The Nature of Love

“The love we seek is the love long lost, whether deep within or thin without, we all seek that which we do not have, in order to slate the thirst of a hungry soul.” – Johnathan Cross

So what is love? Many might say it’s a feeling. Others might say it’s a deep connection. What would you say?

I believe whole heartedly that love is NOT a feeling, it’s a commitment. You CAN feel love, but it’s not a feeling. My mom loves me, but I’m sure she hasn’t always felt it, like when I shattered the rear windsheild to our only car, or when I dropped my baby brother on his head on a hard-wood floor. She loved me, but I’m sure she wasn’t feeling it at the time.

Love is a commitment. What does that mean? There are many different types of this commitment.

Being “In Love,” is a Gender Commitment.

This is one step above infatuation, which is one step above lust. A Gender Commitment is the simple connection between a male member of a species, and a female member of a species. (Or that between homosexuals) This is a bit more primal, but beyond lust. This is more of a “mate” situation, but it’s not Marriage. Let’s repeat that, it is not Marriage. However the human male chooses his mate in the primal sense, he’s going for what feels best. Marriage is not always about what feels best, but a dedication to a serious commitment, one we’ll mention here in a moment. Husbands and Wives fall out of love on a frequent basis, and they can fall back in love as well, but this commitment is not permanent, and should not be relied upon to make long-term decisions of any kind. It is too temporary and easy to break.

Simple love is a Family Commitment.

This type of commitment is not exclusive to members of your own blood-line. This commitment reaches to very close friends as well. They often say family is not who bore you but who raised you. This is true. I never knew my bio-father, but as far as I’m concerned, he was a donor and nothing more. The greatest father I could ever have known lives in Heaven, and calls me son. He has taught me more life lessons in living, how to be a man, how to treat a woman, and how to live my life better than any man here on the rock ever could. My best friends are my brothers and sisters, and I love my family, so I have a Family Commitment to them, and always will.

Love for things, whether ideal or physical, is an Affinity Commitment.

I love Mustangs, I love veal parmesean, I love Spongebob. Now, I personally Like these things, but I don’t have it to the extent of an Affinity Commitment. An Affinity Commitment would be a die-hard fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, or the Boston Red Socks, or the Ford motor company (if you live down south). I love the South. My love for this region, I could say, is a deep Affinity Commitment for myself, but I wouldn’t die for it. I’d fight for it, but I wouldn’t die for it.

Now, the deep love we all want to feel with another is a Soul Commitment.

A Soul Commitment is a dedication of your soul to the soul of another. This means that through thick and thin, better or worse, richer or poorer, etc etc, that you will always be committed to this person. You CAN have a Soul Commitment for a person and NOT want to be their mate. This would include the very, very deepest of friends, regardless of sex.

This commitment is total. This commitment lasts a lifetime, and demands a continual submission to the other’s needs. This does not mean you’re their servant, but this does mean you keep them the same or above yourself.

When both parties of a marriage, relationship, etc. continue to submit to each other, the marriage will always flourish. This is when the commitment, regardless of which, is kept in the forefront of your thoughts and attitudes. This keeps the other person in mind, and their best interests kept at heart. When both parties keep this on top, both parties win.

Love is an essential part of humanity. Humans needs connections to others. Each human soul is like a single flame. Without others, it will die out quickly and quietly. But when combined, it becomes a forest fire and burns brightly. The bigger the fire, the more fuel it will find.

There are more detailed envisionings of love and commitment, but these are the largest ones I can name. Just keep in mind, Love is NOT a feeling, it’s a commitment. If we let our emotions rule us we would all be dead, but love goes beyond your feelings. You love your wife, and will remember to obey her because you love her, not because you feel like it. Wives will remember to obey their husbands, not out of how they feel but because of their commitment. Such is the nature of true love.

And one final vision for you on this subject. Love is no more an emotion than a car is. Both emotions and cars can hit you, both can run you over, and both can take you for a ride. Real love has to be more than just an emotion; it’s a choice and a commitment. Emotions will accompany it, but they do not subsist it.

Original post: March 24, 2005
::: Originally posted on CastleRose Blog ::: 

Truth and Fact: Fiction nowhere in between

Facts are the raw, uncensored, pure nature of something. The truth is the understanding of the facts, usually in connection with other facts.

The facts do not explain everything. If a man shoots another, and the victim dies, then the man who shot him has killed him. But is that murder?

It is based upon the intent and situation. What if the man was aiming for another initially, but through strange happenings shot another? Or if it were in self-defense? Or in the defense of another? What is murder?

Murder is based upon the intent of the actor, not in the act. So what is the truth? The truth is in the understanding of all the facts together.

So Bob shoots Richard while loading, both are about to go hunting. Richard dies. Did Bob murder Richard?

Richard is shot in the neck with an arrow, Bob is trying to help but Richard by digging out the arrow with a knife but slits Bob’s throat. Bob simply injures into death Richard, Richard murders Bob.

Truth versus fact.

Such begets the nature of how nature sits quietly. Life is the collection of facts, interpreted through understanding. God is truth. So he is more than facts, than simple nature of things.

It is always important that when life is faced, it is not faced with fact, but with truth. Do not blind yourself to it, forget it, or disregard it.

Truth should be all, and considered greatly.

Original post: March 24, 2005
::: Originally posted on CastleRose Blog ::: 

The Marriage of Mind and Heart

There is a marriage in your mind — your mind the husband, your heart the wife.

In the traditional family structure, the husband is the head of the family and must care for his wife. A wife is to submit to her husband. “Wives obey your husbands, husbands care for your wives.”

The fact that the husband is the head of the family does not make him a blind tyrant, nor precludes his own responsibility to obey his wife. “Submit one to another.” He has a major resonsibility to his wife to listen and pay serious attention to her needs and desires. A wife is to submit to her husband, but not be a servant. They are partners, a military chain, best friends and comrades.

