Adventure by Ollie

A Search for Purpose in a Random World


August 2016

How to Write Poetry

The poetry teacher says,

“The way to write poetry’s this:

Say what you want to say.

Say what is needed.”

everyone smiles teacher smiles

paint pretty preachers

hang them up to dry

by the newsreel.

say what you wanna say.

say what is needed.

everything spoken on display

art in museum

understand inventions


say what you want to say.

say what’s needed.

magician trick for pay

like wine to water

and I am just a little bit cynical.

Say what I want?

What is needed?

Others expound,


My turn.

Show ‘n tell;

how to say what? I want

to say…but, needed?

Pen pondering

then reading

two words:

It hurt.



The Shape of My Glory

There are no scars on my body

it’s just the look of my soul

surely marred and disfigured

but probably same as most.

There’s no tell-tale marking

to explain what’s beneath

sometimes the things that are hidden

are to hard to speak.

It’s just the limp of my heart

that fails to offer a home

to those who may be trustworthy-

best to not let them close.

There are no scars on my body

It’s just the shape of my soul

the shape of my glory

and the triumph of Hope.



What I Ate Today

Haha, this is not a poem.  This is prose Homes! What’s up? Hump Day is OVER.  Happy Dance.

I’ve been watching lots of YouTubers lately show me all they ate in a day.

I don’t have a YouTube channel (actually, I do, but there’s no videos there…so…) writing a blog now of what I ate for you and myself.  We be so obsessed with food, ya’ll.

Okay here we go.  I hope you’re not hungry, cuz if you are, your mouth is about to water.

So this morning I woke up at 6:00 AM.  The first thing I do in the morning is drink a glass of water and sit on the couch sipping water until I’m awake.  I drink water in the morning instead of coffee or tea…


about an hour later, I’m sitting down to breakfast. It was:

warm lemon water

baked potato with

grass fed browned beef, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, and sliced olives.

It was delish. (Left overs for breakfast! LOVE a little cayenne pepper in the AM)

Filled up my tumbler with water and headed off to work, where I…

move, move, move, move, move

and by 9:30 I’m starving, so I ate:

a banana

which held me over for a few

at 12:00 noon, I’m a hunger bear

rabid, drooling, running people over on my way to my pretty pink lunch box

and I ate:

Asian chicken noodle soup with onions and carrots

a peach, a plum, some peach herbal tea

cuz that’s how I do it, don’t judge me, it’s how I was born

eating, hungry, sucking milk and making wild baby pig sounds

like: oink, oink, oink, coo. Adorable.

I filled my tumbler several times with water, so about 8 or 9 or 10 cups of water

I hate being thirsty

I drank a pond, a river, an ocean

a fish, a shark, a whale

and I’m still hungry

so at home for dinner I ate

a bowl of potato chips doused in plain, sour Kefir

I don’t know why I did, but I did.  Forgive me.  I ate it like a gorilla eats

whatever it is that a gorilla eats

and dessert?

a mango.

Are you inspired??? LOL Don’t forget to hit the like button and follow me on WordPress.


Friday is coming soon!


The Hem of Your Garment

I lay in the grass on the ground in the good night

feel the earth sigh beneath me, surrounded by breeze

white flowers dot the hillside reflecting moonlight

all bright points of light dance in a sea of darkness

where earth and sky confuse and merge into one

You are there, just there, I could almost touch

the hem of your garment and call you MINE

belonging to me, no one other

just your face shining down at me tonight

All the bearded smiles, the tender gazes

of a million stars, their bright reflecting faces

are a mirror of me, a mirror of you reaching

across the thin veil of space and time

I see you breathe, see the breeze all around me

I see your eyes, the moon shining up from deep water

I hear your voice, as leaves dancing through treetops

singing along with the music I hum

Take my hand, swing me out against the darkness

hold me close, waltz across dark matter

frictionless space where they spin forever

each spin an echo of your name

My hand in yours, now we’re blood bonded

you write my name on the walls of your heart

I memorize all your lines and your wrinkles

trace my fingers over all your scars

here in this moment and each one after

I’ll be an echo of your Name.

