Passive Christianity

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Today is the 47th annual March for Life in Washington D.C. Let that sink in for a bit. 47 years of people marching for the dignity of life and, this is the first time in 47 years that the President will address the attendees in person! Yet, people still claim that President Trump holds no Christian values.

Trump praying

For a man who supposedly doesn’t have any Christian beliefs, then I suppose it is purely coincidental that he uses the words; “Jesus Christ, Christian, Christian beliefs, and Religious rights” so much. The man is not just a talker. He is not a passive Christian.

He has put his money where his mouth is and everyone hates him for it. No matter what good he does, those who appose him will always be critical of him and his actions. I’ve already seen people on social media saying, “Instead of addressing the people at the March for Life, he should be leading the march.” Good is never good in their eyes or never good enough.

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Do you know why those who hate and appose President Trump do so? Because they are told to do so by the mainstream media. These are people who can’t think for themselves. Don’t believe me, go online and look at some of the interviews that are conducted with these individuals when asked why they dislike our POTUS. Most can not come up with a coherent answer. It’s sad, disgusting and troublesome at the same time. When provided with factual information, they tend to get irate and immediately take to personal attacks on him and those of us who support him. But by all means, those of you who appose President Trump, keep following and listening to the media on how to live your life. Nobody will have the boldness to confront you. Why? Because they are passive Christians.

hell fall

The path to heaven is narrow and full of twists, turns, and obstacles; while the road to hell is wide and open. 47 years of marching and what have we learned? Instead of this country getting better we see Sodom and Gomorrah being revisited again. Why? Because we’ve allowed it to happen; passive Christianity. Nobody seems to have the fortitude to stand up and say “ENOUGH!”

Think about this; the LGBTQ movement. Within the past 10 years if not more, they have taken to the streets and demanded that their voices be heard. They’ve protested against the way they’ve been treated by telling some truths and some lies. 20 years ago before this movement we knew who were and weren’t homosexual and, it really didn’t matter to us. They were treated the same as any other person, equal. I personally have never seen a homosexual treated any differently in any Church that I’ve attended yet, there are all these claims on how the Catholic Church does not recognize the dignity of the homosexual person and how nondenominational Churches persecute homosexuals. LIES! Now, it’s thrown in our faces, demanding us to bow down to them and their way of life. Why? Because of passive Christians.

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham wearing the “pink ***** hat.”

How about another example of idiocy in our country. Let’s take a look at the “me too” movement or the “women right” movement. First off, it’s hard to take a person seriously who is wearing a pink ****** hat and yelling obscenities such as “My vagina my rights.” Once again, displays of incoherent ramblings by those seeking attention…AND IT WORKS! Why? You guessed it, because of passive Christians.

Now how about the women who are screaming, “Oh I was a victim of his sexual advances” such as those allegations made by actresses like Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan. Now I’m not saying that those men are innocent of their behaviors, they are sexual predators, but, why didn’t these women just say no? Because it would affect their acting careers that’s why. So in essence, their careers where more important to them, at the time, than their dignity and self-worth. And I’m supposed to feel bad for them because they were taken advantage of? I’m supposed to feel bad for these women who went on to make movies with nudity on their part…I don’t think so! But, like everything that is wrong with the world today, people will feel sorry for them, people will support them as they have and, nobody will hold them accountable for their actions. Why? Because of passive Christians.

christian vs secular

For far too long we, the Christian community, have stood back and watched as our nation falls to shambles. If we continue to do so, we will see our religious freedoms disappear. As in the picture above, we are always portrayed as the angry looking evil Christian when in fact, the picture should be one of a man, cowering in the fetal position, hiding behind his bible. Look at what is taking place in the Methodist Church. Look at the problems that we have with the “Lavender Mafia” in the Catholic Church.

What will it take? What else has to happen before Christians stand up and start to shout themselves that ENOUGH is ENOUGH and we will not tolerate our religious beliefs being trampled on as they have been? Hit your knees hard friends and pray. Pray for courage. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and give you the words to defend your faith.

In closing, quit being passive Christians. Take a look at Jesus Christ on the cross. Does that look like a passive man? I think not. That is one thing that I’ve always taken pride in when asked why I wear a Crucifix when I do. It is because it is a symbol, a reminder of the courage, the perseverance, and the love that Jesus Christ has for us.

Until next time, buen camino friends.

 

52 Years

 

peaceful

I’ve spent 52 years on this earth and my life has been…less than. I really don’t know how to explain it but let’s just say that recent events that have happened in my life throw light upon why I have not been happy.

happyball

I’ve been saying it for some time now; “I’m sure that I don’t have 52 years left in me, so the time that I do have, I want to be happy.” I don’t want to spend the rest of my days wishing that I was a happier or better person, I want to be that person.

