It's been a while since I have written to my unknown audience. The feeling that I don't need to know if and when anyone reads this is a peaceful feeling indeed, and it does give me the sense that the craziness in my head can somehow make sense out in the open. If I could say one thing that has been in the forefront of my thinking and in my prayers, it has to be dreaming.
I don't remember when I first started dreaming. I can; however, remember the years that dreaming was all I had. Some can call it the spirit of fantasy, but I would lye in bed at night often, and decide who and what I was going to be in my dreams that night. Looking back, dreaming like that kept hope alive in those tough times for me. It kept me from becoming a complete lunatic. Trust me, there were many times that I thought I was becoming a lunatic trying to cope with my circumstances.
Fast forward to the past few years, for a while I kept the dreaming down, not that I stopped all together, but I did slow it down. Maybe it was because life had improved so much for me, but whatever the case it did not seem needed as much.
However, in the past few months I have realized something about dreaming. Through messages and dreams of my own I have revisited the subject and the philosophy behind it. Dreaming is one the parts of us that is most like God. It makes us believe in the impossible and think outside of ourselves. Believing in world that could be. It creates a hope in us to believe in a good God, and it reminds us even in the darkest of times that these moments can't and won't last forever. To stop dreaming, we are deciding to cut ourselves off from the creativity and godliness hidden inside of each of us. Not to mention, the amount of prophetic and revelatory dreams people receive almost everyday without even being aware of it.
There are a lot of dream-killers out there. Just waiting to destroy something you hold so fragile in your life. For a while, a dream in our life is like carrying around a piece of glass. We have to be careful how we carry it, who we let see it, and if they will cherish it the way we do. Over time and as we let that dream grow in us, the glass develops strength and resistance. We are no longer as careful with it, because we've seen the dream stand the test of time. There does comes a time when the dream comes alive and no one can kill it or break it any longer. It is no longer a dream now, it has become a belief system. This is the way God designed dreams to work in us. Especially, the ones he has put in us. If our dreams our not shaping the reality around us, we are still be influenced by our circumstances and our failures. The dream that becomes a belief system makes our minds become truly renewed. You can no longer stop the dreams from coming true, because it's deep inside, creating the reasons that they live.
Jesus demonstrated this by the way he lived his life. He dreamed so much of the reality of the cross and the atonement in it, that he lived his life in view of that dream. Hebrews says... "For the joy that was set before him...he endured the cross.." The joy of fulfillment kept Jesus' eyes on the dream and the goal. The dream of redeeming man was not a fragile piece of glass, but a belief system and mindset that had grown deep in the person of Jesus.
So today I challenge my unknown audience, what dream has God given you, what reality shift needs to take place in your life today? Dream! I tell you! Don't fear the process or the journey to seeing that dream come to life.
Dreaming is something that makes us so much like our creator. After all he dreamed us up, and he dreamed up how to redeem the dream and the people he was so crazy about. No devil in hell could stop him from seeing his dream come true. Neither should you.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I wanted to write my own movie review about "Act of Valor." Having had many relatives that have served throughout the military forces, and a brother about to enter the Naval Academy, I feel like this movie definitely hit a soft spot on the inside. I found myself fighting back tears more than once in this film, and it moved me greatly. However, I want to address the Christian response from a Christian reviewer that I totally and completely disagree with. When the Passion of the Christ came out, many Christians began to report that it was too graphic and too violent, and that they didn't need to see how much Jesus paid for them, because they already knew it. My personal response, I wanted to then in turn, force them to sit and watch it and keep their eyes open. To me, it was like the Christian community loved the "theory" behind the sacrifice of Jesus, but didn't want to truly understand the price. We've developed this false sense of protection with our children and with our families. Meaning, I am going to protect my family from what I believe is right, because by not allowing them to see the true cruelty of man, I am in some way preparing them to go into the world?? How does this make sense? Now, don't misunderstand me. I am not saying I sit and watch every piece of film that