Just to say hey…

I had the -oscopy this past week and, Praise the One, I got good news. I also went FB live immediately afterward and once I got home Insta live… both to the dismay of Sarah, as apparently, I was saying some pretty wild junk off camera. LOL

Now, it does make you think and wonder about consciousness. How could I be that out of it, but still somehow recognize the audience I was speaking to? And the drive that wanted to let everyone that had been praying for me and considering me that I was ok… those outweighed any of the effects from the dope I was on.

The Insta live is filled with memorable phrases. Slanted sleeping. Sarah in the background saying ok that’s enough. Me saying I was as good as I was gonna be. Profound stuff, ya know? 😉

But there’s a phrase that comes seemingly out of nowhere: I will find you. But I follow it up with a complete change in my facial expression and say it 2 more times. And then I say…

“Just to say hey… that’s all.”

And like I said earlier, consciousness is a marvel. Because of all the things I don’t remember one bit, I do remember that moment. And as I’ve watched it back many times, you can tell just a bit, that right after I say ‘just to say hey’ that I break for a second. There is a wave of emotion. That is all.

Life is short. It really is. We don’t need the reading from Job 14 from the RCL on this Holy Saturday to alert us to the fact. We all know it internally.

All those years when our kids were young and older parents would say things like ‘time goes by so fast’ or ‘they’ll be grown before you know it’ etc. And at the time, of course, we were the young parents who knew all the things. So we were gonna make sure and cherish every moment as they all go by at the same speed. And we weren’t gonna let time sneak up on us like that.


I think we’ve done a pretty good job cherishing the moment. But time is relatively undefeated it seems. Time is short. Fleeting moments.

So we’ve got to love. We’ve got to say hey. That’s all.

I’ve been guilty of withdrawing. Circling my wagons–(is that ok to say?). Once I pulled into my friend’s yard to apologize to him, and he said that he knew we’d been rolled over, but that the way we were responding was to draw our circle tighter and tighter. He wasn’t wrong.

I don’t know about the self-care ethic. That’s not a statement of judgement. It’s a real pondering I have. I do self-care things. I know that my own mental well being is important so that I can be there for other folks. But I do wonder if the pendulum has swung too far maybe. Maybe. Do I make too many excuses about moving on from relationships that are draining or uncomfortable or whatever? Instagram says it’s ok for me to be concerned with mostly myself. Again, not judgement. Just my train of thought pre and post colonoscopy.

Here’s what I’m sure of. The texts and comments both profoundly intimate, such as ‘you’ll be fine‘ from G, or the ones that were just ‘thoughts and prayers’… they all meant so much to me. The knowing glances of gladness after hearing the good news. Those meant all the things to me.

We really are in this thing together. Life. Death. Existence. We all have questions about the mystery of it all. We all approach trying to answer those questions as best we can. And at the end of the day, I think sometimes we… or I… can make it way more complicated than it needs to be.

More and more I think we can cloud it up by seeking the mysterious spiritual remedies or solutions. And what really matters more than most anything is just showing up for each other. Just sharing in community. Communion. In the reality of being human. Shared humanity. You know…

Just saying hey… that’s all.

The Stone DMB: I will come find you…

I’ve been thinking about what it means that we’re all in this together. I’ve been thinking about our current ethic of self and how that should fit. This will be a topic I will explore more in the coming days. For today’s Thursday Thoughts though, I’ll let Dave’s words from the song The Stone carry the load.

“I was just wondering if you’d come along
To hold up my head when my head won’t hold on
I’ll do the same if the same’s what you want
If not I’ll go…”

Memory Project Notes

Off the top of my head… things I remember about my folks growing up:

We used to sit around the table and cook steak in the fondue pot. I would always want the orange tipped skewers.

My dad made this wooden case that accompanied a baseball game where you had to keep scorecards with old school players…

We would sit around playing Intellivision (before Nintendo)… we would play a football game, and B-17 bomber… Then when Nintendo happened it was a lot of Zelda and Metroid.

My mom would be at all the sports games doing her special hex on the opponent among other antics. Seemed to work though–she still puts the hex on tennis opponents to this day 😉

Pop out in the shop making whatever was next, like a wrestling ring for my figures, and blaring Kingsmen, or Oak Ridge Boys, or Jesus Christ Superstar, or the Gaithers…

Playing wiffle ball in the backyard at Campus House… used an old wooded basketball backboard that had the strike zone painted on it. Home run derby was the usual game.

Me and Jodi using a tape recorder to record conversations and our stunning renditions of whatever the popular songs were: likely some Tiffany and Bangles involved. And we would hit those runs!

