Poem: Slipstream

It is obvious now that I have left the dream.
You my friend with all your hip have lost the slipstream.
No matter how you break it down this I know for sure.
You are in need even more of my most remedy cure.
So I shall give you a taste of this most humble pie.
My hope is that it will wake you up from this lie.

I was never your friend nor enemy despite these feelings.
You most intensely have felt both but no mater our dealings.
I know we would have been big but if our egos were submit.
This happens I am sure because of the flow that goes to the pit.
I speak no lie now for that truth manufactured has been built.
All seemingly part of one hyped and elaborate but soiled quilt.

The stream is now done and the sounds of silence won.
For no matter how you spin this tale it is so very done.
In the aftermath one thing is for sure your now in the zone.
I wish you all the best no matter how short lived the throne.
I have from this learned that no matter what will be said.
I am responsible the most for my part on this giant misread.

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Why Tolkien Still Matters

“But where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet and good tilled earth.”

― JRR Tolkien

The work of J.R.R. Tolkien seems to at times forget about his legacy. No, not his legacy of being the father of modern fantasy fiction but the legacy of his philosophy. It is easy to look at Tolkien and only see him as a literary giant rather then somebody who sought to not only create a new mythology but whole new society. It is far more easier to focus on the fantasy and not so much the real world idealism he placed in the pages.

For Tolkien, he did not look to create Middle-earth just as place to escape the woes of this world. He created the world to restore what he most certainly thought was lost. Theology, culture, economics and politics were very much part of the organic framework in the societies in Middle-earth. For Tolkien his desire to escape into Middle-earth was not because he wanted to leave behind the real world rather the dreary and unimaginative one of modern times that replaced it. He sought not just high fantasy but actually the simple and ordinary aspects of the Agrarian society. This totally seen in the Shire and the hobbits. To him he wanted both the fantastical and the humdrum aspects of Middle-earth. He wanted the once pristine natural world along with the beautiful hallmarks of medieval society. His work while a great piece of imaginative art is actually less fascinating without his philosophy embedded into it.

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The truth is, Tolkien’s idealism of Middle-earth is still very much needed even more now then it ever was. As destructive the modern age was with industrialization, war and materialism. The post-modern age is even more destructive in a more dull way with globalism, digitization, agnosticism, neo-liberal secularism, proxy wars & corporate mass consumerism. Now more than ever, we need to escape to Middle-earth. A place where not only will we see the good green earth but small local communities thriving. Just as Bilbo longed to see mountains again we also long for a time where the core fundamental values of Western European and Christian culture is at the fore front. As more people becomes slaves to the digital age and social media we need to unplug and have a good pipe, an old book and a roaring fire to keep us warm. We need to flee our constructs of technological terrors and remember the warmth of the sun on our back as work in our gardens or roam the woods. There is need for all of us to go on adventure just like Bilbo being thrust out our hobbit holes and into the world. We need to see the faith of Gandalf in our leaders in our communities and families. We need to remember the goodness of Samwise Gamgee and the devotion of Aragorn to his friends. We need tell tales over large ales and sing and dance. We need to remember the good and simple things of life.

We need all of this now because people are more at each other’s throats more than ever before. Now more then ever the curse of Smaug has come to mark us with greed. We have lost sight of what matters the most and Middle-earth is our way back. The philosophy of Tolkien is what can bring us back to our roots and take us back to the fundamental truths we all knew as wee little hobbits.

5 Signs Your Church is Becoming Liberal

Do you know the 5 Signs Your Church is becoming Liberal? In this video I discuss it full detail.

You will find that these feed into each other and lead to introducing the the following things.

1. It begins using buzzwords.

Buzzwords like community, outreach, unity, love.

2. It starts injecting reductionism

Reductionism in theological terms means to lessen or simplify doctrinal or biblical concepts. It means finding the lesser accepted meaning in order not to divide or put off people. People accept this either because they want ‘church growth’ or do not want to be saddled with the truth.

3. It begins to appropriate secularism.

Appropriation literally means to take from one thing and put it in another. In popular terms cultural appropriation happens when people who not of a ethnic group take on things from a different group. Example: White dudes getting tribal tattoos.
In the church we appropriate things of pop culture into the church whether it be music, fads, philosophies. With the idea that if the church can be more like the world it will attract more people either wanting the world or people put off by church. The problem is the church is a terrible and cheap knock off of both worldly things and church things.

4. It focuses the people rather on God.

All of these things cause then us to refocus on people rather than God. If we are too busy using buzzwords or trying to reduce the Bible to the lowest thing to attract people we lessen our focus on God.