comes out of Hollywood, but to say that a movie like "Act of Valor," is too graphic or violent, and that the total violence behind it doesn't need to be seen? Really?!?!? All I could think as I watched it was the fact that I could have never have done what they did for our country. I sat there talking to God the whole movie, and saying, "Papa, I feel bad because I feel like I don't have the courage to do the things these men did selflessly..." Then Papa answered, "Jared, they can do those things, because I've given them a special grace and courage to do it... I didn't call you to that, and therefore I didn't give you a grace for that...and you feel the difference in grace when you think about it." The reality folks is that man is cruel. Especially, when he is being motivated by the devil himself. Perhaps, we should realize the sacrifice it truly takes to keep this country safe. Putting aside religion for a moment. We have been promised, as citizens in this country, the right to life. However, there are men that believe that they can take that right to live away from us. Jesus' very mandate in John 10:10 was "that you might have life and have it abundantly." When I was growing up my grandmother used to say to me, "God gave man two forces, violence and romance. Violence so we would have the capacity to war against the enemy, and romance so we would have the capacity to love him.." We were created to rise up against injustice, it's programed into our very nature. That is why I become so infuriated with the people in our generation, who would seek to take down our military or would dishonor our men. Who would jeer at them, and write reviews saying that we should know but not see their sacrifice. I believe media is one of the most powerful tools we have on the planet. We can sit comfortably in our chairs, and walk in someone else's shoes (without having to be in danger in anyway), for even a moment, and get a taste of their world. Truly, our response to such should be compassion, respect, and gratitude. It is these men, that make it a reality, that would happened to that one CIA agent (drilling holes in our hands), isn't a regular occurrence in our country. For that I am eternally grateful. God bless our troops and our men in action. You are truly God's angels and armor on the front line for me. Thank you.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
I have entered into a period I call, "The great sadness." I know I took that title from somewhere, but I can't remember where anymore. It's like this weekend all the pain that I have been going through all year long suddenly turned into sadness. I don't know what I wish to accomplish in writing this down, but maybe in a small way it will help to process the sadness. The sad thing about the sadness is that for so long I have wanted to cry, but couldn't. I felt like Cameron Diaz in "The Holiday" where she could never cry when she wanted to. Me either! I think in the great sadness I am finally learning that I have to accept others compassion for me. When I would talk to someone about what awful things were happening in my life, they would say how 'sorry' they were for my troubles, and I would immediately say "Oh it's not that big of a deal... WHO WAS I KIDDING?!?!?! Did it just hit me! THIS SUCKS! And it's still not over! Hey, the good thing is I am writing some awesome songs lol! Adele, won't have anything on me when I'm finished. Except, they won't be brake up songs....exactly. Maybe not breaking up with girlfriend songs, more like family and soul breakup. Well, I don't know that I have really processed anything else. I guess you could say that I am slow processor, because this whole thing started 9 months ago, and I am finally starting to grieve. Maybe, part of me didn't want to believe it, or didn't want to have to acknowledge there was 'one more' weight on my shoulders. Random, but have you ever noticed how quickly people get other things in movies?? For some reason I have been watching a lot of chick-flicks lately and my gosh it's so unrealistic. They just jump from one person or another, and somehow this doesn't shatter them on the inside. Oh well...I just feel sorry for the people who believe that love is really like that, that you can actually through your heart around...news flash it's like glass. Sooner or later someone's gonna drop it. Anyway, that's all that's here. For now, that is.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
