|17 May 2006 @ 11:37|
This artistic poem is meant to portray those who find it humorous to rip people apart, especially in packs. And so I use the phrase, "Chainsaw Humor", meaning it comes from a place of vindictiveness. Think of Ravenous Wolves gloating over their prey.
The focus is not on the Clown, but identifying with the victim
Yet, perhaps some may gain insight to the cruelty of what they say and re-think their callous indifference to the feelings of others, and having a laugh at another's expense More >
|13 May 2006 @ 19:05|
I'm starting to shop an Epic Fantasy, and I'm going to start posting art/text based on the storyline-
Creatures from another Universe find a Veil that led them to our world. They were humanoid in appearance, but some were as tall as trees and formed of substance that permitted them to fly, shape-shift, become invisible, pass through solids, and some had power over elements.
When they first arrived their was harmony with human kind. Peaceful fellowship was broken when civil war from their realm spilled onto our world. Humankind was caught in the crossfire.
The first series chronicles the first ages of our world's pre-history. The earth was destroyed and reformed more than once before. It cannot endure another foolish generation ignorant to the unseen war. If human champions do not learn the Ancient Ways of power, we face extinction. The pawns must become players, or the world will be forever destroyed.
The Image is a complex character in my story, a mystery who passes through earth. Evil fears him, seeing within his eyes the light of the Eternal Rainbow. Those who fight for mankind want him to fight our war, knowing he could defeat the enemy.
The Image is for humanity, but refuses to take the reins of our world from our hands. Ultimately our fate does not rest with those who fight with us, but in our hands.
Nate More >
|29 Apr 2006 @ 17:56|
Two men intersected as they walked through Kane Park. The blond man was dressed in shorts and a white tank top. He seemed in his late twenties; the other was dark haired, in his thirties, and dressed like a mannequin from the GAP.
They were alone, and by now seemed rather bored with the day, and wanted someone to talk to. The dark haired man asked, "Excuse me...are you red, or are you blue?"
"I'm not quite sure what you are talking about?" the blond replied.
"Oh, don't feign ignorance with me. I want to know if you are red or blue...it’s important!"
The blond said, "My name is Ken, if it makes any difference. Are you visiting, or do you live nearby?"
His attempt at small talk fell to the ground. The other said, "I'm John, but you still didn't answer my question. If you are hiding something, then maybe I shouldn't talk to you at all."
"What's your problem, and why are you in such a huff?"
John looked at him and said, "I can't tell by the way you dress what your political views are. Normally, I can...I'm very good at that. I can't stand Blue State people, if you know what I mean...pig-headed, always want their way. If you're one of them, I don't even want to talk to you."
Ken was apolitical, and really avoided thinking about issues. He was somewhat of a free spirit, who loved life, and wanted to avoid talking about heavy things. Still, he was put off by John's demanding tone, and said, "I'm the son of a coal miner, named Fred, and my mother's name is Alice. She worked in a bakery for six years, then stopped to raise her children."
"Stop changing the subject. You really know how to dance around an issue. I think you're trying to hide your colors. Why don't you admit it!"
Ken said, "I'm getting married to my high school sweetheart next spring. She wants to have kids right away. At first I was reluctant, but I love her and figure it will work out. I'm a physical therapist over at the rehab. The money is okay for a single guy, but I'm worried if we'll struggle if one of us has to quit work."
John said, "Yeah, straight-laced, yuppie wannabe; your looking bluer by the minute."
"Oh, did I tell you I ran track in college, the quarter mile. I had a scholarship; but I gave it up, because I was really into theater, and thought I could be an actor. I sold some poems, and got excited and overnight I thought I was a novelist. It's funny how things go. You know. You wish you turned right instead of left..."
"Ha, you said it, you are one of those right-wieners, I mean wingers, and you should have turned left. We'll forget you then; unless you want to change your affiliation right now."
Ken was puzzled. He'd rarely seen anyone so angry, and was bothered by this instant judgment. He said, "I have a brother who plays in a great rock band, and a sister with blond hair and blue eyes, the spitting Image of Carrie Underwood, except a little taller. She thinks she can be the next American Idol too."
