Friday, July 8, 2011

The Man I Hope to Be

I was looking through my old livejournal and found this post from 2005. This is the man I still hope to be one day!

Protection and real Love come from within the man. It's in the way he says your name. It's in the way he calls you to make sure you're home safe and sound. It's in the way he protects your reputation when you're not around. It's in the way he prefers you in any given situation without you having to constantly ask him to choose you. It's in the way he looks in your eyes, assuring you that his eyes fall on you alone. It's in the way he wars for you in prayer. It's in the way he leads you when you're emotionally spinning out and he steps in and says, "No, we're not going down that path any longer. This is the way out of this. Follow me." It's in the way that he knows what your favorite things are and surprises you with them for no reason. It's in the way he tells you he loves you when you're yelling at him. It's in the way he values all you've shared of yourself by honoring you in the hardest of moments. It's in the way he is willing to do whatever it will take to change himself in order to offer you a better man than the one you fell in love with. It's in the way he not only dreams with you, but dreams for you, on your behalf. It's in the way he not only wants more for your life, but puts action to that desire to help bring it to pass.

This is the sort of man that will make you feel protected. This is the type of man who will always make you feel loved. This is the kind of man who is worthy of such a fierce love in return.

When you can offer a girl this sort of man-in-the-making, you can believe that she will find you to be the most gorgeous thing she's ever laid eyes on. Whether you are tall or short, built or skinny, handsome or average, she will see beauty in you. She will see the man you desire to become even as you try to become that man and she will cheer you on with a conviction and joy reserved only for you. Your name will be the only name on her lips, the only passion in her heart, the only desire in her life.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Am Living!

Today as I found myself pondering music. Well lets be honest, I always ponder music. Its in me to my very core. The above video was shot by a couple close friends of mine of a band we use to all tour with. I invite you to watch and get to know Sleeping Giant before you hear a song. Sleeping Giant is an amazing example to me of the Lord working in lives when we allow him to. A lot of times we are so quick to dismiss music because of the sound behind it. You say, "There is no way that invites the Spirit!" I say, "I feel the Spirit!" Who then is right? Since becoming a Latter-day Saint I have wondered the following.

Is it possible for Hardcore/Heavy Metal to be centered around our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

This evening I was watching some music videos on youtube when I saw a very interesting looking video on the right side of the screen entitled,"Is Christan Heavy Metal Evil?" (Of course this sparked my interest) This was about an 9 minute video by a guy who calls himself jezuzfreek777, and he made some great points. I want to expand on these for a brief moment.

One of his first points is one I've heard many times. Not ALL songs are bad in regards to content. There are some Metallica songs that have a great message. For instance, "Master of Puppets" is not implying that Satan is the master, but is more of an anti-drug themed piece of music. It is the bands cry of warning to not let drugs take control of peoples lives. 

The next point has to do with the sound of rock and roll, and how it can be misinterpreted. He plays a simple chord with no amplification or distortion. It does not sound objectionable. It sounds very clean and would be accepted by many to be a great sounding music note. Well, what if you are playing in a live show, and you have a few thousand people, you need amplification so your music can be heard. Also, you use distortion to keep your sound unique. It's the same chord. Heavy metal can be simplified, and it would sound very good to a large demographic. What kind of instrument is being played should not matter. If the point of the music is to glorify God, it is not evil or wrong. (I share this opinion)

This is the same point I've been trying to make for a very long time. If I thought that the sound of the music was offensive or inappropriate, I would NOT listen to it. I understand the argument that "If Jesus were here, he wouldn't like how it sounds." He may not, though I believe he would, because what I hear is the message of his greatness, power, and holiness!

My friends, this is something I have prayed about. I used to listen to a lot of horrible music that had horrible language and false doctrines. I made a conscious effort to purge these from my life, which I feel I have successfully done. It's a great feeling. I am still haunted by the fact that some do not accept my preference in music as anything but evil, satanic, and wrong. 

A cover song of the popular Christian hymn "Oh Praise Him" has touched my soul. However, it is in Hardcore form. And, oh my goodness, what a stirring of feelings it has created. I completely understand that some may shy away from the idea of hymns being metal-ized. What "EYE" see (that's a pun) as an artist that really wants it's heavy metal followers to hear the great message that is in this great hymn. I already knew that a friend did not like the song as it is covered by Sleeping giant, but I asked her to explain her feelings so I could post them for you:

Me: "How do you feel about "Oh Praise Him" by Sleeping Giant?"

