Thursday, December 9, 2010

Adrift Without Cause

Have you felt like you know that you want serve the Lord, but you simply don't know what to do? For several years I've been drifting from place to place, ministry to ministry trying to find my place where I feel like God wanted me. I've done everything from ministry of helps (cleaning, ushering, and technical support) to street evangelism and everything in between. In the process I've gone to school to learn about being a minister and that opened my eyes to a whole new understanding of the different types of ministry there are that work through and in support of the Five Fold. Still, I tried just about everything and nothing fit. I could tell some pretty humorously sad stories about the stupid things I've done while I was learning to go about ministering, but maybe some other time.

Imagine my surprise upon reading the letter of James that it suddenly became so clear. Most of us are already aware that we are to go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19), and that's a big but in James 1:27 it says that the only faultless religion is to take care of the orphans and widows and to remain untainted by the world. Wow! Finally, someone can give it to me straight. I used to think I need to switch churches or find the right Bible study to figure out what I could do, but in the end that stuff isn't what is important. We live out our lives doing the good work God has called us to do to the least of these (Matthew 25:40). Some might be wondering what that good work is, but the answer is so simple. Live. We live our lives to honor and glorify God, setting ourselves apart from the world, speaking truth and spreading love to everyone we meet. If we do this, then we have done the good work.

We don't need ministries, only accountability. We don't need churches, only the body of Christ. Ministries are fallible organizations of man. Churches are only bricks and roofing. Accountability ensures we are constantly in the Word, living rightly, and on target. Churches provide protection from the elements and distractions, but at the same time it offers us a safe haven from the very mission field we are called to work in. Sometimes we get too comfortable behind our rose-colored stained glass windows, and for that reason we really have to push ourselves out of that comfort zone and in the words of Kid Rock, "Get in the pit and try to love someone."

I'm not bashing any particular church or ministry, but I'm highly critical of anything that tries to over-complicate the Gospel mission with man-made institutionalization. Because of Jesus, we no longer have a need for ceremony and acts of intention. We simply are. Need healing? Accept Jesus and be healed. (Isaiah 53:5) Need forgiveness? Confess your sins and you are forgiven. (1 John 1:9) Struggling with temptations? God will always make a way out. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Citizen of Heaven

I mentioned in The Drunk, The Waiter, and A Conservative Heretic that I would explain my views more adequately one of these days. Today is one of these days. I've been cultivating these views for a couple years now and I'm finally seeing the ideology come from infancy to something more mature. I called myself a conservative heretic because although I have been conservative for the majority of my life; I feel like there is too many complexities in this life to stick to labels and parties, and that's an important revelation. I've heard a lot of conservatives say the same thing, "Oh yeah, that's why I don't call myself a Republican," they say to me. I don't buy that line of carp(sic) at all, and why not? Because that's the same thing I used to say when I was 15. It's a cliche amongst conservatives and I'm getting really tired of hearing it, especially coming from Christians or followers of Jesus.

Poverty and Social Justice


For too long taking care of the homeless, poor, and oppressed has been an issue for one side of the political divide, but I feel that if you are a follower of Jesus then you should be more mindful of the needy. I am not saying it is wrong to have money, but to need it and horde it because you're looking after yourself above all else is wrong. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself, which means as if s/he were you. Therefore we can reasonably assume that in a world where the dollar is god, we must choose to carry our cross and follow Him. I've watched The Passion and read the story of the Crucifixion several times and I don't recall Jesus carrying a stack of Benjamins with him to the hill they called the Skull. It's very hard to abandon what we've all been raised to appreciate, and that is capitalism, but we must stop thinking in terms of the best of a bad situation. Capitalism is the best way to make money and run a business, but it is not the best way to run the Church. For many of us who were raised in "good Christian homes" of conservative slant have always seen one side of the spectrum, but Jesus saw the full spectrum.

Abortion


Abortion is murder, but in our eagerness to stop the murder are we sending the wrong message to confused pregnant women or those who have already gone through an abortion? Those of us who have always stood very conservatively on the abortion issue have been very adamant that abortion is murder, but then shall we call the woman who had an abortion a murderer? Shall we call the doctor who perform these procedures murderers? If the struggle we wage is not against flesh and bone, are they not all pawns in an epic battle for the souls of every man? Yes, we have free will and yes, there is always a choice; but how long have we looked at the problem as an issue of seeing abortion as murder? When will we start to look at the issues that brought about the misconception that we need abortion in the first place? When will we start reaching out to the women who have had abortions and offer them the message of healing that Jesus offers though the stripes He took on the Cross?

Earth and the Environment


Regardless of what you believe about Global Warming, if you are a follower of Jesus then you are steward of the Earth. A steward is responsible for the well-being and flourishing of whatever is in his or her care. As stewards of the Earth, we have the monumental task of taking care of the Earth and helping it flourish. Eliminating the Global Warming portion of the argument, we cannot call ourselves followers of Jesus, children of God, and ignore taking care of Earth. It's wholly selfish and sinful to cherry-pick the issues we want to be concerned about when Jesus asks us to abandon our old lives and follow Him. The fields are ready, but the workers few; who will answer the call to work? Everyone is called, but only those who submit themselves can be equipped for the work that's ahead.

Homosexual Marriage


Let's eliminate the question of whether same-sex marriage is moral or not, because I think that question will answer itself when we answer a few different questions first. The first question is whether everyone needs love? Yes. Do people search for love by having sex? Yes. Why would homosexuals be any different than heterosexuals who have sex looking for love? All sin is simply sin to God, so why do we treat homosexuality like it's any different from fornication? Sure, homosexuality may be repulsive to you, but fornication isn't it? I think the issue is that you've become numb to fornication, but homosexuality is still a fresh odor in your nose and you're reacting to it. Another question, does God love everyone and desire them to spend their immortal lives with Him? Yes. Are we supposed to reflect that same love and desire for their salvation to everyone we meet? Yes. Therefore, we can conclude that our priorities are wrong if our focus is on defending the sanctity of marriage. Folks, no government can truly take away the sanctity of marriage, because what is sanctified by God is sanctified by God, not man. The only thing the government can do is take away our illusion that the government is somehow tied to our practice of marriage as if government has anything to do with it.

Patriotism


Patriotism is at best idolatry. I realize that may be very hard for some to accept, after all aren't God-fearing men and women of America patriots? The fact of the matter is that because of Jesus we have been given dual-citizenship, but after making a decision to follow Christ you are choosing to forsake your citizenship to this world and taking up a citizenship in Heaven. The government will say you belong to the country you live in, but that is only the skin and bones for they do not own your soul. We are commanded to be respectful to the Earthly governments, which means no violent protesting or anything like that, but we are by no means supposed to be loyal to our governments.

Violence and War


Let me start by saying that I do not condemn soldiers, police, or the average citizen of America who chooses to carry a weapon. Thing is, those who live by the sword will die by it, and yet it seems that the only way we as humans know how to solve problems is through violence and destruction. As followers of Jesus, we are not supposed to do what the rest of the world does; war is their solution, but not our solution. The only way that we should be waging war is through prayer and worship, but beyond that we would be in the wrong.



That was a lot to take in, wasn't it? You'll notice I didn't put references in places where I quoted Scripture, and that's for the simple fact that this is not only for followers of Jesus, but for those watching the parade. If you have any questions or need a reference to a Scripture, just leave a comment down below and I will be happy to dig it up for you. Folks, I didn't write this up so that you could silently agree or disagree, if you have thoughts on this then please comment and let your voice be heard (or your type be read, as it were.) A lot of my conservative friends may be challenged by what I'm saying, or maybe they wont, but ladies and gentlemen we should not be content to watch the world suffer when we lack hardly anything at all.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Sunday, November 21, 2010

They Honor Me With Their Lips...

Many people are flocking to the theaters to see the newest release, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1. Some have mused over the competition Harry Potter has with the Twilight saga, both with two part conclusions. All the while there's a small group of folks who feel the need to have their say about the whole thing with a very dark and negative tone. It's towards this small group that I am directing this entry to, because while they are a small group; those effected by this group are large in number.

I have read all four books in the Twilight saga and all seven books in the Harry Potter series. I've seen the film versions of Twilight and the first three Harry Potter films. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books as well as the first and third books in the Twilight saga. The Harry Potter movies were sub-par in my opinion, and the Twilight movie was crap. More importantly, I have studied witchcraft of both Eastern and Western craft. There is a lot to understand about both of those and I cannot claim to be an expert, but I must establish that I am more familiar with those arts than most. I can safely say that Harry Potter magic is nothing like real witchcraft. Yes, there is the possibility that impressionable minds could be encouraged to discover the real witchcraft. There's also a possibility my kid could watch Star Wars and decide he's going be a Jedi Knight like Luke Skywalker, so I'll have to put up with him wanting to wave his hand every time he comes up to an automatic door as he pretends to have opened with the Force.

