Donny's Ramblings


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No More God Stuff: I’m Going Back to Producing Porn

I’ve been thinking a lot about it and I’ve come to the conclusion that I really loved making a living by ruining lives. I’ll keep this short: I’m going back to producing porn and my business will be bigger and better than ever.

(Don’t freak out, people. Take a look at the date: it’s April Fools. I’m actually heading out the door to go to church.)

Not funny, you say? Ah, well… at least one of us is laughing. Lighten up. 🙂


14 Comments

Let Her Speak For Herself

I just received this as a comment on my post about The Game. I feel it deserves it’s own blog entry.

Donny,

I am a former model for you, I do not want to use my name because of what I experienced with that, but I did want to comment. I have been reading your blog for a few months, and I am very impressed. I’ll admit, I was shocked at first just because I stumbled upon your blog and was like “whoa”.

I found this post exceptionally personal, to me at least, because if you remember my “finding out” involved some very damaging events involving my boyfriend, and some friends of his. Like so many other young women, it made my life a living hell. And like I’m sure you realize now, most women posing for you were already going through a personal hell that had brought them there.

I am very sorry for what you are going through, in a way, I’ve been there. It seems almost ironic that 2 years ago you were telling me that my boyfriend should be more open-minded and concilatory to me posing.

What I learned from the experience was that it made me a stronger individual, and I hope (as it seems it has) that it does the same for you. Even then, I knew you were an extremely GOOD person, something I could never explain to anyone else adequately when asked, but I myself knew to be true.

God Bless,

J

—–

J,

Thank you for your grace. There are many models I’d like to look in the face and tell them I’m sorry. I want them to see that I mean it. If you run across any other girls who’ve modeled for me please tell them to read my blog and to contact me via email if they’re willing to do so. I want to apologize to them.

And to you, I am so sorry for what you went through. I can’t express in words how truly sorry I am. I wish I’d have felt your pain on a deeper level as it happened, because if I really deeply understood I’d have stopped long ago. All I can really say is that I was in a different place back then.

Honestly, I don’t know how to make up for it. I ask myself that question from time to time and as of yet don’t have an answer.

Again, thank you for your grace and for saying that you felt I was still a good person. I really appreciate that. I would like to make a promise to you and to the other girls that I’ll spend the rest of my life doing whatever I reasonably can do to keep others from having to go through what you went through.

– Donny –


30 Comments

Sex, Arrogance and a Depraved Mind

Understand it or not, this blog is a form of healing for me. I have referred to the story I’m about to tell you a few times but have never delved into it much. It’s time. Call me crazy, and perhaps that’s not far from the truth, but I believe writing about this will help put it behind me.

Let’s start with a few definitions.

Definition of Arrogance on the web:

  • One of the seven chief stumbling blocks. Its positive pole is pride; its negative pole is vanity.

Definitions of Depraved on the web:

  • marked by immorality; deviating from what is considered right or proper or good
  • extreme departure from what is normal and good

Let me tell you a story about how my arrogance led to a depraved sex game that ended up contributing to my surrender to God.

This isn’t a story for young readers.

This is an explicit story of a twisted sex game Belinda and I played. A game that we thought we had under control. A game that actually controlled us and forever changed our lives.

I’ll refrain from overly graphic descriptions, but stop now if you think this story will cause you harm in any way.

I’m telling this story because it is part of my life. In fact, if my life were a puzzle, this game would make up several pieces of it.

I’m also telling you because this game still influences me greatly. I imagine it always will. When I have a bad day, an undoubted part of the reason for my bad day goes back to this game.

I want the pain from this game to stop.

The recent meltdown I mentioned having was one form of evidence that my life is still influenced by this game.

Tonight, or should I say this morning since it’s barely after 4 am, I can’t sleep because of where this game has led. I am tired of lying in bed awake.

So I write.

——————–

First let me start with love and a girl.

Belinda.

I loved her deeply. I love her still. We’d had four and a half great years together by the time The Game started. It started, ironically, because of that love.

