Donny's Ramblings


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What A Beautiful Mess I'm In

This morning I slept in until 8:11. At that precise time, Citi Financial Auto decided to call to let me know that my car payment is a little late. I was very happy to hear that.

Since I was now so rudely awakened, I plopped myself down in my favorite chair… favorite because it happens to sit directly in front of my beloved iMac. This morning my iMac was to play an instrumental part in messing up my entire demeanor. The calm, smiling Donny who was looking forward to getting out of the house and taking the hour drive to call on a client was soon to be transformed into a blubbering, snotty mess.

It all started when I noticed Julie the Artist and MT of X3 had both posted the following video on MySpace:

What a beautiful song for that video clip, don’t you think? But just a few moments into it and my eyes suddenly sprung a leak. I started sniffing a bit.

I shared the video with Wendy, my ex-wife. I can only assume Wendy decided to check out related videos, because a few moments later she found it in her heart to add to my snot levels by emailing me this, which had really moved her as a mother:

So now, my dear constant reader friends, I am a blubbering mess of tears and snot… and I can blame it all on the three women I mentioned.

Thanks a lot, girls.

(PS: Amazing love… Absolutely amazing…)


14 Comments

What A Beautiful Mess I’m In

This morning I slept in until 8:11. At that precise time, Citi Financial Auto decided to call to let me know that my car payment is a little late. I was very happy to hear that.

Since I was now so rudely awakened, I plopped myself down in my favorite chair… favorite because it happens to sit directly in front of my beloved iMac. This morning my iMac was to play an instrumental part in messing up my entire demeanor. The calm, smiling Donny who was looking forward to getting out of the house and taking the hour drive to call on a client was soon to be transformed into a blubbering, snotty mess.

It all started when I noticed Julie the Artist and MT of X3 had both posted the following video on MySpace:

What a beautiful song for that video clip, don’t you think? But just a few moments into it and my eyes suddenly sprung a leak. I started sniffing a bit.

I shared the video with Wendy, my ex-wife. I can only assume Wendy decided to check out related videos, because a few moments later she found it in her heart to add to my snot levels by emailing me this, which had really moved her as a mother:

So now, my dear constant reader friends, I am a blubbering mess of tears and snot… and I can blame it all on the three women I mentioned.

Thanks a lot, girls.

(PS: Amazing love… Absolutely amazing…)


12 Comments

Sometimes You Just Gotta Read It

I’ve been keeping myself very busy. I wake up at 7am and walk for at least an hour and a half. Sometimes as much as 3 hours. After finishing my walk, eating breakfast and getting showered I immediately head in to work, where I give it everything I’ve got until 7 or 8pm. By then I’m emotionally burnt. Most of the time I’ll relax an hour or two before going to bed, only to start the cycle again in the morning.

I pray a lot while on my morning walks, but I’ve been neglecting my Bible. It just doesn’t seem too appealing to read it sometimes, does it? This morning I forced myself to pick it up. It opened to James chapter 4. I got a lot out of the scriptures themselves and even more out of the commentary, this sentence in particular:

We can be released from our self-centered desires by humbling ourselves before God, realizing that all we really need is His approval.

I have a habit of seeking the approval of others. It’s a habit I’m trying to break. I needed that reminder.

In other news: I’m loving life in my little studio apartment. It fits me perfectly.


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Do Me A Favor

Please do me a favor – watch this video. It’s only 10 minutes, 24 seconds long:

001 Rain | Rob Bell : Nooma.com (click here to watch)

You may have to wait a few minutes for it to load, depending on your internet connection speed.

Tell me what you think of it. Personally, I love the Nooma videos (and both of Rob Bell’s books: Sex God and Velvet Elvis). At the time of this writing I’ve purchased 8 of the 15 Nooma videos that have been produced to date. My favorite is Breathe.


24 Comments

So Donald Miller Emailed Me

Let’s imagine you’re a Stephen King fan (I happen to be a HUGE Stephen King fan) and out of the blue you receive an email from Stephen King. I’m not talking about someone pretending to be Stephen King. I’m talking about an email from the man himself.

