Category Archives: Family

Stories of My Father

I have never met my father, something I’ve never felt the lesser for, but would still like to rectify. My mother was never married to my father, and when she found out she was pregnant, did not tell him until I was 2 years old. Despite a few more attempts to contact him, including one letter only a few years ago, there has been no contact.

He’s a television anchor in Texas, and I won’t tell his name here as its not my intention to start anything untoward regarding him. However, a friend of mine I met only a few years ago knew him as a working colleague and recently sent him an e-mail about me.

I thanked my friend for thinking of me, though it wasn’t necessarily something I would have done. I’m not complaining, and I still value my friend. One day, perhaps, I’ll meet my father.

My father is a large fellow with a golden voice, blonde hair and blue eyes. I don’t know if it’s irony or what, but I found an image of his wife and young daughter and his wife looks very much like my mother. I suppose men just have their tastes?

While I’ve never met my father, and I hope one day to do so, I take it as a matter of pride, a calling of sorts, to learn how to become the man I need to be for my future wife and a father for my future children. I began learning what it meant to be a man, how to treat a woman, how to be masculine, emphasize her feminine, and still preserve the intelligence and aptitude of us both.

Have I perfected myself as the perfect male? Ha! Hardly and ever. No. No man will ever be the “perfect man” as it’s understood in the modern sense. Not I, said the blackfoot. However, I stand in faith that I am blessed with the right people and the right experiences to lead me to the knowledge I need. There is so much more to come, and I look forward to meeting it and engaging with it when it gets here.

My father’s family were in the broadcasting business, and I haven’t necessarily followed a different route, but I can’t say it was because of them. I simply bear the skills and passions that likely led them there in the first place.

I look forward to getting my voice acting equipment, both for the fun of the doing, but also because I hope to make some income while looking for a better job. I applied for a radio internship in frisco, but I have no experience in radio, so I don’t expect a call back. I’m not the DJ type, but the talk-radio type definitely. I’m not sure how people get into that, though, so we’ll see.

In any event, with or without a single man to tell me how he faced life, I will learn, myself. I will learn as I have with most other things in life — observation and experience.

PS> I’m 29.5 years old today! Yay! Here’s for being five all over again. 😉


ADDENDUM: I have an interview with the radio station scheduled for today for the internship at that radio station — they’re the only ones so far to call me back about any application — and I hope to have an update by the time this post is posted, as I’m scheduled out almost two weeks of posts.

Brazen Conflict and Illusions of Peace

What great a danger is the illusion of peace, in which those who grow up under such an illusion fail, thus, to learn when such threat is so imminent they cease to prepare to meet and overcome it when it arrives. Better we embrace the cold reality of conflict and meet it where it masses, than hide beneath the veneer of illusion and die in our misguided belief in the absence of evil.

We the citizens of united American states are people of conflict, be it intercultural or international, by our commitment to freedom and all it entails. We cannot afford the disconnect our retreat from reality will create, and will suffer greatly our ignorance.

At no point in the history of mankind has an illusioned people long promoted prosperity, but in all cases, have failed to censure their own government against the blossom of tyranny, ever ready to fill the vacuum left by a disinvolved populace.

The separation of man from responsibility is the quickest path to bureaucratic oppression, invited by the citizen’s misguided hope in the freedom from commitment and flight from dissonance. Better we suffer the injustices of the free than the abuses of the ruling. Better we fight imbalanced as a culture of disharmonious liberty, than die naively on a uniform path of self destruction.

Advocation of war is the abuse of struggle, ignorance of struggle is the invitation of abuse. Should we forgo the evinces of our vulnerability, fail their address and invite the enemy, we sew the fields of our own demise, yet will lay credit of our weakness on emotional merit, that by praising that weakness we take a higher moral founding. This is suicidal fallacy.

Only in demanding strength will weakness diminish. We will protect the invalid, but must not advocate inaction for disability. Where in one area we are weak, compensate by developing new power and doing whatever is required to accomplish life. By seeking the best, we prohibit suffering our worst.

Should we fail honesty, and fall victim our lives and freedoms, no sum of blame will save us the consequences, nor cry of foul draw us a savior, by surmised moral value our pitiful state. There is no moral value in being victim, nor justification of theft by need.

