People Run From People Who Judge Them, And Run To People Who Love Them 

Amen.
“the people of the religious groups that we call brothers and sisters in Christ have made a big mess of “His Way,” and made it into their way.”

My Journey

Within the last several years, my heart has gone through many changes. There has definitely been a drastic change in how I view the world, others, and how my whole perspective of both has developed into what it is at this very moment. There was a definitive moment in which these drastic changes began to take place. There was a time, approximately six or seven years ago, when something changed within me. It was right around the time I’d decided to have a go with a, at the time, very misunderstood version of a man named Jesus. I will try to explain how the beginning stages of a choice began a very complicated journey, which in turn led me to a very peaceful place within.

I had a reluctance that accompanied my curiosity. It was not the greatest thing to get dressed up and go to a Pentecostal church with…

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not quite


For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.

Matthew 13:15

Well, we certainly can’t air our dirty laundry and show just how unclean we really are especially when we seek new members and refer to ourselves as “all are welcome”.  But not quite all included…


I wrote a paragraph to help people better include folks like me because when the time came I was left breezing in the wind…until I was better, of course or as soon as I would be better and how long will that be…


Here is the paragraph they altered and printed, so dripping sweet, like we like:
“We need to have kindness – reach out and check in with people. I know there are others who live with mental illness, like me. I suffered a trauma in 2015 that was the catalyst for a rapid-cycling Bipolar roller-coaster. Some reached out to say we miss you; when will you be back; we need you here; I get the same way; we need to have lunch. That was important.” – Ty Albee
 

*Incorrect–It was insulting, rhetorically insulting.  I get the same way to a bipolar person in an episode, really, tell me more how your bad day equation fix should take care of my ‘issue’ and get me back on that gotta do x,y,z wagon for others…


Here is the real paragraph:


“We need to have kindness – reach out and check in with people. It isn’t just the Deacons job. I know there are others who live with mental illness, like me. I suffered a trauma in 2015 which was a catalyst for a rapid cycling Bipolar ride from hell. I did hear we miss you, when will you be back on Thursdays, we need you here, I get the same way, we need to have lunch, but nobody even offered to bring me a casserole. There were months when I was MIA from church; a shower by 5 pm was a huge ‘woo hoo’ for me! Not for nothing, I catch enough stigma day-to-day that the last thing I need here is “at best” inclusion…meaning I am at other’s idea of my best.”
– Ty Albee

**Honest to God, this is so typical, twisting and conforming everything to fit nice and neat with the church cover box…BS, bullshit.  Y’all got work to do and if y’all can’t keep it real, I ain’t rollin’ fake!

Until the church aka the Religious Corporations, as I often feel is a better description than Religious Institutions, start to be honest about the negative affects they have [had] on people, like me, who live with a Mental Illness they truly are still blind…

Matthew 15:14  Leave them; they are blind guides.[a] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

“Opinions” heard yet, they are still deaf…


Isaiah 30:21  And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.


> $850,000,000,000.00

This holiday season a six year sales record was hit — USA spent more than $850 Billion dollars…let that sink in. Merry Christmas?

https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/retailers-shrug-off-stock-turmoil-and-ring-up-strong-holiday-sales-14820420

I’ve felt a numb boredom to the point of skipping Christmas Eve services. I have pondered; was it no snow, no watching those kids I purchased for open the gifts, my missing my always under-foot feline companion–on and on…I feel, for me, I have become so accustomed to our commercialization of Christmas that I need to re-engage myself with the core, true (self) core of this holiday to enjoy in a more natural way. 


 Perhaps, hearing that church pews hit record numbers of worshipers or there’s a significant rise in random door-to-door carolers amid the worldly chaos or that the homeless population is on a decline. I dunno but hearing about Wall Street and Mastercard usage numbers just gives joy to me–the kind of Joy that says, yes!, this is why I felt a numb (disengage) boredom!  I am overcome with traditional Christmas boredom, the kind that tells me all this is not what Christmas is about…


to the earth it gave great light

Medusa [An Annie Lennox Advent]


If you’ve been following the bouncing-ball, ‘grateful for’ this year is a blank I am struggling to fill in.  Advent my favorite, joy-filled time of year feels intensely somber, like Medusa is lurking around the corner; gaze and be turned to stone?  Keep averting the profane normalcy of today’s society? 

Christmas hymns, seasonal festive music, movies and yes, even “A Charlie Brown Christmas” all a numb boredom…however, the album Medusa by Annie Lennox feels seasonally appropriate.

I waited for the ashes of my 17+ year feline companion “to come” home to do my decorating, yes, even my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  It is not his physical absence, it is not that my physical Christmas gifts have been given, it is not that I look around seeing the physical reality of our world or even the physical reality staring back in the mirror.  Perhaps, the hidden scars & crosses I bear. 

