Idolaters R US

I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.”

Isaiah 45:5-6

How odd is God.  Evidently incomparable given he is the invisible Entity who has left us  no unambiguous trace of his existence, except for a handful of written witnesses illustrating what he is up to.  Ask anyone who has struggled with the idea of God.  It would seem he casts himself as arbitrary and unapproachable.  We can warrant some level of critique regarding those notions. God hasn’t made his reality as slam dunk as mathematical proof.  Clues exist out there of some ultimate purpose, of mystery, of ultimate intelligence and goodness, all variably open to interpretation.  Are we missing out on something?  Shouldn’t God be visible and tangible?  Maybe that kind of God would be susceptible to manipulation and abuse, not unlike this past week’s baby dolphin craze.

http://mainenewsonline.com/content/16027043-video-shows-how-ignorance-led-killing-endangered-baby-dolphin

Image result for baby dolphin news

God let me take a selfie with you in it!   Wouldn’t we suffocate him in the attempt to rub shoulders, literally?    Where could we possible contain him should there be no boundaries between him and us ?    How we approach God demonstrate the extent of our deviance.  Should he be like us, compliant to our whims and lack of restraint, God would be subject to our domestication: have him wear a male bikini while shirtless and flexing muscles at the beach, have him sit  for an interview and queue him with a barrage of silly questions, Instagram him on 360 degree views, paparazzi him, invite him over for pizza and beer and request that he pull a few tricks off his sleeve, have him endorse and glamorize our favorite Sunday morning religion, endorse our fashion and fads, have him bless the wonderful purpose of our lives…..

Trouble is we humans tend to swing to the polar of depraved thinking and disposition.   For many the opposite of the Midas touch is norm, rather than the exception. We tend to destroy and harass what we touch.  Why, we want to franchise and take advantage of every golden opportunity, even when our understanding and intentions are misguided.  We want God to be our idol, not our Lord.  The tendency of mortals is to craft God in our image and likeness:  The God of my religion. The God of my ring-wing/left-wing politics. The God of my capitalist economy. The God of my flag. The God of my tribe.  The God of my romance. The God of ME.

The quest to subject  and acquire things represent relentless and coveted pursuits that keep achievers (and alas thieves!) awake at night.  The temptation to reach transcendence, Godhood, divinity, whatever, has not reasonable let up for those with ulterior ambitions. Granted the opportunity, some would seek to dethrone God (Isaiah 14:14; Genesis 3:6,22).  God resists that.  A line has to be traced, not just in religion, but in every aspect of living.  God won’t be confined. He can’t.  We expect kids to grow up and become adults, not the reverse.  God abhors walls of limitation and  vetoes down boxes of neat categorization that dictate what he ought and not to do (i.e. God should answer every prayer, stop every hurricane, grant me this job right now). We think we have God all figured out and safely tucked in our Bible on that sanctimonious two hour block weekend charade. Not so.  God is loose and dangerous. He doesn’t think he is us. The world constitutes God’s arena for the display of his power, not the circus ring where he juggles to our endless entertainment and pleasure, on demand. He is the Lion of the jungle, not the bird in the cage. The wholly Other God refuses to be our pet, the baby dolphin on the sun-drenched beach.  My proposal therefore is that to get our religion right, we ought to let God be God.

 

 

The Anti-Valentine

For those who are terrible lovers, regret loving, fail to love, can’t love, were crushed in the process, or simply hate the idea thereof.  A few sobering thoughts……….

DISCLAIMER: No I am not being cynical about Valentine.  Go ahead an celebrate to the fullest.  Pass the wine cup, revel in the flowers.  Inch up on your belly with the next row of chocolate.  Love is beautiful full circle.  I believe in love.  We were made for it, not merely as benefactors, but as givers, love givers, as God is.

Been there, done that.  That is, I’ve experienced the rollercoaster ride of love. I’ve also crashed and burned and for the mercy of me, I wasn’t able to recover the million stray pieces.  It is over.  Don’t misunderstand.  I didn’t give up on the idea of love, but I did decide this particular love wasn’t for me.  I am not claiming victimhood.  I am no saint. I did my share of transgressions and follies.  I acknowledge my role in the breakup, the divorce proceedings, and the ensuing chaos.  What is left of me?  My life.  I have this life left to live for all that is worth.  And when there is life there is hope.

Sometimes love has to end. It’s necessary.  Perhaps to save your sanity, your safety, your peace of mind, your life.  No I am not suggesting for anyone to proceed and bid adieu to your beau at a whim only because he or she is less than the ideal mate.  Maybe your relationship barely started and needs sharpening a little bit.  Maybe one or the two of you can be rehabilitated.  Perhaps the demons that torment you can be exercised.   Go ahead. Sign up for counseling.  Enter rehab. Sign up for couple’s anger management.  Do something and stop being a selfish fatalist prick who expects to sink with the ship.