They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Sometimes, I am astounded just how profoundly true this is. This small group of naysayers, who preach that those who like Twilight and Harry Potter are into devil worship or tinkering with the occult could take a lesson in history. Flip back your calenders to the early 1950's. Rock 'n' Roll was on the rise and honest preachers of the Gospel began to set their sights on keeping their congregations away from the devil's music. While some preachers and pastors simply made it a point to encourage their flock to stick with the hymns, others went on a campaign against rock music to such a degree that it was a choice between rock music or Jesus. For a decade "Christian soldiers" irreverently reamed the Gospel up the arses of their church folk, turning many young people away from God altogether. In the 1960's the drug culture and sexual revolution in America hit like a tsunami in combination with massively popular rock artists of the time. Most of those little church boys and girls in the 1950's were leaving home and into the most dangerous world imaginable, the colleges; the slaughterhouse for those youth who had previously been kept in check by their parents. Professors in the '60s were exposing their students to all kinds of experimental and theoretical philosophies of Eastern thinkers warped by political agendas and anti-war sentiments. In spite of this, God managed to pull of lot of that generation back to His side, but it wasn't without a lot of effort on the part of real Christian soldiers like Larry Norman, Greg X Voltz and Bob Hartman in '70s who brought a new spin on rock music.

I look at what's happening with Twilight and Harry Potter and see much of the same thing today. There's definitely a legitimate concern about the obsession of the fringe fanatics, seeing as how they want to emulate their storybook heroes Edward, Jacob, Harry, Hermione, and Ron. They might actually try to get into witchcraft or vampire occultism. For most though, the reader perceives witchcraft and vampires/werewolves as literary devices to explore deeper issues. I don't see a whole lot of those same naysayers sounding the rally cry over Frank Peretti's book, The Oath, [SPOILER WARNING] which features a dragon that is really a demon. Are you, naysayers, going to now accuse anyone who likes dragons to be someone who worships demons? (By the way, spoilers end here.)

Christians, if you have not read the Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga, but you're thinking about it; don't bother. There are a lot of books with better stories, while not as wildly popular at the moment, you will probably benefit more from reading these others books. If you want to read the books just so that you can say you've read them, go ahead, but you won't be any better for it. In fact, if you were to read the books so you could say you've read them, wouldn't you just be conforming to the patterns of this world contrary to Scripture? ( Romans 12:2 ) Just something to think about before reading Harry Potter and Twilight. I'd recommend The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Wormwood G.P. Taylor, The Circle Series by Ted Dekker (also known as Black, Red, Green, White); Monster, The Oath, The Prophet, The Visitation, This Present Darkness, and Piercing The Darkness by Frank Peretti. If you've read all of these and need more reading material, just leave a comment on this entry.

Naysayers, check yourselves... Do you really want to be responsible for another generation turning away from God because you're a little too eager to judge a whole generation for the reactions of a few and far between? Are you going to irreverently ream the Gospel up the arses of this generation? It didn't feel good when you were a kid, so why would you do it to them? How important is it to you that you have your say on the matter instead of letting God's Word speak for itself? Remember that this isn't about you or your piety and adherence to God's letter of the law, because in reality there isn't any of that. There is only the love of God through Jesus Christ; loving your neighbor as yourself. Can you bash those who read Twilight/Harry Potter and love your neighbor at the same time? Tread carefully, my brothers in sisters in faith, for you are walking on eggshells.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Drunk, The Waiter, and A Conservative Heretic

It's weird that just shy of week after writing about anger and controlling it, I get one of the biggest tests of my self-control. A woman who looked familiar, but I couldn't be certain, came into the gas station where I work with two friends. At first I thought all three were drunk, and I was going to call the police because I don't want to allow intoxicated drivers back onto the streets. I waited and watched and then the woman who I thought I recognized came to the register to checkout and asked for a pack of Marlboro Reds. I told her I needed to see her ID, but she refused rather nonchalantly. I explained to her that I am required to card everyone, no matter how old, for tobacco products.

At this point the woman was joined by her sober male friend who tried to buy the cigarettes using his ID, but she started yelling and swearing. At this point, I just ignored the woman and focused on her other companion, a sober female who was trying to diffuse the situation by explaining (as only friends can do) to the drunk why I had to see her ID. The drunk just continued to raise her voice at me, while I just refused to ring up the cigarettes, and finally the sober female friend asked if she could use her ID, to which I agreed, since I was all too willing to make the transaction go quicker. Finally, the drunk woman dropped fourteen dollars on the counter and at the recommendation of her sober female friend, went to the car and waited for the sale to close. The sober female companion tried to apologize to which I said, "Well, she's drunk, but she's lucky she's a lady or I would have some unkind words for her." I was still pretty shaken up throughout the rest of my shift and decided that I'm going to refuse service to any and all drunks, to the degree that if I even see them walk through the door I will demand they leave or I will call the police. My co-worker said it was a good thing I handled the drunk woman, because he said that if it had been him he would have been really angry at that point.

The same night a man, who was a waiter for the local Perkins, paid for a few items with a $100 bill. There are two types of payment I hate: checks and large bills. Now, if your total is $89.62 and you pay with large bills, then I might be quite relieved that I don't have to count so many little ones. This guy bought a couple of drinks and a snack item. I had no $20 bills, so I called my co-worker to the register to help me acquire change for the $100 bill. While I was trying to get things straightened out, another man was pestering me about some cigarillos. I got him the kind he wanted, but I still had to see his ID, since I can't sell any tobacco/tobacco-related products; unfortunately he left his money upon receiving the cigarillos and was gone. After all was said and done, I had to break with protocol and use the "Over 40" button, a choice which could cost me my employment. When the dust settled on that fiasco, I ended up paying out of my own pocket because the guy didn't give me enough money to cover taxes. I broke so many rules in ten minutes flat, I can believe I still have a job.

So I may not have gotten angry when I had the right to, but I don't feel any better really. Sadly enough, I couldn't stop thinking about that drunk woman, and about how much I want to tell her what a horrible person she is the next time I see her when she's sober. I seriously want her to come back when she's sober, so I can tell her what she did to me and then tell her to leave before I call the police. Perhaps I didn't get angry because I internalized my feelings to the point where they were suppressed and now they are beginning to surface as I think about it. I just don't understand how some people can think that this woman's behavior is funny, after all her behavior is pretty normal for drunk people. If they don't get their way, they throw childish temper tantrums like the one that happened over the ID with this woman. In what universe is such behavior acceptably humorous? And since when does anyone ever want to be like that? Oh sure, they're drunk, therefore they can't be held responsible for their behavior. WRONG! You can bet that if someone chooses to get drunk, I'll hold them accountable for every bad decision made thereafter.

Anyways, one more thing before I conclude this entry. President Obama wrote a new book called, Of Thee I sing: A Letter to My Daughters. This book is very short and features some personal heroes of our president. Fox News got wind of this book and immediately went into slander mode, since President Obama is a Democrat, he's good for nothing else, right? Fox News decided that they were going to fault President Obama for putting a "controversial figure" in his book. Who was this figure whose the cause for riling the neanderthals at Fox? Marx? Lenin? Tsung? Che? Hitler himself? Nope, Sitting Bull of the Lakota Sioux tribe. This is the part where you have to act like your scarred by the idea our President could consider him a hero. The reason why Fox News thinks Sitting Bull is such a negative character is because he killed a U.S. General. Ok, to set the record straight, General Custer was sent to remove Sitting Bull and the Sioux people from THEIR LAND. Yeah, the Sioux killed Custer and his men in defiance to the U.S. government, but history tells a slightly story. Custer was really crummy military leader, and although he had ample resources to force Sitting Bull and the Sioux to relocate; the Sioux managed to route and slaughter Custer's men. In modern times, if a general did that, there would be criminal charges brought against the general for gross negligence that would likely result in the loss of commission and probably a life-long prison sentence. Custer died in the confrontation with the Sioux, so in essence he got off with a slap on the wrist. Fox News doesn't care that they're distorting the truth to slander the President of the United States.

In conclusion, let me say that some of you are probably confused. Those who know me well enough know that I have stood very conservative in my stance on many issues, even voted for a few Republican candidates, but one of these days I will write a blog about what I really believe and explain everything more fully. Whatever you do, don't read my blog with an open mind, it just might expose you to something outside of your conventional thinking. God forbid, you might even agree with me... Ok, I'll stop now, I'm being mean.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Conviction About Family

It's really hard to talk about this because I'm surrounded by people who have strong family units, not perfect, but strongly knit. I've struggle with envying those who get along with their siblings, who can go a day without fighting, and who have great relationships with their parents. Anyways, within the past couple weeks I've been pouring my heart out to God and He's been showing me things, teaching me things, and stretching me in ways that I was previously inflexible. Lately, I feel like God wants me to start treating the women in my family better. I hardly ever see my mom anymore since I go to work when she goes to bed, and I come home when she goes to work. My younger sister is off at college, and my baby sister is hardly home because she's either at work or school. For a while, I was kind of wondering how that would possible since I'm hardly in contact with them anymore.

That's when I heard that my younger sister is getting static from people because of her stance on same-sex marriage, being on the unpopular side of the issue, and said to my, "I want to be a Christian, it's just hard." So what did I do? I wrote her a letter from my heart about being persecuted and understanding that the world doesn't really hate us; they hate who is in us, the Truth has that effect on people. Then the weather got really rather testy in my little portion of the world, and so I now have the opportunity to scrape the windows of the car she drives as well as start the car a few minutes before she leaves. And finally, my mom had skin cancer removed from her nose, which required a skin graft to cover the area of her nose they took. I've found I have helped her by being honest about the scar the graft left, because I think she's way too self-conscious about it; who wouldn't be though?

