Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Am I Becoming?

Anyone who bothers to get to know me knows that I have problems with my family. What people often refuse to believe or don't understand is just how bad it is. You see, my parents seem to live in a state of denial. Despite my best efforts to pull the veil from over their eyes; no positive results have come of it. For years it was petty bickering between my siblings and I, me being the one who was always wrong. I don't know why, but for whatever reason my parents would yell at my siblings, thinking that a good shouting-match would solve the problem. When I came to them and complained about my siblings they would tell me that I needed to just deal with it and that it was apart of growing up. They were wrong.

My parents think they know, they'd like to think they know me because they know what I need and want but can't afford. They buy me things from time to time, as if I hadn't made it abundantly clear that while monetary gifts and gifts of such nature are kind gestures, they speak love to me about as much as Vogon poetry. What I've communicated to them, but perhaps not successfully, is that if they want to express Love to me, then they have to listen to me. My dad can sit in a chair at 10:30 at night and listen to me sob and cry about how much I'm hurting and after a quick little "feel-good" prayer, I go off to bed feeling emotionally drained. In later years I came to the realization that as soon as I woke up the problems would be there and nothing I said accomplished anything except to let me cry a little. What a rip-off, thanks Dad! And honestly, when I try to go to my mother she just freaks out and says, "I can't deal with this right now!" then tells me to shut up and whoever else is involved to shut up as well.

Now a days, I find myself confined to my room when my siblings are home. During the summer that meant most of my day was in my room, and if I left for any reason I was sure to be insulted for one thing or another. Despite trying to make it stop, despite my pleas to my parents for change; nothing was ever accomplished. With school started, I have the majority of the day to myself, thankfully, but it is very lonely here and the only things to talk to that are even vaguely aware that I'm trying to communicate with them are my dog and my sister's cat. My dog is a loyal one, but incredibly unintelligent and spends most of her day chewing up napkins or toilet paper. My sister's cat is an abomination that should be curb stomped, because that thing spends his time running around aimlessly; scratching up the wallpaper, whining, trying to get into places he shouldn't be, and most of all just getting in my way. Once in a blue moon, my brother from another mother will come over and we'll talk a little, but as of late we don't seem to have a whole lot to talk about. We've kind of become a bit more distant in the past few years.

Lately I've noticed a change in myself, and my little brother was trying to point it out, but I only proved him right by blowing up in his face about it. I'm becoming just like my siblings. I can't seem to say anything nice about my siblings anymore. I even cussed out my little brother, which is something I'm not accustomed to doing. What is wrong with me? Why am I doing this? I feel more like an animal, just as I've always thought of my siblings more like animals than humans the way they treat me, and yet now I'm becoming the same. This is not who I am, but yet I'm behaving like an insecure little teeny-bopper. What is that all about? Perhaps the strain of living in a home that is not a safe environment without much in the way of outside support is finally causing me to snap, but I thought that I was better than that.

The thing is, I don't know how much more of this life I'm living I can take. Outside of my house, the real me flourishes. I express myself without fear of being mocked or told I'm wrong. I even break free of the serious-self that everyone assumes me to be, and embrace some silliness. Yes, I can be a bit melodramatic, but what's the fun in living life in mediocrity? Outside of my house, I feel safe enough to express the big heart that I hide away from the scary monsters in my house. People who saw me at home, who only knew me from one setting or another outside of my house, would not recognize me. In my home, I'm a scared, dejected, and rejected little child who eats, sleeps, and does the chores his mother assigns him. I can't seem to escape the darkness that clouds this house and even on days that appear to be good, something goes horribly wrong and the day, like every other, becomes rather gloomy and hopeless.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

And I Thought My Jokes Were Bad...

When a white man talks poorly about black man, regardless of what the white man says, it's racist. When a man talks poorly about a woman, regardless of what the man says, it's sexist. When a straight person talks poorly about someone with uncertain sexual orientation, regardless of what the straight person says, it's homophobic. And when a Christian says something about someone of another faith, regardless of what the Christian says, it's religious discrimination. But when anyone says something about Christianity that is negative or offensive to Christians, it's considered exercising religious freedom. This is the standard for tolerance.

