The Gospel of Chaos 1:1

One would think that with all this chaos in my mind and heart right now, I would have so much to say, yet, I’ve been staring at this screen for at least half an hour and haven’t been able to think of one thing to say.  I went to church with my mom this morning, took notes, and still can’t figure out what to say. 

Yes, I’m at my mom’s house…in Texas.  My wife and I went shopping last Wednesday afternoon and, after a phone call about some test results, left the store before we had anything in the cart and started packing…leaving about four hours later and driving sixteen hours through the night to get here the very next day.

So now I’m here and there should be so much to say because there is so much going on but, alas, I’m unable to purge anything…my tear ducts even seem to be in a form of drought, despite my desire for them to just bust wide open, hopefully relieving this heaviness on my chest and this tightness in my throat.

Surely there must be a word to define all that I’m feeling…sad, hurt, fear, anxiety, stress, anger, bitterness, defensive, exhausted, yet, at the same time, showing calm, patience, a sense of reason.  My wife is scared because this is not how I should be acting…and I would agree with her, I’m a little scared too, but I’m leaning more on the calm side, finding comfort in my Heavenly Father, that He is guiding me through this darkening part of my journey.

I feel like I’m in one of those boxes they used to have on game shows where blasts of air come in and send money or whatever all around the box as everyone watches, while the contestant has to struggle to catch and hold onto their prize…except in my box, emotions are flying around, and because they are intangible, I can’t grab them and hold onto them long enough to focus on each one.  At the moment they’re just kind of hitting me and bouncing off until they come back later and hit me again…I hope that changes, I’m sure it will later down the road.  But for now, this box is filled with emotions, memories, and unhealed wounds that hit and sting…if only for a moment, then fly off in another direction again.

Life is scary, strange, imperfect, full of struggles and that’s what makes us who we are so that when we get to the next part of the journey, we’re somehow prepared, even if we’re torn down to nothing just to be built up again just so we can learn how not to be so torn down the next time.  The Lord shows us the truth about ourselves through the life that we lead and the choices we make, sets us down on our path at birth and allows us to come to the forks in the road, and with each direction we choose, He shows us our truths, whether we like them or not.  Our desire in life, well, at least my desire, is to please Him, so that I may be counted among those beside Him in the Kingdom of Heaven, having felt His nudges, understood and carried out His word, and faithfully followed Him on my journey toward Heaven.  Sometimes, to get there, we have to go through a great deal of crap, endure emotional turmoil, pain, shame, live with memories and embedded behaviors that have no purpose, other than to remind you that you are stronger than that now…that the power within you is greater than the circumstance around you.  And the more you commit to that desire, the more truth will come out, but the more truth you find out, the more at peace you will become…because God does not want us to hurt more than we have to.

There are many ways to translate the phrase In Venere Veritas, a song title by the band HIM.  The lead singer, of course, is the only one who knows what he meant by it, but, it’s art and therefore open to interpretation.  In…is simply “in”, venere is “Venus” and veritas is “truth.”  In Venus is truth!  Huh?  The truth is on a planet?  No.  Uh oh…the truth is within the goddess Venus?  We’re not supposed to worship any other god…so now what?  How about we look at the symbolism!  First, the symbol of Venus is a cross with a circle on top of it. 

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The cross, representing our spiritual connection to the universe and the circle representing our inclusive connection to the universe.  The attributes of venus are love, allure, desire, beauty, passion, harmony, affection, sexuality, creativity, attraction, inspiration, femininity, aesthetics, imagination, appreciation, relationships, and unification of opposites. All that being said, could it not be said that these attributes are what should be aimed for, careful to not find ourselves with over-abundance, but that it’s quite possible that in the desire to be the kind of person that is those things, the truth about ourselves, and the Truth of the Lord, is going to help lead us there, keep us there, and grant us the keys to the gates of Heaven, where we can leave all the baggage we’ve been carrying along the way behind?  Sounds good to me anyway…at least right now…