So last night at a meeting when we talked about what to pay attention to in a significant other, I got confirmation that God is starting to teach me how to be a better man for my future wife. For those who don't know: women should look at the way their boyfriend/male interest treats the women in his family and in particular his mother. Men should pay attention to the way their girlfriend treats the men in her family, particularly her father. Men do need to be aware that if their girlfriend/female interest has been abused in any way by her father, there's a certain amount of grace that you need to afford for her and the way she treats her father. However, in that situation, what men need to pay attention to is if she is transferring, meaning projecting the wrongs done to her by her father onto you (the boyfriend.)

Folks, this doesn't mean that I'm ready for a girlfriend or anything like that. In fact, I'm at a point in my life where I'm certain that I'm not ready for a relationship. God is preparing me, but He could take a year or ten years (please, Lord, don't take that long.) And while there is a desire in my heart to find my life-long partner, I also know that I can't truly love a woman without knowing the love of God. For now, I'm pretty content building my relationship with the Lover Of My Soul. Waiting for my future wife used to be a chore and that's probably because I was too immature to understand what it meant to really wait, yet now I find myself content to rest in His love.

Hoc est verum
De Facto

P.S. - I realize that this entry isn't very well written. I'm really off my sleep schedule and my head is kind of spinning from that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Anger, Sin Not

"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath[...]" - Ephesians 4:26

Recently I've suffered a major blow beneath the belt from someone in spiritual authority over me, the details of which I am not at liberty to discuss except with the closest of company, and I want to make an honest assessment of how I reacted.

It started on Monday night when I stormed out of a meeting and drove home, leaving my personal belongings at the meeting; which someone else graciously took for me. That was definitely not the appropriate response. Yes, I was tempted to speak in anger and possibly do more damage than storming out of the meeting, but I could have sat down and kept my peace until after the meeting to speak freely in private with the person who offended me. As I was driving home I didn't even want to listen to Christian music, something that indicates I'm having a moment of raw immaturity, and bought a pack of cigarettes. (Sarcasm: 'Cause we all know that will make things better...)

I'm going to go on a tangent for a moment, and say that when using a cross as a symbolic tool for ministry, it should be treated as though it were the very Cross that Jesus bled and died on. This may come across as a religious (read: dead works) sentiment that some people would like to write off, but after the things that happened on Monday night, I feel strongly that we defile the Cross when we use an imitation as a symbolic representation and then misuse it for our own purposes. For example, if you were to use a cross in human video, don't then take it after rehearsal and pretend it is a guitar or a giant sword to be used as a weapon of carnal warfare. Instead, you should put it away and leave it alone. To do otherwise, I feel, is to defile the Cross. Again, don't get your knickers in a knot as if I'm trying to lay down the law of how to treat crosses, because I am not. I am sharing with you how I feel personally about treating a cross used symbolically for ministry as the Cross.

Back to my assessment, I went home, but on the drive to my house I was very tempted to throw my phone out the window I was so upset (not exactly angry, shaken is more like it); I just did not want someone from the meeting to call me. When I got home I told my parents what happened. I did use the A-word, although some could say that I in fact used it properly, but in my heart I was using it for shock value and therefore it might as well have been F-word. After that I went to my room and stewed over the situation. I sent the person who took my stuff a text explaining my perspective of the events that happened at the meeting and then spent the rest of the night writing. The next day I called the person who offended me and apologized for my reaction at the meeting and explained to them why I reacted in that manner. The person called back, but I did not answer because I was afraid that I would say something I'd later regret. That was probably a wise choice because I was still pretty shaken up about the events that happened at meeting. The person left a voicemail basically saying that they were not going to acknowledge any wrongdoing and that I was not owning up to all of my faults and proceeded to list these faults. The first time I listened to this voicemail, I literally did not make it through the whole voicemail before throwing my phone against the wall.

Well, that was really immature of me. I kind of chuckle now, seeing as how childish I was being, that I let someone get under my skin like that. I'm sure a lot of people have felt that way at times, though most people manage not to chuck their phone. I was using a lot of profanity as I rifled through my cluttered desk and things looking for that little phone battery, but did not find it. After about 20 minutes of looking around for it in vain, I bit my lip and drove to the store and bought the cheapest phone I could find. When I had gotten home and charged my phone, I listened to the voicemail that had stirred me to anger in a way which I reacted by throwing my first phone, and listened the whole way through. There was nothing new on the message, the gist of which I had caught the first time. So I went to bed and was relieved that I did not have to go to work that night since it was already 15:42.

I could write myself a grade and score myself based on the positive reactions and negative reactions, but that's not how God operates. Sin is sin. (James 2:10) Fortunately, God has already paid for the price of my immaturity and lack of restraint; He forgives me even though I don't deserve forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) So how did I do? I failed miserably, but the grace of Jesus Christ has covered that and is teaching me to seek Him for a solution to temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13) God will use this for His purpose, even if I can't see exactly what that purpose is. (Romans 8:28)

I'm not doing this for glory, but for transparency. Do not misunderstand my conclusion, I made mistakes and what I did was wrong, and the sacrifice of Jesus does not justify what I did. The grace of God simply means that I do not have wallow in guilt, because I am blameless in His sight. I want you all to know that I am not perfect, I am still partly human and slowly dying to my flesh, but not there yet.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My FedSpace Blog

It's kind of weird to write a blog entry about another blog, especially when it's your own because it kind of sounds conceited. In reality though, I'm more just using this new blog I'm keeping as an excuse to promote Federation Space (affectionately referred to as FedSpace.) For those who don't know what Federation Space is, it's an online community of writers who enjoy writing collaborative fan-fiction, also known as role-playing based on the Star Trek universe 38 years after the events of Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and The Next Generation. Each person starts out with an account under the name and rank of their character, but all new players with few exceptions start with the rank of Cadet. They go through the Academy, which is a training area for players who need to learn how to write using the FedSpace standard format. Alternately, a player can opt to test out of the Academy from the get-go, however I personally enjoyed my time writing in the Academy so much so that I didn't mind going through it three times. After a cadet graduates from the Academy they are promoted to the rank of Midshipman and stationed on either a starship or a space station.

Way back in the day, I had a character named Xavier Carlson. He was a doctor aboard the U.S.S. Gettysburg (I don't remember the registry), and after about a year and half of writing I ended up abandoning my character. I don't remember the details surrounding why I did, but I think part of had to do with the fact that at the time I struggled with creativity surrounding the realm of Star Trek. When I returned I wrote for another two years as Xavier Carlson, attaining the rank of Lieutenant and being promoted to Chief Medical Officer aboard the U.S.S. Sheridan, DD-4086. I got tired of writing about Xavier though, especially since I had other ideas floating around in my head that were incompatible with who I had shaped my character into. Xavier was an emotional disconnected human being suffering from two lifestyle choices, that of his human heritage, or that of his Vulcan training. The more he tried to fuse the two together, the more unable he was to function. I was so tired of writing about him that I actually got permission to kill him off and create a new character with the same rank and points. Oh, yeah, the points; we get points based on the frequency and quality of our writing entries (referred to as posts) awarded to us on the first of each month. When a player reaches a certain number of points they are promoted to the next rank.

This new character that I created is named Fayn Desmond. His last name is said and written first, as is the custom with Bajorans. Desmond is the Chief Tactical Officer aboard the U.S.S. Sheridan, DD-4086. By the way, I love the crew of the Sheridan, the players behind each character are great people to write with. Anyway, shortly before I killed Xavier with an elaborate sub-plot (a plot that works behind the scenes of the main plot), I realized that it was very difficult to link to just one post to show to people and almost impossible to search for unless it was written very recently. That's when I decided that my new character would have his own blog, thus The Blog of Fayn Desmond was created. I copy all of my posts from FedSpace into the blog and post them individually as entries. Entries are ordered most recent to oldest and titled with the stardate and location of my character at the time.

Also, if anyone has any interest in joining you can find the site by visiting THIS link. If you mention my name character's name (Fayn Desmond), I get a few points for recruiting, but if you don't I'll just be happy we have a new player on the site. Either way, if you have any interest at all I encourage you to at least give it a try and sign up. Give it a go in the Academy, and if you like it keep at it!

Disclaimer: I feel the need to warn you that I do use profanity in my FedSpace writing. Yes, I realize that's probably disagreeable to many of Christly friends. Frankly though, I tried at first to use allusions to the use of swear words such as, "he cursed under his breath" and then I used swear word substitutes, but they just didn't have the same stylistic quality and realism as actual swear-words. However, I will never use the real F-word. I have in the past and it just seemed unnecessary after the fact. I use frak, a sanitized version of the F-word created for Battlestar Galactica, as a substitute which I think everyone can appreciate is close enough. On FedSpace, most profanities are censored by the filter and appear as red dots (exceptions are hell and damn), but I keep the profanities intact on my FedSpace blog.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

P.S. - You probably noticed that I changed the title of my blog, and that was for the purpose of using a more grammatically accurate translation of the phrase "truth in practice."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Did You Even Try?

It's always bothered me when Christians say they don't listen to "Christian music"* because there's nothing good out there to listen to. I've always had an inkling of why this bothered me, but could never fully vocalize my feelings on the subject until now. The fact of the matter is that I feel that to say there is nothing good out there is inadvertently dishonest at best, and an outright lie at the core. The way the music industry works is that often times what is popular and what is good music is not always the same. Sometimes finding the good music takes painstaking searching, but most music lovers agree that the discovery makes the effort worthwhile.