Like I mentioned in the title, my mind was depraved.

Said depravity was one of the results of a career as a porn producer. Things normal people would never do seemed like a good idea.

This is the mother of all things that normal people should never do!

Before we started dating, when we were just in the getting-to-know-each-other stages, Belinda and I talked about everything. She was living in the dorms at Chico State University and would often skip class to chat with me. We’d talk for hours.

One of the subjects we spoke about was sex and fantasies. Belinda’s biggest fantasy was to have two men in her bed paying all of their attention to her at the same time. She never thought it would ever happen, which is why the word “fantasy” was used.

I filed that information away in my mind.

I pulled it out 4.5 years later when we met Mark Navarro.

A Content Manager for Playboy, Mark was our boss. He was a guy with an outgoing personality. He seemed to be a ladies’ man.

He had a serious, long term relationship and therefore didn’t seem to be a threat to me. He’d mentioned having flings on the side and assured us that he had an open relationship with the mother of his child. I believed him at the time. Such things were not uncommon in the adult industry. By the time we found out Mark was not being honest about his open relationship it was too late: The Game had already begun.

I told Mark about Belinda’s fantasy and that I wanted to fulfill it for her.

This is where Arrogance comes into the picture. In my depraved mind, few men would give the love of their life such a “gift”. Many men speak of how they’d like to experience two woman at the same time, but very very few are interested in allowing their woman the reciprocal.

I didn’t want to be most men.

I wanted to give my woman something she’d never get from someone else.

Depraved.

I was arrogant. I could handle it. I could do something few men could do. I could share Belinda for awhile and I believed our relationship was strong enough to handle it.

Turns out I was wrong.

Duh.

I explained to Mark that for Belinda to have a good time he’d have to get inside her head a little. She’d have to be comfortable with a man if she was going to sleep with him.

Mark came through like a champ, spending 2 months getting Belinda comfortable with him by chatting with her online. Calling her. Emailing her. All with my blessing. I called it right: he did indeed have the determination to put the time into it.

The first time should have been the last time, but I was an arrogant SOB. I experienced emotions from extreme jealousy to extreme “turn on”. I decided to channel the former into the latter and continued The Game.

After all, I was unlike most men. I could handle it. WE could handle it.

The Game turned into a pretty regular event. People heard about it. My arrogance made me think my relationship was safe from all the things our friends warned us about.

We can handle it. We’re strong. You’re wrong. This won’t end us.

Then came Webmaster Access West. Los Angeles, Ca. November, 2005. Horror.

Webmaster Access was a week long event that culminated in a party at the Playboy Mansion. The week before the event we’d been shooting in San Diego so we had our camera gear and our vehicle with us. It would be a 500 mile drive home. At the beginning of the week I mentioned to Belinda that I might let her spend the night alone with Mark on the last day of the event and fly home with him while I drove.

After all, that might turn me on.

Turns out that wasn’t the case. In the middle of the event I flew home to see my son’s first play and flew back the next morning. While I was gone I let Belinda and Mark do as they pleased.

The week turned out to be about them. I was largely ignored. I was rather annoyed because the game was supposed to be about us: Belinda and I. This didn’t fit my arrogant idea that Mark was not a threat to me. Serious feelings had grown inside of Belinda for Mark.

Duh.

I told her that because I’d been pretty much ignored all week, and because they’d already had a night alone when I flew home for my son’s play, there was no way another night alone was going to happen.

Nope. No way. Not happening.

When the day came that it was time to leave I told Belinda she’d be driving home with me.

Fighting. Arguments. Thrown coffee cups inside our Explorer. Crying. Yelling.

After two hours of this we merged onto Interstate 5 to head home. Belinda made me turn the car around and take her back to Mark’s hotel. I explained to her that if she got out of the car we’d be over.

I pulled up to the hotel.

She stepped out.

I drove up Interstate 5 bawling my eyes out.