Here’s a military visualization for you: You and your wife are both Captains in your military, but you joined before she did. Now, you have authority and the responsibility to go with it, but you would be a fool to make your decisions without consulting her; her who has different training and is far more specialized in many areas you are NOT.

So, a husband’s position is not that of leisure, but of responsibility. It is not to be used as a method of control and disposal of obligation, but one of investment and reward. Like any leader, his role is that of empowering each member of his family so that they can pursue their dreams, but also guides them through the gifts mature masculinity brings — discipline, self control, thinking ahead, and, very importantly, thinking before feeling.

This is the crux of tonight’s point.

The mind is the mature husband — the thinker, the one who weighs long-term options and focuses on the cost of decisions, using logic to predict the outcome of choices, compares those decisions to what he knows of scripture, morality, costs spiritual and secular.

The mind must listen to the heart, but must not be swayed if what it knows will cause greater hardship and heartbreak than the current situation.

The heart is a creature of great intuition, sensitivity and life. It prefers the moment over the long-term, the “now” over the “tomorrow.” Women are thus. They are beautiful, sensual, colorful. They bring life and enjoyment and pleasure.

However, to let your heart lead your way through life, you are asking for more heartbreak and disappointment than necessary. Does that mean women always lead to heart-break? Absolutely not. They have a mind. If they learn to use it, just as men must, they, too, can weigh their own hearts and pursue the best course of action.

That is not to say that you should live a cold, heartless life, but unless your head is the final authority on things, you will fall in love with many people, and find the wrong person every time.

Listen to the heart, for the heart can see things the mind cannot, such as the heart of another person. Nothing can see the nature of a person’s heart better than the heart of another. So as a woman knows a woman, you should trust your heart when it comes to reading other’s hearts.

However (there always is a “However”), if your heart tells you that this man/woman that you’re interested in has a good heart and a desire to be good, but through your head (senses) you can easily see that this person has a problem with alcohol, drugs, sleeping around, commitment, a whole host of other things, which do you think you should listen to?

So there is no definitive way I should tell you to go. Your head will see things that your heart does not, and your heart will see things your head does not. So your decisions must be weighed properly between the two, and when one has the greater case, follow it.

I’d like to add one note here. While I have described the traditional, and efficient, family structure, understand that the bible does say that in God’s eyes both man and woman are equal, and that both must “submit to one another.” If you marry a woman and you feel God carrying your relationship with her in ways different than what I described, by all means. I’m not trying to bring us back to 1860. I’m just displaying God’s base plan as outlined in the Book. Paul says that something wrong for one man may not be wrong for another. Epso facto, what is right for one may not be right for another.

So, build your mind to lead the household of your body. It must do so wisely, with always an ear to the intuition of the heart. However, like a good husband, if the path ahead must be paved, the mind must lead. Be sensitive to the moment, listen to your heart, and sometimes the heart will lead when the mind is on unfamiliar territory. This is the back-and-forth relationship of a man and a woman — the one who sees out, and the one who values now.

Both are vitally necessary for life and love. We cannot be one or the other. But be not deceived — a family who follows the softly fickle heart of an emotional woman, or that of a cold, heartless man, will die. There is a tandem balance of both that will forever keep us on our toes, from here to kingdom come.

Night all.

Original post: March 19, 2005
First Ammendment: April 7, 2011
::: Originally posted on CastleRose Blog ::: 

Failing Efficiency

So I’ve loaded about twenty of some very old posts from my previous blog, which I think I had a total of 19 posts over three or four years, and I used one last night with only minor corrections. Tonight’s though, after reading it through twice, made me realize 1) how far I’ve come as a blog writer and 2) how poorly I constructed some rather random thoughts.

So I deleted the sumbitch and you’re getting RANDOMNESS tonight! Cuz believe you me, this will be more educational and interesting than what I had previously written.

For the next few weeks, most of my posts will be old posts edited to better reflect my ability as a writer and thinking as a, well, thinker. Some have real nuggets of philosophy and idea. Others might likely be deleted as the one slated for tonight was.

In any event, it was a good weekend. I’ve been working on my company, my voice work and my novels. I’m pushing my faith toward trusting God to provide as I need, and exercising my work for my part of the responsibility in trusting Him.

Faith is not absolving yourself of responsibility, but placing that responsibility in God’s hands while you continue fighting to see things happen and change occur.

So keep fighting! Night ever’body!

Hating the Societal Mainstream

Who but those who step outside the societal mainstream can find the nature of our insanities? We’re all stupid and really messed up. Obvious? Definitely. Apparent? Not enough.

Alright, let’s brief this out. Society today is on its own course to self destruction. Aside from the religious outcries of future Armaggeddon, the society itself is collapsing – just the way every society in the past has collapsed upon itself. What is the single, most solitary factor that contributes to this?


Regardless of how something is forgotten, whether someone does not teach their child the lessons of yesterday or tries to teach it and fails, the new generation fails to learn from the old: they move on into newer “enlightenment” and forget the hard-earned lessons of yesterday.

Why wouldn’t parents wish to teach their children the lessons they learned? There are a few reasons.

1. Life lessons are not fully understood until they are experienced.

This is not necessarily the best reason not to teach a child a lesson. One should teach, but still understand that it may not sink in until they DO experience it. Better to try though, than not at all. Teaching them today is planting a seed

2. The horrors the parents faced when they were younger, they do not want the younger ones to face.

Horrors and the lessons learned from them are two separate things. Explain what you can without revisiting the horror, but if they understand the lesson, they might at least recognize the dangers of the horror when it approaches. Do not detail a rape when you can tell your daughter to always travel with a friend at night.

