Where There Are No Expectations…


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

…There can be no disappointments.  My friends are accustomed to hearing this saying from me because I have made it a fact of my life.  Very seldom am I disappointed, by others, because I don’t have any expectations of them.  Our relationship with God is almost along the same concept.  I used to pray, “Lord, forgive me for frustrating Your plan for me.”  Then I realized, I was seeing God as I saw myself!  God cannot and is not disappointed in us because He has known all along what we would do or not do.  It is us, who can only be disappointed in ourselves and this we should not let be the overriding factor of how we live our lives.  If so, we will become depressed, giving up and you know what the end result of this will be.

Know God loves you.  Unconditionally.  He has given you all you need to make you into the person He wants you to be.  So what if you’ve taken a detour which has brought you along this way, but the fact of the matter is, He can and will have the end objective—your salvation, IF, and I repeat emphatically, IF, you want it.  You will hear people say, “I’m striving to be in the Kingdom.”  I see it differently.  I’m striving to “stay” in the Kingdom because God has assured me a place already!

When you have fallen, get up!  When you are feeling low, shake it off!  When you are disappointed, know it was for a reason!  Don’t allow yourself to remain in this frame of mind.  God thinks better of you and know what you will do.  You just got to get with the program already designed and determined for you.  Now, move along.

You are exactly where you’re supposed to be, right now, and at this very moment!

You can’t do any better than that!


It’s Snowing


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Right now it is twenty-three degrees outside!  And it is snowing. Well, not really “cover the ground” kinda snow but little flakes falling which you’d have trouble seeing if you weren’t looking at the right angle.  But, it reminded me of those days when I was, “out there”.  Oh, I dreaded waking up in the “Mission” or other homeless shelters and having to trudge out in the cold wind and snow.  I didn’t have proper shoes and even if I did it would only have brought temporary relief.  Eventually those toes would get cold and numb.

I remember walking through a blizzard, in sneakers, to get to my brother’s home.  For more than three hours, I kept the steady moving of one foot ahead of the other.  At times, I could not see the street, which was my guide because there was no sidewalk.  It was buried and there hadn’t been a chance for anyone to shovel yet.  The kind of snow you can’t keep your head normal but bent down to keep the biting snow from hurting.  Then you recognize why God made eyelashes.  You keep blinking them to keep the snow from caking.  Now, that’s snow.

Today, I’m inside.  Still homeless only because I don’t have a place to call my own but the time is coming when I will.  But, at least I am inside.  It’s warm.  I’ve had a nice breakfast.  I’m writing and I’m blessed.

It can snow as much and hard, and it can be as cold as it wants to be; except, I still remember those who are still, “out there”.  So, I change my mind.  Not about the weather.  I just want the weather to encourage them to try to get to where I am today.  Sober.

Sometimes, I think the weather is God’s way of showing emotion.  Like the time it rained profusely when I left a three day binge.

God was crying and His tears were covering mine.

Going Back


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am designing the cover for my book, “If You Send Me, I Will Go” and I have to go back, “out there” for just a moment in order to photograph the “Hood” to demonstrate leaving a life of grace and where one ends up.  Also, I need to photograph a “stem”.  I looked for online stock photos, but did not find what I wanted.  I will have to spend the night away, next week, and it just might be where I’ve come from, the streets.  There is queasiness in my stomach about these matters but I’ve come to realize in this experience:  I can do it and God is requiring me to do it.

When you’ve come clean, God will often send you back to give someone what was given to you.  You are His witness He is able to salvage lives but they, those still, “out there”, won’t know it unless you tell them.  They have to be able to see, touch and speak with those who know what it is they’re going through on a daily basis.  Your hand will be the Hand of God they’ll touch, that will lift them up and start them, too, on the same road of life you’re experiencing today.

Can you do it?  Will you do it?  I’ve committed my life to doing so.  So, “Going Back” is not a test of some sort.  It’s the experience I have to undergo to meet you or someone like us who needs us to go get them.  Going back doesn’t mean, “Going Back”.  It really means confirmation of now it’s time to “Go Forward”.

Going backwards means having to go through the mess you’ve already went through, and then it means having to go through it, once again, to be where you are today.

Why not just stay where you are today, since this is where you’ll end up anyway?