I believe that there are three key components to making this a reality.

  1. Spiritual Health – Getting my prayer life back in order. Realizing that I don’t have full control of my life as much as I’d like to think I do. Placing God back at the center of my life. Remembering to thank God for the blessings in my life. Working with other men to help each other in our journeys and hold each other accountable. Being the leader, protector, and provider of my family; being the priest of my household and setting that example.
  2. Mental Health – Continuing with my therapy and doing the exercises that my therapist has asked me to do. Remind myself daily that I am not the same person that I was as a child, teen, or young adult. And the hardest part for me, forgiving myself.
  3. Physical Health – This is an area that I desperately need to address. I need to find that motivation to get out, get up and be active for a bit instead of getting home, kicking off my shoes, changing into my comfortable clothes and laying down. No matter how much I wish it, fat won’t come off by wishing it away.

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This is my plan for now. Why for now? Because like any good plan, you have to allow room for adjustments. For those of you who are going through something similar, you can do it! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Know that I will be praying for you and I ask you all to pray for me as well.

Until next time, Buen Camino.

 

Filter Mania

There is an epidemic going around the world; a vanity epidemic! It is filter mania and it’s not just women who are doing it anymore. Please understand that I am not talking about makeup or makeovers. I am speaking about social media photo filters.  I used myself as an example above. The picture on the left is filtered. The one on the right is the real me. I’d like to start this post with a little story from a long time ago.

God world

God created the earth and everything that dwells upon it. It took him six days to do all of this and after each creation, he claimed that it was good. But there was a special day, that sixth day when God created mankind and all the living creatures of the earth, and as he looked it over, he saw that it was “very” good. Genesis 1&2

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The Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east and in the garden he placed man and woman.  The man and his wife were both naked but felt no shame. The snake entered the garden and tricked the woman into eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The man and woman felt shame and hid. The Lord God called to the man and asked him, Where are you? The man answered, I heard you in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid. Then God asked: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat? The man blamed the woman and the woman blamed the snake. Genesis 3:1-24.

1 devil whisper

And here you are today; listening to the snake again. But if you take the time to prayerfully read the story of creation along with the story of Eden, you will hear God speaking to you: “Who told you that you are ugly?” Somewhere in your life was or is a snake that has convinced you that you need to use filters to make yourself look like someone you once were or someone you never were. Stop listening to that snake and start listening to God. He created you in His own image and when he did so, he looked down and said “very good!”

wrinkled hands

Growing old is just a fact of life and in the journey of life that God has given us we will encounter a few obstacles that get in our way, some that will create scars; physically and mentally, and they will show our age. These are the things that we try to cover up with filters. I have features that I don’t like; some that I can control, such as my weight, and some that have happened through time, like wrinkles. But in those wrinkles, scars, and grey hairs, there are stories that go along with each one, stories about my life and some of the lessons that I’ve learned. We all have stories to tell and sometimes it’s those outer characteristics that tell part of our stories.

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Another reason that I would encourage you not to use filters is that it is giving the people who view it false information. Let’s face it, some people are all about looks and that is what they are looking for, a good looking male or female, and when you post a picture that makes you look flawless and when people see you in person and realize that your social media pictures are completely different from what you look like in person, it can lead to insults, heckling, mocking, and possibly violence. It can be embarrassing for you and the party involved. Be honest, be proud, for you are a child of God and he didn’t make junk. Those types of people who are looking for others based on looks only will eventually find out that looks aren’t everything.

be yourself

So the next time that you take a nice selfie, post it; don’t filter it. Show the world that beautiful person that you are and don’t attach a “tag” to it like “unfiltered.” Just post the real picture and let the world get to know the real you.

Until next time, buen camino!

Memories from the Past: Part 2

Hello everyone and Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! Yes, the Christmas season is still upon us so Merry Christmas, Christ is born! I’ve been thinking about how I was going to write this post. With that being said, it is going to be a pretty short post.

Let me start by saying that I will not be sharing that other story that I talked about in part 1. The things that have happened to me in my past are things that I would not wish upon my worst enemy, and they explain a lot about how and why I acted and reacted in certain ways.

I’ve been going to therapy for almost a year now and I thank God that I have such an amazing therapist who has been and continues to help me cross these bridges as they arise. She is helping me to create the person who I want to be, not the person who I thought I was.

