Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Words

It's been an interesting week. My week generally starts on Thursday night if you're wondering. I had my last day of fasting last Wednesday and I'm looking forward to macking on something today. Wednesday is my one real day off and it truly felt like a sacrifice to not eat on that day, as cheesy and weak as that sounds. I've grown soft, what can I say?

Letty and I attended a Quiet Time Workshop on Saturday at Journey. It was given by the Daily Journey ministry and it was awesome. I worked overnight, shot over there after a quick shower, and was amazingly able to stay awake the whole time without a problem. Journey makes good coffee! I wish they had a website or something I could hook you up to but I'm not sure if they do. If anyone knows of one or maybe even if Ann has a blog let me know.

The gist of the workshop was to help us find a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God through our quiet time. I've already been doing this, but it was more of a reading the passages of scripture from my bible reading guide as opposed to the more meditative practice that they were talking about.

The best part for me was the small group that they broke us down into so that we could practice the techniques for ourselves. Our leader was Kevin Brangwynne, who's a cool dude that I've been twittering back and forth with over the last couple of months. He did a great job of leading us through it and I loved everybody's take on what they read and what they experienced. I think The Lord's been speaking strongly to me about not being such a "weekend viewer" of what goes on at Journey on Sunday and start to become an active member of my church. This was a great start to this journey for us.

Sunday was more conviction time as Ed was talking about practicing different spiritual disciplines. The one that spoke most loudly to me (just like last year) was the discipline of tithing. We were doing it for awhile and then fell away from it as the year progressed. The funny thing is it was true what God said. We were blessed more financially when we were tithing than we ever were when we were not.

I think the spiritual principle I get from this is partly that in doing this I'm actually obeying and putting into practical application that I actually walking the walk and not just talking the talk. It's easy to say "Oh yes God, I believe in you and I will sing your praises from here to eternity" than it is to hand Him my hard earned cash. I'm cheap man. It's definitely an issue with me that I have to address. The truth is that none of it is mine, it's all His, and I should be grateful that He lets me keep 90% of it. If I can keep myself in that frame of mind it's not a problem. It's when my fear and financial insecurity get the best of me that I fail miserably. Lord, please keep me humble and of service to You this year in this particular discipline.

I think our next step is to find a small group to become a part of. I'm going to start sincerely looking for one this month. I think it's the next step for us. Pray that I don't chicken out or get lazy.

Have you noticed that there's been a fundamental shift on this blog's emphasis on God and my journey with Him as opposed to poker and my personal life? What the heck happened? Amazing how He works huh?

Here's a little poker content. I am on fire right now. I've finished in the money (ITM) in 5 of the last 7 tourneys I have entered. I don't believe that God is influencing the outcomes of my tournaments. Let's get that out of the way right from the start. I will say this though. Since I've become a Christ Follower my game has become so much more disciplined than it was before. I'm not allowing my results to affect the way that I play which is huge. I rarely tilt anymore and I think it's because I'm not out to destroy others but just play the best that I can and let the results be what they are.

A little personal life content. Probably the guy that has been my best buddy throughout my life dropped in from Minnesota last week to play a reunion show with his old band. We only got to hang out Wednesday afternoon (right in the middle of my fast) but it was still great to see him. I'm sure that we all have that friend that no matter what the twists and turns of life bring us it's like nothing has changed when we get together. It's so good to have someone that you are that close to even if you only see each other a couple of times a decade anymore. So anyway, it was great to see you Dave and I love you and your family. Hope I can get out to Minnesota one of these years and hang with you, Elena, and the kids. God Bless.

OK, a couple of questions for anyone that happens to drop by,

Do you have a best friend?

Everyone's always asking questions about what they would improve about themselves. I'd like to know what's something that you like about yourself! Such a better question. I got the idea from another blog I read, JudiFree. I like my eyes and my sense of humor. How about you? What do you like about yourself?


Mara Reid said...

Well, Bub.
I guess nothing happens by accident.
It wasn't an accident that I got a wild hair to go visiting blogs and kept after it until I stumbled onto Brenda's. I don't usually do those kinds of things.

And it was no accident that you decided to pop into mine after seeing me on Brenda's blog.
Here's how I know.

My husband is a 40 something musician/songwriter.
He used to be a pastor, praise and worship leader. Now he's backslidden, playing bass in a band in bars and is dealing with...

Wait for it...


And more than one.

We just had a blow out this morning before I came to work. And he is trying to tell me that he has a right to his addictions and has a right to bring these addictions into our house as long as he keeps the worst of them hidden from the kids. (The beer cans are all over the place. It's not the hidden addiction)

He claims that he is a normal american male and that I am too much of a prude and need to let him be a man.

I claim that the way he has chosen leads to death and that if he wants to pursue it, that's his business. But he has no business dragging me and the kids along with him.

