Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moving!

My blog is moving to a similar, but NOT altogether familiar blog page: Agendo Veritatem

Monday, June 13, 2011

James 1:27

James 1:27 - "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

I find myself going back to this Scripture time and time again when talking about what we as Christians should be doing with ourselves during our time on this earth. People talk about reaching the lost, about being witnesses to the world, and all those catchy phrases that sound so noble; what the heck are they saying? What does that mean? Denomination after denomination has their own brand of what it means to carry out the Great Commission, but yet so few take in to account what James says in his letter here. This, my friends, is quite sad considering the thing is so small and yet contains so much truth. We cannot discount these words as merely an additional perspective, but instead should base the foundation of our approach on it. Paul writes to the Family with clarifications about what is and isn't acceptable ways to conduct ourselves, but nothing he says contradicts what James writes about in his letter!

Is it not clear then, that we are to be doing this work for the Lord? That we are to look out for the orphans and take of the widows in their time of need, what about that is so challenging? Oh yeah, I remember... It doesn't involve big rallies with loud music and flashing lights, nor does it mean that we're in the spotlight soaking up the attention of our peers and friends. No, this means we'd be in the background. We may not be known by name, and we'll never be celebrities, but that would be so much better than what we're known for now (image). Let's face it, our reputation as hypocritical cloud-sniffing nuts is well-earned. The fact is that we cannot change this image ourselves, but we must further embrace the Christ-like lifestyle which is laid out for us in Scripture and it is only by the Holy Spirit we can succeed at this. We cannot sit back and let things continue the way they have been. Things are not business as usual, unless you want to watch our generation become an apathetic and uselessly numb group of deceived individuals who think they have it all figured out.

The part many of us take for granted is the second part of the verse, "and to keep [one]self unspotted by the world." The greatest deception which many Christians fall into, at least from my observation, is to think that we have this one in the bag. The idea that we could possibly have that concept completely unraveled and applied to our daily lives would be to suggest we are in perfect union with Christ and no longer sin. Folks, I feel like there is so much about the command to keep ourselves untainted by the world that I still don't understand.

For example, I personally have a very rough vocabulary. I drop profanities like the US drops bombs, that is to say quite frequently and without much provocation. This is not something I'm proud of, because frankly it's rather unprofessional and makes me sounds less intelligent than I am in actuality. This Scripture strongly indicates to me that this concept of not being tainted by the world means that I shouldn't talk like the rest of the world. It's hard though, to drop a bad habit when surrounded by people who have that habit themselves. It's like trying to dry a hand towel by hanging it up on a rack at the bottom of a swimming pool. That is why we all need a group of friends who are spiritually running in the same direction as you. Are there others among your group that struggle with profanity? Hold each other accountable! Sometimes it's enough to be in the presence of those you know who don't appreciate foul language, as was the case when I was with my InterVarsity friends; I found myself using profanities a lot less after spending time with them. Other times, it may take a few dedicated friends who will commit to kicking your sorry behind every time you use a word you shouldn't have. It may take some spiritual renewal, get into the Scripture and study it. Often times our language reflects where we're at spiritually in our hearts (Luke 6:45), and I will be the first to admit that I have not been in the best of places the past several months.

We can be more than this. The question is will we follow the Simple Way?

We be forever lovin' Jah-Yeshua,
James

Monday, June 6, 2011

Change

Everyone wants change in everything, except for themselves.

Oi! If only it were as easy to see the things about myself which needed changing as it is to see the things in the world that need changing. Worse yet is that when I do manage to see something wrong with me I don't always have an immediate fix to the problem. So why is it then that we presume to have an immediate fix to the problems in the world and in each other? I know that for myself it seems so easy to look on from the outside and judge the situation too quickly and decide that I know what can be done to solve the problem. This gets me into a lot of trouble and I confess that more times than not, I tend to make more problems than solve the preexisting ones.

Folks, when it comes to relationships, there is one thing that you must not do if you hope to have a healthy relationship and that is try to change the person with whom you are with. Yes, they may have flaws and they may drive you nuts at times. Believe me, I am sure that my friends and family can see my flaws like blinding headlights, but the ones who cared the most didn't try to simply insert themselves into my problems and make me change. Those who have done so failed miserably. For example, when it comes to smoking. Lots of people have tried to intervene and tell me what I should do to quit smoking and think that they're doing right. They mean well enough, for the most part, but nothing good has come of it. Now, others have found more creative and constructive ways of encouraging me to quit, but that was outside the realm of trying to actually change me.

