Pride the Ultimate Poison

Originally Posted June 29 2016

Beware of Pride the ultimate poison.

If you want to catch a liar, what do you use? Pride. Make him feel he’s getting away with it, let his confidence grow, or hit him in areas he is most proud of. Pride is always the area where the greatest chinks in armor lie.

How does a great man fall? By being told he is great for too long. Once he begins to believe it, that he knows all there is to know, or that he is someone people look up to, he becomes blind to his own faults causing them to grow at a rapid rate.

Knowledge is a powerful tool, but partial knowledge is deadly. A person who gets caught in his folly is in trouble, but there is greater pain in store for the person who gets away by dumb luck. To get away with a half thought out idea is a greater punishment than to be caught in your actions. The more you get away with something the more you feel you can push those boundaries. When your actions finally do catch up with you, all those times you got away with it comes down on you like a hammer.

Do not say “It is easier to apologize than to ask” do not feel “It’s easier to apologize than admit there is a threat.” Do not live with the expectation of getting away without being caught for your actions. When they finally do catch up with you you will hate your past self for not taking the minor discomfort and leaving you to deal with the massive clean up.

So how should one live? How do we live with confidence but not pride? Good question! 😛

Personally I would say it comes from realizing you were made for an important purpose. That you are full of potential and CAN accomplish great things in even the smallest of actions… but at the same time always maintaining that perspective that you are small… very small.. broken… and needing to constantly strive to improve.

Chase after God. Not Glory. Seek Improvement. Not Apathy. Realize that a huge part of accepting yourself and this world is never giving up on the potential you were made to be!

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Messed up Broken People

Originally Posted June 20 2016

God uses messed up broken people.

I am not perfect…. Yes I know that is pretty obvious… I have a temper, I can be kind of lazy, I’m terrified of doctors, medicine, crowded rooms, and phone calls, I’m often too fast to say what I shouldn’t say and too slow to say what I shouldn’t, I use hyperbole, I hate criticism, I cannot work within a system or turn off my brain enough to simply shut up and follow instructions, I am too devoted to spending my time doing things that have impact in others’ lives and not enough in looking for things that look after mine, emotions that should be shown I have trouble showing, emotions that don’t matter show to easily, I am eloquent and wordy in writing, and silent and awkward in speech.

The list goes on… I have faults… More faults than I can count… In fact I am probably far more familiar with my faults than I am my good parts…

But focusing too much on faults causes us to stop… To become fearful… To feel we cannot accomplish anything or be of any use until these faults are dealt with. It is too easy to bog yourself down with how much you can’t do when you forget the obvious fact that God can!

I am not saying we should accept who we are by not seeking improvement… No that is not accepting. That is the psychological equivalent of sweeping dust under the rug.

To truly ‘accept’ who we are, we need to take a different route than the hoards of memes might tell us… To accept who we are we need to accept that we are not perfect, that we need to improve this or we will hurt ourselves as well as those around us, but at the same time, we need to realize that we have a purpose.

God created you and He made you good. He made you for far greater things than your human nature says you are worthy of. Do not feel you cannot go anywhere in life because you are not yet “good enough.” You will never be good enough! It is humanly impossible to be good enough! But God still uses us!

He has used murderers, adulterers, thieves, liars, the corrupt of every kind of way you can imagine…… And a donkey… And He not only helped them grow away from where they were headed. He let them change the very world around them too.

Just remember, we are following God, not waiting for Him.

Logic Vs World

Originally Posted June 16 2016

I don’t think one can use logic to deal with world issues anymore…. Or to be more exact, logic directed directly at world issues will not have the effect you hope for anymore…

Our world has become so saturated… We call them “hate” crimes but I find so often that hate stems from fear. Fear of what we don’t understand… Fear of who we can trust to make us understand, fear of who is lying to us, fear of who is manipulating us. Are our family and churches enlightening us to a manipulative media? Or is the media enlightening us to our primitive and cultish family and churches?

A lot of people deal with this by throwing away logical arguments all together focusing on discrediting their opponent instead of strengthening their own argument. But that worsens the problem, not improves it.

