My politics for 2016

October 13, 2016 — Leave a comment

MY ONLY POLITICAL POST:

I have been praying and thinking for days about the plight of our country, society, communities, families… I find myself just saddened over what I see.

I am watching racism, bigotry, sexism, bitterness, fighting, greed, deception, vile discussion, character assassination and more… I’m not talking about the presidential election. I am speaking about what I see in people’s discussions over the election and it’s candidates.

Person after person on social media ranting and raving about how evil hillary is and how disgusting trump is and in the next breath act exactly the same way with those they are talking with.

I’m coming at this from purely a flawed christian point of view. I believe in a God that not only loves but IS LOVE. It is the church’s responsibility to express this reckless love that has no strings attached, that doesn’t enable evil but also knows how to give out the grace that we have been given. Yet as much as that is true, it is literally the opposite of what I am seeing.

We have two people to vote for. Neither are great on policy. Neither are great morally. Neither measure up and we are stuck with an interesting dilemma on who to vote for. With that said regardless of who they are and what they have done it should not in any way define how you choose to speak to those around you or what garbage you sling on Facebook. You can’t blame the political situation for your complete disregard of your call to breathe life into this world.

Those of us who know God are literally called to bring heaven to earth by our words, by our actions and by how much we love. For those who don’t know God or don’t want to pick up a bible, WE are the only bible they will read. Instead of a verbal diarrhea of doom and trash talk which results in increasing our label as hypocrites and convincing people God is a jerk, we should be taking this opportunity to show people how Good, how gracious, how forgiving, and how loving God is.

We should not spend the next two weeks mudslinging and then after election in quiet prayer for the president. We should be singing praise to our God now for his peace in situations that make no sense.

Both candidates have slogans but the only one we should be preaching is that our hope is built on Jesus and regardless of what happens HE/WE WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.

And then for those of you who just can’t stop filling the internet with garbage that points to UNTRUE characteristics of a good God… STOP.

Pastors and leaders be careful what you type because people might not remember your sermons every week but the internet remembers what you type.

We have the opportunity to recover the things that have been stolen from our lives. The peace, the joy, the hope etc… It starts with our faith in a God who is unchanging and our choice to daily work on being more like Him.

We should ALL take a close look at what is coming out of our mouths because if it is not true, noble, kind, good, lovely, authentic, compelling, gracious, the best, the beautiful, praise, peace, love… If it isn’t pointing to a Good Good father then you need to work on what is on YOUR inside instead of going after others… SO THAT GOD MIGHT BE GLORIFIED and you can make the invisible God visible to those around you.

This song below from Tim Hughes inspired from the psalms is my prayer for myself right now. Im responsible for ME… Those who read this might want to use this as their prayer too:

“May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
Bless Your name, bless Your name, Jesus
And the deeds of the day and the truth in my ways
Speak of You, speak of You, Jesus

For this is what I’m glad to do
It’s time to live a life of love that pleases You
And I will give my all to You
Surrender everything I have and follow You
I’ll follow You

Lord, will You be my vision, Lord, will You be my guide
Be my hope, be my light and the way
And I’ll look not for riches, nor praises on earth
Only You’ll be the first of my heart”

With my eyes wide open:
Miracles and Mistakes on My Way Back to KoRn
By Brian “Head” Welch
Published by Thomas Nelson

Woah! calm down there friends.. stick around for this one. I know the title might have thrown you off and you are thinking this is a review of a new “CREED” album, but it’s not. This is the second book from Brian “head” Welch. His first one, went through his testimony talking all about his band, his life, his drugs, his destruction and ultimately his salvation and it was fantastic. So naturally I was excited and anticipating a follow up.

This book takes us in deeper into the nuances of his life, choices, solo career, his personal band, His walk with Jesus and then his decision to rejoin the band KORN. Being a pastor of a church dedicated to the recovery of people addicted to anything but Jesus, I am very drawn to stories like his. Brian went through pretty much everything and almost lost everything. I have seen the ugly side of the christian music world, heck for that matter the church in general. He experiences the hardships that come from being in the body and being reminded that the church is broken too. What is amazing about his story is the testimony of God’s faithfulness and seeing His church truly attempt to love like Jesus did for this man and his family. Eventually another member in Korn found hope and Jesus and I’m sure God isn’t done yet.

One of my favorite segments on brian which aligns with this book, is from the movie Holy Ghost. Watch it below and maybe it will make you consider reading his story.

 

Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera Paperback –
by Bryan Peterson

Well this is my first photography book to review and I am delighted to say I picked a great first one. The Dance between shutter speed, aperture, and exposure is kind of a tough one to wrangle. I’m still learning that end even though I have been this book really opened up my mind. Many other sources go into explaining the why and how, but I have never really understood it. I love that the book goes into detail and then backs it up with photos that not only show the image taken but show the photographer taking it. This inside look actually made things so much clearer for me.