5. It changes the language of the church.

Simply put we put the focus on the world and when we do that we are force to redefine the terms and doctrines to suit that means. It altogether radically changes the church and that in the end is the goal of progressive liberalism.

The Gardener’s Flower

There once was a garden. In this garden grew the greatest flower anyone knew. It had become the center of attention for anyone who came and saw it. It’s bright colors made anyone lose their breath. The garden belonged to an old man who after a long life taken to becoming a great gardener and he had great care for the garden especially this flower. Deep down it was a reminder of the one that grew near his home as child. He remembered his mother taking long walks with him to visit it. When she had finally passed away he dug it up and planted it near her grave.

One day long after he started his garden he once again found it in the wild and decided to dig it up and grow it in his garden. While there were a few of these flowers in his garden there was one in the middle that grew so big that he personally began to take extra care for it. The flower gave him great comfort to see it every morning. No doubt he loved all of his garden but it was this particular flower gave the greatest joy.

One day a stranger came to town. He visited the garden because he had heard it was the most beautiful around. When he got there he was even more amazed to see that the garden was indeed greater than that, it was most beautiful one he had ever seen in the whole wide world. So after coming to see the garden three days in a row he asked the gardener if he would ever desire to sell it to him. The gardener with much shock said he knew he was old and could no longer care for it. He was indeed making plans to live with his daughter in another village. He with much heartfelt love said that he would be willing to sell his garden but that the flower in the center, the one he loved the most he would not nor could he sell. The stranger told him that it was indeed the flower in the center that made the garden so complete. That without it the garden would be indeed fare more regular. When the gardener heard this he realize that it was true and that to separate the flower from his garden would be a terrible crime so he told the stranger no to the sale and the man left angry.

After a few days the stranger decided that if he could not have the garden that no one should. So he crept in one night and with his torch burned down the whole garden but before he left, he took the flower in the center. As he made his departure he locked eyes with the gardener coming out of his house. The tears of sadness that came from him as he saw the true face of the stranger made the even the stone cold heart beat. The love of the garden he had especially for the flower that the stranger now had made him faint. Away the stranger fled to local inn he was staying.

It took only two more days before the stranger’s shame took him. Filled with great remorse he then went to the store to buy a pot and planted the flower. He then took a pen and paper to write his last will and testament. The next day when the inn’s maid came by she saw that the stranger had surely hanged himself. The note she read instructed that the flower be returned to the gardener and to tell him how sorry he was. Later that day when the local bailiff came in he realized that the flower in question belonged to the gardener who reported it stolen. The bailiff had such great rage for the law was broken as well as the gardener’s heart. The bailiff had no sympathy for the stranger and on the next day he delivered the pot he lamented he himself could not take the strangers life himself. The gardener whose utmost desire to create and grow said the bailiff that the man’s crimes were undeniable and that while deserved to be punished he also felt sadness at his passing. So the bailiff told him of what the note said to which soon after the gardener asked of where the stranger would be buried. The bailiff told him true that no better place for criminal and stranger then the potter’s field.

So the next day the bailiff showed the gardener of where the stranger was buried. The gardener then pulled out the flower and proceeded to plant it next the the thief’s grave. Tears of sadness came as he then said a prayer for the dead. He then sang a song and after he had done this the bailiff asked why he would plant the flower at the grave of a man who stole it from him. To which the gardener replied simply sweet.

All men deserve death for their sins but I forgive him. Even the ones who wrong us most deserve the love of God’s mercy the most.

After he said this the bailiff asked him why he cried for the man who took so much away. To which he once more replied

Worst then losing my garden to fire is that the man who did it decided to destroy his life from that guilt. Also how fitting it is to plant the same flower at another stranger’s grave.
My mother was once a stranger to God but in his grace he showed her his face and it led me to him. I can only wish the same for the stranger. If nothing else it always be a reminder to me that even the worst of crimes deserves the love of a Gardener

The gardener then left the town and went to his daughter’s house. After one year the bailiff had been given a word that the old gardener had died. He then came to the town and to his grave where the gardener’s daughter was sitting there. He came with another flower much like the one the gardener had. He planted it at the grave and the daughter asked him if he knew her dad. He said I knew him yes and then he told her the story as he knew it. He said

Let this flower be a reminder to you and to anyone as it was for me that even in death the beauty of life can be seen. For it has become a symbol for me. You see I was a stranger to God’s mercy and love but your father showed it to me. So I hope anyone can seen that was stolen can be returned and those once strangers to God can be consider his kin.

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Poem:The Wandering Ranger

Some might ask me what does it mean to be a Wandering Ranger?
Surely nothing more than being a stranger
who must now find peace in nature.