In this season, it is hard to see past the pain, the confusion, and trust Papa God with your healing. You want to be well right now, you are tired of the feeling of always needing to be "fixed." But, alas, you give up an keep moving on... I don't know if this sounds like anyone else, but it sure does describe me. Today, I was reminded of a time I wrote an article on cleaning someone's feet. I was given the task of finding some poor person to wash, then write about my experience, but the trouble was that no one would let me wash their feet. So, I sat staring at my computer having no clue "how," I was supposed to write this paper having not had the experience. Then the Holy Spirit began to talk to me about the context of the scripture in which Jesus washed their feet. In it the disciples began to wildly object when Jesus said, "I must wash your feet." In fact, Peter said, "I am not worthy of you to wash my feet, let me wash yours." The funny thing was that neither of them were prepared for Jesus' response. He interrupted their protests with this, "If I do not wash your feet, you can not have any part of me..." Well, Crap! That shut everybody up, even Peter. The Holy Spirit began to talk to me about the hardest and the worst part of our lives. How we don't want to have to let anyone else see those areas, and we would never want someone else to have to deal with them. In Jesus time, the feet were the dirtiest part of them physically. They walked barefoot or sandaled for miles and miles everyday. Some of the disciples could have stepped on anything from poop to diseases, needless to say, they were dirty, and both Jesus and the disciples knew this. Even to this day, most people don't want people to touch their feet, or they don't want to be touched my feet. Girls, argue all the time about who's feet are uglier and most men's feet are well....more ugly. But Jesus said, "If I cannot wash your feet, you cannot have any part of me..."As I read over it again, I began to get it. Our feet represent the worst parts of us, sometimes the hidden things, and if we are willing to let Jesus "wash and love us" WHERE we are...wherever that may be, than we can not enjoy all the other benefits that come from Jesus. We must be willing to say "Jesus, I am warning you these feet smell (sin and shame), I am pretty sure I stepped on a dead animal today at some point, and the smell could cause you to throw up..." However, we know that Jesus looks at our "feet" with Joy, because Hebrews 12 says "for the JOY that was set before him, he endured the cross..." He smiles at us as the warm water washes away the "dirt" of the day, week, year, or even years, and says "You think I am afraid to touch your feet...nahhh!!! I love your feet, they're your feet, and no one else's. Sure, you stepped in alot of crap, but just come right here and I will wash every smell and dirt away. I paid for those smelly stinky feet..." Sure, we all have stinky feet, even on our best day... But the feeling when you get out of the shower and you feel are clean and warm from the shower, there is nothing like it. Thank Jesus, He is the washer of feet, because as usual mine stink again. Jesus clean my feet, please!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Journeys are a most peculiar thing. They carry with them a certain newness, mystery, and surprise at every turn. Some are good and seem to make us aware that mystery holds certain truths. Still, at other times they are seemly destructive and we cower at the thought of facing more unknown. However, the fact of the matter is that we cannot change the journey that we are on. We cannot change the mystery, the newness, or the surprise that lies and waits for us to encounter it, but fear that is something that we can change. There is always risk to relationship. There is a risk that someone won’t be who they say they are, or that someone will fail us along the road. However, that is the beauty of trust, it is full of risk. Perhaps, it is important to consider the risk that Jesus took for us. He died knowing that half of the world might never know him. He risked that He would be rejected, and that we, having free will, could choose to take His hand or shove it away. Knowing this it’s hard to say no to the hand that is extended towards us each morning. Although the hand does not promise us no newness, mystery, or surprise, it promises one thing...togetherness. Life is a journey that we are called to walk with God in togetherness. No matter how scary or challenging the road looks, I am suddenly aware of the hand that is squeezing tightly next to me. I hear him whisper, “Your Papa is here....He’s never gonna let go...Your Papa loves you...Your Papa is proud of you...He is always pleased with you...You are loved my baby Jared...Loved.” Somehow, in the mist of these moments, the newness, the mystery, and the surprise loose their fear and suddenly there is a sense of adventure. I feel it crawling up from my stomach and it makes it warmth to my face, and I smile, because I am not alone in the mystery, newness, and surprise, or even the pain. I am lost completely lost in Papa God’s arms. His grip seems to carry me...carry me...wait..I remember this feeling...this unmistakable....Peace.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Many may not know that I am writing a book about my life. Wow, it just sounds funny when I admit it. I am writing, because I have been asked to write my story down for years, and so now I am finally doing it. At first, I felt stupid in thinking that someone would even want to read my story, but now I realize that it has formed a deeper healing in me the more I write. So, I wanted to share a clip from "Healing the Cracks" with all of you...whoever you are. So, here it is....
