the faithful ramblings a late bloomer. . .

the faithful musings of a four letter word user on a quest for authenticity.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Good-bye, Blogspot!

I haven't gotten a ton of writing done lately because I've been working on ironing out the details of the move from blogspot to wordpress. While the entire site isn't finished yet, I like where it is enough, to go ahead and send you over there for all of my new material!

Good bye, dear blogspot.  You were my first!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Go Ahead, Call Me A Hypocrite

I live in a resort community on the eastern coast of Florida.  It’s a great small town with gorgeous beaches and the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic.  Consequently, there’s loads of money here.  Old money, new money, lots and lots and lots of money.  

There is also no money.  Money and no money are quite literally divided by a set of train tracks here, the Florida East Coast Railway that runs parallel with US down the east coast of Florida.

I work with no money, but I worship and play with money.  I witness the great divide of the haves and have nots on a daily basis.  Often, I am unsettled about the world I live in, compared to the world I work in.  I try to take the feelings of shame of having what I need and most of what I want and counterbalance them with as much gratitude as I can offer up.  So far, that's the best solution I can come up with as I've never felt God's call to give it all up and move to a third world country.   

Generally, that does the trick, but when I pulled into a church parking lot last Friday evening at 5 o’clock to prepare for a dinner Habitat was hosting there, and saw the pastor and his co-pastor wife getting into there very gorgeous white BMW, I couldn’t help but pause and question the situation.

It’s the second time I’ve seen it, too.  My previous priest, drove a 2 door convertible Lexus coupe.  I remember the first time I saw him driving up to a church picnic and thinking to myself, “ToTo we’re not in Kansas anymore”.  Turns out that priest had a serious vanity problem. . . and an authenticity problem as it would later be revealed that he was involved in a 17 year relationship with a female priest who was not his wife. He is no longer a priest however, he is now driving that luxury automobile to the homeless shelter that he’s directing.

I am in the process of finding a new church and was considering visiting the church I was at Friday evening.  I’ve been there before and liked it and was considering giving it another try, but honestly, now I’m not so sure.  I've been burned once by an affluent priest.

I know these ministers have worked for many years to be where they are financially, just like the CEO of the local bank.  They have raised their children, likely paid off their mortgages and certainly have the disposable income to drive anything they like.  So why do I struggle with them displaying their level of financial comfort?

I should insert a disclaimer here.  I have a Saab. It is going on 6 years old, but having had newer ones, I will admit that I would probably be driving a newer one if I could afford it. Those with money don’t give THAT generously to Habitat though!  I like a luxury car just as much as the next guy, and generally feel that as long as you’re not over extending yourself for vanity sake, and you like it, then go for it.  

I really have no room to judge them though as I pull up to Habitat every day in a luxury brand and will fully admit to coveting those driving the new E-class Mercedes. Hello, have you seen them?  They’re gorgeous!

Anyway, I digress.  I’m wondering how YOU would feel if you pulled up to church and saw your preacher driving a Mercedes.  Perhaps you have?  Is it wrong? Is it fine?  Please, help me out with this one!  I could be missing a great church over this one!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ordinary Things

One of my best friends, Melanie, went through a horrible divorce a few years ago.  She found herself ready to forego the rest of her life, for the peace of the after life, one night and prayed as she went to sleep that night that God would take her on with Him while she slept.  She was praying that she would die in the night.  She no longer wanted to face her existence when she awoke the next morning.

Upon her eyes opening that next morning, she was immediately devastated.  She was so sure the night before, that she was going to meet her maker. . . that He would answer her prayer and take her on home with Him.  As she opened her eyes and realized that He didn't answer her prayer, she was overcome with heartbreak from an unanswered prayer.

As she came to terms with the reality, she laid in her bed, sobbing.  Over and over, in her head, she heard God speak to her four simple words, "Go Make The Coffee".  Problem.  She didn't want to go make the freaking coffee.  She wanted to be dead.

Eventually though, she got up and made her way to the coffee pot.  There, she found a peace she had never felt before.  So much peace, that it left a lasting impression, not only on her life, but also in mine. As I have faced my own depressions, I have thought, "go make the coffee".  just go do the next thing.

In today's My Utmost for His Highest Entry, Oswald Chambers writes:  "When the Spirit of God comes to us, He does not give us glorious visions, but He tells us to do the most ordinary things imaginable. . . His inspiration is to do the most natural, simple things-- things we would never have imagined God was in, but as we do them we find Him there."

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT THAT GOD IS IN THE MINUTIA!  We don't have to be on some lofty religious playing field to see and feel what He's doing in our lives!  He's in the little things!!

What little ways do you see and feel God at work?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where Do I Go From Here?

Something is just not right.  I don't know what it is.  The only way to describe it is that it seems like there is some imbalance between my head and my heart.  It's hard to explain, but it feels as if I'm somehow missing the point.  Like God is either trying to scream at me some truth that I just can't seem to hear, or like He is taking the more subtle approach and letting me figure it out on my own.  Either way, I do not even know what it is about.

It's affecting my writing which scares me the most, since I jumped on this crazy rollercoaster ride, thinking He at the controls.  I feel like I'm just missing the point.  I don't feel like I've found my voice yet nor has a focus for what I'm writing about still hasn't seemed to float to the surface. 

Wordpress is becoming my mortal enemy.  I have no idea why in the world I feel so compelled to use it, but I know that is the next step in the journey, however, after weeks of trying to figure it out, it still doesn't click in my brain.  Last week, I reset my password and now my dashboard is gone.  Honestly, that feels more like the enemy's attack than anything else, because now it is a hurdle I have no idea how to jump so I'll likely put it off a few more weeks.  He found my weak spot and went right for it.

