Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Ignorance Observed

I just finished reading "A Grief Observed" By C.S. Lewis. If you read it, you will get a glimpse of the past three years of my life. C.S. Lewis lost his wife to cancer after just a few years of marriage, and in his grief he explored his feelings and thoughts in his journal. He later published them in this book.

My wife did not die, but she did leave me. A friend told me once "Well you must have loved her in order to marry her..." The truth is, despite all of her verbal and physical abuse, I really did love her. I still do, in a different capacity. It really goes to prove the words of the great Christian philosophers, D.C Talk... "love is a verb."

Verbs are action words (please don't be intimidated by my vast knowledge of the English language here). My marriage (however short it may have been ) proves that love is the strongest of all of the verbs. Hate, Fear, they pale in comparison. No matter how many punches I took, or how much dignity I lost it was still there. So much so, that in my grief I began to despise it.

Grief is the deadliest of all nouns. Our experience (Mine and C.S. Lewis's) with grief changed our view of God. I had spent too much time proving to myself that the God of the bible was the one true God. It would have been stupid of me to go against that. Though I am a fool most of the time I do not wish to make things worse by diving willingly into foolishness. Instead I would have conversations with God (very one sided in hindsight) that went like: "God, I see how it is, you aren't who I thought you were, but I see the true you now..." "I guess you don't HAVE to be giving to love me..." and "Fine, you want me to be alone for the rest of my life... Don't expect me to like it then."

I remember one day I was setting up the wedding chapel at the church I work for. I hate wedding chapels. I have vowed to only like them one more time in my life... if that. They have a way of making me feel depressed. I was alone and down in the dumps. I was praying, almost in tears (I don't cry... I just get almost there) "God, I'm lonely, I have a crappy job, I never see my son, my ex-wife takes every chance to slander me and cast doubt my way... What do you want from me? I don't have anything else to loose! I almost want no part of this anymore! Yeah I'm your bond servant, but I feel like a slave. So I'll do what you ask, but I won't enjoy it and I won't pretend to either."

This is the point that I heard a very clear voice in my head. It said "You are a spoiled rotten brat!" The voice was right... I am.

I think the core of grief is a sense of entitlement. I feel entitled to have a wife, kids, enjoyable job, respect... but I guess I'm not. There are no entitlements in the bible, unfortunately. I'll just have to learn to live with that fact.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Barns of the "Noble"

This afternoon I went to a bookstore to purchase some muse material. A bookstore is like a silo of knowledge. A veritable barn where people, more "noble" than us, house their works. Until one day we request that they impart their wisdom to us, and for a semi-reasonable sum they are happy to do so. Being cheap and moderately poor the first place I stopped by was the bargain book section. There I found all of the books that peaked my interest. Books on places I have never been and always wished to go. Like the Louvre for instance. I may never make it there but for $8 I can help pay for some photographers to visit a place he has already been, and in return I get to keep some of his prints of the historic site. All the while wondering if it still smells like mahogany and linseed oil, and wishing I could get an up close look at Durer's "Praying Hands" which mine should resemble more often. There were also biographies of great people whom I wish to emulate. "How to" books on skills I wish to learn.

I then made my way to the Christian section where I was disappointed to find there was only one author whom was represented that interested me. I bought "a grief observed" by C.S. Lewis which was recommended to me by a good friend from work. The rest was junk.

C.S. Lewis wrote "Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind." I believe this to be completely true. So why do Christians keep writing books that enable people to cling to what plagues them? Do we not realize we are oppressed and impressed by the greedy? That they squeeze the life out of all who are not on their monetary level? Who needs another book on how to fill your bank when our hearts are empty!? Did anyone ever stop to think that if they and their spouse don't love God more than each other their marriage CAN NOT be all it is supposed to be? A good marriage doesn't start in the kitchen (though I'm sure that part helps) it starts in the Church! We as a faith are really good at telling people what they can't do. Yet we ignore what we are supposed to tell people TO do!

So even though I wish to be published one day and my books may share shelves with T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen and the likes. Here is the only thing I know that is worth paying anything for. Follow Christ. Forever. Without abandon. Until you realize nothing here is worth anything. Not even your life. Just remember two things when you pick this little tidbit off the shelf, and it comes time to pay for it. #1) It will cost you everything you think is yours. #2) There are no cuts in the line, so get there before the store closes.

Let's see Harry Potter beat that line!

*sigh* My legs are getting sore... I can't wait for Jesus to check me out.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Here we go again!

I'm baaaaaaack! So I have a few projects running right now. First off, I am going to two colleges in the fall. First I will be attending St. Charles Community College to begin working towards a degree in English. Secondly, I will be completing correspondence courses through Southwest Bible College to work towards a degree in theology... or Christian education... I haven't decided yet. I am in the process of writing my first book. It will be called "Memoirs of a Janitor or Wake Up and Smell the Brimstone" I will be posting short snippets on this site but eventually I want to have a site of my own that everyone can go to to get my work and/or information about me... and my work. It's time for me to find an agent and a PR rep.! So with all that said I have to go to my actual job now. Be looking for my thesis on theology... which may or may not be presented in my book but will undoubtedly turn a few heads.

Peace out ya'll,

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Well... a new look for a new year! Plus, meebo and adsense aren't at the bottom of 5000 lines of posts! Exciting! or is it exiting? Hmmm... I'm working on a paper about Childrens ministry in the organic church that i'll be posting here shortly... thats pretty much it... see ya'll later

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Taking Back Sunday

Amongst all of the time I have spent reading my fathers and Bob Carders blogs. I find myself asking the question "When did ministry turn to industry?". Does anyone else find it sad that there are discussions regarding cost to profit ratios for pastoral education? I think you'll like this...

