Humanity: The Common Denominator

Listening to a visiting missionary one evening, I heard something that stuck out to me about human nature. He was showing videos of some of the countries he had gone into and in one, we saw where Buddhists had destroyed one of the churches. A little later, we saw where in another country there were some other Buddhists who regularly cooked a meal for the kids at another church. People from the same group, who were doing two different things with different intentions.

Weeks ago, an individual walked into a black church, visited, and was welcomed by them until he left. Then later, he returned and killed nine of them. Pictures soon surfaced of him holding the battle flag of the armies of North Virginia and Tennessee during the Civil War, popularly known as the rebel flag. Now it appears that an element in society is trying to scrub anything to do with the flag or the Confederacy off the map.

The thing is, it is a symbol that has different meanings to different people. To go after it is seen as an attack on their identity, like when someone goes after your political party, or sports team that you align yourself with. It is not flown in battle anymore; now it is a symbol of heritage that was co-opted by racists. Like the Buddhists, I mentioned earlier, one group was committing vandalism; the other was working with a different religion in peace to care for children. By which group is the whole to be judged?

The problem is not symbols or what identity we choose for ourselves; the problem is we as humans. Case in point, Bill Cosby had the reputation for being a wholesome actor – recently he admitted to drugging women. It is individual people that are the problem, despite what we want to label ourselves.

It is as old as humanity, The need for a moral code to guide is as old as humanity; the need of it actually reveals the darkness in our hearts. Jesus pointed it out in Matthew 5: 17-28, we have the capacity and desires to do wrong. As a man makes a life-long commitment to a woman in marriage, that he will forsake all others, yet acting out a sex scene in his mind about the woman next door proved that the desire to break that commitment is there. Someone cuts you off in traffic and wanting nothing more than to choke them for it shows the desire to hurt another person. Take a two-year-old throwing a tantrum, hitting and biting their parents, then replace them with an adult doing the same thing; the difference is the ability to hurt while both have the same intent.

That nature in us is called the sin nature in the Bible. The best analogy I have seen for it is comparing it to cancer. The sin nature is inherent in the same way cancer cells are our own cells turned against us. The first ends in eternal suffering and the second to physical suffering. We go see a doctor about both of them.

A book I was reading-the name escapes me-had a chapter on how Jesus operated. He approached everyone as if they were sick and he had the cure, forgiveness. It was not a prescription to keep these 10 commandments to be cured any more than a strict diet change destroying the cancer cells. He puts the cancer of sin into remission until it’s cut out, and out of gratitude people started to change their lives.

It is summed up like this in Luke 5: 31-32:

“Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

What is wrong with the world?

We are. We are all sick. The Good News is the doctor is in, and he is accepting patients free of charge. It is as simple as admitting he is Lord, believing in your heart that God raised him from the dead, and you will be saved. Your trust, aka faith in your heart that he paid for your sins in your place, is what justifies you, to paraphrase Romans 10: 9-10. He did it for me. You can read Year of the Prodigal to see the before and after of my case.

Go see the doctor.

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Why Is It Taking So Long For The Book?

Cover by Ronin and Ralkski (ralskiart.com)

Cover by Ronin and Ralkski (ralskiart.com)

Ronin’s Journey has been taking a while to write and I would like to explain why. I have four other commitments along with writing it, and keeping the blog updated; full-time husband, full-time job, Wicked Jester, and volunteering. Writing fills the spaces it can; fortunately, work does not require me to think so the time waiting on the presses to open is filled with writing, research, and finding shirt quote/quote ideas for WJ.

Then there is the writing process itself. Since the accident, I have kept a journal that I write in almost daily. After a week passes, I will look at it again with fresh eyes to see what stands out that I want to expand or delve deeper. I am almost constantly introspective and digging deeper into what sources I can find to help me understand. To help me process it I write it out into essays in a notebook. The weekly excerpts I posted a while back and current blog posts came from that.

For the book, I have to go back to the relevant journal entries in an attempt to put the reader into my shoes at the time. Then guide them towards the direction I went showing the lessons, tools, what worked, what did not, for them to try on their journeys. I tend to get wordy so I write it out on paper first, and then type it later to make it flow better. From there it goes to the Grammar Goddesses/Editors, Audrey, and Nay.

When I get it all back and correct my manuscript it will be formatted for an E-Book on SmashWords. Money from the sales will go to a rotating list of gun safety programs so I will not see a dime of it. That is why it has been taking longer than usual; I want to get it right.

Freedom Isn’t A Utopia

I am about to dab into politics again, only to retreat into the underlying issue. Recently my Facebook feed exploded about the story of a baby burned by a stun grenade during a drug raid. Armchair quarterbacking ensued; I wonder how many considered what information the police had. The stories cited that an undercover office bought drugs from the location, noted the presence of weapons. That escalated the situation to a level where people could die. That is the reason for intimidating body armor, flash-bang grenades, and choosing to come after everyone is probably asleep; using overwhelming less-lethal force to neutralize so lethal force is not necessary.