But aren't you trying to change us by writing about what we shouldn't do?

Not necessarily, I'm trying to provoke you to think critically about the way we all have a tendency to want to fix other people's problems while our own fall by the wayside. If I were to single out a person or a group of people and tell them what they need to do to fix their specific problem, then that might be more akin to the very thing I'm talking about. I can't make you do anything, and I would not presume to know how you should best go about fixing your problems because I don't know them or the intricacies of the ones you face. I can only suggest that there is a better way to handle the problems you see in others and the world by making changes in yourself.

Romans 12:2 says that we are not to be conformed, but transformed by the renewing of our mind so that we may prove that which is good, acceptable, and perfect in the will of God. Again in James 1:27, we are told that the only true religion which God finds acceptable is to take care of the orphans and widows while keeping ourselves uncontaminated by the world. Therefore, I know that for myself I can start with cleaning up my mind. Where are my thoughts going? What do I spend my time thinking about and is it glorifying God? Are there areas of my mind that I've been locking away in a secret place to try to keep God out, a proverbial red-tape so that I don't have to change some of the worst things about myself? God forgive me, because I know that I do. I know there are secrets that lurk in the dark and feed of my unwillingness to surrender them to You. So please, Lord, I'm asking you to cleanse my mind and help me have a change in attitude, a change in heart, and a change in mind so that I may be transparently honest with you regardless of what I do, say, or think.

Send revival, start with me.

Nada para Tu, Senhor,
James

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Masturbation: Ambiguity Abounds

Dear brothers and sisters in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ,

I realize that this subject is often difficult to discuss, much less be transparently honest and open about with each other. I also recognize the level of discomfort there usually is when discussing such a sensitive topic across the gender divide. The problem is that the rest of the world is already out there and talking about it. They are flaunting their new-found sexual freedoms (due to our sexually saturated society) and masturbation is the one subject which we seem to shy away from and for many reasons. As followers of Jesus, we long to be sexually pure, but sometimes we take it to such an absolutist extreme that we forget our own frailty and set ourselves up for failure. What results is an overwhelming amount of shame, fear, and self-hatred. Brothers and sisters, did Christ not die so that we could be free from those things? Weren't we all at one point or another slaves to those things, sometimes even now struggling to surrender and overcome them? If Christ is truly our savior, then we must throw off the shackles of fear and embrace a new kind liberty which is afforded to us through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I have written about this subject several times; on occasion I have been too flippant, while other times too harshly spoken. I pray that I do not err on either side of that spectrum. There's is no perfect clarity on the issue, as many cannot seem to agree on the issue of masturbation. I remember reading many an article citing a story in Genesis 38:8-10 as a source of proof that masturbation was a sin. In my own youth group, a young preacher mentored the young men of our group with a quote of Scripture from Matthew 5:30 and for a while I was an adamant believer in this doctrine of zero tolerance for masturbation. Then there was a much heated debate among a community of believers regarding the issue and I was directed to an article from Dr. James Dobson, formerly of Focus on the Family. In this article Dr. Dobson told the story of how he as a boy was guilt-ridden over the the great temptation to masturbate, but his father simply told him that God did not condemn him for masturbating and the guilt was whisked away like dust in the wind. While this was astonishing to read, coming from such a conservative figurehead like Dr. Dobson; it did very little to alleviate my fears that God would send me straight to Hell for masturbating.

Let us back up for a moment and ask why do people masturbate? Many hardline conservative followers of Jesus would probably answer that masturbation has to do with sexual lust. Unfortunately, they're only partially correct. That is one reason why people masturbate. There are many similar, sometimes dehumanizing trains of thought that basically reduce the human being to animal-like comparisons because of their inclination to masturbate. This is nothing but scare-tactics based on the belief that fear of sin will lead a person to live a life of righteousness. This strategy falls short of understanding that true loyalty and obedience comes from a love of God and His righteousness. Scare-tactics only serve to subdue the youth with shame, fear, and self-hatred while festering a growing bitterness towards those who imposed these scare-tactics on them: "The Church". It is because of this vicious cycle of religious right-wing preachers and pastors who have turned away so many already that I feel compelled to write on the subject of masturbation.

