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A poem called Anxiety.

I have nightmares every day;
Visions of clipped cars, car crashes
Busses rear-ending small Toyotas.

I have to pace when I wait
shaking hands into motionless buzz
of Frenzy.

They say it’s nervous energy.
I tell you the truth:
It’s thousands upon millions
of memories Pushing to exit me

I must contain them
I am Pandora’s Box.
I keep monsters in my head.
I am full of the stuff
under the bed of the world
where adam first slept with Eve.
I am the Beast stalking the corners
of my closet

The thing you hope is…

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The office was small and cramped.

A desk took up most of the room, but there was a couch. White, if I remember correctly. I was sitting on it, talking to this church planter, this pastor. As he faced me, we discussed this thing I was doing. Maybe it was a church plant; perhaps it was just an alternative kind of service. Either way, my pastor had commissioned me to do this undertaking under the eye of about five local ministry leaders, including Tom, who’s office I was sitting in.

When I left that office, I was angry and hurt…

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We used to burn so brightly.

There was something beautiful about our passion, our fire. It glowed and flickered, raged, and shown brightly. We were the future, pastors, worship leaders, evangelists. We were the Joshua generation, charged with ushering the church into a promised land in the midst of a dark culture surrounding us. We gave you everything. Time. Resources. Commitment. We believed with the core of our being, and we wanted to change the world.

Then we burned out.

We became hurt and wounded, bitter and jaded. Our fire suffered violence at the hands of the so-called orthodox. We…

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Lectionary Reading for August 30, 2020
Old Testament: Exodus 3.1–15
Psalm: 105.1–6, 23–26, 45
New Testament: Romans 12.9–21
Gospel: Matthew 16.21–28

We don’t want Jesus.

We want someone to make things better, someone we can rely on to come in and save the day. We want someone to help us win, to help us achieve our hopes and dreams. We want someone to come and give us victory over every discomfort, every bad day, every negative thing in our lives.

In short, we want a hero.

That’s not Jesus.

I know I’m not supposed to say things like this, but…

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I have all sorts of issues.

I have problems that I need help working through. Life gets confusing for me, anxiety and depression dog my days, and I have some self-worth issues that I can’t overcome on my own. I need help navigating towards healing and wholeness, towards an integrated, healthy life.

I’m a mess, and I know it. But I don’t want to stay a mess.

So, where do I turn to for help? Who do I talk to? Growing up, I indirectly learned that it was the pastor that I should speak to about this stuff. No one…

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There is this story that tells us about a father.

The story goes like this: one of the father’s two sons asked for his half of the inheritance to cash it out and leave. The father gave him what he asked for, and the son took off. The story tells us that the father was always waiting for his son to return, waiting for him to come home. The father is patient, scanning the horizon, waiting for a glimmer that he may be on our way home. When the father finally sees his son’s speck in the distance, this father…

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The chime resounded through the room.

This was the beginning of worship, the beginning of the processional, the beginning of the liturgy. The tone ringing in our ears called us to gather, to settle in our pews, and to prepare for what was about to take place.

I hadn’t set foot in a church in a few years. There’s something about baggage that can keep you from returning to the place you picked up the bags in the first place. I have a history with church, specifically evangelical churches. …

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Judas gets a bad rap.

We think of him as the betrayer, as the bad guy. We paint him to be one of the villains in the Passion of Christ. He’s the sellout, giving up his soul for just thirty pieces of silver.

I think we need to reevaluate how we see Judas. We forget that he was chosen by Christ to follow; he was loyal to Jesus for three years. He ate, slept, drank, and heard the teaching of Christ for those three years. Those experiences and lessons didn’t merely fall on deaf ears. Judas was counted as a…

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Forty feels different.

It’s just another day. Yesterday I was thirty-nine and doing the same things I am going to do today. There’s not something actually different about being forty. Still, it feels different.

The first thing I’m noticing is I don’t care. I mean, I care about a lot: my family, my writing, the state of affairs in the world, coffee, and so on. But I can feel myself not caring about what others think about me.

It’s difficult to explain, but there is a definite feeling to this, not caring. It’s not like a weight has been lifted…

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Lectionary Reading for the fifth Sunday in Lent 2020
Ezekiel 37:1–14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6–11
John 11:1–45

The room was quiet.

I sat on a couch facing her. She was sitting with feet curled up in her chair. It was her usual sitting position. We had been seeing each other for about a year at this point. Every week, in this little office, my therapist and I talked and parsed through what was happening in my brain and my life.

There was a lot going on at the time. I was separated from my wife, struggling to find out what…

Aaron J Smith

Husband, dad, writer, nerd, coffee chugger, and kind of a mess. Diagnosed bipolar. In the never-ending process of writing. He/Him

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