"Christian music" is no exception. Bands like Skillet, Pillar, and Demon Hunter are not the only rock bands playing "Christian rock." They are the mainstream of "Christian rock" and do not reflect the whole of "Christian rock." My younger brother is really into rap music, but I hate the message that the typical scene is sending to such an impressionable youth, so I encouraged him to try setting up a Pandora radio station dedicated solely to "Christian rap." He set up a station based on Lecrae and is now discovering hundreds of artists with similar stylistic qualities, but none of the negative messages.

Frankly, I think that while it may not be apparent to the people who say that "Christian music" isn't as good as worldly music, I think the real reason they don't like "Christian music" is because their flesh enjoys worldly music. The flesh will always prefer music that encourages drugs, illicit sexual relationships, and drunkenness over the truth of the Gospel. We'd rather make excuses about how the beat is all we listen and that the lyrics don't really have an effect on us, but in all actuality we're putting garbage into our hearts and minds; eventually that garbage is going to start coming out of us.

I struggle with worldly music, because I'm not ready to say that all non-"Christian music" is bad, but I'd certainly say that you need to be on your guard about what you listen to and how much you listen to it. This past week I've been fasting from my two forms media that I get overexposed to: music and television/movies. It's given me a lot to think about, especially about how much time I normally spend doing those things and what kind of stuff I'm filling my head and heart with. Even when I'm driving to the grocery store just five minutes away, I often turn on the radio, but in that five minutes I often times get caught up in the emotions and deeper meanings of one song or another... Yeah, I'm that intellectual about even the most base-level music out there.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

* I put parenthesis around Christian music, rap, and rock because I question the validity of calling it Christian, for more about that you can read my entry, What is Christian Music? What is a Christian band?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Falling in Love with Jesus

Too often religion gets in the way of the relationship with Christ which can only be likened to a bride and her groom. We get caught up in the complexities of what one theologian or another think as opposed to what God thinks. Too often we let the words of dead people who may or may not have been inspired by the Holy Spirit confine God into a distant thing of reverential contemplation, when in fact Christ is so much more than a story to be told over again and again. Christ is alive, He has risen, and His desire is to have the intimate relationship which our simple minds can only compare to as that of marriage.

It's a good analogy though, since throughout the First Testament God compared Israel to a woman and when she fell away from Him she was like a prostitute whoring herself to every and any nation that would take her. God's desire is for us to turn away from anything that would between us and Him so that we can have this relationship unadulterated. Now that Jesus has paid the price of death for the things that we did, we no longer have to live in the shadows of shame and guilt, but can rejoice in the union between Creator and His creation.

Ever since I fell in love with Jesus, I've noticed a few changes in myself. For one, when I look in the mirror I actually like what see. I look in the mirror and think, "Dang, I look sexy." So perhaps that's a little too much for some of you, but do you understand what I'm saying? I actually like the way I look, I'm not ashamed of how I look. I feel good in my skin... Another thing is that "every young man's battle" is no longer a battle, because Jesus already won the victory for me. I can't count how many times I've tried to grasp that concept before falling in love with Jesus, but now it just makes so much sense and really works. For once, I'm no longer in control, but not entirely out of control either. My passions and desires are kept in check by the grace of the Lord.

Folks, I was raised in the faith. I've been attending church for 20 some years and I can't tell you how easy it is to think you've got it figured out and that you're faith is strong; the truth is that being in love with Jesus is more than just a few prayers and daily devotions. Are you dating the Truth, or are you having a wild and passionate love-affair with Him?



Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tolerance the Pestilence




In the past five years I noticed the growing trend towards tolerance and acceptance... Of what? A guy who likes to do "things" with other guys? Whatever! I don't want to know! That's their business and I don't really care as long as they don't flaunt it in my face. You want me to be tolerant of another person's religion? I am an equal opportunity hater on every religion, so I suppose in some twisted way I have accomplished that. You want me to be tolerant of relative truth and gray area ethics? Relatively speaking, I'm more tolerant than you, because I perceive myself to be tolerant. What is tolerance anyway? It is tolerating or accepting, even embracing something that may be in conflict with my own beliefs? What's that? You say that if I can't be tolerant because of my beliefs than my beliefs must be flawed? Isn't that a little too absolute for you relativists?

So perhaps that's being a little too flippant with a serious issue, but I think I'm peeling back a few layers of bologna and getting to the root issue. I bring the topic up again because my sister told the family that she got chewed out by her classmates for her stance on same-sex marriage. My first thought was something along the lines of, "Do kids still buy that Michael Mooresque logic from middle school about the GBLT community?" I'm sure that thanks to the three suicides which were brought about because of bullying over the individuals' sexuality everyone on the SUPPORT THE GAYS-side of the issue is pretty sensitive and at the same time pretty intolerant of opposing views. I can guarantee that it won't be long now before speaking out in opposition to same-sex marriage and same-sex marriage will become a hate crime. If that happens, well, you might find me in jail a few times too often. I respect the government, but I will not be silent about this issue.

My sister in faith wrote an excellent blog entry on this: CLICK HERE

The fact of the matter is that doing life God's way is not going to be popular with the people around us. God doesn't care. Really, He doesn't care. He cares what happens to you because it is unpopular to follow Him. He cares that so many are choosing to walk their own path of destruction instead of taking the gift of eternal life, but He isn't competing in a popularity contest. The important thing to remember, that while the Bible is clear on issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and truth as a whole; we must convey these messages in love. God has been calling me personally to outgrow my need to squash apostates and learn to spread the love of God to those who wouldn't normally listen to preaching. It's something I've wanted, but until recently haven't been willing to give God enough control of my life so that He could change me into that kind of person.

To wrap this up, I'd like to bring your attention to the PSA that made me lose respect for Kiera Knightley as a person... Aside from the fact that all she ever talks about with night show hosts is how small her breasts are. Ugh... Hollywoodites...



Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Saturday, October 16, 2010

College! College! College!

Is God sovereign? The answer to that could come in the form another question, is the sky blue on a sunny day? I've had a lot of people in authority from recruiters in the military to instructors in college tell me that I couldn't do this or that I couldn't do that. But like Caleb when he assessed the land of Canaan, I choose to look at life as something to be conquered knowing that God has already given me a great future. Those of you who don't have access to my private blog probably haven't heard much about my college visit in Chicago.

Finding Shimer College in Chicago was nothing short of a Godsend. This school is exactly what I was looking for in a college. I found this college at a time when I was giving up on myself and crying out to God for help because I was on my last nerve. I literally thought I was going to lose it if I didn't have some divine intervention. The thing about God is He never does things on my timing, but according to His glorious purposes and plans for my life. So I thought that I was up a creek without a paddle, S.O.L., but in reality God was waiting until I would stop relying on my own power so that He could make His own perfect in my weakness. As soon as I started looking into Shimer things have suddenly fallen into place as if I suddenly realized what the picture was going to be from the puzzle pieces.

This really a great opportunity for me and I'm really excited about it. I wouldn't be honest if I said that I'm not afraid, but I know that God does not give us more than we can handle. And yeah, there are some things I have concerns about, but the Bible says that with temptation God makes a way out so that we can withstand it. This school and possibility of getting my degree is a huge blessing since I didn't really have much motivation to go back the community college I had been attending. I was pretty much convinced that I had wasted my money going to that community college when the most intellectual conversations were with smokers on outside. The fact of the matter was though, even those conversations were very one-sided, seeing as how they talked about being open-minded... What they really meant was accepting of their ideas and rejecting the Orthodox. Shimer College is one of very rare breed of schools that encourage students to think for themselves, form their own opinions, and then hash out the details in the classroom where each individual can discuss their perspective and interpretation of the text.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Memoir Preview

Just to set this up, I was tasked with writing the first three chapters of my memoir for a creative writing class in high school. Hoping to find some essays among my saved files, I found my opening for my memoir. I thought I would share a chapter of my memoir with you all.



The Last Things to Come Out of Pandora’s Box Were My Friends
By [Me]

Chapter 2: My Dearest Wormtongue


What do you remember about third grade? My generation might be quick to remember that it was the year we learned cursive handwriting. I remember that year was the year I decided I didn’t like math. That year was also the year I began to distrust teachers, as my teacher was abusive both verbally and physically. It’s a wonder that she still teaches in the public school system. I could write a whole book detailing my memories from third grade, but then that would not be as happy as this book here. Thinking back to third grade, which is easier for me as barely legal adult, I can remember my classroom. I can remember Crazy Bones, little plastic figures that were quite adorable and had “crazy” faces in various colors and shades. I wish I still had those things. I can remember learning about the Pilgrims and putting on a performance as Squanto. I remember thinking that my third grade teacher had the breath that reeked of death and thought that if ever I met Death; it would be her in a black cloak.

Unfortunately, my third grade year was marred by quite a few bad experiences, and one in particular needs to be shared in this story of friends. His name was [Name withheld]. [Name withheld] was a fifth grader when I was in third grade. We were more like acquaintances, seeing as how I didn’t really know him very well and he didn’t know me either. Well, I invited [Name withheld] over to my house to hang out, as I did often with friends of mine at that time. The thing that was different was that my other friends were all the children of people either from church or people my mom knew. [Name withheld] didn’t have any such connections; he was just someone at school that I met. He came over and wanted to watch Pok√©mon with me, but my mom wouldn’t allow, my family believed that it was an unnecessary and ungodly television show. We decided to play with my Lego sets. I used to love Lego’s toys.