The Woodpecker


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It first got my attention because of the repetitive knocking.  It was a woodpecker.  I never paid any attention to them before, actually, very rarely even seen them, but for a moment I just stood there observing him.  What makes it slam its mouth against a tree for a bug?  I’m thinking, too, what happens inside it’s skull, to apply such force just has to shake up that little brain?  What made me go outside in the middle of the night, taking chances of being killed, to find a drug that’ll make me dance with death?  What made me slam that “rock” down a glass tube and then slam the vapor into my lungs that caused my brain to be shaken up?  Maybe, like the woodpecker, my brain is small but it is for certain, it is not insulated and I do run the risk, each time, of suffering brain damage.  Well, more than what’s already been damaged!

The woodpecker does it because it’s searching for food and doesn’t know any other way.  It’s the way God made it.  What’s my excuse?  It’s certainly not for food, in fact, I don’t want any food when I do it.  It is for certain, it is not how God made me, so why am I doing it?

Thank God, I’ve “slammed” for the last time when I broke not only the glass against a concrete floor but “slammed” the habit for good.

We be slamming, slamming, slamming in the name of the Lord.

How About Where I Am!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I needed to take a photo for the cover of a book I am writing about my experience with drugs and how God saved me.  So, I brought along my camera because I had to make several errands and if I ran across a housing development, typical of the one I started before my fall due to drugs, then I wanted to use it on the cover.  You see, I wanted to design the book where the top photo was of a nice neighborhood, and the bottom photo would be where I ended up, the “hood”.  I drove around and saw several places but it was not convenient for me to stop at that moment and take a picture.  Before arriving home, the thought occurred:  the photo you need to take is where you are living now!  That’s it!  God has restored me to a similar neighborhood and I hadn’t noticed.  Although the house isn’t mine, whereas the first was, it was still where I was living, by the grace and goodness of God.

So, I learned a lesson today.  We have to rid our minds of the past completely.  If they were all that good, we’d still be living there.  But God has and is continuing to bless us by giving us what He wants us to have now.  Sure, there might be brighter days and prosperity, which we can claim as ours, for the future, but for now, we have it really good compared to where we were months and years before.

Let’s look around and enjoy our blessings—today.

The fact we are still breathing, is evidence enough…

God is still breathing His blessings upon us.

The Hard Facts of Life


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today, I will write a very hard letter to an inmate who was given sixty years because of first degree murder.  He has a family member, who contacted me, to assist in writing the clemency petition.  After reading his presentation, it was clear to me, he didn’t deserve a second chance to regain his freedom.  He destroyed the life of someone, a girl just eighteen, in fact, a mother recently.  Does he deserve to have his own life?  He needed to give me more than what he had already written.  I’m his first so-called “clemency board” who will make the decision.

You and me, we destroyed, many of us, a previous good life.  Most of us didn’t start out by living in drug-infested areas and on the streets as junkies and crack-heads.  Many of us gave up hard worked professions, collegiate recognition, beautiful homes and families, children who loved us dearly.  And what did we give them?  Homes which are now houses, some without lights because we couldn’t pay the bill.  We gave ourselves homelessness and poor health.  Why do we deserve to have better when we ultimately made the decision to destroy?

Somewhere and at some time, Someone looked down upon us and saw value—still.  They saw us as worthy of being saved, not because of anything we have done or will do, but because of our relationship with Him, which was for the most part one-sided.  We can only return from where we came from IF we decide to make a decision to give back what was taken away and only then we have made restitution.  For some of us, it has to be the realization we may not be able to leave where we are presently—ever, but from this day forward, we can offer gifts of ourselves to those who are in need, right from where we are.

Freedom is not gained by leaving where we are, but is gained by living where we are.

Right Here and Right Now


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today I had a breakthrough.  I’ve come to understand no matter how dim life may appear at present, I’m exactly where God wants me to be.  Right here and right now.  I have made some very bad choices, but I have a God who’s never failed to make the right choices, about me.  I may not think I am where I should be in life regarding family, friends, career, housing and finances, but because God has never failed in making the best choice for me, I am where He wants me to be, right here and right now.

Today, I have eaten or will eat.  Today I will be warm and can stay warm.  Today I have a purpose.  I’m not sure where God will take me but the one thing I can be assured, I don’t have to worry about God’s choice regarding me.  I will ALWAYS be exactly where He wants me to be, right here and right now.

