Friday, November 15, 2013

Mere Christianity

Typically, i'd not post a review of a book anywhere but on the page i purchased the book from (or not at all if purchased in-store), but this one demands an exception. Mere Christianity is quite surely the most approachable book i've read on Christian living (outside the Bible itself, of course), and not only that, on Christianity in general.

The first portion of the book is devoted to making sense of a Spiritual Being from the physical standpoint. For the unbeliever, it brings logic into the idea of believing in a creator; to the Christian mind a fresh look at who God is, which, in turn, makes God much easier to understand and draw closer to.
He lays no scientific claim on Christianity (as he says, the existence of God can't be proven any more than it can be disproven by science). His perception, instead, of morality, the driving force to look past self in order to care for others, is how he proves God--and he does so impressively well. At times you would even feel God is the truly tangible and man the intangible (which is closer to reality, and he discloses such exquisitely).

After establishing why faith in a creator is not only plausible, but also logical, he then sets out to point towards the Judeo-Christian God. His goal, as he points out, is to make Christianity approachable without introducing any of the denominational differences (thus the title, Mere Christianity). Again, he does this rather well, though there are times that it comes off as a particularly Anglican text (after all, he was a member of the Church of England), sometimes even Lutheran, though the differences are trivial. All-in-all, it is a very non-denominational book.

When he gets into what a Christian life looks like, he has a way of skewing things just enough to make it new and applicable, though he doesn't lose the original intent. His metaphors are spot-on every time, even when you don't want them to be. When speaking on "good behavior," he answers why some Christians can be less "good" than some non-Christians, and that was something that had been a bothersome question for me.
His views on faith will challenge your own, but in such a way that it will bring it to a greater sense of resolve.

Through all of this, he keeps God on a very intimate level, which is a rare feat. When most try to make sense of believing in not only a god, but in the God, they tend to leave out that He's a very personal Being. This book is a great exception in such that it makes the case for God, it makes a case for Christ and why Christ died for us, what grace means, and reinforces the notion that God loves us, sinner, saint, and everyone in between.

Easily one of the most eye-opening books i've read on Christianity, though it presents few things that are not (or at least should not be) commonplace to a Christian. It does, however, bring these things up poignantly and in a way we can relate to.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Messenger Of Satan, Or The Adversary

Ever feel like you're completely unworthy of anyone's affections, especially those of One who is holy and pure? Ever feel like no matter how upstanding people think you are, you still fail God constantly? Ever feel like you're a waste of God's time and care?
That's how i often feel. Some people call it humility--it's not. In my case, it is not humility. This is self-criticism. This is a "messenger of Satan" picking at wounds, tormenting me. Rampant inadequacy.

How about this; you ever feel preposterously alone? Perhaps you are comfortable being alone, but you still get lonely?
Maybe you're surrounded by friends and family, but you still feel lacking companionship? Maybe not that of a spouse or anything like that, but just someone you can sit and talk to for hours and they will sit there and listen, hanging on your every word, no matter how dark the subject matter?
Again, that's me much of the time.
This isn't a pity-post, i promise. I want to offer some encouragement to those like me who feel always laced with shortcomings, be it physical, mental, or spiritual.