Unfortunately, we didn’t play with Lego’s bricks for long, maybe an hour or so at best, until I was pressured to touch and be touched inappropriately. I remember the color of my bed sheets, the smell of his body odor, and many other details that would not make for a book written as school project. The point is that I was molested by a boy two years older than I was. Although I couldn’t see it then, that single event would have a dramatic effect on me for the several years up until now. Because of this, most of my life I have not been able to make friends with guys. I haven’t been able to befriend them like I do ladies, and that had bothered me in my earlier teenage years. It wasn’t until later that I was able to finally get over the subconscious thought that the next guy I made friends with would be the next guy to molest me.

People handle this many different ways. Although some are afraid to say it, I see a connection between homosexual men and molestation by men. I however, by the grace of God, did not go that direction. I chose a much more subtle route; I chose to forget it. I put it out of my mind, literally suppressing the memory so that I didn’t have to think about it. For many years I didn’t consciously think about it, but subconsciously it had been there the whole time. I never realized that it could have such effects on me as it did.

I didn’t let this issue go unresolved though. I didn’t exactly seek out counseling for it, but when I told my senior pastor at church that it had happened there was a lot of prayer and counseling that went on. I praise the Lord because now, I have memories, but not flashbacks. I have been molested, but I am not a victim. When I say I am not a victim, I simply mean that I don’t identify with the victim-mentality that is a natural part of the healing process when someone is hurt and it’s more than just a simple bruise from falling off of one’s bike. Now I use this experience when I travel to different places around the state performing in plays about sexual and emotional abuse to teach the youth how they are not alone, and that there is healing for such abuse.

I thank God that Christ is the Healer, that by His stripes I am healed. It’s no secret about my convictions, and while I don’t want to preach in this book, I do have to give credit where it’s due. Through Christ I received healing and have been able to bond with men both my age and older men. By His Grace and Providence, I don’t have to suppress anything; I just walk in the peace that comes from the Lord. Surely I have found the source of all my needs, my refuge in the storms of life, and the healer of all my iniquities.

For me, it is not enough to just to be healed. As a professional actor apart of the Homeward Bound Theatre Company, I went and performed in a show that addressed the issue of abuse. My role as the guy friend of the abused young lady was painful because the way it is presented is very forward and in-your-face-no-nonsense-deal-with-it. After the show I shared with an audience of about 300 youth and their parents about being molested. I had now told more people in the span of two weeks than I had told in the nine years since it had happened. I plan to continue to use my experience as a focal point for others to receive healing and freedom from any emotional, mental, or spiritual barriers that have been built up because of being molested.



So, I hope that was edifying for most of you. I hope to make additions to my memoir here and there, but in the mean time I may post another chapter of my memoir depending on how I feel about it. I'm not quite sure about it, at times I feel the writing is too informal, but then again I have to remember that it is a memoir.

Sic semper tyrannis,
De Facto

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Church is a Cult (Not really, but...)

A few weeks ago my sister posted on her Facebook status about not letting Lady Gaga make decisions for you, which resulting in a flame war and in the middle someone used the Constitution and God in the same sentence which spurred two former members of my church to make personal attacks on my entire church branding it a cult. Needless to say I am a very critical person of all established religion, and I will be the first to say that while my church is not traditional by any stretch of the imagination it is not a cult.

So why would two former members of my church insist that it is in fact a cult? Set aside the fact that they were mad at my sister and others who defended her stance, those two are very progressive in their thinking; brought up on public school education with a progressive agenda shoved down their throats like "Special Kool-Aid". In essence they are the product of what my sister warned against becoming: sheep to the slaughter created by Michael Moore-esque logic. Because my church is outspoken about issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and the modern media as a whole; we're now a cult. It's always easier to avoid the issues altogether and simply label something a cult in order to create fear and shroud the facts in a cloud of bitter lies.

I make NO apologies for my church, especially since I stand by them. My church is not perfect and the longer you stay the more apparent the flaws will be, but you could spend your whole life vainly searching for a perfect church and find none. Some people create home churches, and while there's a lot controversy surrounding them I personally feel that there's nothing wrong with them. The problem is that those attending can only grow spiritually as far as the person leading them and there is no accountability concerning orthodoxy (right doctrine). Nevertheless, God doesn't titles and buildings to train and equip His children to do the work He's called us to do. Therefore, it is my opinion God can use any church anywhere to serve His plans and purposes for the Church as a whole.

The Early Church was persecuted for speaking out on the issues of their time and standing firm on the teachings of Christ. In a small way, my church has joined their ranks. No longer are we persecuted for simply being radical on-fire Christians, but we're being persecuted for simply speaking the truth! I praise God that we are under fire from critics because God will bring us through it in the end so that we may bring the message of Jesus Christ farther than we've ever thought possible. God's will be done!

Sic semper tyrannis,
De Facto

Monday, September 13, 2010

Uncle Dom

Terrance reedwater opens the gates to hell. I often wonder why I continue to live. I can't seem to find the remote. blackwater.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Am A Bear

Let me put this disclaimer right up front that nothing I say here excuses my behavior. This entry is simply a reflection on my behavior, delving within myself to find a reason for the way I am. Any comments indicating that you did not read this disclaiming will elicit a response from me summarily ripping you a proverbial new one. I have little patience for ignorant spatting responses by emotionally charged persons who want to put me into my place.

Now that I have scared away anyone from commenting, not that I really get a lot of comments anyway, but this entry is a response to the one I wrote earlier today titled, "Why a fag is my most loyal friend". It's a very mean-spirited entry that I wrote before going on the road. I came home from that trip, got nine hours of sleep, and instantly new that I needed to follow it up with something slightly more edifying.

Lately, I have noticed the stark contrast between how I behave when I've had rest and when I'm tired. I'm not talking about feeling a little worn out, but I mean when I've gone 15-20 hours without sleep. It's like I become a whole different person, a Mr. Hyde within the Dr. Jekyll. I'm short-tempered, quick to open my mouth, and slow to listen to reason. The worst part is that when I'm that tired I see the way I'm behaving and I hate it, but at the same time I feel less guilty about it because it's the only thing keeping me going.

... Now I'm really sad and have no motivation to finish this post.

Sic semper tyrannis,
De Facto

Why a fag is my most loyal friend

Fags, a British idiom for cigarettes, are the most loyal friends I have ever had. Yeah, sure they'll give me cancer and kill me one day, but let's look at bright side. Surprise! Even I can be positive once in a while. A fag is always greets me a kiss. Each and every one of them is warm and leaves me with a good feeling in the end. They never criticize me for the things I lack, nor do they care that I'm not perfect. They don't complain if I don't have time for them, but they're always there for me. Fags may start to get low, but you only need to go so far as a grocer, gas station, or tobacco shop to renew their vigor.

Fags are not racist, sexist, or otherwise bigoted in any way and will always help someone out if I introduce them. They are there for me in the middle of the night when I'm all alone and no one is there to talk to. They're there for me when all the world threatens to strangle me. Fags don't care whether or not it's -20 or 200 degrees Fahrenheit, they'll be there when I need them. They don't live across town where seeing them is a rare occasion. They don't mind coming out on a moments notice. Fags are just there for me whenever I need them.

Bitch and moan about my cruel satire, but let's face it that when the chips are down and everything else is gone there is one thing that I know will be there for me to pick me up: my fags.

Sic semper tyrannis,
De Facto

P.S. - Fags don't need to be reminded when my birthday is, they're always around.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Aching Bride: Presence and Power of God

Life is chaos, complicated by our existence because of it. We have such complex brains, yet not quite complex enough to comprehend it all, for it we could would we not understand everything that we see and do? Would we not give up all inefficient means of doing anything we wanted to do in order to achieve it more perfectly? I'm probably not making much sense, the fact I'm trying to convey is that there are times when we feel like the more we try to do to fix the problems in our life we seem to make bigger messes and then we saying to ourselves, "Oh, great, now I'm worse off than I was before!" Some of us, if you're like me, want to throw a few profanities in there... Yeah, some of us need work in that area.

And then there's Jesus, who is the most patient deity I've ever heard of. He makes all of that chaos just seem moot. Seriously though, I think Zeus would have zapped me dead long ago if he was my god. Thor would have used his hammer to smack me back to before I was born. Shiva would wrapped her arms around my throat and strangled me. Buddha would have sat on me. Allah would have sent his barbarian prophet to kill me. Joseph Smith would have bored me to death with his prideful retelling of how he miraculously translated the Book of Mormon. Do you get my point? Instead of getting frustrated with me, Jesus takes my hand and helps me clean up all the garbage I've spread around in life. He shows me how to avoid making that same mess again and forgives me for the trouble I caused. He works directly with those I've hurt to heal their broken hearts and helps me to be strong enough to ask for forgiveness for the evil I've done to them. After all is said and done, all I want to do is sob heavily at His feet for I know who I am. I am the Bride that doesn't deserve such a Groom. I am Royalty because He accepts me despite my failings, takes me in, and calls me His. His!

