The Word About the Big Church







I’ve been attending a big church (Elevation)  for a while now (I believe since Jan.) and I have found great love, great worship, great involvement within church and fellowship come out of it. But what I have also found, are the people on the outside (and a few on the inside, not naming any names) have self perceived their own image out of this church that is morphed in this microcosm bowl of mixed feelings; despise, contempt, and others. You can’t let your own personal grudges boil over into belittling animosity. IT becomes a game of over exaggeration, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation (on both ends). I’ve heard many complaints that have come out of peoples mouth (obviously), connecting a growing church to a cult, or even the sign of the times. I’ve heard complaints about a large church pastor not having the compassion (that’s the vibe I got) to come down to the attendees level, such as; a pastor coming to see a sick person in the hospital, or answering a request to the church. It just so happens I read something from this here Bible and in fact it talks about this, in Acts . In Acts 6:1 it reads:”Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.”

And this seems to be the general consensus in terms of the critics of a large church. The critique is a logical, rational one. I can see where it comes from. And I partially agree with it. My thoughts are in short two fold. First and foremost, also formulated logically (that sounded aggressive, I apologize for that, all love here) a pastor at the head of a growing church does not have the necessary time in a day to please all the needs of every church member. Our Pastor specifically, goes out and involves himself in the things he pushes the church to do, for example, volunteering, spreading love, giving money to the right causes, and having a healthy, growing, ever evolving, relationship with God. He must not only balance these duties with church but also with his family. That is why we have multiple campuses in my opinion. Yes, it is not the main man up on stage, but the campus pastor and all the staff would be more than willing to talk to you about anything going on, and the volunteers, and the attendees. We are all taught to be open arms when it comes to building a person up, and pointing them the right direction. Secondly, I believe that our church is growing in a healthy way. A way that is different yes, but different doesn’t always mean bad. We aren’t just going to a church to watch TV. It is not physically possible, as of right now (unless someone can invent this) to be at multiple locations at once to give a sermon live. And to keep that personal feel of a smaller church but involved in a larger mission, the plan has always been and still is; to leave space for God to grow, that is why the campuses while full, still have empty seats. When a campus fills up they find room, whether it be opening up a new experience time, or a new campus. So to keep these things happening, and things running efficiently is to broadcast from one location to all the others. I believe that our seed is good, it was a mustard seed placed in the rich soil of God’s choosing, and has grown, and is still growing into what it has become today.

In Acts 9:31 it reads: “So, the church throughout all of Judea, Galilee and Samaria was multiplied in number, enjoyed peace, was built up [spiritually] and lived in awe of the Lord and was comforted by the Holy Spirit.” I believe this is the direction we are heading, and I believe that these qualities are rooted in the soil of our growing church. So this post was mostly, well firmly for the purpose of distilling the misinterpretation from real, personal thoughts after attending a big church. Yes, there are some false prophets out there. Just because one dresses differently and speaks a little louder than the others, doesn’t mean he is one of them. There are people you should beware but I mean let’s look at Matthew 3 for a moment: “4: John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 5: People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. 6: And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.” John was a different guy, he stood out but he was a man of God, and spread love his own way. We all have our own gifts, some a little more quirky, some more personal, some extroverted, some introverted, some speakers, preachers, caregivers, some people take people to church, musicians, volunteers, (and many more) but all of us love God, and want to spread His message. All of us love what mankind can do when we band together under Him, with one praise. Let’s not raise a false conspiracy, or false advertise just to self fulfill an inner void, rather fill that void with righteousness, self love, gratitude, humbleness, and a yearning for more. If we try to wrap our heads around interpersonal stuff that is sparked by the  created ideas within it only leads to false criticism. All it leads to is specious voices looming in the background, all the while they could be a part of the body of God, and join hands for a greater good.


