Donny's Ramblings

The Voodoo We Do

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The title of this blog post is a total rip off of  a page on JR Mahon’s blog: http://www.hollywoodpastor.com/the-voo-doo-we-do/ .  Sorry JR.  Actually, no I’m not ’cause you probably ripped it off from someone else, didn’t ya? Hee hee.  Dear Constant Readers, if you’ve heard me speak you’ve likely heard me mention that XXXChurch flew one of their staff pastors out to California from Michigan the day after I asked God to take control of my life.  That pastor was JR.  Not only did he get me heading in the right direction in those crucial first days, he literally saved my life once.

The Voodoo We Do just sounds… nifty.  But this particular blog post is gonna be mostly about what I’ve been up to, and some random thoughts.  No “WE” here… because I know you’re all dying to hear about me, me, ME!  Right?

I haven’t been writing here much.  As I said in a prior entry, the more I study, the more I realize how much I don’t know.  I haven’t felt the need to wax spiritual because, well, after going through some of my previous posts I think, “That sounds so juvenile”.  That’s okay.  It is what it is.  That doesn’t mean I won’t sound so juvenile in the future.  Because I definitely will.  When I get excited about something I either call Wendy (my son’s mom) or verbally spew on this blog.  Judging by the lack of posts you can only assume anything exciting in my life has resulted in bending Wendy’s ear.

With lack of posting comes a dying of traffic.  I’m down to about 200 people per day visiting here.  Not that many months ago there were still 5,000 people a day reading what I had to say.  Even more when I was still in the old life blogging about producing.  200 per day, however, is liberating.  I can’t explain why, but it feels as if it’s okay to ramble those juvenile thoughts when not many people are reading.  And it feels so good to sit in this easy chair in my living room, listening to Mastiffs snore, and type away on my MacBook Pro.  With 200 people I don’t need to pretend to know what I’m talking about, I can just… spew.

So that’s what I’m gonna do today.  Spew.  Randomly.

LEGALISM

Whether or not it should, legalism annoys me.  After all I’ve done, I know better than to talk for God and tell people they’re unworthy of him because of the things they’ve done.  I don’t know why it’s so hard to understand that “there’s none righteous, no not one.” Could that be written any clearer?

Some of the comments to my articles on Ted Haggard, particularly this one, make me want to sue the public education system for churning out people who lack basic comprehension skills.  Not one means NOT. ONE.  PERIOD.  Although most Christians profess to understand that God doesn’t put levels on sin, apparently many don’t believe that’s really true.  “My sin is not as bad as Ted Haggard’s sin!”  Bull.  It is every bit as bad.  Your sin, without God’s grace and Christ’s payment, would separate you from God just as easily as any sin Ted Haggard has committed.  “But but but… this scripture says…”  SHUT IT.  The truth of that first statement removes the need of any further comment from the peanut gallery.  Worry about your own relationship with God before questioning the repentance of Ted Haggard.

Having trouble with that?  Here’s a suggestion:  try really hard not to congratulate yourself today.  Remember what it was like to be broken.  Remember the grace that you were extended.  Remember that grace covers every stumble in your past and will be available for every stumble in your future.  Now, make an effort to remember that same grace is available to every single person on the planet.  With that in mind, turn on some worship music and sing to your creator. See if that changes things.  Or maybe do a bit of reading.  Head on down to Christian Family Bookstore and see if you can find something to stimulate your mind within its walls.

BEING MEAN GOES HAND IN HAND WITH NOT INCLUDING GOD

Don’t think I’m not preaching to myself in that last paragraph.  The “advice” I put at the end of that paragraph is written directly to myself.  If I don’t spend time with God, a mean person emerges.  I may not be judgmental in thinking I’m somehow better than a person who hasn’t accepted Jesus’ payment for sin, but my words in normal conversation often bite.  I can be very harsh.  In fact, do you remember my friend Carrie the Atheist from past writings?  My words have kinda severed our lines of communication.  Something she wrote about how Richard Dawkins’ books mentally freed her from the burning desire to have a family and children just really irked me and I let her know exactly how I felt about it.  I wasn’t nice, and the results weren’t pretty.  I wish I could say I’m sorry, but at this point I’m not and I’m not going to pretend to be.  I will say that I WISH I felt sorry, and I know I should, but I don’t.

I’ve also been rather harsh with a few former colleagues.  I know the reason for both of these issues: I haven’t included God in my life as much as I should.  Don’t get me wrong, I talk to Him every single day.  I go to church.  When I don’t make a Sunday, I catch up on the sermons I’ve missed online. But what I don’t do is spend every single day bathing myself in His presence like I did not long ago.  I used to talk to Him all day long, rather than just here and there.  When I chatter with Him like a an excited teenage girl who’s just had her nails done I’m a totally different person.  Some people need Paxil to function at their best.  I need God.  All day, every day.  Kinda like a prescription that must be taken at regular intervals for maximum effectiveness.  Without regular doses of God I lean towards narcissism and lack the patience it takes to treat people as they deserve to be treated.  That includes everybody in my life (with one exception:  Caden – for some reason I have endless patience with my boy and in all of his 10 years I have yet to raise my voice to him a single time – I’m kinda proud of that).  I’d probably respond better to aforementioned legalists with more God doses too.  I really need to increase my current prescription of God Doses.