Tolerance, the very word puts a foul taste on my tongue and offends me like the most profane words uttered in the darkest lyrics of music. On the surface, tolerance sounds very exciting and like something we should all strive for; but the methodology and undertones of application of such a thing are anything but noble. When I was visiting the high school I was going to finish up my school year with, it was also the day of President Obama's inauguration. Everyone was glued to the television and my tour guide, an old friend from elementary school was bashing conservatives, the Republican Party (which I could care less about), and likened supporting Former President Bush to a blind lamb headed to the slaughter. He turned to me with a sheepish grin and asked if I was one of those conservative Republicans, and at first I cringed at the idea of being associated with the spineless rabble known as the Republican Party, I said yes and then quickly added a quote from Nietzsche to the effect of, "The most dangerous thing you can teach your children is to think lesser of those who think differently than you."

This dramatic moment elicited a response from the teacher of the journalism class I was in, an outspoken lesbian and supervising teacher of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club. She looked at me with an impressed crooked grin and said, "You sound like a pretty tolerant individual." After that I turned away and watched the procession on the television, hiding my disgust. For the record, I did not lie to anyone when I quoted Nietzsche and implied that that was what I believe. I believe it is important to educate children in such a way that they can entertain other people's ideas without agreeing with them. A person cannot make a logical decision without being able to see their options, and therefore if a child is not trained how to entertain ideas that are not their own, then they cannot make a conscious choice of what ideas are in fact theirs and what are ideas spoon-fed to them. This, my friends, is what the knowledgeable world calls, "Indoctrination."

The concept and the name, Tolerance, seem to contradict each other. The Left teaches a concept and calls it tolerance, but it is anything other than its name. We have seen this with responses to criticism of the Healthcare Plan. Most well known is probably Former President Jimmy Carter's blanket remark that criticism of President Obama is the result of racism on the part of the Right. This type of ignorance and irrational slander is infectiously spreading throughout the Left and its followers. The perversity of this kind of thinking is blatantly obvious, and if one does not see it, then that is likely because they refuse to see it. The Right is not racist, and I for one have nothing against the color of President Obama's skin. In fact, the other day I was discussing with my best friend how President Obama would be the kind of guy I would hang out with and simply agree to disagree with when it came to politics. He's smart, funny, bold, and a family man; what's not to like about that? Politically though, I couldn't be more opposed to him unless he openly denied my rights laid out the Bill of Rights.

After that exhausting rant, I'd like to switch gears and point out that I have provided links to a few different sites that I write for. The first one is my AllPoetry page. AllPoetry.com is a website for poets who want a place to post their poetry and receive comments from other poets on them. They're are contests for best poetry under various types of criteria, articles on how to write poetry, and much much more. I linked to it because I thought that some of you would be interested in reading my poetry and lyrics. I make a disclaimer here and now that the content of my poetry ranges from a G to PG-13 and to some, even R. Poetry is an outlet for my emotions, so I forewarn you all that not all of my poetry is saintly, but none of it is profane or obscene.

The next two are Star Trek themed Role-Playing Games (RPGs) also called simulations or sims. The general idea of an RPG/Sim is that each individual helps tell a collective story, a joint story as some have come to call it. With Federation Space, players take on a persona of Starfleet, Romulan Naval, or Klingon Imperial officer. Players are assigned to a starship, where they role play their custom designed character as being an officer aboard that starship. Players accumulate points for the quality of their posts along with whether or not their posts contributed to the overall story. The other one, Star Trek: Megiddo, takes place in the fictional region of space known to Star Trek fans as the Gamma Quadrant. Megiddo is the name of the colony established in a region of the Gamma Quadrant unknown to the Federation until a starship was transported there by a wormhole, similar to the way the wormhole was discovered in the Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine. Players here have a bit more versatile roles than on Federation Space, in that they can play an officer of Starfleet, a Romulan officer, or they can play any number of races as a civilian on the colony. Players do not earn points like on Federation Space, and promotions are given only once every two months (Federation Space has promotions and medal award ceremonies every month). Players on Megiddo are awarded promotions solely at the recommendation of their commanding officer.