There's something to be treasured about those kinds of feelings, no matter how pervasive they may be.
See, when the Bible mentions the "messenger of Satan," it notes that Paul pleads to Christ three times to remove it. He doesn't. You know why?
Of course you know why, everyone knows the story.
I'll quote it regardless. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
That was Jesus' response. But if we dissect this, along with the following verses, we get more than just a bit of encouragement--we get a tidal wave of worth.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
Jesus' grace is sufficient, yes? Of course it is. But let's look at that grace.
A multi-billionaire faces financial ruin, losing all but a couple million. This person would be poor in relation to what they were. If they gave away billions to the point they were "merely" (that term being used in relativity) a millionaire, that would be a great measure of grace.
If a millionaire sold most of what they had and gave it to the poor, leaving them a hundred thousand or so, they'd still be financially stable in comparison to most, but they'd have given practically all away--and exhibited a great measure of grace.
If a person with but two pennies to her name gave it to God as an offering, that would be grace.
Now let's look at Jesus' grace. In John 1, we see that through Him, all that exists came to be. With that said, we have the Creator of the universe here, the Infinite, the Holy. He is the King of all creation, Ruler of all. And he gave that up to live as one of us, a Man -a lowly Man at that- who would be mocked, tortured, beaten, crucified in the supposition that He's being executed in the name of God, His Father. He goes to Hell and faced God only knows what, and was resurrected. He did this for a people who deserve Hell, so they would become heirs along with Him. That is more than just grace. That is beyond human capability or comprehension.
So when you face issues like that first paragraph mentions, remember to "boast all the more gladly about [your] weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on [you]." Because His grace covers you, and showing grace is one aspect of His power.
In Proverbs, it says this: "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you."
Basically, as Paul said, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
If your enemy (Satan, or a messenger of him) wishes to make you feel as Paul felt, then boast in your flaws. Heck, 1 Corinthians 12:10 says to delight in weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties. It says to because, when you are weak, you are strong.
Why you're strong is because the less of you that's in the way, the more room there is for Christ's power to be made manifest. Don't submit to the things Satan tells you, but delight in the fact that he has to bring up who you were, because that means he doesn't like who you are.

Regarding the loneliness . . . Well, to quote a song by The Almost, "We were made with fear inside our bones; the kind that makes you feel alone. So hold on, just breathe and figure out, we are not alone. This makes us feel alive"
In essence, God created us with a void inside of us called loneliness. It makes us crave a companionship that only He can fill.
So run to Him (and find that He will run to you), and let Him fill that void, that aching emptiness.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Don't mind me, just a Star Trek physics rant.

In The Original Series of Star Trek, they needed a way of getting people from the ship to the surface of a planet without using another set (such as the ship landing, or a shuttlecraft scene in every episode). So they decided on transporters. It was cheap, and required little when it came to production. They could change sets without a third set. Not only that, it added to the available storyline, as there have been several episodes that have revolved around the use of transporters.
Now, 47 years later, those same transporters, the cost-saving plot-device, are a feasible hypothesis. Only one drawback; it would require the power of something like 14 atomic bombs simultaneously detonating to reduce a human in such a way. And there's a slight issue with rematerialization.

Here's my addition to the reasons it wouldn't work: displacement.
Seriously, if you move one thing out of a room by making it cease to exist in said room, the displacement will pop the ears of anyone in there. Get six people, as they do on the show, and watering eyes and headaches will abound.
Now here's the big issue; displacing the air at the receiving end of things. If that didn't happen, people would be transported into solid matter, or else the air would exist in the same space as them, and they'd fall apart at rematerialization.
It would require not just moving "space" where the transported object(s) end up, but moving it from there back to the place where the transported object(s) came from, which would require two transporter pads.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Regarding "UnMarried"

Firstly, I would like to invite you to watch this video: "UnMarried: The Rise of Singleness." Don't worry, it's only 36 seconds long (I'd embed it, but viewing outside of YouTube has been disabled, apparently).

Now, I want to state my two cents on the matter.
The movie they're releasing, judging by that trailer, seems to imply delayed marriage, declining marriage rates, and prolonged singleness is going to cause a downfall of the "family," the Church, and of the country. That's a rather weighty accusation. And they want to say it's Biblical to not only marry, but to marry young.
I've some issues with that.

To start my side of the issue would be, of course, Jesus, who was unwed (the Church as His bride not counting), as well as most of the apostles.

Another would be 1 Corinthians 7, another obvious stance on the issue; "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (v. 8-9)
"I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord." (v. 32-35)
"So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better." (v. 38)That does say singleness is preferable if possible. In many cases, it is. In some, it's not.

When Jesus gave the parable of the wedding feast in Luke 14, he said one man's excuse for not being able to attend was "I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come." (v. 20)
Does this say that, when it comes down to the Kingdom of God, it is quite binding to be married (possibly because, as Paul said, the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife)?