"What's that got to do with anything?"
"When you came here," Ken admitted, "I wanted to know what music you liked, if you draw, or write. I wondered if you had a brother like mine, or whether you were close to your father."
"It was important to me. I wanted to get to know you, who you are. But you just see people as this issue or that issue, and write them off if they don't see eye to eye with you."
"That's not true. I don't hate my dad, and he always votes opposite with me. I just can't stand to be in the same room with him, and I tell him too!"
"Well, my moms a liberal Catholic. My dad is protestant, but doesn't go to church. He's probably conservative by your standards. I don't know what I believe. But we never fight or argue. We don't claw at each other at the dinner table. Sure, sometimes we talk about serious things, where we stand on issues, but when we look at each other we see people, not walking political posters."
"Your house is weird," John contested. "My father would kill me if I brought home a republican. My mom would disown me if I marry a conservative; and she'll never have to worry either! If I find out a girl I'm dating is from a Blue State, I leave her on the curb and let her walk home!"
"Why not ask her before the date begins?"
"Don't want to ruin it. If I pry she might think I was controlling, and not want to go out with me- in case she's a red state girl. I don't bring up politics until she does. Then if she opens her lip and starts spouting that garbage, she's out on her ear!"
Ken said, "Then don't you ever date my sister!"
"Ah ha! Admit it, you are from a whole family of right-wing fanatic nut-cases!"
"Are you kidding. My sisters a democrat, but she's not a jerk like you. And you are controlling. You demand everyone conform to your viewpoint or you write them off as despised misfits!"
"They are misfits!"
"They're people, John...breathing, eating, people. And if all you see are political issues, then you're missing the best part of life."
"Oh, you're just saying that because you're a right winged nut!"
Ken could see he was chasing his tail, and said, "I hoped to run into a person today, not a campaign speech. And I'd have listened to your viewpoints if you weren't acting like a rabid dog just waiting to bite my hand."
Do we love issues or people? Can we love people despite disagreements about issues?
Once upon a time, people were people; and the world was not polarized. Once upon a time, people didn't size people up and write them off because of a different religion, or different political party.
When we realize that every human has intrinsic value, and is more than a point of view, we begin to look at them as more than a walking issue. They are somebody’s mother, brother, sister, son, cousin, uncle. They had good and bad parents, felt loved and unloved, were secure and insecure. Some grew up rich, others poor, some were writers, others dancers. All of them wanted to love and be loved unconditionally.
Then they had a thought, an independent one; perhaps not as informed as another's. But when did they stop being a person with an intrinsic value, and become a walking issue to be written off?
Anger- in our hearts- towards others, is often due to lack of respect. In a polarized world, peace comes only when we value people as having worth that doesn't wash off with rain. They may be wrong. They may make mistakes. They may need to hear other views. But if I can't see their value, then I'm the one who is lost. More >
|2 Apr 2006 @ 18:53|
I imagine everyone here shares my feeling, "The world as we see it is not how the world should be." There are wars, and famines, and people mistreating people.
It is no mystery that some bad people have fairly fun lives, while some good people have fairly miserable lives. Why?
One of the biggest questions people have is, "If God had the power to make things better, why doesn't he?" Why not stop all wars, eliminate all diseases, and halt natural disasters?
Most people here are tender-hearted. They hate seeing suffering and violence. And it would seem "if God is good", he would be like them, and just stop the nonsense. First, let me say, that is very much the nature of God- tender-hearted. He does hate suffering and violence, and misery. The question reverts then to "Is God good?" and then, "If God is good, then why?"
I wrestled for years with the seeming unfairness I saw in the world. It isn't a mystery to the observant. Obviously, I've come to some resolutions, or I would not be writing this message.
First let me state what I know to be true. God didn't want the world to look like this. He wanted all of the good, multiplied beyond our imaginations, with none of the bad.