Only you can draw the line. How much have you put up with?  What have you been tolerating and how much further can you go?  Somewhere, somehow the line will be drawn. Circumstances will force you to.  If you regard yourself as a self-respecting individual worthy of dignity and respect, only because you are a human being, then you are going to want to take charge of your love life.  Merely being a conformist and sailing with the flow of things might mean you have died!  There is nothing left of you.  Will your relationship survive the abuse, the affairs, the indifference, the sheer stupidity and immaturity?  I don’t know.  Is it possible? Is it probable?  It depends.  Are you both willing and able to make it work?  Can you compromise, heal, forgive, and forget?

If your answer above is either “I won’t” or “I can’t,” sorry to break it to you, but you are not suited for this.  You have become the Anti-Valentine.  Your rather wallow in self-pity anger, and bitterness.  You refuse to change.  Give it up.  Grant yourself and your mate some deserved space and peace of mind.  Resist the hormonal urges to go and grab another piece of skin.  Why, you are a high risk rebound.  Quit.  Split. File for divorce if it is appropriate.  Why continue to dig each other’s graves?  Why the persistence in filling the role of the next man or lady-killer?   No one wins the battles of the heart.  Correction. Actually somebody does and it is the attorneys crafting your divorcee decree at lucrative rates.  It is the lesser of two evil, really.  The relentless path towards madness ends at destruction.  There is no worse enemy to a relationship than the willful refusal to make it wholesome, safe, and constructive for all concerned.   If this is not where you stand, then realize my friend you picked the wrong vocation.  Sign up for singleness.  Classes are still open and many seats available.  A candidate has yet to be rejected for a singles’ profession.

 

Why I believe in God

I believe in God because I want to.  It makes sense.  An extra intelligence other than ours human, is not only feasible, it’s probable.  If this universe of things and atoms contains mind and consciousness, could it be that such phenomenon lies outside the physical plane of existence as well?  This is no abstract, philosophical treatise for armchair theologians.  I am more interested in the personal God, the relational being who is named and who is called.  Beauty, truth, and goodness constitute not merely the catalogue of virtues we strive to attain, but they also point to the reality of another world.  Sure enough, God has not made his existence  obvious. He is the invisible God. The God we can not see or touch.   We have heard rumors and words.  We have clues in the oracles of prophets and priests and preachers of bygone eras who heard and wrote messages from this God.

The decisive evidence for me, however, is this guy named Jesus. Yes, Jesus Christ, the century first Jewish carpenter and intemperate trouble maker.  He says God is real.  More importantly, he says this God cares and in fact made everything for a purpose.  I believe in God because Jesus Christ has made him credible and compelling.  For me, Christ proves the existence of God.   Why, Christ is the human face of God, God as personal and loving, God as father and master and not merely a religious idea or an idol of our crafting.  If this God is living and personal, then he is worthy of adoration.  The alternative is to live in peril, in less than human terms.  To be truly human, we must know God and his Christ. Good news is, our work is cut out for us.  He has taken the initiative to make himself known.  What are we waiting for…….

How to be Nice Like an Ace

  

     Rumor has it that nice folks finish last. Nice is weak. Nice makes us easy targets for predation. Being nice invalidates our rights. Mean and tough are optimal options because it shows the world who is King. Don’t mess with me or else. However, in God’s alternative reality, nice is strong and it is the grace that heals and nurtures. Nice is the one God-given alternative against the mess and muddle of the survival-of-the fittest, do-what-you-can-to-get-on-top, lookout-for-number one patterns of thinking. Being nice is fraught with risk, however. It attracts more than an army of would-be bullies and expert manipulators who mistake kindness for weakness.  

     In modern capitalism competition and one-upmanship is the name of the game to making it big and leaving the competition in the dust. That strategy might be appropriate in the realm of selling the top-ranked mouth watering Twinkie and Taco, competitive sports, and chess games, but when applied to relationships we risk undermining them in the name of self-assertiveness. Our rights first! We wanna win. We want to minimize our weaknesses and pain and maximize our strengths and pleasure while servicing the exact opposite to those we dislike, disrespect, and despise. Bullying as a means to get your way may score you a victory here and there, but the tally of alienation and suspicion adds up rather in the manner of compound interest. Bullying involves coercion and intimidation and it is the classical weapon in the arsenal of unscrupulous politicians and ravenous capitalists intent on decimating their targets in the name of profits, progress, and prevailing ideologies like nationalism, militarism, and ethnocentrism.    

     The fundamental human drive to posses and control things, the “will to power” reached its classical expression in the German philosopher Nietzsche who postulated that Christianity was a religion for wimps. According to Nietzsche the human race can’t thrive when shackled to compassion for the lost, the least, and left out. The strong must survive while the weak ought to be left to die out. Nature does this by natural selection. We sentient beings, must achieve it by willfulness. To assert ourselves, says Nietzsche, we must surrender the ethics of Christ. Being nice won’t do. Niceness is a crutch and a capitulation to our lower selves. Power gets results. Self-abasement involves sacrifice and therefore detracts from self-advancement.  

