Sunday, April 29, 2007


i do not understand the mind of the atheist
living in the most ultimate of denial
how can one not see God's hand
even among the smallest of creations
see the blade of grass
its very design proclaims
that nature was't born of chaos
there is an author
to this masterwork
there is a great I AM
His handiwork is evident in all things
if i were not a believer
had never grown
taught this knowledge
introduced to my maker
i know
I know
i would believe still
search and pray
for a one who made all that is
this earth that we live
and beyond
too evident
in all its wondrous intricacy
did not come by chance
from an awesome intelligence
all were made
weaved together
given life by His breath
eternal story being told
continuing to unfold
even if i’d never been introduced

my answer would still be you
i would still be wanting to see behind the curtain
for that one responsible
creator of all things great and small
you are my Creator
you are my God

Friday, April 27, 2007

I don't recall when the term graphic novel came into play but I grew up calling them comic books. I've been corrected a few times down through the years but I won't stand corrected. They are comic books and will always be comic books. Others can call them graphic novels but I feel silly calling them that.

My guess is the term graphic novel came from grown men attempts to dignify their enjoyment books filled with words and pictures. Comic books have always been to me art and a wonderful form of entertainment. We know that most of the best movies playing down at the Premiere are based on comic books/comic book characters. There's clearly no reason to dignify or justify ones enjoyment of the medium. If you like to read a comic book, go down to the store in the plain light of day and find out what Batman's up to these days.

I bought two comic books last year and it sure would be nice to dig through some 1.00 boxes under the tables. It's either little time or little money but one day soon I'll slip away and have some childish fun.

Some of my favorite comic books turned movies are:
Road to Perdition
Batman The first one that Tim Burton produced
Superman II
Batman Begins
The Phantom
Men In Black
The Rocketeer
V for Vendetta I didn't like the politics but thought this film a work of art.
From Hell
Heavy Metal (1981)

Flash Gordon
Fantastic Four
The Hulk
Superman V
Nick Fury Agent of Shield
Ghost Rider
Dick Tracy
Judge Dredd
Howard the Duck

Thursday, April 26, 2007

welcome the rain

i welcome the rain today driving down
kelsey sat behind me quietly
looking out at the charcoal clouds
the gray woods
the gray city
car lights in the morning
passing outside the window
she didn't say a word all the way to daycare
gazing out at the different world of rain
i was listening to a new song
glancing back in the rear-view mirror
to see my little dazed one

at the office
the coffee seemed a comfort
listening to the rain fall
then fall harder
it's misery to many
but i welcome it this morn
i welcome the rain
and the dark skies from whence it came
a palette of black and white
subdued hues
faded blues

nice to be inside looking out
a tranquil moment
listening to the gentle commotion out the window

send the rain Lord

hard or gentle
you always know what my soul needs
my true thirst

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Will the real Captain Savage please stand up

Captain Savage was a Marvel character that had both legs. There was a Captain Steve Savage (Golden age comic of the 50's) that appears to have been a flying ace in Korea. I think you're thinking of Captain Storm that was a DC character. He was the one with the wooden leg. Captain (Simon) Savage showed up in early Fury issues as a submarine captain who would occasionally drop the Howlers off on missions. Marvel gave him a comic book of his own back in the late sixties called CAPTAIN SAVAGE AND HIS LEATHERNECK RAIDERS that ran about 20 issues. I believe I have all of them. They were the same kind of characters as the Howling Commandos. They were too much alike except the leathernecks fought primarily in the Pacific. Leatherneck Private Little Bear later was a member of COMBAT KELLY'S DEADLY DOZEN (Marvel's Dirty Dozen take off). The deadly dozen was a very short run of 7 issues and all but Kelly were killed or maimed in the final issue. Captain Savage was a well conceived and illustrated comic book. I never cared for the sappy stories of Kelly. All those cons belly aching and the art just wasn't up to par.

There were more war mags than I can remember. Oh, I almost forgot. Marvel did have one called WAR IS HELL that came out in the early 70's. It was an odd little mag that leaned a little toward the Twilight Zone. Various short stories much like DC's G.I. COMBAT and FIGHTING FORCES.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

for Darryl

Sgt Rock stories were always pretty grabbing even though they all seemed to start out the same way. The above cover I came immediately across whilst Googling for an image of Sgt. Rock. The strange thing is, it the cover of my all time favorite Sgt. Rock story ever. The cover art appeared on the second page of my search. How weird is that? So as I was saying, most of the Rock stories I remember started pretty much the same way. Here...I'll make one up for you and sure it will take you into that familiar world again.

