Tag Archives: Christianity

Don’t Be Bitter

Bitterness is such a destructive thing.  Bitterness is something that can take you from doing great things to doing no-things.  Bitterness is so self destructive.  It’s like taking dynamite and placing it underneath a bridge and hitting the detonator.  Sure you make sure that you keep people that you’re angry with at a distance but at the same time you’re now trapped because of your destructive behavior.

I have played a popular online game for a few years now and all of the time that I have played it I have been at the very bottom level.  No matter how hard I tried or how much I wanted it I couldn’t do anything but be a bottom dweller.  It was this summer that I figured out why I was stuck in this level.  When I would play and I got frustrated with myself or others who were making mistakes I became toxic.  I would let my bitterness cause me to lash out at others.

After a lot of contemplation and recommendations from people who had been through the same things I realized that it was my attitude that was keeping me in the cellar.  Because when things go wrong and you start acting bitter it actually causes people to not be able to meet their potential.  Your chances of success become so marginally thin that you pretty much guarantee your failure.  This is a never ending cycle of self destruction.  You basically have to put yourself in land of make believe to cope with it.

The point is that you should make a conscious effort to not be bitter.  You’ll be amazed at the results. I stayed on that bottom level in the game for over 40 months.  When I changed my attitude it took me less than 4 months to climb out.  This is a principle that goes through all of life.

We Have No One Else to Blame

“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, their glory is in their shame.  Their mind is set on earthly things.”  Philippians 3:19

According to a recent ABC poll 83% of Americans responded that they are of the Christian religion.  That’s a pretty big number.  According to polls over the years homosexuals make up anywhere from 1% to 3% of the American population.  Yet the will being displayed in government and in pop culture is the will secularists and supporters of the lgbt community.  Now how exactly is it that approximately 263,000,000 people are being dictated to by 3,100,000 to 9,500,000 people?  How is it that people that call themselves Christians allow the society they live in to become so ungodly that now as recently as just yesterday a Christian bureaucrat was thrown in jail because she would not issue marriage certificates to gay couples because it violated her conscience?

I’ll tell you how it happens and if you’re as angry as I am the first place you need to look is in your bathroom mirror.  You need to look there and get angry at the person you see staring back at you because that’s the person that let this happen.

I once heard my pastor say that the most popular face in the church is George Washington.  Because when the offering plate gets passed around that’s normally the only face you see in it.  The fact is that we have become a perverse church who’s god is in their belly.  Hey I’m just as guilty as anyone else so don’t think I’m up here on a soap box lecturing and pretending that I’m above this.

We show where our loyalties lie when we won’t come off with our cash.  We throw ol’ George Washington in the offering plate when we make $400/week.  We say we can’t afford anymore than that because of bills but our bills are things like the fully loaded cable package that we can’t live without or the 3 gallons of ice cream we have in the freezer.  Don’t make up excuses.  If you created a line item budget showing how much money comes in and how much money goes out and exactly what it’s going toward I’m 100% certain that every single one of us will find that we pay a lot of money for things that we don’t need and then turn around and act as though those things are necessities.  Meanwhile back at the ranch the damned farm is burning down and we let it happen.

What I mean is look at the amount of money that lgbt groups and secular progressives have spent on campaigns to change minds and look at how much money we have spent to change minds.  Try getting around town on 1$ in gas.  You won’t get very far and yet we try to accomplish the exact same thing as Christians.  We want to give like Ebeneezer Scrooge and expect to reap over flowing harvests.  But the woeful fact of the matter is that he who sews sparingly the same reaps sparingly.  And brother when we sew sparingly in our nation today we begin to see the deliberate and cruel treatment of Christians right out in the open even though we supposedly make up the majority.

Our gods are our bellies.  That’s the sad fact here in America.  We have placed money on a pedestal.  Paul called the love of money the root of all evil because he knew what we need to know and that is that money is a servant and it serves the desires of the person who has it.  We spend it to “get” things.  The modern church in America has become a black hole of desire.  We don’t want to come off with anymore than we have to because the rest of that money is like our own little fix.  It’s like our own little morphine drip.  We have become junkies and let our country go to hell on a moped.

Wake up Church of America.  We will soon find ourselves in quite a spot if we don’t change our ways.  I mean it’s already here.  Christians are being dragged into court and fined more money than it takes most people several years and sometimes a decade to earn.  Christians being thrown in jail and told to comply or else.  Like Solomon once said “Only a fool sees trouble coming and does not prepare themselves.”  Change your ways or else you’ll pay more than it would have cost you to save yourself.