       The way of Christ proves otherwise. His suffering and sacrifice demonstrate the power of love, not the love of power. The fabric that enhances life he weaved in the mill of compassion and kindness.  Unless I am misunderstood, let me state that some degree of power (as in force) needs to be exercised in order to make life civil and keep anarchy at bay. God won’t endorse a world ruled by tyranny and disorder (Romans 13). Nonetheless, the danger in power, political and otherwise, is not in its existence, but in its misuse. Like sex and food, power can and is often abused.   

    Many people operate under a narrative, unconscious or otherwise, that to be mean and rude is to be powerful. Resorting to obscenities, non-verbal theatrics (who in the world hasn’t been flashed with the highly irreputable middle finger!), and power plays (my way or the highway), are means to the ultimate end of achieving control over others, whether justified or not. The problem is, rude hurts. Mean and nasty has the name of violence written all over. Lashing out inflicts pain. Ultimately, mean and rude is not the way of peace because it depersonalizes and dehumanizes. Is it no wonder that we regard as demons those we choose to denigrate? Being mean falls outside the parameters of Christ’s love and his ways. To hate and to be mean is the protocol of Cesar, not of Christ.

 Promote peace

      No I don’t mean you ought to stop bathing and turn into a full-fledged hippie and retire to the Villa to smoke weed all day. Being a responsible man or woman of God means we ought to take tough action and choices when necessary. But we have no right to be arrogant about it. Halt the hostility and anger. To properly be nice, please do yourself and others a favor and make sure you aren’t becoming an unconscionable flaming arse–le. You are applying for a job. Be suited for it. Sorry to break it to you but it is going to take more than merely cranking up your cuteness factor. Deploy the assets of your best self. Quit being the awful and creepy and angry die-hard who goes to any length to be liked yet manages to be a pathological deviant bastard. Be nice. To do otherwise constitutes a disgrace and appalling display of bad manners. Worse, whatever you think your niceness investment is worth, you risk it going to rack and ruin by adopting the script of the jerk. The anecdotes are plentiful regarding the vile catastrophes unleashed when we behave wrongfully and recklessly: No regard for the driver we cut off, the cashier we yelled out as if he was deaf, or bullying our mates into compliance to our whims. 

     We want to dig a good life, snag a promotion , or woo the next-in-line chic and we think we have it all safely tucked under the treasure box, down to the cents figure only because we think we deserve it. Ours is an entitlement society. We believe we deserve the A on the test, the blonde bloke, the mansion on the cul-de-sac plus the Lexus, as a bonus. Yet we are unwilling to sweat for it. We are inclined to believe that fate owes us the paramount of success and paradise . More likely, the way we understand life and success resembles more an unending parade of half-baked stereotypes, oversimplifications, and misunderstanding: Life will be good if I merely have good intentions and luck, the Lord has the perfect life path for me , the Horoscope predicts my future love, I’ll be happy in love if he/she meets ALL my needs….. bla bla bla. To our detriment Western culture is all too fond of making life an affair all about me, me, me …… do you hear the sheep bleating? What is in it for ME? How is this relationship going to make ME feel? The whole nine yards of self-centeredness and self-aggrandizement. I am not denying the idea of self-love. It is biblical. In fact, to be adequately and competently human, we must possess a healthy dose of it:

                                                                   “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:38-39

     This isn’t “love yourself” as an exclusive project towards self-deification. That would be to collude with the realms of narcissism and idolatry. Appropriate self-love occurs in the context of love for the OTHER.  The degree and kind of love we dispense either is or is not a steady-state reflection of our own self-regard. Good intentions and actions may constitute nothing, nada, nichts, zero to the left absent love as the tool for constructing a meaningful life for the OTHER: 

    “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

    Nice is good. Nice enhances and advances the Christ-Way of being a new kind of human for a brand new world. This new world eschews violence, revenge, and bullying. If we truly acknowledge that Christ is King over the universe, then it follows we must align ourselves as citizens of his kingdom, a kingdom whose essence is kindness. Hatred will be defeated. Love will win in the end.   

Single and Ready to Sing 

I will sing unto the Lord and a new song and his praise from the end of the Earth…….. Isaiah 42:10

Take charge of your own happiness.  Happily ever after isn’t a tale that should begin at the altar, but at the corner of your lips.   Happily ever single, who ever heard of that ?   That’s not a status beyond the realm of possibilities.   It is the possibility for which we must strive.  For starters , surrender the thought right now that others are supposed to make you happy.  If you are honest with yourself and keenly look around, you will realize how very few people are fanatically invested in your happiness.    

  
CREDIT: GOOGLE images 

Cuteness doesn’t win games.  Fame and wealth aren’t fire proof ways to guarantee you the  Jolly Rollie ride of your life.  Your claim to fame and happiness is that many know your name.  You’ve logged scores of Facebook likes and are exuberant riding the social media carousel because it bolsters your ego. Nonetheless we live in a generation where people have the attention span of a fly.   You will soon be forgotten.  Novelty wears out like the morning dew, becoming as irrelevant as yesterday’s news.   You are enthralled with applause, but realize that appllause can’t last beyond time.  The world goes around.  The applause will wane.  The pundits will flip the page to the next topic.   

