Dancing With Fire

Dancing With FireLittle fire burning so slow and steady

Never out of control, and not quite ready

The crackle of your flame brings peace

To abide in your warmth is all I seek

Wanting to feed the fuel to make you grow

But know it’s best to let you burn slow

Oh how I love to watch your flames dance

You bring me warmth with every twinkling glance

That I could touch your smoldering coals

To know the depth and heat of your soul

Knowing I must keep distant lest be burned

Though I find your heat my heart doth yearn

Dialog of Self-Doubt

We all do it. We all have that little conversation inside ourselves. Sometimes the conversation is so divided you feel like you have multiple personalities. Usually, I have three voices inside my head. I call them Me, Myself, and I.

Dialog of Self-Doubt

Here’s an example conversation of what the voices in my head would sound like:

Me: So, I met this girl.
Myself: Uh oh. Here we go.
I: That’s great!

Me: Yeah, she’s pretty cool.
Myself: Yeah, so was your ex. See what that got you?
I: I’m happy for you!

Me: I’m scared, though. It’s been so long.
Myself: Not long enough!
I: It’s about time you met someone!

Me: I don’t know. She’s not like anyone I’ve dated before.
Myself: What haven’t you dated?
I: Good! Your “type” doesn’t seem to be good for you.

Me: Thing is, everything is going smooth… too smooth.
Myself: Won’t work. It never goes smooth.
I: Somebody shut Myself up! Smooth is good!

Me: But what if I scare her off? I’m not like other guys. I have depth.
Myself: Oh, your deep ass will scare her off, for sure.
I: If she can’t handle your depth, someone else will.

Me: I just don’t want to scare her.
Myself: She better run now!
I: Just take it easy and go slow. That’s all you gotta do.

Me: I don’t know. I’m scared to open up and love again.
Myself: Damn right. Lot of good that’s gotten you!
I: Life is love. You can’t stay shut off and have a full life.

Me: She’s inspired me to write again.
Myself: Oh no. More mindless drivel.
I: Great! That means she’s sparked your passion.

Me: I wrote this about her:

With her silent confidence, she whispered to my tired heart, “Be calm, I’m here now.”

Myself: God, you’re such a corny dork.
I: Listen to your heart man!

Me: But what if she hurts me like the others?
Myself: She will. They always do.
I: If you don’t try, you’ll never know if she’s right for you.

Me: Yeah, that’s a good point. Better to try and fail, than never to try.
Myself: To hell with that! Run while you still can!
I: I’m going to smack Myself! Life is about risks. No risk, no reward.

Me: Thing is, I already feel pretty deeply for her.
Myself: And you wonder why you fall on your face?
I: Better to fall on your face moving forward than on your ass backing up!

Me: I guess it will all work out in time.
Myself: Yeah, you’ll probably get crushed again.
I: Just remember: Things I Must Earn. Go slow, earn her heart, and it will be fine.

These internal voices are good. They help us to work things out. I’ve learned to not silence these internal dialogs. They are important in helping me understand what I’m thinking and the risks and rewards. Sometimes I find it quite helpful to write out these internal dialogs. It’s one thing to play the tape through in your head, but there’s something about putting it down on paper – seeing it in black and white – that helps you see the flaws your thinking.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to bounce what’s in your head off of someone who is trusted and wise. No person knows everything, and we are often our own worst counsel.

That One Song

Playing Guitar Around a BonfireIt’s no surprise I am a hopeless music lover. You can take my TV, Internet, and books away, but don’t you ever think about taking my music away. It is a huge part of who I am. I use music to relax, to motivate, to reflect, to inspire and to express what my meager words cannot.

That being said, many people have “that one song” that expresses something about them that cannot be expressed in any other way. For me, it goes back to a song I first heard when I was a small boy.