Since I first picked up his book Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller has been my Stephen King. Instead of reading the latest King book, I’d much rather read Miller. If you’ve known me for any length of time you understand what that statement says about how impressed I must be with Don.

It’s not that I idolize him. It’s not that I think he’s somehow a greater person than the rest of us. It’s just that I appreciate his writing ability and, even more so, I appreciate the way he’s helped rewire my mind. On many occasions I’ve made it clear that if I had grown up around the type of Christianity Donald Miller portrays in his books I never would have become a porn producer. I never would have caused so much pain in the lives of so many people. My son never would have experienced growing up in a home where daddy came around only to visit.

Every single Christian on the face of the planet needs to read Donald Miller’s books. In the left column of this blog you’ll find a section that says “Three Books That Changed Me.” Click on any one of those books and buy it. I recommend reading them in the order I have them listed. They’ll change your life for the better.

With this in mind, imagine what it must have been like to receive an email from the man himself. On March 25th, 2007, at 11:33pm I was able to have that experience. What he said was simple. I’ll copy and paste it for you:

donny,

don miller here, just writing to say hello. craig gross told me a bit of your story and it sounds amazing. thought i would make contact. i hope you are doing well there. and i am glad you have encountered God, and i know he is glad to have encountered you. do fire me an e-mail and give me an update on how things are going for you. all the best…

don

I had a feeling such an email might be coming. Craig Gross from XXXChurch.com has heard me speak of Donald Miller’s books on numerous occasions. Just this past weekend in Morton, IL we had lunch with the leaders of the church that hosted the last Porn and Pancakes event. I told one of the pastors about Donald Miller’s books and how every Christian should read them and, in fact, every church should start a small group to go through them chapter by chapter. Craig told me that I was a walking advertisement for Don and that he was going to email him about me.

The thing is, although he writes about life as a Christian, Donald Miller’s books are romantic. Not in a way that men can’t appreciate, and not in the way you might typically think of romance. It’s not possible for me to properly describe what I mean. You just have to experience them for yourself. That being said, let me at least attempt to draw you into what hooked me into reading Blue Like Jazz. I opened the book and this is the first thing I read:

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way. I used to not like God because God didn’t resolve. But that was before any of this happened.”

That, my friends, is what I’m talking about. What a great way to start a book! I couldn’t put it down. Don Miller’s books show a Jesus I want to know. A Jesus I want to love. A Jesus I want to serve. A relationship with God that I want to experience.

He paints with words. I can’t describe his books any better than that: the man paints with words.

On March 17th, the day I announced the Hiatus that wasn’t a Hiatus after all, I read To Own a Dragon in one sitting, down at Caldwell Park in Redding, California. In it, Don discusses growing up without a father. Once again, the book changed my life. Perhaps some day I’ll tell you more about that. Perhaps not. But that weekend changed the direction in which I was heading.

Isn’t it funny how powerful words can be?

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself.”

How does that sentence make you feel? I know what it does to me: it makes me want to be that Jazz Musician. It makes me want to love what I’m doing SO MUCH that others love what I love, just because they witness ME doing so. I want to fall so deeply in love with God that people come to know him simply because of the joy he brings to MY life.

I know that is possible. That’s part of the reason my brother surrendered his life to God. It’s part of the reason that after being an alcoholic for years, he’s still sober to this day. It’s part of the reason he calls me with hope in his voice, where before there was none.

I have no doubts whatsoever that I’ll be reading those three books numerous times. I’ll continue, as I do now, to tell people what I’ve learned from them. I’ll share the Confession chapter of Blue Like Jazz over and over again, because IT REALLY IS THAT POWERFUL.

And I’ll always remember the day an email showed up in my mail box, without a subject line, from the author of three books that were quite instrumental in rewiring my mind.

It was great to hear from you, Don.


8 Comments

A Week With My Brother

It’s now been a week since I picked my brother Daniel up from his home to bring him here with me. When I picked him up the intent was to take him to church last Friday, have him spend the night at my place and take him home Saturday morning. I’m so glad reality ran in a different direction.

Daniel’s been a real pleasure to visit with this week. Not only has he not taken another drink since early Saturday, he’s gained at least 10 lbs. It’s good to see him actually eating something.