The truth is that masturbation is more than something that is simply gratifying, but also a biological device to release certain chemicals into and out of the body. Looking at the science of our reproductive cycles there is a certain point at which the body releases semen (males) or lubricates the vagina (females). There are mixed opinions in the medical and science communities about why our bodies do this, but there is one strong correlation between masturbation and nocturnal emissions (wet dreams). It has been found that those who masturbate have fewer nocturnal emissions than those who do. It has been further theorized that the body expels excess semen or vaginal lubrication through the nocturnal emission process, but those who masturbate would not have an excess of semen/vaginal lubricant. I should point out that one of the last great researchers into the correlation between masturbation and wet dreams had evidence that showed the correlation could be seen but not proven as a cause and effect relationship. For men who have experienced the embarrassment and possible confusion of having a nocturnal emission and waking up to the mess of it can see how the idea of having fewer of them through masturbation is nearly incentive enough. Women are lucky because vaginal lubrication during a nocturnal emission can occur and go unnoticed. Another reason is that masturbation is a natural means of stress relief, however I would like to point out that sex experts and therapists are beginning to agree that this is not necessarily a healthy practice and can damage your sexual health later on in life.

But what about those Scriptures you quoted above which had you so adamantly convinced masturbation was sin?

Yes, yes, well those Scriptures had a very young boy scared senseless. That boy couldn't think critically about his own choice to have Cheerios or toast for breakfast. Let's look at those Scriptures together, shall we? The first is Genesis 38:8-10 which tells a brief story of how Onan had sex with his brother's wife after the brother had died. What's the big deal here? The big deal is that Onan was supposed to have sex with his brother's wife so that she could have a son, but Onan enjoyed having sex with his brother's wife and instead would let his semen drop to the ground so that she would not get pregnant and he could continue to have sex with her. Preachers and pastors have tried to twist this story to their fundamentalist view that masturbation is Devil's play and that God will strike you dead if you do it. What Onan did was disobedient and adulterous in God's eyes. He abused a duty of his tradition in order to get cheap thrills out of his dead brother's wife. A far cry from condemning masturbation when looked at in this light.

The next Scripture mentioned was that of Matthew 5:30 in which Christ says that if our hand offends us (or "causes us to stumble") that we should cut it off. Now, in case it needs saying, there are many other things our hands can do that are evil; stealing, killing, blaspheming, and cursing just to name a few. Folks, trust your hardline conservative pastors and preachers to be on the "God kills those who masturbate!" bandwagon if for no other reason than to scare your vulnerable and insecure adolescent self into trying to abstain from masturbating. It's no use arguing with them the merits of masturbation, or to even suggest that it can be anything other than a sexually gratifying act. You can try, but when you find yourself arguing with someone who invokes God's authority you will find yourself fighting an uphill battle that is better left un-fought.

I'm almost done folks, now others still will point to lust as being the source of need for masturbation. To this I say, yes, but only in part. While masturbation definitely can follow from lust, it does not always follow from lust. If one masturbates out of an erotic desire for someone, we are trying to bring to fruition a fantasy of someone else with ourselves. This is lustful and is in fact sinful, rather the most base use of masturbation. If, however we can contextualize masturbation as a biological device for non-sexual purposes, then we can properly apply its use outside a lustful context. Too wordy? If you've got a fever for some young guy or gal you know and you're imagining yourself in some romantic encounter with them and that fuels your masturbatory experience, then your masturbatory experience is based on lust. But let's say you have fantasies about your future spouse, not anyone in particular; that is not a "lustful fantasy" per se.

Finally, I would like to say that if you don't masturbate and don't have any need for it then great. I don't want people to read this and think that I'm encouraging people to do it if they have no need for it. However, if you're like many who simply do but live in fear and shame of God's wrath then I ask you to consider whether you are a victim of scare-tactics or if there is some legitimacy to what is being said about your habits. You should not live in fear of condemnation or Hell simply because you masturbate. You should take care to learn what is healthy and what isn't, as well as what is and isn't lustful, but beyond that there is no shame in it. If you masturbate because you feel a compulsion to, there are many things that could be happening to you which you should consult a proper physician or licensed therapist about, but aside from that masturbation should not be something we shy away from in honest discussion and private practice.