In closing I would say this:

  1. Don’t be afraid to seek out help for past wounds, especially you men out there. You’d be surprised to see that you aren’t the only one to go through what you’ve been through.
  2. If you are seeing a therapist and feel as though you are not getting the help you need, find another therapist. This is your mental health we are talking about so find the professional who is going to help you best.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. I am blessed to have my bride by my side throughout this journey. She always knows the right things to say to me during these times especially when I am overwhelmed with the flood of emotions from these memories.

May God always be by your side and may he guide you get the help that you are looking for and never forget to ask him as well, for he is the eternal physician and he wants you to be the child that he created you to be. Until next time, buen camino.

Memories From the Past: Part 1

 

*** WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE ***

This past weekend was a rough one for me. It started on Thursday; before my bride came to pick me up for lunch, I sat down to watch the video above with Corey Taylor talking to a therapist. I thought to myself, “wow, this should be interesting.” Little did I know how intense his story would be and that it would drag out some memories of my own. I only made it a little more than halfway through the video when the memories came out; one that was hidden, suppressed, buried in the catacombs of my mind and the other was one that I’ve been trying to bury for the better part of 40 years.

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I sat in my chair for a while and attempted to deal with this sudden flood of emotions that came along with these memories. I was hurt and I was pissed off! Why the fuck did these memories have to come up now! Don’t I have enough shit to deal with in my life? And such perfect timing too since I can’t see my therapist until January! GREAT! REALLY FUCKING GREAT!

Once I calmed down a bit, which was not much, but it was enough time for me to call the therapists office and ask if there was any way that I could see her for an emergency session. They said that they would give her the message but that if it was an emergency, I could come in right now and see someone else. I thanked them and hung up the phone. I thought to myself, “See someone else? SEE SOMEONE ELSE! I finally found a therapist that I trust and you want me to see someone else!” Thank God she called me within 10 minutes and said that she would see me right away if I could get there immediately.

Here is a bit of history with me and therapists. During the early years of my marriage, I didn’t think I needed to see one. I thought that I was fine and the rest of the world was jacked up. As the years passed though, I started to see what it was my bride was talking about and I reluctantly tried to get therapy. Most of the early therapists didn’t work though and I’m sure it was mostly due to me not cooperating or wanting the help. But in the later years when I desperately wanted and needed the help, I just kept striking out with the therapists that I saw. I was looking for someone who would listen, take my faith into consideration when providing feedback or solutions, hold me accountable, and one that had the knowledge to find out what was going on and come up with a concrete solution to help me move forward. That is the kind of therapist that I have now.

crying

I told her about the first memory, the suppressed one. I sat there crying, feeling lost, alone and angry, kind of like I did as a child during that time. She told me to let it out, ride with it, allow it to come out. As I sat in my chair and described every detail to her, I could feel my nails clawing into the handles of the chair as I sat there shaking and crying in anger. With my right foot tapping at a rapid pace, I continued to tell my story and when I finally got to the end of it, a tsunami of tears rushed my eyes and I yelled into my hands which were cupped over my face. “WHY! Why did he have to do that!” It was a memory of an older boy from my childhood that everyone looked up to and thought he was just the grandest kid of all. That mother fucker. I won’t go into detail with you all, but I will say that it was a sexual assault of sorts.

My therapist continued to help me go through this as I sat there pounding my fist into the handle of the chair. She got me to the end of that memory and there was a bit of calm. As I let out a sigh of relief, the fear hit me again, because I knew that I was going to share my other memory with her in a minute or two and I knew that this last ride I just went through was going to be a walk in the park compared to the next memory I shared with her.

To be continued. Until next time, Buen Camino.

 

Music

Never before in my life have I recalled a time where music has been so important to me than now. I started to notice it more when I started playing in a band again earlier this year and after seeing Dream Theater in October. Dream Theater is a progressive metal band for those of you who may not know. Their show was mind-blowing. Not because of special effects, pyrotechnics, or any sort of glitz and glamour, it was because of their musicianship. They are absolute music virtuosos. It was refreshing to see that and it was a night where every emotion was stirred…by their music, their talent, and their love for music.

For those who don’t know, I play drums and I’m a co-lead singer for our group Cast No Stones. I consider myself to be a fair drummer and singer. It’s hard to put into the words the feeling I get from using all of the limbs in my body to create music from an inanimate object. The snap of a snare drum, the crash of a cymbal, the thump of the bass drum, they all awake the sinews throughout the body and loosen them up and enable me to bring my drum set to life.

Mark plays guitars and when I say he plays guitars, that’s an understatement. He is a genius when it comes to guitars. We are a trio which makes us limited to what music we can play…or so you’d think. Mark has a way of implementing the guitar in place of keyboards in certain songs, so much so that you don’t even notice that they are missing, unless you are a keyboardist lol. Mark is a true master of the guitar.