Call to arm the minds of men, abilities from deep within, sure by skill and effort tried, instead of victims pacified. Live no lie by those who rule, victims as the highest fools, believing life will owe them sure, for all the pains they may endure. Instead to fight for liberty, that every man again believes, expand his capability, contribute to his family. To end the path of coming blood, a slaughter sure from those above, distrust the ones who promise us, satisfaction of our lusts.

Instead now don the face of war, reclaim the right to shut the door, against the governmental pow’r, soon to bring our final hour. Rise against the coming tide, deny the ruler valued life, embrace the need for struggling …

Fight for your own liberty.

Why Parenting is like Driving a Stick-Shift

Do you know how a manual drive engine works?

There are to major elements to power in an engine — the throttle, and the clutch.

The throttle controls the speed of the engine, NOT the car. So long as the clutch remains disengaged, the engine can speed up and slow down to its heart’s content and the car will go absolutely nowhere.

The clutch controls the amount of power transferred from the engine to the rotation of the wheels. I can have my throttle to the floor and only partially engage my clutch, and the car will only creep along the road.

Parenting is like driving a stick-shift. Society, TV, advertisers, schools, friends, family … they are all the engine. They can chatter and natter and clambor for your child’s attention, scream its ideologies and beliefs, the shoulds and should-nots of society, and any number of other healthy and mostly-unhealthy things in the community you may not want your children engaged with.

Your job as the parent is not to slow down or speed up the engine, but to control the clutch. When you control the clutch, you control how your children engage with that great engine of society. Whether that’s through controlling television use, online use, and which community you live in, your responsibility is to not only engage that clutch for the child, keeping it low-engagement until that child is ready, but also to teach the child when and when not to engage in society.

The engine wants the car to go at full-speed, regardless of what dangers lie ahead. They want it fast and they want it now. Your child’s ability to control his or her engagement in society helps that growing adult to mitigate how much power the world holds over him. Individuals must learn to think for themselves, free of undue influence, and influence is only as powerful as the target allows it to be.

In other words, one man has the ability to deny a room-full of peer pressure, if he chooses not to engage. If he does not engage, peer pressure is meaningless and has no bearing on the quality of a person. You must teach your children how to do this, and if you, yourself, cannot deny that pressure, start learning.

And parents have control over the type of engine, too. This will come at a cost, however. If you choose to live in car with a fast-running engine (i.e. high-paced society with a bombardment of input and pressures), you will face the challenges of teaching a child how to engage themselves with it safely. If you choose a slower, more stable engine (i.e. rural or small suburban life that’s more family oriented and slower paced), then you can teach them better and take your time.

This isn’t complicated, but you will have to choose what you want for your child, and that may mean giving up things you, yourself want. You cannot have both. Sacrifice must come at some point.

A New Public Profile on Facebook

I’ve made a new public profile for myself on Facebook to focus on my discussions on faith, politics and culture! The more I blog and debate, the more I realize I want the very act of discussion part of my professional future. I don’t know if that means becoming a leader in politics (which is not necessarily a goal) or merely an opinionist who talks about the issues, but I want to be willing to take a serious step in selling myself for these purposes.

I’m constantly looking up literature about the science of economics, the impact of faith, and the interaction of cultures and revel in debating these issues and sharpening a public point of view to share with others. I’ll consider increasing my posts, sharing book reviews, and more. If you find things you’d like me to discuss or share, just post em to me! Share them on my new public profile! I’ll only delete posts that are either degrading, advertising or completely unrelated material.

Otherwise, come and participate!

Thanks for reading, and God bless!


I'm a Porn Addict …

… and I’m 90 days sober as of Friday, Sept 2.

And if you think this one of my quippy or snarky ways to begin a post, you’d be wrong.

My name is Christian Michael, and I’m a recovering sex addict.

And before I describe in any detail how I began this most recent journey in my life and found a growing change, let me tell you that the beginning, middle and ongoing nature of this transformation has everything to do with the power and presence of God and very little to do with my ability, intelligence or self discipline.

Believe me, I tried everything before.

This past summer I felt God telling me it was time to humble myself and get help. So I started seeing a counselor and going to group. The counselor helped, but we only met a few times before I hit the road again, and group is nice but I’m doing okay without it. I tell you here and now that it’s God.

My part and responsibility has been to stay in His Word and in prayer every morning and every night.

The background to my addiction, as almost anyone who has ever faced an addiction, is not the aspect of the addiction, itself, but the attempt to fill a hole created by a parent or otherwise traumatic event during our formative years. Suffice to say that I had one, and with the counselor’s help, I was able to identify it and, on my part, I surrendered it to God.