Having said that I will now say this, I have written about my stance on the drug issue before, legalize them. It is your body to do what you will with.
Now, with the issue of laws, most ignore the ones they do not agree with. Traffic laws are a good example of this. You speed, or drive drunk, you know its illegal and hope you are not caught. However if you disrupt the peace or safety of other people, you are going to get someone’s attention, and you know this. Any person you bring into it that does not have a choice is a burden on your soul and responsibility. You want the freedom to do what you wish; you have to bear the responsibility of your actions and the consequences of when someone does not agree with you.

Freedom is not a utopia.

Fred Phelps Died and Nothing Changed

Fred Phelps of the infamous Westboro Baptist church died yesterday, with today most of my Facebook News Feed ‘dancing on his grave’. One from an LGBT Equality page didn’t though with the reasoning of not wanting to stoop to his level. I reposted with “Rise Above”, not due to worry about falling to his level but because it is pointless. Honestly, even this social commentary is pointless.

Think about it, churches preach against homosexuality as a sin, yet the reason WBC offended us is how they did it in comparison of how we feel it should be handled. Tribal issue over how things should be done.

Except, how much sleep did we lose over him and the church’s actions honestly? I didn’t lose any. Honestly, unless you made a point to go stand between them and a funeral like the Patriot Riders it probably wasn’t that important to you either.

Why? Because it’s not that important, unless we accomplish something great, the average person doesn’t make a news cycle let alone a history book.

Did I agree with his methods? Strategically they were brilliant in getting the media out and putting the WBC into our heads or else it would’ve stayed an obscure Kansas church with a tiny congregation. Their message I disagreed with, I just don’t take it personally. I am a hated individual, yet unless we have a relationship, what others feel don’t matter to me. If I let it matter I would be miserable and they would win. Anyone’s joy over Phelps’s death doesn’t effect the WBC, like most people who identify strongly with a group, they don’t see others as equals but as an opposing or lesser group. We’re just noise.

Something to think about…

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What Is Happening In 2014

2014! What’s it bringing? You never know, however I will be bringing a few things to you this year.

• Working with my partners, Luke and Burke, the driving force behind Wicked Jester Clothing,  we will be traveling the country going to conventions and bringing new shirts to you guys along with some classics.


• The book Ronin’s Journey may be finished by the end of the year. It’s writing therapy for me so when I cease to gain insights from writing it, I’ll wrap it up.

• Decided at the beginning of the year to take Growls Of A Wolf off the market to be updated and revised. The last day it’ll be available on Amazon is July 5th. It’ll return as an E-Book on Smashwords and available for a variety of devices. I’ll strip the poetry, short story and biographical parts out and add more social political commentary.

Just some of the things in the works for this year.

Rollercoaster Summer

It’s been an insane summer for myself and Abyss Press. 

Tried a limited run of shirts that were well received and will be brought back in one form or another.

Then an extremely low note, tragedy struck my family when we lost my godson in an accident. From that I set aside the ‘Breakdown‘ book project and started the book tentatively titled ‘Meditations‘ as a form of therapy and hopefully help for others who are soul searching. I revisited the Forging Ronin series when life showed me what my real priorities are.  It will be Abyss Press’s first ever standalone E-Book.

Then at the latest Wolf Fest I was chosen by the pack to be one of the co-owners of Wicked Jester while Thorin leaves to focus on his writing career. This doesn’t mean Abyss Press goes away, it’ll benefit greatly from what I learn from working at Wicked Jester.

Here’s to new beginnings! 

Next Book Project: Breakdown

photo (1)Yesterday I began serious work on the research portion of my next book, the working title Breakdown. The concept you may have seen in the Breakdown essay series however that is just the framework. The book will go more in depth, hence the research portion, and having to relearn how to write a bibliography. Here’s the layout at the moment;

  1. Introduction
  2. America: The British Colony
  3. We’ve Had Enough!
  4. Building A Government
  5. Defending Freedom: The Citizens’ Failsafe Program
  6. Conclusion

I’ll explain why I’m writing the book (Hint: Wake Up Call), the background history on why we split, going in depth into the Declaration of Independence, the first government and then the U.S Constitution. Then looking at the first ten Rights in the Bill of Rights and my rallying cry.

Sound good? Wonder if I can have it out by July 4th next year?

Freedom > Privilege

When you add a caveat to Freedom then it’s no longer a freedom but a privilege. We don’t have a Bill of Rights but one of privileges.

However…only if you recognize someone or a group of someones have authority over you. The reality of it is, the only way you lose a right, is if someone kills you. Other than that, it’s because you gave it up. Is someone holding a gun to your head saying speak and you shall die? If you say the ‘wrong’ things you will be in trouble and in fear you give it up and say nothing at all. You still can, you have the power. This is but one example.

That’s on you, as for me, don’t try to lash me down because you fear the sovereign man. I’m not your enemy, your enemy is in the mirror.