I know I may have just convinced some of you that I'm an absolute nerd, and while I am intellectually a nerd; Star Trek is simply something I grew up with and couldn't help but like it. I mean, honestly? What 5 year-old boy wouldn't love spaceships blowing each other with bald guys running shouting in a very British accent, "I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise." Anyways, I really like Star Trek, and if you don't like it then you can practice tolerance and just deal with it. ;)

Live long and prosper, I mean, until next time,
De Facto

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Playing Match-Maker

Earlier this evening a friend was feeling down, and so I devised a plan to cheer her a up a little. You see, I know this guy who loves her to death. He's just crazy about her and can't stand being without her, and not in the clingy annoying type- no, he just has this infatuation with her that's infectiously pure and honest. Heck, he doesn't just waltz into her house when he's invited over, he actually stands at the door and knocks until she answers it. What does he want from her? A relationship, you know, the kind where you're open and honest about everything to the point where the couple know each other like the back of their own hand. He's written a book of love letters to her, which is so many pages long that I couldn't read it in one sitting if I wanted to. The thing that's so incredible is that his father wrote their love story a long time ago, and now this guy is out to make it come true. I should clarify he has two fathers, one that was an adoptive father who took care of him as a child, and then his actual father whom he did all his work for. His adoptive father was a carpenter, and it may seem strange that a this Jewish carpenter's son would have such love for her, but the truth is; there's nothing he'd rather do than pursue her and spend his time with her.

Most of you have figured out what I'm talking about by now, and hopefully there were a few who knew what I was talking about sooner than the last couple sentences of the first paragraph. The most important thing is that you know that all that I said in the first paragraph applies to the Bride of Christ. Who is the Bride of Christ? We are, all of us who have decided to take up our crosses and followed Him. So many people forget just what it's like for Jesus, that He loves us so much He can't stand it when we neglect to spend time with Him. He's not a pervert or a clingy annoying boyfriend who sends you a million-gazillion texts a day because he has nothing better to do. No, instead he speaks to you in a still small voice that quickens your heart to come. He's not a loud or boisterous party animal who thinks that wherever He goes is His own territory (although technically it is), but instead He stands at the door of your heart and knocks. He loves to listen to you, to hear your thoughts on things and to know what worries you have. He wants the best for you in every circumstance and is willing to go the extra mile in order for you to achieve it. He wants you to tell Him every care, to cast it on Him, because He cares for you. He truly Loves you.

Now that I've shown you all how much He desires to have a relationship with His Bride, I'm going to go spend some time with Him.

Until next time,
De Facto

Do You Know Better?

According to an article which was brought to my attention by the American Family Association (AFA), Mark Hourigan, a registered sex offender was ordained at the City of Refuge Worship Center in Germantown, Kentucky. This is causing quite a stir in the Christian community and among the community of those abused by their religious authoritarian figures. For me, it's also upsetting, but not for the same reason that everyone else is getting all up in arms for. It's upsetting to me that people are so quick to cast judgment on this man without even bothering to think about the type of people God uses to do His work, as if you all know what kind of person can do His work and who can't.

Yes, it's true that he was charged for sexually assaulting young boys, a crime that has caused a lot of problems in the Catholic Church. The question that all of you have to ask yourselves is, "Can people change? Can sex offenders change?" If you don't believe that people can change, then you also don't believe salvation is possible, and therefore we're all in trouble. The Bible says that when you become a disciple of Christ that you are new creature in Him, that you know the truth and truth sets you free. The Bible also says that now that we are of the Spirit of God, we are no longer of the flesh. If we are of the flesh, then we cannot be of the Spirit of God. It stands to reason that if this Pastor Mark were serious about his ordination, then he would have renounced his old ways and taken up his cross to follow Christ.

The truth is that God does not need Holy Joes and Pure Penelopes trying to work their way into positions of authority within His Church. The Church is merely the people who make up the Body of Christ, and that's all of God's children. So in that sense, we are all equals, but the Bible is clear that there are divinely given gifts called the Five Fold Gifts. We are called to use these gifts to uplift each other, but as of late leadership within Church has turned man-ward instead of Heavenward. Any leader, of anything, should be the servant of the people he or she has under their followership; that is and has been the rule of leadership since the beginning time. Unfortunately, this brand of leadership has been nearly obliterated and in its stead a selfish and power-hungry leadership structure has become commonplace.

