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Acceptance: What does it mean to be “Christian?”

Why is it that people are so close minded? Christians especially. Now, I’m not saying we should be so liberally open-minded that our brains fall out, but for crying out loud people have some common sense. This is exactly the kind of thing that causes wars, starts hate crimes, and sparks racial and sexual inequalities. People just don’t take time to really understand and it literally slays me. Why is it that as a Christian you can talk about sending people to hell,  but yet the second you talk about love and grace and forgiveness people actually get offended?

Take electionism for example. “We are the only ones going to heaven, if you aren’t like us then you are going to hell, and we don’t need Christ because we are already saved so we can’t possibly go plant seeds in others because that’s God’s job alone and if you aren’t already ‘elect’ then you’re just screwed.” No. That’s close-minded, and just plain wrong! I just want to beat people upside the head for that kind of behavior; Oh wait! I can’t, because then I’d be going to hell. Darn. Doesn’t that suck. There is a dying, lost world out there that don’t even want to listen to us because there are so many “Christians” that give Christianity a bad name. Last time I checked, Jesus didn’t minister to the Pharisees. He spent most of His time with the dying, the lost, the sinners, the tax collectors, and the prostitutes.

What does it mean to be a Christian? To snub those that we don’t like, simply because they aren’t the “perfect image of Christianity?” This is why the world hates us. The Bible says, “as they hated me, they will hate you,” but we’ve given the world a horrible reason to hate us. Because we hate them. And the worst part is, most of us just don’t care.

Most Christians just want to live their pretty, sweet Christian lives and condemn those even in the church because they got their feelings hurt from a bit of conviction. “The high call is not to live a pretty, sweet, Christian life, it is to walk with God!” (- John Beverre)  “Well brother, I don’t like what you’re saying because it’s too true for me.” Last time I checked, the Bible says to convict your brothers and show them their wrongs. Not the sinners. We show them love and hope not death. Beating people with the bible and scaring them into the Kingdom is not biblical.

What does it mean to be a Christian? To be like Him and show His love to this ignorant and lost generation. The reason they don’t live the way they should is about 80% of the time because they don’t know any better. But we aren’t exactly helping now are we. No. The only thing we show them is that we are no better. They don’t want to be like us, because the only difference between us and them is that we condemn their every move. The word Christian means to be Christ-like. It doesn’t mean go exactly against everything He fought so hard to gain! He died that we may live, and we deny that very freedom to any one we don’t consider worthy. But think on this:

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe through Him.” – John 3:17

Food for thought.

What is “Impossible?”

I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t like being told that “it’s impossible” or, “you can’t do that” so anytime I can beat the odds or go against what’s supposedly “the norm” I’m going to do it. It’s just in my nature.

That’s probably one of the reasons that I don’t like the saying “there’s nothing new under the sun.” You know, the one from Ecclesiastes? I mean, granted I know it’s from the bible and all that, but first off it was written 3,000 years ago. I mean really guys, that’s way to long of a time to say that there’s still nothing new. On top of that, Solomon was in a depressive state and was simply tearing down the fallacy of humanistic logic. He said “what has been done will be done again,” not “what will be done has been done before.” Big difference. By saying the latter, you impose that nothing will ever be new, because it will have already been done. By confessing the former, you acknowledge that what has been done in the past will most likely be done in the future. Which is true. Think about the fact that the sixties are coming back. Woodstock, the Summer of Love, Rock and Roll, “Hippie” ideologies, they’re all returning. Nothing new. But think about this: Death metal didn’t exist in the 1940’s, let alone the 50’s or 60’s. Come to think of it, I don’t think it even was an idea till the 80’s, during the rise of punk rock, which, OH BY THE WAY didn’t exist until the late 60’s through 70’s. Tell me that’s not a relatively new idea. I mean, how many people walked on the moon before 1945, and how many were hit by an atomic bomb before the 60’s. None. Exactly.

