Good Art (Poem)

Good Art (Poem)

There is no wasted love.
There is no great unknown. 
Rather, there are things our hearts have known well, 
that we have since forgotten; 
things needing to be uncovered.

There is no holy grail, there’s no perfect fairytale.
There’s love for sure, and there’s buried treasure,
but it’s mostly buried within us
and is found when our hearts are untethered.

There’s longing in a fairy story that’s far beyond the tales and glory. It’s truth deeper and truer than our own stories hold, because the things otherwise unseen are pictured in the form of battles and fantasy.

I can’t quite put my finger on the reason we feel so complete
or incomplete
or hopeful of something sweeter than these black top streets.
The stories point to something,
like the physical pain in my knees
and the thoughts weighing heavy on my chest hold equal credence.

I know I’ve seen and felt things,
heard and known things I had no business knowing.
I know I’ve felt love and been loved by a being much
grander than human, and outside of a scope we can see.
Though supernatural experiences from the outside seems like delusion, seeing them first hand, I have resolution.

In the midst of calamity, we find camaraderie,
within peace and anxiety and somewhere between joy and tragedy
there’s a constant that has followed through history. 

The earth has seen him and he’s seen the void before the earth’s beginning. His wisdom is unknowable and untamed, yet consistent all the same.
He’s a story teller through and through, a creative; no, the creative; Creativity himself.

I can not explain each stroke of his pen or why he penned me in.
I can’t explain the earthquakes or tragedy amidst the innocent.
I can’t fathom how this universe once wasn’t and now is
or all the dimensions within it, but I can tell you this: 

When he said he loved me, for a while I didn’t believe him.
In my mind I heard him say it, but I believed it was just inside my mind, that I was perpetuating a lie I’d heard all my life.

There are coincidences, but when there’s too many,
we can make inferences.
It took weeks, months, before I’d believed him.
The way I’ve lived outwardly changed and inwardly began to rearrange, but what I did in secret didn’t say I loved him.

My outward kindness was a cover for my selfishness.
My insecurity was blanketed by enough transparency
for people to see what I wanted them to see.
I was less concerned with what God saw from his perspective,
as long as his Christians thought I was “it”.

I wanted to be fully free from the dichotomy
and staying busy kept the feelings at bay,
at least until the evenings.

But there’s a difference between speaking it and living it.
My heart’s a mess without Jesus at the helm.
No counterfeit can stand up to the  genuine,
even if no one else can tell. 

If my senses are ever off track,
be it good music, a movie or a painting,
a bird singing, bees racing or a sunset that’s slowly fading,
good art points to something,
points to someone,
points to the hope beyond me and you.
It’s real, even if you don’t believe it.
If you conclude the truth,
there’s no turning back, there’s only through,
because love himself will pour himself into you.

We will never unravel all truth,
though through curious questioning,
there are dim views and little clues,
while blame is a warped and clouded mirror to look through. 

In practicality, I’d rather be safe than sorry,
to choose to trust a grander story that holds weight in history.
To give everything for a treasure that’s forever,
and if that treasure be untrue,
the life I would live would be enough of a gift
to this world we’ve been bound to. 

It is the most logical and most unnerving thing to give up total autonomy to a being we can not see, but from what I’ve seen, it’s worth the risk. 

*end scene*

Distanc ing (Poem)

Distanc      ing (Poem)

Fragile is my heart that longs for touch, that longs for something it can see. 

Fragile are my thoughts as they fail to remember the good I’ve seen.

Fragile is my body that is too week to lift the sorrow inside of me.

The weight is too great, the pain is too deep.

I lay in my bed, but I cannot sleep.

I speak of vulnerability, with glass walls built all around me. 

I Feel alone, but I cannot be.

My friends are here, but I’m distancing.

My God is here, but I’m not listening. 

*one day into social distancing* 

I’d been so busy I couldn’t think.

The pressures off, now my mind can think. 

Mixed feelings, but I’m thankful that I now can think.

There’s things important I’ve distanced myself from,

Things in my room I can’t escape,

Things in my mind I can’t erase. 