It also includes suggestions on how to create exercises from the techniques laid out. I am looking forward to trying out many of these ideas. One of them was waving quickly a blanket or curtain behind a persons head and then shooting at a slow shutter speed to get a blur behind them. That is pure brilliance and I can’t wait to try it.

It is just so full of good things and imagery. I would give this simple read 4 out of 5 stars. Glad I got it and even more glad to put it’s ideas and expertise into practice in my own work.

I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

recovery

It would be wrong for me to say I’m a healthy person. I am overweight, a person who deals with issues like anxiety and lack of self worth, and I really love Cheese and Bread. With that confession out there I have in the last 6 months set out on a journey to work on getting healthier. It has been hard, sometimes easy, rewarding and down right annoying. I discovered, while eating better that I am clearly addicted to sugar and found myself in the “in between times” eating to deal with stress. I’m a stress eater? Where in the world did that come from and how did I never even notice this?

I set out on this journey not because heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer are in my genes, but because every time I ate something acidic I would get major heartburn and a pain in my side. A lame reason I know but sometimes it takes dumb circumstances to get us on the track to working on bigger ones.

What I discovered after a few months of eating a restricted diet is I was no longer having stomach pain from acidic things. It was absurd. I could now eat salsa with no problems.

Another thing began to happen. I started drinking only water, green tea and coffee. My body was constantly being flushed of toxins and being sustained on being “clean”.

And then it happened…

Pain…

I’ve endured pains before. I am used to them being overwieght and not in the greatest shape, but now I was feeling pain in places I never did before. My neck pain is out of control. My back and hip pain seem to come in waves for no reason at all.

A funny thing about Dairy and Cheese. They are foods that cause inflammation. I cut them out and you would think that if I was now ingesting anti-inflammatory foods that it would reduce inflammation and I would feel like 1 million dollars.

Well the truth is the inflammation I had previously was masking the pain in other areas. Basically this “thing”, this lifestyle that for all intensive purposes was killing me, was also numbing all kinds of other issues.

This realization has forced me to work on all kinds of areas that were never part of the “deal” of this diet. Posture, stretching, fitness, strengthening areas that are not in a normal workout to support the years of abuse on my body that the inflammation was hiding.

So now you must be thinking to yourself: “why is the word recovery in the title of this post?” – glad you asked.

Sunday I announced to our church that God had been speaking loud and clear that we are a “recovery church”. That is an odd statement, I know, but let me explain. Recovery is often associated with alcohol or drugs, but I have come to the conclusion that it needs to be associated with recovering things that have been stolen from us. It might be Joy has been stolen because of fear, Peace has been stolen because of abuse, Sobriety has been stolen because of addiction, kindness has been stolen because I am a “me-aholic”… The truth is every one of us as christians are in recovery because the enemy is stealing from us daily and we need to take it back by force!

There is one thing I have learned though about recovery that has now been solidified by my inflammation issue. When you remove the thing that is killing you there is also a discovery that it was making all the other pain numb. Hidden pain that was getting worse and worse and you never even knew. Now that it has been removed you are forced to deal with all the other things that it was hiding in your life.

Just like my health journey, when it comes to recovery this may end up being more painful than it was before… But it’s worth it.

When you remove the things that anesthetize your spirit then the spirit of the Lord can heal you from the inside out. 

It’s in that moment that you can say:
I might be in pain but YOU are my healer
I might be afraid but YOUR love casts out that fear
I might be sad but YOU bring joy everlasting
I might be confused but YOU give me a peace that I can’t understand
I am no longer a slave to the things I did before, but that also means have have so much more work to do… This time with YOUR strength.

Four Views on Hell
By Preston Sprinkle, general editor

I’m not exactly sure where the breakdown happened that in the scope of the gospel that hell became an even more important topic than the cross, but recently there has been a ton of controversy over it. Every theological side has been thrown into the wind of social media and it seems either long standing tradition or the loudest most popular voice wins.

This book comes from the “counterpoint series” which is almost like reading a parallel bible. So what we have is a book that is broken down by not only by theological concepts but also written by multiple authors. I was impressed by how each section was consistent in how it was written and broke down each concept in detail. Each chapter was grounded in the word and backed up with theology versus conjecture. What I mean is this is not just a bunch of guys opinions and “revisionist” theories. This is years of research done and written out to have a conversation over this difficult topic.

General editor Preston Sprinkle concludes the discussion by evaluating each view, noting significant points of exchange between the essayists.

Again this “conversation in book form” was interesting, but also a bit sterile. It is written a bit too technical and gives off the air of being a seminary book that is really only suited for a person wielding a hi-lighter. What I mean to say is this is NOT for your average reader, but it is worth attempting to tackle.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”