True happiness sprouts from another world, from  Christ,  from knowing him and being known by him and doing his bidding .  What does Christ think about happiness ?  Read it for yourself.  It looks nothing like Vogue Magazine:  

Matthew 5:3-12 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for  they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “

The Hall of Happy.   Utterly countertuitive.   Christ just declared happy ( the Greek word here “blessed ” is  makarios , meaning immensely fortunate) all the wrong people it seems.   The poor , the oppressed , the lost , the least, and the left out.   Ultimately you will derive happiness from the world around or from Christ.   Everyone is loyal to something.  Where you are aligned in terms of allegiance will dictate your destiny .   It’s a big deal if someone claims to know the President of the USA.  But that really is no biggie.   Many people know him.  The real question is , does the Commander -in-Chief know you ? Could he call you out by name from among a crowd?   Claiming to know Christ means nothing when he actually denies knowing you :  

Matthew 7:21-23 “

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 

Many claim to know Christ who really don’t.  They profess Christ without possessing him.  They preach piety without practicing his precepts and perform religious duties Sunday morning without being positioned in the ultimate truth that defines significance.  That’s not the right way to live fulfilled.   If the song you sing is vanity and vice,  your tank my friend really is running on empty.  Make your song the song of virtue.   Stop copying and cozying up to the sin-saturated world.   Sing your own tune, the one with which the Lord has endowed you.   You can only be accountable for that which God has given you and he does expect a return on his investment at the end of the day (Matthew 25:14-30 ).

The eternal refrain of humanity ,  ” I feel so unhappy ” resonates almost as soon as we catch our first breath and gain self-awareness.   We are born crying , not laughing .  The world is in pain and we all without exception has a share in it.  There is no escaping the falleness of this world.  Human existence could be depicted as a long march to the grave.  Sobering realities in a climate of ever increasing self -agrandisment and self-delusion.  Paradoxically we escape this vortex of decay and progressive descent into chaos by relinquishing the self -made persons we so anxiously cling to: 

“If any one will come after me let him deny himself , take up his own cross, and follow me.”  Matthew 16:24

Mistakes always land you somewhere.  Lawyers’ mistakes wind up in prison.  Doctors’ mistakes land in the cemetery . Love mistakes end up in divorce.  Where you end up has a lot to do with your aims,  but also with your indecision and misdirection.  Happiness is a choice, not a chance charted by the stars.  But the foundation has gotta be right before we find the rhyme and the rhythm for the good life.  

Matthew 7:24-27

Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” 

Are you ready to lay down the first brick?

Bring Sexy Back

  

Credit:  Google images .    Justin Timberlake on his album MIRRORS. 
Not a la Timberlake, mind you , but bring sexy back responsibly, wholesomely, within the confines of the marriage covenant.  Any other configuration is fraught with risk, shame , guilt, tragedy, and a plethora of discontent.   The current sexual sphere has yet to improve on God’s wise and timeless principles for managing sex.  Call me old fashioned but sex is one of those activities that should be managed like fire: do it right or get burned.  

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, ‘be fruitful and increase in number……….'”  Gen. 1:27-28

The man said , ‘ this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”     Gen.  2:23-24

“Marraige should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and sexually immoral. ”    Hebrews 13:4

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.   By his power God raised the Lord for the dead and he will raise us also.   Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?  Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute?   Never!  Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?  For it is said, the two will become one flesh.   But he who unites himself with the Lord is one in Spirit.  Flee from sexual immorality.  All other sins man commits are outside his body but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.   Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you , whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought with a price .  Therefore honor God with your bodies.  “.  1 Cor.  6:13-20

No.  God and sex and are not incompatible.   Both are made of three letters, with sex possessing God endorsement.  The human race has persisted because of it.  Unless you are a test tube baby,  you have to thank sex for landing you here, naked and screaming .  Sex is like God.  Either we love to hate it or we worship it.   If you happen to worship it, you my single friend may either be doing one of two things:  you are living in sin, or you are a high risk for becoming a cold hearted and callous sexual prick, which is sinful too.  Don’t misunderstand .  This is no Puritan manifesto I’m laying down here.   I believe in sex. Sex is good.   In fact I have to thank it for making it possible for me to be a father.  But there are rules and the rules are in fact consequential for your life and your happiness.  