love echoes Love and the song that we sing

Home Grown Bread

grain bends beneath the wind’s rough hand

pets the Earth, her fur, her cheek, her tail

she’s loyal to her master, but he’s her slave


the grain bends low, the wheat, the chaff

hewn down for the making of home grown bread

and she is shaved of all her tress, trussed,


take the beauty of another for your own

given like treasure, queenly throne

but not without offering up your thanks

lest she turn and rend thee

no forgetting

as after all her children fed,

their bellies full from her own body,

rest and waken to plant new seed

for the tending of home grown bread

all the lines

O how I’d die

to wear your wrinkles

like silk against my skin

and read all the lines with

fingers and hands tracing

holding, caressing


the words

the voice

all tasted

and consumed.




Two Fools

The world keeps turning

current rising, crashing

makes fools of us all

and yet, those who fight

with fists held high

threaten the sun, the day, the night,

push against the pull of mightier waves

grow wise

earn gray and the right

to walk freely

yes, in their wisdom know

how to become

the biggest fools of all

Haiku No.6; Red Ash

Dying, the red ash rose from the flame

freed from its chains, became

the envy of stars

There was Bread


There was bread

resting on the counter

where your hand lay

like a sign to the market

and the clock’s hands seemed to me

to be moving rather too quickly

but my hand was in the other

and it felt to me a comfort

in feeling and in knowing

bread was there.


Gardenia Pale


Gardenia pale

am I not the poet

the bud the Buddha

how the coarse life

rubs too harsh like

upon the petal skin

the scent wafting

with the breeze

and the hum

of bumble bees

too soon to sin

and broken in ness

but then

the air is sweet


A Man in the Rain

Miracles waiting for

(all the dancing lights above)

a man standing in that rain

so much passion, the fisted glory

war of life, and of kissing

how delicate the skin, how steep the steps

and half second choosing

how the delicate skin, how steep steps

of life kissing war, of

the fisted passion – so much glory

that rain in a man standing

above all the dancing lights

waiting for miracles.

How to Lock the Door on Time Stealers and Accomplish Your Purpose.


Hello Again! Thank you for visiting.  My goal is to write something (anything) everyday.  For the past couple of days I’ve been working on today’s post, and still haven’t finished it! As soon as I got home this afternoon, I made a big salad and then sat down with my laptop to get busy writing to you.  I hope you’ve had a wonderful day.

For all of you hungry people out there – here’s what’s in my salad: Spinach leaves, a random bag of lettuce (IDK  what kind – it’s green), pickled sliced beets (my favorite), orange slices, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  It’s topped with plain Kefir, which I recommend, especially if you’re a buttermilk lover like me – it’s got a similar taste, and is great for your digestive health.  Locally, the only Kefir brand available is the one produced by Lifeway.  I don’t know how it compares with other brands, so you’re welcome to post a comment below about your favorite kind/brand of Kefir.

I also poured a little bit of blue cheese dressing on my salad, because that’s what people do.

Getting Down to Business

If this is your first time visiting the site, “Hello, it’s nice to meet you.”  This blog is my writing outlet – I write whatever I want to (poetry, opinions, rants, informational, inspirational, humor, you get the picture), and sometimes folks read it.  If you’d like to know more about me and why I blog, click the About Me page above.  Here on, we bloggers like to write and read, and other stuff, we’re creative, like you.  Come and join us – start a blog for free.  It’s not spinach, but it’s probably still a very healthy choice.

A common theme in conversations I’ve heard lately is that of juggling work with family.  The consensus is that everyone wants to spend more time with family.  The one thing that seems to prevent them is work, too much work, so much work that it cannot be completed without putting in overtime – LOTS OF overtime.