Growing up in a church culture, I found that all my church experiences were in no way shape or form the written definition of that word. It was no experience, rather it was a by the books message, delivered by a tired preacher waiting for Monday to come, and a uniform crowd of people with lethargic tones, and a band that plays music from the stone age. I am not trying to bash those churches, some of them have good messages and a great body of people growing in Christ. The ones I have experienced though have been riddled with conformity, and a monotone spirit. I wanted to feel revitalized. I was saved, and baptized but I wanted more out of Church and more out of life. That is exactly what I found when I started attending church at Elevation. At first, yes, heck yes I was hesitant, but I didn’t want to hamper the ability for the church to move inside me by influencing a personal bias to conclude a false judgement. I knew a prejudice would be unfair to the ones who invited me to see the church and would be unfair to the church as whole, and to God, because I believe, I had an opportunity here, I was in the midst of my life, at a point where I could grow, and see growth around me rooted in God. A glitch is the sign of a kismet. That was the overall message I got from this church. You see many who walk in the doors, who can look different, maybe would look like an outcast in a typical church but here they are welcomed, and rejoiced, and directed to Jesus. I think all these would only  betoken that this is a church for all. In short, the comments stated about the church critiquing the roots of the message its going for, the thoughts on the pastor, the thoughts on the overall “system,” are not outlandish per se, but reasonable on the surface, but after involving myself in this church I feel I have found a home. I have hindsight, and you know what they say about hindsight.

There is no hidden message here. We are who we are. There is no surreptitious secrets (new word I recently acquired) behind the curtains.

But you can go wherever you feel lead to go.

God bless.

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A discriminating sunrise hits the peak of the hills every morning. It hides behind a large tree, with branching limbs.  Now there is a cry in the night and a weary eye the next day. Now there’s a flash of emotion and a lost soul. It’s difficult to say when it will end or when it had begun. The world has diminished the very essence of life to a polarizing tool of destruction. A broken soul is now washed away because they have no comfort in the open. A young mother wakes one morning and drowns in toil, because she can’t feel the presence of the son she had held the day before. A father comes home from a long day at work, and has no idea what is happening. He calls for his son, and has that anticipation in his gut of the image of his face. He laughs and calls out for his son once more. A game of hide and seek, he assumes. Like always. He looks all around the house, through the pantry, around the corner, in the garage, in the laundry room. He’s smirking. “You’ve gotten good boy!” He decides to look in his room up the stairs. His shirt stained with the long work day’s work, and his eye’s wandering like a gracious young man receiving his first kiss, or his first car. The stairs heavy on his legs and back. He’s a young man, married just a year ago. When he sets foot at the top of the stairs, he smelt the perfume of his sweet wife. He heard commotion, and a clangor behind the closed door of his son’s room. He was now worried. He heard tears and felt the fear. He opened the door cautiously. On the floor by the bedside was his wife, the mother of his son, in tears, choking under the weight of the moment. “What’s wrong?” She closes her eyes and points towards the TV screen. The news channel running, he collapsed when he saw it. It was the name of his son, identified as the victim of a terrible destruction. He lay there next to his wife, holding her tightly. Hoping that he will come back. That maybe he will be given back from the heavens, like he is a stolen soul, a hopeful restitution that would never come.

Social media clammers, his son’s phone lays at the head of the bed buzzing. Facetious talk down newsfeed, some sympathy, some cruel tweets, and a revulsion amongst a majority. The father’s ears ring and his throat feels tight. A tear falls onto the bed sheets and slithers onto the newly installed wooden floorboards. The tears feel like a piece of his life escaping him. His arms grow heavy, as does his wife’s. They lay dead, void of life. Any more indication of their boy’s death would be superfluous, because they’ve gone through it all, but the TV, the men and women on the screen continue to discuss. Then in a matter of days, it passes over like a terrible storm. The heart still torn but now another story is out there, but there boy is still that constant missing piece. The deluge of raining fear settles within the household, and the tears now blood. The compatibility now gone between the couple. They gather their things, and burn down the past. The wooden panels crumble and the TV collapses. The screen of flames mask their emotions at the moment. They both feel empty, that is about the only thing they feel they share. The only thing they had taken with them out of that house, was the family gun. The morning was young that day, they stand before the burning house, gripping each other with envy of their past selves. A few tweets are sent out around the friendly neighborhood, and the clouds converge overhead. The man holds the gun to his wife’s forehead, and she tightly shuts her eyes. The slither of sunlight that slithered through the small voids of the clouds, had beat down on the outer coating of the weapon, exuding the morning heat onto the palms of the man. His palms now sweating, and his heart beating through his chest, he obliged with the inevitable evil that was to commence. A pulsing indention when he pulled the trigger and a recoil that turned the man’s wrist back, as his wife’s body propel backward. Birds fly from the foliage in the front yard. He blows out some air and swallows his fear and turns the weapon on himself. The end had come for him as well. His eyes fixated on the barrel of the gun, then he did it. Two dreaded, lost souls shredded to pieces, lay on the uneven pavement. The heart that was thumping through the man’s chest no more, and the tears that fell from the woman’s soul only hidden beneath the surface. It was only expedient now for the aid, the help to come, but they did not come for some time, only the bad weather did. The storm drew it’s sorrow onto the two figures down below. Their skin now wizened in the broken moment. They were buried by their son. Only a few attended their funeral, but many implied they would be there in spirit.

