XXXI: Church Persona


I tend not to think of life in years as I do lifetimes. Currently, I’m on my third lifetime. I was watching some videos over at IAMSECOND, and one of the speakers brought up the point of not really understanding God’s grace until you release your church persona. It wasn’t until I heard that, that it really clicked with me.

In 2009 I was the model American Christian; I went to church, I knew scripture, I could maintain theological debates, I was in the right place. Two years following I gave up on the church image and walked away, hence the beginning of FilingThePapers.

Similar to the open road this has become my sanctuary, my reminder that God exists, that God is love, and that God cares about my repulsive, sinful soul. The rest of the world laughs at my mistakes, I personally tear myself down daily, but I can still wake up knowing God loves me for the flawed person I am. Continue reading

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XXXI: Body Issues


I’m going to mark my spot for being in the .01% of the United States population. I have a very strong dislike towards a recent trending topic (besides Hobby Lobby), and over the week I’ve been trying to figure out how I should address it, how I should write, and what I really dislike so much.

After eating two hard boiled eggs, a container of pineapples, and leftovers from dinner last night I think I know where to start.

I cannot stand the ESPN Magazine: Body Issue Continue reading

XO: So Long


So long…
And thanks for all the fish…

It only seems natural to use that quotation to define what this post was going to be about. I’ve known this day was coming, at first I tried to deny it, but in the end it became about acceptance and moving on to new adventures with life.

The Kansas City Shock is no more. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: Darkness Before The Dawn


I’m sitting in small groups…err… sorry, life groups on this warm Wednesday night.

Darco didn’t get her promotion (yet) and the taco meat I made was awful tasting. It’s been tough times for us, things have just been frustrating for both of us. Life is just difficult, and no one said it would be different.

God has blessed me with a plentiful amount of teaching opportunities this past month. I’m almost in school every single day (including tomorrow). Our car has been repaired (at a discount), and the fuel is there. I’m working and Darco is as well. However, that doesn’t mean things are easy. We still need to get groceries, pay bills, and take care of each other.

However, times are darker then just what Darco and I realize in ourselves. I’ve been listening to the prayer requests tonight, and it isn’t just the standard natural disasters, national death levels, etc… it’s personal. Things are evil here.

I’ve always held onto to the optimism (delicately at times) that darkness comes before the dawn. Sometimes that means tomorrow and sometimes that means the return of Christ. It will get better, but that doesn’t mean right away.

I’m glad I’m not God, so, so thankful because the amount of prayer requests that He must receive I’d never be able to comprehend.

With all that said, at least through this pain and problems I can hold firm to something true:

This much pain means that we’re doing something right.

-D-

O: Unspeakable


I’m just in awe.

I mean…mind being blown doesn’t even describe.

I’ve been searching for words for this post most of the day. The home opener for the Kansas City Shock is May 25th, 2013 at Kansas City Kansas Community College. There have been several bumps along the way, especially as of late, but in the past week…God is just doing something…amazing. Something only He can do. The nice part about my life is being able to sit back and knowingly not be able to take credit for what is taking place. From sponsors, to airfare for players, to practice fields, to things that I never even dreamed up…this week has been incredible. Unbelievable I even had someone tell me, “We’d like to work with you, because we believe God is doing great things in your program.” I mean…wow…mission field? Found!

As I stare out the window this evening, watching the lightning flash all around it is the most comforting feeling in the world to know you’re exactly where God wants you to be. There’s no denying, no describing it, you just know…and it never gets old. I think God almost enjoys thinking, “Alright, he is waking up. What can I do today that’ll just blow him away?” I’m pretty sure that’s how He works, and He gets a kick out of it too.

The Kansas City Shock is rocking and it’s been a blast. Honestly, today was one of those days that I even forgot the concept of how or why this website was ever created. Unfortunately, that realization was short lived this evening. My girlfriend is known to wander throughout the Facebook world [no, none of us are safe], and had looked up my ex-wife. Now, due to the restraining order from a few years ago, I stay out of it and away from any of it. That, and really, I don’t care. However, as my girlfriend said tonight, “I was just curious on getting an idea of who you were before we met” [she’s curious like that]. Repeatedly I had asked her to stay off my ex-wife’s Facebook page, but I quickly learned that if she wasn’t sharing information with me [that I didn’t want to know], other people around me were doing so instead.