You guessed it! The folks, and I, having these conversations lately are teachers.  How did you know?  But teachers aren’t the only ones who experience the family/work tension.  Grab your salad, and let’s dig in.

First, A Story

At a church I once worked in as the Children’s Minister, several volunteers cornered me and asked me what I was going to do about ‘The Closet Mess’.  My mind reeled with ideas of what they could be referring to: an actual closet, a rumored closet, a situation where someone was caught with someone else in the closet, skeletons in the closet, skeletons coming out of the closet – the possibilities were endless.  Aha! I thought, here is the moment all of my expensive, private, Christian college education has prepared me for.

I have a Theology degree.  I can handle ANYTHING.

The ‘Closet’ in question turned out to be a real, actual closet in the church building, which was disappointing considering the well-thought out exhortation I had mentally prepared.  Oh, well, ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ and ‘Mind your own Business’ would have to wait.

I was shown to a room on the first floor, with an, “I LOVE JESUS,” poster on the wall.  In the corner was the closet in question.

The class meeting in that classroom needed a place to store their supplies, the volunteers explained.  “Why can’t they use this one?” I asked, naively. (Oh how naïve I was.)

“Open it,” they replied.  I did.  I wished I hadn’t.

“It’s your problem now,” they said.  I turned back around to ask a question.  Everyone had scampered.  “You didn’t see us!” and “We were never here!” they shouted from far away down the hall.  I looked again at the unbelievable seven by four foot wall of junk.  The closet was full of trash.

It turned out that a few church committees had stalemated over the disposal of used church curricula, denominationally produced Bible study materials, and convention newsletters.  The result of this was a more than 25 year pile up of paper, cardboard, and dust.  The shelves, barely reachable, contained a few of the supplies teachers had managed to wriggle out a space for plus old maintenance supplies from before the pile up had gotten out of control.  I counted crayons, glue, glue guns, markers, paint, spray paint, paint brushes, turpentine, nails, screws, caulking, metal spatulas, hammers, a box of razor blades, and matches.

A perfect combination for an unlocked closet in the corner of a 3rd through 5th grade boy’s Sunday night discipleship class…

…and also a perfect picture of the mess we sometimes find ourselves in when work, life, and relationships fill our time with more work than is humanly possible to manage.

Time to Take Control

In order to take control, and keep control, we must be intentional about our lives.  Here is how I manage and organize, not only closets, but time as well.

1. Give it a Purpose:

Wherever there is a vacuum, a void of space, the universal law is that it must be filled.  If we do not set a purpose for our closets, drawers, hours, and days – others will step in and set a purpose for us.  This should be avoided at all costs.  No one knows what your life’s purpose is, or how your time should be spent more than you.

The first thing I did with this closet was to give it a purpose.  Since the Sunday School committee and the Discipleship committee and the Financial committee and the Committee on Committees committee couldn’t agree on sharing monies and supplies, the closet’s purpose was to be a storage of arts and crafts supplies for the teacher of the Sunday night discipleship class.

When you give something a purpose, Say It Out Loud.  Say it with Confidence.  Don’t listen to nagging voices, or doubts.  Determine what you want and set out to get it.  Saying it out loud is just an affirming way of agreeing with yourself.  Saying it with Confidence lets everyone else know that you mean business and it’s time to get the HECK out of your way.

In order to organize a drawer, for example, first you give it a purpose, and then fill it with ONLY the items that fulfill that purpose.  A kitchen drawer purposed with storing tableware cannot store receipts, rubber bands, vitamins, or wash cloths.  The same thing applies to our hours and days.

Start with a clean slate.  Using an empty calendar, block out the time you spend at work (or in class) and then examine the time you have available.  This is YOUR time.  Set a purpose for those blocks of time that belong to you: Family Time, Writing Time, Exercise, Hobby Time, On-line Business Time, Meeting Friends, Prayer and Meditation Time, Quiet Time – the options are up to you.

