Archive for March, 2016


March 29, 2016 6 comments

Gitty up Trigger!  It’s time.


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YES, again…

March 22, 2016 12 comments

It seems that every two or three years I post something about our moving again. The reason that I do that is because every two or three years we move again. Blink-blink.

moving2I think we can honestly say that it’s never premeditated. It mostly happens because we’re responding to some opportunity or some impression of what appears to be a season change. Moving to Waco in November 2013 was bittersweet. We left a community of people who had previously rocked our world. It was hardcore and spiritually intense. We had forged deep relationships with honorable and loving people. Not everything there was up to that standard, but leaving Georgia wasn’t easy. Yet, there was a sense that family needed to be the focus for the next season—and that was especially true for Patti. So we moved.

The last two and a half years in Waco have been anything but boring. We came not knowing much more than Patti needed to seize time with her mom (the Martha we had always known) while there was still opportunity to do so. Within weeks of being here, it was obvious that the decline was definitely happening every day. What was to be a casual check-in a couple of times a week, became and 24-7 care concern almost immediately.

Early on, our evenings consisted of wine, cheese, crackers, and a lot of teary debriefs. Az (Alzheimer’s, dementia, you name it) was kicking our family’s butt. We had no idea what we had signed up for. Dementia was making more trouble than we had foreseen. So, we started reading and studying. A brutal topic, but it had to be done.

I still marvel that I got to witness firsthand how a daughter responded to her mother’s need. Lots of people pull on Patti’s life and I can honestly say that she gives and loves as well as anyone I’ve ever known, but in this situation with her mom, it’s been something more than just taking care of mom. Patti dived in deeper with the woman who had always been there for her. She wanted to connect and give security when Martha’s reality window of the familiar was closing. My words will never accomplish the true justice of what this season was like. “Horribly glorious” is about the best I can convey with words. It has truly been a privilege to witness. I’m convinced that my girl is a bad ass.

(I certainly realize that Patti is not the only person that has signed up for such duty.  If you’ll look around, there are people giving themselves away for the sake of a parent or a child or a mate everywhere. The fact that humanity is still willing to do that is a good thing. I genuinely think it’s part of His image shining through us. The ancient rites of family.)

It was hard as hell, but it was also tender, sweet, and precious—still is. Now that Martha is in a memory care facility, the efforts to connect are still important. Patti goes everyday to visit with her mom. Yes, her mother appears to be content and safe in that environment, yet Patti has become another source of light to more than just her mother. Workers, aides, residents and staff all pull from the radiance that she carries. Loving on Martha is the primary motivation, but you know Patti can’t help herself as so many others are in such close proximity. Everyone gets a touch. It’s an amazing gift to behold.

PeakSo, one week from today, we will put our stuff in a Penske truck and drive the 850 miles to Colorado Springs, Colorado. For the third time, that is where we will lay our heads.

Much like the other 27 moves, there is no way to really know what is ahead. Departing here to live there does pull on our hearts in many ways. Leaving our moms again is hurtful. Martha is unaware, but a part of Patti’s life and ministry stays here. Not seeing her mom everyday is going to leave a huge vacuum. Regularly touching her mom has brought a lot of joy and happiness to my girl. Seeing her mom’s smile when she walks in everyday is righteous love. That is going to be a massive void for them both.

My mom is healthy, alert, and doing her own thing. I suspect we’ll still spend lots of time together. She loves Colorado, and of course her people who reside there. I’ll miss the ability to pop in on my brother and sister on a whim. We’ll miss a lot of our spiritual kids who are still hurting from grief and loss. Being near Jimmy and Lorna is about the only thing we can actually do for them. Yes, it’s still really hard. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Longtime garden friends, who know our story and get how we roll, understand this move. Their supportive affirmation is helpful. We agree with the Beatles: We get by with a little help from our friends! Thank you so much!

I suspect that the bulk of our friends here in Central Texas won’t even know we’re gone. We’ll be in and out of here on a fairly regular basis. With the moms and family here, we’ll be around.

Besides, I’ll have to in the winter. The white stuff freaks me out. (Help me Jesus!)

Come see us!

Love you all,

Mike  xo


7824 Flicker Grove  .   Colorado Springs, CO 80920

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March 15, 2016 2 comments

Check it out: I recently saw this video on FB and now I know why it went viral. It’s really sweet.

There is something about being picked that really does us some good. Feeling left out and overlooked totally sucks, but getting the nod of approval is one of the more uplifting things that will ever happen to us.

I tried to put myself in this guy’s shoes. Evidently, he had served this kid and her mother very well. Apparently the bond is genuine and the payoff is extremely sweet.

I loved his line which revealed his heart: “Yeah, I’ve been wanting to do that forever.”

Dad got picked, validated, and affirmed. Let’s eat some cake!

There is a great passage of scripture in the Bible that points out a stated reality:

“Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance” (Galatians 4:5-7, The Message).

There are some pretty exciting things in that passage:

  1. We have been set free
  2. We are fully adopted as His own
  3. We are heirs
  4. We have complete access to that inheritance!

peach-pickingThat news is so good we can hardly believe it, and that might be our problem.

Like the young woman in the video, we need to pick, validate, and affirm what God has already done for us. It has always been in His heart, but He patiently waits for us to decide to live fully in the acceptance and freedom that He has so graciously afforded us.