She beat everyone else to the punch tonight. There we were, heading to dinner after church, she had brought up the Facebook page. That turned into an argument, she left it alone, and then she started crying. Now, my girlfriend, as special as she is…is not a crier. That’s not her style, so this had me confused.

She had a seizure. I just feel really, really bad for her.

That was the only phrase that could come out of her mouth while traveling down the interstate. My ex-wife’s mother has had a neurological disorder for some time, resulting in seizures and even a few strokes…at a very young age. I’m speculating, but it sounds as if that neurological issue has been passed down. My girlfriend went on to explain that it happened in the school lunchroom where she taught. From the education background, I can’t imagine how fearful that must have been for everyone.

The car was quite while I mulled over this information, trying to think about my reaction to this news, and that’s when I blurted it out:

I. Don’t. Care.

Harsh words, and sadly I meant them. I didn’t care. The anger and bitterness from years past came flaming back into life as I went on a small fit asking if she cared that I was homeless, if she cared that I was broke, broken, and worthless, if she cared that I was absolutely nothing. Frankly, they were the childish rants expected from a bitter individual [though not necessarily Christ-based]. We remained silent until pulling into IHOP. Hoping to drown the thoughts in the most awful tasting iced coffee I’ve ever had, my girlfriend and I talked about every other topic under the sun…myself trying to ignore the knowledge that I had gained in the past hour.

Finally, after the evening was over, working some business angels and watching the storm roll in; I just sat, quietly. Trying to understand my stance, my anger, and bitterness. How could I rationalize it? Why would I rationalize it? I have the right to be angry right? I have the right to harshly and unfairly think “that’s what you get”, right? With the falling rain I was remembered of the phrase that started it all.

Dare to be different. Shock the world.

If I allowed myself the pleasure of enjoying the heartfelt struggles of those who passed me by to my own demise, how is that being different from our societies standards? How is that different from our cultural norms? It isn’t, and if it isn’t different from the standards of the world then it isn’t within the realm of what God expects from me as a loving, Christ-centered, individual. Jesus, no matter the person, would never act in such brash, boastful ways. What would dare make me think I was better then Christ?

I claim it as human pride, a serious error on my behalf, but I’m still upset about being hung out to dry. I’m upset with being abandoned and condemned. It’s a hard pill to swallow. However, that doesn’t allow me to view a hurting person in any different light then compassion that is expected.

So, though this information and these thoughts go in places that I’ll never understand; it’s worth noting that while I’m still conflicted with bitterness. My heart still aches for her, her family, and yes…her husband. I can’t imagine the fear, the heartache, and the unknown that they all must be encountering. I’m not sure if God counts it, but while I still struggle, somewhere in the rolling thunder tonight I’m still praying for my ex-wife’s recovery and healing.

-D-

 

 

Mobile Minutes: “Trusting God”


What’s the point of Monday without a interesting story.

This late afternoon I found myself seated across from a dubstep DJ, incredibly that actually isn’t what the store is about.

We were sitting at Starbucks talking about the Shock, soccer, and the upcoming season. After he left I took a deep breath and started to focus on what the plan was for the night. It was at that time that a young woman inquired to me about soccer; she was sitting right behind our conversation.

She asked if I was working with Sporting Kansas City.
No.
She asked if I had something to do with the soccer community in Kansas City because she overheard me talking about FC Kansas City.
This was not a standard inquiry I could see.
I introduced myself and the Kansas City Shock, to which I then learned that she was a player for FC Kansas City.
My first celebrity sighting?

We sat and talked for a few minutes; highlighting our league, their coaches, and Kansas City as a whole. I’d be lying if I told you a lump wasn’t in my throat, and I was a bit worn from the day already.

She was very kind, and we found a mutual connection in Boston.

I guess what I took out of it the most was the unspoken book on display next to this conversation. I don’t know who wrote it, I don’t know what it was about, I just know the title that was found on the spine:

“Trusting God”

…and trust me, if not for any other reason that was the discussion that I needed.

-D-