If you've survived to the end of this and want to learn more about proper technique for masturbation that will not damage your sexual experience with your future spouse, then I suggest you read on here: Healthy Strokes. For the most part, this guy has very level-headed advice about the subject, but you should read what is there with a grain of salt. Note that this is a secular source and some of his advice is not in line with the few guidelines I've provided, and to my sisters I caution you about internal masturbation.

Sincerely yours in the name of our Lord Jesus,
James

P.S. - If you have questions, concerns, or comments which you do not feel you want published for the whole world to see you are free to e-mail me: vladimirsokolovresurrected AT gmail.com (remove AT and replace it with the @ symbol).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Myths That Young Christian Men Believe About Their Future Wife

Let me preface this by saying that this information has been collected from years of listening to advice of married men, pastors, and other spiritual mentors who have given me lots of important information. I can guarantee that at one time or another I believed all of these.

My future wife will complete me.


Some women probably believe their gender has dominance on the need to feel complete, but men have it too. It simply comes out in other ways. Unfortunately, guys are just a delusional as the women who believe their spouse will complete them. Gents, marriage was never a man and woman gig, but rather a God, man, and woman show. Without God, the puzzle is incomplete and you will find yourself unsatisfied.

Speaking of finding yourself unsatisfied...

My future wife will meet all my sexual needs.


You're a young man and you've got hormones that drive you nuts at times, we all do, but unfortunately your wife will most likely not be able sate your sexual impulses all the time (And expecting her to can cause a rift in your marriage). Now don't go losing hope, my friend, because if you discipline yourself now to exercise restraint in the face of sexual temptation; I think you will find that your sexual impulses won't be out of control and therefore when you find a woman who you're ready to share that much of yourself with, then the sex you do have with your wife will be exactly what you need. Now, years down the road you may run into other sexual problems, but that's not I'm discussing here.

Are you addicted to porn? Struggle with lust? These things will not go away when you get married! It is essential that you, my brothers, understand this. Your wife is not going to be the cure-all for your bad habits and untamed sexual addictions. You must seek Godly counseling and help for that before you even consider getting married. Oh, and if you think that you can find a nice Christian girl who can be your accountability partner and help you kick the habit, then you are deceiving yourself. I have never heard a story of this ending well. Don't go there.

She will be an innocent young virgin who obeys you.


First off, I do not endorse the traditionalist view that a man must be a strict authoritarian head of the household. I lean a lot closer to egalitarian relationship structure, but that's another story.

Let's start with innocent; your wife will not be a Disney princess. If you expect her to have the innocence of a woman whose been locked in a tower her whole life and was just waiting for Prince Charming to come and take her away, then you're going to be seriously disappointed. Women aren't anymore immune to the influence of the world than men are. While James 1:27 tells us that we are to keep ourselves untainted by the world, chances are she's going to have some warped views about different subjects. Unless you both have locked in a tower your entire lives, then chances are you both are going to bring some distorted views into the marriage. It's important that you don't get into a relationship thinking you can change that about her, but I will cover that later (like, "in another entry" later).

When I use the word, "young" I am intentionally trying to call to mind the Western idealized female who is youthful in appearance and full of vibrancy. My brothers, at this point I recommend you smack yourself hard across the face. This ideal is an unobtainable thing which you will not find and women can try but will never achieve. Chances are, many of our sisters in the faith have insecurities because they know they cannot match up to your idealized woman, but how would they feel knowing that you're striving for that? Did God make a mistake in creating them? Are they incomplete? The fact of the matter is that, we as humans have idolized our human form to such a degree that we now have idol which we cannot ever be like.

Virgin. I think the vast majority of Christian men want to marry a virgin. I wonder how many men would hold themselves up to such a standard, would they refuse to marry the woman they love because he isn't a virgin? It's not completely unheard of, but it would seem the expectations that men place on their future wives are greater than the expectations they place on themselves for where they should be in life and their walk with God before getting married. Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with a woman who is not a virgin. Now, I'd recommend that she be tested for STD's, but I cannot tell you what you should do after that. I can say that if you claim to love her unconditionally, then those words should be backed up by actions. A woman who is not a virgin is not different from you. You're not perfect, are you? You've made mistakes? Perhaps a few indiscretions and skeletons in the closet? Unfortunately, because a woman's body is physically changed when she has sex, there seems to be an unfair expectation that a woman worth marrying must be a virgin. A woman who previously had sex is NOT damaged goods.