Let’s see what you are going to do!!! I bet you’ll do something Wonderful!

2. Throw Away the Junk

Our closet had become filled with 100% Junk which did not match its PURPOSE.  Time can quickly be filled up with Junk activities that do not match our purpose or goals. All that Junk needs to be thrown away.

For example, has Family Time become littered by interrupting texts or notices? Throw that away – turn off the T.V., phones and devices during Family Time, sleep your computer, close that laptop.  Stare at each other, pull out a board game, play 20 questions, work on a puzzle, play charades, get outside for a walk, toss the ol’ pigskin, make a salad, create a movie together and then watch it (so much better than T.V.).

Responsibilities getting in the way? Laundry’s got to be done, and dinner cooked: Delegate. Do you have a teenager? Why are you doing laundry when you’ve got a teenager? Teach your teenager to do the laundry instead.  It takes more time up front, but in the end you will be freed up to use your time working on your goals, or spending time with family.

Family means we all chip in.  Each and every time you make dinner or work on chores, have your child or teen work with you.  Teach them how to clean, sort laundry, and cook simple meals.  “I scrub -you scrub – we all scrub together.”  Try this as your new family motto.  Even if they are too young to do a ‘good’ job, they will learn a good work ethic and gain from the quality time you are spending together.  As you clean and cook you have time side by side to talk and learn more about one another.  Try it.

There are a lot of junk activities that can steal away our time – think about what you are doing and question it by comparing them to your goals and purpose.  If they do not help you achieve your goals or purpose then it is time to throw that activity away.

For me, junk activities can be: social media, watching series on Netflix, movies, shopping, and Pinterest.  There.  That’s my confession.  Now you know EVERYTHING about me.

3. Label and Organize

As with closets, our time needs to be labeled and organized.  Once you’ve determined your purpose, and created space in the day to work on your goals, sit down and determine the steps needed to accomplish them.  No one sits down to write a book, that’s the end result of many tiny steps.  Lose weight?  Too general.  Instead, think of small chunks, tiny steps, easy to handle micro-challenges.

For example, instead of ‘work on my book’, or ‘write chapter one,’ fixate on something specific such as: list possible outcomes for the main character.

4. Lock the Door

After the church closet had been named, cleaned out, and organized it was time to add the last finishing touch – a lovely, new, shiny, gold LOCK.  I gave the key to the teacher.

You’ve set a purpose for your time, you’ve gotten rid of the meaningless distractions, and gotten organized, now DEFEND your TIME with ALL YOU’VE GOT.

You can’t stay late at work – you’ve got appointments, you’ve got a dinner date, you have a life, a family, a dog that needs walking and so, like I’ve stated before – Start on Time, Leave on Time.

Almost Time to Say Goodbye

While cleaning out the closet, I came across some old denominational magazines and newsletters published the YEAR I WAS BORN.  After that, something did not feel quite right, to me.  I stared at the date, for what felt like forever, in a moment that was so surreal that I could feel my body tingling from head to toe.  I remember thinking, “This is not what I was born for.”

We may love our jobs, and feel we were ‘born for this’, but even so, your life is more than what you do at work, and taking care of your responsibilities.

‘Human’ means all of these things: thinking, emoting, feeling, praying, singing, working, splashing around in mud puddles, cooking, talking, running, biking, planting, harvesting, sharing, cleaning, bathing, celebrating, worshiping, love-making, parenting…I’m sure you can add to the list.

Yes, you need money.  Yes, you need to mow your lawn. Yes, you need to pay bills, but you also need quiet time alone.  You need quality time with loved ones.  Be careful that, in seeking success, you do not deny or forget  to take care of your ‘soft’ needs.  When they are not met, everything else falls apart: you lose motivation, lose the ability to concentrate, begin to react negatively to setbacks, and lash out at those you love and care about so much.  Don’t forget to LIVE your life…



I hope this has been insightful.  So much has been given to me, so many people have ‘shared the light’ and helped me on my way, that I want to give in return.