If we just sit down long enough and see how He has interwoven our life with that of others and opportunities, we will be able to see how He has been with us every step of the way.  What we have now is better than any theoretical knowledge gotten from some university of higher learning.  It’s not about substance addiction.  It’s about salvation.

God is saving me, right here and right now, so I can continue to be with Him for eternity.  And He’s doing it by the choices He makes for me, right here and right now.

Let God do His perfect work in our lives, without our efforts, to perfect what only He can do.

Look to God—Only!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I learned something today.  Well, not really “learned it” but “understood” better when we find ourselves being afflicted as a direct result of something we have done.  God has promised to send a “rod of correction” when we have done something wrong.  Let me explain.

I needed to find work and new housing arrangements eventually.  I received a tax refund and thought to go back, “out there” for just one more time, just a few hours.  While, “out there”, I didn’t take the precautions I knew I should have and lost/gave more money than I was wanting to spend and because of lying in order to cover my choices with those who were providing current care for me, I was told I had till the end of the month to find what I should have spent that day looking for:  housing and employment.

Providentially, they both came on the same day.  I lived in an extended living motel, which was nice but the job was forty-five minutes walking, one way, and since there was no adequate public transportation and the job, I hated with a passion, but I needed work.  Day after day, walking I prayed asking why was this happening to me?  I knew this was directly due to my bad choice and it was His rod of correction.  I turned to whatever sources I could to try and better my situation but there was no resolve UNTIL GOD said so.

In other words, He who has brought this upon you, to help you, will not relieve you until He brings you out.  You cannot look for friends, relatives, or things to relieve you from the just punishment of the One Who ordered this on your behalf.  Take the time given to consider what has happened and why, and when next you are faced with similar choices, you will remember the pain and discomfort and choose correctly.


In adversity, this is the time to sit and consider what you did wrong, and allow God to minister to you as no one else can.

On the Train


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I had to go into the city today and coming back home there was a guy, asleep with a tattered blanket covering most of his body and face.  People were riding to their destinations, stepping over and around him, trying not to disturb him.  My thoughts were, “couldn’t he have chosen a better seat out of the way of everyone else!

Most people use conveyance systems as a way to get to a final destination.  Has this guy already arrived at his and still found there was nowhere to go?  That’s what addiction is.  We have gotten as high as we can possibly be, and while traveling the road, we became smelly, foul, disgusting, abusive and deadened to how people see us.  We might as well cover ourselves with a tattered blanket because no one wants to see us and why should we allow them to see us in the worse condition of our lives?  Is it we’re calling out for help?  Do we wish to be noticed for an opportunity of doing better?

Whether this man was on the train to keep warm during a frigid morning, or because he hadn’t found any other place to sleep during the night, he was in movement.  The whole concept of sobriety and getting better is to keep moving, never stopping until we have reached that final destination—heaven.  


If you are traveling along the tracks of life, any stop other than the destination we’re heading…

Is just another station.

The Unexpected Expectation


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trusting Him.

Such a very large and absolute requirement in order to be successful in our walk of clean-living.  We’re not being asked to do anything anyone else isn’t.  Those who have never taken a drug into their body are asked to do the same.  To trust God.

I know, today, where I am, right now, is not my home.  I will have to move, eventually.  But where will I go?  What will I do?  How will I manage to find work, housing?  These are expectations which are “unexpected” right now because I don’t know how I will accomplish all of these things.  Yet, my religious training teaches me God already knows the answer to all of those questions, and He won’t tell me, necessarily, but He will bring them about, favorably, AS LONG AS I CONTINUE to walk in the path He has chosen for me.  Along this walk will come doubt, fear, anxiety, stress, and even maybe expressed doubt to a friend or family member.  There is even talk about “going back” to where I’ve come from.  Is this trust?  If God has brought me to this step in my life, why is it I/we have this great desire to retrace instead of going forward?

Trusting Him?


Today, I checked my account and found money deposited I was expecting.  It was unexpected I would have received it today, so it was a pleasant unexpected expectation.  The same occurs with God.  He’ll provide what you need, when you need it.

Trust Him to do so.

You don’t have to remind God.  He isn’t like you.