An Open letter to my former Gracepointe family

. Years back, when I was a glass manager, day to day “problems” came with the job. Over my desk I remember I had posted the famous Einstein quote ‘The significant problems we face, cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them”.

It was a great reminder to cultivate creative“out of the box” mindsets.

How soon I forgot that this could apply to my personal life as well. More specifically, my spiritual life. A few years back, my family and I went through a very difficult time when we ultimately “left” a church we attended for 13 years. This is not a letter of blame, shame but rather one of responsibility. Taking responsibility for my own actions and accepting the ramifications of those actions. At a few of the Men’s retreats I recall a few times where we would have a “ritual” of writing down conflicts, burdens that we carried on a piece of paper and then burning them to symbolize the destruction them in both a spiritual and physical sense. This is my attempt at doing something similar.

Like the ending of any relationship, it effects those involved in different ways. I can only speak from my perspective. I Loved that meeting place. Even more so, I loved the people. As tends to come with age, we can all relate to the “Glory Days” of high school, etc… The same can be applied to my Glory Days at Gracepointe. The look on the AWANA kids smiling faces. Serving at the downtown mission, celebrate recovery, the graduations, the Chili cook off, David and Celeste’s and Amy’s amazing talents bringing along the up and coming younger members of the Worship team. I could go on and on.

I could also talk about the destruction of those times but that’s been done and is not the purpose of this letter. The purpose of this letter is to apply the Einstein suggestion. The “significant problem” being I put allot of trust and faith in the church which resulted disappointment and hurt. To continue to trust or seek a reconciliation that will never come, is a self-created purgatory.

I guess for me personally I never really got to say goodbye and say thank you for all the cherished memories. Peace.

“Media Sheep” by Raymond Roy

Hush don’t bark, quiet please, we sheep are watching “news”. Listening for that one report, that will give us precious clues.
Clues to Bias “Insight” that will, assure us of who we are, helpless sheep following talking heads and pundits near and far.

Sheep of the left or sheep of the right, blinders firmly in place while news sponsors, muse with delight.

What’s “true” is perspective, listen only to reply, puppet news media, drama factories, oh so sly.
History teaches if we choose to learn, that wisdom comes to the brave willing to discern.

The virtual chasm that divides us, surely cant be the American Dream, step one might be turning the channel of the “news”, the “news”  on the extreme.

Is this what Ted Turner envisioned when he started the 24 hour news channel? An endless loop of the top 3 “gotchas” of the day, with opposing networks pressing bias opinions rather than a neutral point of view. It reminds me of the death of radio disc jockeys being replaced by prerecorded music hits. There is an intimacy that has been lost. Until we come together to cross the gray area casym with our fellow man, we are like a ship adrift with the only chance of rescue is being tethered to a tugboat of one extreme or the other. 

Peace. Goroyboy 

“When the Morning Comes” by Raymond Roy

Photo Credit Gail Bonsen

When the Morning Comes By Raymond Roy

The unexpected news right after the pep rally, made the understood plans of a Friday football game date and Saturday movie plans vanish. Standing outside the gym, stunned, in shock, as if struck in the heart with an ice pick.

The drawing of a deep breath, a runny nose, a tear stained pillow. Bedroom door cracked open, luminescent flashes of the latest episode of Dallas are cast upon the mahogany bedroom door, highlighting its skin-like texture.

Click. The family heads off to bed. Rolling over, looking out the north facing window, the ebony sky offers a show of the occasional shooting star. As the moon makes its journey across the sky, it momentarily pauses in the side yard to provide a perfect silhouette of the dropping top of the mammoth western hemlock spruce.

Coyotes welcome the night with their painful yowls. The phosphorescent Radium painted hands on the bedside alarm clock glow a soft green light. The hypnotic spring driven second hand ticks become almost deafening in the dark tunnel of heartbreak. Another deep breath. Outside, the darkness softens, the rooster crows and it is time for morning chores.

“The Conversation”By Raymond Roy

A conversation that starts with criticism, ends the conversation.
A conversation that starts with ridicule, accomplishes nothing .
A conversation that starts with humility, encourages empathy.
A conversation that continues with empathy, leads to trust
A conversation based on trust, encourages creativity.
A conversation that continues with creativity, encourages compromise.
A conversation that continues with compromise, builds a bridge.
A conversation in the middle of the bridge leads to understanding.

It is so easy in our current state of division to lash out against, criticize, and even ridicule those that we disagree with. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty as charged. Even in the most successful relationships, there will are always be disagreements. If building a bridge is so fulfilling, why do we choose to criticize and argue? Perhaps  because arguing is easy. All you have to do is disagree. A 3 year old child can do that. Have we become relationship couch potatoes? I am more optimistic than that. We as human have had conversations face to face for thousands of years. Through refinement, it became eloquent to the point of fulfillment and understanding. Our virtual language on the other hand, is but in its infancy. Perhaps 20 years at best. With body language, accentuating of phrases.. all these are lost in the virtual conversation. I don’t know the answer, but I am willing to start a conversation with humility,,,which encourages empathy…… Won’t you join me?