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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New back patch in the works

Yeah, it’s finally about that time in life to change things up. For those of you that don’t know me that well, I like back patches. I have been rocking the same old “Bizarro Brigade” back patch for close to 4 or 5 years now on my hoodie. Not only have I been rocking this same old design for that long, but I have also been rocking the same old hoodie for that long. Time is way past due for a new one. The hoodie is black, and yet, the years of use have faded the sleeves brown somehow. With that, it is time to throw in the towel and go with something fresh and new. A head turner, if you will. Something that will intrigue, spark conversation, engage ridicule, demand my “apparent” close minded ignorance, and yes… even a few eye rolls.

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Read the Bible. The end is Nigh.

I put this design together myself, deciding I wanted something biblical that expressed my feelings toward the world, and my desire for people to wake up about where things are headed. No, I did not create this art. I merely pulled it from the world-wide-web while providing what I felt was an appropriate tagline. We have all kinds of biblical symbolism in this image. The lion and the lamb as one, the 7 headed dragon, the elders, and the cross just to name a few. I don’t have this patch in my postion yet, but I will very soon. And for that, I am excited.

The crew over at MantidSnip were kind enough to send me some “in progress” photos before shipping out my order. If you are into custom back patches and want something done right with the quality that counts, go check these guys out!

500 Sales + A new Direction #patchgame

Well, here we are in the middle of my fourth month of patch selling operation and things are growing and changing like wild flowers in spring. For starters, I have reached 500 and exceeded 500 sales. It couldn’t have happened at a better time either, considering I am only half way through my 4th month as an Etsy merchant. A few sales before hitting the big 500 I did the math and realized something. If I managed to reach 500 sales this week it would meant something pretty cool. And since I did reach that mark in said time, it happened. With 500 sales under my belt and the calculations done, I have officially sold an average of 5 orders every day since the shop opened. That is 5 orders a day, every day, every single day of the month, 3 & 1/2 months straight. That’s radical if you ask me. Since most sales have been multi packs or even orders up to and exceeding 100 patches, there is no telling how many actual patches I have sold. It has for sure been a while ride.

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With that ride in mind I have decided to go a new direction. My wife may think it silly, but I am a big fan of the neo thrash / crust punk style and have even started leaning that direction with my own personal choices in dress (crust excluded). Having said that, the first of December I will be adding a few new items to the store. I have decided to do a run of Christian themed screen printed fabric patches inspired by the for mentioned punk rock look. The large patch on the right with all of its intricate detail is actually not going on the store. That is a one of that I am having made all for myself. That bad boy is a back patch just for me.

Obviously, my focus with all of the patches I have done in the past has been to create something I would want to personally own on my clothing or backpack. With that in mind, these screen printed patches are no different. I plan on putting one of each of these puppies on my vest along with that back patch.

If by chance these neo thrash – crust punk patches do well in the store I may very well be on my way to getting a screen printer set up in my garage. I already have a friend who knows a lot about it who is willing to help me get set up and started, if I so choose.

Anyway, enough rambling.

500 Sales!!!! New Patches Coming!!!!

Now Available – Bible Patches #Jesus

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Well, it’s official… For the Win Inc has finally done some Christian patches. They have just hit the stores today. I have 4 of them currently… but there is no telling how many I will actually end up doing; what with the endless number of epic biblical stories I could draw inspiration from and all that jazz. Right now we have The lamb of revelations, Adam and Eve from genesis, The suffering of Christ prior to being crucified for our sins, and a Jesus Lives patch. I almost went cliché with this one and had it say “Jesus’ Life Matters” since it seems to be a controversial topic lately on the fight against racism. But, I went with my better judgment and didn’t do it. Anyway, go on over to the store and check them out. If you have feedback or patch ideas based on biblical themes, let me know. I am all ears.

Serving the Church can be a Tricky Business

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So, we have been going to the same church for a while now and we think these guys are fantastic. I also have the heart to serve which is why Sarah and I stepped forward after a few weeks and said we are interested in serving in the church. This is something I think everyone should do. If you are a Christian and are part of a local community, you should go beyond just being a pew sitter. Well, the inevitable happened and I was asked to step up in rotation as the drummer for the worship team. Sadly, this offer to serve musically came at the same exact time that work in Dead People World started picking up. And since a lot of funerals take place on Sunday I had to step down from the position before I ever even really got started. This is a sad day for me because my true passion to serve is in music.

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The cool thing though, is that this church has many different opportunities to serve outside of just music. I am branching out and hope to get plugged into a ministry there that does not conflict with work. If you go to church but you feel disconnected like you don’t belong, all it takes is a step of faith. I encourage you to get off of that pew and get involved. By doing this you will find yourself making true friends and developing real and lasting relationships. Because, let’s face it… that is what church is all about—relationships.

So, I guess I am in a band…

God is good.