Sex isn’t the prerogative of validation and attention seeking lustful playboys and sluts.   Sex is for marriage only.   Have you read in the Bible about the single gentleman/lady and their sex life?  There’s no such a thing .  It’s an oxymoron.  If you are single right now and dating you have no right to be demanding sex.  I know, I know , you have been fed all this lines from Sigmund Freud and his kin suggesting that nature does what nature is going to do and that you can’t help it.  So you might as well eat the cake and worry about the repercussions later.   Let me object.  There’s plenty room for dissent not only against  Freud , but also towards the sensational and salacious quips of the pornographers , sly politicians ,  and liberal preachers of vice.   What they say about sex is more often than not subject to bull-s__t.    You are not going to die for abstaining from sex.  Second of all not having sex before marriage beats having it.   The psychological and physical benefits of practicing abstinence while single far outweigh the so called rewards you can gather from engaging your lower belt regions.   Ask around .  The most fulfilling sex lives and marriages are of those who arrived to the honeymoon virgin.   More sex before marriage , means less happiness . The more sexual partners , the more likely you ll end up unhappily ever after.   

Do not surrender the last vestiges of propiety.  Sex is the fingerprint you can’t erase. Ask a gal or a guy who tied the knot while virgin.  They don’t have any regrets.   You might think you can reclaim your virginity after eating the cake before the wedding.  I’m sorry you can’t .   You can not possibly unring the bell.   Words spoken can’t be taken back.   The prize is gone once it has been given away.    A dollar spent is gone forever.   Either apologize and stop fooling around if you want to regain some respect. Notice I say some,  becaue quite frankly you can’t bring virgin back .   Saving yourself for the One.  That’s sexy .  I don’t know about you , but I have a vivid imagination.  Can you imagine all the sexual partners your spouse had ? If you know he or she imagines yours, does it make her/him uneasy about all your past sex buddies ? Sex is not like eating peanuts.  Slow down your sexual roll.  Do you have a romantic interest , partner, or fiancé who seduces you at every whim and corner and that’s making you uncomfortable?   Edge them out.   Bid your player mate adieu.   If you call yourself a Christ One, there’s zero room for comprise.   Dodge a bullet and say no even if you have to flash a wry grin.  Don’t join the common rooster of lusties and those seemingly irresistible timeless pieces of men /women candy with their guns blazing.   Keep your dignity, preserve the mystery , and likely save yourself from an STD nor two, plus  a shotgun wedding.  

The Bible’s definition of safe sex is called MARRAIGE.   Condoms break and not all forms of disease can be averted  by the various forms of protective genital gear.  You might as well be playing Russian Rulette should you engage in sexual activity with a carrier of disease.  Until you are willing and able to place a weeding ring on your mate you have no business on insisting on a condom outside the parameters of marriage.   Do not ask anybody for sex whom you are not willing to hinge as a spouse.   Lust demands birth pills and condoms, true love waits and seeks commitment. The so called sexual revolution and liberation of the 1960’s and 1970’s had more affinity to a rebellion than a revolution per se.   People didn’t suddenly discover that sex was free to have without the complications of love .   No.  People actually woke up to the notion that conservative and traditional perceptions of morality and sexualutiy needed nuanced, in keeping with “modern”times . Suddenly  the high time had dawn to revise tradition and dogma in exchange for sexual self-determination.     Throw God out of the sexsphere.   We are better handling sex ourselves.   The prohibited tree of sexual indulgence became more appealing than the tree of life of restraint and discipline.   The consequences ?   Eating the forbidden fruit brought about unintended repercussions that on second consideration, didn’t make nakedness all that glorious.  I’m thinking along the lines of Genesis 3 in case you missed it!

Maintain and acknowledge your sex drive as a gift from God but keep it low key while single.  Flaunting your sexuality is perfectly permissible under the blankets of the marriage bed (1 Corinthians 7:3-5), but not in the marketplace.    You are not a peacock.   Booty call , one night stands , and scoring short lived sexual flings have all the ability to booster the ego, but that’s a bubble bursting in no time.   Sexual trysts and adventures aren’t sustainable in the way that a committed loving marriage is.  Sex off the cuff is like a drug and you can’t get enough of it because your use and abuse of it has turned it into a game.   It has assumed toy dimensions.  There’s a proper place for modesty and decency at all stages of life but particularly at that time of our sexual self awakening, when the urges of hormones are kicking in and the meaning of temptation is more pronounced.   Accuse me of being a puritanical killjoy but your skirts should probably be longer than your vagina.   Any blatant display of sensuality deigned to invite unrestained lust has no place in a Christ follower.   To do otherwise is to court trouble.     Simple is better and less is more.   A Nobel peace prize has yet to be conferred to vice.    Pursue pure sex therefore and honor Christ doing so.   The alternative will be your gradual but certain descent and decay into the vast moral sewer the God -alienated world is.

Soulmates and the romantic fictions of the West

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and  cling to his wife and the two will become one flesh.  Therefore what has joined together let no one put asunder  ” ( Matthew 19:15-16). 

“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. (Ephesians 5:25).
Love just doesn’t happen.  You thought you fell in love at first sight with that sexy Muffin of a chap, but really , love at first sight is a physical and emotional impossibility.  You experienced a rush of lust. Don’t mistake that for love, please.  