Glory

Glory is something that most people want.  It’s something that we work hard to obtain.  I know that I personally dream of the moment I can bask in the glory of achievement.  Everyone of us has something we want to achieve or be great and we have an idea in our mind what it would be like to achieve this one thing.  There would be bitter sweetness to it no doubt but we can’t always put our finger on what this feeling would be like or what it is exactly.

In my mind…..glory is many things.  To me glory is a place.  Glory to me is the place where hard work and victory meet the spiritual.  To me it’s the place where we have a realization of what it feels like to be what God created us to be.  God made us to be winners.  But think about what happens when most people reach the top of the mountain.  They’re overwhelmed by the heaviness of the emotion that they break down weeping with tears of happiness.

Glory to me is when we get a little taste of what life is supposed to be like.  We live in a brutal world and it’s full of brutal people.  We sacrifice so much and we fight so hard to try to be victorious in this world.  When we reach that supernatural place we realize just how indescribably awesome the world God intended could be.  When we see where we came from and we look from the top of that mountain down to the valley we came out of we often find that we can’t see the bottom.  It’s being so far away from our problems we know that they can’t reach us.  We could die and that would be preferable to going back down.

But we do come back down from this place because our poor earthly bodies can’t handle being on the top of the mountain.  So we drift back down.  But when you experience glory know that if you love God you will have the promise of being there forever.  So you can fight and claw in this tough world but just remember that if you’re lucky enough to get a taste of glory that it’s just a very small down payment on perpetual glory.

Ironic Thought of the Day

There is a story that I have heard many times in my life from many places about some things that are supposed to happen one day after you’ve died.  The story isn’t always the exact same but it generally goes something like this….When you’ve died and you go to heaven before you’re let in Jesus is going to replay every moment of your life.  And you will be incredibly ashamed of the things you’ve done when you thought nobody was watching.  The moral of this story is that you weren’t supposed to do things that were sinful because you will be exposed one day.

I haven’t thought about it until recently but it seems like kind of a ridiculous story.  I mean God goes through all of the trouble of taking the ultimate punishment for sin but then suddenly he has to shame us one last time before we go off into eternity?  That is frankly one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard and frankly I wish that when I heard this as a child that I had the mental foresight and analytic ability to tell the people who told me this little story that it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Think about it for just a second.  The insinuation is that God is so vindictive and thin skinned that he can’t just let it ago and that once he poured out his wrath on Jesus on the cross to judge sin that it just wasn’t enough?  That says more about human beings than it does anything else.  Because people are so flawed and insecure that they can’t let things go and they can’t truly forgive.  God says that he forgets sin when we repent.  But we project our own precious qualities onto God sometimes.

Just a side note but I always pictured this little meeting happening in a white walled office.  The apostle Peter walks in and pops the story of my life vhs in the vcr while they give me nasty looks.  Hahahahahaha.  Oh Lord what a life I’ve led.

What Are You Worth?

I have said for a while that I believe that being an artist (whether it is an actor, singer, painter, etc.) is an incredibly dangerous profession because so much of your success is determined by whether or not people want you.  This isn’t like an inanimate object that you are producing on an assembly line.  You are the product.  The more successful you are the greater the risk of being greatly injured when the crowds of fans aren’t there anymore.  I believe that’s part of the reason why we see so much dysfunction in Hollywood.

But recently I started to re-frame my perspective on this idea.  Because I think that it exists in more basic ways and its implications are far-reaching.  What I mean is the idea that you have value based on what people can get from you.  There are so many people out there in the world that think that if they can please someone, they will feel better about themselves.  I know that in my own life I have had this notion in the back of my head at times.  But as I’ve gotten older I have tried to divorce myself of it, which has at times, caused me to drive into the ditch on the other side of the road which is denying people what they want because I simply do not want to give them that power.  Sounds a little twisted but I recently stumbled across a name that defines it.  It’s called “Cerebral Narcissism.”  I’m not exactly a narcissist, but I won’t get into that.  You can research it yourself.

But there is this idea that if I can just emotionally gratify someone, or if I can sexually gratify them then I will get the affirmation that I desire so much.  So what do we do?  We bend over backward.  We say yes when we know that we’re compromising ourselves and we should be saying no.  We think that if we can just get people to love me for whatever I am that I can put out this fire and finally have some contentment.  But unfortunately it doesn’t work.  Because it is the nature of desire to never be satisfied.

