My post-Happy New Year Post about being a terrible Christian

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Well, the New Year is here. It has been a day or two and surely there are some of you that have already started to tackle your New Year resolutions. Lose weight… be more sociable… be on Facebook less… Call mom more often… the list just seems endless.

I am actually one of the many, however, that has not really ever done a resolution for the New Year. And this post isn’t about me starting one either. But, I will say that the idea of a resolution is what started my train of thoughts that inspired this blog post. With the New Year upon us I started thinking on the resolutions people would be making. With that, I thought about myself. Was there anything I would like to change about myself? Upon reflection I went way back in time to when I first became a Christian more than 10 years ago. And in the 10 years that have passed I have met, made, and lost a lot of relationships (various reasons, but mostly a result of moving to new locations and being away from home so often).

When I think about these relationships I can’t help but reflect on them all. And what I see when I look back on them is terrible. I think that I am quite possibly the worst Christian you will ever meet. If you are ready for my rant, then here goes. Satanism is the worship of self. With that in mind, to be self centered is the opposite of Christ. When I look back on 10 years of relationships… people I dated, people I was in a band with, friends, family, fellow believers, co-workers… and so on, all I can see is how focused I was on just myself. My mindset was always “how can this person help ME”. Rather than, “how can I help this person”. I wasn’t in a band with these people because we were best friends. I was in a band with them because they were pushing me toward my goal of a music career. When I broke up with her it was because it was not longer convenient to date anymore. And so on…

What am I getting at?

Well, I feel like I have been asleep. How often as Christians are we not consciously “Christian”? For 2017 I want to be a conscious Christian. Someone that actually focuses on the people around them rather than being so inside themselves that they pass every moment by being asleep. Here are some examples of what I mean.

At work a girl walks by wearing tight clothing and her shorts are way too short. My co-worker who happens to be standing with me addresses the girl to me in a derogatory manor. My response it silence. Most people might think I did the Christian thing there. I didn’t provoke the banter. But my stomach turns at this for one reason. I can’t help but ask myself why my co-worker didn’t respect my values by not pointing it out and saying nothing at all? Does this co-worker even know I am a Christian? Most likely not. There is something wrong with that picture. Why have I not made a conscious effort to see the opportunities to witness to them about my beliefs? I will tell you why… because I have been too focused on my “self” (satanism). My mind is cluttered with what “I” need to get done today or tomorrow. How “I” did on this test or that exam. How “I” am going to do this or that.

Another example is the same situation, but this time my co-worker knows I am a Christian. The girl walks by and I don’t realize my co-worker is there and watching me. I take a look at the girl’s too-short shorts. As a result my co-worker is self-justified because he thinks that since I have lust of the eyes that my faith in invalid and grins to himself. In that case, why wasn’t I conscious that my co-worker was watching to see how I as a Christian would react to the visual stimulus? Not only did I sin in that moment, but I set a bad example at the same time justifying another man’s reasons to deny Christ. As Christians we are watched in this way by nonbelievers constantly. With that, why was I not a conscious Christian? If Christ is coming at any moment, then every moment matters.

What am I saying with all of this?

I feel that as Christians in a social media drive society we have become stagnant. Rather than go the extra mile by making a difference in our community we simply click “LIKE” on a post about poverty as if that justifies our lack of effort. We have fallen in line with the rest of the world. The Christians have fallen asleep, myself included. And quite honestly I am tired of it.

My resolution for 2017 is to become a conscious Christian by making every relationship count through focusing on them rather than myself. To quit being silent about the things I am passionate about by becoming active.

Thanks God I am saved by faith through grace. Otherwise, I would be in trouble. I am the worst Christian I know.

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Dinosaurs in the bible and days out on the town

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A lot of my friends and family tend to ask the question of how we like Austin now that we have lived here for a while. Well, it’s fantastic. There seems to be a festival or shop expo every single weekend. This weekend we went to craft sale downtown because we knew that these sewing ladies were going to be there. They are called Fort Lonesome and they do this thing called chain stitching. It was pretty cool and is done with this vintage looking machine. We went to the event because we knew that they were going to be there. I got the bible verse Job 40:15-25 because… well… dinosaurs. That’s why.  Verse 24 makes me think of a triceratops of all the behemoths. Boom!!!

Job 40:15-24 King James Version (KJV)

Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

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Screen Print Patches and more…

A lot of new things are going on in patch making land with For the Win Inc. I have spent the last 4 months designing and releasing embroidery patches on my Etsy store. They have been well received to say the least. With that, I decided to go in a new direction, not because I thought it would sell, but because I personally like this style of patchwork. I just released 4 new patch designs on the store this week. But this time they aren’t embroidery patches. No, instead they are screen printed designs on black fabric. These are the types of patches most commonly associated with back patches, vests, jackets, and pant legs. This style of screen print patches are usually seen being worn by individuals in the punk, crust punk, grungecore, doom metal, and deathcore scene. Neo-thrash abounds with these punk inspired patches. And since the types of people that wear this style of patch are of the opinionated variety, I have a few more designs in the works that display some of my more political and economical stances on the modern times we live in today. I don’t honestly know that these will sell as well as the embroidery patches, but I am honestly okay with that. After all, I didn’t release these designs to make money. I released them to have fun while making them for myself. That’s right… these patches are going on my vest!