All the good we see is but a shadow of his intentions, and in fact, his mind is bent on restoring the world (a New World) and the Universe to perfection. In fact, what he has intended is far beyond the imagination. No imagination can grasp what God intends. Only a "hair's breath" can be grasped by revelation.
How then did we get here if this is not what God wanted? It is important to understand that when this Universe was created, it not only had natural laws, but spiritual laws. Gravity is a natural law. Gravity doesn't hate or love, it simply is. Spiritual laws are not much different. They act independent of judgment, and therefore they are neither vendictive nor merciful. They just are.
This world was a gift to mankind in a way that no other gift could possibly be. Let's imagine the world is a car, and God made the perfect car, one that would run smoothly and forever if left as it is. Now picture God in love with mankind, and saying, "The keys to the world are yours."
Well, if we crash it, can we blame God? We might want to say, "You gave us the keys, so we're mad...you should have known we'd be irresponsible and crash the world..."
God had to take a risk, because love takes risks. Love has to risk rejection, and the free will of the other to walk away, or mistreat the lover. God could not force his will upon us if he loved us. He had to leave us with choices, and choices have consequences.
When God made the Universe, he decided there was one part of the Universe he would share fully with his beloved (us) and in doing so, he would not micromanage it. In fact, he put its forests, its animals, all under our authority. "You are to this world as I am to the Universe...it's forests and animals are under your authority to do with as you see fit." (Paraphrased)
The good part of that is that this world was like a blank canvas that we could make even more beautiful. We could divert waters for gardens, and create a paradise for the animals. We had the power to bless this earth, but something happened on the way to perfect paradise.
Mankind crashed this world, again, and again. We might demand that God fix it, but that is not the way things work.
God left two powers in charge of the earth to teach us how to parallel park. The first power was natural law. If men light a match, they stoke a fire. If they are irresponsible, they can burn down a forest. We have power to bless, but also power to harm. We must understand the laws that govern power.
Now, since this is "Our planet" and God handed "us" the keys, it is in "our power" to trash what should have been the greatest blessing the Universe has known.
It is no different than a parent handing a deed to a property with a mansion over to their son, and having him burn decide to burn it down. The house and trees are scarred, and he gets angry, and says, "You hate me...you gave me this flamable house, and when I lit it, it burned to charcoal. Now, fix it!"
"No, I gave you a beautiful house with a beautiful garden, and I expected you would take care of it, and enjoy it forever...I never said I would stop you from destroying my gift to you..."
The earth was "our house" and we were given the deed to the property.
Now, physical law is actually the least damaging of the two forces God placed into the world. Spiritual law is far more powerful and the consequences last longer.
The second law, the spiritual law, is predominated by two forces. "Blessings and curses". We have the power to unleash both blessings and curses into the world.
This is not something we are ignorant of. All religions and most philosophies believe in a form of Sowing and Reaping.
Sowing and Reaping are the ways that Blessings and Curses are unleashed.
So, let us backtrack. God did not intend this world to wound us. It was in beautiful shape when we inherited it. Mankind refused to acknowledge the powers of "Sowing and Reaping", and errantly assumed they could do whatever they wanted to the world, and it wouldn't matter.
Why do good people suffer? - If you understand spiritual laws, God has refused to interfere with our crashing the world, except by his mercy, but, since this was "our world", he requires "our invitation".
When some pray, "Thy will be done on earth...as it is in heaven", they have no clue what or why they are saying this. Why would we have to ask God to change things on our world?
Because it is "our world". This is why the law of prayer works. It isn't because God doesn't want to heal everyone, but he is bound to his own laws. If we have unleashed curses into this world, sure he could stop them all, but he is waiting for our invitation to intervene.
It would appear that God should simply step in, take away the keys of our authority, and clean up this mess for us. However, the whole point of his giving us the world was not to harm us, but to help us, to help us understand who he is.
This world is filled with countless object lessons. However, we (as a race) are blinded to them, because we have not accepted the very first of the Laws- sowing and reaping leads to blessing and curses.