Steve plays bass guitar and is the other lead singer of our group. Both of us are new to lead singing but we bring different voices to the music we play and in the end, it works. Steve has a deep voice that works perfectly with the outlaw country and older country music that we play. He has commanding yet smooth voice and if you were to close your eyes when he sings, you’d swear that you were listening to Chris LeDoux. Just like his singing, his bass playing is powerful yet subtle when needed, a true master of his art.

 

Music has a way of stirring the soul. No matter what kind of music it is; if it moves you, it moves you. Music has always been a part of my life. I can remember the voices of Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Johnny Rodriguez coming from the record player in our living room as a child. I remember the sound of the cannon blast coming over the AM airwaves from the Mexican radio station “Radio Cannon” the closer that we got to El Paso, TX while going to visit my grandparents. I’ve had thousands of moments and memories like this throughout my life that I will always cherish and it is all because of music.

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Although my parents may have been the first ones to introduce me to music, it has been God who gave me the gift to play and appreciate the beauty that lies between the notes. So today my friends, go out and find that song that moves you. Let it stir your soul as you feel your heart race. Don’t just listen to it, feel it, and allow it to move you to a better place.

Until next time, Buen Camino!

 

To Blog or Not to Blog

I'm sorry

For those of you who still follow this blog, I’m shocked; I’m also sorry for not being consistent with my posts. I’m hoping to change that going forward and try to post at least once a month at a minimum.

where-have-you-been

So why the hiatus? I guess you can say it’s been multiple reasons; some good, some bad, but still, there were enough to keep me distracted from my blog. 2019 like any other year, has been a year of ups and downs; mostly downs though.

Earlier in the year, I dropped out of the deacon formation program and that sent me off on a tailspin. I never wanted to drop out however, due to circumstances beyond my control, it was in my best interest and that of my family, to get out. The healing from that continues though. A few months later, one of our fellow diaconate brothers who left the program last summer took his own life. It didn’t make sense then, it still doesn’t make sense and it probably never will. The healing also continues from that event. A couple months after that, our business loses our biggest client. Another situation that was beyond my control but, it still impacts us. There have been a few other business-related matters that have risen in which we will have to wait and see what happens going forward.

therapy

Needless to say, I started therapy earlier in the year. As it has progressed and times have gotten tougher throughout the year, my therapist and doctors have been a blessing. I believe that my diagnosis is spot on and there is a plan that we’ve implemented to help me address my issues and move forward to a more normal life. Baby steps. Please, don’t ever make fun of people who are seeking help. I used to be that asshole that did that and look at me now. This world can be pretty messed up to put it lightly and there are many of us who have grown up in non-typical environments that have left us bruised, wounded and scarred. Instead of making fun of us, take the time to get to know us and listen to us, if we are willing to talk.

faith

My faith means a lot to me. Let me rephrase that, my Catholic faith means a lot to me. Ever since coming back to the Church in 2012, my faith journey has been a roller coaster of a ride, to say the least. This year really tested that faith, especially during that first half of the year. But I trust in Jesus Christ, my God, to get me through all of this as he has done before. Even if the outcome is not how I wanted it to be, I trust that it was His will that was done and not mine and that it was for the best.

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Cast No Stones

So was it all bad this year? Absolutely not. I started playing with a couple of men back in March of this year just for rest and relaxation and it turned into a group. The name of our band is Cast No Stones and if you get a chance, check us out on Facebook. We played our first show in October to a packed house at the Little Toad Creek Brewery in Silver City, NM and it was a fun night. Our next show will be a private party at the Elks Club on New Year’s Eve. Playing in the band has been a form of therapy for me as well.

Dream Theater

Dream Theater – Distance Over Time Tour October 26, 2019

I also went with a good friend of mine and saw Dream Theater for the first time in October and I was blown away. Definitely, the best show that I’ve ever been to.

catholic-men-praying-together

I had lunch with that friend of mine that I went to the concert with and we’ve decided to launch another Catholic men’s group for our area. We have a few men who are interested in joining to see what it’s all about. We truly believe that there are many men out there in the world who are hungering for something. They are trying to fill that hunger with other things in life and finding out that they are still hungry at the end of the day. We want to lead these men and ourselves to the living bread, Jesus Christ. As scripture says, “As iron sharpens irons, so one man sharpens another” Proverbs 27:17

So I take the bad with the good and I thank God for the blessings and lessons that he has bestowed upon me this year. I had to take time to sit back and think about what I was going to say and then I remembered; mi viaje – my journey, that is what my blog is about, my life and my journey and how I wanted to share it with the world. Please keep me in your prayers and know that I’m praying for you. Until next time, buen camino.