The grass lay still the next morning, as if it had some things to figure out, and the sun now seemed dimmer. The burned house was still as it was. It stuck out like a sore thumb, and the wind passed by it with no worry because life went on, or that’s what they say it does. It was difficult to tell if there was any remorse, any melancholy that was real. It felt real but nature did its turn as it always did, following its own schedule, and washing away any evidence of the past. The flames drew away, and the phone that lay on the head of the bed wash away with it. It now is set on the head of the tomb stone, gravely staring at its owner, waiting to be held, to be in a position of comfort. Dappled stains of blood lay on the curtain of society and everyone attempts to wash it away. Not all the scars are perspicuous, some are hidden. So riots fight, and things continue. Protests take hold of the moment, and take influence by history’s notions, but still it continues. An omnipresent guilt reigns supreme over everyones head, and a ominous eye watches the field of yielding crime. But here comes the sunrise again, and the moon hides behind.


It’s A Complexity

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A facade. A killjoy. A inevitable sunrise and the absence of light. It’s the call of the heart and the strings attached. It’s conflicted somedays and somedays it’s relaxed. Sometimes the beat falls off its rhythm, sometimes it’s very well tuned. It falls for love but then stumbles over rocky ground. An inducing eye wanders its way, and it feels a courage ensuing but in reality it’s a false hope. A pretentious cloud covers the story, and you find yourself slipping even more drastically. I’ll read to her. Maybe, give her an eloquent monologue on my emotion. The voice within tugs beneath, and you feel grounded. I’ll send a letter, I’ll write a poem. I’ll tell my story. I’ll color the moon with the wonderful vitality of life. That’s all it is to it. So I fly away. I call upon a hero. I grab a cape, and soar to the sky. Plenty of emotion fueling my undertaking, longing to be wanted, to be insightful, to be matured in all things, to be a sagacious figure.

False entities. The stars align and a voice calls back. It responds to my heart and reads a prelude to a manuscript I’ve never heard of. It drowns my knowledge for a moment, as it links its head with mine. An ocean of appeal. It laughs and smiles. It gives me back my knowledge and shouts; “Be your own man.” A twitch on the ear and the shivers down my spine, I smile in delight. I soar back down to Earth. I write my story. A director films it and distributes its meaning through the eyes and ears of millions. Gratitude, isn’t the word. I couldn’t think of anything to appease the moment, so I smiled. I found her under the dark night, sitting on a wooden bench, under a collapsing tree. My eye now can make contact with the one that I yearned for. The disconsolate sun rests its head on the night desk, and I find the same feeling rushing in. She closes her eyes, and the tree gives way. The crushing weight toils over her failing body. Her heart stops. Her eyes let loose and skin turns cold. A light jumped the curb and acted like a new born puppy, wearing an agog brow and a keen insight on what’s to come. The beaming light, foiled through windows, leaving stripes of light painting the street. An impaling force scrambled through the universe that night. I searched for the eyes but they were no more, and my heart no more. I stripped off the cape and said good morning to the sun. My legs felt numb and my fingers curled into a fist, I pounded everything in sight. The sun rose yet again, but now it had seemed I lived in a paradox of my former self. A foil to reality, and a juxtaposed man, hypocritical in every sense of the word, because as he crawls the underbelly of courage, and talks love through his head, he finds no courage, to voice his thoughts. He can no longer force himself to rhapsodize his writings, they are now grounded with reality, but imaginative in what should’ve been. But maybe there is still hope, maybe he says; “there is still a future, in what I make.” But his heart pounds to the critiques and the judgements, the ridicules, are analogous to a stampede of dark eyes, and lost hope. A kindled fire whistles in the wind. Yet, it is too afraid to voice any louder.