By saying there’s nothing new in that context, you’re saying “give up, it’s useless, it’s already been done, so there’s nothing you can do about it.” Yes there may be similar ideas, and who’s to say that classical wasn’t the original rock music. Beethoven and Mussorgsky could have been the original Van Halen or the Clash. But by taking it in the wrong context, and saying, “well just stop trying because there’s no way that hasn’t been played before,” you destroy all hope of creativity. I mean, God is a creative God, and as such He is constantly creating. Can you imagine if He stopped all creativity and newness of any sort? It would be hell for people such as musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers and the like.   That kind of attitude kills all creative inspiration.

Food for thought.

Chains, Bubblegum, and a Yo-yo.

So I was walking through the Wal-mart ™ the other day and I get another spontaneous urge (as if I didn’t get enough of those). Now, I’m typically a pretty random guy, but this time I noticed a pattern in my odd shopping list. I realized I’m a complete 80’s child! Yeah, really. Now, I was born in the 90’s, and I love the 60’s, 70’s; even the 40’s and 50’s! But I never really gave a second thought to the era of the Eighties. I mean, the music of the Woodstock era, the birth of Rock and Roll, and the smooth, jazzy age of the Chicago mob always caught my attention, but the 80’s never really sparkled to me. I realized that this was because I have no idea what happened in the 80’s. I don’t know about them because I wasn’t there, and I never learned about them because I really didn’t care. But ladies and gentlemen, today I bring you my favorite bits of the 80’s.

Item #1- Bubblegum is delish. End of story. It’s amazing to chew, great for passing time, good for exercising the jaw (as if some of us needed any help) and as the name suggests, is fun to blow bubbles with! But even though the origins of this sticky morsel began long before the 80’s, it’s popularity grew significantly during that time. Names like Hubba Bubba, Bazooka, Bubble Yum, and (my favorite) Bubblicious still survive, but the older brands such as Care*Free, Freshen Up, and Binaca Blast outlive all in the childhood memories of those that lived through it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to get sentimental about gum, but those folks that actually made it through their childhood think it’s some pretty darn good stuff.

Item #2- Yo-yo! Probably one of the most enjoyable toys ever played with by the likes of man, and perhaps one of the longest lasting. The origins of a yo-yo are highly debated and was said to have begun as a Filipino weapon in the 16th century where they tied a cord to a rock and threw it at their prey. The cord allowed for easy retrieval upon missed attempts. This is considered to be an urban legend (but it sure makes for a good story!) However, the true origins of the yo-yo are said to have been around 500 B.C. where it was made from terra-cotta as a child’s toy in Greece. When the child came of age, the toy was “offered” to the gods as a symbol of the child growing into man/womanhood. Regardless of it’s beginning, the place it ended up is probably the most outstanding. Nowadays yo-yo’s are made with metal and take-apart bodies, automatic clutch transaxles, ball-bearing axles, and crazy body designs that are the envy of any professional yo-yo fanatic. Rising to it’s popularity peak in the 50’s and it’s re-birth in the 80’s, the yo-yo is a pretty entertaining piece of plastic, and deserves some mad props.

Item #3- The rise of the Punk era. From the music to the fashion, it was a time of anti-establishment and anarchist ideals where the superior whim was creativity and a DIY attitude. It started off in major cities like New York and London and was borne on the backs of groups like The Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash. The thing about it’s music was that it wasn’t so much about skill as it was about the desire to express yourself through the music. The voices were characterized by a more nasally tone with lack of pitch or volume shifting and the lyrics were typically shouted and screamed as opposed to the conventional singing. The music wasn’t usually prone to complex guitar solos or difficult riffs, which were considered to be more of just “fluff” and not really necessary. It wasn’t necessarily the best music out there, (my parents [mom] called them “wimpy, rich-boy, wannabe posers who just wished they were the big names”) but the raw passion and emotion makes it that much more enjoyable to listen to and even be a part of.