She is as her Father made her. Precious. Something to be cherished.

The newlywed excitement and romance will last forever/a long time.


After all, that's love, right? No, it's passion for the person whom you love. It's an expression of joy and love, but it is not love itself. It's also not what is going to bring the two of you together.

According to stats I've read in multiple books and heard from several male mentors, the average length of the newlywed buzz is between one and three years. Funny thing is, I'm not seeing a lot of marriages even lasting long enough to get past the newlywed buzz these days. And they thought marriage was hard then...

I will be her Prince Charming; sweep her off her feet and...


And you'll erase all her insecurities, fight off all her demons, and make her feel safe 24/7? What are you... Jesus? Make no mistake, Paul tells the Church that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church, but that doesn't mean that husbands should try to be the Christ for their wives. If we tried, we'd fail, and then things would really be awful because she's still the tortured little princess like Johanna from Sweeney Todd and you'll be the defeated man who never was what he tried to be... Like Shrek, kind of.



Now folks, there's probably a dozen more of these that you can think of. Some, if not a lot of them, apply to women in one way or another with a little tweaking of the wording. I just wanted to dispel a few of the prominent beliefs that young men of God have at one time or another in their life.

Amor omnia vincit,
James

Monday, May 23, 2011

Judge Me By The Size Of My Drama, Do You?

People, those of you outside of my inner circle, would like to think you know me. My inner circle doesn't even know everything about me yet and they are the ones who hear the most intimate details about my life. What people see, as I understand from their reactions, is someone who is a drama queen or a diva that has little to no bearing on reality. I challenge both the idea that I am a diva/drama queen and that I have little to no bearing on reality.

Firstly, I admit that I am emotionally high-strung at times. I can get very passionate about something without much provocation. Case and point, the death of Osama Bin Laden. I was so disturbed by the massive celebrations that were being covered in television news as well as various people on Facebook changing their profile pictures to the popular (but fake) picture of Osama's marred corpse. I was very relieved to know that this legendary figure who was responsible for the attack on 9/11 had been removed from the possibility of ever striking America again, but I was so overwhelmed by the things people were saying in their joyous reactions to the death of Osama that I reacted. How did I react? I was livid. I was so disgusted that I became infuriated with the carnal savagery of so many. I saw it as such a base level of immaturity, but when I look at it in hindsight so too was my reaction to them a very base act of immaturity.

Secondly, people who think they know me should not presume to. Ever since I began my Time of Consecration, God has been teaching and working through me on various levels. I'm not saying that I've got it all figured it out or anything. In fact, the more I learn the less I know and the more I realize that I have so much growing up to do. Thing is, most people know me as this ultra-conservative fundamentalist with quaint vestiges of traditional gentlemanly behavior embedded in my routine, but if you knew me as I am today you would know that I'm more akin to a Jesus-loving nature hippy. Heck, I'm evening doing my research so that I can become a bona fide vegetarian. The fact is, I look as the things I have said and done with such certainty that it was done by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and I am horrified. I am literally horrified to think that at one time I used to think that America was a God-fearing nation founded on Christian principles. I am horrified that I used to openly mock the LGBTQ community and that I thought I wasn't a racist because I wasn't calling black people rude names. I was wrong. Dead wrong.

While my physical teenage years are beyond me, but spiritually I feel like a teenager that is just starting to overcome all the angst and hormonal imbalance to give rise to some more insightful and well-developed thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on life. I'm going through so many spiritual changes; so much growing, stretching, bending, twisting, prodding, poking, cutting off, and removing of the old self that I am bound to make a fool of myself on more than one occasion. I'm prone to mistakes and this spiritual metamorphosis I'm going through isn't going to make me look any prettier for the cameras in the short term... However, because I am renewing my mind to be that of Christ's mind I no longer think of just the image I have upon Earth, but the image that God sees of me. It isn't the most important to me that you accept me as I go through this change, as I realize that some people just wont. What is important is that I offer you the chance to understand what's going on.