WRITING A BOOK

Many have asked when I’m going to write a book.  It’s now a work in progress.  I’m co-writing it with my Pastor, Dr. Bill Giovannetti, because I don’t just want to tell a story… I want it to be a book that helps people.  I’ve got a lot of stories to share that a lot of people will find interesting, but what good are stories if they can’t be used to change lives?  And with Bill’s help I think we’ll be able to produce a book that God can use to release the chains some people have allowed to enwrap their mind, and assist others in understanding how to assist in that process.  That’s the goal, at least.  I have no idea how long this process will take, as this is the first time I’ve written a book.  Constant Readers, you can help form this book.  If you have ideas you think would be helpful by all means email me with them.  You can find my email address in the right column.

Subject to change, here’s what I’m currently thinking:  I’ll write part of my story for the first half of each chapter and Bill can use the story to illustrate a specific point for the second half.   Thoughts?  Craig Gross and JR Mahon had a similar layout for their book Starving Jesus: Off the Pew, Into the World, and I really liked it.  But again, I’m open on that.

I’d ramble on, but I’ve rambled enough.  Besides, this really cute mother of my son just messaged me on Google talk so now I’ve got something better to do than writing to you guys.  No offense.  😉

8 thoughts on “The Voodoo We Do

  1. Yay!!! A new blog!! 🙂

    Well, you know how I feel about legalism…the comments on the Ted Haggard article inspired me to write my own blog and tackle issues of legalism in my past. We love and pour out grace, as we’ve had God’s grace dumped on us. “NOT ONE”…I love that. Such truth.

    Yes, I need more God doses too. I see behaviors, thoughts and words in me that I do not like, junk that does not please my creator and keeps me from being closer to Him. I want it gone. The only way to do that is drown myself in Him. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    Book suggestions! YAY! How exciting! I will have to think about this. Could Bill comment and let us know possible chapter ideas he is thinking about? I like the format you suggested. It is great reading to start out a new chapter with a story…hooks the reader, you know?

    Great words Donny. Thanks for sharing your ramblings with us. 🙂

  2. Yay!!! A new blog!! 🙂

    Well, you know how I feel about legalism…the comments on the Ted Haggard article inspired me to write my own blog and tackle issues of legalism in my past. We love and pour out grace, as we’ve had God’s grace dumped on us. “NOT ONE”…I love that. Such truth.

    Yes, I need more God doses too. I see behaviors, thoughts and words in me that I do not like, junk that does not please my creator and keeps me from being closer to Him. I want it gone. The only way to do that is drown myself in Him. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    Book suggestions! YAY! How exciting! I will have to think about this. Could Bill comment and let us know possible chapter ideas he is thinking about? I like the format you suggested. It is great reading to start out a new chapter with a story…hooks the reader, you know?

    Great words Donny. Thanks for sharing your ramblings with us. 🙂

  3. Could it be true?? I actually agree with every word you’ve posted here, and wanna give you a virtual *high five*!

    I think we ALL have a tendency to be narcisstic, impatient, narrow-visioned, etc. when we neglect our spiritual walk and constant communion with our Creator. I love your humility. And your boldness in it’s admission. It’s inspirational.

    Legalism sucks. All have fallen short of God’s glory. Period. Thankfully, He never tires of forgiving AND forgetting. I love Him for that.

    Glad you’re writing again! Really good stuff, my friend. And I’m looking forward to your book!!

    ~m~

  4. Could it be true?? I actually agree with every word you’ve posted here, and wanna give you a virtual *high five*!

    I think we ALL have a tendency to be narcisstic, impatient, narrow-visioned, etc. when we neglect our spiritual walk and constant communion with our Creator. I love your humility. And your boldness in it’s admission. It’s inspirational.

    Legalism sucks. All have fallen short of God’s glory. Period. Thankfully, He never tires of forgiving AND forgetting. I love Him for that.

    Glad you’re writing again! Really good stuff, my friend. And I’m looking forward to your book!!

    ~m~

  5. “Some people need Paxil to function at their best. I need God. All day, every day. Kinda like a prescription that must be taken at regular intervals for maximum effectiveness. Without regular doses of God I lean towards narcissism and lack the patience it takes to treat people as they deserve to be treated.”

    I am so in that place. After learning of my husband’s infidelity 4 months ago, I clung so tightly to the Lord until I got to a place that I was tired of feeling so exposed and vulnerable every moment, so I stopped reading the word every day. It felt easier, but the pain just keeps coming back. I know that He’s requiring me to be willing to feel that pain and vulnerability, but it just kills me. I miss the closeness, but I loathe the constant suffering. Every time I try to read his word, I get so distracted and give up. But I know that you’re right. I’m not above any other person, and can’t expect others to repent and draw near to Him when I won’t, when I choose to ignore His calling me. Thank you for letting Him use you to nudge me.

  6. “Some people need Paxil to function at their best. I need God. All day, every day. Kinda like a prescription that must be taken at regular intervals for maximum effectiveness. Without regular doses of God I lean towards narcissism and lack the patience it takes to treat people as they deserve to be treated.”

    I am so in that place. After learning of my husband’s infidelity 4 months ago, I clung so tightly to the Lord until I got to a place that I was tired of feeling so exposed and vulnerable every moment, so I stopped reading the word every day. It felt easier, but the pain just keeps coming back. I know that He’s requiring me to be willing to feel that pain and vulnerability, but it just kills me. I miss the closeness, but I loathe the constant suffering. Every time I try to read his word, I get so distracted and give up. But I know that you’re right. I’m not above any other person, and can’t expect others to repent and draw near to Him when I won’t, when I choose to ignore His calling me. Thank you for letting Him use you to nudge me.

  7. I didn’t rip it off… I love you buddy! Keep changing the world…..

  8. I didn’t rip it off… I love you buddy! Keep changing the world…..

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