3. They do not think the children will understand.

Don’t expect them to fully comprehend, but give them the benefit of the doubt. Teaching your child before they understand is the planting of a seed. They don’t have to understand now — they will as they get older, but not if you haven’t already planted the truth deep within them.

4. They think that the way of the younger generation is better.

Overall, you’d be pretty stupid to believe that. We’re not talking the “better” way of doing things – getting rid of slavery and separate but equal mentalities was right, not a younger thing to do. Our youth are not our future without the solid truths from the past. A child with no-one to teach it the way will die – so will generations. If parents do not stand up and teach their children from right and wrong, then they are letting their children die.

5. They are afraid of their children.

If you are afraid of your child, you should be slapped.

Now, to clarify this answer, let’s give exceptions. Mentally unstable children due to extenuating circumstances NOT under the parent’s control do not count.

Let’s clarify it further: a poor family in a ghetto neighborhood do NOT live in extenuating circumstances to cause mental instability for a child. If they are willing to fight, their children will grow up with strong minds and a heart for values, necessary values to maintain a society.

A side note on this – if a parent has mistreated a child to a point where the child is mentally unstable and threatens the parent, then the parent deserves whatever the child puts upon them. It doesn’t make it right; it is, however, the nature of the beast.

We must be willing to give it all to ensure our children understand not only the nature, but also the danger of the world. Embracing the world doesn’t help us. We need to embrace something more than simply other humans.

Most people would agree that if they set a goal, they will never reach it, but they often come close. So, if they set higher goals, they may not reach them, but they will go higher. So we as humans, society, people – whatever, must embrace something higher than ourselves to become better in who we are and what we do.

So don’t ask society to raise your child. Why? Because they’re all asking the same thing, and all you end up with is a room full of people who aren’t taking responsibility for their own children or their own eroding culture. Don’t follow the crowd, make your own.

Original Post: March 3, 2005
::: Originally posted on CastleRose :::

Obeying in the Moment

Frustration fills me, I’m beginning to anger, I can’t even speak. God has annoyed the f__k out of me. How in hell am I supposed obey Him when he makes it so difficult? How can he give me such a monumental task? I can’t do it, God! I can’t! I can’t even keep myself together! How am I supposed to do THAT!!??

Felt this way before? Of course you have. You’ve met God, right? He’s not always easy to get along with. And sometimes? He’s near downright impossible to obey. But He commands you to obey. And you want to obey. You really do. You just wish it didn’t feel so difficult to be obedient, to follow Him and, you know, do all that other stuff.

There are even those times where you feel like, Hey, I got this. I’m finally getting it! God’s asked me to do something I feel I can do. I’m stepping out. Hey, I did it! Alright! Let’s do that again! And then somewhere in the distance, you hear God laughing. Why?

Because if there’s anything you should know about the living God of the Universe, is that He rarely, if ever, does the same thing twice. And if He has to do it twice, it’s cuz you ain’t gettin’ it, my friend, and He’s having to whoop your bottom more than once.

So how do we obey? How do we “Get it?” I mean, God gave me a vision of climbing the mountain over yonder and I ain’t go no legs!! (Been around too many Warner Robianses tonight, sorry.)

Well, stop worrying about getting to the mountain. Remember last night’s post?  Or, the night before’s, I don’t remember which I used this quote in, but let’s repeat it, because it really comes close to tonight’s message.

“When on the journey of a thousand miles, the traveler’s first goal is the next step.”

When God asks you to obey, He didn’t ask you to deliver the whole pizza pie right then and there. He wants you to stop and think about it. Pizza pie. Flour. Sugar. Milk. Pepperoni. Tomatoes. Basil. Garlic. Salt. Okay, that’s a breakdown. What does he want first? Well, how am I supposed to get the ingredients. Wait, I don’t even know how to make a pizza. Hell, I hate cooking!! WTF, GOD??

Stop. God only asked ONE (1) (uno) (singular) thing from you.

Your heart.

Don’t worry about how or who or what or when or even why. Just shut the hell up and give God your heart. That’s all He wanted from the first. It’s like your daddy asking you to help with the car. He doesn’t want YOU to fix the car. He wants you to follow instructions.

“Wrench.” Wrench. “Screwdriver.” Screwdriver. “Gas can.” Where’s the gas can? “Go check by the radiator.” … Gas can.

Does that make sense? When daddy asks you to come help him with something, He’s the one who will do it first every time. Period. He has NEVER asked of us what He was unwilling to do Himself. Need proof?

Jesus Christ, son of God and God Himself, came to live a human life. He did it as a man, who went through puberty, probably had a couple of wet dreams, stubbed his toe and may have said a bad word here and there, probably got into a few fist fights, was hungry, had to go to the bathroom. He even probably had diarrhea once.

He went through it all, folks. He knows it’s not easy, and He came here to prove that He wasn’t just going to sit on high and tell us what to do. He came down here and showed us how this thing rolled!

“Come help me fix the car.” But I don’t know how to fix a car. “YOU don’t need to. Just come out to the garage. I’ll take it from there.”

When God calls you to obey, He doesn’t ask you to deliver the world. He just wants you to submit your heart and then do as He says. If your heart is humble, the task will seem light. If your heart is defiant, the task will BE impossible, because it’s not about the doing, it’s about the BEING. BE obedient. BE humble. BE loved.

Well, hell Christian. How do I submit my heart? Here’s a few tips.

  1. Tell yourself to SHUT THE HELL UP. (Seriously, folks. It’s US or GOD talkin’ and he doesn’t share the microphone.)
  2. Repeat Step 1.
  3. If still in doubt, repeat Step 2, and then remind yourself to WHOM you gave your life?

When we surrendered our lives to God, that wasn’t a one time transaction, but the initiation of a life-long relationship that would end when you did, and since we believe in an afterlife, that end not likely ever to occur. EVER.

