Pay Attention Girls: Time to Make a List

Like any framework, a list has no value, in and of itself. It’s what you put in there and what importance you assign it that gives it value.

For women who struggle with giving too much of themselves, compromising their values and generally letting men convince them to diverge from what they believe, in order to find some potential happiness, consider writing a list of what’s really important to you.

Include things like: Faith, Temperament, Wants/Doesn’t Want Kids … Whatever you hold most dear, put up top, and then list them in importance from “Absolute” to “Not sure Why I put this on the list.” If marrying a man with your faith is vital to you, don’t even consider dating a Muslim or Buddhist or Atheist!

“But what if he changes?”

The worst possible question any woman should consider asking. Of course he’ll change, but not likely because of you. Never enter a relationship hoping something you don’t like will change into something you do. That’s a long wait for a train don’t come.

It’s not about perfection, it’s about at least meeting a standard. If you need your husband to be a Catholic, don’t settle for anything less. If you’re Mormon and need them to be Mormon, and you meet a great Roman Catholic, guess what? You’ve met a great Roman Catholic, but save yourself the heartache of dating someone who won’t change for you. And if they change for you, of what merit was their belief system in the first place? Do you want to marry someone who will change the fiber of their beliefs because they like another human being enough?

No matter whether you’re single, dating or married, never change who you are for someone else. It speaks volumes about your quality when you are so willing to change or ignore what you believe in order to avoid loneliness.

We all get lonely and sometimes we’re driven to activities that make us feel less lonely. But those moments aren’t the problem; the systemic perpetuation of a relationship you know has no place in your life is the issue.

I said it recently that women should allow no man a place in their heart who hasn’t earned it. His attention for you in no way merits reciprocation! No man obligates you because he’s interested in you. He must pass muster. He must be worthy of your affections, attentions and compromises. Not compromises of values, or it is not really He who passed muster, but you who failed to live up to your own needs.

Your needs cannot be tossed aside because your heart wishes to chase after someone. If you need a man who can manage money, not sit behind a video game every day after work non-stop, and take you to church instead of the other way’ around, are you still shallow for being firm upon that foundation?

“But I might miss out on a really great guy!” WHO STILL WON’T FILL YOUR NEEDS! Sheesh! What does it take for you to realize that values are more important than feelings? What will it take for you to stand up and say: “Damnit! I’m not going to let my heart be swayed by every smile who comes along. I’m done giving every guy a chance on the mere possibility he could be the guy for me. If he doesn’t meet my most BASIC of needs, why should I entertain him any further? I already know what I’m willing to sacrifice on and, more importantly, what I won’t. So why waste either of our time? Thanks for your attention, but bye bye!”

Standards of faith, values, and often politics (as faith and politics usually stem from the same value) are worth saying no to a man! If you think a man might be more important than your faith or your politics, then how strong are your beliefs in the first place?

If you hold any man above your values, you will forever find your heart adrift on a sea of changing emotions, tossed in the headwinds of life’s chaotic streams, tangled by a lover with no respect for your foundation, namely because you have none for it, yourself.

You want a man’s respect? Choose your values, mark your standards, and hold fast to them. Make him EARN a place in your life. And make no mistake: “List Item 43) Italian black hair with no balding” is not a good standard. It’s a WANT, and WANTS come and go. But values? Like faith, temperament, raising children … these are what build a quality framework. Yes, you still must learn to compromise on other issues. Yes, you must still communicate through tough times, to build a healthy, living conversation ever day to move through twists and turns of our chaotic lives. But without a comparable shared framework, it will be MUCH more difficult, and far more likely to bring misery in the long run. Not only for you, but your children who come after you.

Marriage, Itself, is No Accomplishment

Marriage is no accomplishment. Not in an of itself. I’ve come within arm’s reach of marriage twice. In retrospect, it would have been a horrible decision. Not because failure would have been inevitable, or because they were terrible women, or any number of other factors. But because 1) I didn’t know who I was when I knew them, 2) I didn’t know who they were when they knew me, and 3) we simply weren’t right for each other.

If you count marriage as the goal, then I failed twice. And with a few crackpots I’ve known, I’ve failed more than once, since I’ve met a few girls crazy enough that I could have married in short order for not other reason than a quick infatuation followed by a heavy hope of connection marriage would never have fulfilled.

Marriage, alone, is not a good goal to have. “I want to be married right now!” And then go find someone to fill the slot? In 1802, that was a fine goal. And if you want to live your life in an arranged format, go right ahead. I won’t think less of you. I’d be happy for you, actually. However, I don’t live in that world or think that way, and in such a time as this, when I have the most freedom to choose whom to marry, when and how, that I should continue to measure myself by standards which no longer apply is foolish at best, tragic at its worst.