All week long he helped me in several ways, from photographing cars to packing my stuff in preparation to move. We’ve probably driven a thousand miles together this week, talking and listening to one of the comedy channels on XM Radio. I’ve snuck in some Christian music from time to time to see what he thinks (he prefers the comedy channel).

I took him to one of the small group meetings I attend through Bethel Church. I knew he’d like it if for no other reason than the fact that several attractive girls also attend. Daniel could safely be classified as “girl crazy”.

Of course, that’s not the only reason I took him. He wanted to have a real encounter with God, and I wanted him to meet a lot of people his own age who have. This particular home group is filled with Bethel students: young people who are encountering God on many different levels. That was a really good evening for Daniel. He experienced some very good things and had a lot of people speaking with him, encouraging him and welcoming him.

To be honest with you, I think this brother of mine is going to do some really great things. He has a boldness to walk up to people on the streets and talk to them about anything, not really caring how they react. I know that God can use that.

I really want to share much more about my brother, and will do so in future blog entries, no doubt. But at the moment I need to wake him up and get to work. We started moving everything out my house yesterday, and need to finish up today. I’ve gotta be out of here by 5pm. As I mentioned in the last blog entry, the bank owns my house now too. Moving would be much harder, both physically and emotionally, if my brother wasn’t here to help.


39 Comments

These Colors Don’t Run (the world)…

…but we sure act like we do, don’t we?

Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving, Americans spent enough money on that one day alone to provide safe drinking water for the entire world?

I could list off statistic after statistic that shows how greedy we are. We consume more resources than dozens of the world’s countries combined, and we’re never satisfied. We’re always searching for ways to make more money so that we can consume more of the world’s resources (I made “the world” bold because that’s who said resources belong to).

We deserve all of this, right? After all, our churches teach us we’re Sons and Daughters of the King, right? I’ve been to several church services recently that tell me so. And I’ve also been to a few small groups that give off that same message. At one of those small group meetings I said something about how we should really be feeding the hungry and serving the poor. I read a passage from a book written by Donald Miller that illustrated what I was trying to say. I was met with a few nods and blank looks. Why? Because what I read doesn’t fit with the cool, popular “spirituality” of greed that seems to be sweeping many churches, particularly the one that this small group calls home.

Fact is, churches that preach nothing but prosperity seem to be packed. One such church has so many people in attendence that, unless one arrives early, the only place to sit is on the floor. I stopped attending because it doesn’t seem to me that real life issues are being addressed. Ask for help dealing with a real problem and see what type of response you get (and I’m not even talking about financial help either – just some good Christian advice).

If I wanted to “feel good” all the time I’d listen to Tony Robbins. I’m not saying I don’t want to hear these messages once in awhile, but who hit the “repeat” button on this particular track? That’s all I seem to hear.

Right now I need Jesus. I need his love. I don’t need to face the same temptation, in church, that partially led to my life as a porn producer. I was wrapped up in money and possessions, and hatred towards Christians. Porn production brought money and a way to shock the Christians I hated.

Now I go to church only to find that the greed of the masses is being fed by messages of prosperity. What happened to love? What happened to what Jesus called us to do?

Sure, I’m all about living comfortably. And to be honest, I’m sure I’ll one day care about amassing wealth again (that will be a sad day). Right now I love the thought of sitting next to stinky people at a bus stop, loving them because they, too, are children of the King. Did we forget that part? Every person in the entire world is a child of the King. The middle class, upper midle class, and upper class citizens of the United States of America ARE NOT the only children of the King!

If one of your kids was hungry wouldn’t you be a little pissed off if your over fed kid didn’t share some of his/her food with the one that is starving? You haven’t eaten today? Sorry, I can’t give you this hot dog because I’ve only had 4 myself for lunch so far. You know I always eat 6! Look at me! I’ll waste away if I give up these other 2!

Shouldn’t we be spending billions of dollars a day solving humanitarian problems, rather than blowing up Iraq so that we can insure that our oil supply doesn’t diminish? I realize our Hummers are thirsty. Perhaps we need to starve them a bit.