It’s more than sin, it’s more than rhythms.

It’s more then the closets and skeletons in them. 

It’s more then heath and wellness and wisdom.

For the depths I reached weren’t dug in a day, 

The selfish and pure motives weren’t traded for in one exchange.

The joy did not up and fly away.

Alone. 

Here. 

Safe. 

What will I do in the weeks to come?

will I get off my phone?

Will I grow and become?

I will distance myself from my vices that drown me.

I will dream larger, though my surroundings confine me.

I will draw near to the One who found me.

I will not be alone.

I am not alone. 

We are not alone. 

Dream (Poem)

Dream (Poem)

There is a longing beyond myself. It pulls me most forcefully when I read or watch or hear a story of adventure and passion and mystery. The longing is not for something imaginary, but rather truer then the life I am currently living. I am pulled into something that isn’t, and maybe in this current reality could not be, but that doesn’t deter me from closing my eyes and feeling free, content in a dream. 

If it be the new Spiderman movie or the musical “Once” or a concert or hearing someones dreams, I cannot leave without inspiration flowing through my veins and into every vessel inside of me. I’m inspired in spite of the fiction, that it is not currently true, because it reminds me that even in fantasy, we are awakened to greater things then living, working and dying. There is beauty in the wondering; how I long to live an adventure. My lungs feel stuffed up when clogged with practicality. 

It is important for a person to dream, even if that dream never comes true. To dream is to create. Sharing that creation with another is a more beautiful picture of faith then any lecture could ever portray. 

There’s a time to swing back into reality. There’s a time to schedule, plan and critique, but when do we schedule a time to dream? For to dream is to step into hope of greater things.

Story, fiction, and passion are each portals to the truth that this life is not all we’ve been made for. There is truth beyond the cubicles or fork lifts or house calls or stacks of paper. There is life beyond the plans and five steps to success, beyond the meetings and desks, beyond the 9 to 5 and books and tests.

There’s freedom in the open air, adventure in decisions that cause you to risk, joy in the unknown. When you go for that thing that everyone says will not pay out without the proper certificate or experience or training, ask yourself the question, “are these opinions a help or a hindrance to me fulfilling the dreams that pull at my heart strings?”

Write down the stories or passions you hold in your heart. Jot down a reality if you had all you needed. re-read it. Don’t let your imagination be flooded with what ifs; fight for potential beyond what is in plain sight! The stories of justice and fighting for truth ,where good conquers evil when evil seems like it cannot loose are stories for fighters like you. dream. Forge through.

Ps. If you feel like this is for someone else, this likewise is for you. You too, dream. Forge through. 

Trevor Heinrich (a life unrivalled)

Trevor Heinrich (a life unrivalled)

The question is not of who won or who lost. The question is why did the cancer have to be such a sore looser? My friend, Trevor is home with Jesus.

It’s easy to say clichés like heaven couldn’t spend another minute without him or he’s in a better place and we’ll see him again one day. It’s easy because they’re true, but it doesn’t make the ache any softer for a wife who finds herself missing her best friend and her lover; her some much more then I could ever ponder. I know the little I knew him in comparison leaves an ache in my chest and tears in my eyes. My wishes to spend more time, write music and sing with him like we planned before the his voice was, for those dreams, silenced. But heaven and hell both know that his voice could not be silenced! He climbed higher then Everest, and reached father then the coast and around the world with his smile, his passion, his joyful exuberance. His faith was stronger than anything I’d ever seen and his gentleness was to the atomic level, only to be rivaled by his compassion like the ocean and his love vibrant and present as color itself. He thought deeply, dreamed wildly, followed his dreams so rigidly and tenaciously, he would push through steadily until the task was complete.

And though I struggle at moments to breath, I can’t imagine the chest of his Family who’s breath can only be replaced as the cries of sadness and grief are retracted forcefully to be followed by silence or tears or choking over the next emotion unable to be predicted or seen. Their family member who’s life on earth was not left unlived has been cut shorter then they would have ever imagined or expected. But his legacy and memories will never fade. He will never cease to be missed. They will know laughter again. They will breath easier, but he will always be a part of them. Grief will never become past tense, but the tension of that grief will loosen its grip for most days.