Now I know what you’re thinking: The things you picked aren’t really relevant (or weren’t really a big deal in) the eighties, but to me these are the little things that cause me to think about them good ol’ days when rock wasn’t necessarily king, but it still rolled just as hard. The days when bubblegum wasn’t just a hobby, it was a lifestyle. When yo-yo’s weren’t toys, but obsessions wrapped up in string and plastic. The Cold War raged and politics weren’t choice, but these years were essential in the addition to our interesting and fantastic past.

Comments? Did you survive the 80’s or barely make it through? What are some of your favorite childhood/80’s memories? I want to hear your story, so tell it here.

The Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick

So as an Irish Christian on St. Patrick’s Day (a day late, sorry), I feel like it may be a good idea to share the Prayer of St. Patrick. The prayer was supposedly written by St. Patrick in preparation for a journey of some sort, and perhaps was written as an “anti-charm” of sorts, as it was much in the style of the Druid charms. That would make sense considering St. Patrick was well known for his fight against the paganistic ways of Ireland back in the day, and began to instill many Christian beliefs into the Irish people. There is a legend in which Patrick expelled all the snakes from Ireland. Although it is just a legend, it is assumed that the snakes represent the “evil serpents” of the pagan and druid cults. So without further ado, here is the Prayer of St. Patrick (with a little bit of explanation into the meaning of some of the terms).

The Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort, [i.e., at home]
Christ in the chariot seat, [i.e., traveling by land]
Christ in the boat [i.e., traveling by water]

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Questions…

Ok so, today I am sick ( 😦 ) which totally sucks because I am missing church. Which I love. So I figured instead, I’d lay on the couch sucking down soup and hot tea, popping cough drops and Theraflu ™ , and bring you lovely people a new blog post. So here are some thoughts on life, or a sudden lack thereof, from my perspective.

What if you didn’t have a name? What if you couldn’t tell anyone what it was? Where would you go if you couldn’t go home? Would it be cozy? Would it be easy to get to? What if you could tell anyone anything, or even everyone one thing? Would it be harsh? Would it be acceptable? Would it be sweet or hard to swallow? What would you do if you could do anything? What if you could do everything? How about if you could do nothing at all? Would you go mad with anticipation, or rest in the peace of the moment? What if everything you did was a lie? What if it was too real? How would you sleep at night if you knew you did something you shouldn’t? What would you wear if it was your last night on earth? Would it be comfortable or stylish? Where would you go, what would you do? Who would you choose to spend your last few moments with? Would it be your friends? Your family? Your closest loved ones, or the one you chose to spend your life with? Would you be alone? Would you want to be if you were? Would you seek out companionship with strangers, or opt to leave this earth by yourself, a lone wolf to the end? Would you choose me? Would you choose her? Or even Him? Would you choose God? Or do you even believe He cares? Would you keep yourself living in a nightmare or try to wake up? Would you die whole, in body, spirit, and soul? Would you even care? Would you try? Or do you believe that it’s even worth the effort? Would you hate yourself for being this way, or try to find a better path to take? Even if you had a thousand years to dwell in the presence of Humanity and the nature they posses, would you try to make it right? Better, even? Or do you even care to give it even one last shot, before you find yourself slipping slowly into the destructive, waking nightmare of madness that your very soul has lain before you? Do you want to find out where that path leads? Or would you find a new way? Would you try, even if you knew you were going to fail? Would you give up, even if you knew there was no way you could ever fail?

Twitter!

Hey ya’ll! So I recently signed up for twitter, and let me tell you, it’s a crazy world out there. It was very stressing at first, just the thought of finding just the right people to follow, you know, the people that I was interested in. Then the thought of millions of people knowing exactly what you tweeted, and choosing the right tweet for the right moment was rather intimidating. I mean, I’ve only been signed on for a day, but still! Anyways, altogether it’s a great site for social networking, letting people know what’s going on with your life, blog, and business, and just a fun (addicting) pursuit of what you are interested in. You can follow who you want, and not follow who you really could care less about.