Another reason for condoning singleness is the image given of Jesus' return in Matthew 24: "For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." (v. 37-39)
This implies that people will be so caught up in the ways of the world that they'll miss the fact that the doors were closed (and were before the rain started); one of the implications of living like the world being marrying and giving in marriage.

I'm not saying marriage is wrong.
Fellowship is necessary, and -a godly- marriage is one of the greatest, most beautiful forms of fellowship; two lives becoming one in Christ.
I think marriage is an amazing thing for those called to marry. But not all are called to do so.
So with this being said, I'm going to watch the development of this documentary, and weigh it against my own life, as well as, of course, Biblical doctrine.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Dear, Born of Estrella

  Once in a while, a star would fall to the ground, fizzle out in a cloud of smoke, and and dissolve into a pebble of quartz. This only happened a handful of times throughout my visit to this “Otherland.” Each would-be meteor was more breathtaking than its counterpart in the world or dimension from which I was called here. An enlightening turmoil ensued inside that could turn the world on its side, at least from one's own perspective, and cause a stumble, a stagger, a drunken-seeming clumsiness by its beauty, as though witnessing an angel stepping down to earth in full splendor, straight from the presence of God, still shining with lightning about its robes. And then it was nothing more than a rock, not unlike . . .

  Well, regardless of what it was like, it was beautiful to watch, though hardly supernatural.

  I reached out towards the stars, and one fluttered like a butterfly over to my hand and rest in my palm. It was warm to the touch, but not hot. The coarse surface of the thing was glowing a faint white, and smelled of hot copper. Immediately, it began cooling and dimming, but not shucking its rough outer layer like the falling ones.

  Many of these “signs” are meaningless, and not worthy of note. Note whatever you like, however, as it may mean something in the greater scheme, or perhaps subjectively; to you individually.

  It was a dull thing, dusty almost, resembling oxidization-flecked chrome. I took it to a pool of water -not water, but something much thinner, sweeter, and softer- and began buffing it. In an instant, tendrils of roots that routed between my fingers and to the ground sprouted from it and pulled downwards out of my hand. A bark-like coating formed like scales and softly-lit webs emerged from the branches. In a minute, flowers blossomed, glowing with a faint illumination, which then set fruits; new stars that fell not down but skyward, aligning with the others as a glistening speck in the sky.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dilated Time, Anyone?

So, there's this idea that the universe must be so many billions of years old because we see the light from stars/galaxies/nebulae billions of lightyears away (and, as we all should know and, sadly, not all do, light/visibility travels one lightyear in one year).
How is it i can go on believing the earth to be six thousand years old and the universe not much, if any, older?
It only makes scientific sense that the universe must be as old as those points are away.

Time is relative.
I'm not talking about how a "watched pot never boils," either. I'm talking literally relative.
Time and space are rather conjoined. They operate together. It's called spacetime. Time is, essentially, a measure of entropy (second law of thermodynamics). The more matter/energy (gravity) there is, the more time there is.
Atomic clocks on shuttles have to be constantly resynchronized with clocks on earth. On earth, there's more matter, more energy, more time ("Time Dilation" is the term for this).
There's basically no matter or energy in space. There are stray particles, some dust, little more.
Hypothetically, there would be just as little time between our world and one, say, 5 billion lightyears away, as there is matter and energy.
Getting my point?
Time is not a steady duration.

And as i like to say, God isn't bound by the laws of physics--He made those for us.

In fact, here's an idea i find fascinating.
God made Adam and Eve to live forever. They wouldn't have aged the same. Infinitely slower. There are holes in this theory, but it's interesting to entertain no less.
Astronauts return from space having aged slightly slower than people on earth.
God may have introduced entropy more recently than He made the earth.

Furthermore, a place of infinite energy would be, hypothetically, eternal . . . The pure, unfiltered, direct presence of God . . .

He could've used evolution. He could've made the universe billions of years ago. It doesn't go against His sovereignty if those things are true because He is, in fact, sovereign.
I just don't believe He did use evolution, or that the universe is "old".

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Only Cup . . .