First frame takes the reader in a mission underway...Easy Company somewhere trudging behind enemy lines. No one's talking but every one's thinking unhappy thoughts as the rain gushed down making their boots sink even deeper into the red mud. The faces beneath the helmets are inked in black - but the avid Sgt. Rock reader can effortless make out each of the weary cast as they pass the dark wet comicbook frames. Rock was guessing that Easy was covered by the dark of night and the heavy rain might turn out to be a blessing. "What idiot would be out on a night like this?" Only Easy.

Unfortunately the moon gave enough light for the two Nazi gun emplacements to find their Easy target. Rock and his men were caught in a burning crossfire. Red lines rained down on Easy from what seemed every direction. Each man caught off guard as they simply fell into their deep tracks. Even the battle quickened Sargent fell without releasing a command or a shot. Into an unconscious daze...into the shadows... limply rolled into a stream as German voices yelled and random shots fired into the still kill zone.

The mud enveloped his form. He slept as the earth gave way beneath him, carrying him into a cold place that became his saving grace...that is...for now.

Most of the Sgt. Rock issues I read started off something like that...always with Easy getting gunned down except for Rock. I am not surprized by Darryl's preference. Most of my play-army pals preferred Rock over Fury. I never turned a Rock, The Losers, or Haunted Tank down but I don't recall spending much of my hard earned dimes toward them. I guess most of the Rocks I read were perused while at a friend's house. Two kids quietly reading the other's WWII comic stash while little green army men or G.I. Joe's scatter the floor waiting for the next mission that only a boys imagination could send them.

I am a die hard Fury fan but I'll give this to Sgt. Rock. There was always a grittiness to the stories. Rock wasn't a funny-tough guy like his Marvel counterpart. Joe Kubert didn't draw it that way. Kubert drew Rock-hard, his face etched deep by the weariness of war. Rock reflects the hardships of real soldiers. the men that find themselves in distant places and at who become focused with their task at hand, willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done before returning home.

The Rock would probably be the first to tell you how much he loathes war but will fight to the death for a neccesary victory. I believe that Rock saw a lot of bad things and had at countless times...seen the face of evil...the things the devil in man could do. Nothing's easy.

Kurt Russell as Sgt Fury

I had a little fun with PhotoShop tonight after the kids went to bed and between laundry loads. For those of you who remember...don't you think Kurt Russell would make a great Fury?

Now listen up you goldbricks...

Back in my baby-boomer youth, or should I say the silver age, I used to look forward to the monthly trip to the 7/11 or Clayon's (Noccalula Mountain) for my Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos fix. Look into those brown paper bags and you'd find a Baby Ruth, a root beer, and the latest issue of Sgt Fury. It was my older Brooky who got me hooked. He bring one home and read it to his kid brother in all the glorious Howler dialects. It was those readings that gave me an interest in doing all the voices. To this day I will read to my children, giving voices to every character. Thanks Brook.

There were a great many war comics back in those days but none were as enjoyable as Sgt. Fury. I guess it was because Marvel didn't just create superheros, but injected humor into their story-lines as well. I loved Howler humor. Brook's favorites were the Lee-Kirby team and I have to admit, they did shine the brightest. Kirby drew Fury the best. I enjoyed the way Friedrich-Ayers-Severin handled the commandos later on. When I was a kid, my big influences were Charles M. Shultz (Peanuts) and John Severin's illustration in that war mag.

Other WWII comics of the Silver Age were Sgt. Rock and The Haunted Tank which evolved from the DC comic Our Army At War. These were great comics mind you but maybe it was because Fury was first. There was also Charlton Comics that came out with some great stories but the art worked lacked a great deal.

I still have all of my old Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos. I am not an avid comic book collector but I would one day like to complete my collection. Though the comic ran to 160, probably 30 or so were reprints. I am not picky about the condition. I'd just like to read all the stories that I missed growing up. Brooky once had the first twenty issues but mother threw them away many decades ago while cleaning the basement. Mother's have thrown away fortunes haven't they? I also have most of the Sgt. Fury spin offs, Captain Savage and His Leathernecks and Combat Kelley and His Deadly Dozen but they deserved their short life.
So as a kid, Sgt. Fury was my comic book star. John Wayne was my movie star and Vic Morrow (Combat!) was my favorite T.V. star. Back when I was a kid I would have used the term hero instead, but these day's we should know who the real heros are.
-nuff said

Sunday, April 22, 2007

thank yous and prayers

This letter is from a local man now serving in Iraq. Please read.