Integral was forgiveness. For those of you who have read my posts on forgiveness in the past few months, know that they came largely from my experiences in pursuit of holiness. God said I needed to forgive, knowing that it would be freeing for me in every aspect of my life. And I needed to square my own debts, asking forgiveness of those against whom I had transgressed.

I’m not going to detail the nature of my addiction. It’s unimportant, specifically for the fact that I’m forgiven.

I owe my integrity and honor to my God, myself and my future wife, in that order. It was high time I actually lived up to it. Some mental reprogramming will occur over time, and I’m grateful for it. Women are real and I need to persist no illusions, or rather delusions, of what to look for in a woman. Standards notwithstanding, the more openly pure I can meet a woman, the better for her and myself. I want nothing between us, just the pure nature of relationship in all its unadulterated intimacy (of the soul, mind you). With crap in my head and heart from my addiction, it makes full trust difficult. By adhering to a clean lifestyle, I have nothing to hide or separate me from her.


In these past 90 days, I can tell you that the me on the inside is much calmer, cleaner and quieter. I have more self discipline to look away and not to entertain thoughts I have no business entertaining. These women don’t belong to me, and they are someone’s little girl. I would never want my own daughter eyed the way so many men eye women today. It’s not right. She’s a person, she’s someone’s daughter and she’s someone’s wife (or will be). In other words, she doesn’t belong to me, I have no right to imagine her clothes off. When I do have a woman who belongs to me, that won’t be an issue. It’s even easier to deny the temptations. They have less hold over me.

Also, I have a great deal more time to spend on productive activities, such as homework, my novel, music, or just going out to hang with friends at Starbucks. The ability to manage my time around things that will actually produce fruit in my life free of such unproductive activity like addiction is staggering!

Why I’m Talking About It

I believe one of the most dangerous things in our society is the fear to discuss failure and weakness. I learned when I was young that when you do something wrong, stupid or otherwise foolish, a very smart move is to tell everyone you know about it. First, it nullifies anyone else’s ability to use it against you. Secondly, it shows that you don’t fear making a mistake and releases you from the dark burden of secrecy. Lastly, I would like to serve as an example to anyone else out there struggling with what I struggle with.

And let me be clear, I’m not now immune to a gorgeous girl walking by in one of those low-cut summer dresses or one of those sudden images that pop up on Facebook. Sometimes I’m saying “No” to myself out loud. The key isn’t that I’m free from the world, but that I’m embracing the long-term joys of a healthy relationship over the short-term pleasures of right now.

That kind of stuff eats you up on the inside, makes you feel hollow and numb. And anyone who tells you that open sexual relationships and pornography are not hurtful either have never had a real, meaningful relationship by which to measure, or are kidding themselves.

I’ve always said that sex is the icing to the cake of relationship (if in other terms). We aren’t built to eat icing all day long. We must have cake, otherwise the icing just caves in and makes you sick.

en Finale

I just want what’s real and true and honest. When I finally have a healthy relationship that culminates with marriage and proper sexual intimacy, I won’t be thinking about the girls in magazines, or even my previous relationships. I won’t be comparing her with anyone, because I will have married her for all her own quality. The only comparisons will be how much she outweighs every female I’ve ever met in all the ways that truly count to the soul. Will she be attractive? Of course. But my eyes will be free of the film of facsimile. The perfect I seek will be of something more tangible than the flesh — the integrity of her soul.

My prayer for you who reads this is to look into your own life and look at your weaknesses. I can tell you that if you want change, it will take a power greater than yourself to unseat flaws in your design. Submit to that higher power, to God, and watch Him flow through you.

It’s not easy, and may not happen tomorrow. I prayed for years for freedom, and I could still stumble tomorrow, but I have freedom today, in this moment, and embracing this moment is what matters to me and to God. I don’t worry about tomorrow, and I don’t fret on yesterday. In this moment I’m free; in this moment God is with me; in this moment life is full.

I let go of anything but right now. Right Now is where God lives. I live where God lives. Make sense? Try it. It makes all the difference in the world.


P.S. Don’t think to pity me. I have never pitied myself and I won’t accept it from anyone else, any more than you should accept it from anyone on your own flaws. We are all in this case of baskets together. I’m just open about mine. I hope others learn from it. And that’s it.