What are you waiting for? Christmas? That’s like waiting for your dad to finish puberty — It’s already done, folks! Jesus came and went! The point is that he is here now, waiting on you to stop kidding yourself that skating by is enough on this interstate we call life.

Obey in this moment. Is God calling you to something and you’re balking? First, quiet yourself. Second, submit all you have and are to Him. Three, repeat step one. Four, LISTEN.

God speaks, but he speaks in the wind. If we’re yelling into the storm, we won’t hear either. But if we quiet ourselves, submit our hearts, trust God, and learn how to obey in the moment, we might just begin to hear the beautiful song he’s never ceased to sing over our lives.

Obeying in the moment is a LIFESTYLE, one that must be adopted, exercised and continued. But let me tell you from personal experience, to obey in the moment is the most FREEING lifestyle you will ever have. Why?

Every concern, through my continual obedience, rests on my shoulders no more than a few moments at a time. It instantly travels across the bridge of my obedience and relationship with God to HIS shoulders, where HE wants it. He designed it that way.

“My yoke is easy and burden light.” – Jesus “The Man” Christ. He was offering an exchange when he said that. “Give me yours, I’ll give you mine.”

I can’t handle life’s burdens, people. Honestly, I can’t do it. I’m a very smart, somewhat almost hopefully attractive 29-year-old man who can sing, do graphic design, voice work and am writing my fourth novel, but I CANNOT . DO . THIS . MYSELF.


Obeying in the moment allows me to remember that I’m not alone, God is here, He wants my burden and will take it if I only OBEY, and SURRENDER it to Him!

Freedom is available to you. Freedom from your addictions, your worries, your responsibilities, your broken relationships, your broken self. You can be free. But you have to obey God, surrender THIS moment. That’s that first step on your thousand-mile journey, remember? Your goal is merely the next step. Your next step is obedience.

Trust me. I’m not only the writer, I’m definitely a client.

Night folks.

Un-Daunt Your Dreams

I wish to reach the stars! I grow up with fantasies of walking across the surface of the sun, my dreams fulfilled, the fanfare raining from the sky, the world at peace. Hey, I just accomplished the impossible.

And then I wake up and realize, hey, I still have to go to work, and as I get dressed, I begin to ask — What the hell happened to my dream? Oh, yeah, I couldn’t do it.

At least, that’s what you thought, feared, and then let die because you felt unequipped to actually reach for those stars. But what’s the truth?

Were you just not strong enough? Smart enough? Determined enough? Perhaps you moved too slowly, tried too fast, realized that dreams were for people who could make ’em happen. “I’m not one of them. I’ve got a family, responsibilities, a mortgage … this is what I need to do now.”

While I won’t argue how responsibilities in our lives can force us into limited options to pursue our dreams, I argue against the idea that obstacles can end dreams. The hardest thing to swallow is that sometimes actually working toward our dreams is the most daunting thing of all, both for the struggle required to walk the path and the fear of actually getting what we want.

I believe you can get both  what you want and the strength to handle it, but it won’t be how you’ve traditionally wanted to approach it.

For example. Cindy d’Margliatticci wants to run her own accounting firm in Charleston, S.C. While she loves accounting, she has a few hard questions for herself that seem realistic, but are often more discouraging than anything.

  • Am I good enough to do the job and make a living?
  • Am I good enough to compete against businesses already in place?
  • I know accounting, but what about marketing? I’m not a people person, I just want to work numbers. How can I get business if I don’t know how to advertise?
  • If I’m not the best with people, how can I determine whom to hire?

She thinks about these questions and more on a regular basis, looking up at the great mountain of her dream, the shining image at the top being d’Mar Accounting & Associates, a well-respecting accounting firm performing financial management services for individuals, small and medium-sized businesses and bringing home good money to provide for herself and her family, after our outrageous taxes, of course.

Her goal is inspiring, without doubt, but it seems daunting when you think about Cindy as a recent-graduate of an accredited, but small community college with a decent financial educational program. Then more personal questions arise.

  • Am I qualified to run such a business?
  • Will clients and colleagues respect me?
  • Can I lead an office of people who might be better at this job than myself?
  • Can I charge what’s necessary to stay in business to people who might not be able to afford it?
  • Will I be able to sustain the business in hard times and provide for my family the way I promised them?

Then come the simple, yet sometimes the scariest questions.

  • How do I get started?
  • How do I apply what I learned to the real world?
  • How do I find the right kind of people to hire?
  • How can I trust them?
  • When will I be ready?
  • For all it will take me to get there, is this really what I want?

The last is the hardest question of all. Is the dream you see before you truly what you want? Are you pipe dreaming? Is this dream not part of your greater purpose? Maybe you’re going in the wrong direction? Is this dream worth it?

First of all, take a breath. I can almost guarantee you that in the next five to ten minutes, you are not likely to die, lose your job, yourself, your dreams, your spouse, children, house or any number of other things we often like to add to our burden of responsibility when considering the true costs of pursuing our dream.

Second, take another breath.

There is an old proverb that says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I agree, but let’s go a step further.

“When making the journey of a thousand miles, the traveler’s first goal is to take the next step.”

Do you need to read that again? While on the journey that seems endless, insurmountable, a climb up Everest, a sojourn through the desert, a stroll through Canada, your first goal is to simply take the next step.

Why is that important?

Because the only thing any of us can really accomplish at any given moment in our lives is a single step.

Don’t worry about the 999 miles of steps you have to accomplish, or however many you may have already accomplished. What your goal, focus, responsibility, burden at any given moment, is simply the next step.

Let’s bring Cindy back.

“Hi.” – Cindy

Cindy sometimes grows paralyzed with concern and wonders if she shouldn’t just stick with her simple 9-5 at a local bank and wait for something better to happen to her. Her mountain of a dream of d’Mar Accounting & Associates seems so large and she’s so small.