You think your love story is charted in the stars ? Geez you probably are a card carrying believer of the Horoscope.   The horoscope isn’t astronomy.  No hard science there.  This is how spurious and ludicrous the horoscope is:  say someone is hungry and in pain right now. Of how many people is that statement going to be true ? Countless millions!  Just because hunger and pain are the common lot of humanity.  It doesn’t take the enlightenment of the Horscope to state the obvious , duh.  If you throw enough arrows at target, for sure you will hit it eventually .  

Well then if the stars haven’t predetermined my life or my love or my wallet , surely God must have .  Nope!  I don’t believe God has a purpose for your life. Not in the area of romance .  Is God the micromanaging type?  Does he have a word to you as far as your diet, your fashion, and your hobbies ?   I would worry about you to the point of questioning your sanity if you claim God is telling you what to wear and whether to wear Revlon or store brand makeup.    Indeed God has a purpose for humanity , but that purpose is bound up with Christ.  God’s purpose is to make his Son the apex of a new creation to which humanity should belong.   There’s is human will. Human freedom isn’t an illusion .  God expects you to take charge of your life , your spouse, your kids, your job. The Angels won’t swoop down to do it. Stop being lazy.  

Wanna kill me yet ? Get in line.   Now accepting applications .  Hahah.  For so long we have been fed this ridiculous ideas about love and romance that detract from our happiness rather than enhance  it.  Your love ideal, crush, soulmate, Other Half, whatever you want to call it, is whom you choose to make so.  The love of your life is not out there floating in the Great Ether , the Constellations, Fate , or other non sense. He or she is a a typical Homo sapiens wondering around just as you are and possessing more or less the same flesh and bones as you do . Nothing especial about them.   Until you discover them !   Yeah finding true love is a process of discovering that person who is compatible with you and with whom you can establish some common ground.  Once you run into this person, how are you going to make him or her the love of your life? CHOICE.  That’s it. No magic . No witchcraft.  No shaman charms.  Your conscious, determinate choice to build something meaningful together .  It is going to be a mutual agreement . Otherwise your love and appreciation and attention won’t be reciprocated.  And without reciprocation, love can’t work.   

Our popular ideas of love are utterly upside down in the ethos of the West.   The idea of romantic love starts off with the notion that love is something someone falls into , it just happens and we have no control over it.  The Bible begs to differ. It’s message is truly and irremediably countertuitive.   We are comparing the light of candles with the light of stars here.  God’s principles are timeless. God commands us to love .  Granted the condition of marriage , in whatever  cultural manifestation,  we are admonished to  display love selflessly and sacrifically.   Our culture dictates : be in love and then get married. If it doesn’t work, bail out.  But God says , because you have entered into this agreement with this person , you MUST love.  Make it work.    You chose this person to be in covenant with, tough , stick with it and love her /him.  Divorce not an option .  You chose this person , you are bound by covenant , now get on with it . Make her or him the love of your life.  Scary uh?  That’s God’s way and no one really has improved on it .  It is a superior ethic than the shams and whims of conventional thinking where love is treated as a commodity and as a product disposable once it no longer fits our fancies.  God’s way is wholesome, fostering stability and security against the streams of arbitrariness and breakups and distractions and general stupidity and immaturity and irresponsibility.  Try it God’s way.  Maybe you will have success this time.   

Romance Imposible: The Tall Tales of the Undateables

  
Credit : GOOGLE IMAGES

SIMPLY  put there are singles who can’t find romance. Or they won’t.  

  • You are trying to find your unicorn in the zoo. See a problem with that? 
  • You have deeply ingrained personal flaws that repel rather than attract members of the opposite sex

  

  • You have highly unrealistic expectations about what love is supposed to do

  

  • Your standards are off the wall.  I mean you are holding up  a guy to the size of Jesus and deem him inadequate if he doesn’t foot the bill. Therefore you end up crucifying him. Reality is some of us would certainly find flaws in Christ if we were to date him ( Jesus attended loud parties, drank wine, talked to women [a no-no for the insecure, overly attached jealous girlfriends ], hang out with the down-and-outs and riff raff of society, didn’t wash before eating , etc).  

Disclaimer: Standards are needed.  You are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment if your habit is to recruit the first available mediocre Jane off the street only because.  But this is exactly the scenario adopted by many unsuspecting , impressionable, and naive singles.  They uncritically ubscribe to the myth of love at first sight and other romantic hogwash perpetrated by songs and films.  The end result is that you get hinged to a total stranger who is all a polished image on the outside but is possessed of insignificant substance in matters of the heart.   Here arises the legend of the creep, the prick, the douchbag , and the bitch.  Why , there was no writing in the wall about their detrimental character.  Wrong. You didn’t invest time in getting to know them first.  You fell for their image while the real person was locked up inside ready to lurk out once all the charade of pretense is over.  Admittedly all of us put our best foot forward while pursuing love and romance while our true self awaits discovery sometime after the honeymoon. 