I’d love to hear from you.  Please share your own time saving tips or anything you’d like to share below in the comments.  Don’t forget to hit the Like and Follow button, especially if you found this helpful.  I hope it was.

My salad’s all gone.  That was delicious.  Now, for dessert!




The Wild Wanderer

Born under the wild, rambling star

tossed on the waves from deep and far

cradled between the rocks and pools

the Wanderer laughs and smiles and coos.

Twinkling light in such bright eyes

Sprinkling drops of tears when cries

dimpled and chubby hands and feet

drooling, bubbly, messy, sweet.

Seagulls fussed and shook their heads

The porpoise made sure it was fed.

Still, no feathers and no fins –

How can this creature ever win?

The otter stuffed fish down it’s maw.

The crabs felt sad to see no claws

They thought it such a low disgrace

it had no scales upon its face.

But I think it sweet to me

to look upon my own Baby.



Not Even Aware

There is a shade of green that touches flight.

Even its dark shadows are the shapes of birds.

Those who sell it get the highest price.

Few can obtain it,

And those who find it

are merely stumbling through

the half-formed portal of faery light

and not even aware of

that which

luck and chance has given.



10 Things I Wish Every Pastor Knew


1. I don’t need to hear a Sermon.

I know you think I do, but I really don’t.  I am an adult.  I can read and research on my own.  Plus, after a lifetime of going to church and sitting under sermons and Sunday School lessons, I truly have heard it all.  Ask me what I need, and I’ll tell you that a sermon, or sermon notes, doesn’t help or heal at 2:00 AM when I’m bawling my eyes out, when the world has collapsed around me, and when I can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Small Group is MORE Important than ANYTHING ELSE WE DO IN CHURCH

If church leaders are so full of desire to help others, and to share God’s message, and I believe most are, then why do they undermine this desire by focusing on an activity which does nothing to build relationships?

Today’s ministry is upside down – one, or a few people, doing most of the work, because too much focus is placed on large group worship.  One person cannot help everyone else in a church, community, or city, not really, not realistically, not deep-in-the-dark-night-of-the-soul-timely, so: Why does the church’s main event mirror this?

3. I need to hear a Woman’s voice.

Male dominated, Freudian ministry has to stop. NOW.  There was more equality in the church of 2,000 years ago than there is in the church of today.  Both men and women need male and female voices speaking into their lives, and they will sacrifice correct theology to get it.

Next. I am more than a Spiritual Person.

I am also a physical, emotional, and thinking human being.  Ministers put a HUGE emphasis on the spiritual aspects of life.  In my first 20 years of Christianity, I neglected other aspects of my being until God used an illness to correct this broken belief.  I am soul, mind, and body – three aspects of the human being that God created and called “VERY GOOD.”

5. I do not have to be perfect.

Struggles in life are RARELY the result of willful, rebellious, ‘sinning’.  One merely has to be a somewhat active participant in life to encounter struggles.  How many successful people can say they always followed the rules? Creativity and thinking outside of the box is necessary to SURVIVE in today’s job market and economy.  Adding perfection to the mix complicates and confuses everything.  Life is hard.

6. Brokenness is a part of every story.

Ministers highlight the Christian growth IDEAL which emphasizes the end product of a lifetime of godly living.  I have labeled this “White Haired, Wise Old Woman” Christianity and it means anything that gives the impression that all elderly, white haired church members are paragons of virtue.  It sounds something like this: One day, if you live a godly life, follow all the rules, and mind your manners you will look back on your life with zero regrets.  You will have white hair, which is the symbol of wisdom, as a gift from God to show the world how godly your whole life has been.  Your children will be perfect, your house will be clean, and your dog will never poop on your carpet. (Just get cocky and insert for yourself any picture of a happy, perfect family with at least one aged family member who has white hair.)