To: Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 8:17 PM
Subject: Hello from Iraq

Hello all,

My soldiers and I are still well. We are busy of course with the surge. Currently we spend much of our time escorting loads of concrete barriers to knew security sites around Baghdad. This is so all of the units coming in have secure sites to conduct their offensive operations out of. So far it seems we are making some progress. Many Iraqis have expressed that they feel safer with US troops closer by in their neighborhoods. The people can work on rebuilding their schools and such without having to worry so much about being attacked while doing it. I doubt that we will ever completely end the violence. But we hope we can get to a point the Iraqis can take the reigns and we can minimize our presence here. We are tired and the troops just want it to be finished but done right. I cannot imagine how guys who have done two or three tours must feel. It is getting warm here now. Soon it will be blazing hot during the day time. Nights will not be much better. Right now we are all just glad the rainy season has passed. We were getting so tired of the mud. But soon we will be complaining of the dust storms I am sure. In about eight more weeks I will take R&R leave and go be with my family for two weeks at Fort Riley. It will be so good to see them and get away from here for awhile. Six months is about the limit of a soldiers ability to deal with the stress of deployment effectively. Then it begins to really chip away at your patience. I am holding out for a couple more months so my little girl will be out of school and I can be with her as much as possible.

She will turn eight years of age on 14 April. I have missed so much. She is growing so fast and becoming such an intelligent and wonderful young lady. She did not comprehend at first how long her Daddy would be gone. She has begun to ask when I will be coming home. Its hard to tell her I won't be home for another two months. After that I have to explain to her that I have to come back for a few months before I can come home for good. That is at least until they send us over again.

People at home have no idea what our soldiers must endure to ensure their freedoms. That is unless they to have once served. So every time you see a service member thank him or her. It really means so much to us when people express their gratitude. At one time our soldiers would get applauded at airports and have people trying to buy them drinks or meals. Lately my soldiers have said that a few of them have experienced peoples gratitude while traveling home. But some say most people now look at them from afar as if they are unapproachable or are from outer space. Maybe people don't know what to say. All they have to say is thank you. Soldiers understand this. With all of the bad press it really raises a soldiers spirits just to hear those simple words.

Well I hope everyone at home is well. I am looking forward to visiting Alabama in October providing our tour is not extended. At this point anything is possible. Keep the faith and keep us in your prayers.

SFC Mosher
US Army
Baghdad, Iraq

Saturday, April 21, 2007

appease and surrender

My brother in-law Don Rakestraw tried to get hold of me all day yesterday. I was a moving target Friday. I finally called him back around 8:30pm while still at the office. Don emails me editorial cartoon ideas from time to time. He always has a lot of great ideas. I thought his idea needed to be done even though I haven't been asked to submit anything for since the first of the year. I decided to go ahead and develop it anyway before heading home. Thanks for the idea Don.
I have had my head in a hole much of the week and didn't know that Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that THE WAR IN IRAQ IS LOST. Whose side are these guys on anyway?
"This is stunning, to undercut the mission of our troops, to undercut the morale like this. I don't know. You people that are under 40, you may not know who Tokyo Rose is, but Tokyo Rose did the same kind of things over the radio trying to demoralize our troops in World War II, lying to them about how they had no chance and they had no prayer, and it was pure Japanese propaganda back then."
- Rush Limbaugh (04/20/07)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