“I’m only 4’7.” – Cindy

But let’s just imagine just a few simple steps she might have to take to get started, and break them down into more than official requirements.

  • STEP 1 – Figure out the goal of her company (Vision, Mission, etc.)
  • STEP 2 – Write down a basic end-state of the company that is flexible as she learns more about running a business
  • STEP 3 – Determine the basic requirements of starting a business in her town — something done on-line
  • STEP 4 – Pay the small fee, fill out the form, turn it in
  • STEP 5 – Continue research into how to run an accounting business
    • Wait a second here! You mean she should get a business license and get started before she’s ready to start with customers??
    • Um, yes. The very BEST way to learn how to do something is to do it. Owning a business license doesn’t obligate you to do anything. It merely FREES you to do it.
    • That is one of the importances of continuing to pursue steps toward your goal. Each step is a tiny barrier between you and your goal, a single piece of twine. Combine with a thousand strands, you can’t break free. But cutting one at a time is a surefire way to eventually get them all.
  • STEP 6 – Find out the average costs of others doing the same work.
  • STEP 7 – Find a customer and offer them a much lower price for your lower experience.
  • STEP 8 – Do the work you learned in school and in which you love.
  • STEP 9 – Record everything you did well, did poorly, and all information in between.
  • STEP 10 – Get feedback from your customer.
  • STEP 11 – Rinse and repeat.

Okay, so you may not have read the whole list, but if you did, was any single one of those steps out of reach? Impossible? STEP 9 might be impossible without the others before it, but your responsibility isn’t STEP 9 until you’ve completed STEP 8. Does that make sense?

Don’t worry about STEP 9 when you’re on STEP 2. It’s not time to concern yourself with it.

For me, I want to build a powerful identity management business incorporating forms of multimedia design and public relations. Can I do that today? Hell to the no. I can’t. I know I cant. And yes, it’s daunting. But I’m not at STEP 1,122. I’m at STEP 13. My responsibility is not to STEP 1,122, but STEP 14. That’s it. Nothing else.

It’s that simple. I’ll leave you tonight with the quote from above. If you’re facing a dream and don’t know how to manage the burden of that dream, remind yourself of this quote. See if it doesn’t help you, encourage you, keep you from giving up. I hope it doesn’t. We have dreams on purpose. Don’t give up your purpose for fear of your dreams.

“When making the journey of a thousand miles, the traveler’s first goal is to take the next step.”

Purpose and Coming Alive

How does pursuing our purpose help us come to life? What do you mean, like, a better job?

No, not like a better job. Don’t for an instant believe a job is a purpose. A job is an expression of purpose, but is not the purpose in and of itself. You might have several jobs in your life that are part of your overall purpose, but each one is not likely to summate your entire purpose.

Often God will have us work in several, sometimes unrelated jobs to prepare us for our purpose, which will need us to be well-rounded in all these areas. For example, while not a total purpose, someone’s future career might be a Hotel Food & Services director. To get there, one can’t simply work as a front-desk person; they must know food and services, event management, hotel services, VIP management, etc. The point is that sometimes people don’t know they really want to be Hotel Food & Services director until they’ve gone through all the other jobs, realizing those jobs helped make them into the person they’ve become.

Our actual purpose is often achieved in the same manner. We go through different experiences in life we can’t always explain and don’t understand until after we’ve gone through them and can see the whole picture coming together.

When you seek out your purpose, try to avoid getting caught up in asking how what you do can contribute to everyone else. Don’t ask what your piece of the pie is, or how you fit into the bigger picture. Why? Because while we do have something to contribute to our neighbors, our passions must first fulfill us. Why? Because that’s how they’re designed.

Gee, Christian, that seems awful selfish!

This isn’t about building yourself an empire of that which pleasures you. This is understanding that God has designed each of us with a powerful passion, an innate desire to achieve something that fulfills us from within. For some people that might be designing a better sports car, for others that’s building a school, others might be to work for the poor and needy. This might range a breadth of what some might perceive to be entirely selfish to entirely selfless, but there is reason we have passions within us in the first place.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Imagine life where everyone gave up their jobs and starting helping the poor. The entire length of existence would become nothing but Social Security offices and shelters. Then where would the color of God’s design be?

There is a vast tapestry of existence, each of us has a part to play, and those parts are not limited even to our singular purposes.

Let us suppose my purpose were to be a mountain climber: that I had an incredible passion for climbing mountains and was gifted at efforting it. In the grand scheme of things, there isn’t much such I might do directly to help the poor while climbing a mountain. But if God designed me to climb a mountain, then to deny that passion is to deny God’s wisdom into making me a climber. What I wouldn’t know in the beginning was that as the gifted climber I was, I would become an inspiration to paraplegics, U.S. soldiers working to overcome PTSD, inner city youth who have never even see more than four trees in person. I might then become both a climber and a motivational speaker, or perhaps just a youth volunteer in between my climbs.

If I were to give up that passion to work a job that “seemed” selfless, I’d be shorting God’s purpose in my life because I thought I “knew better” than God. Every one of us does something to contribute to the whole, but let your passions dictate how you contribute.

Suppose I’m a wealthy businessman who has built a successful multimedia business. I’ve provided well for my family and can afford just about anything I’d like, within reason, and have done so while being responsible. God has blessed me with my success because I’ve followed my passion with everything I had. Let’s see how many ways I might affect others.

1) I buy a sports car. Seems selfish, but then consider where that money goes. The designer, the manufacturer, the distributor, the advertiser, the support personnel … everyone. The sportscar designer’s passion has made the best possible car, and thus I can enjoy the fruits of God’s favors. I drive the car and buy gas and several gas stations, all of whom benefit greatly from my gas-guzzling 10-cylinder speedster.