 That was my last cup. My only cup, actually. I've only ever had but the one. It's necessary that I repair it, lest I forever cease to partake in brewed beverages of bitter, warm, sweet, Heavenly indulgence. And that is as essential to life as air, for without such things, existence ceases to be life but rather devolves into a state of survival and nothing more. So now I'm left to pick up the pieces of my carelessness. Again.
It's tedious, delicate work, reassembling broken ceramic dishes. It can take quite a while, but it's worth it. Cups like this, you can't just buy from the store. A sentimental thing, it is to be carrying the weight of the generations it's passed through to end up in my hands. Every last fragment must be found and aligned like a puzzle. Brushed lightly with polyvinyl and held in place for adequate time; if not held long enough, it falls back apart with caked glue that has to be removed from its edges, and the process must start over. It requires patience, gentleness and strength, steadiness and force. The cracks may be unattractive, even repulsive at first, but in time they become as details of the piece's beauty, contributing to the overall appreciation of the cup as a whole, adding to the history another story, another fall, another healing, another failure . . . Another failure. Failure. Another failure . . . No, another triumph. Not just new existence, but new life. Frailties overcome.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I Am The Hypocrite.

This is not meant to offend.
I've had directed blog posts before, but not one written with just one person/group of persons in mind. This changes that.
It's meant to remind me of where i should be. Rather, where i shouldn't be.
It's meant to remind me of the standards i must hold myself to.
It's meant to remind me of growth.

"I didn't know he cussed," one said with a frown.
The other looked offended, "He doesn't."
"You've never been around him when you're not there. Might surprise you."
"Listen, he's had a hard life, okay? You can't blame him for one slip!" the other exclaimed.
The first sighed, and responded softly, "It wasn't a slip; he didn't even know he did it when I asked him about it. It's what he does, just not around y'all. And he's not of the world, I'm not supposed to hold him to the world's standards. Am I?"
"He doesn't cuss, got it?"
"Neither do you . . ."
"That's not fair."

Some might know the situation surrounding this. Maybe. I don't know.
I should clarify that i don't necessarily think cussing is an absolute sin. I think it's subjective, to be honest. If you feel convicted, then don't do it. But it's a gray area, and i like to stay away from such things.
If you're a Christian and you cuss, i won't judge you. If you serve in the church or claim to be a representative of Christ, i will hold you to unworldly standards. 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 12:1-2 more or less explain my reasoning.

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6
That's not just telling a child how they should act, but showing them by example.
If you do something, you can rest assured your children will do the same.
Yes, they see you at the altar, they see you with your hands raised, they see you when you're happy and worshiping, they see you when you're Godly.
They also see you the other six days of the week. Even if something you do is not done around your family, your children will still imitate you.
If you say "We don't say that in this house," yet you say it outside of it, so they will as well. If you claim to not cuss, yet you do when you're not around your family, your children will also cuss when they're not around you. Children are a fruit of your works.

A friend of mine who's from a family that "doesn't cuss" did cuss. And not rarely. I once confronted them about it, saying "Your parents don't want you cussing, do they?"
The response was shocking; "I don't cuss in their house."
I wondered if that was a fruit of the works of the parents, but kept the thought fleeting.
It had to be the world and my friend's exposure to it. After all, that's what they told me was the cause.

But i've since realized that "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" is the motto. The house is pure. The house is clean. The house is safe. The house is a building.
Outside, much is still refrained. But i heard many stories that i did not ask to hear from several firsthand witnesses. Stories that disgusted me. Stories they laughed at.

It's not the cussing in general that bothers me. It doesn't bother me that i was told i'm "sitting on [my] ***."
No, the thing that bothered me is that these people would've shunned me if i had said that same thing. Err, rather, they probably would've shunned me if i'd said it in their house.It bothered me that the ones telling me the stories -and laughing at them- were under their authority, and weren't supposed to cuss, or even say "sucks" in the context of lacking quality. I don't say it in that context.
Then the authority figure told me that. And also said "It hurts, and it s**ks."
I stared at the letter he sent in complete bewilderment.
Those words in themselves don't matter. But when you set a rule and don't follow it, when you rebuke the a word that you use yourself, that is "The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform."
That's a sin. It's called hypocrisy.