Yes I love this beautiful creation
but I seek it now out of frustration.
For just as Tolkien’s sons of Arnor
I have been ever so keen to explore.

Lord grant me mercy for this road I must tread.
I am indeed wandering this world looking to be fed.
For it is my lot in this life to find no place to call home.
Indeed I seek it only in the holiest tome.

What purpose does it for me find favor.
In a world run by a terrible slaver.
Hear me now one cannot two masters serve.
The one of heaven is certainly not of this earth.

Fads and foolish trends do I lament.
When inside the church they find cement.
I am only reminded of what was that pure faith.
That most holy thing now gone only left a wraith.

Give me grace from above as I start this path.
Things have been done that will have an aftermath.
No longer silent can I be about this charade,
Oh my heart is burdened with how many swayed.

So a ranger’s life I now have finding solace in the wild.
Most certainly it seem evident ever since I was child.
I tread ever on the trail finding shelter in the ruins.
Of what most certainly was the church’s undoing.

My sadness is for the bride
and her ever troubling slide.
When she courts the wisdom of men
she so ever abandons the love of Him.

I am now but a mere image of the man
who so faithfully felt part of this clan.
I seek a place where my faith can grow
destined for isolation like Thoreau.

So I wander on with no bed to lie on
Ever so waiting for the rise of dawn.
Wanting only to let your light show me the way.
Until that prophesy is fulfilled on the last day.

Why People Don’t Get Religion

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

― G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World

Whether you know or not the people who fail to understand religion are the same people who fail at speaking on it. Religion is a topic that either intimidates people or even worse makes them feel qualified to speak on it. It either is a burden to people who struggle with getting the point or it inflates their ego which is only boosted by the amount they reduce from it. Religion is a fine wine that can only be discussed with people who have a mind for it. It is not a slam its an objective fact.

Part of the problem with openly discussing religion is that it either invites simple minded people to dismiss it or reduce it. I recently found this out the hard way once again. The truth about this topic is that makes one go crazy when confronted with this fact about people who constantly don’t get religion.

Unlike topics like your favorite movie or sports team, religion demands you know the facts of it. People often make the false assumption that religious discourse is just opinion but it is not true. Your reason for liking the Miami Dolphins or My Big Fat Greek Wedding is based on your subjective take on the material. Art can cause a subjective reading and it can be justified to a degree. However, your taste has little to do with objective and clerical facts. Whether you like Mass in Latin or English is immaterial to what official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is. Folks often assume that because you have a subjective opinion on why you dislike something that somehow how things in regards to religion is subjective. For example you may like how Mormons focus on family. That is an opinion but you cannot deny that Joseph Smith took the Book of Ra and renamed it the Book of Abraham. You may think it is wrong for churches to spend money on buildings than using for the poor. That does negate that Calvinists believe in double predestination. Often times people take their skewed opinions and make it equate things it should not. Whether you regard yourself religious or not there is a proper way to speak on matter because we can’t make up facts and claim things that simply are not true. I understand why we have this problem it is a by product of the Enlightenment and American individualism. People equate what they think and believe that it means all things must submit to it. It is a virus of the mind that causes people not to understand how express proper ideas. On top of that you add the technology and social media which creates more people thinking that opinions in particular their opinions matter more than objective truth. I may not agree with Buddhism but does not grant me to say things that are not true.

Religion is something that people often mischaracterize as well. For example they may say they are not religious or that they do not like to talk religion but then often speak about why they dislike organized religion. This stems from people thinking that religion only means talking about what your church believes. No wonder people often think wrong things about religion, like how it causes divides. Religion only divides because people disagree, that is not because religion to succumbent to opinion but often some speak false and others speak truth. Even if I am not a Muslim I know there is orthodoxy and heterodoxy in that religion. People disagree because one is either reducing or reinventing. Truly the problem with religion is that some fervently uphold it and others want to reinvent it. Even if you disagreed with that concept you still have to admit that even something like sports can divide people. We never hear people say “I can’t talk about sports because it divides people”. The truth is that people know even if instinctively that sports is a subjective thing. You like your team for relative terms. Also people subscribe or reject to authority in sports and that’s the heart of the matter.

Religion demands loyalty and faithfulness and often people want to break away from that. I would even admit that as my religion indicates that it is our sinful nature that causes this. People reject or want to redefine or objectify it. When people’s whims are culled by truth or authority which speaks for truth it drives us to be angry and insufferable.

In the end what matters most is to find those who can understand this and ignore those who can’t. It essentially comes down to world views and whether you deny objective authority in truth. Like I said I recently found this truth to be evident again. The people who often disregard or poorly give its rightly needed scholasticism it becomes utter cringe.