psychiatrist

paper walls

smell of cat urine

on saltines

nature scenes

white pills, pink pills

orange cylinder capped white

rattles.

rain, inside me.

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lengths of love

I love you times smiles, germs, and cents.  I love you times miles, moons, and dents.  times ages, awnings, and atoms. plus every booger and star ever formed, and each laughter note. plus yawns, pebbles, and fur. times each thread, molecule, and memory–I love you!

Grace: waterfalls in drought

This is the best news everrrr!

You don’t need to clean yourself up before coming to God. He came down and took the dirt on Himself. Died so we could live. The work’s done. We get to receive God’s AMAZING love. We get to receive Jesus!

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify:  the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.  Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.  And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:1-12

This love is for everyone. No matter what you’ve done. If you accept Christ and live for Him, you’re free.

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When Jesus walked the earth, He spent time with the least of these. Prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, fishermen. Jesus calls those blessed who realize their need for a Saviour. Today, if you feel empty, if you know you can’t do this alone. That’s a really good realization.

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Don’t stop at spiritual bankruptcy. Let your neediness drive you to God.

It’s better to be desperate for God. To be empty. To be at the end of yourself. Than to have it all together. Or to think you don’t need God. The reality is we all need help. Blessed are those who realize their need! There is mercy and steadfast love waiting for  you at the foot of the cross– The Kingdom of Heaven is yours!

I am SO aware of my incompetency apart from Christ. Without Him I’m hopeless, lost, in darkness, confused, broken, destroyed. With Christ, I am healed, whole, loved, made new, safe.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 14:12

In John 14:6, Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The way we think is right leads to death. God’s way–Jesus–is truth and life.

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Jesus, the Son of God, is the answer. Will you humble yourself and seek truth?

If anything in this post struck a chord in  your heart organ, talk to God about it now. He’s waiting to hear from you. He loves you. Honestly tell God how you feel–your struggles, doubts, fears, thoughts. He already knows. But He desires to hear it from you, because He loves you. Wherever  you are, whatever you’re going through, no matter how far you feel from God, He is with  you. Right now, right here. He’s listening. He’s waiting. Go to Him…<3

How to Stay Out of Prison

The Israelites were enslaved to the Egyptians. However, God never forgot about them.

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God delivered the Israelites through a servant, Moses. When the Egyptians chased the Israelites, not letting them go, God’s mighty, outstretched arm supernaturally parted the Red Sea. His people could cross through and be free of slavery.

Afterwards, in the wilderness on the way to the Promised land, God continued to take care of the Israelites. He gave them water from a rock and bread from dew. Most of all, His Presence was with them in a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. He chose them as His treasured possession. He loved them.

God desired they love Him back through covenant obedience. To listen and obey His voice. To be set apart, holy. To be His. He asked them simply to have faith, despite the wilderness surroundings.

In the same way, all human beings are born into sin. Enslaved to sin. God loves us. So He sent Jesus, His Son, to set us free. Jesus shed His blood by dying in our place on the cross. This is akin to the cross-ing of the Red (blood) sea. God made a way. Jesus is the way to life. For those who cross God’s way, there is freedom.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10

We are saved by grace through faith. Grace is Jesus taking our place on the cross / parting of the Red Sea. Faith is receiving Him as Lord / believing in the wilderness. Faith, our response to God’s grace, is how we remain in Him because He’s set us free. Loving Him back through listening and obeying. Enjoying covenant relationship with the God of the universe!

Remember the Israelites? After God set them free, they had a choice: To believe God and obey, or to disobey. They chose the latter.

The New Testament of the Bible includes warnings for Christians concerning the Israelites:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,   and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown  in the wilderness.

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”  We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ  to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,  nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.  Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:1-14

 

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
    on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
    and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
    they have not known my ways.’
 As I swore in my wrath,
    ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

 

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

 

For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?  And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Hebrews 3:7-19

Today, all who believe in Jesus are free! We, like the Israelites, have a choice. Will we remain free by obeying, or disobey and fall away?

 

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Soften your heart. Listen to God. Receive His Son, His love and love Him back through obedience! Through following His narrow way: crossing the Red Sea, believing in Jesus.

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Another word for ‘abide’ is ‘remain.’ We must remain in Christ through faith. No matter our feelings, thoughts, or situations. Test and weigh every feeling against Scripture. Take thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. Remember truth no matter what happens. Trials are tests of faith. Remain. Be loved. Love. Give thanks. Enjoy God’s rest.

Stand firm!

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One day, (SOON!) it will allllll be worth it.

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you are loved

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

 

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,  but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

the cross is the power of God to save those who believe. it does not make sense to the world.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;  God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,  so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,  so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

God made foolish the wisdom of this world. His way is not the world’s way. Goliath towered above everyone, wore thick, brilliant armor, and shouted with a booming voice. to the Israelites, he was terrifying. God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. David, a shepherd boy, defeated the giant with a sling and one smooth stone. in the same way, God does not save in a way that makes sense to this world. we cannot come to God on our own understanding. He delivers us, not with sword and spear; the Lord saves through the pierced hands of a crushed Saviour:

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
 For he [Jesus] grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
 He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53

if the cross is speaking to you now, don’t harden your heart. humble yourself and surrender, even if it doesn’t make complete sense. Jesus wants to guide you into truth. He loves you.  just look at the cross–the highest price, the costliest sacrifice. Jesus took the punishment for your sin. it’s paid in full. you’re free, only believe.

