Jesus. Loves. you. I know that some might dread or roll their eyes regarding the amount of Jesus posts today. Some might even have a good laugh, but I genuinely mean what I’m saying (or rather typing), I know some people might point and say that myself and other Christians in the world or delusional for believing as we do. But the love of Jesus Christ has truly changed me inside and out, it was the love that I have always wanted and needed. The love that I have found in Christ, has moved me away from the yoke of perfection and to embrace the mad love and acceptance that he has poured out upon me. In my estimation, there are not enough words to describe how my life continues to change because of the love of Christ. Your life can change too, as though you were a new creation.
In an act of self-disclosure.
I want to say that I’ve been porn free for 60 days! That is the longest I have ever been without this horrible drug. And you know what? I feel amazing, the urge to use this drug is less and less every day. Is the temptation still there? Sure, but God is faithful, and His strength is my strength.
I actually desire real relationships, real conversation, and interaction. My prior blog on being mentally tough remains true. For I am a warrior and no enemy will easily overcome me.
My weapon of choice is 1st Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
I can and will make it to 90 days, which is the standard time for the brain to fully re-wire. If you are struggling with any sort of addiction. You too can be free but know this: 1) you need Gods help, you need community, you need transparency and you need to be willing to give it time. But you can be free!
My first book: The Emotional Struggle, is now an internationally known book. As it is currently making it’s way to Ireland!
If you haven’t read it yet, please feel free to do so. Here is also a recent review:
read this book. This book is raw and open about the life of Brandon and his struggle with his “disability” and his walk with Jesus and IT WAS PHENOMENAL!!! i will journey to the next book you wrote!! I loved your complete honesty and all of your quotes, it literally opened my eyes to how your perception of how people look at you and how you have felt and probably still feel. Life is literally a persecution when you love and live for Christ, regardless if we backslide a bit or not, we all do. But dang, I LOVED THIS BOOK! -Carla Vice
Purchase copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1434348113/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=31933057530&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=s&hvrand=9081708957811739779&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1023191&hvtargid=kwd-6817054661&ref=pd_sl_jr1dfs8fm_e
As a person who has lived with cerebral palsy for thirty-two years, my heart has in particular gone out to those with special needs. Be it mental or physical, I can remember being in junior high and asking for permission to leave my last class, just so I could go down to the special needs classroom and help in any way that I could.
I loved these kids, I’ll never forget how some of their faces would light up whenever I would come into the classroom. It saddened me that they had to have their own classroom away from the rest of the school, but that’s another entry all in itself. These kids were like my own, they were a part of me it seemed. It takes people with big and calm hearts to work with them because it can be very taxing mentally and physically.
I have always felt protective of these people, and probably will until the day I die. In the last few days, I have lost my mind over the fact that four black young adults kidnapped a white man with special needs, they beat and toured him. All because he apparently supported Donald trump. I was angry and wanted to get my hands on each person involved.
Personally, I think that the book should be thrown at them, the same way the book SHOULD have been thrown and the two white idiots that assaulted a young man with special needs and happened to be black. Both sides should have had equal consequence, but being that we live in a fallen world, our justice system does not run as well oiled as it should and that truly frustrates me.
As human beings, created in the image of God (Genesis 1) we should rage against this evil acts regardless of political, racial, social and sexual orientation. Quite simply, there should be the same reaction of disgust from either side, not finding ways to lessen what was done in the name of hate. Furthermore, CNN should be ashamed of themselves for allow reporter Sara Ganim to laugh at what was done to the white young man with special needs. Shame on you CNN!
American people wake the fuck up! Our actions on either side are only making this country worse. When are we going to stop fighting against each other? When are we going to come to the realization that political and social issues are only a smokescreen for the real problem, our hearts?
The sooner we realize this the better.. But until we do, we will continually be sucked deeper and deeper into ourselves.
My doubts concerning faith and God have been like a tornado, meaning that sometimes it touches down and destroys nothing. Other times when it touches down it takes out everything in its way. Doubt is paralyzing, it takes all my energy away and often it is like I can’t breathe or move. Fear seems far too real and sometimes it’s all that seems to be present in my life. I have doubted everything from the existence of God to supposed contradictions within scripture. Most of the things that most every Christian has dealt, but few admit. Most of my doubt, however, seems to have stemmed from the number of friends that have left the faith, after going to grace university. Most of whom I have had close ties with. Furthermore, most of my family does not hold my same convictions, and so I have had great anxiety about their eternal states.