The thing of it is, we do not want to forget. The future is mourned not because he’s not with this moment, but because tomorrow’s reality is the same as today’s. The dreams made with him are now ours to trail blaze. In his memory, we gaze into what our friend would have done if he had even one more day. We must not waist our precious days in fear of what might happen. What if the things we set our minds to don’t turn out as sweet as we wished them to.

But what will happen when we look at ourselves, years later, in awe of a man who lived his life as closely to Jesus as he ever could, at that’s all we do? Will we not be moved to live more beautifully, love more purely, fight more passionately, and dream more wildly?

Or will we let ourselves return only wishing, but never being?

Trevor has changed my life. The hours I’ve spent with him have been few and far between, but they were rich in beauty, vibrantly refreshing, enlightening and full of permission to dream. I met him in 2015 and I say goodbye on the 24th day of June in 2019.

It has not fully set in, and I can’t begin to think I could scratch the surface of how special he is, but this is my account of Trevor David Heinrich:

He greeted me with sincerity, shared moments intentionally, exchanged art and encouragement mutually and humbly. He dreamed and encouraged me to dream with faith I hadn’t seen, laughed uncontrollably. He rock climbed skillfully and never gave up, pulling me to become better, even before his dream to climb to Everest’s peak. He let me crash on his couch, sat down with me to have coffee, mid hike accross the US as he raised money. He shared his friends in a Bible study and sat with me, embraced me, and affirmed me in the man I was and was to be. We watched a play at Sight and Sound before he would work there. We climbed some more after he had been going more head on towards his Everest dreams. I sat with him after I got him ice cream. We ate it together. It was peanut butter cup. It was supposed to be dairy free, but that accident became his cheat in his week. We laughed so hard, after he said, “This is so good! I can’t believe it’s dairy free!” We looked at the package, noticed my mistake and lost it. I felt bad as his laughter was interrupted by pain and coughing, but these are some of the moments I never want to release. I saw him marry the woman of his dreams. The light in his eyes could have challenged the sun as she walked towards him; when she took his name. I cut his hair, and spent time with him and his wife. He showed me the things that he was still passionately doing. A gift he was making for his beauty. The Kombucha bottle anticlimactically did not explode, but surely made a mess. Stella and him alike encouraged me and showed me true love and sacrifice. I prayed for him as I followed his story. He never let himself get bitter. He never lost his smile; that smile no one can forget. His heart was the purest. I wish I could have spent more time with him. I wish I could go back and play the times we did have, but my times with him are only a sliver his story that show how amazing he is. His legacy will not quickly fade, and his impact will surely never be counted or measured; it will continue to grow day by day.

The cancer took his life on earth, but it did not take his spirit. Trevor won the race. He is healed. He is whole.

About the Little Things (the things that matter most)

About the Little Things (the things that matter most)

What are some of the things you hate the most about yourself? Chances are, most of them are things you could change if only… (fill in the blank.)

What would happen if you decided those things would no longer control you?

When I think about the question for myself, I think of laziness, selfishness, lack of drive, my body mass (or lack there of) and other things. In the past few years, I recognized this in myself and slowly started to change these things.

As I write this, I’m realizing it is a sort of follow up post for “Disconnect (where character is built)“. If you haven’t read that one, it might do you good to check out.

These things I started taking steps toward in December, and carrying them through for a few months. I felt more confident and healthy then I ever had! About four months into it, I started to let little things go, one little thing at a time.

It started when I decided to let myself slack on pushups. This lead to letting myself slack on tidiness and lead to more important things, like letting myself slack on my personal time with the Lord. Life got busy, and although I had close friendships and relationships pushing me to be the best me I could be, I made excuses.

It’s really easy to get to a place like I had gotten. Excuses are everywhere. The question I had to ask myself was would I rather stand here, not being the person I want to be with a hand full of excuses, or do I want to stand here, slightly tired at moments, maybe bumped or scratched, but have become the man I want to be with a boat load of satisfaction, knowing that I gave my all.