Our Children Need to Struggle

“Loving your children has very little to do with their happiness and everything to do with preparing them to live without you.”

I’m somewhat old school when it comes to raising children. I would say that despite the current psychological viewpoint that says children are delicate mental flowers in need of equal rights, children really someone willing to tell them “No” as much as “Yes.”

Being denied something you desire if far greater an experience than getting it without effort. Growth does not well occur without opposition to that growth. If you think that acquiescing to your child’s desires is how to prepare them for the maelstrom ahead we call life, you doom them to believing all they need is to find a greater power to provide all their wants and needs.

Oh dear, does this sound familiar? “Dear God, please take away all my pain and all my hurt. If you’re a good God, and you really love me, I won’t have to feel pain or really fight for anything.” That should sound really familiar to most of you because this is EXACTLY what most of you believe, and lemme tell you — that is complete bullshit.

A good parent in no way, shape or form spends his or her days struggling to find a way to fulfill the desires of their child’s heart, for the very powerful reason that it is NOT the parent’s job to do so. The parent’s job is the prepare the child to pursue their own dreams, but that must come with struggle, effort, denial, failure and the development of fortitude.

Do you know that if a farmer breaks the shell of a baby chick trying to hatch, that the chick will either fail to grow large enough, will remain weak and will often die shortly after emerging? Do you know why? God (or nature, if you prefer) designed life as a struggle. The chick must break its own way out of the shell.

Children need growth and development.

You can cart them to all their sports practices, after-school activities and friends’ birthday parties, buy them every toy, follow them around and otherwise tailor to their every desire, or you can teach them a few very important lessons.

1) Life isn’t about them.
2) YOU are more important than they are. Therefore, what you say goes, your authority reins, and your desires come before theirs. However, you as a good parent will choose to put their needs before yours. Your decision to take care of them first in no way negates your value or authority.
3) Struggle is a GOOD THING. — We so often times hate the positions in which struggle puts us, all the while ignoring the great value that comes from such struggle. If we have nothing to overcome, we have no reason to grow. No reason to grow, and what you have is an entire generation of boys who grow older without ever growing up. That sound familiar? It should. It’s already happening.

This isn’t about going out of your way to make your child’s life harder. By no means. But it is a severe call to stop cushioning every fall and softening every blow life throws at them. Use your time with them to introduce them to self respect, self reliance, responsibility and how best to deal with adversity, because once they leave your kind graces, you can be sure they’ll have to face it. And if you don’t let them learn how to face it without you there, you’ve just handicapped your own child.

“I just can’t stand to see their little faces when they frown! Cry! Are unhappy!”

Really? What is your job as a parent? Are you “Happy Town”? or are you a parent? Teacher and preparer of young lives to face the big, unfair world out there that doesn’t care about your child’s happiness? You can either help them through struggle now, with your guidance and overseeing eye, or you can shield them from it and expect them never to leave your home and always reside in your basement.

Loving your children has very little to do with their happiness and everything to do with preparing them to live without you. One day, you will die, and if you don’t teach them to rely on themselves, they will rely on the government, and that means they have to rely on me.

And I don’t want your children. I will have my own one day, and I will raise them to depend on themselves for their own livelihoods. We all depend on each other for emotional support and help through rough times, but let that be the occasion, not the standard! Raise your children to be adults, not just old children. Deny them extra dessert, make them stay in bed when they don’t want to, don’t let them do that fourth extra-curricular activity. Make them stay home, do chores, earn the money they need to play in band next year, football uniforms, etc.

Your job is to help them learn how, not to do it for them. That’s all I got tonight. Sleep well.

The Reason I'm a Rechabite

The Rechabites were a Jewish tribe who abided one of their forefather’s commands never to drink alcohol and were never to live in cities, living instead as nomads. While I can’t say I feel called to abide the “never live in cities” part, I feel God has called me, at least at this point in my life, to live as a nomad and never to drink alcohol.

I didn’t grow up around people who drank. It had this not-done kind of attitude about it, though it was never taught to be an immoral thing.

I’ve only had one sip of alcohol in my life and that was very young, and it was rather nasty.

What stigma I did develop came at the very hands of the people around me who were too eager to start drinking.

Part of my given nature, developed most likely due to my somewhat outcast position growing up, I don’t like doing things because everyone else is doing them. If anything, it makes me want NOT to do them. I grow a distaste at such a rampant, mob mentality to disobey a law.