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With that mentioned, my vest is getting a total overhaul. I got a new back patch made up to replace my current one. It’s pretty brutal and I am excited to get it, along with these 4 new patch designs sewn onto my vest. Luckily Sarah knows how to use a sewing machine. Hopefully she won’t roll her eyes too many times while fighting her way through the pile of new patches I have getting put together on my vest. I am excited to get them put on it for sure! This new one “Read the Bible… the End is Nigh”, speaks true to how I feel about our existence as not only a nation, but as a world. And since I was getting so many compliments on my existing back patch, I got a bright idea. If that many people were actually reading my back patch, why not make it of something relevant to my personal views and convictions? After all, they were the ones that chose to read it, right…

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Holly Jolly Austin Christmas!

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Hello, It’s me Sarah. Believe it or not I am not writing a blog to complain about anything. It is what they call the most wonderful time of the year! I love the cold weather and the genuine joy that surrounds Christmas. No matter what winter holiday you celebrate the feeling in the air is excitement. Thought I would share a bit of what has been done in the Douglas house today! Normally this would have all happened the day after thanksgiving, but as you surely have seen in Pat’s previous posts we were not in town. This Christmas is sure to be very special because we are house broke, which means that though we will have fewer gifts (cough) we will be celebrating in our very first house together! Be sure to hug your family tight and wish me luck as I try to convince Patrick to buy more christmas decorations and (gasp!) hang outdoor christmas lights! Off to target!

Dreadlocks, dead people school, and future dead people jobs

Okay, so here is the thing. I have had dreads a few times in my life for short periods of time. And have always really loved the look and style of nice clean maintained dreads. With that, I recently had dreads in the form of a bowl cut, but didn’t like how high up the bowl cut was on my head. So, naturally I cut them off and decided to start over with a full head of hair. And now, my hair is a little longer than shoulder length. I have been itching to get them done again. And I told myself I would wait until after my sister’s wedding to do it. Well, guess what? My sister’s wedding has come and gone and now I am free to start my new dread journey!

Or am I? I am, after all, only two weeks away from potentially graduating dead people school… which means I will be on the hunt for a new dead people job. Do job interviews and tacky hair go well together?

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Here’s the thing; I have thought this out in my head for the last two months, wondering if I could get my dread journey started now before graduation. My thought is yes… I can. My mind was made up so much so that I even had a dread creation session scheduled with a local dreadlock specialist for Wednesday of this coming week. My thoughts were simple. Even if I graduate in two weeks it would be another month or two before I pass my boards and start the job hunt as a newly licensed dead people worker. So, in my mind I had it justified. I could go ahead and do the dreads now, giving me about two months of maintenance time to get them looking nice and clean before I suited up for the dead people interview process for job placement.

At least that’s how I felt about it, dread session in three days and counting.

Apparently, my wife and the rest of the world disagree with my logic. Sarah pushed and groaned, insisting I should wait until after I have graduated and gotten a job. Because, you know… being adult means thinking ahead and making decisions that are for the betterment of mankind and all that jazz. With that, I have disappointingly canceled my Wednesday appointment. I guess this means I will have to keep combing my long hair for a while longer.

Combing is stupid.

New Phone skin because @beardcakes keeps making fun of my last one

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For the longest time I have had a phantasm movie themed skin for my iPhone, but Sarah keeps making fun of it for some terrible reason. So, I decided to change it up. Since I have been designing a lot of patches in my free time lately, I have learned to love simple art. And what better way to express simplicity than through an 8-bit design. Let’s see how long this one lasts before she starts poking fun.

Total overhaul

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Okay, so it was time to overhaul the website. I am still working on it some, but I have gotten a lot done with it today. Sarah drew the cover photo and I did the coloring and shading. We also completely overhauled the sidebar. But that was actually an accident. When I was working on the header I accidently deleted the sidebar. Oh well, I got it done and I think the current layout looks a lot cleaner anyway.

Austin is definitely for the dogs w/ @beardcakes

Well, not only did the dogs meet the vet and go to the dog park this week, but we decided yesterday that it was time to try taking the dogs out to the river after having visited it ourselves without them. So, yesterday we got two 30 foot leashes just in case they felt like wondering away.

And off we went.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect with these two dogs. One of them is a big baby that Sarah and I have determined thinks it is actually a house cat, climbing all over you and rubbing his head in your chest for attention. The other one however is an adventurer; hens the long leashes. But, surprisingly they did well. They didn’t do great, but well. For the most part they stayed anchored to the shore by a few feet and spent most of the time romping in the water.

Once Sarah and I felt comfortable about it we let them both off of the leashes a little here and there. They loved the water, like all lab mixes do. The picture of me and Walter in the water looking away is actually part of the time that they weren’t on leashes. In that photo he and I were actually watching a crowd of people jumping from the edge of a cliff face into the water. We had a great time.

My hope for the future is to continue bringing them out places and acclimating them to an Austin lifestyle. They have spent so much time just being home bodies that it is going to take a bit of adjustment and behavioral training to start taking them places with us. You can take your dogs practically everywhere in Austin.

Slow and steady wins the race, and today was a great start.

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