How can I describe to you what an amazing thing it is to be Loved like this? How can I describe to you the Savior who did not leave, but drew closer and held me? Can I even begin to explain the rapture of being in Love so deeply with Someone who never ceases, never fails, never gives up? Oh and the pursuit! You want romance? How about a Lover who won't relent until He has all of me? Not like the creepy Edward stalker-like haunting, but instead He comes to me and knocks, asking for permission to gain entrance and sweep me off my feet! How about a Lover who was accused of being fake, evil, and weak dying just to show how much He loved me? Even Death could not keep His love from reaching me, for after three days, He rose again and forgave me for the very things I did that put Him the grave.

Though He left for a time, He has promised His return and left love letters that make my heart flutter in expectation and joy. Friends, if you have not experienced this Love, Love eternal, then please don't wait any longer to have it. Jesus doesn't care what you've done, where you've been, or even how much you believe in Him as long as you're willing to reach out and take hold of the gift He's been longing to you. He loves you the very way I've described. If you don't believe me, I challenge you to search your heart and then search for Jesus. Seek Him, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Taste and see that He is good!

Sic semper tyrannis,
De Facto

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Holier Than Thou

After an altercation with an admin on another forum I frequent, I became aware that perhaps amidst all the angry ranting and misguided uttering of a wounded person I may have managed to speak some truth. It is widely known and exacerbated by hateful Christians that followers of Christ can be judgmental and have an attitude of superiority. Sometimes I think in our efforts to abstain from being like the world we cut ourselves off from the mission field.

While I appreciate the efforts of missionaries and overseas evangelists, sometimes going into a situation screaming Jesus is like showing up to a meeting of the United Nations guns blazing. I wrestle with the concept of being in the world and not of it, especially with my music because many of my favorite bands have the same desire as me and yet I want them to scream Jesus so that I have something blatantly proclaiming His Name to listen to. There was a time when I would have accused these bands of "selling out", but when I think about it if they had then that would make me the worst sell out of them all.

It's come to my attention that some people may find my blog not entirely edifying or wholesome. I admit that some of my writing is not the behavior of the blue-eyed, blond-haired Christ we've all got hanging in our living rooms, but perhaps Jesus wasn't like that at all. Jesus was a homeless man of a family that had no status in the society, does that sound like your pastor? He probably smelled weird and wore clothes that didn't fit him, maybe even bathed once in a while. Does that sound like the kind of people you say, "God bless you" to in church? Jesus blatantly opposed the religious authority and their practices and taught them a thing or two even as a small boy, does this sound like the little children in your Sunday school classes?

So yeah, I'm not perfect and I make mistakes. Admittedly. I also say things in ways that perhaps you don't like. Got it. The fact of the matter is that I'm not catering the Christians who have it all figured out. Oh wait, nobody has it all figured out and nobody is walking on sunshine every day. So why in the world do Christians get down on me for the content of my blog? Should I put a Bible verse in every one of my blogs? Should I end my blog with a God bless you and a little smilie face, would that be Christian enough? No, that would only be catering to someone's idea of what a Christian should be, as if they know and understand fully what a Christian should be. I can't pretend to be something I'm not and if you don't like what's on my blog, then please don't read it. If you do, don't cherry-pick my entries to find the most objectionable and say that I'm not living a Christ-like lifestyle. Your job is to love, God will judge. Instead of wasting time pulling the speck out of my eye, why don't you get out there and try to minister to the lost and hurting?

There are lots of well-intentioned people out there who have rules for their communities about how to conduct oneself, but we must ask ourselves if Jesus were to behave the way He did as recorded in the gospels, would He be allowed in our community?

"My Jesus wouldn't be allowed in my church... The blood on His feet might stain the carpet." - Todd Agnew

Sic semper tyrannis,
De Facto

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

$1 Million In Armor And I'd Trade It All For A Can of Raid

The title is a quote from a rather disappointing movie, Lost in Space, but it stuck with me because it seemed humorous. Unfortunately what I'm going to be talking about is memorable but not humorous. Recently Chuck Baldwin published an article called, Dates That Destroyed America which was linked to on one of the forums I frequent. In the article, Mr. Baldwin cites January 22, 1973 as one of these dates that destroyed America. Someone who stands by the decision the judges made in the Roe V. Wade case said this:

"Roe vs. Wade was the correct decision. Christians can't make a coherent case against abortion without resorting to supernatural explanations."

It may be true that for the most part Christians don't have an argument against that decision without referencing their deity or their holy texts (God sent me one last night, it said, "lol" Wurd...) I was a little frustrated when I responded, so excuse me if this comes across as crass, but I had this to say:

"Regardless of whether you['re] pro-choice or pro-life, it was wrong because the judicial branch is not meant to make laws but to determine the legal precedent Roe had to make. Roe should have lost the case and pro-choicers could have used that as a rallying cry for change within our system, but instead the judges overstepped their authority and we bent over and let them give it to us doggy-style.

Roe V. Wade is wrong, wrong, wrong and the only reason I can think of that pro-choicers like it is because it meant that they got what they [want]. I think people on the left side of this social issue are too blinded by that low-blow victory to see what is wrong with that decision."

The fact of the matter is just that. The pro-choice side may be able to make a stronger case against the pro-life position citing their scientific data, but at the same time they completely ignore the gross violation of the fundamental structure of our government. The judicial branch does not make laws, they judge whether an incident happened to be on the right side or the wrong side of the laws already in place.

I once heard a pro-choice advocate describe a fetus as a parasite and that leads me to my next point about the way the pro-choice minimalize the humanity of a fetus in efforts to chalk an unborn baby up to a mass collective of tissue. The problem with trying answer the abortion issue with science is that it is not entirely a scientific question. It's a philosophical question about when life begins. We can try playing pin the tail on the definition of life, but there's even argument whether it's about when life begins if life begins at conception. And in case you're wondering, I'm not going to try and answer those deep questions in this entry. Perhaps some day, when I have gotten myself some more kahnuhawledge and then will hopefully be able to better articulate my thoughts. But for those who were curious as to where I stand, I'm most certainly pro-life and as it was said in Juno, "All babies want to get borned! All babies want to get borned!"

Until next time, unless of course we allow some judges to decide that post-vaginal-exit abortions are legal, in which case I suspect I will not survive to write another entry;

De Facto

P.S. - I added a Link in the Spotlight section to my sidebar which will feature random links to things I think may be of interest. I strongly suggest you check out Dots for Jesus, it's awesome!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Overkill

As I type this I'm a bit shaky. I don't say that to gain sympathy because the last thing that I need is for people to think I'm writing this as a grab for pity. I would much rather have people decide for themselves. Due to all that has transpired this entry is going to be a lot longer than normal, but if you're into truth seeking than I suggest you read all of this.

Along with what I said in my blog entry, which was a gross blanket statement, I also had this to say about Catholics- err, one in particular:

"Tsk, tsk, where is that charitable speech now? Am I so loathsome that you would stoup to such lows just exhaust your ire? Really now, you all claim to be of higher calibre than that, I expected more."

I post a selection of my blog entries on a different forum, Quills & Barbs Writing Club which quite of few of the key players in the incident on the other forum are also a part of. I happened to post my previous entry "A Psychological Experiment" on the Writing Club forum and was lambasted with angry responses which I deleted quite quickly because they were personal attacks. I told everyone that they could redirect their personal statements to me in Private Messages. Just as a side note, that's how personal attacks are dealt with on most forums I've been a moderator or administrator of, but I admit that was not the best way to handle it on the Writing Club forums.

Then I decided to take a hiatus from the Internet. I fasted for a day from the Internet to try and gain some perspective and I was finally feeling good about things. I really felt like I could apologize even though I felt that being banned permanently banned was a major overreaction. I was, and still am, truly apologetic for the confusion and harm I caused with my experiment of gibberish. I'm also apologetic for the blanket statements I made about Catholics, but I will expound on that later. I get back on the computer the next day and find a message from one of the mods who is a personal friend of mine (but not the one who sent me a text the other day) and she said,

"[Name withheld/ Admin of FTN Forums] said this today:
'the only way I would consider allowing him back on was if he sent me an explicit and humble apology that clearly displayed that he understood what was wrong with his actions and why we reacted the way he did.

He would have to register again, however. His account is totally gone.'

So you still may have a chance if you really want to get back on. :)

Oh, and someone suggested that if you do get back on to have a different user name, cause some people still are peeved at you, and it would make a clean slate to work with."

I was a little irked by this because it denies that they overreacted and the fact that they banned me permanently leaves me with only very inconvenient ways of contacting the administrator of Fairy Tale Novel forums (FTN forums). I was still willing to apologize for the damage I had done, because after all there had been damage done even though I didn't intend for it to happen. I started talking to a friend of mine, that's the one who sent me a text the other day, and she informed of this:

"the apology is for what you posted on my forum, not for your experiment[.]

because you attacked the forum and Catholics with that, and that's why [Admin of FTN forums] deleted you[.]"

So, I was temporarily banned for spamming the FTN forums. Got it, accepted it, and willing to apologize for it. Also, I was perfectly willing to apologize personally to the one person who felt threatened by one of my nonsensical rants. I got permanently banned from FTN forums for remarks I made on Quills & Barbs Writing Club forums. Is the picture getting clearer?

Now I was going to post more, such as things people said to me in PMs, but I don't think I need to in order to illustrate my point and that would probably be seen as an invasion of what little trust they had in me by sending me a "private" message. I'll summarize what a lot of them said: I've caused them a lot of hurt. A lot of them were hurt more by my remarks about Catholics than they were about the initial experiment. One in particular has gone so far as to leave Quills & Barbs Writing Club forums in protest of my very existence (at least, that's what I've been led to believe is her reasoning for it.)