Do I agree with the 21-year-old drinking age? No, actually. I don’t think the federal government should regulate such a thing. That’s a state issue, or a community issue, rather. It’s infringing on people’s freedoms. And while you might say: Hey, science says this … and stats say that … and I think that …

Well, I’d say screw you. It’s not up to you to decide what’s right for everyone else’s children.

So, do I think alcohol is evil? Absolutely not. I have decided it’s just not for me, and after some experience with my ex girlfriend, I learned that even a little alcohol isn’t acceptable for whom I date. It’s not about it being a moral issue. It’s really just a lifestyle choice.

Whenever I marry, it will be with someone who has chosen to live a similar lifestyle as myself and there won’t be a question of asking someone to give up something important to them for you. And while one might argue that alcohol isn’t a necessarily important part of life, I disagree for a few simple reasons. 1) Alcohol is a polarizing element of society. It may not seem so from within the culture, but it affects people. I’m not saying it’s negative, but it’s not a neutral thing, and I won’t ask people to give it up because of my own lifestyle.

It also means I’m a nomad. That doesn’t mean I move every day, but it does mean I move on regular basis. I not only grew up moving, but it’s become my comfort zone. It’s where I am and how I live. I like it this way. There are pros and cons, but there are in every facet of life. I take the good with the bad and trust God all throughout.

Despite all my extrapolating, it just boils down to this lifestyle fit my character. I feel comfortable embracing it and enjoy what it brings.

That’s really all it is. I just wanted to put it out there.

Well, it’s late and I need to hit the sack. Night all!

Learning How to Set Her Free

I can’t read people — a shortcoming I think I’m just going to have to come to grips with. I can read situations well, but people? Sometimes I feel like I’m staring at an empty blackboard and am expected to read off apparent paragraphs of information I just can’t see.

In prayer, I’ve talked with God and I’ve worked to keep my daily focus upon him instead of my own ability to live, to overcome, to deal with … etc. etc. It’s simultaneously a very freeing and very frightening prospect. You see, in complete surrender to God, you have to dismiss everything the world tells you to do to be successful. And while even we, as believers, like to think we’ve surrendered ourselves to God, most of us haven’t even come close to UNDERSTANDING it, much less achieving. I know, because I feel like I’ve stepped through a curtain and found that there’s a huge cliff that’s been just out of sight my entire life and, trust me, there aren’t many on this side of the curtain with me.

But as I’ve come to think about finding and pursuing a wife, a great fear has risen in me. You see, I can’t read people, and therefore don’t know well how to interact with people on the deepest of levels because I don’t have a good idea what they really want or think or feel. Even those I consider the best of friends, even girlfriends — I can’t read them. I just don’t see the information coming from them I think I should, and I feel like a blind man, groping for something.

In prayer the other night, I felt God telling me to love my wife as He would love her, not as I would love her. This really set my brain to thinking: How would I love her? How would God love her?

I don’t know the whole answer to that. But something clicked tonight (Aug. 3) that, while distant in my full comprehension, resonates in a way I wouldn’t have previously guessed, and even in writing it down, I don’t think I’ll adequately describe my idea. Namely because it’s fresh — so much so that I fear I’ll misquote or misrepresent it in these paragraphs. But here’s the simple of it:

To love my future bride, I must always and ever allow her to remain free.

You see, the fear in my heart and inability to read people struggles to make me micromanage and control things. It is a very dangerous flaw within me, because where I should surrender to God, I control for myself. Where I try to secure, I destroy with my grip. Where I wish to flourish, I oppress. It is my fear and doubt and inability to exercise quality judgement on information I feel blind to.

The freedom of which I speak is not the freedom of not even marrying her. When I marry, I will claim her as mine and mine alone. (Save only for God’s higher claim on her, but that’s a different post.) But the freedom must be of a blind man who must put his trust into another to guide him across a busy street. There are many things in this life I see that others do not, like telescopic vision that allows me to see down the road while missing the potholes before me. Perhaps that will be where she shores me up, by watching all I cannot see and being my eyes I do not have.

I could pray for such a woman. In fact, I will.

But my focus must be to create the vision and boundaries a good husband creates when he builds his fortress, but then I must give her complete freedom to come and go, allow her to build a home and live her life.

Most importantly, I must never exert the kind of control my humanity so desires to commit. Doing so denies God’s authority over everything in my life. I must lose that flaw within and trust God more than I trust my own weakness. And trust me, people trust their weaknesses more than God every single day.