I’ve had debates with good friends who say my standards are too high and limit God. Considering the standards I shared seem pretty quintessential to me, I’m confused how God might break my paradigm by setting me up with a liberal. Could I fall in love with a liberal? Sure. I’m currently very attracted to a girl I consider a very good friend, but who leads a lifestyle very, very different from my own. Relationships are all well and good until you both have to raise children together.

So imagine I made the great accomplishment of just “marrying” someone, only to fight non-stop over everything in life, especially how to raise children! How selfish would I be to marry someone who drank, didn’t believe in God, had divergent values, all because I had fun in the beginning? Because I was attracted? My children would then grow up in a household being taught two very different things by parents who fought over those beliefs because both believed so very strongly in them!

And I am nothing if not adamant about my beliefs. What kind of husband would I be to marry a politically liberal woman but demand she teach our children my beliefs? To capitulate? And what about me not teaching my children my beliefs? That’s just not me. I believe in them because I believe they’re right. What kind of compromise is good when it breaks the values you hold foundational to who you are and how you approach life?

No. No thank you.

I would rather never marry and be happy in my values, than to marry and fight without merit for the rest of my life.

That all being said, is there a happy middle ground? ABSOLUTELY. I spent the first 486 words of this post being adamant and one-sided. But there is never one side to any coin!

Finding the right woman won’t mean I find perfection. It means that at the most basic, we will share the most important values. That will differ based on the person and how adamant they are on their values. I will compromise a great deal in my marriage, but compromise should exist on issues, not on values.

Hell, I might marry a woman with whom I pick at like an old couple from day one, but if it’s about the unimportant things, and we come together in communion on the important things, I’ll still be happy! I don’t want a yes woman, I don’t want a woman who capitulates. I want a woman who fights for what she believes! I just want us to fight in the same direction, if at all possible!

Is that too much to ask? Really?

In any event, God’s up there laughing at me, I’m sure, with my must-haves. At the same time, we cannot discount that the more you get to know who you are, what you believe and, more importantly, why you believe in it, it stands to responsibility that you’re doing more than just emotionally feeling out the people you might one day share your life with. Putting your beliefs into logical thought and organization is with great value. Not because lists are a value in and of themselves, but because they can help you organize your beliefs.

And that is a worthy quest, indeed.

500 Posts and Counting!

This is my 500th post! Or, my 100th straight week of blogging! My 23rd month. Cool, right? I’ve been blogging since May 2010 without fail, five nights a week. In fact, I posted six times one week by accident, and because of that, I will NOT post a blog tomorrow night. I’d like to go back to stopping every five posts — helps me keep count in my head.

This will be my first week with only four blogs, but I’m comfortable with that.

So, 500 posts? It’s been a real discipline. Helped me stick to something, and I’m grateful for the time I’ve been doing it. It’s been a great experience. In fact, I think two or three other people I know have started blogs because I blog so much.

When I started, I’m not sure if I knew how long I’d keep blogging. I’m not even sure what inspired me to do it this time with such veracity. After all, I’d had blogs before. Four or five, actually, but I only posted every once in awhile, and was generally inconsistent.

Why this time? Why this blog? I think what helped was that I was embarking on other new adventures that helped jumpstart me. I was doing new things and meeting new people that kept me fresh with material. And now, while I periodically am burnt out or merely have nothing to talk about (shocking, I know), I usually can muster something worthwhile to discuss. Perhaps this all is paving the way for some future career on the radio, or a traveling speaker of some sort. I have the skills, I have the opinion, I have the predisposition for debate, conversation, travel and public speaking. Who knows? Probably only God, but I can at least surmise with what little I can see.

But I hope for all my opining, my perspectives have helped other people see with fresh eyes their own world. I hope I made people question where they stood, or perhaps looked at things from another angle. I hope I’ve furthered the cause of liberty over partisanship, the promise of history over happenstance, a promotion of faith over fear, the root over riot.

I hope.

And now, since I have little else to say on the matter, I’m posting below my very first post on “Rechabite.” I hope you enjoy!

My name is Christian Michael.

Today I turn 28, my golden birthday, and also begin a new phase of my life. Yesterday I left a fantastic job with the 22nd Air Force to begin a position known in the Air Force Reserve world as an Individual Mobility Augmentee, and will be based out of Joint Task Force, Fort Monroe, Virginia.

My plan (que God laughing at me) is to spend the next three years traveling, working at various units performing a variety of tasks, get promoted to Master Sergeant, attend online courses to get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, apply for and attend Officer Training School, and publish two more novels beyond the one I just wrote.

