A Conversation Overheard

What frustrates people,
even believers,
is that God don’t put you
where you wanna be
but where you need to be.

‘Course, there are some times
when those two match up,
but the times
when they don’t,
that’s when you should ask,

“What is it you want me to be doin’?”

Just Win (The Super Bowl), Baby

Three years ago, I wrote a blog post concerning my Oakland Raiders and the fact that they stunk so much that I was hoping for them to get even one, lone win that season. It’s amazing how quickly the Raiders have turned around, last season becoming a post-season team for the first time in 13 years, and this season, being looked at by many as a Super Bowl contender. This represents quite the change for the Raiders, who for many years were the joke of the NFL.

So what happened? They put in the work.

And by that I mean that the Raiders are a well-managed team now. Their GM, Reggie McKenzie, has done a much better job in recent years of signing free agents and drafting new players out of college. Add to that the spectacular job head coach Jack Del Rio has done in instilling confidence in the team as well as a winning attitude, and it’s not hard to see that luck had nothing to do with the Raiders’ return to excellence.

Leading this return is a QB, Derek Carr, who would rather give all the glory to God and to his teammates and coaches than to himself. He’s a humble young man, and I’d have no one else in that QB spot. Carr’s exactly the type of man who I want to see on this team, and that’s saying a lot since there was a time when the Raiders were the bad boys of football and proud of it.

Derek Carr, as he’s willing to admit, was wild in his college years. That is, until someone special to him said, “You’re not the person I thought you were.” Coming from the right woman at the right time, those words were exactly what Carr needed to hear to turn his life around. He straightened himself up and began walking on the path of Jesus with that special lady who would become his wife. Today, Carr will tell you that he’s had many experiences that have convinced him that God is working in his life. In fact, if you want to hear him for yourself, please follow this link to a recent podcast interview in which he explained his faith, how he came to it, and how he uses it to help others. That portion of the interview begins at the 12:48 mark.

This is the man I’m thankful is leading my Oakland Raiders. I love him. He’s a wonderful young man with a great attitude and a strong dedication to his belief, to his wife, to his kids, and to making the Raiders a Super Bowl-winning team. I may not be a man of faith, but I’m grateful that he is. Carr has had such a positive impact on the Raiders organization and the fans, the Raider Nation, as well. And who knows? Maybe in a couple of years, when the Raiders move to Las Vegas, we’ll find out that Carr is exactly the angel that Sin City needs. I wouldn’t bet on Vegas changing one bit, but then again, faith doesn’t rely on luck. 🙂

Oakland Raiders - Derek Carr

There And Here (Beyond)

What do I feel?
I don’t know.

What does that mean?
Is love not there?
Is love not here?

And in the absence of love,
what fills me,
if anything fills me
at all?

God is love,
so where is God?

Where is meaning?
Is faith not there?
Is faith not here?

And in the absence of faith,
can I fear
what isolates my soul
from life?

God is hope,
so where is hope?

Or am I beyond hope?
Am I beyond faith?
Am I beyond love
or the capacity to love?

What do I mean?
I don’t know.

Am I beyond knowing?

Or is it all there,
floating before me?

Is it beyond my reach?
Is it all brushing my fingertips
as I strain and struggle for it?

Will it not all come to me
while my silence screams need?

Or am I beyond need?

Will God not come to me?
Is this why the Devil hates God?

If God is love,
is the Devil hate?
Or is the Devil simply…

…there?

Generations On Notice Everywhere

When God truly tires
of our travesties
spitting in the face of Love

The wars.
The deceit
The starving
in the street.
The pain
we inflict
to profit
from the sick.

Ignoring need.
Inexhaustible greed.
The laughter
while others die.
Indifference shown
to those who weep
as they say
goodbye.

When God truly tires

Those selfish first
will be taken last.
Extravagant parties
will be long past.
Expensive garb
tear and shred
as repentance mires
in burning beds.

But the rest will not rejoice,
celebrate ruin,
or take pleasure
in pain reeking of sin,
for only evil is evil
and only evil
commits evil
against their sleeping fellows.

When God truly tires,
then will unleash
another flood,
and all will be wiped
from existence,
for this time
there will be no warning.