A common stereotype has it that women date status and men date sex appeal and youth.  But that is romance at the level of the lowest common denominator.  If pushed to the wall any girl would like that guy sporting the Porsche and flashing the six -figure 500 Fortune executive job. No guy would hesitate dating the top rank of the supermodels.  Our culture admires sexiness and achievement. All of us , secretly or overtly simply longs to hold hands with someone who has their life up on a golden throne.   Pure economics and sex appeal won’t cut the ice however, in terms of sustaining a long term relationship.  If that were true the sexiest and most privileged in our society would have the most successful marriages and the least divorces. But that is not so .  Celebrities and magnates and models divorce at about the same rate as the rest of us simpletons.   What if he loses his job?  What about when the sex appeal fades ?  Are you going to jump ship and look for greener pastures or are you going to dumpt her for the next younger of her peers? 

Maybe you can’t find a decent date because you are too picky and judgemental.  Or you have significant trust issues due to a past bitter love experience. “All guys are the same. ” Really , who told you to try them all?  

  • She only finished high school
  • He doesn’t own a car
  • She rents , not own a home
  • He buys his clothes at Walmart 
  • She has a rocky past
  • He still lives with his parents 

You need to be clear and honest about what you want.  Sure enough everybody is entitled to date someone of their choosing according to some criteria.  The problem is some singles don’t know what they are aiming for.  They can’t decide.  Anything goes.  How about you begin with a wish list and work yourself though the deal breakers.   Our culture expects us to fall in love rather spontaneously , epically , magically almost, and we don’t give much thought to loving smart.  How to fall in love and succeed is not taught in school.  We leave that to common conventions , instinct, or the call of nature .  We easily abandon reason and good judgment when choosing a reliable mate for life.  And that partly explains the endless cycles of falling in love – breaking -up- falling-in-love again to the extent where we surrender to the forces of cynicism and contempt towards all things romantic .   “Love is not for me.” When is the cycle going to end ?

Realize that the common core of humanity is cracked.  We are all in this boat called Sin and death.  But you can work against the grain.  Your genes and your culture aren’t your destiny.  Only dead fish go with the flow.  If Christ is in you you can make a difference.  Work.  It is still the best four-letter word that leads to results.  Find out what the deal makers are and be critical in identifying the character traits and social conventions that make great relationships successful and lasting.  Be a realistic without compromising your convictions.  Don’t lower your standards by any stretch , but be sensitive about your fellow human beings who aren’t about to be promoted to flawless perfection  any time soon.  Avoid the polar extremes of latching on to just anyone who shows you interest because her face and body and or his income are totally irresistible on the one hand, and being a complete , irremediable homophobic with zero faith in humanity.  Know your configurations. Understand what works for you .  Maybe you can’t deal with a single father. Perhaps her sordid sexual past makes you uneasy, even after she has been redeemed and rehabilitated.  That’s understandable.   Some people are honestly not meant to be together .   However , once you find a good match, a decent chap who is not a dull dude, take time to delight in his or her presence and gifts. Don’t be shallow and despicable and  pass this gem of a lady or gentleman for the next illusory ideal who only exists in your imagination.  Much of human misery is bound up with our restlessness and endless striving for the next best thing and refusing to enjoy the privileges we have now.  

Singleness Quotes That Tickle Me Off

  1. “Love your singleness because that’s how you started.  Otherwise you may wake up one day and complain you never had a single life.”😀
  2. “Stay single until someone actually compliments your life in a way that it makes it better to not be single. If not, it’s not worth it.”😅
  3. “I’m single because God is busy writing the best love story for me.”😊
  4. “Until you get comfortable with being alone, you’ll never know if you are choosing someone  out of love or loneliness.”😒
  5. “He is single because he refuses to change his relationship status for someone who falls short of what he deserves. Knowing his self value, he’s chosen to preserve a spot in his heart for a real woman, someone mature enough to understand that loyalty, commitment, and honesty is a priority and not an option. “😗
  6. “I will not be any woman’s half-time, downtime, spare time, or sometimes.  So don’t waste my time.”😁
  7. “I’m not single, I’m not taken. I’m simply on reserve for the one who deserves my heart because they say good things take time”😇
  8. “Choosing to be single isn’t selfish. It’s smarter to be alone than with the wrong person.” 😏
  9. You are single. Make th best of it.  It doesn’t mean you are not good enough for anyone, it means no one’s good enough for you.”😌
  10. “I’ve been single for a while and I like to say  it’s going very well. Like…. It’s working out. I think I’m the one.” 😋
  11. “A busy, vibrant, and goal oriented man is so much more attractive than a man who waits around for a woman to validate his existence.”😎
  12. “If you are single, focus on being a better you instead of looking for someone better than your ex. A better you will attract a better next.” 😘
  13. ” I have no patience for a woman that can’t act like a woman. I already have a dick, I don’t need another one.”😜    Busy at play.  Helping to build SandCity for one of my Smurfs!

Single for a season


When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

(1 Corinthians 13:11-12, all Bible quotations from New American Standard Bible, 1995).  