death and taxes - not my favorite month

April 1 1934 - Bonnie and Clyde kill two highway patrolmen near
Grapeville, TX
April 1 2002 - Netherlands legalizes euthanasia, becoming the only
nation in the world to do so.
April 2 1982 - Falklands War
April 3 1968 - MLK, Jr delivers "I've been to the mountaintop" speech
April 3 1997 - Thalit massacre beings in Algeria
April 4 1968 - Martin Luther King Junior Assassinated
April 6 1917 - U.S. Declares war on Germany
April 7 1967 - Six-Day War begins
April 7 1994 - Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda
April 8 2006 - Shedden massacre - Ontario, Canada
April 9 1989 - April 9 Tragedy Tbilis, Gerogia
April 10 1865 - Robert E. Lee addresses troops for last time
April 11 1996 - Abraham Lincoln makes his last public speech
April 11 1965 - Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965
(fifty one tornado's / 256 deaths)
April 12 1861 - American Civil War begins.
April 13 1943 - Mass grave of Polish POW's found, executed by Soviets
April 14 1865 - Abraham Lincoln Assassinated
April 15 1912 - RMS Titanic Sinks
April 16 2007 - Virginia Tech massacre
April 17 2007 - Tax day
April 18 1906 - San Fransisco Earthquake
April 18 2007 - Baghdad - 4 bombings in Baghdad kill 178
April 18 2007 - 3 Slain at Bible Distributor in Turkey
April 19 1993 - Waco - Branch Davidian Compound burns
April 19 1995 - Oklahoma City Bombing
April 20 1889 - Adolf Hitler's birthday
April 20 1999 - Columbine High School massacre
April 26 1986 - Chernobyl
April 27 1865 - Sultana steamboat explodes and sinks (1,700 dead)
most were Union POW survivors of Andersonville Prison
April 28 1996 - Tasmania massacre, Austrailia, Martin Bryant goes on
shooting spree killing 35 people and injuring 37
April 29 1992 - Los Angeles Riot
April 30 1945 - Adolf Hitler dies (which is a good thing)
April 30 1975 - Vietnam War - Fall of Saigon

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

why we worship

i was asked yesterday what kind of music i like at church
traditional or contemporary
i didn't quite know how to respond
i wanted to say neither
i love to worship
and i don't care what form that takes
but being asked that question
was like being asked plain or menthol
i remember ten years ago
passing a church in southside that had a sign out front
it read
we now have a contemporary worship service
i almost expected to read
we now have a free salad bar
strange that worship must be conformed to man's preferences
if we worship
truly worship
it's going, doing, being what God would have us do and be
that our lives are constantly in pursuit of His preference for each of us
that we glorify God
not cater to our particular taste

i went to a church about six months ago
that had a traditional worship service
and another one for contemporary worship service
the first service
everyone sang traditional songs to a piano
the second service
everyone sang contemporary songs to a guitar
big whup
everyone was just singing songs and going home
it's not the music
it's how we worship
it's how we lay down and live

okay okay - every now and then i can get preachy

Monday, April 16, 2007

God help us

32 dead at Virginia Tech today. Uncanny that I received the following email last night. This speech was given May 27, 1999 before the Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee.

Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this, hmm? On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:
Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.

In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs, Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage, You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,That God is what we need!

Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educationalsystems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. “As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday pm

i am not a preacher
never been one
so i rarely share sermonettes
words of wisdom in my blogspot
it would be nice to teach
but i never was the best student
i just live
try to be obedient
amid my short comings and faithlessness
learning by bumping and bruising
so i'll write about what ever
show you the bruises

my brother in-law once told me some twenty years ago
that my songs were too naked
that i expose stuff that he wouldn't
i've always been that way
maybe i've left myself open by doing so
i have been called transparent
but i know that's not true
i'd like to be more
but there are places that i won't go here
that only God knows
issues that only He knows how to answer
wounds that only He can heal
words that only He can say
never the less
i am not as transparent

so here
in this strange place
i'll write about strange or familiar thought and struggles
on my heart and mind
among you who visit here
sometimes i'll be clear
sometimes cloudy
i always appreciate your kind response
not expecting answers mind you
just sharing the journey with you

this is about as open as i can be right now
forgive the mess
God's doing some cleaning

Friday, April 13, 2007


down through the years i have been accused
of hiding behind laughter
my light hearted ways
an easy escape
the rear stage door
so they say

since my youth
this joy
was all i knew to be
all i cared to be
to laugh
and make laugh
my engine

this medicine
the only balm i know
that can take the serious edge
off the world
the only tears i welcome
the only tears i hope
to ever instigate

looking back i see
where i made a cheerful exit
left abruptly
leaving questions unanswered for later

once labeled socially immature
i have suffered many labels
still all i can do is laugh at it all
give it to God
and move on
this laughter is all i know
much of what i am

as i move through this life
the world ceaselessly attempts to steal
my big joy
so many
surrounded by so much seriousness

i am not a comic
but a breathing comedy
amid so much tragedy
i will live the only way i know
each day i blow upon the ashes and embers
hoping for a spark

i almost let them win
lulled into sadness
birthright for stew
yet i am always reminded
my children need to hear
my laughter more
hear the freedom
that make the pious nervous

joy to the world
in spite of the world
joy to the world
laugh till it hurts
there's no hiding here
no hiding here
it's God's gift
cold and sullen doesn't make one holy

it is my hope
to still be capable of laughter
even upon my final breath
joy eternal
i will claim and weld what was given me
upon my birth
now determined to be even more
of what i am
that which i know
now with even less reserve
cut loose
and set free
what joy
God himself gave to me

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Don't say it David...DON'T SAY IT!!!!