And now for the most important portion of this entry: an explanation followed by an apology. I do not hate all Catholics, in fact I have nothing against Catholics themselves I just don't agree with all the doctrine the Church teaches. The statements I made were harsh and blanketed, a mistake I made because I was writing in the heat of the moment and being irrational about it; I make no excuse for myself there. What I'm really upset about is the fact that a small group of people in positions of authority that enforce charitable speech and behavior have suddenly gone out and done the very thing they punish others for. I also hate that they can decide to move against a member of their community that they don't like even though they had to pull material from another location outside of the jurisdiction of their community to incriminate me with. Then they launched an all-out assault (literally flooded my inbox) with contemptuous messages. And yet somehow I'm still the one who has done wrong that cannot be forgiven without an explicit admittance of wrongdoing and an expression of contriteness?

My flesh wants to get prideful and proverbially give them all the middle finger, but that is only my flesh and I am a new creature in Christ. It was definitely poor judgment on my part to experiment on a forum, especially a forum full of children (even more so when a portion of the most influential mods are children.) I'll readily admit I made a huge mistake in doing so. I also admit that I made blanket statements about Catholics that were wrong and hurtful. I was acting in a moment of extreme anger, but that does not justify it. Nothing does. Ever. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Had I kept this in mind before saying what I did about Catholics, perhaps this wouldn't have happened like it did.

So yes, I apologize for doing for an experiment in a place completely unsuited and ineligible for such. I apologize for making blanket statements about all Catholics when I really only had a problem with a handful. It was wrong and no amount of provocation justifies what I did. I also apologize that two of my cherished personal friends were dragged into this. One in particular had to run oodles of interference, text me, tried to call me, and made strong cases on my behalf as the mods and admin from FTN forums defended their actions adamantly. That friend didn't ask to be brought into this, she dove in to try to help me and in the end got burned on both sides of the rope for it. It wasn't fair and it wasn't right, and for that I apologize.

Until next time,
De Facto

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Psychological Experiment ***Updated***

The other night a friend called me up and was asking for prayer about something and then went on about living with a lioness and being a St. Bernard. I was quite shocked and inquired if she was intoxicated or had drank some contaminated water, to which she became infuriated. The next three hours were spent arguing and summarily it was decided by me that there was no evidence to suggest that this friend was beneficial to me. Rest assured that this was merely the straw that broke the camels back, I do not give up on people that easily.

It inspired me to continue my psychological research into humanity. There have been countless experiments I've conducted serendipitously, but this one was indeed deliberate. I infested my blog, Facebook, and most frequented forum with rantings of nonsensical nature. You can read the previous entry if you need an example. Most people disregarded it as me being silly, which I appreciate and even joked about me typing in my sleep (that really tickled me), but the other reaction was much more hostile. You see, while I restrained from explaining what I was doing or why, I tried to be careful about how I did it. I may have already broken a few rules of ethical experimentation by not notifying the participants that they were being experimented on, but I did my best not to break the rules of the groups in which I communicated with.

The forum I posted on, Fairy Tale Novel Forums is a group of like-minded individuals whose common ground is their like of Regina Domans modern retelling of classic fairy tales. Most of the forum members are female, Catholic, and home schooled. While conducting the experiment I took precious care not to say anything offensive. For a time I had posted my nonsense in threads that I normally would post in, offering up more nonsensical ramblings as if I truly was trying to express my ideas. The first time I did this some of the forum members went so far as to try an extrapolate a meaning, to them I owe a huge thanks, but others were not so amused. After a while I was confined to posting my ramblings in the "pointless off-topic" thread which serves as a place to post random things that pertain to nothing else. Lately however, some people seem to think that a pointless off-topic thread needs to have a point and can only contain what they deem appropriate for such a random thread, but I'm digressing now. After a few more posts I was banned. That's right, outright banned for my nonsensical utterances without a warning. Ok, so I did get a warning, but only after I had been banned. The warning came through a text message by one of the moderators who is a personal friend. It was too late though, she sent me a text after I had been banned that if I did not stop I would be temporarily banned. I am no longer welcome to that sheltered little community until the 19th at 17:31. Had I received this warning before being banned I would have stopped, written this blog, and posted a link to it for everyone to read so that they might understand why I did what I did.

Frankly, I'm both disappointed and yet not surprised. I have always believed that people fear what they cannot understand, they also fear what they cannot control. The moderators had to make a choice, do we let this guy who has been contributing to our forums mostly on the productive side continue to ramble on, or do we get rid of him? The choice was easy: they couldn't understand me, they couldn't control me, and so they shut me out. They say it was for spamming, and while I can see their point, I did upon request confine myself to posting in their pointless off-topic thread. Even that was not good enough for them, though I was not harming anyone except by means of a little confusion.

I can understand why some might be a little irked upon reading this. I know it's not the fantasy of everyone to be in an experiment, but nonetheless it happened. While this experiment has little scientific value, it proved something that I had to know about humanity in particular the good little Catholics and their charity. I'm a bit peeved that they banned me without warning, since I consider my friends' text message to be an unofficial warning, but I suppose that others might see it as payment in full for subjecting them to an experiment they didn't agree to. I'll be honest though, now seeing the measure of Man, I'm not sure I'd really want go back to that forum. I think I'd be better off with the sinners since they make no pretense about being good, holy, and "charitable".

Until next time,
De Facto

*** UPDATE ** I have been banned permanently. Needless to say I am stunned, hurt, and well... Angry...

Slipstreams of Chasms unto Euphoric Dysotopia

A cornucopia of black ooze beckons the heralding tripod over the sunset. Desperately, the tin man runs through the sacks of molten honeydew to find the blackened leaf. Overtly this leads to a cascading power failure which soon brings about the destruction of the entire Vogon race. We can only conclude that dishwasher soap is the only solution. As it was suggested, dogs are the best at capturing wild Pichu since our experience shows that mysterious orbs of light emanating from the warp coil plasma injectors might destabilize the inertial dampeners. God took man from the dust, which cannot be a simple thing, as all unicorns are bred asexually.

From time to time we find that a great movie like Napolean Dynamite breaks its way through the cluttered mess of crap and makes its way to the mountain of the Yellow Dellow. Mr. Chesterton concurs with my assessment of Bolian plague, but for some reason we couldn't come to agree on the cause of the broken light bulb. After absentmindedly mentioning political office, Senator Barackus Obamas Failedus pointed out that a lanister was not suited for such breast suckling. The time to act was now, and all we had was a pair of tweezers and a diamond ring. We took a condom and wrapped it around Paul until his entire head was covered in bubble gum. The planned parenthood scheme worked and, for once in my life, I felt like a Douche King again.

It's not often that we have legends in our pissed. Seldom do the words of such loathsome creatures such as William Shatner grace the stages of Del Monstro. Captured and alone, Doc Holliday and I were sipping on some fire whiskey when Darmok and Jalad joined us at Tanagra. Pools of skittles and beef jerky as far as the eye could stretched before him. Elated, the girl ran to her father and exclaimed, "I'm a real boy now!" We can tell by the shape of the pear that God was in fact not meaning for His children to be slaves to their Creator, rather that they would choose for themselves. How then can a man be free from miasmas and foaming chocolate lipstick? Perhaps it would be better to ask how to lick the orchid until it saps juices overflowing from the orifice? I can scarcely say that Veggie Tales is merely a shadow of the great show it used to be, Jean-Luc Picard once told him that his duty was to the truth. Frankly, I disagree on the point that gravity could be defied within the confines of our atmosphere without first putting a barrier of resistance against the midgets that use our toilets.

Furthermore and in anticipation of a conclusion, Love never fails. We go from challenge to challenge, but as long as we have our lollipops in hand, we need not fear a healthy diet ever again. Are you even aware of the existence of Malcolm Reynolds? Reason dictates that we move from my prior supposition to something more fundamental to support it. The expedition was considered a fools errand, but Shackleton knew that if he pressed onwards he could succeed. Sometimes I wonder if this is how Barney felt when pursuing the culprit who took the cookie from the cookie jar. After all, St. Paul is probably the worst city to try and find your friends in, but at least it's not suicide like Minneapolis. Commander Data dies in the end, but the movie ends with a similar Noonien Soong android named B4 which suggests endless possibilities. I'm still sad that Old Yeller had to die in the end, he could have made an excellent Borg drone. Perhaps if Pope John Paul II had personally absolved him of his sins he would have repented and turned back to his Catholic roots, but then again a terrorist is beyond all reasoning.

The next time is only 300 years from 1710,
In Truth

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Penis Monster

This is for all those women who think that they are entitled to pass judgment on men. So you think that because you bleed for three days and live you now have some kind of authoritative right to dismiss men as the lesser half of the evolutionary elite? I think not, because while women have a unique set of difficulties to overcome which men cannot truly relate to, we have our own demons to face. Some may try to embrace it as a part of themselves that they cannot change, others may not wish to change, and others still just don't have a clue as to the damage they cause.