The mistake singles make and the reason they pout and stunt their progress is the  insistance that they ought to have someone to complete them.  Why are we defining ultimate happiness by romance?  Life could might as well be all good solo.  A mate ought to compliment life, not define the parameters of existence.  If we can’t come to terms with our value as single people, I doubt that a mate will contribute to wholeness in ways that are meaningful.  We risk bringing loads of baggage, immaturity, and irresponsibility to romance and marriage, setting ourselves up for divorce court.  The people who are best at living life are those who know who they are and what they want without reference to another human being.

The time to be a boy or a girl is only for a season. If you haven’t done so, grow up. No person can vicariously do that for you.  If you should ever sit at the love-and-romance table, come as a complete person, secure, and confident that you are able to deliver from the human capital you have invested. Don’t throw your single life to the dogs, or shall I say, since one can live so vile a life, speaking of dogs would be disrespectful.  I can’t begin to enumerate the ways the single life can morph into imbecility.  Given human nature, I presume a skeleton or two hangs on your closet. Humanity is riddled with misfortune and mischief, in addition to being made a bloody mayhem by the powers that be. We are alienated from God, having gone our own proud ways,  akin to the rooster that thinks the Sun rises to hear him sing.  Come to terms with your own reality whatever that might be at this juncture and asses the areas that need development.  Life wants to be life and it yearns to grow, but we need to have our roots in the ground.

Discern God’s will and make it your own. There is no magic or mystery to accomplishing this.  Don’t do your own thing and expect God to endorse it.   He doesn’t have to throw in the ring to whatever whim and fancy of your choosing.  He doesn’t have to answer our deepest longings, let alone our delusions.   If God answered every prayer, every desire, every inquiry; responding at the will and convenience of humanity, in the fashion of Aladyn in the lamp, then who would be God?  With all due respect to the prosperity Gospel peddlers and gurus, God is God and he is entitled to decline.  Someone said that the difference between God and us is that God doesn’t think he is us.  Let God be God.  He knows what is best in the West , everywhere , and for you, but he won’t hand it in in a silver plate.  Fight for it.  Find it.  The secularists, humanists, as well as the anti-God-anti-Christ advocates of irreligion are keen in marginalizing the commands of God, suggesting  that all of life is reducible to finding yourself, looking inside yourself, discovering yourself, enlarging yourself……..self , self , self.  People have been looking inside forever. Has this introspection solved selfishness, hatred, greed, lust, oppression, violence?  The problem is not looking inside of yourself ( some measure of self awareness is healthy and expected ) but looking inside and thinking that whatever is located in the deep recess of the heart counts as diamonds and therefore God is irrelevant. So retreating to a hedonistic den of sin is completely appropriate. Not true.  The world as we know it is merely a manifestation of human consciousness, its misery an outward reflection of what lies within:

The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.  Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NASB)

That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.  “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,  deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.Mark 7:20-23 (NASB)

To make your life count, look outward, beyond the skin, look to God and his Word and totally and finally to Jesus Christ.  The horoscope is no reliable guide, sorry.

Do you want to be faithful to God and flourish as a single man, or woman of God?  Surrender the idea that your happiness rests with another warm, sexy body.  Delight in your own existence, sexyness, identity, and singleness.  Learn about yourself and about the world in the context of the Gospel because the Gospel alone represents the paradigm for the new humanity–the new world— that God is creating.  The goal is Christ-likeness, mirroring who he is in and out.  If you are single, can others see Christ’s reflection in you, or do they merely see a desperate and disillusioned piece of humanity bent on grabbing self and lust?   To be a mature man or woman in Christ means staying resolute, praying up, planning ahead, and ensuring that God is at the top of the totem pole of existence, not merely a Sunday morning icon.  Maybe God called you to be single.  Adjust accordingly.  If not, prepare nevertheless.  Save up.  Avoid needless debt.  Walk away from a consumerist lifestyle.  Don’t give up your dignity by sleeping around.  Reckless sex is in top demand and meted out to the highest bidders and hustlers, but you must resist its allure because it is the right thing to do. Plus it will save you from an STD or two.  Shield God’s creation including your body and mind.  It belongs to him who breathed life into us and as such it must be guarded from corrupting social configurations.

You can’t re- create yourself, really.  You are who you are now and for the ages: a true original.  But today’s society pressures us to conform.  To be other than what we truly are.  Make no mistake, God refuses to churn out mass copies.  Your uniqueness stems from the fact that God called you in Christ to be his own and to be a particular person on the world stage here and now.  If you are stubborn  about being other than what the blueprint says, you my friend, will decay into the vast emptiness of futility, your life will be of little or no consequence, and therefore you as a human being, will generally suck, if you allow me to use a little bit of non standard English.  Make it your life purpose to divert attention away from the vortex of vanity and to be highly consequential by daring to tackle the hard choices, including the choice to accept singleness as a necessary and worthwhile period.  Else you might wake up one day regretting that you never had a single life.