My mother was telling me yesterday how she didn't particularly like The was too Catholic. Personally, Catholics got the Jesus died for your sins and rose again part right and I think is the most important message to take home. The only disagreement I have with Catholicism is they get it wrong regarding the veil of The Temple. You know...the one that was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died (Matthew 27:50-51). It is my understanding that when Jesus completed his mission, a veil was no longer needed. Christ fulfilled the requirement of the law, paid the price, and now God and man do not have to be separated. Can you say New Covenant baby? These days I can have a relationship with my Creator without standing behind curtain number one. Catholicism seems to have merely replaced the old torn veil with yet another veil...only this time there's a woman standing behind it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Holy Flicks Batman!

So many films about the life of Jesus. So many not so memorable. As a baby boomer, I watched all the DeMill-ish religious films growing up. So many were stiff and over-acted. There were some that are absolutely fantastic. Here are my three all time favorites.

1) Gospel Road (1973) This film was made by Johnny and June Cash back in 1973. Johnny said that this was the highlight of his entire career. This is now available on DVD if you're interested. Johnny and June made this movie for 500,000. out of their own pocket. At the time it was the first movie about Jesus made entirely in Israel.

2) Jesus of Nazareth (1977) This was mini-series with an all star cast. One of my favorite moments was Ernest Borgnine as the Roman Centurian.

3) The Passion of The Christ (2004) by Mel Gibson. I only watched this movie once, when it came out. I don't know if I will see it again any time soon. This isn't because it's a bad movie but because it is so painful to watch.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Goodbye Johnny

Johnny Hart, creator of the cartoon strip BC died Saturday at his drawing board. What a wonderful fellow. I appreciate the fact that Mr. Hart never caved in when it came to his beliefs. He took a lot of bashing for his testimonies in his work. I admire this mans life, his faith and his work. God bless you Johnny!

Friday, April 6, 2007

friday underway

Gina had only two patients this morning. She took off afterwards to venture off with our girls. I got a nice daddy-daughters day during the last Friday of Spring Break with Katie and Kelsey. We had a very nice time together that day. Gina gets far less mommy-daughter days with the girls due to work ( I don't know where they are right now but I am sure there's lots of singing and laughing going on.

I'm holding down the fort at the office while Gina is away. Plenty of stuff to do other than answering the phone and updating this blog. It's nice having Tommy back among the blogging and my old friend Darryl B. dropping in. I really enjoy being able to keep up with friends online. It's a busy life and glad that we can visit e-visit like this.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

something about me

i have always had to put into lyric
what i always needed to say
never having the talent for normal conversation


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

no apology

i remember running into an old church brother
years ago
we met on the college campus where he taught
we shook hands
and i felt a terrible distance
i didn't like it
leaving the fellowship seemed as if
there was a divorce of some depth
a strain on the conversation
maybe in heaven that will bond will be renewed
i don't like leaving places for such reasons
i hope it's not the same this time
i see the good
the bad
and i am sure they've seen both sides of my heart
i wrote yesterday what had been rolling in my mind for years
and when the break was made
my mind seemed fixed on that constant thought
leaving looking hoping to find home
amid places that are a strange land to me

probably the easiest answer i hear in my ear
is go
go somewhere and serve
go somewhere and love
don't look around much
just look for the individual
and ignore the ways of man
look to love
the way I made you
the way I have always loved you
sing your songs without apology
sing to me
and let me give you the words
like the words I gave Jeramiah
give when i say give
and pray always
worship with your life
and you'll have all you need


i love you
i love each of you
i am blessed that God placed me amid you
for a time
for so long

it's time to live more
and die again
to my comfort
to my self

there's always more to die to

so it will probably be in heaven
and the Temple He builds will be perfect
the way it should be
and all man will bow down
lay down
and learn what is his way
experience eternal worship
in the imediate presence of our Lord

let it all burn
that day
all we ever needed is you

Monday, April 2, 2007

beyond the walls

when i was a kid
i used to escape church at every chance
i remember countless days in sunday school
with my sunday school workbook before me
i never cared for the shiny attendance pins
never an incentive to me
i remember ducking out of services every chance i got
hiding in the drainage pipe when it rained
once discovered an old helicopter in the woods beyond the playground
it was a cold rain and i sat in the deteriorating cockpit
imagination spinning
somewhere over Korea
rain dotted and streamed upon
the cracked windshield