This theory/teaching works until you meet that group of happy, aged, white haired swingers who relish stories about the good ol’ days when they smoked pot and danced naked at Woodstock, and Pastor, it sounds like SO. MUCH. MORE. FUN.

As a young Christian, I was so afraid of making that wrong decision, and creating a ‘regret’ for myself, that I could not make any decisions.  In a time of my life when so many important decisions are made, I sat on the bench, watching others play the game, worried about making the wrong move.

A girl can follow the rules and still have regrets.  One of my regrets is that I followed the rules.  Besides this, pastors need to accept that most of us cannot conceive an imagined end goal so far down the road that it includes old age.  We need something that works right here and now.

And. It’s all about the Journey.

Church became a stumbling place for me because I am very literal, and fall into all or nothing, black or white (I’m not referencing skin color here), type of thinking very easily.  I’m very sensitive and easily affected.  Someone told me it’s because I’m dysfunctional.  I don’t mind.  Everyone else I know is just like me.

There are more ‘dysfunctional’ people in your church than you realize, Pastor.  Church has become a stumbling place for them, the same as it had for me. If we did not create dysfunction for ourselves, someone else created dysfunction for us, and we view everything you say through this filter of ‘on/off, black/white, all/nothing’.  Accepting everything I’d heard preached in church out of this sense of absolutes has harmed my Christian growth more than it has helped it.  I had to leave church, in order to heal this aspect of my life, because Church contributes to all or nothing thinking.

8. I NEED people in my life; I don’t need you.

Which holds more substance: A one time ritual, or long-term relationship? Which is more necessary: A baby dedication ceremony, or a group of supportive friends who will listen to my rants, frustrations, and fears, who will cry, pray, and laugh with me through all of the ups and downs, the good and bad of parenting, and celebrate the joys year after year after year?

You, as a Pastor or Minister, are not supposed to meet my needs, and you’re not even supposed to try.  A ritual is fine to seal the deal.  It’s comforting, but it doesn’t offer much support for the long haul.  For the long haul, we NEED other people.

9. I still love God very deeply.

Not being “an active member of a church”, has nothing to do with my love for God, or my desire to be a good Christian.  You might be surprised to learn that my faith and my relationship with God grew after I quit going to church.  .

We put too much emphasis on church attendance when “Church” means going to a building where people meet to participate in an event.   Faith is not meant to be a once a week, large group, emotional upheaval, building up to some finale of grand spiritual decisions.  It is a daily, left foot, right foot, leaning on the shoulder of a friend while being a friend for someone else to lean on, and when I can – carrying my own weight, holding the hand of God, stumbling through wilderness, sometimes mountain-tops, sometimes valleys, boring and exciting, rain and shine, happy and sad, freaking crazy FAITH WALK.

Lastly. I believe you care.

I am thankful for the ministers in my life who taught me about God and how to study the Bible.  You could have chosen any path in life that would have been easier, but you followed God.  You might think I’m jaded or disillusioned, but I feel like someone who has come alive, like someone finally awake and aware, and I’ve cast off anything that hinders me in order to chase after God.  It bothers me that church was one of the hindrances.  That is why I’m taking the time to write this.

Maybe I am jaded, but I’m not the only one. I just cared enough to take the time to write all of it down and put it out there for others to read.  I want to see change, and be a part of that change.  All the Sunday/Wednesday pews are full of jaded Christians who continue to attend church for many reasons other than a love for God.  I’m not the only person who feels this way, I just had the guts to say it.

Do you agree or disagree with what you’ve read here? I often wonder if other people feel the same way as I do.  Maybe you feel jaded with ministry, or church, or would like to share your own thoughts on the subject.  Feel free to post comments below.  If you’d like, you can follow me by email, too.  Don’t forget to hit the Like, or Follow button below.  If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with friends.



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