When I was a child, I use to sit around a bonfire with my mother and her old no-name guitar. It was probably 25 years old by the time I was born in 1977. We would usually have a few friends over. It wasn’t anything fancy, but for me those were some of my most cherished memories.

We would sing many songs from Bluegrass, Folk, to Pop Rock. Songs including Fox On The Run by Tom Hazzard, House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals, Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin, and Hotel California by The Eagles. But, the song that always stood out the most to me, the song that has more significance in my life was Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

As a young, impressionable boy, to sit and watch my mother play and sing this song for me, looking me square in the eyes, it had a profound effect that I will never forget. While I cannot play the guitar, yet, it is my hope to one day do this very thing for my son. It may seem corny to some, but these are the simple things that leave the greatest impression.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Simple Man – Lyrics

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time… Don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.

[Chorus:]
And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

[Chorus]

Boy, don’t you worry.
You’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart,
And nothing else.
You can do this,
If you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

[Chorus]

Baby, be a simple, be a simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man

Mourn You No Longer

Mourn You No LongerThe years have passed
We’ve both moved on

I’m feeling better now
That you are gone

But there are times
I miss what was

What good we shared
For there was love

But these things happen
They make us much stronger

I must keep going now
And mourn you no longer

Christians Are Not Weak

I’ve known many people in my life who dispelled religion as something for the weak. Some call it fairy tales. Some deny the existence of God, while others believe in an intelligent design, but cannot begin to define what that is.

I am no theologian. I’m just an average guy, of average intelligence, but I have not lived an average life. Far from it. Therefore, I have learned a great deal in my short 38 years on this earth.

I won’t publicly air my dirty laundry as I don’t feel the need. Suffice it to say, I’ve been through more than most people would believe or understand. I’ve faced death more times than I care to count. I’ve lived a life where to fight was to survive. I’ve fought many battles, internal and external. The external battles were the easy ones to fight.

Also, most of my adult life, I’ve worked more than one job at a time. Even now, I work as a contractor for one company while I rebuild my own business. This is not an adventure for the weak hearted. It takes hard work, discipline and an unshakable belief in your own abilities to take on such an uncertain venture.

But, for all my personal strengths, I do not claim glory. By the world’s standards, I’m strong. I’m a fighter. And, in many ways, I am. However, I’ve learned that for all that I’ve been through, It was God carrying me and strengthening me. I am strong, because of God, not because of myself.

When I humble myself at the throne of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and openly proclaim that I am nothing without Him, I become a channel for His power to flow. While I’m far from perfect, I make it a point to put God first in my life. I’m not very good at it some days. Honestly, I battle with it every day. The flesh is weak. But He didn’t come to save the perfect. He came to save people like me, and you!

God The Strength of my Heart
Image courtesy of Eren McKay

If you think it makes me weak to submit to a power greater than myself, consider this: The world as a whole condemns such behavior. The world screams, “Live for the world. Live for the flesh. Live for the now.” Even my own flesh craves what will kill me. Every day I have to fight a war inside my mind and body because I have a disease that wants to kill me by my own hand.

It takes a tremendous amount of strength to say no to the world, to turn to the countless scores of people around me, and tell them, “No. I will not be a follower of man. I will live for someone you cannot see or touch. I will live for Jesus.” It takes a lot of courage and strength to stand up for what is right, when everyone else around you is pushing you to do what is wrong.

I’m not really good at witnessing. I don’t know if sharing this helps anyone. But, I get a little tired of hearing how Christians are weak. We’re not weak. We have to fight every day, all day the flesh that cries, “Conform! Do like everyone else and life will be easier!” In our human nature, it’s impossible for one to stand up against the world. As strong as we may be as individuals, no one is that strong. Where I get my strength from is God. It’s because He is strong, that I am strong. And I make no apologies for that.

Even when it meant ridicule, even when it meant lost jobs and lost relationships, I professed my belief in Christ. And I will continue to profess His name until the day He calls my soul home.

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” ~Matt. 10:32-33