2) My company provides public relations services to several small companies, allows them to better mitigate faulty issues with their products, recoup their losses and build themselves better businesses, learning from their mistakes.

3) My branding services allow startups to get off the ground with a professional look, improves how they feel about themselves and allows them to grow with less confusion as to their visual identity.

There are many more examples of what I could provide, but don’t you see my point? Every man or woman follows his/her passion IS helping others, is pursuing God’s plan. He wants a vibrant community where each person finds personal joy in following their passion.

Read the quote again I posted above. If the world were full of men and women who pursued their passions, how beautiful this world would be!

While we pursue those passions, we should do so with eager humility, always giving credit to the God who gave us the passions and skills that allow us to reach those passions, and always being generous with the fruits of our efforts, giving to those who need and showing love to all.

But don’t imagine for one moment that in being humanly “selfless” that you’re doing the right thing. God doesn’t design all of us to work at shelters, but it doesn’t mean we can’t volunteer, love our neighbors, help those in need.

Everyone has an individual journey. How we conduct those journeys is what makes our lives different, real, God-driven.

So follow your passion, live your life to its fullest, and always be generous with what God gives you!!

Transcript: The Nature of Interpretation, Actions and Desires



I’m having a bit of a Bible study with a friend (reading through Romans) who was raised Catholic and wasn’t really ever admonished to read the Bible while growing up in the Catholic church.

He seems to have a very interesting fear/respect for the Word of God (believes it to be God’s Word and therefore holy and immutable and that we should not question it), but he doesn’t have any deeper understanding of cultural context and how sometimes the Bible talks in parables (rather than literally) and other times things are very direct and literal (i.e. Do not commit adultery, etc.).

So I’m feeling a little inadequate to address the questions I know he’s going to have about what we’re reading (he’s a philosopher so is in the practice of analyzing arguments, questioning things, seeking out truth, etc.)

And I don’t have any specific examples to give you as we haven’t had our discussion yet …

Well, one way I might put it, and this is not THE way to put it, is that when God spoke, he spoke across time. He knew this text would need to transcend certain elements of human culture. For example, if the bible speaks of taking off your sandals while in the presence of God, and you’re wearing Nike Air, does that mean it doesn’t apply to you?

The Bible is BOTH literal and figurative. To imply that it can only be one or the other limits God’s ability to communicate to humans wherever they are, and we know that isn’t the case.

Well, something he mentioned briefly from his reading in Romans is the issue of slavery. We don’t condone slavery in our age (but the concept of being a slave to Christ is still valid for us), but I think that his question may be something like — Does the Bible support slavery?

Remind him that the Bible must be taken as a whole, not in individual bites. We might chew through it that way (piece by piece, step by step), but it is a unified whole. Therefore, tell him to read everything else in the Bible about liberty, God freeing us from sin and slavery and death, the value of the individual man, God’s love for us, and then what it talks about slavery to men. There are multiple lessons from its references to physical slavery. 1) Learn to exemplify God when ontop of the world and at the bottom (slavery). 2) Make the best with what you have. 3) There are times we bound to things in a slave-like manner, how we behave in that slavery is what God watches. i.e. addictions, jobs, familial responsibilities.

God doesn’t condone slavery, but he does accommodate our free will, and sometimes that means living with the consequences of our misbehaviors, such as when one man enslaves another.

[Que simple conversation, then return to other topic]

Something that’s been rolling around in my head a lot is the topic of discipline … being good … being righteous … The Bible talks about God lifting up the humble, exalting the lowly, blessing the righteous … often in words that make it sounds like the Bible supports a works-based righteousness.

But on the other camp is the truth that no one is righteous … that we can do nothing good on our own accord … that it’s only by Christ’s power that we do any good thing
So how does one try to behave/do what God asks/pursue righteousness but only *doing* what Christ gives strength to do. Particularly, being aware that Christ is the one making it possible for us to do those good works.

I hesitate to make a list of *good* things that I should just “buck up” and work on accomplishing in my life because I should live a righteous life without turning it into a legalistic/law-based existence, because that is more of my tendency.

The key here is the concept of “being.” More than the literal sense, think of the active concept of “being,” where one becomes something that, in so evolving, acts. Your first act, if there were ever an act to reach God, is to surrender. Surrender your life, your heart, AND your actions to God. Through becoming that which God is designing you for (and this is not becoming in a FINAL stage but the process itself, think journey vs. destination), our actions then reflect our becoming.

Boy that sounds all high flighty, but it boils down to BE AS GOD DESIRES TO ACT AS GOD DESIRES.

Actions reinforce our evolution, but do not cause it. Like making a fold on a piece of wrapping paper, the tape is the action that reinforces the change, but it cannot supplant it, and without the change (folding the paper to that particular point) the tape/action means nothing.

Legalistically, the law is fulfilled and thus becomes largely innate under the position of our salvation. The law’s purpose was to align humanity (who were impure) to God (pure). It was the set of standards, the description of character, the genetic map of God. Without that alignment, our union would have caused God’s genetic map to become tainted, and he won’t allow that. He is God and will remain thus forever.

However, God then made a way by which those of us with impure genetics could align with God through paying the price of the taint (the death of his son) while retaining his own purity. That means the law, which shows us the way to his purity, does not apply the same way to us as it once did, because he has already fulfilled its purpose and therefor no longer uses it the same way.

The law is like a roadmap we had to follow, and then God figured out a way to pay for our airfare.

And the way to “be” as God desires is to surrender–nothing more?

That’s just your first step. You know the other elements of it — know God through his word, pray at all times for all reasons, wear his armor for protection, live by trusting that through your surrender, His Will may flow through your life and TRUSTING that whatever comes of your surrender, it’s for your good and benefit.

When God flows from within (requiring you to empty yourself so he can fill you up), He will see to it what direction you travel, by what road and how far/fast.