Mom and Dad both playing all the church softball. They were good too! I spent many days growing up at the old Lattimore softball field–I was the king of cup ball in that sand pit. And ate a thousand air heads.

One time Daddy (Pop) tore his achilles trying to stretch out a triple. He was in a full length leg cast for several weeks.

We walked to the GW swimming pool through about 8-10 inches of snow one year for my bday party.

My dad worked 3rd shift most of the time growing up. He would sleep while we were at school, but then would always be at practice. Every single one.

We would go down to Gaffney most every week to see Herman and Billie, granddaddy and granny–my dad’s folks. And we’d spend many Sundays at Mawmaw’s house in Lattimore–making sugar butter biscuits with Aunt Jewel… and likely catching up on the week’s drama from Young and the Restless.

So much time playing Little League baseball, basketball, and football.

I’m sure I could continue with a pretty long list… and I will add to these memories as I go along in an attempt to compile some type of coherent narrative as a part of my memory project. Of course, the overall support and constant advocacy from my folks is what stands out. I can name individual memories, but the No Matter What kind of love that they have always demonstrated and given to us is such an integral part of who I am.

Thanks mom and dad.

Google Search History Analysis 2


It is what it is: I was curious about the etymology. It’s a circular kind of thing, but can’t say it isn’t what it is I guess. This is part of me trying to reckon with possibilities and cope.

Avetts Red Rocks 2021: We have tickets for the Sunday show. It times up perfectly with our western trip we have planned for July. BUT… covid looks likely to continue to wreak havoc on the ability of Red Rocks to open fully. 2022… here we come?

Crest High School Football: had to check on the squad. Announcing a game today at noon–that’s right Saturday at noon. Another covid thing. It’ll be after my second dose, so hopefully I won’t say anything too crazy on the mic if the effects start to hit.

Revised Common Lectionary: Staple on the search list. First thing I click each morning. Daily Readings have been good for me.

The Doors of Stone: have to check once in a while to see if Rothfuss is any closer to releasing the third book of KingKiller Chronicles. It’s only been a decade since the last release. *eye roll*

The Leftovers: This show y’all. Phenomenal. I was searching this to see about the book that it’s based on. I ordered it. We’ll see if it is as good as the show.

March Madness 2021: Had to get my streaming capabilities set up. Glad there are tourney games back on today. Sad for Ohio St. and my guy, but the tourney has been fun to watch.

Paul Jackson: bassist for the Headhunters and with Herbie Hancock on many albums. He moved on to the next life a week or so ago. Worth a listen this weekend if you’re not familiar.

Sleep Number Bed: Always looking for the best mattress ever.

The Voice: it hasn’t been coming on on Tuesdays so we had to find out what was up. Sydney loves this show the most. She follows along and builds her own team with the app. I enjoy the blind auditions and the banter with Blake and the other judges. And I like watching it with Sydney.

Moderna Second Dose: coming up in about 2 hours. checking on those side effects and getting my mind right for what to expect. Grateful for the medicine, but I’d be ok with just a sore arm if you please.

Days til July 4: Counting down to when we head towards Bozeman!!!

Spiral dynamics: I was curious. Didn’t get too far down this hole though.

Set your mind on things above: working on it. Relying on scripture and prayer and the prayers of others to get me through this season of trial. If I showed current google searches it would have a lot to do with what to expect from a colonoscopy. I’m trying to remain positive. I’ll be ok. One way or the other. Sometimes I am able to rest in the positive, and other times not so much. But it’s ok. Things above.

grace and peace to ya on this Saturday morning.

Trying to snap out of it. Thanks Avett bros for these words

All of these fathers with their bald spots
Pull to the car line dropping kids off
The sons and daughters of their parents wounds
Parents of their own

It’d make some sense, if some was made to me
Sometimes I don’t see love in anything
And just when I surrender to my shadow
I snap out of it, and step into the light
I step back into the light

Sometimes my mind feels like a valley
So I take it to the bar
Fill it up like an ocean
To drown my troubles in
Just to find out what good swimmers they are

It’d make some sense, if some was made to me
Sometimes I don’t see love in anything
And just when I surrender to my shadow
I snap out of it, and step into the light
I step back into the light

When my dreams feel like a rusty rail
That I slapped on a coat of paint
As the layers cracked and chipped and failed
This wretched lie is all that remains

It’d make some sense, if some was made to me
Sometimes I don’t see love in anything
And just when I surrender to my shadow
I snap out of it, yeah, I snap out of it
And I step into the light
I step back into the light
I step into the light
I step back into the light

No Matter What: Revived.

