Do You hear what I hear?


Listen, the quiet speaks

shy silence, far away

Messages of Love, charity, sacrifice,

burning passion,

its right here, close,

present, breathing,

does no one here?

Lover of my Soul,

Whispers sweet,

but not complete,

Enough for now, but now I long,

Promised more,

Hope, pray, wait,

Listen close,

I Am.

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash


I have had this discomfort for 10 or more years. Along with a few other aches and pains it is something that I will usually not run to the doctor to complain about. I may mention it when I have a more pressing issue in the doctors office.

Never took alot of tylenol or aspirin when I was a kid. If you had a headache, or ear ache I would keep it to myself, thinking that this is normal life pain. Everyone has it, its not that bad.

This chronic pain, the dull ache and limited movement, with occasional painful flair ups starts to effect your mood, relationships, energy, work, and life enjoyment. I really hope that the physiotherapist has some real solutions to help long term.

I have hung onto the tendency to not over blow my discomfort that I must of learned early on. Some potential narratives that describe the attitudes I was given are: “I’m not worth complaining about”, “There is other people in more pain”.

I have a sense that I are not worthy of care or comfort. Don’t get me wrong, my parents loved me well in many ways, but there were a few that affected my self esteem even now; narratives like these that tend to revisit in times of weakness.

Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder. It is nice that it has a name and that there is recognized treatments for it. The lack of actual cures online is dissappointing. Online research has revealed practitioner scepticism that permanent healing is evasive for many. Right now, today, I need to be able to have hope that there are professionals that can provide relief.

I must remember to practice self care and treat myself well in the midst of this. Yes, the world is busy and many others are experiencing more serious pain and health issues than this. But,

“The pain is real!”

“I deserve to care for myself, and for others to care for me”!

Pain can stretch and weaken faith and hope. Or it can develop it in new ways that lead to a more mature belief system. Life’s darkest moments often bring clarity and renewal to one’s spiritual connections. The relationship with our Maker, our God can easily be overlooked. The well know “Darkest Night of the Soul” moments can either move you closer to restoration and spiritual renewal, or further away. For myself, they tend to draw me closer, eventually.

I am very thankful for this body that helps me to travel through this life. Its done a lot for me, and done it well. Yes, I have abused it, denied it comfort and proper care at times. But it is mine.

I Love My Body.

Thank you God for this wonderful Gift.

Saturday Morning Hope

We share the early hours and minutes in spontaneous conversation. Coffee, talk, smiles and comfortable silences.

She’s so beautiful, smart, kind. And she loves me! I am so fortunate.

How did I come to be married in my mid fifties? Or start a new career/life path a couple years ago. Back to full time (on site) college at 49!

For a guy who struggles with long term depression, dysthymia, Shame, and Chronic fatigue; I am pretty proud of myself.

To be able to choose your life direction is a great gift. The world may look at you and assume that you have always chosen to do what you want. To me, it never felt that way. I felt locked into my circumstances unable to change the trajectory I was on.

I was never taught or was not born with a sense of hope that led to self efficacy and self confidence. My gifts and talents were unknown to me. What was possible?

Risk was a dirty word. “Play it safe”, “Don’t take chances”, “Save your money just in case”…

Waking up at the age of 40, with my mental, emotional, physical, relational and spiritual health in the toilet was enough to bring me to my knees.

I hate myself, my life. I can’t go on like this.


Then God showed up.


Tap, tap, tap…..tap, tap, TAP!, TAP!

Holy shit! what the hell is that???

I slowly awake. Seemed like I just got to bed. What time is it? Why am I awake?

Tap, tap…

Oh, ok.

I turn on bedroom light and open the curtains on the basement window. I hear chuckling and russling outside. “Reim”, Wake up!

“Oh great.” I say it sarcastically to myself. But I am excited.

My friends are out on a late nite, school nite party. It is grade 12 year for all of us. Staying up til all hours is not an issue. Life is short, gotta live it now.

I try to quietly let them in the back door, but they are slightly high or intoxicated already so silence is a limited option. My parents generally dont intervene in stuff like this unless it involves the police or ambulance. We hang out and laugh with the excitement of youth and the potential of the unknown awaiting. They convince me to go cruising with them. It wasn’t a hard sell. Although I actually like school, this few months, its been hard to see the purpose. I am questioning whether to even finish school. Life’s only meaning is in having fun, partying with my buds.

My little sister’s bedroom is right above mine. She is awoken by our carrousing, and comes down irrately and scolds us for it.

I get dressed, we move out into the night. Its after midnight now. Moonless night. Stars ablaze. I anticipate the rest of the night. Cruising the main streets. Seeing if anyone is around. Getting high, having a couple of beers. Maybe a bush party out in the country with a bonfire.

We aren’t fill with hope for the future, we dont talk about it.

We live now. No promises.

Celebrating being together.


I was raised in a faithless family. In my memories, which are few, it just was not a focus. I’m not saying it was a negative, its just where my parents and their parents ended up.

I have been a seeker since I was about 20 years old. My sister, for reasons beyond my understanding bought me the now legendary “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” I was into motorcycles, was quite gifted mechanically and loved to read. She took a guess. I don’t think she has ever bought anything like that for me before or since. I should ask her if she recalls her motivation for that. If she saw some latent spiritual seeker in her brother.