Am I not reading the write book?  Do I need to go to a conference?  What is it? Church has been sucking so I haven't been going.  Leaving my church doesn't seem like the right thing to do right now, so I guess I just need to find another way to get fed during my little sabatical.   I try to feed myself by reading and watching sermons, hoping for some spark of understanding, but it feels like I'm trying to light a candle over and over again and it just won't ignite.

What do you do in situations like this?  Where do I go from here?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Special

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Today, I'm thrilled to be a part of a blogswap with several new and old friends of mine and I'm excited to post a blog about a topic near and dear to my heart written by, new friend, Regina VerowWhen you are done, head on over to to see my blog for the day!  Hope your day is filled with love!

The Sound of Love

The assignment seems deceptively simple: Write about something you love.  But that isn’t the real assignment.  The assignment is in actuality: Write about something you love and don’t suck, because this is someone else’s blog you’re posting on, missy.
So I have to admit off the bat, I’m feeling a little intimated.  But here it goes:
I love music.  I LOVE music. Music has been an integral part of my life for nearly forty years. I’ve sung in choirs, choruses and glee clubs. I’ve been in rock bands and folk groups. My high school years were marked by which musical I was rehearsing. I attend concerts and music festivals alone if I don’t have anyone to go with me. I’ve played, with uneven success, piano and guitar. I write music although not as much as I want. I go to a church 40 miles away because their music is THAT much better.
Music has the ability to immediately change my emotional state.  I can feel apathetic, angry or depressed and the right song pulls me up out of the fog and points me back in the right direction. I have a theme song (and you should too!). One study shows that music activates the same pleasure centers in the brain as sex does.  If that isn’t a reason to listen to music everyday then I don’t know what is.
In middle school I called radio stations with fingers poised over the “record” button on my boom box hoping the DJ wouldn’t talk over the intro to my favorite song. I’ve practiced my guitar until blisters prevented me from holding onto the strings. I’ve traveled huge distances and willingly gave up large amounts of sleep to spend a few precious hours with my favorite bands.
I’ve used music to get through countless late-night college assignments. I’ve sung to my newborn daughters in the middle of the night every song I knew just to get them to sleep. I’ve sped down country roads on late summer nights with the windows down and the radio up.
I’ve cried over breakups not only because my heart was broken but because I also lost a man who could make a kick-ass mix tape.
Most of us have stories when music saved our lives.  Musicians put into words what our hearts yearn to express whether it is love, despair, or anything in between.
Music can make friends of enemies by providing a launching point of common ground. It can take people who’ve never met before and turn them into life-long companions. Music doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, how you dress, or about the color of your skin. Music doesn’t tell you whom to love or what religion to practice. Music is unconditional.  It touches your soul and expects nothing in return.
So today I celebrate my love for music.  As journalist Eric Olson once wrote, “Music is what life sounds like.


Regina Verow is a personal coach, workshop facilitator and author of the blog Creatively Conscious: Aware. Awake. Alive.  You can find out more about Regina at, on her Facebook Page, Creatively Conscious: Aware. Awake. Alive. or follow her on Twitter @reginaverow.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm working on a few guest posting gigs so I haven't been able to get much up on here this week, which stinks!  I'm missing the two of you who actually read this drivel! My need for immediate gratification would surely love your feedback on the stuff I'm working on, but it must wait.  Hopefully, we'll all find it worth it.

Just a few nuggets I'm chewing on this morning:

* Super glad I didn't talk trash at the half of last night's Carolina/Duke game.  Refraining wasn't easy, but it's nice not to be eating crow this morning (especially since I wasn't even watching the game).

* I'm supposed to be working on a post about something I'm passionate about finding that one really challenging for some reason.  Perhaps I'm not really passionate about what I'm supposedly passionate about.

* I totally get that Valentine's is overcommercialized and flat out stupid on many different levels.  But is it really all that bad that we have one special day where we recognize and celebrate our relationships that bring so much joy and fulfillment to our lives?  It really doesn't seem so horrible to me.

What nuggets are you chewing on today?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Listen Up

One of the pervasive thoughts I’ve had over the last few months that people just need to be heard.  We, as humans, have an innate need to feel understood and that need is often satiated by having our thoughts and concerns heard.  

One of my perceived weaknesses is being diplomatic in difficult situations.  I can often be too blunt and want to just cut to the chase, but I have recently been seeing how LISTENING can be quite the diplomatic tact and I am starting to really see how it is no coincidence that the word LISTEN contains the same letters as the word SILENT. 

In my work recently, I’ve had several situations where someone came to me completely pissed off at a person or about a situation.  Rather than participating in the conversation, I just listened and as they were winding down, the blather-er had come to one of two conclusions. Either it wasn’t such a big deal OR they suddenly grasped the root of the problem and felt like they could deal with it.  

The vent session enabled them to deal with the problem.  

They get to that conclusion by verbally drawing out all of their opinions and feelings.  Once their thoughts or opinions are out there, the realization comes that it is really not such a big deal or suddenly they can see where the offender was coming from.

So often we just need to vent, in order to process the situation.  Through the processing, we evaluate the scope of the problem and whether or not it is really relevant and/or we diagnose the root of the problem.  With that diagnosis, we can then attack at the root and solve the problem.

We all need someone to vent to although we are generally not stoked about being the one who is being vented to.  It’s certainly  no fun to listen to someone go on and on about a problem but I would encourage you to give this a whirl when you are next faced with an unhappy camper.

Please let me know if you have any of you, too, have seen this in your journeys?  I'm interested in any and all feedback on this one!