearly halfway through the year. Seems like I just begun. But here we are into Mother’s day weekend.

It has been an incredible journey and on today’s episode we have two very special guests, without whom my wife would not be a mother. And I would not have the coolest tribe on the face of the planet.

As frustrating as parenting can be at times I wouldn’t change it and it something everyone should experience. Either biologically or through adoption.

Eight years really has flown by. And most likely in another decade Liz and I will be empty nesters and ready for a different chapter of life.

The tired is still there. The house a mess. Never know if I am coming or going. Always wondering how to pay for everything but I consider that all marks of a life well lived.

And I want to say a big “Thank You” to the mothers out there for all you do. You truly do not get the recognition you deserve. I know Liz doesn’t. It’s easy for us dumb men to get into a rut and take things for granted.

I think I have mentioned before that behind every dumb, strong man is an even stronger woman.

I’ll leave you with a quote that I think is attributed to Mark Twain.

Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

 

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com)
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

 

Episode 18: Potpourri…Part 1

Yes, it is all over the place. Liz had no idea what I meant by potpourri. But I totally had the whole Jeopardy thing going on. To say that tonight was hard would be an understatement.

Before we even got rolling with the recording we talked for about 45 minutes on what we were going to talk about. It is the oddest thing considering it’s unscripted and we are are not supposed to really know what we are going to talk about. I guess I have done a poor job with really getting my wife to understand how this whole thing really works.

And the conversation really did go all over the place.

Celebrations.
Cats.
Grace.
Mercy.
Success.
Showing up.
Having made it.

And even our own sappy movie ending 18 years ago that got us where we are today. So much to embrace that this thing became a two parter.

And I actually like it that way. So many of these things are starting to come down to the wire and feeling rushed to get these things out. But I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would be too boring I guess.

So…sit back and enjoy the two part potpourri.

Photo by heber galindo on Unsplash

Music: Cullah – “Riverse” on “Cullah The Wild” (http://www.cullah.com
Under license (CC BY SA 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/