God does not call the equipped like Holy Joe and Pure Penelope, but He equips the Called. God has called all of us to do something, but what is up to God, not you. Too many people want to be something that they are not called to be, as if they know better than God what they should be doing; God doesn't stop you, but He doesn't bless what you're doing. Another thing, which brings this whole thing back to what my point with newly ordained Pastor Mark Hourigan, is that God loves to take the wretches and filthy sinners and use them to bring Him the most glory. He took a murderer like Moses and made him the leader of the Hebrew children. He took a liar like Jacob and with tenacity and determination, blessed him and his family. He took a lowly scribes' daughter and made her queen over a nation and save the her people. He took a man like Joseph, despised and cast down into slavery by his own flesh and blood, then rose him up to Pharaoh's second in command and helped his family survive the famine. He took a prostitute like Rahab and used her to harbor the spies who eventually allowed the Hebrew children to bring down the city. He took a thief like Levi and made him into the disciple Matthew. He took a pair of fishermen like Simon and Andrew and made them into disciples. He took a murderer like Paul and made him the spiritual guardian of the Church and the author of more than half of all the books in the New Testament.

So I ask, do you know better than God who can serve as an ordained minister? Can Mark Hourigan fulfill his pastoral duties? He certainly fits the bill of a person God would take and use for this purpose. Do you know better than God?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chasing the Wisp

Ever taken on a task that you felt was so noble and worth while that you were willing to do the seemingly impossible? How much have you been willing to sacrifice to accomplish the task? If you're thinking of your walk with Christ, that's good, but not what I'm talking about. However, it does mean that in some way you can relate to how I'm feeling. Whether you are an elder in the faith, or a newborn papoose just experiencing the fullness of God's Love for the first time, you may still be able to relate based on our calling from Romans 8 to be of the Spirit of God and not of the flesh; one or the other, not both.

"Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved." - Jean de La Fontaine

Sometimes I want to compare what I'm doing to a lion chasing a deer, but that is quite inaccurate for I am not in hot pursuit with the promise of impending reward for such efforts. No, my task is one that is long and tiresome, but requires constant vigilance and has no promise of any reward except the whatever thrill comes of taking on the task. Granted, if I succeed at my task there is a variable element that could make my task all for naught- or perhaps not. That is the question I ask you and I will put in the terms of an analogy to explain further my dilemma. Try to not focus on individual details half as much as the overarching story, since I'm trying to be too complex a few things may throw you for a loop if you get too caught up on the finer points of it.

A baker has a successful shop in the town which he sells his goods, however the town has already expanded to it's maximum capacity and is showing signs of the population dwindling due to people relocating, lack of reproduction, and other causes not relevant to the analogy. He knows that there is a city not a great distance away where if he could relocate his business then he could maintain his successful shop. He knows a man who owns a building in this city and could easily use the building for his shop. The baker has to prepare and move all of his equipment to this city, effectively closing down his shop in the town he currently provides for. All this would take approximately two years to accomplish, but there is no guarantee that the man in this city will sell his building to the baker and if the baker cannot buy the building, then he has just lost both his bakery in the town and his ability to set-up a new shop in the city. The man who owns the building is a shrewd business man and will not commit to selling his building to the baker prematurely, but instead wants to wait until the best offer comes. The baker can only do his best to offer all that he has, which means he has to sell his shop in the town in order to have enough money to offer the man in the city for the building.

Now, given the analogy what would you do being the baker?

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Will Never Forget, Will You?

I've only told a handful of people my 9/11 story. Lots of people have told stories about where they were and what happened when they found out, but not me. For reasons I'd rather not go into at this time, I can tell you that I felt more connected to 9/11 than anyone else around me. I felt this way because I was around the news nearly all day every day. Before I get too far, I'll back up and tell the story from the beginning.