Empathy For God

Whichever where I’m going,
if there’s a where in which to go,
whether it be a place such as Heaven
or a where that no one knows
or no place cradled in existence
with no respect to the path I chose,

I wish to be clear to avoid illusions
on where it is I wish to be,
for the road upward is not a choice
that I can gather is for me,
for Heaven is a rest in joy
but lacks freedom to feel freely.

No, I don’t want to go to a Heaven
where there’s only one color of sane,
where I can’t cry over what’s missing
as what’s sadly missing is any pain.
What is Heaven to me, what can Heaven be,
if I’m unable to relate to the rain?

The Believer and the Skeptic

A believer was preaching in a park about how God created the heavens and the Earth and the animals and man. The crowd was in awe and marveled at his knowledge of all things mystical and magical.

Then a skeptic stepped forward, confidently proclaiming, “That’s not how everything came to be.”

Not one to step back from a challenge, the believer asked, “Then how do you think we became?”

“Through evolution,” the skeptic said. “We began from a single-celled organism, which split and split and mutated, and through millions upon millions of years of natural selection, everything you see around you, everyone you see around you, grew from that one source into all that you see today.”

The believer stroked his chin. “How did you come upon this knowledge?”

“It’s science,” said the skeptic as he proudly handed a book of science to the believer.

Receiving the book, the believer flipped through its pages, his lips curving into a smile as he said simply, “So that’s how God created everything.”

The crowd was in awe, marveling at his humility.

“What of your book?” the skeptic asked. “How can you still be loyal to its words?”

Closing the science book and handing it back to the skeptic, the believer said, “My book merely represents a beginning of knowledge, not the end of it, as does your book. There is still much to learn, which is why I study my book with as much care as you study yours. This is something we have in common.”

The skeptic looked upon the believer in disbelief. “Your faith is not shattered?”

Patting the skeptic on his shoulder, the believer responded, “On the contrary, my faith is strengthened. Of course God’s magnificence is so, that it could not be contained in a single book.”

Love Becomes A Memory

What does it matter if we worship
God or the Devil
as long as we have peace?

But why is peace only
too many people possessing
too few words desiring
too many changes within
too few inspired moments?

Time swirls the leathery sky,
pinning all under its boot,

while thoughts of everything
and thoughts of nothing pass,
each of their own importance
and blatant insignificance
ferrying crude emotion away.

Away, love becomes a memory
forgotten at the first sign of loss,

observing the wrinkled face
with a life undesired,
a life so coarse and brittle,
dying every day
without end.

Not frightened by nightmares
for waking hours haunt ever more,

as dreams are of sleep, of darkness
cradling in its infinite arms
a slipping into the ether,
laying down hope,
giving up despair.

An endless cycle of
waiting for the day when
my soul sells me.

Weather In Heaven

I am the part of God
who strolls in a garden rejecting motion
and all that is outside the garden,
as cherub statues only look away,
only look outside
for flowers that bloom elsewhere,
flowers to pluck and place
in their stone hard hair
while they pretend to be
anything other than indifferent.

I am the part of God
trying to figure Himself out
as He walks his lonely stone path
up His dry, brittle steps,
each worn sandal seemingly perfect
as they grip the rough edge
of each weathered stair
growing moss and resentment
while only not being ignored
when being stepped on.

I am the part of God
entering a bedroom without a bed,
decorated without a woman’s touch
or even a passing thought
of having a cave
with all the sadistic comforts
home can never provide
or think to contain
or feel is needed
when considering wishes to fulfill.

I am the part of God
who stretches out His vision,
gazing upon Heaven from the outside
while realizing
that neither is He in Hell.

God Whistle

The unique attribute of God
is that God can be anything believers want.
And God is in agreement with them
because they are in agreement with the God
they believe is correct,
justifying their right actions,
whatever they may be
or however many people they hurt.

Or, God can only encourage believers
to not hurt anyone. God can be as
angry and cruel
as conjured, or as
patient and loving
as imagined. Or, for non-believers,
God can simply not exist and be a symbol
of self-purported strength and independence.

The unique attribute of God
is that God fulfills
the needs of both
believer and non-believer alike.

So the question to ask is this:
Why do you need
God to be
what God is to you?