Hmm. I think I need to think about what I’m not surrendering. *all* is too easy to say, but doesn’t mean that I’m aware of the areas that I’m actively not surrendering (not that I will necessary know what all those are)

Start righting down every element of your life you can’t seem to overcome. Then write down as subcategories every subelement. For example – “I can’t keep a job, am always quitting.” Sub elements – fear of being let go, fear of relationships with others, distrust of leadership, dislike of being told what to do, feel caged etc.

Then bring each element to God. If you know a sub-element is caused by something or someone in your past, address it specifically. If you feel you acted improperly to someone in the past, it might be causing you trouble today. Go back and settle with them, ask their forgiveness, forgive them, and move on.

And if you don’t, ask God to reveal to you about each element.

Mm. So what’s your motivation for submitting to God? Like, you personally. Is it based on your established relationship with Him? Based on your knowledge and acceptance that He loves you and cares about you? Based on sense of duty/obedience? Because you want to get a positive result from doing so?


All of the above, I take it?

I learned that submitting yourself to God IS pursuing your all, because he designed each and every part of you and knows the best way to use each and every part of you.

We think we’re not trying hard enough if we have to surrender. The contrary is true. If a glove always fought the hand inside of it, it would never truly get done what it should get done. A glove is not designed to work without the wearer, and neither are we.

So how would you define selfish gain? I feel like to pursue God because I want good things (i.e. how *I* define good things) is a form of selfishness.

I just finished an autobiography about a woman’s faith journey. A big part of the reason she came to Christianity was because she wanted a husband and all the other ways she tried to get one weren’t working out for her. She felt like God promised her that she would have a godly husband, so she decided to give God a try. In the end, she was blessed with a good man. But a big part of me feels like her motivation was mostly selfish. What if God didn’t give her the desire of her heart in the end–I wonder if she would have still become a Christian if she knew that she wouldn’t get the desires of her heart.

The key here is to understand that God wants to be the supplier of EVERYTHING in life. So, if I want a good meal and seek God to provide it, is it selfish? It satisfies God’s desire to relate with us, denies our thoughts of doing it without God, builds trust through the reliance …

I understand your thinking — I have had it myself. Sometimes still ask myself if I do. But the key is to understand that seeking God for our desires was the ORIGINAL PLAN.

I guess the thing I don’t know is 1) When are our desires okay? What desires do we have that are okay (godly/righteous)? 2) Even if we build trust through reliance, how do we respond when we feel like the trust is broken (i.e. the desire wasn’t met/fulfilled the way we wanted/in the time we wanted, etc.)?

Well, desire, in and of itself, is not sinful.

Wanting things is not sinful. It is only sinful if in the wanting, we seek to REPLACE God.

All desires can’t be righteous though … what if a person desires to commit adultery, or to steal, or cheat, or rob …

Alright. Do you want to do any of those things?

No, but I still have a hard time figuring out if the desires I have are acceptable desires. And I have a hard time understanding what’s selfish and what’s not selfish. Because I feel like by definition, almost any desire I can have is in a great degree to bring some kind of satisfaction/happiness/fulfillment for me and me alone.

Desire, itself, isn’t sinful. What we aim that desire upon determines its sinfulness. You want a loving husband, good child, nice house, decent car, good job. What we have in our lives is not nearly so important as how we conduct ourselves in it. Let’s say you get everything you want. God wants you to have it so long as you credit him with it and always appreciate it here in the moment — you’re not selfishly hoarding your gifts or wasting what he’s given you. Sometimes you’ll have much, sometimes you’ll have little. What you do with what you have is the key between sin and purity.

God made us as needy creatures — we constantly need and want. He knows that about us. But he even says: Pray at all times with all kinds of requests. In other words, ASK! “Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened.” He wants you to seek out your desires because no man makes a journey without a desire to see the end of it.

How you CONDUCT your journey is the key.

If you feel selfish for desiring something for yourself, stop yourself and ask how you can use it for God’s glory.

Without desires, mankind diminishes. We are limited creatures seeking to overcome our limitations. Without those desires, we will forever remain exactly where we are, exactly where God doesn’t want us. He wants us to move, act, try, fail, struggle, thrive, overcome, be pushed back. He is an immortal God in seek of adventure, one he will experience through loving imperfect creatures struggling toward perfection.

The belief that all my desires are selfish has been a lifelong struggle for me.

It sounds like something in your past put that as a seed in your soul. It’s a terrible lie by Satan.

Oh I can think of a number of different things that probably contributed to that idea.

Well, you might need to address them, then. Bring them before God, surrender them, and do what you can in this world to bring that to a close.

Mm. Whew. The work that needs to be done in my life.

Hey, you’re neither alone nor unique in that regard. Don’t let Satan tell you otherwise on that, either.

I guess this is what happens when your life slows waaaaaaay down. God shows you all the things that need addressed that you’ve been putting off for years.

Why do you think I’m here in Warner Robins? The EXACT same reason.

Mm. Guess this is one of those things to be thankful for–God giving us the time and space and wisdom to work through these things.

Darlin, that’s what life IS about. Working through our limitations. Everything else is fodder. For a limitless God, our struggle through difficulty IS what makes it interesting for Him! That’s why it brings him glory, that an all-powerful God might experience limitations.

I’m remembering my friend Shaniqua, who, with great angst and voice full of emotion declared “I hate the process!!” after we’d been discussing these same kind of things during our YWAM stint.

I can completely relate.

Without the process, growth means nothing. Without the journey, the destination is not well received. Without fight, victory is meaningless.

Without our limitations, God has no purpose.

Mm. I don’t know if I’d agree with that. God doesn’t need us to be purposeful. He had purpose before He created us, right?

He doesn’t need us, but he designed us as A purpose. Maybe not THE purpose, but there is purpose in Him creating us, for Him, not just us.

We are his bride for a reason.