~Dear Lord Jesus, you know my needs better than I do, so I ask that you continue to guide me with your love so that I may have the strength, the courage, the wisdom, and the ability to continue this journey and fight the battles ahead of me and not lose sight of hope in the face of the struggles ahead of me.  I ask that you watch over all of us in our travels, and in our daily health so that nothing shall overtake us that doesn’t need to right now, Lord.  Thank you for your many daily blessings and lessons.  In your highest, most holy name, I pray, Lord.  Amen~

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Thank God For Sunday

It’s been an absolute hell of a week.  To even try to go into detail about it would be both too difficult and too personal for all people involved.  The devil was surely nipping at our heals this week, nearly blowing out all our lights that shine our way on God’s path.  It’s amazing how one small thing can be interpreted so very differently and, therefore, get crazy out of hand because of it.  Sometimes I believe we, as a society, are losing the art of communication with one another, and the ability to understand each other.  It’s detrimental.

Couples should take classes once a year, health care providers should take classes on how to communicate with patients, people, in general, should take a class on normal expected human behavior, and the world would be just fine.  The amount of disrespect and misunderstanding between people is almost criminal in this world lately.

And it’s so easy to get caught up in it all, to get caught up in the bantering, or acting like you’re better than the person who is supposed to be providing you with a service, and letting your mind get over-run with that conversation in your head where you say everything on your mind but your mouth fails to actually filter it, thus hurting people’s feelings around you and scaring people around you because they have no idea what to expect of someone who just doesn’t harness their behavior at all.  And when people lack the ability to discern what is troublesome and what is not, it can get some people into worse situations, emotionally, mentally, or otherwise.

God gave us a voice, brothers and sisters, but He first gave us Love.  I’m pretty sure the voice was to express that, not anything less than.

Be prepared, however, when you speak of God and His glory.  There are some that find that troublesome as well.  As if believing in God, and His ability to pull you out of rough waters, is a mental disorder that is something that needs to be dealt with.  But isn’t that the way it’s always been?

Earlier this week, I was helping my mom through a Bible study in Acts 1-4, which I had never read before.  In the later parts of it, I learned that Peter and John had been arrested for, what my understanding is, preaching about Jesus and His good works and what He is capable of.  This did not sit well with the boss men, so they had Peter and John arrested, telling them they could never do that again.  It was something interesting to learn, and at the time, it was knowledge, at best.  However, the other night, telling somebody that nobody could help me through what I was going through but God landed me in quite the conundrum, one in which my rights and control were completely taken away.  I won’t say that the catalyst to this event didn’t play into that decision, however, my statement did not sit well with the one in charge of my fate at the moment.

So for quite a while, I found myself with only God to call upon for strength, remembering the verse from Philipians 4:13, which happens to be my wife’s favorite Bible verse, and the one I played over most in my head during my time of trial, so to speak…”I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”  And I waited, and prayed, and meditated, and Trusted, and relied on truth, and the Truth of God…and thought about this song.

Many thanks to God for renewing my strength during that time. 

My mother-in-law’s birthday was on Friday, we had a wonderful family meal at Outback.  It was great to be around everyone, although afterwards, it was nice to come home and just call it a family night around the television.  Saturday we started the day off lazy, although much deserved after the week we had.  We decided to go tubing down the salt river, however, after an hour of getting ready, getting in the car and hopping on the expressway, a phone call to the recreation park revealed that they were no longer renting out tubes for the day because the weather conditions weren’t favorable.  That was a kick in the junk, since we were trying so hard to take a mental vacation and just have fun, regardless of how much it cost that we shouldn’t spend.  We were quite disappointed, but eventually, the day went on…even though we had some battling to do with our daughter.  Some things never change.

Sunday…yep, church.  Nope.  We played hookey today and reclaimed our opportunity to take that mental vacation and just do something, dammit!  We deserved it…and it was the last day to go for the season.  We got all of our stuff together, drove up the mountain, got in the water, said our prayer, thanked God for bringing us all together, asked Him to forgive us for not going to His house today, as we were working on forgiveness with each other, and proceeded to float on down the river.  It was a blast…we had so much fun.  It was peaceful, beautiful, exciting…offered up a time for trust, and just…well, time together, and a break from the monotony of our daily struggles. 