We have a few mantras within our family. Remember Who You Are is one that was passed on to us by pop, my dad. He always said that to us whenever we would go out. A new one that we stumbled on this past Christmas is BeLive. I bought a sign, on purpose, with the word on it–still paid full price even though the second ‘e’ was missing. But we have turned it into something to remind us to be present. To be live. I’ll likely write more on these phrases in posts to come, but for today I will return to one that has become a bit dormant.

I love you, no matter what. No. Matter. What. That was a mantra that I would say to the kids quite often. It springs out of the great worry of my life. One that reviving the phrase now is targeted at, honestly. But I get ahead of myself…

Those words blossomed in our home. And they spilled over into the community of folks that frequented our home. My sister made a beautiful framed piece with those words. My brother in law spent a lot of his time and energy and money in order to craft the letters that spelled out No Matter What so that we could put them in our yard. I love you, no matter what. It was quite a meaningful slogan for us.

But then… it really was right around the time that my bro in law was working on the letters. Late 2017 and into early 2018. Things fell apart. The community of folks that we belonged to fractured. The unthinkable really. Turns out our seemingly vibrant collection of saints wasn’t immune to human frailty. Sarah and I were devastated. Broken. It seems that no matter what maybe wasn’t as real as I had imagined.

And don’t misunderstand. Most of the reckoning came from my own reflection and introspection. I don’t know that I will ever fully understand how things unfolded as they did, and so quickly. How friends we thought were so close really weren’t after all. I have spent a great deal of time over the past years examining my own role. My own perceptions. Motivations. Shortcomings. Some of the things were out of our control. Others, seemingly, weren’t. And for those relationships, I have long questioned my own commitment to No Matter What.

So, after a few attempts at humor as our friend Matt packed up to move to Stoneshire, we rearranged the letters no more and put them aside the building. Jumbled. Dormant. I still feel a good amount of sorrow about this splintering. About all my mistakes.

But, it’s time, I think, to revive the phrase No Matter What. A Resurrection.

I find myself now pretty knotted up. Tense. Fearful. I’ve written some about my gut issues the last few months, and the long anticipated doc visits and probable scopes are upon me. And I am having a hard time shaking the nerves. The sense of impending doom.

I had a book recommended to me yesterday after I had put up an Instagram poll and when I looked up the book I found the author was dealing with the cancer I hope I don’t have. And then I saw a story about a 43 year old man that died–though his obituary where his wife called him ‘dead sexy‘ did make me smile a bit.

I wish I could shake this stuff off. I wish I wasn’t so weak. I believe that when I am weak He is strong and all that. I really do. I know that suffering brings sharpening. But I don’t like it. And I don’t like the fact that I can’t master these fears. It feels like a lack of self-control. A piece of the fruit I have never had much success digesting.

And I admit I feel guilty. I feel guilty feeling a sense of anxiety over what I am only imagining at this point. Because I know folks are really and truly suffering. I feel guilty when my symptoms don’t match how bad things could be. How can I be glad about someone else having it worse than me? I surely am a sinner. And I don’t mean that in a self defeating or deflating kind of way. I say it in a self recognition need for grace and mercy and forgiveness kind of way.

So. No Matter What. A driving force, as I said, behind the phrase… a driving force for the creation of this online journal was to stay as connected to my family as I could. As I can. For them to know me. To know that I know them. I see them. They are a part of me.

But I lost my faith in that phrase. I lost my faith in the meaning. In my ability to fulfill that mantra. But it isn’t up to me. It just is. It. Just. IS.

I apologize to Sarah and Sam and Sydney and Isaac. I’m sorry for not believing that you love me no matter what. If I get a bad diagnosis now or in the future. I’m sorry for the unhealthy grip I have on life, even though it is driven by my desire to not see you sad or suffering. But I know You will love me through it all and through to the other side. And you know you will receive that same love from me. NO MATTER WHAT. Even as I struggle with fear. I am scared. Even as I experience weakness and react in ways I wish I didn’t. You love me. NO MATTER WHAT. I know that you do.

And I know that Good wins. I know that the Christ has set us all free. That Grace is. That Hope is. That losing life is the way to gain it. Letting go. “Be more involved with life and less attached to it.” Saw that on the insta today. I know that if the worst things that my fickle and feeble mind can imagine come to pass, that the Christ is. That our Hope is sustained. That Grace is life giving. Eternally.