I hope to meet lots of new people, see many new things, make new loves and a name for myself. Should you choose to follow me on this journey, I would, indeed, be honored. Be aware, I’m opinionated, political and irreverent for most things. My personal motto: Life is too short to take too seriously, and too long to worry about today.

So, to start us off, today I’m spending my birthday relaxing with a friend, running some mild, entertaining errands, going to my going away/birthday dinner and to see Prince of Persia. It’s gorgeous outside, the weather is nice and God is good, even if I’m not so much.

And let me make this clear, I don’t think my daily life is all that exciting. “Brushed my teeth around 7 pm” is not likely to be listed in my blog unless I had a revelation while cleaning my molars and just NEED to detail it. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my trips and my ramblings!

Christian Michael

And since it’s Wednesday night, I HOPE to be cleaning my molars! (That’s the international weekday for brushing teeth, I’ll have you know. Not really, but that would be amusing.) Enjoy the weekend, this is this week’s last post. Good night! God bless! And here’s to 500 more before you know it!

What times are these, when rife with manless marriage?

I’ve heard two stories tonight of men failing at their roles, and I lament. I hear of laziness, or disengagement, deflection and projection. Real self capability issues and the lock-up of fear.

I lament because I fear I might be the same in some manner — to fail to be all my future bride may need from me.

What kind of man allows two women to move their household but not really help, himself? What kind of man expects his wife, who works her own day job, to come home and serve him? What kind of man who is to lead the family act like a tag-along or roommate?

Apparently these men — one in his 60’s, the other in his 20’s — have forgotten that marriage is teamwork, whether you feel like it or not.

For one, who’s having some sort of mid-20’s crisis, he made a commitment, and now fails to live up to it because he’s trying to figure out who he is. That’s fine. He should get used to it. Perhaps he made the keen, naive mistake that marriage somehow solidified who you were on the inside, and no more existential issues were ever to arise again? Did you imagine your marriage would solve your problems? Did you think life smooths out after suddenly bringing someone else into it?

Marriage solves nothing. Or at least very little. It actually creates more problems than solves, and the joy comes in the solving. You have someone to figure things out with, to share life, and love, and joy, and sorrow. But it’s a lot of hard work, and that doesn’t change whether you’ve been married five years or fifty years. Well, maybe fifty, but that’s only if you’ve figure out how best to work together so those problems seems less like mountains and more like gentle potholes.

And for the elder who suddenly seems disengaged with his real tasks and more concerned with the innocuous and inane, I’m not sure I could propose a solution. What kind of older man acts like a socially awkward 13-year-old boy talking to his parents friends when they come to visit? You stomp and stammer and direct and educate but perform nothing of value. Are you afraid your efforts are worthless? Or perhaps you count your previous work and imagine it somehow pays for today’s tasks?

Life on earth isn’t over till you’re warm and dead. Get on with it, and pick up your plowshare and get to work.

What kind of men fail? What have we lost that leave men so apt to wandering in the realms of their own lives? Just enough to avoid responsibility but not too far to immediately breach the absolute trusts of the covenant. Walking Dead, indeed, in their own homes and relationships.

Men who marry, do you imagine your wife suddenly takes the “female” responsibilities and you have none? Especially if you don’t have children yet, and even more so if you both have jobs, there is no appropriations of work by gender because you dislike some tasks. If you both have arranged what you both are good at and will dominate per your aforementioned agreement, great. But that’s custom and necessary. To assume is to kick yourself in the teeth with a steel vacuum hose. To imagine only is to die in yourself when your dreams deflate before you.

I admit, I probably have some misconceptions about how things will work out between me and my future wife. But if anything I’ve seen in others’ marriages might prove most true when I get there, myself, is that I must let go of all expectations, be prepared to meet halfway and then-some, to be clear and honest, flexible when even our mutually agreed positions must change, to focus more upon her needs than my own, and continue living both in tandem and communion with another, but wholly as who I am and will continue to be as an individual.

It’s not easy. Nothing worth fighting for ever is, but it’s just that — worth fighting for. If you need some space to clear your head, nothing says you must sleep in the same bed in the same house night after night, especially if you two are miserable in your current state. Without breaking the covenants of your marriage, find flexibility so you can go fix your shit.

GO FIX YOUR SHIT! Stop waiting on some miracle to pop up and save your concept of life. Stop waiting on your wife to suddenly change her mind and fix you a sandwich in a dress before going to the bedroom and waiting for you to make her feel like a woman. You want to be a man? Stop waiting on someone else to make you into one!