How had it come to this? Why? Things had been SO PERFECT before all of this. We never fought. We loved each other deeply. How had this sex game gotten to this point? How could I have been so stupid? I honestly thought we were so in love that we could withstand anything.

I had been such an arrogant SOB.

Still, I didn’t want to lose Belinda. The thought terrified me.

If I have to settle for sharing her, I’ll do it. Sad, really. Pathetic is actually a bit more accurate.

I wanted the game to end so badly but I wanted Belinda to be the one to call it off. I made it clear that it was her call because I wanted her to stop it out of love for me.

The Game continued another 3 months. Finally in February Belinda was ready to stop. The mess our relationship had become and the fighting we’d begun doing was so unlike the great years we’d had before The Game began.

In the time period between November and February my ego had been crushed. I wasn’t as untouchable as I thought. I felt unloved. I was depressed.

Although healing had begun between us, I thought a bit about God, but there was no way I was going to come to him when my life was in shambles. Everyone did that. I was better than everyone else.

Instead I focused on rebuilding what I’d lost with Belinda.

I’m sorry, Belinda, but Mark can’t be a part of our lives anymore if we are to heal. She was aware of that.

Things were slowly getting back to normal. Very slowly, but progress was being made.

Still, my ego and feelings of self worth would never return to the levels they’d been prior to The Game. It turns out that wasn’t such a bad thing, because for the next 7 months I reflected a bit on God and on the love xxxchurch had shown despite how horrible I’d been to them. I started paying more attention to the way my actions and my life influenced other people. I stopped making up excuses when models were found out and hurt by posing for us. I began to accept responsibility for my actions.

My heart softened. On September 25th, as you know if you’ve read my story, I finally surrendered to God.

Belinda thought I was crazy. Why would I give up everything we’d built? Why now, when things were on track to returning to normal? Why now, when Playboy had offered us more money than ever before to start shooting a new series? Why now, when we were progressing so well on repairing our relationship?

Because that crack in ego and arrogance had let in the Light and given certain seeds a place to grow.

I’d hoped Belinda would want to experience God as well, but she had no desire to do so. Our house has 4 bedrooms, 2 of which are Master Bedrooms. I moved into the second Master. Belinda continued to produce porn and I’d leave on days when she had a shoot.

We were no longer officially together, but we spent time with each other every day. I told her she’d have to move out but I never put a time period on the actual date by which she’d have to do so. I still hoped she’d see Jesus in me and want to meet him herself.

Then came the meltdown.

On my birthday Belinda chose to go to a party with Mark. After all, she thought, we’re not together anymore so why can’t I go? It was a special day to me and I thought Belinda would be spending it with me. It felt like the ultimate insult that out of all days she could go party with another man she chose my birthday. I baited Mark into starting a thread on a public message board owned by Playboy. Once he did so I let go on the two of them with both barrels.

In front of thousands of readers.

It was horrible.

What hurt the most about the meltdown was that I’d blown it so badly. I’d been trying to live my life as an example and instead I had shown anything BUT Jesus’ love.

Belinda moved out right after that meltdown. She hates me now. She doesn’t want to hear from me anymore in any way, and is now spending her free time with Mark. She recently told me she feels dirty for doing so but that it distracts her from the guilt she feels inside.

Does it hurt that she’s spending time with Mark? Of course it does. Worse than I thought it would. But it also helps me to let go of her.

But what do I do with MY guilt? I brought Belinda into porn production. And my arrogance, my depravity started The Game.

I’ve repented. I continue to repent even though I know I’m forgiven. Most of the time I actually feel forgiven. Sometimes I do not.

Sometimes I feel sane. Sometimes I do not.

I want Jesus to heal Belinda too, but I’m not the person to show him to her. I hope he sends the right person to do so.


47 Comments

Meltdown: Crash and Burn

Last Friday night:

I’m leaving my best friend John’s house. In just a few hours it will be my birthday. John has given me good advice about the situation at hand.