So this is my task. I don’t have a woman before me I’m thinking of marrying. No prospects. Just the truth of who I am and the parts of me I must do all in my power to allow God to destroy. That is done through surrender and more surrender.

This is not the end of this conversation in my life. If anything, it’s the beginning. This isn’t the end-all, be-all of my point. I have a long road ahead of me before I see the full breadth of this truth, but when I do, I promise you, my friends, I will share in every way I possibly can.

As for now, that’s all I know to share at this point. It’s small, but trust me, it’s profound.

One Provider Satisfies Them All

I had written out this long, drawn out explanation of my thought before realizing that I didn’t need to. Here’s it put simply:

Look for happiness, contentment and fulfillment in physical things and you will find them as easily destroyed. Wood, plastic, etc., all burn. Place your faith in a home, car or objects to fill them, you’ll find them as easily lost.

Look for happiness, contentment and fulfillment in a higher spirit like God, and you’ll find them lasting, enduring and deep.

Fulfillment in the physical is easy. Earn a few bucks, get a credit card and you can get it instantly. It’s also as easily lost.

Learn to build more enduring reasons for contentment, such as faith and relationship with an immortal God. It will take longer to find and build, but when you do, it is healthier for the quality of your soul.

I was inspired to write this because I came to a choice: I’ve stopped looking for the perfect girl and started living for the perfect God.

I am a man who for long has sought and desired a woman to share my life with. That desire is not gone, but I would have my focus remain on God and his provision for my life in love and other logistics. He has promised to provide for my every need, from bread to bosom, and I will trust him in every aspect of that. It in no way removes my own responsibility to use my mind and heart to find a woman, but my daily focus is on God and I can tell you I don’t need a woman right now. When the time is right, I will find her.

She, as all other things in my life, will be found according to God’s Will. It will remain my responsibility to learn how to be a good man, boyfriend and future husband. It doesn’t mean the relationship will be perfect. Finding her is just the beginning of another journey, one, like all others, I will have to meet every day. I will have to put my own behavior, strength and grace into the hands of God and then walk forth in relationship to meet my wife, my life and my strife. (Tolls and rolls, baby 😉 )

While my hope for a soulmate is obvious, it’s really just one of a million other things I have to trust God to provide. I’m building my own small business — even if God provides business, I must see it through to be successful. All things God provides are never ends, but beginnings of more journeys.

For an immortal God, tomorrow is meaningless. What is important is right now — the walk up the mountain. Experiencing life IS the destination for God. So should it be for you.

So choose the source of your provision in that which cannot change — you will find peace, hope and all you need. Most importantly, you’ll find Him.

American Christian

Signs that you might be an American Christian:

1) I go to church for my kids, so they grow up to be good people. It’s how you raise your kids. I teach them to say their prayers before bed, but when I go to bed, I just hit the sack.

2) It’s what my community does and expects. I should go.

3) Good people go to church. God sees me. I’m a good person because I go to church.

4) Hey, you can’t go to heaven if you don’t go to church and maybe give a little money once in awhile for the offering.

5) You enjoy the dress-up and take your Bible, but the only time you actually open the old book is while at church. You’ve got other stuff during the week you have to do.

6) God’s great, but I don’t really have time for him outside of church. I believe He exists, but I’m doing pretty good without Him right now.

7) Seriously, I know the Bible talks about this guy, but the Holy Spirit just kind of scares me. Why can’t I just keep the kid’s Bible? I mean, all the stories are fun and God just kinda loves us and leaves us be until we need him, right?


These are not the only characteristics of being an American Christian, but they are some of the biggest. And while you might not abide them all, if this describes your approach to God, lemme tell you, you’re not approaching Him at all.

The American Christian, the person who takes God about as seriously as the light precepts of his own culture — “It’s how we do things, but I don’t really embrace it beyond what’s easy to accomplish.”

God is an intelligent being who built the Earth, Moon, Sun and Stars so that you might have a place He could get to know you in. Do you imagine for one moment that your visit to a building once a week to sing songs from out a little book and paying him half-hearted lip service to your children before going to bed is, in any real way, inviting him into your home and heart?

Jesus didn’t die on the cross so you’d have better stories to tell your children. He died so that you would be humbled on your knees for the cost of his sacrifice that no one had to perish and spend eternity outside God’s presence!