For some reason, I have a calling to the mountains, and I feel the closest to God when I’m in them.  I had the time to just be close without thinking too much, just plug in and get recharged, and hopefully, I’m charged enough to face the week ahead.  I have Christ in me, I hear Him, through music, through the Word, and He holds me close….so too, shall I hold Him close.

~Dear Lord, please forgive me the sins of my week, as my weakness overcame me.  Thank you for your protection and for guiding me back to you, Lord.  Please continue to wrap your arms around me and my family as we face struggles of daily lives that the world imparts on us, help us to overcome them and to lift our family and our selves, our own hearts and lives above anything else.  Thank you for your blessings, and for allowing us to have this wonderful day together.  In your most precious and Holy name, I pray.  Amen~

Roll to Me…nah….Him

So we’ve tried very hard in our family to make it a habit to have family meals around the dinner table at least a few times a week.  We used to do it all the time, a few years ago, when it was just the three of us, my wife, daughter and myself.  But for many reasons, over the last year, even with a larger family unit, we haven’t shared dinner around the table quite as much as we used to, and should have.

We’ve taken in extra teenagers into our home to help them with their needs, not that they have special needs, but they have, or had, needs that were not able to be met in their home situation, so we took them in to help them out, get them the rest of the way through school, and hopefully give them the wings to fly.  And it’s been a blessing to have them in our lives…I can only hope we have been a blessing in theirs.

Unfortunately, sometimes having extra teenagers in the house, extra people, extra stress factors around your kids, and your own selves, when you and/or they might already have stress and/or anxiety issues to deal with, can become problematic.  And then at some point, when only two adults are in the house and the rest of the house is taken up by teens, those adults might tend to feel like they have lost their space and want to seek solitude and just make sure they keep an eye on the teens but not want to be around all the “thump-de-thump” from the speakers from whatever hip-hop video is pulled up on YouTube or the sound of machine guns killing zombies on the Playstation.  Regardless, our house became chaotic and we ran from it.

Now we are trying to pull back, not only our faith, but our family.  And while I’ve been on my journey for a couple weeks now, and my wife on her own, with her own struggles along the way, the hard part is trying to encourage our daughter to even see a path at all.  Usually, at the dinner table, I require that the television is off and there is no cell phone usage, but the last couple times, I’ve allowed the computer to be pulled up in the dining room so we can have some music playing in the back ground.  The other night, our daughter had her Pandora playlist up, which she was about to turn off, but I told her not to.  We said grace and just started to eat, however moments later, a song came up that was fun sounding, one that we all knew and liked, a song from the 90’s, I believe…just a fun sounding song.  We bopped our heads and sang along…and all I could think of was my mom saying “sing before dinner…cry before breakfast.”  Or maybe it was the other way around…I’m not sure, either way, I never understood the meaning of it anyway.  So we sat, ate, sang, enjoyed…but then my ears, and my wife’s, started hearing the song a completely different way…and our daughter started hearing it differently as well, and discussing it with us, and sharing with us about God.  So that sparked the idea for the song, which was not even in my playlist, but my daughter’s…and then the rest of the week sparked the ideas for making the video behind it.

Of course the week came with struggles…every single day seems to come with something that just isn’t easy to get through, or make a decision on, or something or someone that makes the day somewhat challenging just because of personality differences.  I can only think of one day that I had that was pretty much a perfect day, and that’s because I decided to make it that way…I listened to what was inside of me, screaming at me, telling me to do this to save myself from acts of stupidity, and I did it.  I actually brought my lounge outside to enjoy the day with my wife…not an easy task but, it wasn’t the entire lounge either so it wasn’t a large task.  Nonetheless…I gave that gift to myself…I showed mercy to myself, for my sake and probably the sake of others.

There’s a bigger picture to all of this, which I touched on a little last week, I believe.  It’s struggle.  It seems that no matter where we are in our journey, or how great we think things are in our life, or how well we think we are doing, there is always some sort of struggle…either in the little picture we call our life or in the big picture we call the world.  But no matter what picture we’re looking at, it effects us all, individually. 