 

love display

innocent lamb
led to slaughter
our punishment
poured on Him
because of love
His body torn and broken
raw & ripped open
He died in our place
(willingly)
took our shame
bore our weakness
sin and sickness
pierced arms stretched wide
blood tide flowing from your hands and side
removing sins
inviting us in
embracing the broken

spotless lamb

perfect sacrifice

He hung in the sky
crossbeam lifted high
hope realized
love displayed
crimson droplets fell
splattering thirsty earth
the holes in His hands
make us whole
all our shame erased
by grace
He’s the answer to our soul—
Jesus

trickles of blood
droplets of mercy
breathed his last
(it is finished)
temple curtain torn in two
earth shook
rocks split
tombs opened
the dead breathe again
raised to life
victorious one
walks out the tomb,
setting us free
victorious King
fierce Father
beautiful Savior
waterfall of life
galaxies of grace

He hung in the sky
crossbeam lifted high
hope realized
love displayed
crimson droplets fell
splattering thirsty earth
the holes in His hands
make us whole
all our shame erased
by grace
He’s the answer to our soul—
Jesus

God’s wrath for our sins
poured on Jesus—
Just and Justifier
finally satisfied,
now we’re His bride
washed white
adorned in beauty
holy, set apart for the sake of God’s glory

He hung in the sky
crossbeam lifted high
hope realized
love displayed
crimson droplets fell
splattering thirsty earth
the holes in His hands
make us whole
all our shame erased
by grace
He’s the answer to our soul—
Jesus

if i ever doubt God’s love
the cross forever seared
on my heart
reminds me
of truth
my one true love
now we’re His bride
washed white
adorned in beauty
holy, set apart for the sake of God’s glory

mental ride, part 3

two paramedics wheeled me to the tall grey mental hospital. blurry paperwork, scribbled signature, an indefinite smile on my face. checked in, locked down.

another patient confronted me; I acted back. bubbly nurse lady escorted me to the quiet room, bolting the door shut. small chamber with padded walls and lone bed. kneeling, I cried  for love. my stomach folded and my mind raced figure eights through quick sand, oasis, ocean, and space. it travelled at record speeds, incomprehensible and lost. a realm unknown to man, I forged new frontiers—insanity disguised as genius, brain deceiving itself. my slow body slumped on the floor.

 

woe when my brain and body eventually matched up.

mashed potatoes

meatloaf

chocolate milk

hairnet lunch lady smiled

scooped carrots

man tranquilized mid-meal

again.

 I observed outside world through window dotted with tint. a foot clinic. roads. trees. birds dancing midsky. mountains crisp against dull blue backdrop. 

after each meal, we walked the unit. digging a trench in the linoleum floor, the other patients and I circled the ward. beautiful nature scenes, oversized and framed, lined the outside of the narrow hallway. the wall pattern: door door waterfall door door forest door door mossy rocks door flowers door door pond. My mind escaped the trapped place, traipsed out into the brilliant scenes. fields and flowers, passing hours upon hours in the desolate plain. waiting for it to rain. or snow, some form of precipitation. I wanted participation in the bright symphony outdoors. my soul choked in the hallway. desert spread through my throat. seven days enclosed in stained off-white hospital walls, my brain’s off switch slowly flipping to on. I missed fresh air the most.

like a cat trapped in carrier, I clawed, silently asking how do I get out of here?

I scrawled notes with the golf pencil and tiny notebook provided:

charge nurse: Charolette

Med nurse: ?

take meds

ask Tim for help

schedule on wall

follow schedule

take showers

I found my brain in the water. the scalding drops seared my shoulders crimson. I scrubbed my scalp for the second time that day. the warm sensation soothed a body disconnected from brain, brought mind down from spaceship ride, touching to earth with a soft pouft.

tales from mania, part 2

sirens raced out like morning light on fast forward, quickly waking a sleeping plain.  they interrupt air and quiet, causing dog hair to raise and people to pause and pray. I never thought I’d be be the cause of such commotion.  two men—one tall and brown haired, the other round with a big laugh—strapped me onto the raised, roller emergency bed. they wore bright, rough coats and spoke gently. they strapped me down, with my Bible on my lap. their big black boots thumped down the hospital halls as they wheeled me away.

the lanky one sat in back with me. he hooked me up to a vitals screen. question marks blinked on a couple panels.

ah yes, of course. I’m dead. that’s why the medical gadget can’t find my pulse! HaHA! inner smirk.

“thank you for carrying me,” I said.

“not a problem,” said the medic. “you’re the lightest thing we picked up all day!”

because I’m not here! I’m dead!

two paramedics picked me up and wheeled me off to the back of an ambulance en route to the mental ward. they performed their duty, with grace. my body strapped down, speeding away, meanwhile my mind went on vacation to the Milky Way where stars twirled in deep dark empty space, where lost thoughts shot like pinballs or shooting balls of bright gas, disguised as truth. my own world where I could play and not be chided for saying I died. in my mind, life left my mortal tent long ago.