I have to remind myself that, if i ever have children, i must hold myself to the same standards i set for them.
Actually, i'm wrong. I must hold myself to stricter standards. The example i set will be followed. If that's being holy in church and in the house, yet becoming part of the world when i go out into it, then i know my children would do the same. If i were to "like" things online that are foul, crude, vulgar, and sexually immoral, it would be expected that my children would be alright with the same things.

I am a hypocrite. I'm quicker to point out my own falls and shortcomings than i am to point out anyone else's.
I am a hypocrite. My anger has a hold on me.
Maybe i can learn to get a hold on it and direct it gracefully, using it as a motivation to make positive change. And i'm using it this time to remind myself to grow and to hold myself to unworldly standards, to remember that i am in and not of, that i am not "one of the guys" not only because of my social awkwardness, but because i simply do not fit or conform.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Woe To You"

This is on my personal blog as opposed to my more Bible-based one, despite it being based in Scriptures. The reason is because it is on a more "me" level than most of what would be on the other.
Call it anger, call it frustration, call it indignation, i don't care. When it comes to this, i'm mad. I'm furious about this kind of thing.

Let's start with how Jesus treated those who worked, served, and taught in the temples and synagogues.
Look at Matthew 23; there are seven times in this chapter where He says "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!"
The entire chapter, Jesus is exclaiming His discernment against them, and even goes so far as to call them snakes and a brood of vipers.
"Righteous indignation" is what we call Jesus' anger. And it's often directed at the leaders of the temples, not those who worshiped there and brought forth offerings. He was angry at the elders, pastors, preachers, deacons, ushers, etc. Those who "direct" the places of worship.

Yet in 1 Timothy, we read that "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching."

This is far from a contradiction. The wording most consistent through all the translations i've looked at has been this; "well". Not those who serve, but those who serve well. The ones who don't serve well, who serve crookedly . . . "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely."
Luke 20:46-47.
Let me repeat that, "These men will be punished most severely."

My point in all of this is to urge you to not settle for a church that is merely "decent" or "acceptable."
Find a church based in the Bible.
Find one where those who are chosen to serve there are held to ideals fitting for a temple.
Find one where the sick come to be healed. And i'll tell you right now, i've a list of maladies that could fill a book. But that's why i go; it's to be a hospital anyways.
Find one where the leaders are not a "brood of vipers."
In reading this, i'm brought back to a couple songs by a rather bold band called We As Human, specifically the song "Burning Satellites." He talks about tv preachers, then asks "How do you sleep at night, you filthy dogs, you sons of men?" and goes on to tell them they can change, and asks God to "help the scales fall from their eyes."
There's a lesson in that; if you find yourself in a church where those serving/working are loyal to self and tradition instead of God, pray that God helps the "scales" be removed. But make sure you don't have a plank in your own eye first.

I'm thankful there's a Godly church filled with sick people just like me, as well as healthy people who offer to help the sick, and where the preacher is genuine.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Framed Like A Picture" Flash Fiction

 Every story has a happy ending.

 That's what I'm told, at least. I'm not so sure that's a universal fact so much as a literary tool to make people think they're happy, when the truth is they're miserably incomplete from their first breath to their last. Winners die, losers live. Losers die, winners live. Which of these is the more tragic? The loss of greatness and prevalence of the mourning, or the perishing of those who know no joy? It's a matter of the “decrease [of] the surplus population”, or greatness being torn from someone. We're left with the age-old question, is it better to have loved and lost, or to have never loved at all?

 To have never loved; where's the happy ending in you?

 To have loved and lost, what elation rests in this?

 No, I'm convinced that neither is worthy of jubilation. Only the perfect, idealistic tales of love that end in “happily ever after” are the ones worth having. Yet even these are of mediocrity and generic nothingness. Love is not two who are happy with everything; that's ignorance and bliss. Love is two who fight through torrents and come out exhausted, but also stronger than before.

 Ours should have been lasting. Instead, it led to binding; chafing the wrists with coarse sisal.

 Love is pain. Whether lost, absent, or enduring, it is pain. Why should we strive for such a torment? What's there to gain in love, anyways?

