Friday, June 6, 2014

The Big "D"

I've been working on a Doctor of Ministry degree from George Fox University. The light is at the end of the tunnel and the end is getting closer, but there is a dissertation that is standing in the way. This summer the "big D" and I will square off.

It stands 50,000 words tall, has eyes that see through me and a voice that both beckons and mocks me at the same time. I have played with it and been bullied by it for 2 years now. Sometimes it reveals itself to me and invites me to spend time with it and at other times it is almost invisible, hiding, refusing.

I've learned something about it (or "us" because we are related). It has shown a light on parts of my spirit that I try and avoid. I can see hints of insecurity as I wonder if it will be ignored. Maybe no one will ever see the problem it addresses and the how personal its impact is. Maybe the world of academia will yawn because it's not intelligent enough. Maybe it will get me in trouble with some people I respect because they disagree with it (and I know some will).

So the big "D" stands between me and the light at the end of the tunnel. It is my passion that I long to dance with, my enemy that I would rather hide from, and a treasure I am hunting for. The dancing, hiding, and hunting will take place this summer. For the months of June through September my hands will be on the keyboard, my nose in books, my eyes on the distant light, my voice asking for grace and anointing, and my soul will be held by its Creator. 

In faith I will be closer to the light at the end of the tunnel by September and the big "D" will stand in my shadow. Friday Thought readers, see ya in September... maybe. (If you don't hear from me please send a search party to the tunnel of books!)


Friday, May 9, 2014


Dear Jesus,
I guess you're aware of the fact that this week more got added to the pile of things I don't understand.

Sometimes that pile stinks. No matter how far I get away from it, I can still smell it. I've tried to hold my breath, but I can't hold it that long. Jesus, have you ever smelled rotten eggs - yah, it's kind of like that. Once I tried to pour coffee on it (I love the smell of coffee), but it didn't help.

The pile of things I don't understand is loud at times too. I didn't think it would make that much noise, but it's a pretty loud choir. Each item on the pile calls me to pick it up and hug it. They want me to value them. Sometimes I do, but they still make noise. Noise canceling headphones don't work on piles that live in your spirit. It would be nice to hear quiet.   

I'll confess that I've even tripped over the pile. I know you told me to not walk that close to it, but it's getting so big it's hard to walk around. The other day when I went to put something new on the pile of things I don't understand I stumbled and fell right in the middle of it. I sat there up to my neck in questions. I forgot how sticky they are. I eventually crawled out but it took a really big distraction.

So, last time you wrote me you said that there would be things I don't understand and you're not going to give me all the answers. I'm coming to grips with that (but I still think it would be easier to just explain everything to me). You said that I need to find a different pile to spend my time around... one that I didn't build.

I've been looking around in my spirit and I may have found what you were talking about. Did you build a pile of grace in my spirit? 

It smells amazing. It's a fragrance that must have been very expensive. How much did it cost you? Some how breathing it in sets me free. I thought I would have to have answers to be free. Grace let's me have a question without it keeping me in shackles.

And the sounds of the pile of grace in my spirit, I didn't know grace made a noise until I got really close and heard the rhythm of the beat. Is that your heart beat? Sometimes I can even hear lyrics. I heard, "There... is... hope...." the other day. "Let... me... give... you... power..." That was a cool song. My favorite is the beat that says, "I... love... you..." The pile of grace sings much better than the pile of things I don't understand.  Hey, Jesus, could we turn the volume up a little more?

I've never tripped over the pile of grace. Somehow it makes my steps more sure and steady. It's an interesting texture to walk on. The pile seems to almost point my steps. I went swimming in the pile of grace and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't reach the bottom. How deep is grace anyway?

Well, I've got to get back to work. I know I've been spending a lot of time at the pile that I've built and not the one you built. I thought I'd write and tell you, I'm done hanging out at the pile of things I don't understand. Is it ok If I spend a lot more time at pile you made. Since I can't swim to the bottom, tomorrow I'm going to try to climb to the top. How high is your grace?

Friend & Follower,