Being a man means taking charge of everything in life you can. Not controlling your woman, but taking care of her needs before expecting her to take care of your own. Fixing your house, moving your stuff, leading the way, and then falling back when you NEED to, not merely because you want to. She’ll catch you! She’ll give back! But if you ain’t giving nothing, her compassion will last only so long. Unless you want a wastrel of a wife who wants you because she’s too afraid to get a real man, then you had better step to the plate and at least swing for the ball. You don’t have to be knocking it out of the part, but you better damn well be trying!

Manless f____king marriages. Few things get under my skin, but that’s one of them. I won’t blame you for a failed marriage. It takes two to tango, and if she’s enabling you to act like a child, she’s to blame for the failing union. But you fail for your own role. It’s not her responsibility for you to act like a FUCKING MAN! Get off your ass and get to it!

SHEESH! I’m done. I’m just done.

Why I Prefer Verne to Asimov

I’m speaking blasphemy to most lovers of science fiction, but it occurs to me that while Asimov based all of his fiction upon real science, Jules Verne did not, and yet Verne’s bold imagination better predicted both our achievements and even alluded to how they would be achieved with a farther-reaching accuracy.

While I certainly appreciate realism in stories, the grand nature of their imagination is what appeals so greatly! That they would imagine what could be to the furthest reach of their creativity, not merely basing on what is “likely” or “currently possible” based upon today’s currently limited understanding of just about everything.

For all we like to imagine we have a handle on understanding our universe, it seems every 10-15 years something new emerges that breaks all bonds of understanding with previously settled sciences. I’m not discounting the very intelligent people studying the fabric of spacetime, but c’mon, our own track record proves that we’re capable of learning only so much at a time, and that progression is slow in the grand scheme of things.

It’s the truly inspired who reach out and imagine beyond current sciences. Verne, who had never seen an aircraft, wrote of a vessel propelled to the moon, or of a submarine with such a fantastic engine that it could travel around the world without ever want for fuel.

For my own fiction, I like to think of well beyond. True, I don’t understand science as well as many others. But we don’t dream of fulfilling current sciences, but expand our sciences to reach our dreams! And what are we without dreams that exist beyond our current capabilities, driving us to learn more, push harder, be more daring in pursuit of those dreams?

I’ve never heard of a man dreaming to attain something he could already afford, but something he could not yet afford, a building he had never before built, a business yet designed, a dare yet risked. It is the fantastic that drives us to the highest of ambitions, the most creative of methods, the most ballsy of attempts.

It is the man who saw that birds could fly and wished to do that same that drove him to study a bird’s wings, replicate it and then fly! There was no quality airplane before someone built it, and until the Wright Brothers successfully achieved flight, most of science said it could not be done!

History is nothing if not replete with the dreamers who found the science to support their fantastic visions of what could be, not the dreams to support their science.

As for preferring Verne to Asimov, I’ve never read Verne in full, and Asimov is a wonderful writer. But my point is that Verne wrote dreams before the science was there to support it, and Asimov wrote dreams stretching only so far as the current science allowed. And there is certainly nothing wrong with such fiction. I know many people who dislike the fantastic, and can’t connect with it for its unreality. They prefer something currently grounded.

I love Asimov’s fiction and its reality. But my dreams are not grounded, nor my higher preference in fiction. As I write, I write for as far as I can imagine. I stretch myself to my limit, hoping to capture a dream shared only by the few, one day to bestow in then-reality for others.

That’s how I like my fiction, with the unsupported, the bold and the lofty. To imagine people will one day travel the stars by walking through a doorway, without teleportation or need for jet engines. That we will have power sources that use energy from spacetime, itself. That the now-impossible will become possible.

Dream, my friends, and let no fear of reality keep you from daring. Many minds may not reach what can be in a single day, but pursuing the impossible will keep us pushing ever farther into tomorrow, paving a path the likes of which no one today might hope, but which the children of our children will live without question and use without fault.

“But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” – Yeats

The Mountain of Your Soul

You’ve been giving everyone else a say in your life. Your hopes, your dreams, your thoughts … for their attention and their affection, you’ve been giving them license to have a say, an opinion, a weight against your own desires. You spend so much time and relationship hoping to please other people, that you begin to lose pieces of yourself. You want to maintain your integrity, but you’re not sure how.

To the person who promises you love, you want to bend and remain flexible, but for all you say you want to be only who you are on the inside, you can’t seem to separate yourself from the desire to accommodate for the sake of positive engagement with people, and sacrificing who you are in the moment.