 That may be the wrong question; what's there to maintain in the void of love? What's there to not lose in the perseverance of it?

 The answer is life. The answer is faith. The answer is truth. The answer is hope. The answer is everything.

 Even the most tragic of love, so long as it's true, is more triumphant than the most fulfilling lack of it.

 The voice beyond what I can see informs the gathered of my crimes.

 The rope around my neck tells me I die in vain.

 The heart in my chest says I lived in love.

 And no institution of man can diminish the hope in that.

 Framed like a picture, I'm waiting to fall and shatter.

 They have the wrong man.

 I loved her.

 I lo--

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

[Shameless Plug]

So, i've recently published another short story online.
It's free, and available in formats supported by a computer, Kindle, Nook, and other 'readers'.
Enjoy! =)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

An Open Letter To Fellow Men Guys

It's time to step it up a little.
I'm thankful to be from a state where common courtesy is uncommonly common. Not to say Texas is better than anywhere else (though it sort of is . . .), because i have much disdain for numerous aspects of it.

1 Peter 3:7 "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."

Now, this is directed not just at men, but rather married men. Still, parts of this can be applied to unwed men, namely the part where it says "showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel."
Here lies some controversy, as this could be seen as a male supremacist quote. How many male manual/heavy laborers are there for each female one? How many male bodybuilders are there for each female one? There are women stronger than me, and more physically capable than me. But on average, men are stronger than women, and that's fact. Deal with it.
Now on to the point of this post.
Guys, we really need to work on our manhood. In the verses leading up to this one, it speaks of the conduct of wives; how they should act and why. It tells them to be, essentially, not just women but ladies. There is a difference in the two terms; a woman is a person of the female sex. A lady is a woman who is noble and true. She is an upright, moral, intelligent woman. She is not one to fall in with any crowd, to appease for the sake of appeasing but rather for the sake of setting an example, and she is respectable in her respect for others.
And guys, with what is asked of women in this chapter, we are asked merely to show honor to them as the weaker vessel.
Our gender-role is quite simple, really.
Yet we still fail at it.
It's time we fixed that, yeah?

I'm not saying we should all become gentlemen overnight (though we should try). Let's start by becoming men. Let's work on the gentle part after we have mastered the way of being a man.
In this, i'm challenging any man that would accept.
Let's start simple, like opening doors for women, or offering to help load groceries. If we see a woman carrying something heavy or trying to lift something strenuously, it's our duty to show honor to them by offering assistance. Not to flex our muscles, but to use them so that they aren't required to.
We're not flirting, we're not trying to win hearts, we're not trying to impress, we're not even trying to be gentlemen; we're just being men.

And yes, i'm trying to add contrast between the genders with this, to repaint the line between our natures.
Not for the sake of friction or to say one sex is greater than the other. No, neither is greater; we're both required, we're both capable, we're both equal. Our natural tendencies and capabilities are different--not better or worse, just different.
But we need lines. We need contrast. We need character. We need God-given roles in our lives.
A brain and a heart are both required for life, so which is greater? The heart for pumping the blood to the brain so that the brain can tell the heart to pump blood? No, they're different, mandatory, and equal.

Without these gender-roles, society's heart will stop pumping blood to the brain, or else the brain will stop telling it to . . . Society will lose both its heart and its brain if we continue diminishing the contrast between the two.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Excogitation: The Escape

This is an excerpt from a story i've put off for some time. Recently, i've figured out the proper ending and, therefore, am ready to pick it back up. This is where the two main characters, Liam and Ari, share a dream through mechanized telepathy (neural implant).

 The sky became blue, and later turned black, eliminating all light except that which radiated from the fire. She had fallen asleep, but he sat with knees brought up to his chest, and stared at the orange-red glow, sometimes watching shadows dance upon the wall of the cliff or over the figure of Ari as she lay unconscious. His eyes became heavy. He'd never grown tired and wanted to fight off the urge to sleep. Slumber had always been an escape. Now he lived the escape and staved off sleep.
 Images began flooding his consciousness, overpowering his ability to focus to where all he could see was what his mind was showing him.

Walking through a meadow. Soft dirt, moist air, warm sunlight, clear skies, still water. Content. Peaceful. Green.

