The Word About the Big Church

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-OK HERE WE GO-

 

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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Vanished

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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

 

 

 

Create a New Tab

A subconscious consensus that I’ve  come to, is that we want more. We meditate on progression. We concentrate on movement.

 

So the mountains move yet we stay still. So the clouds move and we stay observing the open sky. So the cruise leaves and we settle on the waters. Imbecility shudders the optimistic man. Self loathing becomes a mandated skill, you rely on to make conversation, to live, to breathe. Vicious minds violate the prerequisite mind. We tumble and fall. We shout and cry. We loft the illusions. In the mind of a believer of truth, weariness coincides. Abruptly we cast out our wishes but we see no charm. Sometimes life requires a new tab. Sometimes that search engine is compiling too many search results.

 

Some ramblings, that is all.

Directing your life

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There is a perspective in film making, that you don’t see everything but only see the things you need and take out the unnecessary, consciously. That there is moving  parts that you need pre planned and you need to take the necessary time to specifically describe your vision to others. Plan, rehearse in blocking, then watch rehearsal, with everyone, bring in the stand in to set up lighting, if absolutely in your best interest, bring in actors, then film, and watch that. There is a laser focus necessary to perfect your vision. This laser focus is necessary in life. Have you gone through the outline of your life? Have you rehearsed your plan? Have you found a crew of people who will aid you in your journey? Have you found the necessary lighting to make your vision present itself? Have you set up the shot? Have you found the courage to hit record?

When you’re looking at a blank palette you might observe a dull fixture in your life. You might see no potential in it. Turn on a couple of lights though, and then you might say “well, that looks a little brighter.” Then you might get some flags out to shade the light and artfully maneuver the darkness over the subject area to your liking, and you might say : “that’s a little better.” Then you might be missing your ensemble cast if you go with the close up shot, so you go medium wide frame, and now you can see others around your picture. You can now see the support you’ve been neglecting. Notice that first you need to take that step to even have the vision come to light. You need to just try it. Be a insatiable director, be one who doesn’t stand for the bland shot. You need more in life, demand it within yourself. Sometimes life hides its virtues. You must use the dark to find the light. Sometimes you have to have a trenchant mindset of a surgeon to find it. You have to dig through the treacherous to find the gracious. That affable light is really within you, don’t be afraid to go through the darkness in life, it is only necessary to line up a magnificent shot. Tarantino has said in an interview, along the lines of, “that if you really love movies, if you really love them, then you can’t help but make a good movie.” If you really have a true passion for something, don’t be bogged down by a mantra that you can’t do it. If you hear the “whispers” as Spielberg has once called them (that is the hidden passion within) and they call upon your heart, then by all means follow them and set sail for the rest of your life. Don’t let anything stop you. Who cares if you don’t live near a famous studio, go chase your dream. Who cares if you’ve never picked up a microphone, go practice for that audition. Who cares if everyone says you aren’t good enough on the field, go prove them wrong. If there is a sufficient, clear, thumping whisper that feathers through your ear drums, then follow the beat of the drum.

Your dream is a beneficiary of the world. You are doing a deed to all of mankind. It might seem sluggish at first, but if you keep your word, your integrity in tact with your vision, then surely the pieces will fall in place, God willing. There is a resplendent dream that mounts its cause upon the hilltops and there is also beauty in chasing it. Use everything at your disposal, read, write, learn, practice. Be a constant in the meandering life. Be a player in the game of life. Don’t retire the idea that you are too weak or too lost, find positivity in knowing someone else has been in your boat. Someone has walked the same hallways. Someone has dug the same hole. Even if you feel the walls tumble down and you feel that dark shadow cast upon you, just know you look pretty sweet, and let’s roll with it, “let’s get the follow shot. Alright, quiet on the set. Action.”  Remarkable how odd life is. It is whatever you make it. It is whatever vision you want to live out. Plasticity is the prototype for success, whatever you do from there is your own choosing.