“Why did she pick this day of all days, John?”

“Go home and forget about it. Just go to sleep or something. Forget it. What good will it do you to keep thinking about it?”

But my feelings are hurt. I feel betrayed. I feel unimportant. I feel rage, but the rage is now being fueled by vodka and orange juice as I sit alone in my house. The stop at Raley’s Supermarket to purchase this beverage, a beverage that was intended to put me to sleep, turns out not to be such a good idea.

I drink into the wee hours of Saturday morning.
I crash and burn.
I melt down.
In public.

———-

The meltdown was witnessed in one of the last places where it should have happened: an adult webmaster forum where pornographers from all over the world converse with each other online. Thousands of them, all of whom knew Donny had become a Christian.

Except, now they’re seeing Donny act very unlike a follower of Christ. Donny is getting into arguments with some. Tearing down others.

Tearing down Belinda.
In public.

Complete failure.
In public.

———-

Belinda and I played a sex game for 10 months that ended in February of this year, 7 months before I surrendered my life to God. Perhaps someday I’ll share with everyone what I learned about stupidity, pride, ego and relationships from that experience. But let’s suffice it to say that even now, despite spending months and months trying to deal with the wages of our sin, it still is allowed to influence the lives of all involved.

That game had a lot to do with this meltdown.
I’m still influenced by past sins that ended months ago.

I try to make myself feel better by pointing out that others played a big part in all of this.

“Yes, I did ___, but they did ___!”

That logic doesn’t stop my stomach from churning. Even today, almost a full week later, my stomach is still a mess. It grumbles loud enough for people to hear it 20 feet away. I am that disgusted by my actions.

Thousands of eyeballs in the adult entertainment industry are watching me. Many doubt my “conversion” is genuine. This sure didn’t help alleviate that doubt.

———-

Three weeks ago I met a counselor at a small group meeting. She’s also a published author and writes for a well known Christian magazine. I emailed her and asked if she’d be interested in writing about my “testimony” for the magazine. In response, she very bluntly let me know that I do not yet HAVE a testimony… that I am just another sinner who asked to be rescued from a sinful life. She put me in my place. She made me think. She made me realize that my ego is still enormous. Two days ago she saw me again and commented that I’ve noticeably changed.

This meltdown had a lot to do with that. I’ve realized I am not strong, like I thought I was. I realized I am not beyond my razor-sharp tongue. I am still a man who jumps at the chance to rip people apart for hurting my feelings.

Song lyrics are stuck in my head.

What’s going on inside of me? I despise my own behavior. This only serves to confirm my suspicions: that I’m still a man in need of a savior.


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XXXChurch and the Esther Fund

I often have a hard time deciding how to start a blog entry. Once I get going, the words seem to come out in a flood, but those first few sentences are tough. I’ll write something, erase it, write something else, erase that too… I sometimes repeat this for 5 minutes.

Such is the case with this blog entry. It’s so important, yet I can’t figure out how to start. I want to talk about a new project being launched by XXXChurch.com and Shelley Lubben. For those of you unfamiliar with Shelly, she is a former porn star who surrendered her life to God several years ago. This new project is being called “The Esther Fund”. It’s one of those put your money where your mouth is type of projects.

It’s easy to be encouraged by a ministry that is helping people fight porn addiction, telling porn stars about Jesus’ love, and encouraging porn producers to consider God’s plan for their life. It’s a bit more difficult to pull out our checkbook to help support such a ministry.

What happens when people leave the porn world for God? Do they all just live happily ever after?

Unfortunately, the answer is a very loud “no”. It’s hard to leave a life where the money is so easy to make. Believe me, I know this very well from personal experience. Through the years I produced porn, I’d often feel God pulling on my heart strings. But I was afraid to lose everything I owned, and terrified I wouldn’t be able to support my ex-wife and son. I told Him there was no way I could ever leave because it would be too difficult to make a living outside of the porn world.