When people show interest, do you immediately sacrifice all those previous words of personal integrity for the desire of their affection? Do you feel obligated to give of yourself on some concept that their interest is worth that sacrifice?

It’s more than a simple desire to appease, but a flawed belief that you must connect the depth of your soul to everyone who appears, however nominally, to desire the same with you. Suddenly you get warped in various relationships that inevitably end up revolving around the other person and their attempt to change you into the mold they want you to fit.

And at the end of the thing, you stand there going — what was I thinking? Not for the lack of love, or even for a poorer opinion of the person you so connected yourself to, but the things you were willing to do to get where you didn’t belong, in hopes of finding the places you truly were.

It’s time to go upon the mountain.

You are a mountain, a solitary place with trees and grass and hollows and nooks and rocks and vistas of the world around you. You are a place to yourself, one of solace and comfort, a place only for you and the God of your heart. It is your respite, a place where you can be truly yourself with no exterior pressures, no exterior obligations, only you and the life you offer upwards.

Remove yourself from the outer world and center yourself in the calm of the rock beneath your feet. And when you are stilled, look around and take stock of who you are, what you believe and why, and where you want to go. Leave everyone else’s expectations at the bottom of the mountain. They don’t belong on the mountain. It’s not their mountain. It’s yours and yours alone, save what you offer to the God you worship.

And then, when you have found your foundation, go back to life. Go back to meet people and build friendships, but take that mountain with you. Draw it into your heart and put your heart into your solace, and then return to life, and prepare to separate the importance of your life. No one deserves your mountain. No one. No man or woman can step into your private place, the place where you live without armor, the place of your vulnerability, your home.

No physical house, no car, no work, nowhere but here in the private place in your soul can you be so vulnerable.

No man, no woman you’ve just met or likely even befriend has any right to this place. They have no claim on your soul. Their interest doesn’t not obligate you. Not even their need. I have needs. I don’t expect anyone to feel obligated to meet them. Nor does my interest create need or obligation. I hope it only asks for courtesy, but nothing more.

Upon your soul, there is only one first natural claim — yourself alone. Next you may offer that claim to your creator, but even He has given it to you to choose. You have the free will to exercise, and you may choose to keep it to whatever consequence your faith takes you. But no man or woman has right upon that ground that you do not give license to, and no one access to the privacy of your inner being.

Do not invest your emotions and heart into someone because they ask you for it. As well to empty out your pocket book for the beggars. You have value, value not easily dispensed, and certainly not for giving away as if it were worth nothing more.

When you meet the man or woman worth your time, attention, love and investment, then consider inviting them into the privacy of your mountain, but not until. They must earn your trust and show their worth. If you wish to embrazen it, they must win your interview, and display their colors. Their allegiances must withstand the tests of time and turmoil, the trustworthiness of the stick-throughs and doggeds.

And when you have found the one of worth, and you have invited them into your place of nakedness, and they shed their armor for the compatibility of soul and connection of heart, and your approval of their worth, then live with them inside that mountain. Do not sell them the mountain, and do not forfeit your ownership of it. It will forever be yours. And anyone you invite in who attempts to take ownership of that, save only the God of your heart, does not deserve to be there, and is not worth the very special place that is your inner heart.

Only he or she who loves you and your secret place for who you truly are will truly ever appreciate and want you always to own it, yourself. It makes you who you are and why you’re special, especially to them.

So learn how to guard your heart from askers. You are the rock and they are the waves, crashing against you but never washing you away. Show courtesy and a genuine heart, but Reserve your true value for only they who have shown their worth and proven their place.

Then you will find peace in your quiet place as you share your life with someone else.

:::FOLLOW-UP:::

“To all my lovely lady friends out there, never feel obligated to reciprocate attention because you receive it. The men in your life, especially those seeking your affections, should earn it. Never give of yourself, sacrifice your time, or allow them any claim upon you, until you decide upon the one worth that investment, and he in turn will be obligated and tied to you in respect, trust and love. Until you find him, be polite, be nice, but have a plan to kill every man you meet.”

The Creative Mechanics of My Mind

I’ve told people for the past 21 months (since starting class in June 2010) that my creativity has suffered since starting school. That the same brain energies required to write Pulitzer-winning fiction was the same juice to do schoolwork.

Honestly, I only somewhat believed it. I knew the mental processes were linked, but I couldn’t be sure, so it was honestly partial cop-out, and partially true. At least, that’s how it felt at the time.

Now? I think was more than on the money.