It was a normal day for the most part, the day after my birthday, I had just turned 11. I was biking to school as I had done every day and was unaware of what had happened in New York. There was a woman and her son that I often saw as we crossed the busy road with guidance of the safety patrol. Her young 2nd grader (or was it 1st?) was muttering about how he hoped his grandpa was okay. This kid was a spoiled brat as far as I was concerned, but in an attempt to be charitable (loving), I asked him what he meant. He told me that some kind of explosion had happened in New York and that his grandpa was in the area where it had happened. "What?!" I asked in disbelief. The mother was quite beside herself, puffing away at her cancerettes, she managed to form semi-cohesive sentences to the effect of, " There was a plane crash and an explosion and people are dead or dying and the whole world is in chaos." She turned away from me and walked away.

I was dumbstruck. What she meant? No. Flippin'. Clue. I thought maybe it was some cruel joke, another part of me thought maybe there had been a really bad car crash and a car exploded like in the movies. When I got into class the television was on and everyone was silent except for a few girls who were sniffling and trying to keep their crying to a dull roar. My teacher, one of the most patient and understanding men I've ever known, was quite beside himself although he didn't show it like that crazy mom taking her kid to school. He let us watch for about a half an hour or so, long enough for us to get an idea of what was happening. After that we wrote down how we were feeling, what our thoughts were, and our prayers. I remember half the class kept asking how to spell "Osama Bin Laden" and "Al-Qaeda." At the time I thought Al-Qaeda was a person.

I remember going home; that was pretty much the only thing my family watched. The news. It didn't matter which station since they were all covering the same story, but at the time it was tuned to CNN. I remember eating popcorn while my mom cried as she watched video taken earlier in the day of people thrashing around in the ash and debris dust clouds trying to find their away from the buildings. I remember thinking it was a really sick thing to be eating popcorn while watching that, and my mother was upset because she felt like I was unaware of what was happening. Obviously, she was wrong, and I couldn't have been more aware of what was happening unless I had been there. All I could think of was this attack on the World Trade Center buildings and how much I hated Bin Laden. There was nothing in the world that I wanted more than to see that man die some way that was painful, and televised for all the world to see. I had dreams about him, the World Trade Center buildings, and all kinds of things like that. I also had the song, "Only Time" by Enya stuck in my head thanks to a virulent video that floated around the Internet which really put my mother in a foul mood every time she watched it. It was basically a slide show of horrible images from the attack to the aforementioned song.

Over the years, I feel like people are starting to forget, or at least they're starting to "move on" as if there was anything to move on from. The buildings are gone. GONE! 2,740 Americans obliterated by a single event, not to mention the 236 non-Americans dead, not even half of which were people who were apart of the attack. I understand it if people don't want to be groveling in their sorrow all day today, but honestly if we could take more than 59 seconds to reflect on that day... Reflect on what happened that morning and give thanks to God that we are still alive and that we still remember. We have lost so much from that attack, but also gained so much more. Thinking back to that time, I remember how united we were as a people. I don't think I've ever seen such unity in America as that. I don't think I've ever seen so many nations unified as they were during that time. I remember seeing footage of some young women from Norway (I think) who were just sobbing their eyes out as they trembled and held their vigil candles. I remember seeing large crowds in England gathering, crying, hugging, and just expressing their deepest sadness.

I'm sitting upright in my bed typing this, beginning to feel very emotional as these memories become more vivid to me. I believe this is important. Remembering more than just the deaths, more than just the destruction, but remembering the unity we had. Remember our resolve to "find those bastards" as Former President George W. Bush said. If we forget, we spit on the graves of all those innocent people who died. Regardless of who was behind the attacks, as some still argue there is ambiguity, the fact is that it happened and it was real and what happened afterward was real too. We cannot deny that much without denying reality.

Below are a couple graphics I composed using the image and adding text. If you're easily offended the second picture may strike you as crass.

Never Forgetting, Never Forgiving,
De Facto





Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When I Was Five

When children are five there are so many things about them that just boggle adult minds. The way they are so ignorant to the way the world really works, and have such simple solutions to complex problems. They're so innocent and understand nothing of evil or of wrong motive. They only know what they see at home, on their television, and in their preschool class. They have such impressionable minds and are so trusting to those who are kind, yet at the same time they can sense when someone has ill intentions as if it were a sixth sense. A five year old is probably the pinnacle of human innocence colliding with human potential and intelligence. A five year old reasons like an adult, but because they do not know everything an adult knows they reason within the limited scope of their knowledge. Just talking about this makes me long to be a five year old again, maybe it's nostalgia, or maybe it's because I was being developed into a precocious child. Whatever the reason, there's one thing I don't regret doing at that age that was something I couldn't fully understand being as young as I was.