I have longed prayed for their salvation, but have had little answer. I ask you, though, does that then make God unfaithful? Personally, I do not think so, if God is the author of life and death, he can do as He wishes. In no way, does he have to act as we so desire or will. Many times are view of God is so skewed and short sided that we fail to see the big picture. As it relates to suffering, most get so caught up in the emotion and aftermath, that it can be hard to see any further. But God sees a lot further than any of us. One way that scripture seems the most real and relevant, is that the people in the Bible are no strangers to pain and questions. In some ways, that should help loosen the tight grip around our chests that prevent us from breathing freely and with joy.
Literally, everyone in the Bible has questioned and screamed at God. Everyone has battled with different anxieties and seasons of depression. I highly suggest the readings of Spurgeon, that guy suffered from doubt and depression at length, and still, he came out on the other side with more joy and pleasure and Gods presence than ever before. I can’t tell you how this will play out for you, but I can tell you that I believe that God will bless you and keep you and that his faith will shine upon you. I only pray and ask that you cling to Him, as the woman did that suffered from internal bleeding for numerous years. You can trust Him; he will never leave you nor forsake you. He has overcome the world and is bigger than our doubt and pain. This journey will not be an easy one, it takes prayer, praise, community and most importantly time. You must be willing to prayerfully start working through many of your questions and doubts.
In the words of Pastor Matt Chandler: “A mature Christian is one who runs to God and not from God.” I am not if you are not spiritually mature. However, I am saying that there is freedom to run to God with your heavy heart. As many skeptics would tell you to simply disavow your beliefs, the same way Job’s wife said “forsake God and die” but despite that he clung to God and worshiped God in the end. You too can make through this grim and nasty storm. In Christ care and mercy, I know you will be okay, you only must be willing to keep your feet moving behind him, believing that He will take care of your every need and heal every ache and wound.
In Christs love and compassion.
PS, He loves you so madly, He is so crazy about you. He is a roaring lion that will fight away every demon and spiritual stronghold.
Many times when suffering of various kinds come way my, do you know what my knee-jerk reaction is? God must hate me… Or worse yet, God must be punishing me for something that I did. Both are untrue and we shouldn’t be so quick to pass such judgment on ourselves.
For one, I do not believe that God is just waiting to bend us over his lap and give us a divine spanking. Sure, God can and does get displeased with us. He wishes that we would all stop being so darn stubborn and turn to Him.
His word tells us that He comes to give us life to the fullest, it takes a lot to truly get God angry. He isn’t like that parent that wigs out on their child because they keep asking them the same question or repeated questions.
And on the subject of God punishing us, yes, there will be a day where God does punish those who still hold to their own. But just because suffering is in your life presently, does not mean that God is punishing you. Rather, He could very well be trying to get your attention.
All through scripture people that came face to face with the mad love of God, did so through suffering. In no way am I saying that we should seek a life of hardship. But we should expect it. And know that Christ overcame it, and unlike other eastern religions, we don’t have to detach from it.
Rather, we can in some ways rest in it and even use it as means to be of comfort, to those who are suffering as well. So before we are so quick to jump to a conclusion regarding the Lords anger and punishment. Let us first examine the state of our own hearts and who HE really is.
Religion is a word that has more negative overtones than it does positive, for many religion drags long bad memories of things done by finite human beings that are in a position of authority or leadership. The late Christopher Hitchens cleverly subtitled his acclaimed book God is Not Great with Why Religion Poisons Everything. Millions of people reacted to the book with great love and enthusiasm, as though to say “Aha! See? Religion poisons everything!” Many atheist philosophers of today and old are very quick to do away with religion altogetherI’m spiritual but not religious. And while it has become a widely popular statement within the last ten years, there a few questions that deserve answers or better yet explanations
Within the follow pages of this brief paper an attempt to differentiate between religion and spirituality will be made and lastly to bring this paper to a close, we will discuss why all this talk on religion matters in the first place.