And when curses fall upon nations, all are wounded, even the innocent. But it was not by "God's desire". Spiritual laws are indifferent. They are neither merciful or vengeful. They are like the law of gravity. If a beautiful hearted person jumps off a cliff they are not going to land more gently than a creep. The law doesn't discriminate.
If you will, curses can't come into a home or nation unless mankind leaves the door open to them. Likewise, blessings will also wait outside the door for men to open the door.
Unless we humans learn wisdom, and that there are consequences to our choices, we make the mistake of assuming we can do whatever we want and nothing will happen.
This is the primary reason why prayer works. By our will, we allow the designer a chance to come in and change the landscape. We open a door.
Many good-hearted people want a clean world, and a disease free world. At some point that will be, but untiul then, we must understand how things work.
We must understand how our sowing and reaping impact the "Physical Laws"- stop polution, stop burning forests, stop wasting resources.
But we must also learn how our sowing and reaping brings cursings and blessings into this world. God is capable of cleaning up curses and leaving blessings behind. But we must invite God to do so. Yet, it is not enough to keep asking God to fix our problems. That is akin to our pouring gasoline on our roofs with a match, and asking God to keep blowing out the flames. We have to learn how spiritual laws operate, because in effect, we can open a continuous window of blessing, and eliminate curses, something no generation of mankind has ever witnessed, except in small measure. More >
|27 Mar 2006 @ 14:13|
Within our hearts is a compass, a homing device, searching for meaning and answers. We want to know about eternity and God, and our eyes are drawn to the stars. As a child, there is a “Why?” built into us, and no question is considered sacred, though parents may induce us to suppress our natural curiosity due to their own insecurities.
Where did our “Why?” go?
Some people seem perpetually secular-minded, filled with thoughts of the here and now, countless projects and distractions. But this is not our natural state. Children who know they are loved, enjoy being in the presence of those who accept them. They don’t strive. That strife was set in motion because the world/parents/peers sent us messages that weren’t true, making us feel defective. When someone constantly fills their mind with entertainment and data, it is often because they don’t feel comfortable just existing. This does not mean our curiosity is wrong, but when it leads to no rest or peace, it is coming from the wrong place.
Even the “busy-minded” have to push these questions out of their minds when they lay on their beds. So, they fill their head with a constant barrage of noise and stimulation until they collapse in exhaustion, or those questions will return.
But why would people fill their minds with distractions? Why would people be so preoccupied with here and now? Desire to know is a part of our most innocent state. When we first ask “Why?” our view of ourselves is a reflection of our parent’s responses. They’ll tell us if we are shy, or pretty, or stupid, or useless. Of course, no one is useless, or stupid, but we buy into false messages. In God’s eyes, everyone has intrinsic value (they don’t have to earn it) We are at birth valuable, just like a one of a kind Rembrandt, the only one of “Us” this universe will ever know.
A Rembrandt doesn’t have to prove its worth. It doesn’t have to jump through hoops, or score touchdowns or get good grades. It is valuable just because it exists.
If we pictured that God wanted us, liked us, saw something wonderful in us, we would be more inclined to look for God. However, the reality is that people are generally driven by fears, a sense that if God saw them, he would be angry, disappointed, and wind up rejecting them. And so, they avoid God, and more specifically, “God’s Face”.
People will pray, seeking God’s hand, which means, answers to prayer, because in desperation, people might try anything. A child might seek his parent’s hands, but not their face, “Give me the keys to the car…but don’t expect me to spend time with you, getting to know your likes and dislikes, and who you are.”
We generally avoid seeking people’s faces because we fear displeasure, rejection, anger.
And so, deep within the heart, there is something that causes people to withdraw, and turn away.
Fears and anger rule the world. Most mental health problems are based upon fears or anger. Generally speaking, hurts cause temporary pain, but our anger at being hurt can cause a lifetime of pain.
Here is a secret. Your “Why?” was placed there by God himself. That is God’s Spirit wooing us, because contrary to what our hearts may tell us, he wants us to find him.