But we’re blind to it.  We don’t see it and so we get into relationships and associations with goals of being pleasing to someone else.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we shouldn’t please people, it’s just not good to want to please people because our self-worth depends on it.  But even if we don’t acknowledge this principle in our heads we act upon it like it was pre-programmed in our very DNA.  We take it into our social settings and make judgments about people based on it.  Who do we want to be like?  We are envious and covetous of the lives of others.

Now I’m not saying that everyone is like that.  But I know many people who are.  I think this is why we as a society put so much stock into the things that celebrities say and do.  Think about it for a second.  Our favorite actor becomes an activist of some kind and we become micro-activists for the same cause.  Part of the reason why we listen to people about a variety of social issues is simply because of their celebrity status.  These people aren’t Plato’s Philosopher Kings.  They aren’t these mythical godlike creatures that possess all of this wisdom and hidden information.  They are mimes.  They are parakeets.  Yet we are so swayed by say.

I think the reason for this is because there is an algorithm or what have you, in our mind filter that sees their fame and their ability to please others and something just clicks inside of us that makes us want to believe them.  It makes us want to obey them because they are loved and if we can be like them then we’ll be loved and we’ll have value too.

But let me just say this.  Your value goes far beyond what you can do for others.  Your value comes from a God that created the entire universe and loves you more than you can ever know.  This is just my opinion but I think that if we could understand how much God loves us it would kill our earthly body.  I don’t think our poor old tickers could handle it.  But God loves you and you have value simply because He says you have value.  Because that part of your mind that is distinctly separate from your physical body comes directly from Him.  It’s a part of Him.  Don’t be a people pleaser anymore.  Love God with all of your heart.

Christian Arts Suck…..Just Kidding…..Sort of.

I hesitate to write blogs when I know that this blog will specifically offend people that I actually like and I don’t want to make them angry, upset, etc.  But usually when I write something like this it is because it is lodged in my brain and it will not leave me be.  So having said that, what I want to talk about the box that very sincere Christians have put themselves into and how it hurts the Christian culture as a whole.

I hate the word “secular”.  If you look up the definition of secular it means having no religious or spiritual basis.  Christians use this word as a way to denote the difference between their activities and the activities of those who are not involved in their Christian world.  I used to keep a sign taped to the wall above my computer and taped to my front door that said “It’s all spiritual”.  I did this because the truth of the matter is that whether something is done for God or not doesn’t make it less spiritual.  I’m not saying that it can’t be evil, but you can’t call something secular and act like someone farted in the room and then bolted.  But generally it is a word that people use to create a walls.  And while you’re free to create the walls if you like, you are doing yourself and those you want to help an incredible disservice.

What I am talking about in particular is in the arts of film and music.  I can’t bring myself to listen to Christian music because it sounds so neutered and bland like a bowl of orphanage gruel.  Christian movies to me are so boring and so poorly made that I can’t bare to watch them.  Now don’t get me wrong there are exceptions but the exceptions are just that…..exceptions.  Keep in mind that I love God, but if we’re talking about making a movie that is about God could we at least capture the essence of God that has a hint of the weight of his glory?  We fail to do that over and over.  Why?

The reason why we fail over and over again is because art imitates reality, and when we get in a Christian bubble we can often become removed from what it’s like to be real.  Our buzz words and lingo alienate people and so we end up clumped together with people that are like us, which is not necessarily bad because the bible says we’re supposed to fellowship and that lightness and darkness are not supposed to be yoked.  But you have to stop looking at people that don’t know God as the darkness.  They are lost but they are not this dirty disease that needs to be avoided so that they don’t contaminate your purity.  Be in the world but not of the world.  That tells me that we can spend time with unbelievers and collaborate with them on projects.  We can actually enjoy spending time with them.  When you restrict yourself to just working with, and spending time with, Christians you limit your ability to grow.  Don’t get me wrong there are tons of talented Christians but it’s like painting a picture and limiting yourself to a couple of colors.

I know that cinematic and musical tastes are subjective, but I want to watch something about God that does Him some kind of justice.

Can I be candid for just a moment without being excommunicated?  I get tired of saying the same thing over and over again.  You know…..”You’ve made me so happy”…or…”Thanks for saving me”…or the handful of themes that are in Christian music and film.  I am grateful for all of those things as well but as a human being I am subject to the same laws of the universe that everyone else is and I have diminishing marginal utility for saying and doing the same things over and over.  When I am in a worship service after a while I start getting a pounding migraine no matter how much I have felt God.  The point is that there is a multitude of different ingredients of being a human being other than what we have concocted as Christians.