So… please pray for me. Battling through a difficult Sunday emotionally and mentally and ending up realizing how I can rest in No Matter What doesn’t mean that I am not still weak. I will likely still experience the floods of anxiety as I go in for tests and await results. God I wish I didn’t. I long to be set free from that. So I do covet your prayers, as they say.

But more than anything, please pray that I can find real and true rest in the No Matter What Love that I receive from my family. That is created and freely given by our Maker. Perhaps a person I resonate with the most is the guy in scripture who says “I believe, please help me in my unbelief.

Yes indeed. Grace and Peace my friends.

Still She Plays: Sydney Grace

Yesterday I went into Syd’s room to get her Broncos hat out of her closet. She needed it at the tennis courts where she is learning to play tennis–with the aid of her little brother/coach/trainer Isaac. During this past year, she also taught herself how to play guitar. She’s a thinker–guess she comes by it honestly. Also, she’s 14. Either way, I saw these lyrics she had written and framed with a picture she had taken on her wall. And for today’s Music Monday, I got her permission to post the picture and the lyrics here:

Seemingly effortless, without a care 

She thinks not once, and strums along

While the birds continue chirping, 

And the winds keep blowing

She plays

A melody of hope, and of sorrow

The soil beneath her feet, 

And the air flowing through her

Golden locks oblivious

Yet true and unknowingly broken

She plays

From time to time the creatures

Mirthful songs cease

Every once in a while the breeze

Stops coursing, bringing about

Moments that halt the pace

The earth under her crumbles

And becomes a part of the whole

Once again

But still, she plays

Church of Six.

What do you want? Isn’t that a grand question? I’ve been immersed in the world of The Leftovers on HBOMax the last few weeks. Thanks for the rec Mack. I have a penchant for superlatives–especially whatever I’m listening to, watching, or reading at the particular moment. So, I’ll come back to this statement in a few months, but for now I’ll go ahead and say The Leftovers experience was one of the top TV/film type things I’ve encountered. Profound. Exhilarating. Thought provoking and filled with consideration of the Human Condition. Sarah doesn’t dig the stabbing and violence portrayed in images, so I bought the book. In fact, I bought two copies so I could read it at the same time as her.

I always wonder how much my own, your own, current experience and perspective impacts a reading or song or cinema. Or whatever. It has to have some impact. I mean, would I have gotten the same things, would the same emotions have been evoked a few months earlier by watching this? Would.

Regardless. It impacted me in the way it did at this time. In the way it is.

I have been restless. Pensive. Eager to move to what’s next, but also relishing the sharpening that is occurring in me now. Sometimes relishing. Sometimes fearing being cut. Slashed. You know, by the sharpening.

My thoughts are scattered on the current subject. Scattered. Like seed? I hope.

The Human Condition. It’s filled with temptation, suffering, doubt, fear, love, joy, anticipation, mystery, laughter, tears, distance, closeness, numbness, pain. Life. Death.


These ideas are nothing new. The commonality in this condition is something I am learning to embrace more fully. To say that I realize that I may suffer fear and tension and withdrawal while simultaneously someone else, in the very instant, is filled with courage and peace and joyful connectivity is not a profound realization in the history of human thought. Yet, when I experience such a revelation it is somehow the most profound event in my own existential journey. Until the next profound event, of course. 🙂

I won’t delve into the motivations and insecurities and whatever else that makes me want to post the picture of my newfound biceps and leaner frame. Don’t worry. I’ll spare you. But I do have those drives sometimes. Too often I suspect. 43 years old. When will I settle into myself? Ha. But like I said, I won’t get into that.

Psalm 51 has been prominent in the daily readings of the Lectionary these past few days. Restore to me the joy of my salvation the writer pleads. I get that on a level that I don’t even fully understand quite yet. Don’t even know how to begin to express. The joy of my salvation. Restore that. Loaded.

I also think about a line from one of my favorite movies where the narrator voice says “everybody looking for salvation by themselves… each like a coal drawn from the fire.”

What do I want? I want to start a church. A gathering of souls. Souls searching for something. For anything. Truth. Peace. Purpose. Meaning. Life. Hope.

I don’t mean to imply I have the answers. Only that I’m searching too. And the search for Salvation and learning to rest in the joy that Salvation exists is a journey I long for with a scattering of other travelers.

Maybe that looks like something I don’t have in mind as of yet. Maybe it’s more training. Perhaps moving deeper into the field of communion with those who suffer. Maybe it’s a leap of faith.

I’m open. To Planting. To sowing. And then to waiting. Preparing. Hoping. Searching. Seeking.