I’m a patriotic SOB and I love our troops, and in fact served in the military myself, but wouldn’t it really kick ass if our troops were sent to other countries to hug the starving kids and feed them a decent meal? I bet our men would return from the War on Hunger with Post Traumatic Selflessness Disorder, and be pretty happy about it! I bet the rest of the world would stop hating us so much and would lose their desire to blow us to shreds if we’d start flying over their countries dropping food and water supplies instead of bombs.

For the price of the bombs we drop on countries we don’t have any business invading, thousands of people could be fed. Millions, perhaps.

For the daily price of the “War on Terra” (which must be Texan for “Terror”) I bet we’d wipe out a lot of really bad problems.

Mr. President, do you want to know how to defeat “Terra”? Here’s the answer:

Respond to hatred with LOVE. Drop a food bomb on those pesky terrorists.

Maybe Jesus knew what he was talking about after all.

PS: I’m SO preaching to myself here. As I wrote this I kept telling myself that I need to remember all of this. It is going to be SO easy for me to resume thinking about making millions and living comfortably on a Yacht in a tropical land if I don’t constantly remind myself that I exist to learn to love OTHERS, and not just myself. God, please help me remember this. Please give me the courage to give of my time and money. Please give me the courage to change my political registration and to stop thinking “Republican” so much. Ouch, that hurts.


20 Comments

These Colors Don't Run (the world)…

…but we sure act like we do, don’t we?

Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving, Americans spent enough money on that one day alone to provide safe drinking water for the entire world?

I could list off statistic after statistic that shows how greedy we are. We consume more resources than dozens of the world’s countries combined, and we’re never satisfied. We’re always searching for ways to make more money so that we can consume more of the world’s resources (I made “the world” bold because that’s who said resources belong to).

We deserve all of this, right? After all, our churches teach us we’re Sons and Daughters of the King, right? I’ve been to several church services recently that tell me so. And I’ve also been to a few small groups that give off that same message. At one of those small group meetings I said something about how we should really be feeding the hungry and serving the poor. I read a passage from a book written by Donald Miller that illustrated what I was trying to say. I was met with a few nods and blank looks. Why? Because what I read doesn’t fit with the cool, popular “spirituality” of greed that seems to be sweeping many churches, particularly the one that this small group calls home.

Fact is, churches that preach nothing but prosperity seem to be packed. One such church has so many people in attendence that, unless one arrives early, the only place to sit is on the floor. I stopped attending because it doesn’t seem to me that real life issues are being addressed. Ask for help dealing with a real problem and see what type of response you get (and I’m not even talking about financial help either – just some good Christian advice).

If I wanted to “feel good” all the time I’d listen to Tony Robbins. I’m not saying I don’t want to hear these messages once in awhile, but who hit the “repeat” button on this particular track? That’s all I seem to hear.

Right now I need Jesus. I need his love. I don’t need to face the same temptation, in church, that partially led to my life as a porn producer. I was wrapped up in money and possessions, and hatred towards Christians. Porn production brought money and a way to shock the Christians I hated.

Now I go to church only to find that the greed of the masses is being fed by messages of prosperity. What happened to love? What happened to what Jesus called us to do?

Sure, I’m all about living comfortably. And to be honest, I’m sure I’ll one day care about amassing wealth again (that will be a sad day). Right now I love the thought of sitting next to stinky people at a bus stop, loving them because they, too, are children of the King. Did we forget that part? Every person in the entire world is a child of the King. The middle class, upper midle class, and upper class citizens of the United States of America ARE NOT the only children of the King!

If one of your kids was hungry wouldn’t you be a little pissed off if your over fed kid didn’t share some of his/her food with the one that is starving? You haven’t eaten today? Sorry, I can’t give you this hot dog because I’ve only had 4 myself for lunch so far. You know I always eat 6! Look at me! I’ll waste away if I give up these other 2!

Shouldn’t we be spending billions of dollars a day solving humanitarian problems, rather than blowing up Iraq so that we can insure that our oil supply doesn’t diminish? I realize our Hummers are thirsty. Perhaps we need to starve them a bit.