I awoke to the soft grass and the fresh dew. I awoke to the small puddles and the large oceans. I awoke to the low hue sunlight struggling to vanish the clouds. I awoke to the “oh crap I left my contacts in.” I awoke to the nervous times and the anxiousness of the future. I awoke to the delusion of the past and the resolution of the future. I awoke to my own being yet still unsettled in that soft grass. I awoke in the palpable dream of my own. I awoke to no end, and no beginning. I awoke to my own foil and to my own vision of perfect. I awoke to “is it supposed to be soiled?” I awoke to the reality of this, that maybe destiny could alter my course. I awoke to the drop of the ocean. I awoke now to the kindled spirit in my midst. I awoke to the spite of the evil down under and the bundled happenings of life.

I’m awake. I live in my own head. I waken to a book in hand, a Stephen King novel. It’s done. I put down the words and feel the agony of a story settling. Salacious of my own life. A smattering of what I am, what I really am. Is it illicit to dream? If so, I juxtapose that perfect image with an image not of lavish comfort but of something quite underwhelming to some. The complete word upon that hilltop and the severing heat searing below. There’s the rolling film and the high price. Banished the well man and the cradle for which he was comforted with. I will only lose the moment in the faceless home that vanishes in the middle of the hustle and verbiage. It is only a memory to be made. A memory to search for and own. It is only seldom it grows abundantly. It grows exponentially within, shared only with a few. Because if it grows and spreads, gossip dissipates my heart. Laughter, misunderstanding, judgement, cruelty. Life hits me in the face with the critiques. The silver spoon in the sky reflects the sun off of its top and vanquishes the moon all together. In spite of that spoon I run. I run through the pages, and humble myself with the sheets of warm words. A screen of acknowledgement palpable, pours my breath from my belly, and stirs into the mixture of dismemberment and heartfelt cuts in the corner of the page. The large hand turns the page over and I see the eye of the lampoon. A befriended fairy superintendent over the soul walks the stale water and accepts the mystery that has been laid down deep beneath the ocean.

The leader of ridicule and grudge works, lights the flame. Resurrected hand painting a spirit the color of hope. A bar of sunlight seeks through the clouds now and I am awake.

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First short fiction




A DREAM: A story from the heart

I am set on the floorboard of a car, while the others look out the windows, anxious of being caught. Everything is black, the car, our clothing, the sun. The only thing that is illuminated is our faces. I attempt to stay calm, but their anxiousness evokes a troubling spirit within. I begin to breathe heavy and my hands tremble.

“Hey.” one of them whispers down to me


I look up and I find him. His face is blurry but his voice very clear.


“You have to calm down. They are coming for us.”


I abide and attempt to calm myself. I lie on my back looking up at the blank skin of the car. I close my eyes but I still hear the mumblings around me. I am polarized by the chaotic melancholy thriving in this atmosphere. I can see an abstruse light emerging under my eyelids, and I hear a hard pounding near my feet. I feel it is elusive as I feel my way around it, and very deceiving, as I can’t judge its purpose. I presume its danger. I settle myself in the dread, the abyss. I know its over for me, it is just a matter of time. Then the whispering around me digressed. They diminished as the pounding became more apparent. I was extremely overwhelmed. I heard a whistle and a quick bang. It was over. I opened my eyes. Whatever had threatened me, or whatever had been looking for something, had been lost. The darkness crept away. A amber light executed the absence of upbeat notion with its own tune. The outer coating of the floorboard a dark purple. The car lights above me now opened their occult eyes. It seems an onslaught ensued while I was dormant in my mind. I looked around and had found the liquid of life roaming over the car seats and covering over the floor board more and more. The windows that seemed tinted now open themselves up as more clear frames to the outer world. I pan over to the back window, as I lift myself up. The window was too graphic for my eyes. I was paralyzed. I was jarred. Their was the thick yolk of life trailing down the window. A bloody handprint had pressed its emotion at the time, so aggressively in the very center of the frame. I felt a thick lump in my throat. There was a profusion of thoughts, an immense collection of choices to select from. I was too overwhelmed to do so. I heard the whispers again. I closed my eyes and found myself in this dystopian lab of misfit culture. Mohawks and long hair were the choice of fashion around these parts. I stand close to a large window. Inside the large window is flowing water that begins to rise to the top. I step forward and see people swimming. They all float so elegantly. Their hair slithers through the water. Around me I see empty picture frames and I notice there are no doors. Vibrant colors paint the walls. A clown stands beside me.