The fact of the matter is, ladies, that men have a whole 'nother monster on the inside. I've heard a rather vulgar description of this as being that who misbehave are, "thinking with their penis." The truth is far from it, but to say that they are thinking with membranous length of tissue that stiffens when filled with blood is just oversimplifying the issue. The male sex drive can bring out a whole different side of men, as if they were a completely different person; someone more base and animalistic. Here's the clincher: that animal-like man comes out every time they are aroused and that could be as many as 60 times in a single day. It's not just something we can choose to turn on and off at will like a light switch, but believe me I wish it were that way at times.

This is no excuse for misconduct on the part of men. I am not writing this to justify or vindicate the savage behavior that some men indulge themselves in, but to truly understand you have to think in terms of it being like two men inside one body. One is Dr. Jekyll while the other is Mr. Hyde. Every man has a choice as to which one they want to be, but they can't completely squash out the other because without Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll would be dead. Mr. Hyde is the side of us that is passionate, decisive, impulsive, defensive, protective, and needs to procreate. Without those however, we'd be a weak and apathetic little pieces of helpless trash that wouldn't be worth anyone's time.

Every honest and decent man still has Mr. Hyde lurking in the shadows, and portions of that personality come out at the appropriate times to offer characteristics which the Dr. Jekyll side needs to be a strong leader. It's degrading and dehumanizing to hear women talk as if the Mr. Hyde part of us is simply the result our rigid members, because that is only a symptom of a larger problem. A man who treats a woman in an objectifying way is making a choice to be more like Mr. Hyde than is necessary for him to be a strong man. Instead of doing things because they are right, he does things because it is gratifying, the kind of mindset of the Mr. Hyde that resides within every man.

So ladies, please consider my words the next time you feel like making an off-hand comment about your male counterparts.

Until next time,
De Facto

Monday, August 9, 2010

Integrity and the Conflicts Thereof

Having been a liar with great skill, I began to see how much it was affecting my family and the life I was living. It wasn't until I got caught in a big lie that I realized just how much damage I could do with a simple fabrication of the truth. After that I began to practice telling the truth even when it meant incriminating myself in the process. Over time I began to tell the truth as if I knew nothing else and even when I tried to lie I found myself struggling not to correct myself and speak the truth.

Eventually, I ran into conflicts where I began to speak the truth, but only the portions I wanted the other person to know. I began to ask myself whether this is also lying or if I'm simply being selective in my presentation of the facts. The distinction is whether or not by withholding particular portions of the truth does it lead the other person to believe something that it is not true? If the answer is yes, then it would appear that lying and omitting the whole truth are synonymous; lying by omission. What about simply not speaking? Certainly there cannot be any damage done by not answering at all. In fact, there is, as by not answering you're causing both confusion and if you have nothing to do with the issue in question, but prefer not answer then you're going to leave the other person with no other choice to assume that you are guilty/responsible for whatever they inquire of you.

The problem is that this world cannot handle the truth. (Cue Jack Nicholson clip from A Few Good Men.) There are circumstances in which presenting the whole truth can be more damaging than maintaining integrity. It's especially difficult when being honest could result in the harm of another person, which is something that most people cannot bear to live with. So how can we reconcile the difference between being a person of integrity versus being selectively truthful for our own benefit? For me, it would appear that outright lying may not be acceptable under any circumstances, but withholding the whole truth may be advantageous for the purpose of protecting another person is the most minor hit to your integrity.

I believe that there is no gray areas in life, only a very fine line between black and white. I also believe that God looks at our hearts and does not judge us based on our standards of honesty because He sees so much deeper than we do. Therefore, even though we may be at ease with passing the half-truth off as the real deal, God may see it as sinful all the same. We cannot allow ourselves to forget that it is not only our conscience we must satisfy, but the God who brings us to conviction also looks on us with a desire for us to be pure and spotless since we no longer have an excuse to be like the world.

Until next time,
De Facto

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Ebb and Flow of Hope

Often times I have wondered why it is that I can be happy one day and the next I can snap in an instant. For a long time I was concerned that I might suffer from some kind psychosis or bipolar disorder. Then I made a connection that had not occurred to me until very recently. I get depressed (which often times manifests with anger) whenever something takes me further away from the dreams and aspirations God gave me when I was five.

This week has been one of the more trying times of my life. I've suffered some losses in my life, but most of those did not take me further away from the calling God placed on my little five year-old self. The irony of it all was that it started off on Sunday as having the potential to be one of the best weeks of my life thus far, but as the bricks which laid the foundation for such a great week were pulled out this magnificent week suddenly became hell week. I went from being able to glimpse a hopeful future to having nothing but uncertainty and disappointment in view. On top of that I've got temptations and vices trying to steal that future away from me with the allures of instant gratification. I have not always been good with the concept of delayed gratification, but now a days I take it almost to an extreme. I'm the kind of person that lets a person standing in line at the Redbox kiosk go ahead of me because her son is cold thanks to the air conditioning being turned up too high with fans blowing directly overhead. I think I'm digressing now...

The problem I have is that I have two groups of friends in my life who mean the world to me, while another group of friends seems to have grown distant and apathetic towards me. The first group of friends I'd categorize as my friends who inspire me to have hope, unfortunately they all live in the big city about 40 minutes away or more. The second group of friends are mostly older than me, and they're the ones who I categorize as the ones who care. They don't get this categorization because my first group of friends don't care, but because they show they care by doing the very things I don't want them to do (i.e. chasing me across the parking lot trying to steal a cigarette from me so that I can't smoke it, pointing out a crippling flaw about myself, and making me listen to the worst music ever made.) The third group of friends are the ones who have grown up with me to some extent or another. While they genuinely want to be my friend, they have their own aspirations and goals that often conflict with the friendship. They seem to have come to accept my weaknesses and shortcomings as if they were something that cannot change. In essence, I'd categorize this third group of friends as the stagnant ones.

Now that I have sufficiently ruffled the feathers of some, uplifted others, and probably condemned myself to a lecture on how much this person or that person cares about me I shall conclude this overdrawn and inevitably confusing entry. My final thought comes as a question: what is virginity? In the strictest scientific sense, it is state when a male or female has not yet had sexual relations involving penetration of the vagina with the penis. Others include oral sex and mutual manual stimulation (fingering/handjobs), that if a person has done these then they have lost their virginity. A friend of mine suggested to me that according to Matthew 5:28 anyone who has lusted for another person has given up their virginity. If this were true, I have given up the best part of me to someone who despises my very existence; what then is left to give of myself to my future wife?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sum Quidne?

It has been the observation of many that I am serious person with jaded sense of humor. What astonishes me is that few have taken the time to try and figure out why I am that way. I can't remember ever giving an actual answer to that, but now I'm going to give one. The serious facade I put on is a defense mechanism against my flesh-nature. As one of the harshest critics of my own gender, I can attest to the wretched and sinful nature that men carry within themselves. Many embrace this in various ways, and it manifests itself in even darker ways.

I am not immune, in fact I used to be what some might call a player. I was a master at manipulating the minds and emotions of women for my own gain. When I set my mind to it, there was nothing I could not get a girl to do, even the "good girls" fell for my tricks because their flesh was just as weak as mine. I could vainly go into details, but frankly I do not believe it is necessary nor do I believe it would be beneficial in the least. I do not keep secrets, and while I do not confide in just one person with all of them, I have nothing about myself hidden; my sexual exploits and misgivings are no exception. One thing I would like to say is this, that it is by the grace of God that while many opportunities presented themselves I did not actually have sex.

Everyday is a battle of choices, and everyday is either a victory in Christ or a slap to His face. I hide behind the mask of a serious man because it brings me back to a time where I was untainted by sexual temptation, a time when I had no real sense of humor. Over the past few years I have developed a sense of humor, albeit a distorted and often sarcastic sense of humor. Most people have regarded my humor as being dark, grotesque, and disturbing. Occasionally I manage to make jokes that are nothing like my normal forte of morbid or condescending cracks at life.

From my past, I have developed a bullshit detector. I realize that going to be challenging for you some of you to read, but I need you to understand that while there are substitutes for a swear word, nothing comes close to describing exactly what it is I see in others. My bullshit detector is particularly attuned to men who try to play women for their bodies, and extends to other types of liars and lying. Though it is not foolproof, you'd be surprised how many lies I catch but don't call people out on because of the situation or because I'm simply too tired to get into a row with them about it. It angers me to no end when people lie to me. When someone lies to me it says to me that they think I'm too stupid to realize that they're lying. Not only can I detect bullshit, but I can dish it out as well. I may not come across as a good liar, especially since I have come to despise dishonesty with a fiery passion, but with enough motivation I can lie my way into almost any situation (my parents can attest to this.)

The truth of the matter is that no matter how gratifying it was to beguile a woman into giving herself over to me, I have found a better and more satisfying gratification in a pure and holy love affair with Jesus Christ. Just as the Bible compares us to a bride, so too do I compare my love affair to a bride and her groom, because when the presence of God comes in like a flood my toes curl up and my heart skips a beat like I was going to prom with the most sought-after man in the school. The fact that He is jealous for me, as Colbie Caillat put it, "gives me tinglies in a silly place." Why the God of the universe and everything unimaginable would care for someone like me is unfathomable, but so too is that like an insecure woman who doubts her worthiness of the man who seeks after her. Those not well-acquainted with the imagery of the Church being likened to a bride and Christ the groom will no doubt find this paragraph quite odd, if not partially disturbing and unwholesome, but if you knew Jesus the way I did it would not seem so wholly strange. I pray that you can experience His love as I do.

Until next time,
De Facto