So shout out and feed back, yall.

Hardwired

Ok check this out. So I saw this movie the other day called “Hardwired.” Great movie, but don’t really recommend to younger viewers considering that a dude’s head explodes in the first scene.

Anywho, the basic story is that this guy gets into a car wreck and is taken to the hospital. He is about to die and has no insurance, so this random organization sticks a chip in his brain. He wakes up with amnesia and a serious headache, soon finding out that he sees advertisements from different companies -get this- In his MIND! Trippy right? Long story short, he tries to take down this organization and get his memories back, and therefore his life.

Now at the beginning of the movie it basically goes through a whole scene that shows advertisements made by big companies like Gatorade, Visa, and Dole being projected onto monuments like the Statue Of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, as well as THE MOON! (made possible by Pepsi Co.) At the end, the main antagonist (and head of the organization) explains the chip’s purpose with a quote that I thought was really creepy in terms of future advertising. He says, “I’m sorry, there’s just no more space. Grand advertising everywhere you can imagine. It’s reached a saturation point. So we had to create a new space.”

Honestly, I think this is insane. Give it a rest big-time ad companies! I mean in my opinion, at this point in time everyone who is gonna hear about your product has pretty much already heard of it I guarantee. But instead, they choose to saturate us in their super advertisements and commercialism. I mean think about it: You wake up in the morning and turn on the news. In between news breaks you see commercials for “the nutritious part of this breakfast!” You drive to your work place and see billboards upon billboards. You go into your office and on the break room tv, or sometimes even on your office buildings or computers they are waiting. Go to any bus stop or train station. Ads. Even our holidays are unsafe!

Christmas for instance. What has it become if not a bunch of commercialism fed nonsense that, if anything, takes you away from the Christmas spirit considering the annoying shoppers, busy malls, crowded parking lots… and that’s just one example! What would happen if we as consumers decided to break out of the mold and say, “No! We won’t buy what you have to sell. Kiss my tail, Paid Advertising!” Now, that’s probably gonna happen considering that we are indeed materialistic in nature, not always in a bad way, but we “need” stuff. I’m not saying that you should start some kind of uprising in your local mall, but this is ridiculous!

Here’s where you come in. What do you think? How would you stop (or succumb) to advertising businesses and commercialism in our homes and workplaces? Maybe you think it’s necessary, or even welcome! Why do you think so? Maybe you are in the advertising business. Your thoughts are welcome as well! How is life in the biz? Do you disagree or agree? Tell me why.

As always, ideas, tips, and questions are always welcome.

Nocturne out.

Hello world!

Hey Guys! Say hello class… Aww, ya’ll are so awesome… Now, you ancient, pro-bloggers out there may be like, dude, that title is so factory default it’s not even funny. But hey, considering the magnitude of the blogosphere nowadays, it’s like I’ve just been born into a whole new world! *insert confetti and balloons* Happy Birthday Me!

Ok now on to business! This is my blog! If you were looking for new, up and coming (potential awesome-ness unlimited) blog with hard hitting publications and deep questions, along with a few personal writings of a more creative nature, you came to the right place! But if you were looking for the “Old Lady’s Knitting Association” you definitely should leave now!

But seriously, I am a new blogger, so this may be somewhat of a bumpy ride, but hey! It’ll be loads of fun along the way! So feel free to check out my page, look around for a spell, and then meet me back here when you’re finished. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Go on. There ya go 😉

Back yet? Ok good! Anyways, if you have any questions, suggestions for later posts, or just want to say hi, the comment box is right below me. Right there. See it? Good. As for you professional-been-doing-this-since-before-you-were-knee-high-to-a-grasshopper bloggers, please feel free to give me tips and suggestions. I need them. Trust me, I’m serious.

So untill next time, keep going strong ma brutha’s… (and sista’s…)… Nocturne out.