Speaking of what God sees... I don't care about this reality half as much as I do about God's reality. Frankly, I find this reality fascinating and exciting, but wholly unsatisfying in the long-run. When I put this reality in perspective as God sees, as He chooses to show me bits and pieces of His perspective; I begin to understand how truly this reality is without an understanding of how to live life God's way. So people say that I'm out of touch with reality, and in response I say, "Thank you for your kind words. It's nice to know you're seeing such an improvement in my lifestyle." Granted, that's a little bit of verbal judo, but the point is that I don't care if people think that I'm out of touch with reality. There will always be people out there criticizing me for something they don't like and many of them will probably be holding on to things of the past that didn't sit well with them. I know that I have made mistakes in the past, and I will make more mistakes in the future. The important thing for me is that I keep going, keep growing, and keep holding onto the values which have kept me sane enough for the past year.

Ready for the most insightful portion of this entry? I've noticed a few people in particular spending an awful lot of time criticizing me. I'd like to point out that if I'm such a diva/drama queen then I am not worth all the time and effort you put into ridiculing me. Therefore, I am either not a not a diva/drama queen and you simply have strong opinions (as I do) about the issues I bring up or I am one but you are equally immature for spending your time trolling me. I'll leave it up to you to decide which of those two is the case. I'd like to add here that there are others who have made legitimate efforts to offer some "tough love" correction, to whom I do not intend this paragraph to be directed at.

Interestingly enough, I was going to write about the expectations that many young men have of their future marriage relationships and crush all those silly but understandable misconceptions about marriage. Unfortunately for the one or two people who I told about this idea, I had a strong urge to write this other stuff instead. My apologies, the expectations thing will come later.

For Narnia!
James

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Maturity: The Fraudalent Art of Self-Humiliation

I was discussing a theory I have with a friend that maturity is truly non-existent. Maturity seems to be a delusional state of belief that we have somehow evolved beyond the behavior of who we were at a younger age. This delusion is something I have recently become disillusioned to, that is that I am disappointed in myself and no longer can reconcile my behavior with the concept that experience and wisdom has a direct correlation with our ability to transcend childish behavior. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Thus, while we can put aside our childish behavior, we can never truly evolve beyond it; it's always there.

Maturity is a daily decision we make about what direction our life is going towards. We can make a choices that will hurt the overall outcome in life for us, or we can make choices that will benefit ourselves. Some may see a neutral area that doesn't seem to be either black or white, but I say that those choices could be small in impact or the effects thereof are yet to be seen and we are simply to linear to understand the implications of our actions. Of course there are always choices that have such a small impact on our lives that we fail to see their significance. I choose to drop of piece of garbage on the street as opposed to the trash can down the block may not result in a group of black suits looking for me, but it may be the first step in a series of choices that lead me to become a habitual litterer. Becoming aware of these small impact choices and their implications for future choices is essential for true maturity.

The past few months have been a real awakening to me. I thought I had achieved a greater level of maturity, and yet I have made some very childish behavioral choices that are so unlike the man I thought myself to be. Knowing many people who, whether they are willing to admit it themselves or not, have displayed similar regressions; I am led to conclude that maturity is not something achieved. Maturity as we have previously known it to be is delusional practice of self-deception that leads us to believe we are somehow better than the person who we were in some prior period of time. I propose that true maturity is a daily series of choices that make a positive influence on your life and on the lives of those around you. It could be said, however that the maturity concept we understand only needs to be modified to say that maturity is the point in which those daily choices for positive living have become habit. If that is your definition of maturity then it is more intellectually honest than the belief that experience, wisdom, and age have a direct correlation with behavioral patterns.

I don't write this to show off some great epiphany as indication of some ascendance to a higher plane of thinking or living. I've simply become more acutely aware of reality and what it means for maturity. I have yet to truly implement positive living choices for myself. Granted, I think half the battle was in realizing that maturity is not a sure thing, but if I wish to complete this then I can't leave it half baked. Now I must make choices that will have a greater positive influence than negative. I've got a lot of choices to make, but I pray that with the Holy Spirit as my helper that I could it all in Christ's name.

For Jah-Yeshua,
James