As of the past week, I had some big wake up calls that lead me to take some self inventory. I realized that I was no longer living the life I wanted to be living. Most of this all stemmed from selfishness, and poor decisions that lead to burn out and a “screw it” mentality.

This week, I’m getting back to what I started; back to becoming the me I want to be.

What is holding you back from achieving the goals you’ve wanted to reach or becoming the person you want to be?

Humble Hero (Poem)

Humble Hero (Poem)

Being hopeful and full of emotions does not make a man a hero.

You have not won simply because the fog has lifted.

You are not made new when you’ve rounded the bend from a struggle you stumbled your way through.

When we feel on top of the world and our life has taken a turn; when pain is replaced with laughter; when toil is turned to rest, we can not boast as if we’ve done a thing.

Character is is not proven by a hard season ending, but by endurance in the pain. Relief is not a personal gain, but grace from the creator of the day.

Rejoice when the storm subsides, but thank the one who brought you through to the other side. Do not boast or claim that it was by your own strength or even in how you’ve changed. Without God’s strength, we each can fall back into any phase, any vice, any maze, and it’s only because of Him that we can be saved!

In humility is where we find victory. Character is where we can continue to live healthy. All else is vanity, and every other boast except in Jesus Christ, the king of kings is false security.

May I not even be honored for the art or talents I bring. May I not identify with worthless things. May my God be where I seek out peace. May my heart be totally given and my spirit ever free.

To Someone *but not just anyone (Poem)

To Someone *but not just anyone (Poem)

Oh future one, who you may be, I’m giving all I have to be the one that you would fall for. I share the things I’d rather let alone, the moments that I treasure, I post in plain view, hoping that who you may be would see southing in me; something you haven’t seen.

I find myself shooting shots to every screen,  hoping that it would be a place my love hasn’t been, place that one would find my heart and treat it better then just another one. I don’t want this futile desperation, falsifying my character, overemphasizing my desires and heightening my anxiety with fear of rejection.

This is not who I am and not at all who I plan to be. My funk I’ve planted myself in will not be the place I stretch my roots in. I want to be at a place that God is all I need, with friends by my side. The family of God being unified, but in Christ, being satisfied. There’s still something about a life partner though. Something I long for, but something worth the lull, something worth fighting for.

I don’t want to settle for someone I don’t feel free with. Being tied down and walking on egg shells are thing I want to avoid like prison and bomb shells. I want to be able to be free without selling myself and advertising that I’m worth someones time. I want to be seen for me.

I want to be believed in. I want to be valued from one who’s willing to take me on; and it’s selfish in part, but I want to invest in someone and champion them for everything they are and everything they’ve done. I want to love. I want to hold hands and dance. I want to talk about the things we don’t understand. I want to stay up way too late, feeling drained, doing something mundane, but knowing who I’m doing it for is worth every second of the pain. I want to grow and be known, but more so, learn about someone from head to toe and toe to head and back again, because in each season we change and I don’t want to be ok with knowing who that someone was yesterday.

I don’t think my desires are too much of a fairy tail or a romantics dream, but if it is, I hope that someone is my dream come true.

Don’t Force It (It Will Come)

Don’t Force It (It Will Come)

No matter how hard I try to hide it, I want to be Iconic and known for leaving something behind. I want everyone to know that God is real and that they’re important to his heart, purpose and plans. Mixed in, there’s definitely some hope to be seen as important as well. That being said, I’ve also had a lot of opportunities to do things in my life, and because of that, I know I am privileged.

These opportunities that have presented themselves and continue to are, strangely enough, not always “blessings.” I could write a book on what true blessings are, especially from a spiritual standpoint (and I am also sure plenty of people already have), but the point is this:

What looks like a blessing could possibly be a distraction. 

I’ve started seeing a counselor and a part of what we’ve been working through is my desire to help, mixed with a selfish desire to get something in return for the help I have given. I am one that tries to be for everyone else what I don’t have for myself; you might relate.