To improve it, we have to go back to the basics… Understand who we are, how we work, what our purpose is. As a Christian this is fairly easy, as we have God and the Bible as foundational absolute truths we can compare each thing against. However I realize there are a (highly patient with me) number of my friends who believe that there are no absolutes… That this whole world lacks in meaning and purpose save for what you make of it yourself…. For you…… Honestly I am sorry but I cannot think of any explanation or comfort within your ideals.

I do not preach God because I am paid to… Or because I am bound by duty… Nor am I being forced to say anything…. I preach God because so help me it is the only way I find this insanely complicated and backwards world makes sense! And it pains me to see my struggling friends who do not believe, but asking me to comfort without God is like asking me to make your bed of nails comfortable with good intentions. I cannot do it! So help me I am not the smartest man in the world, but it boggles my mind to try and come up with any genuine comfort to give you that you will accept.

However, should you have that foundation. Should you know our purpose, should you begin to understand our origin, things begin to make sense.

What matter is there to what others say? It matters not if they contradict each other so long as they not contradict the foundation. Yes people do things we would not do… But that does not mean you cannot understand why. It simply means you have further knowledge and understanding as to why not.

Once you understand your opponent you begin to respect and even love them even though you hate everything they do and stand for. You realize their identity is something greater still

The Fruit is GOOD

Originally Posted June 15 2016

I think there are few verses more alarming than the realization that as Eve took of the forbidden fruit she found that it was “Good”

Think about it… Think about what this means… Something human beings inherently knew and felt as “good” sent the whole world in a spiral?

How often do we question God or the Bible because what the world says sounds “better” or “good”?

The truth is that as Christians, if we are to make God the god of our lives, He must first most be the judge of what is good and what is bad. We cannot hold onto the ability to usurp that decision when we don’t agree with it like rebellious teenagers.

God knows more than you do. God loves you more than you do. Trust God more than you do!

Bad Advice and How to Fix

Originally Posted June 12 2016

Absolute Most Cringeworthy Worst Advice You Hear All the Time and How to Fix It

1. “You’re still young!”

Reason for Cringe: Being young does not excuse the fact that it is still hard in the moment. Realize the person you are talking to is currently the oldest they have ever been in their life and that feels like a really really long time! Also realize that the gap between your ages will never shrink. No matter how young they seem now, they will still seem young when they are the age you feel now.

A Better Option: “Things will look up, and there are still things you can do right now that matter and have a huge impact!”

Accept that this is hard on them. Don’t belittle someone’s feelings if they have the courage to confess them to you. Also remind them though that even if life is not where they want to be right now, that they still matter, and that there are still things in life they can do. They are not waiting for the bus of life to show up, just walking currently down a different path.

2. “You know, you would be better if you _____”

Reason for Cringe: okay… I know your intentions are well meant… I know your heart is in the right place… But realize you do not need to point out that people have short comings. People are good enough at seeing those themselves. I don’t think I have ever met someone who wasn’t at least a little nervous about how they were viewed. Don’t make it harder on them.

A better option: You know, you have a lot of talent/potential in ________! Have you ever thought of ______?”

Funny thing you may notice. It is the exact same thing…. But it is not…. People are imperfect people, and we should always strive to improve. But it helps to point this out in a positive light not a negative light. If you want to reprimand someone, sure, be negative, point out why what they are doing is wrong. But to encourage? You want to motivate, not scare and discourage.

3. “Maybe you were just meant to be single.”

Reason for Cringe: Okay…. There are people in this world who are honestly happier being single and chasing their dreams than being in a relationship… But there is a thing you may notice about these people…. They are HAPPY being single and chasing their dreams. Sure they may think time to time it would be nice to settle down, but they are usually discouraged by the fact that doing so would stand in the way of what they want to accomplish. Chances are very high that if you feel like you need to comfort someone in this area, that they are not the kind of person this advice applies to!