The Pastors of XXXChurch “get it”. They know the first few months, even the first year, after an individual leaves their former life is the most crucial, difficult time that individual is likely to face. That is the time they need God’s people to give them a bit of help re-establishing their life.

When I left, God miraculously took away my desire to shoot even one more image or one more minute of video footage. When I finally surrendered my life to Him, my biggest fear was no longer losing my possessions, because I knew that would happen and had resigned myself to it. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to provide for Wendy (my ex-wife) and Caden (my son). XXXChurch came through. I have no idea where the money came from, but they let the need be known and checks started showing up in my ex-wife’s mailbox. She was deeply touched by the generosity of those who cared enough to help.

The Esther Fund is something XXXChurch wants to use to assist future “Crissy Morans” and “Donovan Phillips” when the old life is left behind. It will greatly help with the transition to a new life. Every individual has unique issues that must be addressed when a major life change is made. It’s way too easy to say “I’ll pray for you and I know God will provide”. It’s often us He wants to use to do so.

I’ve been asking God for permission to travel to other churches, sharing my story in the hopes of raising awareness about the Esther Fund. In his time, I’m sure I’ll be doing so. You can help as well! Please take the time to read more about this project.


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So What's The New Job, Donny?

I’ve received a handful of emails from readers inquiring about my new job. Today’s the day I reveal what I’m doing.

As you know if you’ve been following along with my story, I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to accept a few different employment offers. One of the most interesting offers was a position as Finance Manager for a dealership in Seattle, Washington. I eventually turned that offer down. It just wasn’t the right position for me. Last week I accepted a position with an automobile dealership right here in Redding. This keeps me close to my son and close to the two churches I’ve enjoyed attending.

A Christian friend of mine asked if I needed help finding a job. At first I declined his help because I thought I’d be leaving the area, but eventually I called him back to see what he had in mind. It turns out he and his wife are pretty close to another couple who own 3 auto dealerships. Having offered used cars exclusively, the company is now expanding by purchasing a new car franchise. With that new expansion comes the need to continuously look for new areas of marketing. The internet is a natural progression, and up until now they have not been utilizing that resource.

That’s where I come in. We all know I have a significant amount of experience with internet marketing, having owned adult oriented websites for several years. I’m being challenged to develop an internet marketing program for my new employer, a project I am enjoying more all the time. I’m really starting to get into it. I have a lot of ideas in mind that I feel will be successful.

Personally, I love being able to “shop naked” from the comfort of my own home. Before any major purchase I do a lot of research online. In approaching this new challenge, I’d like to focus more on the late model used cars, than on new vehicles. Anyone can access a manufacturer’s website to find information about new vehicles, but the late model used (or should I be more P.C. and say “pre owned”) auto market isn’t as easy to research. I’ll be handling new car inquiries as well, but every used car seems to have a different “story” you could say.

As a consumer, what would you like to see? I’m asking you to consider any automobile related websites that you visit. Then send me some feedback (or post a comment with it). Are there any example sites that you particularly enjoy? If so, send me a url and tell me what features you like best.

One thought I’ve had is not only listing the inventory with photos and prices, but also having a blog to discuss auto related topics and solicit viewer feedback. Search engines love blogs, and I’d love to own the market up here in Nor Cal for all relevant search terms. And if I can make the blog interesting enough, people will become “repeat readers”. That’s important because the next time Aunt Tilly is looking for a car the reader will think of me (or rather, my employer).

Your feedback and suggestions are appreciated.

An update on the new co-worker I mentioned having a bit of a problem with a few days ago: We’re getting along great now. I really like him.

__________
Not long ago I told a few friends from my porn producing past(try quickly saying that 3 times) that I was considering employment in the automobile industry. Some of them began to ridicule the idea, pointing out I’d be a “used car salesman”, and voiced their opinion that car sales were not much better than porn production. I don’t share that opinion, but I do understand that some people feel the same way. I brought this up to my ex-wife and she gave me her thoughts: no matter what job you’re doing, try to do it better than anyone else.