Through this process, I find myself often trying to solve or fix situations, but never actually finding satisfaction in that achievement once it is completed. I had a moment of reflection a few months ago and checked my gas gage (hypothetically speaking) and saw that my gas light was on. I was so close to running out, I was running on fumes. What I was trying to do was create something impactful without any intention on finding contentment in the process. I was all about making it happen and spreading myself thin in the name of hustle.

I asked myself some questions and pondered some thought:

  • “there’s gotta be something more then living a tired life.”
  • “how can I fix this? all I’m doing it throwing myself into everything and hoping someone will catch my vision.”
  • “How can I be more intentional?”

These are some of my conclusions I came to:

  • Fighting to become something if futile. No one will ever see what all you put in, and having an identity driven goal means you’re in the middle of an identity crisis. That’s possibly a little bit extreme, although it does point to one fact. Your identity is not already secure, and without finding security in yourself now, their will not be security when you get that title,or job, or house, or skill. That grind will wear you down and bring on anxiety and stress.
  • It’s ok to say no. You will have more energy if you take time to rest. (Also, social media and Netflix doesn’t equal rest.) Spend some time with yourself and God! That is where you’ll really be refreshed.
  • Intentionality is key, and is found and rooted in confidence. This confidence, for me, is only found in spending moments with Jesus, if it’s journaling, or reading the Bible, or singing, or soaking and just listening, actually meditating, and resting. Through “waisting” time resting, there is a refreshment that takes place, as well as that confidence to make the decisions that need to be made to achieve what needs to be done, in a healthy, peaceful way.

It’s ok to wait. Some things don’t need to be acted upon exactly when it’s dreamed up. Some things will be ready immediately, but if they’re not, don’t force them.

I have a list of things I’m super excited for in my life. I know most of them will happen, but until then, I will strategize, I will rest, and I will act when it is time.

 

Growing Into (Qualifications are Worth the Wait)

Growing Into (Qualifications are Worth the Wait)

There is nothing more powerful than someone who walks into their destiny with boldness because they’ve walked humbly into the secret place. They walk out knowing this is where their confidence and qualifications come from.

Have you ever failed at something? If your answer was yes, you know it is no fun. If you answered no, then this blog post hopefully changes your perspective. Either way, most of us know the feeling of failure, if it be in big ways or small ways. I myself have learned a lot from my failures, but even more so through the conversations and prayers that have followed.

One thing I’ve learned is that it’s much nicer to fail in your living room than on the stage. I first started to pick up this truth at a young age while involved in theatre and church activities. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found this applies to life now a lot more clearly than I would have ever imagined.
This relates to jobs, relationships, ministry, and pretty much every place we go. At work, I saw this play out when I tried to get into a position before my boss thought I was ready for it. In ministry, I’ve tried leading large groups without first practicing with smaller groups and sharing messages without deep prayer for wisdom. I’ve tried presenting poetry without rehearsing or memorizing my art. I thought I would be fine without putting in the preparation, but embarrassed myself and looked like a fool instead.

When I was around 19 year old, there was a prayer and worship night at my church on the National Day of Prayer. I was super stoked for it, because I personally fed the idea for us to host such an event.  I made it known that I wanted to speak about revival and prayer and all kinds of good stuff! The problem was, even though I had an idea didn’t mean I was meant to carry out the message. The pastor asked someone else to speak, so this created a little awkwardness. I felt I had all the answers, since I had just gotten back from a discipleship school. I believed that the people at my church didn’t have what I had to offer, and I was going to be the one to break through to people’s hearts. Because of my pride and God’s mercy, a friend spoke to me about the subject of waiting on the open door instead of trying to bust through using one’s own power or initiative.

Thankfully I learned that lesson and backed off of trying to be one of the speakers and resorted to, “Whoever you have scheduled to speak will be great, I don’t need to speak at all. I want to just serve in any area needed.” My hear was super humbled that day. I could have continued to push and try to lead a revival, but my question I answered within my spirit was, “how can revival start if there isn’t an anointing or blessing from the people God put in charge of what was happening?” Humility is so tough for me, but being willing to serve in whatever way to get the task finished is super healthy and encouraging!