 

It was said

It was asked in class a couple days ago. I wondered why I couldn’t give an answer. The question was: “what would you do to change the world?” I felt it was a narcissistic impulse to immediately feel that the world was fine the way it is. The truth of the manner is that it is tough to put my finger on the world. The world grows and destroys faster than it ever breeds. A unbearably eclipsing power that submerges us as a society into an abyss of comp licitness. Tangible is the stud that fumbles beneath our feet. I feel that there is no way to change unless you completely understand the world itself. That I have not accomplished. Slithering banter bombards generosity and generosity drowns the one’s in solitude. A complex bowl of problems we have on our hands. The only way to persevere through this meandering convolution is to stabilize the ground for which you stand, or rather adapt to it. You might say the answer to progression is purely platonic. I suppose, I would have to for the most part agree with you. I believe spiritual salvation is a cure but also there is a riddling puzzles within the thin air that surrounds all of us. There is much more to life than meets the eye. Now, obviously you would know I subject to this opinion because of I said I agree with the spiritual rejuvenation, that can aid but I am talking of other matters as well. The night falls, a murder takes place. Night falls, a student studies for a test. Night falls, a mother gives birth. Night falls, a building collapses on millions. Night falls, a charitable fund is granted towards the homeless. Night falls, and the spontaneity of life breeds a new light. Obviously, everyone for the most part, I assume, knows that the news shows the bad much more than the good. It’s just how it works. There is much more that goes on everyday than what is presented.

So where do we start? Where do we begin? An apocryphal believer would tell you the world is ending at this moment or the sky is actually a shade of misinterpretation. Whatever that means. Or what if the believer in common folk tales, or trendy skepticism,  is actually the one who is the deceptive teller of the truth. Who really knows? I’ll scuffle my worries away under the bed of comfort and sleep my busy mind away.

Mother’s Day

A mother’s genuine hand can comfort a wandering soul. I’ve appreciated this more and more as I’ve matured. I’ve found  that when I succumb to the lugubrious force of nature that is the reality of life, I can come back to a warm person. A woman that loves and cares. A woman that nurtures and adores. One that looks upon with a guiding glance. To fathom a suiter for such a blessing is impossible. I am very appreciative of the worth granted. Through the late night stories, the days at the dentist, the long rides, the rides to church, the rides to sporting events, the rides to the playground, the rides to school. The letting go. The gradual mishap of life. You stumble through the meandering dark. You hear the whispers of the dark, but follow the light of day. You hear the soothing epigrams through the cracks and reflect. It concretes a life worth living. A life that is filled with joy. “Mom, there’s nothing in the fridge.” “Mom, there’s a spider in here.” “Mom, the freakin’ underwear you bought doesn’t fit.” “Mom.” “Mom.” “Mom.”

She is worthy of all the praise. To all the mothers out there, you deserve the day to come. You deserve appreciation every day. When college starts and she drops you off for the moment (because lets be honest guys, we are coming back. Whether we like it or not) and see you trail off. That familiar look. That back pack hanging off to the side and that pretentious grin, that she can see right through. That weary look that is hidden within their eye. That newcomer in the vast world. A fear that riddles his bones. He escapes this gravity by settling within it. He looks back and a courage is instilled. Furnished on the barren walls is a new name. A man is born within those versatile walls. When you aspire to paint those bare walls with your own artistic taste, and you can’t find notice. The strongest woman in the world gives you a palette of paint, with a smile on her face. Through the subtle mysteries it bids a beneficiary to have a meditator among the land. A mentor to calm your anger, fear, bewilderment. She says ” you are, who you are.” She teaches you to embrace oneself and walk tall amongst the weeds. She can ignite a flame, wish a spell, tell a story, embrace your odd talents, sulk with you, fight with you, argue, laugh, teach. The most versatile breed of human beings, is that of a mother. There is plenty more, but take this time to go say thank you. Don’t worry Dad’s your time will come. Yours will quite possibly be more frank because I’m sure you would enjoy the straight forwardness. Actually, I sound a little stereotypical so I will give it my all. This has trended off the railroad tracks, so on this odd note I will end this message. And to all a good night. (Geesh that was rough)