He picked us before we knew it. Maybe it’s time for us to stop earning, and transition to receiving and living in the full rights of our inheritance. Like the young lady: “Yes Lord, I’ll take that deal! I choose to live in Your unconditional love and acceptance!”

He picked so we could pick. What a deal!

Love you all,

Mike xo

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simple #3

March 8, 2016 2 comments

If you missed reading Simple and Simple #2 this video is pretty much your summary.  I apologize if you’re not Matrix savvy.

Once we’ve stared down our addiction to being noticed or needed, and then face our thirst for being right, certain, and important, the final temptation must be wrestled down: CONTROL.

Jesus was propositioned the third time by darkness with the ultimate sugar stick: “It’s all yours, dude. Just play the game, bow the knee, and you can have it all!” (Matthew 4:8)

That is a serious offer, and regardless of the source (which most of us have no issue overlooking) it’s too much power and control for us to ignore. It’s a legit temptation.   Verse nine clearly reveals the costs, but too many are usually willing to gamble.

That’s a very heavy judgment on “all the kingdoms of this world.” In all these systems, self-interest has to dominate. For Kingdom people, self-interest cannot dominate.” – Richard Rohr, O. F. M.

Make no mistake, the third temptation is all about power and control. And as Rohr indicates, it is the culmination of all three temptations into one package: “The great lie, a mythological riddle that can’t be solved—The sin of the world.” (John 1:29)


About the only way to combat the gravitational pull into this numbing cycle of default normalcy is to sell out to gospel living. And that, my friends, isn’t very easy. His yoke is easy and light, but it’s also pretty much counter-flow to every world system in place. I’m not talking about fist-pumping rebellion here, but a different rhythm and a different path—a peculiar stride that doesn’t find its value by blending in with more of the same or how it’s always been done. The amount of counter energy Jesus exuded towards the kingdoms of this world was astonishing! Homie didn’t play.

I know serious-minded ministry people who believe they’re exempt from such things, but actually, “we’re” not. In fact, there is more temptation, not less. It’s not easy to resist the rewards of any system. That’s why the game gets played over and over again. What we’ll do for a little honor, glory, recognition, or control. Sigh.

Darkness finally split the scene when Jesus spoke words that ended the conversation. True to form, He offered the ultimate antidote to nullify the poison from the liar’s tongue. Again, we are reminded that we are to govern our lives by values that come from a different space and reality. And about the only way we can get to the true essence of that rhythm is to center ourselves in God’s full acceptance of who we really are. We can stop with the self hype. We can truly be grace. That doesn’t require marketing. It requires trust.

It simply takes faith to believe that. You’ll know when you’ve met someone who believes. You’ll feel the grace and sense the Sabbath rest. It really is that simple.

Love you all,

Mike   xo

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simple #2

March 1, 2016 6 comments

There were three temptations. Three times “the dark” attempted to over-extend the light—trying anything to get Him out of his rhythm. It didn’t work. Jesus knew who he was and what his Father thought of him. You normally can’t manipulate or jack with people who are grounded in that kind of shalom.

Last week we looked at the first temptation or addiction: our need to be noticed or needed. Honestly, it’s a brutal conversation. I don’t know if you’ve figured it out or not, but your number of Facebook or Twitter followers doesn’t have a damn thing to do with who you are or your value as a human being. And if you don’t know that, you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to get noticed, get recognized, or get some proverbial wink of approval. What a horrible, horrible, horrible waste of your life juice.

God I feel better for saying that!

Let’s move on. I’m tired of thinking about it.

The second encounter that Jesus faced was the whole, “Since you’re God’s son, jump!” (Matthew 4:6) This is our addiction to being right, to be in, to be a part of the moral elite, to be saved and superior—all for our own benefit. This would be a thing called self-righteousness. This is the spirit that will step on humanity for the sake of a religious notion. If you want to talk anti-Christ… look no further. It was juicy bait—but Jesus didn’t bite.

More evil has come into the world by people of religious ignorance than by people who have intentionally sinned.” –Richard Rohr, O. F. M.

2nd tempThe problem is our NEED to be right—our insecurity without our certainties—our ridiculous pride about our certainties. It’s nice to be right every now and then, but that driving need to be superior, righteous, and elite is just downright uuuggglly.

Rohr points out that when the young rich man asked for the specifics of how to gain eternal life, Jesus didn’t give him any real answers, because it was the wrong question (Mark 10:17). Jesus didn’t play by the rules. He didn’t play the game that everyone else was playing. There is a real possibility that much like “darkness” the young man didn’t really want answers. He only wanted affirmation of what he was already certain of. Selling his stuff wasn’t going to buy the boy a ticket to heaven. We don’t believe that do we? If you do, why do you still have your stuff? Why? Ain’t you going to heaven? Jesus help us to have eyes that see.

Jesus offered the same kind of solution to the person struggling with lust: “Fine, cut out your eye, but you’ll soon figure out that your problem is not your eye. It’s your heart.” (Matthew 5:29)

Our need to be right, to be on top, to be certain, to be THE authority, the big-dog, the alpha are real temptations. Simply, it is an addiction of great concern. Don’t just like this.  You should hate this… it’s in us.

Wow… three pieces of scripture. Guess that constitutes as preaching. Sorry.

Love you all!

Mike  xo

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