Through all of these and other failed attempts on a small scale, and not forcing my way into specific situations, I’ve gained trust, wisdom, skill and grown in integrity. These things I pray I never stop growing in, because with each new responsibility that presents itself comes more risk and requires a deeper trust in Jesus Christ and stronger character.

This is all developed through:

-failing and learning in the seemingly smaller/more forgiving tasks at hand, so you may have the skill-set with bigger tasks.

-learning to love your family, so you will be able to love your future spouse, boss, coworkers, staff, neighbor, or enemy.

-growing closer in relationship with Jesus, so that walking in humility is second nature, praying is first nature, and confidence and trust is built between yourself and the creator  and author of everything that might come your way.

From this, people will see the gifts and talents that you have been given and that have developed in you, and in each step, will want to promote you, and God will put you in places of influence as you serve faithfully in everything you do.

There is nothing more powerful than someone who walks into their destiny with boldness because they’ve walked humbly into the secret place. They walk out knowing this is where their confidence and qualifications come from. Success will follow, change will occur, and lives and organizations will be transformed. More importantly, than any of those things, destinies will be discovered.

Hope will blossom, joy will bloom, faith will rise, and love will reside inside of you. 

From Honor to Success (And a Little Perspective)

From Honor to Success (And a Little Perspective)

I’ve heard a lot of different perspectives on success and what it takes to succeed. Some measure it with money or fame or happiness; family, specific belongings or health.  I would say it’s not one or none of these. I look at success as always moving forward. That includes losses and wins and has nothing to do with quitting. Many of you probably agree with this.  Something I’ve found as a key to success in living our lives successfully is honoring others.

Google defines honor in verb form as to “regard with great respect.”

In my interactions with people and in my observation of myself, honor is something that seems to be under rated, whether it be social media, job resumes, sports, and so many different places, including our day to day conversations. Everything usually revolves around seeking honor for ourselves. I know that when I see someone seeking attention and praise from people, it does the opposite then what they’re looking for. On the flip side, seeing someone lift up and point out the good in someone else, I not only see the one being honored in a better light, but I see the person honoring in a more positive manner.

Some people say that you have to show yourself off (especially in a job atmosphere) so that they will see how good you are. I struggle with this myself. No one likes to be overlooked, but I like to look at it this way; if we try to exalt ourselves to achieve some sort of promotion or status or raise, we might very well receive it.  I would question, if that were to happen to you, would you be ready for it? I had been looking for some big promotion in the past, but at one point I saw that at the right time, if I would honor others and honor my boss at the time, God would honor me when I was in a place that I would be ready to accept the responsibility.  That has continued to carry over into my every day. I don’t always carry it out, although I always try to bring it into every aspect of life, whether it be in my family, my job, my church, or somewhere I’m volunteering.

The amazing part about having a mindset to honor others is having no other expectations to receive any honor.  The only failure that can occur is if you aren’t putting everything you can into whatever you’re doing. You then end up blaming someone in order to elevate yourself; Or, instead of honoring another person, you honor yourself or even dishonor the other person.

One positive to this mindset and attitude is that we end up acquiring a more grateful attitude when we see all the amazing things other people do and not look for the bad in them. We also begin to find satisfaction in other people’s successes instead of solely on our own success. There are so many other ways this leads to more joy and fulfillment, but another super cool bonus is that as your heart changes, others will begin to honor you. I would love to live in a place where people are all honoring one another. I heard Andy Byrd (an amazing communicator and friend of God) talk about what it would look like if churches started promoting other churches and praying for their success instead of being so closed minded and selfishly motivated. It makes me think of a scripture from Romans 12:10 where Paul encourages the people to “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

Success is something we all want, whether we strive for it with everything we’ve got, have given up on it due to fear, or float somewhere in-between.  However, what is the price of success?  Did you really succeed if your success stands on the corps of every person you stole honor from, slandered, or overlooked on the way there?  I would rather stand in a valley with a view of all those who have gone ahead of me, fed by the encouragement and integrity of others and me.