I’ve been past my bachelor’s requirement for about three weeks, and after vegging out and doing nothing mentally strenuous (sometimes as much while at work as while at work), my brain is on fire. I’m waking up with ideas, struck with inspiration in the middle of other tasks, daydreaming again with such clarity and detail that I’m flabbergasted. Was all this just waiting? Or is my brain how free to re-engage those energies to what I really want to spend more time doing? I dunno, but I like it.

I’ve had some absolutely phenomenal character development ideas and story twists that change upcoming stories I’ve been planning for years. For those of you who don’t know, I’m writing my sixth novel, and I’ve got more than 30 planned. Some stories I’m working on won’t even be officially started for 3-4 years, and I’ve been planning them for as long already. As I grow as a writer and creative-thinker, I realize why it took Christopher Nolan 15 years to write “Inception.” Sometimes stories of the kind of depth and intensity you want to write just take time to mull over.

Don’t rush! That’s when accidents happen!

It also makes me wonder how good my current series will turn out since I took very little time between the moment of inspiration and the beginning of writing. However, the more I write this 7-book series, the more ideas I get about going back to modify things about earlier books that I hope will manifest themselves in the editing process to promote a re-evolution of the story and add depth.

My current project is a seven-book series reboot of the Peter Pan myth for adults. We’re not talking romance novels, but they’re not for children. If you’d like to follow me on Facebook, look me up at www.facebook.com/crosswriter.

As a young writer, you grow up wanting to get published by Tor or Bantam or other major publisher. You want the fanfare and big check that comes with it, but as I grow older, I realize the integrity and quality of my story, in addition to my control of it, becomes far more important. My responsibility is to hire an editor that will force me to grow as a writer, who will tell me when I need to fix things and when other parts are terrible, and knows how to craft the story. But I don’t need Bantam stylizing it for the greater public to make it more pop-friendly.

I don’t want to market test my story. It’s my story, and I want it to be the best it can be, not sculpted at loss for marketability with soccer moms and older teens. My story is for the adult reader who loved Peter Pan as a child and wants to see the realism and fantasy simultaneously grow in intensity and believability. I take the story to a new realm that while not fully original (what is?), it’s a uniquely delicious experience.

It’s like food. You’ve eaten the same seven ingredients your entire life, but how they’re put together is what makes a meal more than just food, and I won’t have what I create turned into fast food. It will be for those who love what I have to tell, however it comes.

So, I will use my own small multimedia firm, Scroll Media, and will continue my tradition of laying everything out, developing, and cover-designing it, and setting it both as a print-on-demand for my ludite fans, but otherwise preparing it for a quality digital distribution. It’s the future of storytelling, and I will manage my own literary future. Should I ever decide to publish my stories in a mass book production in conjunction with a pre-existing publisher, it will be under limited conditions — they get a portion of distribution and print profits, but they will exercise no creative control over it whatsoever. This is mine and mine alone, barring any credit I offer to God for inspiration and the bestow of skills to me in the first place.

In any event, it’s a very inspiring experience lately as story ideas have poured out of the yin-yang. Crazy! Have a great weekend!

Hot Dogs and Black Presidents

There’s a hubbub floating in the newstream that Obama admitted to eating dog meat as a child. Apparently politicos are going nuts over the information. Leftists have been bashing Romney over leaving a dog carrier ontop of his car back in the 80’s. Rightists are bashing Obama for eating one.

I say, who the hell cares? Dog meat?

Treat animals humanely, whether you love them as pets or plan to consume them as food, but a personal relationship with any particular animal in no way makes it immoral to eat said species of animal. I would never advocate eating any individual animal who exists as someone’s pet. Like all property, it doesn’t belong to me and I wouldn’t advocate its consumption.

As for all the hubbub over Obama eating one, who the hell cares? He wasn’t born and raised in southeastern Iowa, folks. Even if he’s completely honest and was born/raised in Hawaii, nevermind his trips elsewhere around the globe, eating a dog is likely the least strange thing he’s seen in his life.

And you’re getting your panties in a wad over that?

Please. Get over yourself. Stop judging human activity through purely American standards! We’ve pigeon-holed ourselves into some sort of floating pseudo-moral political correctness, ignoring that we take up a fraction of the world’s population and have some of the most culturally inbred citizens on the planet.

I love America, and I’m not even objecting the cultural inbreeding. We’re free to live in such a wonderful country. We’re free to be ignorant, and that, in itself, is a great blessing. But it doesn’t change the fact that dogs are considered “pets” in only a few places around the world. Where they’re not eaten, they’re killed outright as if they were weasels.

And as for a president eating dog, I’d probably bet money he isn’t the first. Many modern social taboos weren’t developed until the end of the Great Depression, and many presidents were outdoorsmen. It stands to reason that they ate and did a great many things modernity might consider strange.