Or perhaps, it is the real of the Christmas story; the portion lacking: infancy—adulthood of Jesus Christ–hidden.  Hidden below the surface.

Curious wondering with tones of I can’t even imagine.  What was Mary and Joseph’s life like those years?  Not to mention our dear little Savior–the “terrible twos” to the awkward-phase teenage years?  His realization of I am He!  Not to mention Mom and “Stepdad” (yeah, think about that!) parenting the worlds SAVIOR…

I can’t even imagine, yet I try, over and over again.  The imagery at times in my mind feels cute, fun clips and others feel worrisome…

Maybe this is the seed of my 2018 Advent somber tones.  Unknown.  Secret.  Hidden.  Uncertain.  Tied together with Faith.  Faith & Hope in the same unknown.  That in between, much like my own life’s places of in between–hidden.  The same but different, lacking.

12/2018 Tiger Albee Photo

I dunno.

I dunno.
I just. Don’t. Know.

I really don’t know how many times this year I said “I need to stop watching the news”. I just don’t know how burying my head in the sand would make anything better either.

The time of year is here where we as a collective unit share our stories of “I am grateful for ___.” Seeing repeatedly on social media count down of days and photos of gratitude leading us into the Christmas season. Amid all this is the bombarding of ads by way of every possible avenue: wacky and wavy inflatable arm-flailing tube men armies plague our streets at a multiplying like rabbits rate…

I dunno.

To say I don’t take notice of what they are selling and ponder do I need? could I use? would be false. To say I don’t walk away and think back to the horrific stories I saw on the news and scold myself for thinking about the former (I) when clearly the latter (others) is where my focus should be, would also be false. To say I just. don’t. know. how I can comprehend that two (or more) conflicting things can coexist yet not be able to wrap my head around it at the same time is true. So true that even in my own personal life it is that type of struggle more regularly than I care to admit.

I dunno.

Part of me still holds hope, for the world as well as personally; it is semi-sustaining and semi-draining–therefor, I must distract my own selfishness (I suppose that is what it truly is) by way of working and doing for others. I sometimes feel guilty when those days that I dread show up; the fact of “is this all there is?!” because quite frankly I have no reason to complain; bills all paid, all I need and some to share, so it really is mere selfish wallowing! Sometimes I worry when I pray honestly to God, because though it is with a do I dare speak the words, gut wrenching fear “what if there is nothing after this life”? I then quickly apologize and “pacify” myself with well, you are doing good things, given up bad habits and addictions, live as purely as one possible can or at best aim to try to do so–what would be so bad about going out like that? Also recalling Matthew 6 regarding faith, humility, earthly gains, “each day has enough trouble of its own.”–that usually reals me back into a state of calm and realization–I can delay gratification.

I just. don’t. know. how to be grateful this year. I don’t know how to fill in the blank: “I am grateful for___.” Perhaps, this is a brand new for me. Like but a few brand news I have experienced since turning 40 five years and change ago. Mimicking a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle, day by day taking time to put it all together in between daily tasks and obligations and life’s interruptions.

I dunno, so, I will continue to trust in what I just don’t know, have Faith in what I believe, follow where the Spirit leads me and maybe, just maybe others can fill in the blank this year. Others who have been here–I just. don’t. know. how to be grateful this year. I don’t know how to fill in the blank: “I am grateful for___.”

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Galatians 5:24 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

¿Clueless?

Have you ever felt locked in your own head?

Knowing full well you speak English,

just seems no one understands a word you’ve said.

 

Sadly, at times,

you lack the ability to access your own thoughts

and mind

competently…

 

To the point of just wanting to bust it wide open,

for then,

could people see?

what you mean to say…

 

Cartoon strips literally running through your mind,

when others speak, as if, that is in fact,

how you comprehend what’s being said.

 

Sadly, at times,

you lack the ability to access your own thoughts

and mind

competently…

 

lacking the ability to access –

all that you keep

                           locked in your own head…

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Delight Thyself

He is risen,

 

He is risen, indeed!

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I’m a really simple kind of being; I guess that can be true in the simple minded at times sense as well as the it doesn’t take much–grand gestures really aren’t needed.  I also am a fan of sharing the simple little things with those whom I love.

Easter 2012 is one best remembered for transition

                                                                            | -2013

                                                                            |

                                                                            | –2014

Easter 2015 is one best remembered for validation

                                                                            | –2016

                                                                            |

                                                                            | –2017

Easter 2018 is one best remembered for solidification And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

                                                                            |

                                                                            |

  The law of the Lord is perfect,

    reviving the soul;

the testimony of the Lord is sure,

    making wise the simple;  (Psalm 19:7)

Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.  (Psalm 143:8)

  I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.  (Psalm 119:59)

When I consider your heavens,

    the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

    which you have set in place,  (Psalm 8:8)

 Let the one who is wise heed these things

    and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.  (Psalm 107:43)

 

He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. 

