On the Wings of Worship

the beauty of a bird in flight,

Even after the Lord found me and saved me as a adult, I could not shake off this stigma. It was so deep rooted within me. I washed myself in the water of the word,religiously, but alas the stain remained. I believed that everyone could see it and that they( despite what they would say ) thought of me as I did; that they could see what I saw. I battled periods of isolation before and after my conversion. In my forties I became a family man but the urge for isolation became stronger, and far more difficult to obtain. Despite these perceived setbacks I still managed to withdraw, if only emotionally, to the detriment of my wife and children. For a time I withdrew from the church body altogether. At the time I belonged to a very large interdenominational church,and for awhile I could get lost in the crowd. But I could not hide from myself or the judgment I was bringing upon my own head. While floundering emotionally and spiritually, and girding up my loins if you will with drugs, the Lord prompted me to go to a different body of believers closer to home. I went and found it was much smaller than the previous congregation. Much smaller with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. So each Sunday I would go and sit in the very back where there were no chairs. It was the entrance where the coffee pot was kept and it suited my place in time perfectly. I really tried to get into the members and the message but the inner voices in my head were shouting the truth as I believed it at the time.” You are small and despised.” However it was the music that would calm me and soothe me. I would just lay on the floor and basked in it. And for a least an hour, once a week I found a peaceful place, still waters and green pastures where it did not matter what everyone thought of me. It was the place and the presence that mattered. It was time for the Threshing Floor.
It started with external worship and continued with a cry. I used to just whisper to the Lord but I began to understand that it was not a whisper but a shout. So I did. And it felt so good I started to scream at the top of my lungs and it vibrated to the very foundations of my soul, shaking and dislodging the bars of my prison. They were becoming loose and the protective walls started to crack, but they still held me in. So I decided that I would praise God anyway. What little determination I still possessed I focused on my Deliverer. For a long time I had a djembe (hand drum) that I used for a night stand beside my bed. I cleared everything off of it one night and started to beat it. At first lightly, as I was still intimidated doing anything I had never done before. But with each and every beat the courage to speak through this drum arose, and I began to beat louder. Tears running down my face I would play until exhaustion would over take me. The dreams began immediately. The dreams would turn into memories I had long suppressed. These night passages would continue for months on end, always proceeded by my little attempts at worship on this hand drum. My children began to wonder what I was up to upstairs and were becoming concerned. My wife explained that I was communicating with Jesus. Then subtly the changes in me started happening. Little things that I didn’t notice as much as my family did. The way I began interacting with them, my countenance and slowly my own perception of myself began to change. I also found that the more I played the better I got at it. I got a Native American flute as a gift and learned to play it. I found that I had a passion in my life. With this new found courage (and legs still shaking), I approached our worship leader, Dan Montgomery about playing with the team. He had me come to a few practices and after a time invited me to play with the team. He presented me with my own book of worship music and I drove home feeling elated. It was a major hurdle for me that the Lord had empowered me to overcome. I told my wife who was waiting at home expectantly. As we stood basking in the joy that was overwhelming me I realized that I was starting to stand up. I was standing tall for the first time in my entire life. On my own two feet. All the baggage I had held on to, that bound me in a fetal position was falling away. With open hands I could worship my King and soar to new heights, over the walls that had imprisoned me for so long. This process is only just beginning for me. But His testimony to me is that it is everlasting. I cried out and You saved me. You gave me understanding so I could live. I will sing of Your statutes and Your righteousness. I will keep Your testimonies. And on the wings of worship I will embrace Your love that has saved me.