For all our cultural mores, eating dogs is such an inane thing to accuse a president of as some form of black mark upon his character. I have plenty of things I disagree with Barack Obama upon — his belief in the supremacy of the state, the need to devalue America to level the global playing field, the hope that flushing an economy with capital will improve the lives of people … all sorts of things we disagree upon.

But eating dog meat as a boy is hardly what I’d get my underwear in a wad for.

As for Romney driving across country with the dog on the roof, that could be animal abuse. I wasn’t there, and I don’t know the details. I believe animals should be treated with care. I don’t have much more to say on Romney’s case at the moment. Probably won’t have further on it, either.

That’s all I have tonight!

You can Kill Kids, but not Sell Vagina

This is a high simplification of the issue, but from my belief structure, this isn’t more complicated than as it reads.

Why can we abort our offspring for our convenience but not sell our body for money?

Considering the two major trains of thought, the feedback I’m most likely to get is either fully for or against in one direction only for both. A leftist might say we should be able to abort our children and sell our bodies, and a rightist might say we shouldn’t be allowed to do either. But I’m not here specifically to debate the merits of either, but more that this double standard is rife throughout our society.

We say one thing is morally wrong while completely ignoring the other. Prostitution is considered wrong by religions and moral codes, but so is sleeping with people you’ve never met. Why is accepting money for the practice suddenly more immoral? Because someone is exchanging money? Because it becomes a business transaction?

We fund drug addicts, baby farms and Social Security scammers every damn day through taxes, enable polluters, encourage the Fed, and give obtuse permission to our highest consuming low producer (our government), but we’re offended when a woman or man wants to sell her body for monetary compensation? Last I checked, we had this whole grand argument about it being “her body.”

In the versa, in the issue where comes question whether killing an embryo is actually part of a woman’s body or not, it’s legal in most states. But not selling her body, something we can be entirely sure of being her body and hers alone?

What will arise in the mind is that if prostitution is actually legal in most states, it becomes more difficult to find sex traffickers. You’d probably be right, but freedom is messy. I don’t justify sex trafficking, but however closely linked, they are not permanently conjoined, nevermind our government’s rampant regulatory habits. Should it be legalized, wouldn’t it make it easier to identify the transgressors?

Sure, I dislike government regulations, but if we operate this strain of thought by government standards, you’d think they’d be lining up to legalize prostitution left and right. You could tax it, regulate it right out of business. I mean, look at small business today. You’d end prostitution almost overnight!

But the government won’t. It makes prostitution illegal, as it prohibits making your own alcohol. It prohibits running your house as a business, even one as simple as hair care. After all, it must be able to tell which money is yours and which is the businesses, because it needs to tax that exact same dollar more than once. After all, in what other logical universe could a business justify charging you twice for the same product? Nope, just the government in our own.

Perhaps that’s the key. The government wants to be able to get its money; I can assure, it doesn’t think of it as your money. Your money is simply capital it has yet to tax out of your account. Instead of serving us, it owns us.

Prostitution isn’t a long-term industry it can exercise appropriate control. In addition, the theopoliticals want to exercise God’s laws into our freedoms, as if Jesus ever advocated such a thing. He said give to Caesar and give to God, he didn’t combine the two. If you live in a small community that all can support more religious-style laws that affect the highest majority in your small community, I won’t impose my liberation theory against your hometown. I take issue, however, when you want to exercise that nationwide; hell, even county-wide. Keep your regulations to yourself.

I don’t agree with prostitution, and however much I might consider it a boon to my society, I won’t advocate banning the practice so far and wide. People do as they feel they must, and putting laws into place to protect their “morality” more often than not will encourage them to find ways to buck the law and do as they please.

I don’t agree with abortion. To imagine that life only begins after it leaves you and a cord is cut is paramount to saying that every leech, virus, or other parasite in your body becomes part of you upon connection. But regardless of what I think, the government still sees this as a different argument from prostitution.

My point of this post is mostly that we need to boil every argument ever made to its simplest precepts before attempting to make decisions about it. For example: Prostitution occurs only between a buyer and seller, however many that might possibly be in a single transaction, and when most basically regulated, kept only to legal, consenting adults. Whether that is abused now when it’s illegal, or later when it’s legal, fails to bear on the concept that responsibly executed freedom in no way will make its own abuse inevitable. It will abused either way. Allow the consenting their freedom, and then focus on the REAL issue — slavery.

Slavery is the issue law enforcements say is why our freedoms are curtailed, but you trade one for another. Give me my freedom, and then I will help you fight against the real issue.