I’m a patriotic SOB and I love our troops, and in fact served in the military myself, but wouldn’t it really kick ass if our troops were sent to other countries to hug the starving kids and feed them a decent meal? I bet our men would return from the War on Hunger with Post Traumatic Selflessness Disorder, and be pretty happy about it! I bet the rest of the world would stop hating us so much and would lose their desire to blow us to shreds if we’d start flying over their countries dropping food and water supplies instead of bombs.

For the price of the bombs we drop on countries we don’t have any business invading, thousands of people could be fed. Millions, perhaps.

For the daily price of the “War on Terra” (which must be Texan for “Terror”) I bet we’d wipe out a lot of really bad problems.

Mr. President, do you want to know how to defeat “Terra”? Here’s the answer:

Respond to hatred with LOVE. Drop a food bomb on those pesky terrorists.

Maybe Jesus knew what he was talking about after all.

PS: I’m SO preaching to myself here. As I wrote this I kept telling myself that I need to remember all of this. It is going to be SO easy for me to resume thinking about making millions and living comfortably on a Yacht in a tropical land if I don’t constantly remind myself that I exist to learn to love OTHERS, and not just myself. God, please help me remember this. Please give me the courage to give of my time and money. Please give me the courage to change my political registration and to stop thinking “Republican” so much. Ouch, that hurts.


32 Comments

All Geeked Up

From UrbanDictionary.com:

Geeked: very hyper or excited about something or someone.
Raheem was all geeked up when he found out we were going to the Super Bowl.

Until this past weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan I’d never heard that term. Is this a Michigan thing, or am I simply out of the loop?

Several people let me know that my testimony got them “all geeked up”. One man asked if my dad is “geeked” that I’ve surrendered my life to God and left the porn business. I told him “yes”, because after a split second of contemplation I decided he must mean “stoked”, as in, “Is your dad stoked that you’ve left porn?” Or perhaps “psyched”, as in, “Is your dad psyched that you’ve left porn?”

Whether psyched or stoked or geeked, many people are very happy that I no longer produce pornography. From my ex-wife to her Aunt Nancy, to her cousin Tracy, to her mother Barbara; from my father Donny to my mother Phyllis to both of my dead grandparents, Robert and Margaret (for whom I feel confident I can speak in this case), people are very pleased. Even “Snuggly” (also known as Dave Belles) and Danielle, a couple whom I just met this weekend, are very happy about my surrender to God. By the way, Snuggly, I made a promise to J.R. that I’d reveal the nickname you so love to the world, and I am a man of my word. Snuggly now goes down in Internet History! (Tee Hee Hee)

There are others not so happy about it. Belinda thinks I’ve completely lost my mind. My best friend John agrees with her. One of Playboy’s Vice Presidents emailed me a one word message that read simply, “Jesus?” to which I replied, “Yes, Jesus!”

This weekend was a fantastic experience. XXXChurch had me flown in late Friday evening. On Saturday morning I told my story in front of 540 men at a men’s breakfast labeled Porn and Pancakes. What I didn’t know was that I’d also be speaking twice on Sunday morning in front of the congregation of a church known as Daybreak. They have a service at 9:45am followed by a service at 11am. The butterflies in my stomach began a mad flutter when a man I met Saturday night at a Progressive Dinner told me the Daybreak congregation totals between 1,500 and 2,000 people. I’ve never spoken in front of such a crowd.

With that in mind I lost my appetite, but thankfully it didn’t stay away for long and I enjoyed a great dinner experience with J.R.’s neighbors – thanks for letting me hang out with all of you! The appetizers were incredible, the stuffed Salmon was excellent, and the potatoes were to die for. The conversation during desert had to be my favorite part of that evening, however. I sincerely hope JR’s neighbor Sharon has recovered from the heart attack she suffered upon hearing the answer to her question. Our conversation went something like this:

“Hello, I’m Sharon. Nice to meet you!”

“Hey Sharon. I’m Donny. It’s good meeting you too!”

“So, Donny, what do you do for a living?”

“Well, I was a porn producer for the last 9 years, but…”

(awkwardly) “Oh….”

(a loud thunk may or may not have been heard at this point)

Sharon? Are you okay? Do you need to be taken to the hospital?