A Better Option: “It is hard being single, but at the same time, don’t let yourself think that this means you have no value or purpose. You are a beautiful and wonderful person who will make whoever you end up with incredibly blessed! You have been and still can accomplish so much in this time that will make your time together in the future even better! Hang in there! Things do look up!”

Don’t destroy what few shreds of broken heart strings the person has left! There is still a chance no matter how long time goes on! But at the same time, encourage them. Remind them that their value is so much more than the people who rejected them. That they can and are accomplishing great good in this world and should not hold back on living until life moves on! That they should grow, and continue to grow, because they are important, and valuable, and worth a whole lot!

4. “You just need to take life seriously!”

Reason for Cringe: There is a very shocking revelation that people have trouble realizing… Everyone… No matter how many bad choices they make in life… Is trying their best to live… Just because you can see obvious faults that you would not fall for in someone else’s life, doesn’t mean they are easy or even visible for the other person. We are not made of putty that can be moulded into whatever shape we wish for no matter what society says. But that is good because those people whose lives you see so many faults in can often do the same with you!

A Better Option: “Life is tough, but you can do this! God does not give us more than we can handle. The very fact that you are dealing with this means that the God who created you knows you can handle this! I am here for you to work through what we can. It is hard work, but it will mean we come out stronger in the end!”

Never dismiss someone’s struggles as frivolous. Accept that there are things hard for one person that are not hard for you. Be there to support them and help them struggle through. Don’t knock them back and take the wheel. Pray for them, help the,, walk with them, don’t drag them.

5. “There are people who deal with far worse!”

Reason for the Cringe: The struggles someone goes through is hard for them. Opening up for someone is also hard for them. The fact that someone else deals with a pain you find harder to imagine dealing with does not invalidate someone else for struggling. Life is a struggle, it is how we grow, but it is also hard to do.

A Better Option: “What you’re going through sounds hard. I know it is hitting you very deeply. But at the same time I believe you can do this! God has your back through this and He will make you stronger in the end. I’m here for you for whatever I can do through it.”

Let someone know it is okay to feel pain. That they are not less of a person for feeling this way. Let them know that you believe they can take it, that God is with them through it all. Then let them know they are not handling it alone, that you are there for them.

Ultimately in the end, that is what we all want to know when we suffer. We want to know that we are not some weak and worthless person for struggling… That we are not going to be overwhelmed by the trial before us… And that we are not alone in dealing with what lies ahead.

Realize that this is advice for how to encourage. And sometimes, Encouragement is not the answer. There are those who get hooked on comfort and lose the desire to grow who honestly need a kick in the pants to keep moving… This is not my skill set so you will have to ask someone else for advice on tough love. But I hope this explains why some encouragement is helpful and some is not. The truth is that encouragement is more than just finding the answer to the problem, it is healing a hurting and broken heart

How do you Know Christianity’s Right?

Originally Posted June 11 2016

I was given a facebook rant request… How’s that for a first? The question? “In a world full of religions and theories, how do you know Christianity is the right choice?”

To be fair, this is a question we hear quite often these days. In a world that believes no choice we make matters as everyone is right no matter what they do, feel, or believe, (provided it remains inside the rapidly growing comfort zone of the loudest part of society) how can one say that a religion is right that says other religions are wrong? (Of course in that note how can you say they are wrong if everyone is right? But that argument rarely seems to work…)

The answer is quite simple, in spite of the scholarly debate the question seems to encourage.

The answer is…….. I don’t…..

I don’t know Christianity is the right choice, the same way I don’t know that I am truly doing a good job. I do not know if I am truly a guy, I don’t know if my hair is really brown, if my eyes are truly hazel, if the world is truly floating in the middle of emptiness. I don’t know if only humans exist, if dinosaurs are dead, if my food I cook is good, if my words have any impact in the world, if I am sane or a nutter or both.

The truth is I know nothing. Because how can anyone know anything? The endless possibilities that fill the whole of reality are so vast that no one could possibly claim to know even a fraction of them. We of course have a fake thing we call “proof” which is really more an acceptance that we are tired of arguing a point than “proving” anything.