Stop saying its for my own good. You don’t know my own good. You don’t even know me beyond how much I make a year and how much I owe you at the end of the year when you don’t get what you believe is your portion of my income. So much of this boils down to government control. Does this not alarm any of you? We take it for granted that the world is okay right now, but those who fight fight not for today, but for tomorrow! We see our children’s debt and try to tell everyone else that today’s conveniences will destroy our coming generations! If our own generation cannot afford that which we so desire, we do not deserve it, and to steal it from our children is the very worst of greed. Not the greed of endless money, but the greed of endless apathy, apparent through our enablement of our politically elected representatives finding new ways for the government to lift responsibilities from our arms and placate us with free healthcare.

Rise and look upon the face of reality. We are not long for the breakdown in things to come.

Thieving Joy by Devaluing Passion

You have great purpose, but you can no longer see it. Or perhaps you think you never saw it, and ultimately feel it doesn’t exist. What is your life for? God hasn’t given me my purpose!

Or perhaps the more debilitating frame of mind: What if God told me my purpose, but I just can’t hear him? I’m either too blocked off or sinful or removed from him … I just can’t hear!

And then you feel desolate, a half-hopeful soul in a wasteland of dying dreams you once easily named passions. And to what end? The endless emptiness begins to fill you, until the fear of even trying the menial is terrifying.

And then nothing. You waste away, and feel maybe the only purpose you ever had was to merely fade away and leave room for those who actually will do something real in this world.

How tragic a belief; how dangerous a theft of the color of your soul!

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I am firm that there is purpose for every man, woman and child. That individual purpose will vary greatly, as will the magnitude of its impact, but each person, however great or small, is important, if to no one more than at least one person in this world.

Because that purpose is designed to bring us happiness, it becomes a target for those who would steal out that joy. Whether our human enemies, the antagonists of simple circumstances and fear, or if you credit Satan, himself, our passions and purpose are always under attack. Even our own fear of failure can act as our own worst enemy. The fear of not living up, or fear of being miserable, only then making us miserable.

But each of us has a purpose. We are designed for that purpose, and through that design (whether you credit Evolution in its randomness, or like me credit God in his infinite wisdom), we are built to WANT what we are designed to do. Like a hammer to a nail, a saw to a board, a chisel to stone, that which we are designed to do will fulfill us most, as the most fruit can be reaped when we are used as designed. What shovel can cut paper as well as scissors? Or scissors dig a hole as well as a shovel?

Sometimes we may walk astray, unsure how to reach our purpose, or even find out what that purpose is, but it is there, and our greatest hallmarks to it are the very passions within us, yearning to fulfill that ingrained purpose, settled within us long before we were born some some unseen hand.

Some may fear that to follow passion is selfish. “It’s what I want to do, but what about what the world needs? Or what if God has a plan for me and I’m too busy out here doing what I want and not listening to what he wants?”

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman

Could you imagine a hammer having such an existential problem? “I really want to hammer nails, but what if the Carpenter wants to dig a trench with me? I mean, I have the ability to dig up earth. Maybe he’ll want me to dig up earth. I shouldn’t go hammer nails. I should wait for him to dig up earth with me.”

Fear of selfishness and, more importantly, the belief that you are too gone or too devalued for God to use you, is arrogance and pride. To believe that the one who created you, shaped you, molded you and baked you, isn’t capable of reshaping you, is to believe yourself more powerful, important, or even too far broken, for him to fix. And yet to do so is to spit in the face of that simple fact that God, himself, designed the very fabric of our reality.

If a pot is shattered, the potter will not merely glue the pieces back together, he will melt you down and make you anew! Nothing is out of the reach of our God. And if he designed you as a pot, and you desire to hold flowers, or be used for cooking, or anything a pot might be made for, do not fear that to want what is built within you to desire is selfish!

God designs a hammer to WANT to hammer nails. By hammering nails with the hammer, both He and the hammer find joy, working together, for the hammer cannot hammer nails on its own, nor can we fulfill our purposes without God.

It will be a hand-in-hand relationship, but do not fear that your passions are selfish. WHAT you desire is far less prone to sin than HOW you pursue it. I want to write novels. Were I to write merely for selfish gain and use stories that glorified the world instead of God, I might fall out of favor. Were I to write novels that connected with all audiences but glorified the creator of the universe, might I not be following the design of God for me through my built-in passions and a daily relationship for God to remain within that very passion?

It’s not easy, and sometimes you won’t know which direction to go to find or rekindle those old passions, but don’t let go, and don’t let fear get in your way. Step forward, follow the passions of your heart, and find fulfillment in sharing that passion with the one who gave it to you!