i remember roaming halls
hiding in the shadow of the stairs
i didn't want to be found skipping
public school was a bad time and church to me
just seemed like school on the weekend
i don't recall anyone ever finding me

when there was no way around it
and i had to go
it merely proved my dislike for it
i was not hiding from God mind you
i just didn't like man made church
even back then
sunday school
filing in for service
songs sermon and smiling handshakes
coming and going
it always seems so empty
always nice to kick off those sunday shoes
home coming always a relief
all that family around the table

vacation Bible school was the worst
not being home
sugar cookies, fruit drink, and raisins
i planned my escape once
while painting balsa Christmas ornaments
in the middle of June

i became a Christian around 13
and things never really changed
i always felt outside the box
and often still do

the worst dream of my youth
was about church
running up the steep hill for safety
only to find the doors locked
and a painter who turned and fell into the gravel dead
as i approached weary spent and afraid
the creature pursuing me never let up
and approached me
and there was no where to run
the church was never a haven
or a safe place

all the church was to me were songs and sermons
smiles and handshakes coming and going

i found real relationship outside those walls as a youth
i had fellowship with family
and kindred spirits at coffeehouse
i found what to me was real church
The Body
a place where God in His graciousness
gave me Church
even though
betrayal lurks anywhere

my father once told me while i was in my late teens
that i could quit going after i became 19
that day
i had hope and became unchurched for almost 10 years
he tried his best to lengthen the sentence
but he had already spoken is promise
and i politely reminded him
many times

i did not go
without remorse or thought
until i got married at 30
God whispered and said i was responsible for another soul
and so we started searching
i tried to be good about it
but always the songs, sermons, and handshakes coming and going
yet my mission was to be obedient

we finally found a place to pitch our tent
drifted in by way of a home meeting
my wife and i found kinship amid strangers
and then made their church home ours for a while
it was still songs, sermons and smiling handshakes
but it was easier to take when we connected
to some authentic sweet people behind the smiles
it was then that i became churched for a while
i enjoyed The Body but still tolerated church
they quickly tried sticking me in the mold
it was all out of love
and i tried to comply
but i never fit
too odd i know
and they seemed baffled that their old mold wouldn't work
as much as there was love
i never seemed to conform to their method
after a few years
we drifted away
God had given me a chore
and i followed it as far as that path took me
and before i knew it
the fellowship i knew was far behind me
i was unchurched again

we eventually found our way back home to Gadsden
the coffeehouse that once was
was quickly becoming no more
and i did find a church in it's very place
filled still with many a familiar face
my square ways
seemed to fit for a long while
no one tried to force me into smooth round holes
there seemed at first
no round holes there
i stayed for a decade

there is a strain and suppression
when there is too much control
and few are released
but we are just men
just men
in robes
hiding our flawed humanity
in His holiness
i know this
it is sadly everywhere
i know

me too

today i have been lead away from that fellowship
whose people i love dearly
but it hasn't been my church
for quite some time
and will still visit my dear friends
to worship with
from time to time

but it's been a long time since I've felt a true part
there the worship isn't simply song
but very intimate
closeness to the foot of His throne
i have learned a great deal from that place
and have experienced Church often there
i should have moved on a long time ago
because it's not where i need to be
i keep being reminded of that
every time i returned

the building was once the old coffeehouse
where i had church
and the church where i experienced a wonderful intimacy later in life
and it's time
my wife needs something different
my children need to be fed
and i pick up my staff
and wander into the wilderness
tempted to find a drain pipe
but constantly reminding myself
that i have a family to feed
and gifts to give freely

churches today seem different
but haven't changed all that much
maybe the music
the preachers now younger than me
but still something inside me
doesn't want any part of it
now it's a rock concert, music video, sermon and a smiling handshakes

stepping outside the walls
and moving outward toward tomorrow
the footprints from that vineyard
quickly disappear in the sand
my wife looks at me and asks
what now
my daughters seem oblivious to the new day
just happy to be family
and Katie just content to be where God dwells

show us where you dwell Lord
what man made temple
does your light shine down over
is there one
no gadgets, gimmicks or agendas
where may i serve you
where can i serve you
where can i truly worship you
i will be free where ever you send me
and hammer at walls where walls need to fall
where Lord
what now

it doesn't have to be a church
within the walls of man
just a place to worship you
amid your family