Angels on the Beach

Today was my Daughters 12th Birthday . I love her so much and wanted it, like all the others, to be extra special. The part of me that tends to focus on the cares of this world usually becomes discouraged, knowing that economically very little is possible. What we did do was pack her and all of her friends into 3 cars and went to the beach. It immediately lifted my spirits. Somehow looking at the vastness of the ocean has a way of putting all things into perspective for me. So 11 girls and my wife and I played like carefree children in the glory of God’s creation. On the way back towards the beach we spotted something swimming in the water before us. It wasn’t just one something but hundreds of small stingrays cruising the beach. We all stood watching this school of creatures pass like cars at a railway crossing. They stretched for hundreds of yards swimming within feet of us. Soon all the other people that were on the beach came to see what we saw. All of those people including us stood in awe at the passing of something most of us have never seen outside of an aquarium. Like water angels flying by at our feet. The whole crowd of people followed the school down the beach untill they turned and headed out for deeper water. In my heart never spoken I wanted something very special for Gracee on her Birthday. My Father heard that desire and invited a couple hundred of his friends to fly by and bless her. She ,or I , or all of those people will never forget this day. The most special of all her birthdays. Thank you Father for loving me this much. You are Way Cool!

On a Ship Headed Home

An old wooden sail ship in thick fog.

This November I was able ,along with my family, to return to the place where I was raised; to make new memories where only ghosts had resided. We traveled by ship from our present home in Charleston, SC, to St Georges on the islands of Bermuda. Some of my time there as a young boy I could remember but mostly I had blocked out my memory. However returning to this land of coral reefs, pink sand beaches and white limestone roofs over pastel houses, caused those memories to become unveiled,.They rushed back like a flood. The long covered links to a boy who was my son’s present age came home to me. It is amazing that once the light could shine on these memories, they enabled that long lost little boy to sprout again, to continue the growth long denied him.I watched my children play on this long a ago landscape and their laughter and joy of being children started to become the memories of that little boy who could not embrace the freedom of being loved and protected in that magical place.He began to laugh with them and run the narrow streets with them. To wade in the clear tropical waters to catch the neon fish. To take delight in being free, with out the constant worry that his scars would be revealed, on pain of death. My soul began to prosper. Then one day, quite by chance ,on a day tour, we passed my old house on Shelly Bay. The very house that I could barely remember was there. The place where all the darkness was. A place of severe injustice The very place where the pictures of the holy family watched from gilded frames the violations forced upon me, with indifference. The pictures from my past were rushing out to me on that tour bus full of tourists taking picture of the present. I reached over and touched my wife and told her that this was the place. It had been my home in the late fifties. Where the sounds of the many lawn parties, and the constant comings and goings of the many guests always helped the pillow to muffle the screams of a small boy in the the back bedroom. No one knew.I would soon be unable to remember. Only the the memory of the holy family looking on would remain. It is one reason I had always assumed that God could not and would not love me. It was some how my fault and their displeasure was so very evident to this small boy that his mind snapped, His memories left him never to return. But the Lord was not displeased with me. He brought me back fifty years later to replace what the canker worms had destroyed. New memories would forever replace the ones that were so dark, so painful. I remember that which was lost but more than that, I remember the laughter of my children yelling at each other” That’s where daddy lived, wow” And we drove on. I knew I would never be back to this house again. There would be no need. But this time as we moved on , we took an extra child with us. To make new memories with children his own age. We spent four days on the island and then we sailed away. I watched alone on the topmost deck as the tiny island was lost in the vastness of the ultramarine ocean. The Lord in his goodness had indeed provided a way of escape. Only his images were indifferent to my plight so very long ago. I am still trying to grow up in his love. And now one of those obstacles have been removed. And I must also say that I have no regrets. After all it all lead me here, with great memories of time well spent with my family. Of my Father who adores me. Of an ocean made smaller for a ship heading home.

New to Blogging

blog rock on green field - 3d illustration

This is my first blog and I am a little intimidated by the blank screen staring at me. I realize that inner voices may come off as a little spooky, but it explains that inner communication that sometimes wells up inside of me. Sometimes that is translated in art, the music that i compose or how I interpret music that already exists.It is also, and more importantly so the medium the Spirit of God uses to guide me or inspire me.It is the voice of an inner life that runs parallel to the one I live in the flesh.Those voice have led me down a path towards wholeness that has made this life; cratered with trauma and dispair, a life worth living and sharing. So here i am. My first step in being out there. This is very cool.