If you’re just trying to get by with God, consider this:

He has promised to help you through life. He has promised life more abundantly. He will never forsake us, will develop us as people, will change hearts, free us from addictions, pains and regrets, and loves us so much more than we will ever love ourselves.

You’re trading real freedom of the soul — freedom from worry, doubt, past wrongs and pains, broken relationships, anger, hate, fear, concern, stress, etc. — for an empty shell of a religion. Christianity doesn’t work as a religion — it’s a relationship.

How could this be?

One of the main purposes of the Old Testament was to prove to the world that religion and merit have no place in God’s plans. We can’t do it ourselves! There is no great formula to getting to heaven because no matter how hard we try, we will NEVER be good enough on our own merit. Period, end of story. The Old Testament showed a people clashing over and over again with EFFORT and FAILING.

“So if we can’t earn our way to heaven through following his laws and he doesn’t want us treating it like some kind of religion, then what, pray tell would you have us do, Christian?”

First of all, stop treating God like a weekly visit to Dairy King. He’s an intelligent, living being who’s been more patient with you than you have with the person who hurt you most, your spouse or your children. Start talking to him and listen to Him — He speaks through your heart, your mind, your ears and in your life. If you keep your eyes open, you can see him shift things and set things in place that no number of coincidences could handle so deftly. Share your day with him by just talking to him, out loud in the car, in the kitchen, at home.

Second: Read the Bible and BELIEVE it! “Oh, well, I believe this and this happened, but hey, many men wrote this book, and man is just human.” Have you ever considered that it’s easier to discredit one man than a hundred? God created a book that uniformly rounds off a complete understanding of his words, used a number of different people to prove that his message doesn’t come from one man with epilepsy, but a single spirit moving from author to author to show how awesome his power is! The real excuse isn’t that man wrote it or that multiple people wrote it. Your excuse actually complete baloney, and you just don’t want to read it, you don’t want to put yourself out, you don’t want to have to exercise faith for the same reason people stay out of politics — they think remaining aloof of a certain position keeps them out of the fight. Tell that to the enemy on your doorstep who’s come to kill, steal and destroy.

And if you don’t feel you can understand the Bible, go get some books that talk about describing the Bible to people just starting to read it. Try “66 Love Letters,” available from your local bookstore or Amazon.

Third, surrender to God. If you haven’t already accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, it’s time. And if you think having attended church your entire life is enough, think again. Accepting the Christ must be an act of humility — its says from the heart: “Hey, I recognize I can’t do this alone, that I’ve come up short of God’s law and have sin in my heart. I can’t earn my way into heaven, the only thing I have now is God’s grace to save me through faith, not by works.”

Then, if you have accepted Christ, it’s time to surrender everything else. That means giving up responsibility to every single thing in your life and trust that responsibility with God. That doesn’t mean stop working or paying bills or taking care of your children or long-term financial responsibility. That means surrendering how you feel about it. You see, the person in charge is the person who worries about how it’s going to get done. So long as you worry, you’re telling God and everyone else: Hey, I’m in charge. But surrendering is about giving up the right to those feelings, because when you surrender to God, it’s HIS job to do that worrying, if God was to worry. Surrender it, then you HAVE to leave it on the altar! You can’t come back when you want to get stressed on how something’s going to get done. That’s telling God: Hey I’ve got this, I don’t need you.

Sorry folks, God didn’t ask for a little piece of you. He wants all of you. He’s like a husband in love with his wife — he wants EVERYTHING. He wants her body, her spirit, her soul, her mind, her voice, her heart, and since he is a good husband, he will take care of her (OUR) every need. We cannot go to him and say: Hey, I’ve got the house payment, when He knows full well we don’t have the experience or resources he has. He made us intelligent and capable, but he also made us dependent, and no one gets through this life alone.

There is so much more to say, but I’ll leave that for another day. Please, if you read this and you felt struck that you’re an American Christian, I think it’s time you considered a real relationship with God. Your inside-life will grow rich and full. There’s nothing else on Earth that compares with knowing the Living God of the Universe. Trust me. I know firsthand. Of all my posts, I have the most experience with pursuing God. Successful or not, and certainly not perfect, my journey has been an interesting one. But God is worth more than your house, your spouse, your kids, your job … if you can get right with God, God will get everything else right with you. But if you try to do it without Him, it will pile up on you and you will see no way out.

Trust me.

Good night, ya’ll.