The struggles of the world make it harder for each person to cope with the struggles they are going through in their own little world, and the harder it gets for that person to cope with their own personal struggles, the harder it is for them to care, and cope, with the bigger picture and struggles, to the point that the bigger picture gets pushed so far in the corner that it no longer matters as much to the individual.  But the problem is, it happens to so many individuals that all those individuals put together make up such a large mass of the population that it brings the world down.  Once the world starts failing, the mass of faith starts failing, then where do we go from there?  It’s almost like a rockstar situation….if a rockstar was on top once because of all his fans, but then the fans start criticizing too, and lose hope in his capabilities to produce quality albums, then he loses his fan base and next thing you know…he’s a has-been and nobody wants to talk about him and people get laughed at and blasted if they do talk about him.  It’s the same thing that’s happening now…so many people seem to have lost their faith in God because of disasters and things that are outside of their control, due to technologies and raping of the natural earth, and government is allowing us less an less freedom to talk about God, that people are turning their backs on their once favorite Rockstar. They’re not paying attention to themselves, what their inner-selves, what their OWN faith, values, morals, love is telling them to do.  They’re not looking around at their OWN world and their not really looking at the world around them, just accepting it and going with the flow because they feel like there’s nothing they can do about it.  But there is…everyone can do something.  It takes just one person to touch another…to touch another…to touch another….

In church today, Rev. Jim touched on Armageddon.  The Book of Revelations.  The book of doom and gloom and how everyone looks at it like a threat.  But he said something pretty cool, and that was, if we took the “h” out if threat, we could turn it into a “treat,” and that’s exactly how the book of Revelations should be read, as a treat, given to us as knowledge and preparation, armor.  It’s about how that generation turned into a degeneration of faith, the breakdown of spiritual principles by the Roman Empire by crushing Christian values, much like today where the Government is crushing Christian values by telling us that we can’t say God’s name in schools, even when it’s Pledge of Allegiance, what our country was founded on.  We’re even being told that we can’t use God’s name in prayers in funeral service at military services when our men and women fight and die for this country now.  We’re being told that it’s okay for men and women of this earth to judge other men and women for what they do to their own bodies and whom they love, and correct me if I’m wrong, but there is a power greater than any one on this earth that IS going to do that for us when the time comes.  We have allowed Government, men and woman, and ourselves, to let God get taken over…and that’s not cool. 

God knows and sees everything that everyone does, thinks, and feels.  He’s knows what we are charged with in our life and what we have to face and what we can and will have to handle, but if we don’t have faith…TRUST…in Him, then why should He be there for us in the end if we haven’t asked him to be?  Truly asked Him to be!  God has given us everything in our life, and will continue to do so, to compete and battle with all of our own daily struggles and to help fight against the bigger battles with Him as long as we don’t get so caught up in the negative drama of the soap operas of life’s reality shows.  The daily drama of our lives and other people’s lives that, ultimately, will bring us down in the end.  We have to keep focus on shining up the armor that God has provided for us to continue to learn and grow in our own spirituality so that we may help ourselves and help the world through Him….after all, He’s the one who made it, can’t we trust that He knows best how to help us help fix it? 

Like Rev. Jim always says…”there’s a power within me that’s greater than the condition before me.”  And I intend to use…through this blog and with this music…to capture anyone’s attention that I can…to spread the word, spread the tune…whatever it does…I’m doing what I can.  This is my armor and I’m shining it up and adding pieces to it as often as I can so that I can be prepared to serve Him and the world He created for me. 

How can you do it to?  So there’s a recovery plan…first you have to humble yourself before God, accept the fact that you have reached the point that you can’t do this yourself and you’re in the dark and He is your light.  Trust that He will show you the way and just follow Him.  And love….people, please…I beg of you, and trust me on this one, no matter who it is, what color they are, what gender they are, what gender they love, what nationality they are, what they look like, how old, how young, what their beliefs are….just love….because He does. 

And everyday, when you encounter that struggle…be it part of the big picture, or the little picture…right then…Roll to God.

God Bless….