“Beautiful isn’t it?”

I agree and begin to step closer to the window. Then in an abrupt manner I am thrown into that world. The water engulfs me. The rushing water pounds my ear drums and my eyes fog for a split second. I feel like an outsider. They all have so much rhythm and poise in this vast, ever so moving world. I smile though, because I see the beauty of it. I hear a clangor behind me. I swivel around to face it. It is that odd clown. He is smiling and waving in my direction. I do the same. He turns his back on me and walks away. Slowly his image diminishes. I am left to figure it all out on my own. The world around me sang a subtle tune that I enjoyed. It soothed my soul. I prayed to the Deity and he congratulated me for stepping out. I smiled. He told me to follow the tune. I explain that my communication is at times uncouth, and he reasons with me that, is just a small glitch. I am humbled by the scale of the land I am in but I am not afraid. I swim out.

Developed Characters

There’s Pulp Fiction, The Shining, E.T., The Dark Knight, Sunset Boulevard, and many more. The films that I most enjoy, take the time to invest in character development. Whether that be through the script, the actors or actress’s performance, the camera work, the lighting, the tone. Whatever it is, there is a comfort in knowing that your audience is along for the ride. If you don’t spend the necessary time making sure the characters have a presence, then your film can easily tumble. To me a great foundation for a sagacious prompt that benefits towards a functional film, is grounded characters. A couple films employ this virtue and grasp a hold of it. They squeeze the extravagant juices and attempt to squeeze some more. They set their characters as the setting. The characters are the progression. A daunting task for a screenwriter, but when done well, you can see how sufficient character development, can be in progressing a film. Look at a film like 12 Angry Men, or the Hateful Eight. These are character pieces. These are films that are emotionally connecting because of how well the characters are portrayed. Life, can be looked at as a unique ever changing character. The people living in this wandering beast, lean towards their comfort, their tendencies, their diversifying characteristics. If you can harvest this life and delve deep into its pores, then you can start making a good movie. You can motivate an audience to be on the edge of their seats, watching 12 men fire back at one another in a room for a couple of hours. That’s remarkable isn’t it?

The common mantra in modern film making is to think the progression is and only can be moved through action, explosions, bland dialogue, shaky cam, overexposed lighting, light flares (I’m looking at you Michael Bay. I am only addressing the modern Bay, not the old-fashioned gritty one, that we love.). No one will be invested in a close up, dim lighted shot if you have been neglecting that character previously in the film’s exposition or through the proceeding sequences. This seems like an obvious thing, but it can be a tempting overlooked aspect if you let the scope of the task, of making the next big thing, get to you. It’s an artifice of film. A fragile crack in the gold mine. I would love all films to be character pieces. As an introverted individual, I enjoy being in the character’s mind. I understand this cannot be the case because the charm of these films, will eventually diminish, and dwindle into a collapsed artifact. This would be a catastrophe. A sulking tragedy in film. So what I am suggesting, or encouraging is a sense of focus, a sense of awareness to the way one tells a story. The human spirit should be found in your film. Even if its animated. Look at Zootopia, Toy Story. Heck even Cars, I’ll confess has decent characters that one can see vitality fueling them (pun intended.)

Just keep that in mind. I will and always will love films that do and hope to create art like a Spielberg, Tarantino, or even a Zemeckis (Back to the Future, and my favorite Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). Once you have a great character, you can put your artistic touch on them and the frame around them. A film such as Drive displays this. A character we can invest in. A character that is mysterious and unique, so much so that the director chooses so intellectually to follow his ride (again pun intended) so closely with the camera. His heart pounding journey. This sculpure molds in front of our eyes, so easily observable through the lens. The noir that masses the surroundings greatly articulates subconsciously the dreary, mysterious life our guy lives in. I love this stuff man. I love this stuff woman(?). (Didn’t want to come off as sexist. Odd thought? Maybe. This is too long, so I’m going to drop this subject and get out of these parenthesis. Again, another odd thing to say. Hopefully I can wrap this up well.)

Have a good one. (Darn it)