I was consumed by the narrative of the spiritual journey that the author described. My mind and heart were fertile ground for spirituality. I was searching for meaning, and have been for my whole life.

One of my vivid teenage memories is of having one of our very few heart to heart talks with my mother. She was curious about where I was at, since I rarely shared anything with them after about age 12. They were not a source of safety for me. Our family rarely shared emotions and my heart was particularly soft. To protect myself, I just shut down with them. My peer group became the only safe place, and even that was a false safety. It felt like I was telling her the most important wisdom in the world. At that age you think you know everything. “Life has no meaning, the only thing that matters is having fun in whatever way you find, all the time.”

Without knowing the power of my words, I had cursed myself, or if it suits better; I had installed a mental narrative at a vulnerable time in my life that would affect me for years to come. My twenties were fun, but empty. I had no goals, no dreams, no purpose. I self medicated with soft drugs, alcohol, friends, parties, girls, and more. To try to fill up, or numb the lack in my heart and soul.

I clung to the next thing, to save me, to give me purpose, to put a smile on my face, if only temporarily. I was clinically depressed and medicated for it. My thirties was much the same. I was single, decently employed, relatively attractive, but not a catch. I didn’t know myself and it was evident to these women. Socially, I craved quality relationships, but didn’t have much to give.

I got religion, I got Jesus, born again at age 40. Wow! I found myself desperate, broken, searching in a place that I never thought I would be found. A Church, Pentecostal to boot! This was faith, belief, community, connection, transformation, healing all in one simple prayer. I was ready to jump fully in!

It gave me purpose, helped me heal, “find my self” (Lol). The Church was everywhere as well. It was worldwide as I soon discovered. I found the courage to travel, to explore, to risk. I found the courage to invest myself fully no matter what the scoffers said. I did something(I did a lot of things) that I had wanted to do for a long time but lacked the courage. I quit the family business after 30 years and went to university to pursue pastoral leadership. I felt called to dive deep. It felt great to surrender and get out of my home town and start to really live. “Yes” became my mantra. Yes to life, to risk, to failure, to redemption, to relationship.

I am now married(first time, only time. To an amazing soul). I have five “step” children(first), seven step grandchildren a new career and purpose.

My belief looks nothing like it did on that day I was “born again” back in 2003. I do not run from doubt. It helps to form my belief journey. Its far from static. My heart of belief is not tied to church doctrine, or the inerrant, infallible “word of God”. It is tied to an energy, a purpose, a kind, forgiving, patient, redeeming, healing, Creator God. A God who is very familiar with humanity, who knows me inside and out intimately. He lives in all things, he aspires to inspire us to join the Journey to See, him, her, it, or rather Them.

Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash

They made us good. They invite us to participate in the healing journey taking place inside us, in our neighbour and in creation.

More to come….

My Birthday.

Its my day of birth. Today.

So many have passed by. I have from experience that I am a little bipolar on my birthdays. I want my day to be recognized, for me to be the center of attention, to be spoiled, to be surprised. But, I also tend to be a little snarky and off color on birthdays. My wife has learned to tread carefully on these days. Some birthdays I am just depressed. I dont understand why. Maybe birthdays have never lived up to some false expectations. My wife tries to not to make the day too ostentatious, but to make sure I know that I am appreciated for who I am. I will rebel against fakery, and overblown celebrations in my honor. I do not at all mind putting effort into over the fancy parties and surprises for my wife but personally, Less is More.

Why is that?

I come from a family that was really low key emotionally. We didn’t express much positive, gregarious emo. Kinda kept it medium. At all times. Boring, but less stressful over all. I have since made choices to be more emotive in my later adulthood; to celebrate successes, to acknowledge failures, but not shame, to know that pursuing excellence through hard work and humility is honorable, to laugh inside and outside, to dance, to sing like no one is watching….

Emotions are a big part of what makes this life worth living. This year was worth celebrating. I am more authentically me today, than I was a year ago. Thank God.

Thoughts Abound; Choose One…

We have a choice. As human beings it is understood that we are beings of choice. That we have the ability, the power, to make, or force our mind to think he thoughts we want to think. This choice should logically be positive and drive our actions to create better outcomes for our lives.

Working in the prison system, health care, and homeless sector it is more than obvious that this ability to choose, this self efficacy is not equally available to us all. The old cliches that a person with struggles just needs to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and “get a job” or quit whatever they are addicted to, or to “focus on the positive” are generally not helpful.

Many of us are not born with, or our upbringing does not give us the same power of choice. In my own experience with relatively minor mental health struggles, I know that I often lack the power to choose my thoughts and thus change my outcomes. There is a whole spectrum of this ability to choose in each and every beautiful human being.

Those who happen to operate on a higher level of choice, through no self taught ability of their own; but only by random “nature and nurture” roots of origin, cannot, should not, judge those whose ability to choose is limited.

“Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves.”

If we can encounter the person on the street or somewhere in your life that may be struggling deeply, inside, where no one can see; with respect, dignity and patience then we have the ability , the power of choice, to change the world.