"Do you remember the time, when the purpose and the rhyme, was to see the souls affected? But now its to man, every purpose and every plan, to whom the praise is directed. We live out the dream, make the crowd scream, but turn to yell at the sound man. Since where and when did we stop checking the word and begin to start checking the sound scan? Remember when shows were for souls and rhymes were for flows? Now we spend one minute to pray, if even that for each day, but spend 2 hours checkin our clothes. what happened to the passion we was having that was sparked in the beginning? but we're quick to cry, point the speck in your eye, but even quicker to justify our sinning. we're quick to dis and raise the fist to justify the things that we do. but for every finger we point at them, just remember Friend there's 4 more pointin back at you. how and when did it all begin as ministry turned to industry. cause did Jesus need a manager, record label, distributor, or even a booking agency? when troubles came, did he call upon the name, or turn to a lawyer to handle it? why do we ask God last, ignore the past, but be the first to ask our management? cause next to him, our glory's dim and truly pales in comparison! why does every move we choose seem to revolve around? we can get our groove on, but then worry about comin on too strong. yet we water it down so much there ain't even nothing left to chew on. souls become sales, and sales become a salary. give the crowd something to feel, whine about keepin it real, but don't we try to keep it to reality. yet when its all over and the mic is hung and its all been said and done. it wont matter how many battles i won, but only the souls that i have won. on the other side, will my silly pride cause me to hold my head up proud. If I wont have beef with you then, tell me Friend, why should I have a beef with you now? At the end of my life when I held that mic did I really truly deserve it? Forget if i was phat! Forget if i was whack! I want to hear well done my good and faithful servant!"

That was "Industry" from KJ-52. A christian Rap artists angered by the christian music industry. Christian music is a reflection of the Church... unfortunately... so you will undoubtedly see the parallels. I have this blog for one reason... not to be phat, not to be whack... I just want to hear well done my good and faithful servant!

P.S. I don't even like the term "Ministry". What we call "Ministry" Should not be distinguishable from the rest of our every day lives.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My new hobby

Ever since I started to write to get published it hasn't seemed as fun. So I decided I was to start a new hobby. What was this hobby? Magic.

So here is the story of my trek to magical mediocrity.

First off, I am not dabbling in witchcraft, just illusion. I am, and have been as far back as I can remember, interested in how people do magic. I remember watching David Copperfield on television, and thinking what he did was cool, yet not impressive.

Why? well... he was in a studio. He had hours to practise, thousands to spend, and an aura of impenetrability that set him above mere mortals such as myself. Then I saw David Blaine.

He preformed his own version of a trick called "King Rising". Not in a studio, only with a t-shirt and some jeans, and as a normal guy walking the streets. He approached a group of women who were shopping, and asked if they wanted to see some magic. When they replied yes, he walked a few feet away from them, turned his back to them, stretched out his arms by his sides, and then raised five inches off the ground. All of him. He levitated five inches off the ground. Half of my mind said it was illusion, the other half said it was Satan.

I later found out you can buy books, DVD's and gimmicks that will let you preform this same trick. That is when my new hobby started. I knew I was a beginner so I decided to start with card effects. After all, card tricks are easy! Right? Wrong.

I bought six decks of the coolest playing cards I could find. The Black Tiger deck, and the Ghost deck. Then I got two videos explaining two basic effects. Mercury, and The Axis Change. When I preformed Mercury for a friend of mine he started to grab my arms to see if I had anything up my sleeves. He was amazed and I was hooked.

I have since learned more. Not just little tricks but I have started to learn the art of slieght of hand. At this point things are not so easy. I have never purposely put myself in a situation before where I could look like such an idiot! In fact I often do, but it is the times when the person I am preforming for grabs my arms or flipps out because I switched the card in his or her hands with the card he or she had picked. Or when they watch thier bent and signed card jump from the middle of the deck to the top.

Now if I can only learn to make money, a wife, and sleep magically appear out of nowhere. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mundus Vult Decipi, Ergo Decipiatur... ?

The quote you see in the title of this post is from a man named Petronius and translates as: The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived. A forger of satirical literature, what I have read leads me to imagine this statement as one of frustration.

You see petronius was in the court of Nero and hated his ways. When he killed himself he did it in the most insulting way possible, and left the emperor out of his will. Specifically to make Nero mad. He even destroyed his favorite vase so it would not fall into the emperors hands. From what I have read, petronius saw a world dominated and deceived by an evil emperor. This deception was so obvious to petronius he could not see why anyone would believe the enemy. Why was it so obvious to him?

Petronius was close to the problem. We are close to the things we know best. We can study them and explore their workings. In other words "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." What are the deceptions that you have that are right under your nose?

Maybe it is a lie about your relationship with God. You think you are close enough but you aren't even in the same world. Maybe it is the lie that closeness with God does not matter. Questions of worth open us to great deception. If we believe we are worth much we are believing a lie. In comparison to other things we are worth nothing. Conversely, we cannot believe that we are worth absolutely nothing. To God we are worth everything.

Deception is all around us. Some of us like deception for the simple reason that the lies take away our responsibilities. Many believe that the church as a whole is doing well. Few recognize that we are on a statistically steep slope. That if things continue on the path they are on there will be no church in ten years. So why do we believe the church is doing well? We are not close to it. We keep it for Sundays and special events. We like "playing church". We do not own it, but instead, let the clergy.

Take a step back from life for a second. What lies are you buying into? Use Christ's teaching as a light. in John 8:31, Jesus says ; ..."If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Following Christ is all about freedom. Do you have freedom? Or are you happy being deceived?