For whatever reason, I always asked my mom who I was going to marry. I asked her that question over and over, completely unaware of how complex of a question it was that I was asking. She would always tell me to pray for my future wife because only God knew who that was. Over the years I have kept that up sporadically, more so in these past few years than in my childhood, but all the same I didn't completely abandon the practice. When I think about it now I can't imagine what prompted me to even ask about my future wife except for the simple fact that perhaps God had given me, from such a young age, the desire to be a husband. That may seem far fetched to some of you who read this, but God talks about knitting us together in our mother's womb in Psalm 139 and so if then He knits us together, would that not also include our hopes, dreams, and aspirations?

When I was in 8th grade, or 15 years of age, I began to keep a journal to my future wife. I'm not sure why, but before this journal I have never been able to keep one. I had tried to keep journals/diaries, but in the end they would be forgotten and left behind for me discover years later and end up in the garbage. This one was different however, and I've been keeping it for almost four years now. When I started it, I wasn't sure what to write. I wrote all kinds of crazy things that I don't even want to repeat because it'll only make me want to burn that journal more. I'm a lengthy writer, and I eventually filled up one, then two, and today I'm on volume six of my journal to future wife. This one will take longer to fill, since it has more pages and I don't write as often or as much as I used to. What I've written in it has drastically changed. I used to talk about what I want in life, but now I talk about what I have in life and thank God for the blessings He has given me.

My hope is that when my future wife finishes reading the entire collection she'll see where I've come from and understand how much I grew over the years. If you don't know what I mean, I'll paint you a picture... I was so immature when I first started writing in the journal to my future wife that now I have to restrain myself from burning it because it is so embarrassing to think that I'm going to let someone who is stuck with me for the rest of her days read that horrible mess of childish writings. Anyway, so I've been writing in this, and although I do still pray for my future wife, I spend more time writing. I'm not sure if it's a bad thing that I spend more time writing to her than I do praying for her, but honestly there is only so much I can say and even then I can't pray in tongues indefinitely.

Well, that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject matter. This and other similar topics have been on my mind and I needed to kind of vent some of it, so I thought a blog entry would be fitting.

Until next time,
De Facto

P.S. - Here's a little graphic I composed with a picture, text, and icon sticker.

Friday, September 4, 2009

An Apology (In the most archaic sense of the word)

Recent events have led to the inevitable, and although I have made previous attempts to set up blogs for such purposes and all that. It was not until a concerned parent raised unfounded claims against me over a note I had written on Facebook that I realized that there were too many lazy eyes wondering around getting their noses into business that doesn't concern them. The truth always wins out and all the accusations against me were cleared almost an hour after being raised against me, but I didn't and won't forget incident, instead I will learn. It's sad that good people will inconvenience me to satisfy their superstitious ignorance all in the name of God. Surely, this cannot be the same God that I worship, can it? Unfortunately, it is so. But enough about them, they've already gotten more credit than is due to them.

This blog will be where I post my serious thoughts. Some of them I may copy over to Facebook, because not everyone who checks my profile will visit this blog, but some will. Still, I can't begin to describe the utter frustration I feel knowing that I had to setup a whole blog just to avoid being lumped in with devil worshipers, witches, wizards, warlocks, goons, bafoons, and the likes of which become absurd if mentioned. The surest sign that evolution does not exist is the fact that humans are still capable of irrational judgments based on fear and ignorance.

For the record, Homeward Bound Theatre Company and it's staff, affiliates, and otherwise connected associates cannot be held responsible for any content posted on this blog. They are not to be contacted regarded grievances against what is posted here. Complaints can posted as comments on my blog. I invite criticism that is correctly spelled and grammatically sound, profanity free, and constructive. There is no need for tearing down fellow brothers and sisters, as there are already enough enemies out to tear us down. We need to embrace love and truth in order to be unified. I cannot make anyone do this, however I can lead a horse to water.

Anyways, I've made my apology (archaic use of the word.) How about yours?

Sincerely,
De Facto