I was in the pent house of my dorm, and it was almost 1am. I starred out of the window at the city lights. This was one of the few places I felt safe to cry. I was so alone, and almost hopeless as I begged God to take away my pain. I wanted so desperately to know that I could truly see the love of God. I knew He loved me, but I wanted to ‘experience’ it. I continued to stare out of the window as the time slowly passed. It must be close to 2 or 3 am by now. Suddenly I seemed to leave my body. It seemed as if I floated over the city for a minute, before I began to watch cities flash before me, and then I heard God speak to me, “I am going to take you around the world, and use you to MANIFEST my love on a level the world has never seen...” As if the whole experience hadn’t just took place, I was suddenly back on the floor starring out the window. Had God really said He was going to use me to show the world His MANIFESTED love? Does He know that I don’t know His love? I had come to this penthouse, because I had just fell subject to temptation and I was repented for falling yet again... Here God was telling me He was going to use ME? ME! Had He forgotten why I was up here? As in response, the presence of God began to surround me, and I felt him loving on me.
I’ve heard it said that God’s word will come in a time that is completely contrary to it, to show us the power that his word has the power to bring itself to past. He had spoken a word to me that was completely contrary to my life at the time. I had never experienced His love, but that didn’t stop God from declaring it over me. As humans, we often see things in there present state. We view people in their world of pain, or we unconsciously attach someone’s wounds to their identity. However, God sees things in their fullness, and in their original purpose. He chooses to remove our wounds from our identity, and empower the true nature of who we are on the inside. The words of Paul come to mind in these statements... “As we behold in a mirror the glory of God...” For so many years, I was so afraid of what I would see in the mirror, I never looked. However, when I finally ventured to look, I realized God had been waiting to not reveal my flaws, but His nature to heal. I saw in the mirror who He had died for me to be, and what He had paid for me to be free, and the love that surrounded every part of my being.
I was familiar with His love, but I had no clue what was really coming my way on that horizon...
Our world is full of the orphan spirit, more than any other generation has ever witnessed. Not only are we fatherless in the natural, but we have been raised in the church to view God as an orphan. We don’t know that it was Papa Daddy God, not just God, that sent Jesus to die for us.
Although it is my belief that experiencing pain is inevitable. We can choose to process the pain, and see healing come through an amazing encounter with Daddy God’s love in the very arms of the creator himself. Here is my story with Papa...
Let me know what you think.... :)
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I recently journaled this over vacation, but I really think it really puts where I am at in perspective... So here it is...
October 8, 2011 11:00PM Mineral Wells, Texas Holiday Inn (Stairwell)
How many times have I written the line... “I never thought I’d be here...?” Countless. Still here I am...saying, I never thought I’d be here. I am not afraid of the pain as I used to be. But, there is still the unfamiliarity of it all. Sure, I’ve had a whirlwind of pain throughout my entire childhood, but this is very different. Because, I know THIS pain is necessary. Contrary to so many years I thought I was the terrible victim to a never ending evil plot. I could run, but the plot and the killer would always find me, and inevitably they would.
It’s almost humorous to think of the setting when writing this. I am here in the middle of nowhere. In the stairwell, in a tiny Texas town called Mineral Wells. Outside it’s dark and the rain pours endlessly on the windows. How appropriate the whole thing is. To top the whole endeavor off, “Water Night” by Eric Whitacre plays in my earphones. Perhaps, it is truly a “water night.” The water is a mixture of confusion, dreams, pain, happiness, sorrow, madness, joy, victory and defeat. The thought then remains. Does the water truly lead to wells in your soul? Maybe, if the water is your own tears. Of course, it does. My soul is a pool of well water.
However, the frustration remains just below the surface, because it is still difficult to let the tears go at all. I feel there need to be released building behind my longing eyes, and yet they stay plugged to their home.
Still the unwavering feeling of hope continues to feel my soul. Where does it all come from? I have yet to finally let myself become completely overwhelmed in the mist all of this stuff. Its like I know that there is so much to go through, but I am not worried that it will somehow all work out. Of course, I can’t begin to tell you how or when, but I just know that it will. Although it does not downplay the present pain or confusion that still lingers around me, but it does settle my soul somewhat.
So for now, let it be a...“Water Night...”