 He managed to regain his concentration, seeing a soft smile cross her face before the rush of imagination filled his senses once more. And he didn't fight it anymore.

 Their thoughts mingled as they lay across the fire from one another, their dreams merging, feeding off one another's subconscious. Gray turned to color, pallid to vibrant, monochrome to a rainbow array, coarse to smooth, sharp to soft, dark to light, futile to hopeful.

 The clouds floated away, leaving a blue expanse in the void. The Spires regained a measure of saturation about their heights, their branches sprouted limbs and leaves, blotting out the blinding ring in the sky, creating a soft, cool shade. Wire-like strands of plant-life rose out of the ground, wrapping around the trunks of the trees, twisting and writhing as they pulled themselves up the bark. The facility crumbled, falling into a lake where creatures with strange arms -wings, he felt they were called- glided slowly in from the sky, coming to rest on the water. The air moved without a door being opened; a chilling, comforting rush of wind made its way over his skin. Soft, green shards sprouted out of the ground, circular shapes of various colors and patterns reached skyward: grass and flowers.

 The smell was far from the acrid, stale aroma he'd always known. The scents of the grass, flowers, trees, and water all fused into an amalgamation on the breeze. There was something bright about the olfactory response; it was sweet and light, uplifting and joyous. He inhaled deeply just to get another breath of the subtle harmony of scents.

 And there she stood, the most beautiful sight of the entire view, seeming to bring life to the plain in her wake as she walked. Each Spire caressed became a tree, grass grew in her footsteps, budding flowers where the beads of her dress draped along the dirt.

 She looked towards him. As their eyes met, he felt a similar life rise and flourish inside of himself.

 The two minds became one as the light flickered about the motionless bodies containing them.

 The world was alive.

 He was home.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Trust . . .

My parents . . . Are perfect.
Now, they both have flaws, just as we all do. They don't always agree with me, nor i with them, but we never have any real 'spats'. We communicate openly; if they have a problem with something i'm doing, they talk to me about it and, vice-versa, i am encouraged to confront them if i find issue requiring attention regarding their behavior. They don't always act like i want them to, just as i don't always act like they want me to.
So it may seem hard to understand how, when they have flaws like everyone else does, i see them as perfect. That's the thing; they're perfect for me.
Some people living with their parents require restriction, others demand freedoms. Through them, i've a perfect blend of both for me.

But here's the thing . . . They trust me.
Children are, essentially, a fruit of one's works by faith. And i am the result of their parenting, example, leadership, etc., and they trust me to do what's right and to follow God in every decision.
I have a harder time trusting people who don't trust their grown children, and that's precisely why. If they don't trust the results of what they've done, they don't trust their own example, so how are they to be trusted? Sometimes, though, people are just unfortunate; they sometimes just have stubborn or rebellious offspring. I am genuinely sorry for them.
But i trust my parents because they trust me. They trust their faith, their work, their influence. And if they can, i can. If they couldn't trust me . . . How could i trust them?

As said before, my parents are perfect . . . For me.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Technology/Communication Issues . . .

I realized this after talking with a deacon from the local First Baptist church; technology is our downfall. I'm the biggest hypocrite for saying that, i know, since i almost need my mp3 player at work, can't leave my cell phone at the house, i spend much time on the computer, etc.

But i'm told technology brings us closer together. I mean, i can talk face-to-face with people on the opposite side of the world if i wanted (the desire has yet to arise, but it's possible). I can post my mood or thoughts for many of my friends and family to see instantly. We post "statuses", and anyone who is on our "friends list" can see it immediately. I've family in other states, and technology makes it much easier to connect with them and actually be family with them over the distance.
But there's an issue with all this blessing . . . A cancer that outweighs the good . . .
When we're close to everyone, we're intimate with no one. When everyone knows everything about you, what is left for your close friendships? When we give ourselves one small piece at a time to hundreds or thousands, what's left for those meant to be close to us?
We lose intimacy.
The closer we let strangers become, the more distant we force those we love to go
The more we communicate to everyone, the less we share with our true friends and our family.