and them alone. Furthermore, in doing so, it allows for a person to appear to have any restraints on their world view and how they choose to live. The greatest problem then is that it can make for a society of people wandering aimlessly like a leaf in the wind being tossed to and fro.
let’s look at few ways that religion is defined. According to religioustolerance.org, religion is defined as The English word “religion” is derived from the Middle English “religion” which came from the Old French “religion.” It may have been originally derived from the Latin word “religion” which means “good faith,” “ritual,” and other similar meanings. Or it may have come from the Latin “religâre” which means “to tie fast,” or “bind together.”
ld think and behave. More socially sophisticated people cling to the words of William Ernest Henley who wrote the words I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Another way of defining religion stems from the book Invitation to World Religions, which it by stating that Religion is a cultural system integrating teachings, practices, modes, of experience, institutions, and artistic expression that relates people to what they perceive to be transcendent. As we can see in this definition, the author goes to great links to provide the reader with as broad and inclusive definition as humanly possible, not leaving a single stone unturned. The problem that many find is that while the definition is all-inclusive, it fails to guide others to a solid point on what religion is or how it is defined. Instead, the author leaves room for much relativity. Meaning that whatever one chooses to see as transcendent is truly up to them.
Christianity is not a religion it’s a relationship. Once more, much like the non-theistic view above, there are refusing to deal with the usage of the word religion means.
A View of Religion from The Past
ers. The late German philosopher Karl Marx Is best known for saying the following on the matter of religion: Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions. The two main points that can be gleaned from his words are
- Religion is simply illusionary, and therefore created in the minds of others to cope with human suffering.
- Religion should have abolished if one is to obtain truth happiness
Freud, much like Marx believed that religion was an illusion, furthermore he is most noted for saying the following in his book The Future of Illusion “Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one.” Neurosis, as defined by the encyclopedia of mental disorders as “Neurosis, is a term used to describe a nonpsychotic mental illness which triggers feelings of distress and anxiety and impairs functioning.
To summarize his biggest points on religion are:
- Religion is a delusion
The questions we must ask then is, has it always been this way? Has religion always been viewed as evil and for weak minded people? The answers to these questions are no, in fact, CS Lewis writes this on the topic of religion
Here Lewis readily combats the presumption that atheists carry about religion and suffering, in that they believe that for an all loving, all powerful God to exists then there can be no suffering. Lewis here is more than likely saying that The Christian view of religion informs us that persecution and hardship are to be expected within the life of a Christian. And as provides the Christian with a more realistic and sober-minded outlook on life in front of them, for a Christian, however, persecution is not the end. Instead, they are readily and willing to face the days of peril ahead, knowing that the best is yet to come.
Does Religion Matter?
After all, in the Christian Bible, humans are informed that pure and undefiled religion is taking care of widows and orphans (James 1:27, ESV).
And while it might easy for a person that lacks in Biblical knowledge, to imply that all they have to do is be a good person. Let us consider a brief commentary on the above passage from the staff at Ligonier Ministries:
It would also be a mistake to think that the Bible always defines the word religion in such a negative way. After all, the Bible does use the word religion in a positive sense to refer to the outward manifestation of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ. We see a fine example of this in today’s passage where James gives us three ways in which we can recognize pure religion. The bridling of the tongue, the care for widows and orphans, and keeping oneself unstained from the world are all demonstrations of the pure religion that flows from authentic faith in Jesus (James 1:26–27).
It can be easy to look history and even present time, and quickly conclude that religion has done nothing but cause more war and societal oppression than anything else in the world. It can be all the more appealing to human sensibility to assume that we have to rid of it. All in the name of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. However, is it possible that we have gotten way ahead of ourselves in our thinking? Meaning that states as the problem anyhow (Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 13:5, Mark 7:21-22, Romans 1:21). It isn’t time for believers to show the world what pure and undefiled religion is?
Karl Marx. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx
Ligonier Ministries. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/undefiled-religion/
Opium of the people. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people
Robot Check. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from https://www.amazon.com/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/0446697966/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8
The Freud Museum ~ Education ~ Freud and Religion. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from https://www.freud.org.uk/education/topic/10573/freud-and-religion/
William Ernest Henley – Poem Hunter. (n.d.). Invictus Poem. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/invictus/