Monthly Archives: September 2005

Self therapy

Or maybe it really is a form of group therapy since this is fairly public and anyone can comment?

In any case, this blogging space has become an outlet for my feelings.  I somehow can express my pain or joy in words written here.  It helps me deal with it in some concrete way.  It lets me get the emotion out where I can deal with it.  So I think it is a healthy and sometimes creative space.  I need this space, this method of expression.  I don’t know if what I write is profound or necessarily helpful for those of you who read it but it is good for me.  So if you don’t like it or find me depressing at times – just ignore me.  Write your own cheerful stuff, or beautiful stuff or profound political or theological stuff. 

Right now my stuff is just a reflection of my fairly shallow response to a profoundly good God.  Sometimes I can’t even see his goodness when I’m in pain.  But I have experienced enough of God to know that there is nothing better, no one else that will carry me through the bad stuff and cause me to grow in strength and in the knowledge of him. 

So if you wonder why on earth I would write some of the stuff I do, just cut me some slack.  I’m having a self-therapy session.  If I post a beautiful picture, I’m likely having a good day.  If I sound sad or pensive, throw up a prayer for me, I likely need it.

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Reflecting on Psalm 84

At Gatecrashers prayer this morning, Randall read a story about growing strong trees.  The person planting the trees kept the growing conditions harsh in order to grow strong trees with deep roots that could withstand tough conditions – no coddling these trees to have them become dependant on artificial sources of water, etc. 

I had just finished reading the Psalm from the lectionary I have been following over this year – Psalm 84. 

Two things struck me as I read it and meditated on it.  First, the psalmist talks about his heart longing to spend time in the house of God – something I have experienced.  I can appreciate this feeling of longing. Then in a later part of this psalm, he talks about being on a pilgrimage. 

Happy are those who are strong in the LORD,
       who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
       it will become a place of refreshing springs,
       where pools of blessing collect after the rains!

They will continue to grow stronger,
       and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. (vs 5 to 7)


I know that he is referring to Jerusalem but I think it applies to those of us who are on this pilgrimage towards God – towards knowing God more deeply.  On this pilgrimage, the travelers pass through valleys – one being the valley of weeping.  As they pass through this valley changes and becomes filled with springs of joy, flooded with blessing, sorrow transformed to joy.  And the journey makes the pilgrim stronger.

This valley is where I find myself now.  Watching my son and daughter-in-law struggle in their marriage seems a big and deep valley full of sorrow.  I can’t see the road leading up and out of it yet.  I feel like I am walking blindly.  Maybe the thing is to just keep walking anyway, trusting God simply because there is no other god or power to trust but him. 

The story of the trees and the psalm about the pilgrimage through this valley both seemed to speak to my present situation.  I am glad I have roots that have grown deep enough to help me weather the present storm. 

I know that God’s plans for me are good plans even if I have no idea how they will look.  I remember his promise to care for my children and his words of love spoken to me in an earlier dark hour. I will not let myself just sit down in this valley and cry.  I will keep on this pilgrimage even if I am walking with my eyes blinded by tears.  I will keep on with whatever hope for joy ahead that I can right now.  I know deep inside, in my roots, that God is here beside me.  My hope.  My rock.  My solid foundation. 




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Filed under Devotional Reading


Monday –
     the day when everyone at work asks “How was your weekend?”

This is work.  I’m the boss.  Dental offices are not always the cheeriest places anyway.  What am I supposed to say?  Crappy – about as sad as they get? 

Not likely.

So, much of the day was spent pushing my emotions under cover. 

Then I managed to have a good talk with someone.  That helped.

Little things like that are small gifts.  Thank you God.

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Filed under Day to Day

Lord Have Mercy

I was in the middle of posting some painful stuff about love – watching it die.  Maybe it is more true to say that it is killing something in my son.  I feel helpless.  So I tried to put it into words but couldn’t.

Then I remember that in our weakness  God shows his strength.  Well, we are pretty weak and helpless right now.

Lord have mercy on this fragile thing of a marriage.
Have mercy on the little guy who already is caught in the middle.
Give us some of your wisdom.  Grant our prayers for healing.
Lord have mercy.


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I awakened in the middle of the night.  It is the worst time for me – 2:30 am.  Sometimes when I wake at this hour it seems as if it is a prompting to talk to God about something.  But this time it was as if my head was full of stuffing.  I think I am just at the limits of the amount of stress I can handle – but who knows.  I am still managing to function.  There just seem too many things that I am going to have to manage tomorrow – well actually today already. 

I did get my new laptop. 

And that is good since my son has moved back home for awhile till his marriage gets sorted out and he will need to use the other computers for some of his work.

So David and Kieran are taking over Sara’s room.  Kieran will be with him some on the weekends at least and other times too I guess.  I came home yesterday and he was so upset.  It is hard to go and pick up your child from your wife who you still love deeply and have the fact that something has made her reject you hit you again.  He wants to work at restoring their relationship, she doesn’t seem to – at least not yet.  Pray for them.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff

Another Hurricane Coming

Katrina has done her damage.  Now even before the clean up gets significantly underway, another, perhaps worse storm is on its way.  They say that this doesn’t happen often – two big storms in one year.  And Rita promises to be big.

We have been praying for the victims of Katrina.  Perhaps we should spend some time praying that God would soften the blow of Rita, that people would listen and get out of the way to a safe place.  Pre-empt it sort of. 

I don’t know, but I think I will do some praying.

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Filed under In the News

Being reminded of God's goodness

From the Psalms – my reading for this day – Psalm 57 -selections from verses 1 to 3a and 7 to 11:

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
       I look to you for protection.
    I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
       until this violent storm is past.

       I cry out to God Most High,
       to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.

        He will send help from heaven to save me

 My heart is confident in you, O God;
       no wonder I can sing your praises!

   Wake up, my soul!
       Wake up, O harp and lyre!
       I will waken the dawn with my song.

     I will thank you, Lord, in front of all the people.
       I will sing your praises among the nations.

   For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
       Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

   Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
       May your glory shine over all the earth.

The Psalms remind me of the goodness of God.  I need that.

Last night’s sunset did that too as did the evidence of the changing season; leaves are turning to gold.  God continues to hold this world in his hands, caring for even the littlest and most insignificant of us.

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