Let me just give you an example of some of the stuff that is being put out by Christians right now.  This supposedly is supposed to be a ground breaking Christian movie.

It is loaded with inside jokes and Christian lingo/culture that makes it completely irrelevant.  It has a sickening amount of poor green screen usage.  The dialogue is clunky cheesy and at times unbelievably unbelievable.  This to me is a complete failure.  This isn’t a Christian movie to me.  This is a movie based on a religion I like to call churchianity or bibleanity.  I know that this all sounds harsh but I am just sick of seeing Christians produce garbage.  This is unacceptable to me.  Make a movie that really dives into the human condition and explores it.  How about a movie where a person doesn’t get saved?  Why is it that in every Christian movie that I’ve ever seen someone comes to renounce the error of their ways and gets saved.  Why can’t a Christian make a movie that involves the tragedy of never knowing God.  I want to see realistic movies.

I want music that sounds diverse.  When’s the last time you heard a Christian band that sounded like the eagles, Neil Young or blondie?  When’s the last time you heard a Christian group that sounded like Three Dog Night, CCR or Bob Dylan?  What about Heart, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, etc.?  To me it’s a result of an lack of diversification that is a result of intentionally cocooning ourselves so that we don’t get contaminated by those evil unsaved.

I have an incredibly talented friend who is an artist and was a talented writer.  He hasn’t written a book in a decade because he felt like anything he wrote had to be Christian based or he would anger God and felt condemned if he didn’t throw in Christian elements of dogma and talk about salvation.  He absolutely won’t write anymore.  This is an incredible shame to me because if you knew what I know, the world is missing out on some hard hitting insights into the very nature of existence.  But because of pressures from Churchianity we won’t get to see that.

Shame….For shame….

Demons? Aliens? Something else? My Experience With Sleep Paralysis.

This isn’t a normal blog for me.  This is a crazy out of this world blog that is full of what sounds like insanity, but it is insanity as I experience it.  So please keep that in mind if you continue to read.

Since I was a teenager I have dealt with a phenomenon commonly known as “Sleep Paralysis”.  Now if you don’t know what that it is please feel free to google it because there is an incredible amount of information on the subject but I will put it to you like this;  It is a terrifying experience.  You wake up in the middle of the night unable to move your body, talk, breathe and in cases like mine, open your eyes.  It feels like there is someone or something on top of you choking you.  Some people who’s eyes are open see a dark shadowy figure standing over top of them.  It is, in the moment, a very traumatizing experience.

The good news……I’m still trying to figure out what the good news is, but if it’s happened to you I want you to know that you’re not alone.  It does us good to know that there are others like us.  People might think we’re crazy and maybe we are, or at least I am, but it’s important to be able to talk about what we experience regardless of whether or not what we think is happening is really happening.  And also I have a few theories about this phenomenon that might bring you some bit of comfort.

Before I get into my theories let me just explain what happens when I have one of these episodes happen to me.  Almost every time that I can remember when this happens to me it is almost exclusively when I am having a nightmare.  In my dream I can always tell it is about to happen.  Let me give you an example that happened to me about 2 or 3 weeks ago….

I was dreaming that I was at my deceased grandparents house.  It is a house out in the rural areas of southern Ohio next to, what I was told when I was a child, was the second highest point in Ohio.  Their house sat on a hill, about halfway up the hill as a matter of fact.  About 50 yards above the house is a thick forest which then extends up about another 100 to 150 yards to the top.  It’s a very old house.  The house is so old that there is a hidden room that was used to store food, hearkening back to the days of the great depression when you had to actually hide food because there were people wanting to steal it.

Anyway, I was standing in the living room of this home.  There was a window at the north end of the living room and a window at the south end of the living room where the front door was also located to the right of the window.  In my dream it was dark, perhaps 2 or 3 in the morning.  I remember seeing my father lying on the old plaid foam chair that folded out into a bed.  I was standing looking at dad and I walked over to the corner of the room next to the front door which was diagonal to the my grandpa’s bedroom door.  Dad was asleep but I looked over at him and I said “They’re here and they want to come inside.”  It was then that suddenly I felt something grab me in my dream.  It grabbed me by the throat and lifted me off the ground, even though I could see nothing in the room with me in my dream.  I immediately woke up and I was blacking out.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had this feeling before, but there have been times that I have been awake and in totally unrelated incidents started to black out.  The peripherals of my vision start to go black and work their way to the center of my vision.  Well even though my bedroom was pitch dark, the feeling of blacking out was the same.  I woke up, with my eyes closed and knew that I was blacking out.  It felt like I was being killed.  I couldn’t speak.  The words gurgled in the base of my throat.  With one final “quietus” move I lunged myself straight up in bed.  I had awoken to gasp for air.  I was alive.