On Saturday morning at the Porn and Pancakes event JR Mahon interviewed me on stage. Some of the men that attended let me know they really enjoyed hearing my story. Several of them said they’d simply never considered the material I shared with them and that they’d come to realize consumers of pornography are just as involved with the whole porn-cycle as those who produce it. Others were inspired that I’d give up a financially lucrative career to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus and let me know their faith had been increased by hearing how God’s love for me had finally broken through and had delivered me from the path I’d been walking.

Some of their comments were very flattering, but the Senior Pastor of the church that hosted the event made sure to keep me humble by pulling me aside to provide a bit of counsel I really needed to hear. He wanted to make sure I was aware that I am nowhere near being ready to provide advice for men struggling with porn addiction. I assured him that Bill Giovannetti from my local church constantly reminds of this very same thing. Bill tells me that I’m a Paul, but drives home the part of Paul’s story where it took 3 years from the time of his conversion to the place where his ministry began. I’d like to assure these men of God, and the rest of you, that while I’m both humbled and honored to be allowed to share my story already, when asked for advice I tell most that I’m definitely in no position to be their counselor. Craig Gross, JR Mahon, the staff of XXXChurch or their local Pastoral staff are who they really need to speak with.

For the past several weeks Wes Dupin, Senior Pastor of Daybreak, has been presenting a series of messages called Change Me to his church. When Wes was approached by Craig Gross and familiarized with my story, he agreed it would be perfect to share with his congregation on the last day of the series. When I was told about this I was so humbled and honored I wanted to cry.

The first service scared the crap out of me. While waiting for the time when I’d step out on stage, I nervously bit the nails off my fingers. When those were gone I began chewing the skin below them. Pastor Wes addressed the crowd and prepared them for the alter call that he planned to give after the service. He introduced Craig Gross. Craig talked a bit about the ministry of XXXChurch and shared how, more than 2 years ago, he’d met a porn producer going by the name of “Donovan Phillips” at a porn convention in Las Vegas. He went on to tell about how I had always been friendly to his staff while at shows, and had even introduced some of my friends to them, but that I’d slam the ministry hard on their message boards and in comments posted to their blog. I have the distinction of being the only person ever nuked off their boards because of the horrible way I attacked them. You could say I became a royal pain in their ass.

After sharing a bit of my story, Craig let the crowd know that “Donovan Phillips” was actually “Donny Pauling” and that Donny Pauling had surrendered his life to God and was present to share the story in person. I was invited on stage. As I stepped from behind the curtain into the spotlight the nervousness completely disappeared with the clapping from the audience.

I have to admit it was so much fun to sit on that stage with Craig and Wes, sharing my story with all of the people that attended the two services yesterday morning. The second service was easier than the first.

BUT HERE’S THE PART THAT TOUCHED ME MOST: the way my story touched the people who heard it.

Dozens spoke with me after the services, but 3 of them stand out above the others. At the conclusion of the first story a beautiful woman walked up and wrapped her arms around me, burying her face in my chest. She bawled her eyes out, wetting my shirt with her tears. When she was finally able to talk she thanked me for being so open with the crowd. She particularly appreciated that I was able to admit how much my work hurt the girls I’d recruited into the business. She let me know she hated porn more than she could put into words. As a young girl, her brothers were addicted to porn and used to molest her repeatedly. An ex-husband had also been a porn addict and abused her as well. My story and the responsibility I took for my actions, she told me, had done a lot of healing in her heart. I couldn’t speak. I told her I didn’t know how to respond. I just hugged her tightly until she was finished crying.

I knew God would use my story to help those affected by pornography, but in that same service another woman let me know that she’d been touched by a completely different part of my story: my hatred for Christians. As the son of a Pastor, I had grown to hate Christians and loved throwing my porn-producing profession in their faces at every opportunity. This woman had also developed some of the same feelings, yet she was actively involved in her church. During the alter call that followed the early service she’d come forward to repent of her hatred and had asked God to help her deal with it. A light went off in my head that let me know God wishes to use my life for His glory in more ways than I’d imagined.