Here’s another secret. If you are honestly “seeking him”, he will find you. In this journey towards God, you will come to the end of yourself. Your intellect can only take you so far. But be encouraged, because God already knows who you are, and is simply waiting until your heart is inclined to him, and then he will do the rest, which is to reveal himself.
Another secret. God wants you more than you want him, and if you are seeking him, I guarantee you, he will show himself, and he will not be angry. This does not mean he will love everything we do, but God sees the Rembrandt, the value, the gifts, at all times.
No one that is seeking God will be rejected, because your desire to seek God was put in you by God, and it is the most natural thing we can do. He put the homing device in us, because in reality he is calling us to him. He would not call to you if he did not want you, because that is not within God’s nature.
How then shall we approach God? I’m only going to give you some general tips.
Don’t tell God who he is. Let him reveal himself to you. This is no different than if we meet another human. They don’t like it when we define them, but would rather we listen to what they say, and allow them to define themselves. God desires most that you seek his face (who he is/his nature) than his hand. (favors). And here’s a tip, if you seek his face, you will be granted more favors than you can think to ask for. This doesn’t mean we can’t ask for answers to prayers, but keep the giver before the gift. Our heart should be one of appreciation, not one of selfish demands. And any parent can tell the difference between a child that wants us, or only what’s in our wallets. One gives us joy, the other gives us grief. God feels both emotions- make him happy.
Feel free to tell God what you observe, and ask questions. Remember, our “Why?” was put there by God, and he wants us to learn. Any question asked in earnest, “Not a disrespectful accusation” is okay to ask.
Be humble. Humility is simply our realization of what he’s done (as much as we recognize it). This posture allows us to see things that we would miss. People that assume they “Already know everything” are less inclined to listen to what others have to say.
Last, God already knows everything you’ve done, every screw-up, mistake, and downright purposeful action. We don’t have to put up a mask to approach him. In fact, he sees through it, so it only keeps us from seeing clearly, not him. You don’t need to barter or beg for God, though you might feel overwhelming appreciation that he would forgive, and want to tell him that.
Here is word of comfort for you that have lived a horrid life that you are ashamed of. If you say, “I wish God would only forgive me and accept me…” it doesn’t matter if you believe he will, because I guarantee he will.- You cannot even want God if he doesn’t put that desire to come to him within you- that “Want” is his guarantee that he will accept you, and he will not throw your past in your face.
God wants you, and he is waiting. More >
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True love is more than a feeling, it's an act of the will. Feelings can be fleeting, and should be the tail in our decision making process, and never the head. In other words, if I don't feel like loving today, I should not avoid doing what love requires on that basis. If someone needs me, I must look at our relationship, and make an informed choice to sometimes show love when I least feel like it.
We understand that parents must be there for children, even when they anger us, or disappoint us. This same principle is true for all relationships.
If I waited to do the right thing until I was "moved" to do the right thing, most times, the right thing wouldn't get done. For this reason, we need a hierarchy of values and principles. For me, love is the highest value. If I pass someone in need, I may not feel particularly loving on that day. In fact, helping them may be an inconvenience, or worse. It may cost me. It's not what we do that we 'feel like doing', that often defines us, but what we do when we don't feel much like doing it. I can hug someone who makes me feel squishy with delight. It's hugging those I don't feel like hugging, because in my will, I do care, that defines me. If I care, but my feelings are disconnected, this doesn't make me insincere. It makes me realize that sometimes my feelings lag behind what I know to be right. Often, I have reached out to people that I didn't really feel warm feelings for. In fact, some were difficult and cold. However, I often was rewarded by seeing the light of life sparked in their eyes. Sometimes we are like a match that kindles a warm flame in a cold fireplace. They have the fuel, but need someone to light it. I have never regreted the risks of love, but have often regreted not taking the risk. Love the unlovely. Love the seemingly unloveable. I don't mean you should risk putting yourself before hostility. In that case, you might want to get a second or third opinion. But in most cases, we pass cold and distant people, and they seem as walking dead. Sometimes its simply because of fear and inner loneliness, and they are beaten down and afraid to open up. The risks of love pale in comparrison to the rewards. |