 My help and glory are in God 

 So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be. (Psalm 62:6-8)

I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. 

 I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. 

 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:101-103)

 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.  (Psalm 116:7-9)

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  (Psalm 37:4)

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Praise the LORD!

In Out-Out and In

I came across this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon this morning and am being flooded with just how true the realization of this is, I.e.: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

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Not to downplay Outreach ministries or the work of  the Church, Deacons, Elders, Program Staff, etc. or anything like that, rather, stir it all up a bit more.

One thing I can recall vividly my 1st Sunday service, was the use of the word “inreach” and I was sold! I was seeking a new church and I felt I needed you to take care of me and when I joined as a member I took my questions seriously and you had me there, too – to take care of you. What has changed or shifted is the meaning of inreach has morphed into personal development; maintaining mental stability, Spiritual growth, fasting and prayer (1 Peter 2:1-3).

I am not who I was when I showed up at your doorstep wandering lost, lonely, broken, addicted to alcohol/cigarettes and in need—dire need—I was literally going to die…You stirred up to love and encouraged now faith and good works, the type Christ charges us to live and do, freely flow, everywhere I go, additionally I offer you all the greatest gift I can by taking care of myself—you did that! Had no idea, huh, that is how powerful the life in Christ is; Faith and Hope, Peace and Love – the cornerstone of Outreach;

 

Brothers and Sisters  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  – let us keep that in mind in our ministries, even the day-to-day mundane, perhaps using the words of Jim Rohn let us encourage others with a mere “take care of you for me”.

 

Five Candles – Jars of Clay

Your will

  1. The more I resist who I am the more Holy discontent I feel.
  • “An inner dialogue of give and take” – Richard Rohr
  • “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” – Mark 8:33
  •  After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”  He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” – Mark 9:28-29

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     Interestingly, during the depression group I attend, the things the handful of other folks in the group listed as what makes them feel better are the very things that make me feel worse…

For example, calling friends and making plans; not being alone or isolated.  One individual stated she wishes she liked herself more so that she would be okay with being by herself.  I stated; “that can bite you in the ass!”  I shared how odd I feel being I feel better when there aren’t calls and plans made how I feel best in prayer, church, groups of self depth based give and take–among others so long as it has Purpose (capital P – God 1st).

     Another individual piped in with the word “connection” I exclaimed yes.  However, for me the word connection has become so watered down in today’s times.  Connection with something larger than oneself in company.  I seek and do best in the Spirit.  Becoming one with another/others [in Christ], and again, that gets twisted up sometimes due to dual reference: A. one in flesh (Mark 10:8) & B. one in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17)…I have to be careful of wording because generally I speak as all know I am on the spiritual page vs. of the flesh.

     As I exited the parking lot another individual from the group said, “I don’t think you need this depression group any more, I wish I was as happy as you!”  I replied it’s times and places like this that fill me without having to have coffee or lunch with anyone!  That is actually one thing that causes me to feel depressed and stressed, the want of my time so often by others, to be pinned down ASAP when I appear [to them] to be doing better.  I avoid most people when I am feeling great, why, because then just seeing me for moments in passing and sharing (what is filling for me) is not enough for others they want more.  This individual in the parking lot said “so as far as it goes.”  I thought about that my whole canal walk back to the bus stop, and yeah, I find myself being vague to avoid hostilities.

I have an image of myself in my head as this little monkish happy soul, constantly opening the Bible and just randomly picking places to read and spending days and weeks alone just having inner dialogue, wandering, freestyle interacting and taking pictures.  I also have this image of another being part of that sacred space.  Another image is my life outside my home being spent mainly within walls of worship spaces and therapeutic spaces and where the Spirit invites me day-to-day mundane.  Sometimes those day-to-day mundane invitations take me to places of being challenged and yes, even challenging, what would Jesus do style.

I am curious is my need, deep inward call type need, of being so engulfed in fasting and prayer part of what keeps my mental illness at bay–“this kind can come out only by prayer” is it that which helps keep my ego at bay–“you do not have in mind the concerns of God”.  Is it I feel Holy discontent because I have yet to be able to articulate properly?  Or is the Holy discontentment I feel  so I may stop resisting?  “Fear not!” “Do not be afraid!” “Do not fear!” – embrace this discontentment for God is with me!

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

 

> 99 Luftballoons

“Ninety nine dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It’s all over and I’m standing pretty
In this dust that was a city
If could find a souvenir
Just the prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go”  Nena – 99 RED BALLOONS       <—song ‘popped’ in my head when I saw this red balloon. 

I couldn’t stop shooting it until the song completed in my head;

refocus

distracted

           then

I walked away, leaving it be, just as I found it…

 

 

https://www.thoughtco.com/nenas-99-luftballons-song-4076776