As most of you know, I used to be a singer-songwriter who toured nationally for a living. Including some of the other bands I was in before my solo stuff I toured full time for the better part of 5 or 6 years. I miss it a lot. And since then I haven’t really done any writing musically. I have always told myself that if I got back into music it would be at church for the edification of the body of believers and not self. The last church I was at before we relocated for Sarah’s job was Life Church. Those guys are awesome and I had the opportunity to play the cajon for them. The cajon is basically a hollow box that can produce a range of tones, emulating a drum kit if used properly. Since the relocation however Sarah and I have attended several churches in Liberty, Dayton, Humble, and Baytown… searching for that place that we fit in. Finding a church can be hard. Especially for Christians like Sarah and I. we just don’t believe in being merely attendees. Also known as pew sitters. Personally I don’t understand that concept. If it was my intention to walk into a building, sit and listen to music, shake a few hands, listen to a message, and then go home… having learned nothing about the people sitting around me, then what is the point? If I was just going to sit there I could accomplish essentially the same thing from the comfort of my own couch by streaming a church from the internet. What is crazy about this concept is the fact that most Christians seem to fall into the group. Show up… smile… shake the hand of a name you can’t remember… and go home.

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Well, as a last ditch effort to feel connected in our faith with the local community we decided to try a Calvary Chapel in Baytown. I used to go to one in Florida and I loved it. If you find yourself struggling to fit in, then this branch of the body of Christ might be for you. My experience has been that it is a come as you are community that strives on challenging us to study the bible line by line rather than putting a motivational speaker in our faces and sending us on our way.

Anyway, I am writing this blog just to say that I am not worthy and that God is good. We have been going to this church for a little over two months now and we feel welcome and are getting to know a lot of the people there. I have even been invited to join the worship team as one of the drummers on rotation. I have always felt that it was important for me to not give up on music just because I wasn’t on the road anymore. It feels good to be back behind a kit and I am honored to give back to God with my talents.

This Sunday is my first Sunday service to play at this gathering. Considering it has been something like 4 years since I have actually played a full kit, this should be interesting.

God is good, and if you go to church but find yourself being a pew sitter, I encourage you to stand up and start knocking on doors. In one way or another, the bible says we don’t have because we don’t ask. If you want to get involved you have to speak up.

Why am I a KJV creep?

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Okay, this weekend I was visiting with some people and they asked me why I am a KJV Bible person. I decided to write a quick little blog about it. This blog does in no way make me an expert. And it in no way makes my view on this topic better than yours. I am not a fanatic that thinks people who read different translations are doomed. I am simply writing this blog to show a few examples of why I have decided to stick with the KJB translation. And I ask, if you take the time to read this blog… you take the time to consider which version of the bible you read. I am not telling you to change, but simply asking you to look into it. Think for yourself. And become aware.

KJV vs. NLT

Here is a small list of just a few verses in the NLT Bible that have actually completely been omitted, taken out entirely.

Matthew 18:11, Matthew 17:21, Matthew 23:14, Mark 7:16, Mark 9:44, 46, Mark 11:26, Mark 15:28, Luke 17:36, Luke 23:17, Acts 8:37, Acts 28:29, Romans 16:24

But that is really just the icing on the cake. Here are just a few of many scripture manipulation examples that are found throughout the NLT Bible. And in my opinion, these are pretty important. 1st John 5:7 is a vital Scripture that every Christian should know.  This Scripture clearly proclaims that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are ONE.  But, the NLT says otherwise…

KJB – “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

NLT – “So we have these three witnesses.”

One of the most important verses in the Bible is John 3:16.  The NLT perverts this verse by removing the word “begotten,” thus saying that God only has one son.   But 1st John 3:1 in the KJB reads, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”  Clearly, God has many sons, but Jesus is the only BEGOTTEN Son of God, which makes Jesus God.

KJB – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16

NLT – “For God so loved the world that he gave he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

Again this was only a few examples of what is actually a constant problem throughout the entire translation. There is the perversion of the Godhead, Christ’s Deity, a complete removal of the word sodomite… which in biblical times meant something much different than it does today (look it up). The list goes on and on.

But that is just one translation.

KJV vs. NIV

The NIV is no different. Since you kind of see where I am going with this, let’s just break it down into verse examples, and you can think on it for yourself.

Why did Jesus come to earth?

KJV – Luke 9:56 – For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

NIV – Luke 9:56 – And they went to another village.

KJV – Matt. 18:11 – For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

NIV – Matt. 18:11 – Omitted.

Is Repentance important?

KJV – Matt. 9:13 – …I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

NIV – Matt. 9:13 – …I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

In Whom must you believe to be saved?

KJV – John 6:47  – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

NIV – John 6:47 – I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.

Anyway, that is just a few examples of many major problems that can be found in the NIV. There are a ton of times when are dependence on Christ becomes blurred into a vague idea. This can’t be good. But again, you can think on it for yourself. What about the message?

KJV vs. Message    

This book isn’t any different. There are a vast number of translations. And at the end of the day you have to ask yourself, do these translations truly do justice from the early translations, or are they distorting things.

KJV – John 10:30 – “I and the Father are one.”

The Message: “I and the Father are one heart and mind.”

KJV – John 14:28 – “…The Father is greater than I.”

The Message: “The Father is the goal and purpose of my life.”

KJV – 1 Timothy 4:1  “…in later times some will abandon the faith and follow seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.”

The Message:   “…as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars.”

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I could load this blog with examples from each translation, but instead I just wanted to point out a few for the sake of getting you to take a look for yourself and think on it. The last scripture example I gave is a prime reason why this is important. In later days we will be persuaded by unclean doctrines of God’s word. If this is true, then regardless of which translation you stand behind, do the research and decide for yourself.