Her: "I feel it was very disrespectful. It's such a sweet song, and it's about the Savior, so to hear it this way is very....harsh. I don't like it at all."

Obviously this is not for everyone. This cover song spoke to me in a way that literally made me cry, not out of sadness or hurt, but out of love and respect for Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for me. The same feeling one might get from hearing this hymn in church. 

I want to post that video of them performing the song to and I hope you will listen.

Let me say this, I AM A HARDCORE KID! Its part of who I am. Just like being a Latter-day Saint is part of who I AM. I hope this post gives you some insight to us. I love you all dearly and look forward to your comments.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mosiah 14

Mosiah 14:10-12

 10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
 11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
 12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Written 700 years before Christ was born, this prophecy gives us such incredible insight into His character, his heart, and his earthly purpose--even more profound, I think, it gives us insight into who we are in God's eyes. It says, in verse 11, "He [Christ] shall see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied". Imagine that! That Jesus would look at you, the travail(very hard work) of His soul, after having endured immeasurable suffering on the cross, the abandonment of His father, God, and the torturous shame of dying a criminal's death, and, as it says in Isaiah 30:11, be satisfied! 

I was once given a vision of heaven in which, after observing Christ's deeply scarred face, and running my finger along the holes in his hands, I asked innocently, "Did it hurt?" 

After which, He looked at me, and then looked around at the paradise in which we were standing together at long last, and replied with an honest smirk, "It was worth it".

Needless to say, I was completely broken before the indescribable power of His love for me. I sat in awe; crying or laughing (or doing some strange mixture of the two) for hours; simply amazed and undone at the fact that anyone would ever give that much for me.

But, God's Word says in Hebrews 12, 'For The joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross'. What love Christ must have for you to be able to say, with joy, that in the face of betrayal, torture, death, and hell, He would submit himself willingly, so that you could share in His divine inheritance! I guess I can't speak for you, but it makes my simple profession of allegiance seem like a small offering in light of what He has given for me.

But, 'the strong' that are mentioned in verse 12 will persevere, working out our faith while gripped with the hope of our Savior's promised inheritance, and, covered by the intercession of Christ himself, will stand before God the Father, the Creator of Heaven and earth, justified, beloved, and pure.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wisdom in action!

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good
and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
Just like no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is, "my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others. You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes for my life?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, "God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know you more and love you better." God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human
beings, not human doings. 

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. 
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD. 
Quiet moments,WORSHIP GOD. 
Painful moments, TRUST GOD. 
Every moment, THANK GOD.

This is so true, So many of us are always concentrating on stuff and or getting more stuff. Focused on fulfilling our needs we forget that there are others around us who are hurting, who need our help and prayers. We forget our true purpose in life is to serve Him. Look around your life and see who's life you can change with just encouragement and prayer. They have endless possibilities. In Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

There is Peace in His Presence, Hope in His Promises, and Unspeakable Joy in His Love.

The Sermon on the Mount

My first attempt at a blog. Here goes!

Do you ever feel like sometimes you get it, and then, other times, you are completely lost? I mean, there are those moments in life when everything is going exactly as we would want it to go, and then there are other instances when something so simple and biting can come along and throw us right on our face.

I was just reading the words of Jesus, a section in the Bible most refer to as the sermon on the Mount... I guess because he was up on a mountain preaching a sermon? Nevertheless, there are some really tricky ideas tangled up in His words. For example, He likens being angry to murdering someone. He also says that if someone looks at a woman lustfully it's the same as committing adultery. He says that it's not a good idea to swear to someone, but simply say yes or no to them. He says if a man hits you in your face, turn so he can hit punch you in the other cheek as well. He even says love the people that hate you. He says to never ever judge people because you will be judged the same. This is only fraction of what is there too...

When I was reading this, I realized that I have probably broken every one of these at some point in my life. I am sure that I have judged someone this week. I know I have gotten angry with someone too. People may say that Jesus didn't say these things to show us we can't ever live up to them... But, I think that is exactly why He said them. It hit me that these things are good things to strive for and all, but a part of why he said all of these things was, in fact, to show us that we, in fact, can't measure up. Even more than that, it shows us how much we need Him in our lives. Reading on in the book of Matthew, we can see Jesus healing so many people of wretched diseases, and He forgives people of their filthiest sins. He puts back together that which was shattered to pieces by humanities destructive ways.

Just thought I would share... It doesn't matter what you have done. Jesus knew you wouldn't measure up, and that's why He gave us His life.