In every situation that I can remember I always know that they are there in my dreams.  I know that the dark figures that people see when they lie there paralyzed are there.  I can sense them even while I’m in a dream state.  I remember the first incidence I had when I was a young man.  I read a book called “Identifying and Breaking Curses” by John C. Eckhardt.  After I finished reading the book I went to bed.  I won’t get into the details of the dream I had sufficed to say that the dream ran completely contrary to what I wanted to be freed from.  When I awoke, face down in my pillow, something was on top of me.  I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak, I fell back asleep.  I had 7 dreams afterward.  Each dream perverted and awful.

I always wake up.  Unable to talk, breathe, open my eyes or move….at least for a few seconds.  Until I make a frantic move forcing myself with every bit of strength I have.   It has happened more frequently as I’ve gotten older.

Now I want to give you my theory on what is happening.  I don’t think this is aliens or ghosts.  I have trouble believing in ghosts even though I will leave the door more open to that being true than whether or not an “alien” (in the sense that we understand them) could be responsible for this, even though I believe that is what the culprit of this event would want me to believe.  I personally believe this is a demonic attack.

Now there is something worth noting when it comes to these incidents.  The have happened to me exclusively at night.  I have napped thousands of times during the day during my life and this never happens during the day time.  Why?  Because I believe that it is tactical.  I have watched many movies about war and my father has told me many stories about his experiences in the Vietnam war.  A tactic of the  North Vietnamese was to attack at night.  They did this because they knew this was the weakest time for the American soldiers.  In the same way, my enemy knows that humans are most vulnerable when they sleep.

So what does this tell me?  This tells me that our enemy is at a disadvantage.  An army that is powerful doesn’t need to wait until the moment of greatest weakness to attack.  When an army is at a strategic disadvantage they are forced to use gorilla tactics at the time of greatest weakness to hope to secure victory.  Even though this is a shrewd strategy it tells you something about the capacity of your enemy.  It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be on your guard, but it should give you some encouragement to know that you are powerful enough to require this strategy .

Another thing that occurred to me is that this probably actually happens to almost everyone and not just a small percentage as some studies indicate.  People who have conducted studies on such matters believe that only about 8% of the population has these types of experiences.  But I believe that this isn’t actually limited to these people.  I believe that everyone is being attacked by these things but what happens is that you simply don’t wake up.  You keep having your nightmare until it is finished where as people who experience sleep paralysis wake up.  But why would they wake up?

This is total speculation on my part but I believe it has something to do with a heightened sense of reality.  This is going to sound insane, and I understand if you think it is, but I would be willing to bet a few dollars that if you polled people who suffered from sleep paralysis that a huge portion of them do not black out when they consume large amounts of alcohol.  The reason why I believe this is because I have, on a regular basis, consumed amounts of alcohol that people thought was just incredible.  And while I have gotten really drunk and woke up with terrible hangovers, I never black out.  I never forget anything.  I am able to recall events, 15, 20 shots into the night with ease.  I’m not proud of this but I believe that a person who’s brain is able to have a heightened sense of reality just has a hard time not being aware of things.

In my dreams I can feel their presence.  It doesn’t happen all the time, but I am aware of it, and in my heightened state of awareness I wake myself up.  I think that these things are tormenting almost everyone but they are unable to wake up or aren’t aware of it happening.  But there is hope and let me get to this.

I have had experience, and I have read that there is something that works for others to chase these things off.  That thing is Jesus.  I know this might sound crazy to some people, and believe me I am not upset that you think I’m nuts because I know how out there it sounds.  But I have cried out the name of Jesus in my dreams and wake up and it breaks the hold on me.  I have read the same thing for others, that when they wake up in this state and they see the shadow creatures that they say the name of Jesus in their head that the hold is broken and the shadows go away.

Anyway, I hope that this insane blog has helped someone out.  I really put myself out there by writing this because it can cost me credibility.  But if I can help anyone with my experience it is worth it.  If you need anymore information google “sleep paralysis” and you will find other experience that are similar to my own and maybe you can learn something from it.  Just have confidence in God and yourself and you can get past these attacks from our enemy.