Sorry for dumping on you. But I thought it might be nice to hear the perspective of a 40 something musician on this side of addiction.

And if you feel so led, perhaps you could offer a prayer from a place of understanding.

Perhaps it was the Lord who wanted you to leave your blog up about your former addiction.

Mara means bitter. It is not my real name. I use it so that I can blog about my troubles without bringing shame on my spouse whom I do love deeply. But I also fear for him deeply.

Your sister in Christ.

bub said...

Hi Mara, so sorry to hear about your husband's struggle. I am praying for him, for you, and your children. You are more than welcome to dump on me anytime that you need to. I know the difficulty of dealing with someone when they are in the throes of their addiction. I've said a lot of things in the heat of the moment or as a way to justify my behavior that I didn't really mean. I'm sure that it's the same for him. I read about his other problems on your blog, he sounds a lot like my best friend with his other diagnosis.

The truth is there's not a lot you can do for him except to pray for him, help him get to whatever his bottom is, or just go on with your own and your children's lives.

Alanon is a great resource for people struggling with family members with addictions. Many people that are in relationships with addictive people have a problem with co-dependency, which is like throwing water on a grease fire.

I'm praying that The Lord takes away your bitterness and replaces it with the love and compassion that He has for us. That he opens your husband's eyes before he loses all that is dear to him, because that is what happens to addicts. Satan's call is powerful and real, and I pray that Our Lord will give him the strength to overcome it. Ask God to show you what you need to do to take care of yourself and your family. The answers will come.

I wish that I had a magic wand that I could wave to make everything right for you but we know that's not life. Just know that you have someone out there praying for ya! God bless and thanks for visiting my friend!

I Whisper to God said...

Wow, I was gonna answer that question on your blog...whatever it was and then I read your first comment and your answer and I am overwhelmed with emotion. God is truly working through you and your words. It is so awesome to follow your life on here and see you grow so close to God.

Jeff and I have also have been slowly inching closer to becoming more involved with the church beyond just the Sunday service. Baby steps for us.

I will also be praying for Mara and her husband. Man, that's got to tough for a wife to watch. Bless her soul.

Take care.

bub said...

Ummm will someone please just answer the questions on my blog please? LOL I know Lori, how awesome was that? I got chills when I read Mara's comment. I feel the same way about you and your walk as well. So cool that we are getting to go through this together. I think Letty and I are in the same baby step category as you and Jeff. We just have to keep plugging along, right?

Brenda said...

That was so cool to read how Mara found your blog! Your words of encouragement to her are very touching. It made me think you would be very valuable in counseling others that have been in similar situations. Have you ever done anything like that? You have that gift.

Thoughts on your post: That Quiet Time workshop sounds really good. May God bless you in tithing. I've been praying for your financial situation since you stopped your second job. Hope you and Letty can find a small group to connect with. I'd love to attend one of my church home fellowships but my husband won't go. Please pray for Roy's salvation.

Okay, I'll answer your questions now: My best friend is Susie. You may have heard me talking about her before. We used to live together with 2 other girls in our wild and crazy bachelorette days and have experienced similar life stuff. I'm always inspired by her energy and zest for life. I'm blessed to know she considers me her best friend as well. She grew up in La Mesa, but now lives 4 hours away. sniff. Thankfully, we get together many times a year when she visits her parents here.

What do I like about myself? This is a good question since I'm so hard on myself and have a long list of what I don't like. But I guess I'd say I'm comfortable with my size. I'm the same weight as I was when I was 20. But I work really hard at that. Also, I think I have a good sense of humor. And, I agree that you do too!

Kevin Brangwynne said...


Just read your post and the previous comments...and frankly I'm so blown away by what you've said (in a really good way!) that I'm practically at loss for words on how to respond. To be honest, I got really emotional while reading and that can be a problem at work here at the base! :-) Let me just say're an awesome man, a Godly man, you've influenced me in a very positive way in a very short period of time and I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be in community with you!

By the way, Journey's web site is: and I think you and Letty pursuing a small group relationship is a winner of an idea (ITM!)

Blessings to you Bro,


Kevin Brangwynne said...

Oh, I forgot to answer your questions!

1. Yes, I do have a best buddy...His name is Victor, he's the gent that read the passage of scripture at the workshop...he and his wife put my family and myself up for a week when we were evacuated due to the Cedar Fire back in 2003. They didn't know us from a hole in the wall (they volunteered space in their home through Journey) and treated us like family. We've been friends ever since (golf, fishing, shooting, hanging out)...and thank God our house was fine too (close call though!)

2. What do I like about myself? Well aside from my stunningly good looks, I like that I have a heart for and enjoy helping people who are hurting. I think that's a "Christ like" character trait that you and I share!

Anyway, keep being yourself and doing what your doing! I'll definitely see you around!