During the second service, the scenario of a woman weeping against my chest was repeated. This time it was a beautiful brown-eyed girl who had recently surrendered her own life to God after a past that included serious drug addiction, stripping, and appearing on pornographic websites. She sobbed as she thanked me for leaving porn production for Jesus and let me know she’d been asking God to let her hear stories of people in situations similar to hers. God, she felt, had answered her prayers by allowing her to hear my story and speak with me about her own. I talked to her for quite awhile. If she reads this I want her to know that our conversation helped build my faith as well. Thank you, beautiful Danielle.

God,

My heart is broken and humbled before you. I love you SO MUCH. Tears fill my eyes right now as I think back to all the people with whom I conversed in Michigan. They may use really weird figures of speech, but they were such an encouragement and I thank you thank you thank you for allowing me to meet them. I beg you to continue using my life as an example of your truly amazing grace, which is definitely not a cliché. I crave your presence in my life every day and am overcome by the power of that presence and the depth of your love.

Thank you for sending the word “porn” to Mike Foster’s ears as he prayed to you that day in the shower… thank you that he and Craig Gross obeyed your will and formed the XXXChurch ministry. And thank you for the courage you gave them to be in there on the porn show floor with us, sharing the true love of your Son with those of us who needed to hear and be reminded of it. Jesus would have been in there with us doing the same thing.

Scrub me clean and use me in the same way: to help share that love with the rest of the world.

Keep reminding me, in any way you see fit, that it is not my place to judge anyone else, nor is it acceptable to hate those Pharisees who choose to do so. The latter part of that sentence is the part with which I need the most help.

Use this blog to spread your love, too. I write in the hope that you will do so. Not only do Christians write and comment on what’s written here, many of my posts are also quoted on adult industry message boards where others read what you’re doing in my life. Even though some of them ridicule me I realize seeds continue to be planted despite that ridicule. I smile as I read their comments.

I SOOO look forward to discovering where this journey leads next. I’m ready to do whatever you ask.

When the podcast is available I’ll make sure to blog about it so you can all hear it for yourselves.


5 Comments

My Father's Eyes Light Up When I Enter the Room

I love to read, but until today I’d never heard of Nobel-Prize winning novelist Toni Morrison.

When asked how she became a great writer – what books she had read and what methods she had used – she replied:

“That is not why I am a great writer. I am a great writer because when I was a little girl and walked into the room where my father was sitting, his eyes would light up. That is why I am a great writer. That is why. There isn’t any other reason.”

Before continuing, go back and read that again… slowly.

That quote immediately made me think of my son. He lights up my life as well. I love viewing the world through Caden’s eyes, because it takes on a whole new meaning. Before he arrived in this world I had no idea how much I could love another person. That love is truly indescribable.

Because of Caden I even enjoy things I’ve never previously found interesting. For example, all of my life I’ve had a dislike for playing card games and board games, yet I’ve recently discovered a love for them. Last night I spent hours playing Go Fish as well as Connect Four and Pickup Sticks. Just last week I found myself enjoying The Game of Life. My son loves these games. It’s so beautiful to watch the enjoyment he gets while playing. I can’t help enjoy playing them simply because he enjoys them. His laughter is angelic and the expressions he gets on his face nearly stop my heart.

Unless you know me well, it may not seem all that remarkable that I’d enjoy those games. The fact of the matter is that I have never been able to stand them in the past. If we have guests over who wish to play card or board games I tell them I’ll be happy to watch but I’d rather not play. Then, when nobody is looking, I sneak away to watch television or use my computer. Caden is the only person with whom I have a good time throwing cards around a table.

I often times wonder if the real reason we are placed on this earth is to experience love. Perhaps we’re here to form relationships with each other, bring families into the world and learn to love things we’d never enjoy alone. By learning to love others we can also begin to understand the love God has for us. I bet He looks at us and watches our laughter and facial expressions and his chest nearly bursts his buttons, much as what happens to me when I watch Caden. And, while Caden has no siblings, I bet it would pain my heart immensely if he did and if they fought all the time. Likewise, I know God’s heart is pained when we can’t get along with the rest of his children.

“I am a great writer because when I was a little girl and walked into the room where my father was sitting, his eyes would light up. That is why I am a great writer. That is why. There isn’t any other reason.”

That quote, slightly manipulated, applies to all of us:

We are all that we are and all that we will be because our Father’s eyes light up when he thinks of us. That is why. There isn’t any other reason.