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Come Out of the Closet With Me

Paul-PalamidiHave you ever felt like you were living a double life? Is there a creative, free, passionate person bound inside the shell of your daily routine? My journey into the world of writing has been a catalyst to face the “real” me. Sadly, I don’t like all the things that are part of me, but I discovered a fresh new life, once I struggled past the demons in my closet. Over the last ten years, I have steadily moved closer toward the opening, and I believe I have finally stepped over the threshold before a bright new future.

I have never been a shy, or reserved person, so, that is not really what I am talking about. Nor am I revealing a secret homosexual lifestyle (although in the future I will blog about the unbiblical fixation many Christians have with this topic). What I am talking about is being… me. How can I be true to myself, without being selfish? I love this modern paraphrase of an ancient Jewish proverb.

“Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation); do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth. Forsake not [Wisdom], and she will keep, defend, and protect you; lover her, and she will guard you. The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation).”–AB

It is important to try to understand others, but you cannot do this, until you understand yourself. If you are pretending to be something you are not, STOP IT! You are living a lie, and people will not enjoy being around you. You will not find peace of mind merely going through the motions. Just like the Genie told Aladdin, “be yourself.”

When people ask me if I am a Christian, I don’t know how to answer the question. The KJV Bible only uses the word three times, and most agree the meaning is Christ-like. Jesus was constantly:

  1. Provoking or rebuking religious snobs
  2. Hung out with slatternly women
  3. Ate with drunks, and publicans
  4. Encouraged those around him
  5. Primarily described himself, as, son of man.

 

If this is your definition, then yes, I am a Christian. However, if you identify the term Christian with the bullhorn preacher at the college campus screaming, “Jews, Muslims, and Catholics are all going to hell,” or groups like godhatesfags.com, or the judgmental blind lemmings that click the Bible as my favorite book on Facebook, yet they have never read it, then the answer is, NO!

When Lacey Sturm, (the original lead singer for Flyleaf) was asked about being in a Christian band, she asked the question back, “if a plumber is a Christian, does that make him a Christian plumber?” Her point is, don’t say you are a Christian, BE ONE! It’s worth thinking about. Everyday life is happening All Around Me, and I miss it because I am stuck in my cone of criticism.

If you are a wise mature believer and my disturbing outbursts offend you, then get on your knees and pray for me. If you are an educated skeptic with enlightenment from Bart Ehrman, be patient with me and politely engage me in conversation. Or, if you are just a person that wants to discuss philosophy, fantasy, and science, then please invite yourself over to my house for dinner. The bottom line is, come out of the closet with me, we all despise fakery, and crave authenticity.

 

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Klingon’s, Christians, and Critics!

Klingon Lifestyles

I am constantly blown away by the blind arrogance of critical people. I have actually witnessed a guy dressed up like a Klingon, tell me, “Christians are stupid, and only a complete moron would participate in that kind of stuff.”  I’ve also listened to the penniless literary snob, scoffing at the pitiful writing style of Stephenie Meyer’s.  Another time, I chuckled listening to a preacher behind the pulpit of a 15-person congregation expose Joel Osteen as a charlatan, shouting, “he doesn’t know how to preach the real gospel.” And lastly, I knew a homeless musician explain how “Madonna doesn’t know how to sing or entertain an audience.”

ARE YOU SERIOUS?

In the end, each of us has a pet peeve, or a person that agitates us, but what value is there in building yourself up through demeaning other people. Ultimately, what a person chooses to believe (or not believe), how he or she lives, will manifest a destiny. At the end of our lives, it’s not all about the money, the fame, or the glory, but it’s how we feel about our existence (No Jesus Juking allowed). I don’t dismiss the importance of responsibility, discipline, and goal setting, but doesn’t history teach us that some of the greatest icons in each of these areas failed miserably in finding true happiness?

Today I encourage you to get up off your tail, and go make the world a better place. Be a friend to someone who doesn’t have a friend, write something nice for a person who annoys you, help an underdog feel appreciated, or just be nice, because it is the right thing to do. Remember, it is never wrong to do right, and it is never right to do wrong. Even your criticism can have a purpose.

P.S.      Oh, I forgot one additional annoying person… I know this self-righteous blogger, who schemes up creative ways to get people to read. Geez, those kind of folks are the worst!

P.P.S.   Tune in to my next blog to learn why Joss Whedon and Jesus Christ are two of my favorite people!

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Miley Hater’s and Introspection

Hannah Montana

Hannah Montana

As a parent, it breaks my heart to watch Miley Cyrus publicly self-destruct. Unlike many world cultures, America has failed miserably at establishing a healthy rite of passage into adulthood. All too often, we have substituted sex, violence, or vice as a proof-of-purchase for maturity. Although these elements are part of our society, they do not define a person’s true self.

Social media, the Internet, and the news networks seem to enjoy positioning Cyrus as a stupid sleazy post teen. While her actions are foolish and unfortunate, the reality is; we are the real losers. As a nation of adrenaline junkies, our fascination with the rich and famous is reminiscent of a Roman family gathering at the Col0sseum to watch a bloody death sequence, and we call it, “entertainment.”

Like Dr. Frankenstein, we create a monster for our personal pleasure, then turn around to abandon it when it embarrasses us. I am not excusing bad behavior, but it is hypocritical to judge Cyrus, Britney Spears, and many other child stars when they are merely a product of our twisted appetites. It seems a manager, producer, art director, parent, or someone would try to teach these young Kamikazes how to land his or her plane on the ground, rather than into the side of a ship.

We have numbed our brains with barbaric entertainment in lieu of quality relationships and thought-provoking literature. Aristotle used the terms catharsis and mimesis to define our (twisted) longing to feel purged from our own shortcomings through identifying with someone else’s misfortune. It appears that Cyrus has now joined the ranks of Oedipus, Juliet, and Marilyn Monroe to star in a Modern Greek tragedy. Can we find a better tradition to welcome young adults into a community of grown-ups?