So the better question therefore is probably not “How do I know,” but “Why do I think?”

See, everything we believe, be it religion, science, or our own senses, requires faith. This is not good, nor bad, it is simply reality so you may as well accept it up front. The world becomes a far more interesting place when you do. So then why do I choose to hold my faith in Christianity?

People are predictable. We claim we grow and progress, yet to tell you honestly, people have done the same things for the same motives in the same pattern for over 7000 years of recorded history. With that being said, there are many religions out there where I can understand why people say the things they say.

I can see why people would want to believe they can achieve a next stage. I can see why people would want something that promises riches, power, or to destroy those who stand against them. I can understand why people want to feel like they are improving. I can understand why people want something that tells others to follow them. I can understand why people claim peace but fear trust. Why they long for power but loathe responsibility, why they are attracted to success and run away from suffering.

This is human nature. It makes sense. If you follow any path, no matter how good your intentions are, it never takes long for them to come back to that state. But it is because of this that I find it interesting just how weird Christians are!

I am not talking about the catholic church in the middle ages that everyone loves to razz about… Nor the church of Amurica that the media loves to claim we are all like… I mean when people honestly read the bible and pray to God Christians. Afterall, if I want to prove or disprove something, it only means something if you view the entirety of the religion.

Christianity is weird…. Humanity is and will always be weak. We turn against the God who created us. We mock Him, spit on Him, kill His son, leave Him, refuse to trust Him… We are like spoiled teenagers making fun of their parents for caring about them… Yet in spite of that God loves us… We cannot come to God so God came to us… In their weakest moments Christians are strongest. When they suffer the most, Christians shine brightest. The joys of this world are not what they are after, nor what they look forward to in Heaven… It is the love of God they long for and the relationship with Him.

They give what they have and ask for nothing in return. They focus on what they can do not on what they can get. The longer they are a Christian, and the harder they chase after God, the less they live for anything humanity normally lives for and the happier they are for it (not to mention the more impact they have on others’ lives for it.)

The truth is, I cannot tell an unbeliever in words why I AM a Christian currently… Because my purpose for staying a Christian is the plethora of journeys and experiences God has taken me through that has grown my trust of Him to the level that it is today… But I can say the reason I decided to come back….. And that was love…. The realization of just how hideous and cruel a person I had become compared to how beautiful and amazing and perfect a person God is…. And How greatly He loved me in spite of that…. As if who I was didn’t matter because who I was to God was His beloved creation… No matter how weak, how evil, how corrupt, how worthless you may ever feel… You cannot experience that realization and walk away unchanged.

Anyways, there is my rant! Hope it is up to the usual standard you were looking for. Take care all!

A Different Life Goal

Originally Posted June 9 2016

In every religion, scientific theory, and etc I can think of I have noticed a trend. They all circle around the belief of self improvement…. Of surpassing humanity… Of hitting the next stage of evolution, or achieve godhood. Ironically, the first sin in the bible was similar… Eating the fruit which promised them to be like God (even though they were already created in God’s image but I’ll save that for another time.)

This is one thing I have noticed as different within Christianity.

Now I’ll cover this first because if you are like me your mind has already gone there; YES there are churches that state the bible is about achieving sainthood and becoming perfect humans so we can get into heaven…. The only problem is that this theory tends to run perpendicular to what the bible actually says.

The bible is full of sinners. Liars, jerks, favouritism, proud people, suicidal people, murderers, idiots, immoral people, and more….. And what is even more frightening is that God accomplished huge levels of amazing miracles in spite of that. If you think God cannot use you until you are perfect, you are reading a different bible than me, because the people God uses are never perfect (let alone to say humanity in general is never perfect)

No, in Christianity we see something different… We see strength from accepting weakness. We see wisdom from accepting foolishness.We see pride from accepting humility. Because in Christianity it is not about becoming perfect humans. It’s about imperfect humans turning to a perfect God that we stupidly ran away from in the first place.

Take pride, not in your strength, but in the God who loves you in spite of your weakness!