Mm. Very true.

The Lost Art of Manhood

If you look across the breadth of human existence and take note of the themes that run strongest across time, they are usually politically incorrect.

And one theme that has been relegated to our “neanderthal” and “unenlightened” years is the concept of manhood.

Men are typically physically stronger and more aggressive than women. We are typically more competitive and are prone to rash decisions. We have emotion but work harder to control it, and our emotions run on different timelines and stratuses than women. We are more logical and yet can ignore our intuition. We disassociate elements of our lives and tackle each individually. We work to assume responsibility for our families and prefer empowerment over orders, support over direction.

While men certainly have faults, our strengths are many, and have been summarily attacked by movements among women who so detest those faults they are willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Instead, today, men have been emasculated under the guise of “equality.” Finally, men and women may behave the same, be treated the same, desire the same things in life. This isn’t equality, it’s a leveling where leveling does not belong.

Men and women are inherently different, despite what our prevailing culture wants to profess. Because of certain women’s groups’ predisposition to hate dominant masculinity, they have worked to destroy the positive pillars of manhood in an attempt to destroy what is negative, instead of merely addressing that which is negative and it alone.

This goes toward men dissociating and women associating. You see, when one man fights another man, that fight is between the two alone (usually). When women are embattled, they don’t simply fight one, but all associated with that one. Women are spiders, ever weaving greater complexes of interrelational webs that cannot be dissociated.

“Do these pants make my ass look fat?” Trans: The pants relate to my ass relate to my attractiveness relate to how you feel about me. “Do these pants make my ass look fat?” AND “Am I still attractive to you?” AND “Do you love me?” AND “Tell me something good about myself because I’m running on fumes right now.”

So when feminists went after what they disliked about manhood, they went after EVERYTHING. And now we’ve lost men to a culture where women have loudly proclaimed they don’t need men in their lives. Men are optional, just like marriage before sex, faith before fun.

“Where have all the men gone?” my female friends have asked out loud. My response? Ask your grandmother. She destroyed them.

Today males no longer grow up, they just grow older. They lack men who are willing to believe women need them, understand how they fit into this world and had fathers, themselves. Instead we have a proliferate generation of males who, because “women don’t need men,” don’t even know about rising to the occasion, taking charge, being responsible, preparing their young life to support a family. Why should they? Women don’t need them.

And yet nonsense has been sold by such a few number of women; they have merely been loud and politically correct, so the media follows it.

“I want my man sensitive and caring and a good listener and who loves flowers and isn’t into sports or dangerous things! Why can’t he just stay home and be safe??”

Because masculinity isn’t safe. Masculinity is a dangerous force, a swirling mix of death and destruction. Little boys bash everything in sight until their mothers tell them how terrible their male-ness is.

Instead of being taught self control by another, older, wiser male, their masculinity is merely ripped from them, along with their spine and sense of duty.

Women who believe men and women are equal, you will get EXACTLY what you ask for — a man with no real spirit or fight in him. He will have no passion but that which brings him physical pleasure. This is not because women are this way, but because if you give a man the same personal attributes of women, he will BECOME this way. This is not where he fits! And while he can certainly have sensitive characteristics and be a good listener, you can’t remove his masculine elements from those characteristics!

How many women do I know who have slept with man after man after man in search of a strong male type, only to discover that the “players” are only shells of men — cowards who know no true inner strength because their own fathers were berated for it, themselves.

Fathering is the art of one man teaching a younger man how to control his passions, not destroy them. Real men are controlled aggression, not aggression-less. When they have that passion within them, they flourish! Think of men and women like furnaces. Women burn less hotly in this particular manner, and thus when confronted with the heat from a man’s furnace, may fear it, wish to remove it from the equation for everyone’s safety.

But a man is a furnace designed for GREAT HEAT! He must burn at that temperature or his fuel will diminish, his output lesson, and soon he will not even be cooling coals to his own potential, all for the sake of “everyone’s safety.”

Women, if you want to encourage your man, bring oxygen to his fire. Don’t tell him what temperature to burn at, let him find his own temperature. His heat will build into yours and yours will soon into his, but not if you diminish him, not if you lessen him for your own fear. If you fear you can’t control the kind of fire that burns within him, GOOD! You’re not supposed to!

“There’s no passion in our marriage.” Really? Where’s the passion in your man? Did you discourage all his interests? Tame him? Break him? Of course there’s no passion in your marriage. There’s no passion in your man!

Send him back out there and let him get that motorcycle, jeep, go rock climbing, be dangerous! We are not designed the way you are, and please, stop thinking it must be so.

As for now, our generations of men have lost that art of Fathering because of women in their past and, unfortunately, women in their present.

It is time to stop shrugging off our manhood because of anyone but ourselves. It’s time to be men, to pursue the innate strengths born within us, to burn hotly as we were meant to. We go to war and go to hell and back. We are the fighters, the killers, the slayers, the aggressors. It’s time we reclaimed men’s rights.

And for those of you who automatically think that means abusing women, treating them like objects and having no respect — shame on you, to think so little of men. If we truly were equal, then there would be no room for women to think thus of men, for that would make women just as guilty. And if you’re a man afraid of that aggression within you — then all you will ever truly be, is a shell of what you could be.

If you’re too afraid of what you might do (negative), then you’ll never even come close to what you could do (positive)!! Too afraid of what’s inside of you, too scared to put yourself out there for fear of failure, to distrusting of your own nature because of what you’ve been fed throughout your life.

And in all women have been terrified of — men who would use them like objects, not care, not give their time, effort, or investment into women — they’ve only created much more like it, and then some.

It’s time to stop listening to everyone else and start listening to what’s inside. Take those passions within you, men, and learn to harness it, not destroy it. Build that fire, not blow it out. Be a beacon, not a flashlight!

Rise, men! And be!