I intend to reach for that in this new venture, for as long as God sees fit to keep me here.


12 Comments

So What’s The New Job, Donny?

I’ve received a handful of emails from readers inquiring about my new job. Today’s the day I reveal what I’m doing.

As you know if you’ve been following along with my story, I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to accept a few different employment offers. One of the most interesting offers was a position as Finance Manager for a dealership in Seattle, Washington. I eventually turned that offer down. It just wasn’t the right position for me. Last week I accepted a position with an automobile dealership right here in Redding. This keeps me close to my son and close to the two churches I’ve enjoyed attending.

A Christian friend of mine asked if I needed help finding a job. At first I declined his help because I thought I’d be leaving the area, but eventually I called him back to see what he had in mind. It turns out he and his wife are pretty close to another couple who own 3 auto dealerships. Having offered used cars exclusively, the company is now expanding by purchasing a new car franchise. With that new expansion comes the need to continuously look for new areas of marketing. The internet is a natural progression, and up until now they have not been utilizing that resource.

That’s where I come in. We all know I have a significant amount of experience with internet marketing, having owned adult oriented websites for several years. I’m being challenged to develop an internet marketing program for my new employer, a project I am enjoying more all the time. I’m really starting to get into it. I have a lot of ideas in mind that I feel will be successful.

Personally, I love being able to “shop naked” from the comfort of my own home. Before any major purchase I do a lot of research online. In approaching this new challenge, I’d like to focus more on the late model used cars, than on new vehicles. Anyone can access a manufacturer’s website to find information about new vehicles, but the late model used (or should I be more P.C. and say “pre owned”) auto market isn’t as easy to research. I’ll be handling new car inquiries as well, but every used car seems to have a different “story” you could say.

As a consumer, what would you like to see? I’m asking you to consider any automobile related websites that you visit. Then send me some feedback (or post a comment with it). Are there any example sites that you particularly enjoy? If so, send me a url and tell me what features you like best.

One thought I’ve had is not only listing the inventory with photos and prices, but also having a blog to discuss auto related topics and solicit viewer feedback. Search engines love blogs, and I’d love to own the market up here in Nor Cal for all relevant search terms. And if I can make the blog interesting enough, people will become “repeat readers”. That’s important because the next time Aunt Tilly is looking for a car the reader will think of me (or rather, my employer).

Your feedback and suggestions are appreciated.

An update on the new co-worker I mentioned having a bit of a problem with a few days ago: We’re getting along great now. I really like him.

__________
Not long ago I told a few friends from my porn producing past(try quickly saying that 3 times) that I was considering employment in the automobile industry. Some of them began to ridicule the idea, pointing out I’d be a “used car salesman”, and voiced their opinion that car sales were not much better than porn production. I don’t share that opinion, but I do understand that some people feel the same way. I brought this up to my ex-wife and she gave me her thoughts: no matter what job you’re doing, try to do it better than anyone else.

I intend to reach for that in this new venture, for as long as God sees fit to keep me here.


30 Comments

Phone Call This Morning

The weather’s beautiful in Seattle this morning. The sun has been out both days I’ve been here.

Not a full minute after I opened my eyes I received a phone call from Belinda. She’s had two knocks on the door at home and didn’t know who it might be at such an early hour, so she didn’t answer. While we were talking on our cell phones the office phone rang. Belinda didn’t answer, but recognized the number. It was one of our models.

I hung up with Belinda and called the girl back from my cell to see what she needed. She answered in tears. I knew right away what the problem was: someone she knows found her photos online. She begged me to do something to get her off the internet, but there’s really nothing I can do. The companies who own the copyrights will not remove them. I know this from experience.

When interviewing models I tell them it’s very likely someone they know will find them. But no matter how often a model hears this, she either doesn’t care or never thinks it will happen to her. Yes, perhaps someone else will be found, but not me. My dad doesn’t even own a computer. My uncles would never be surfing porn sites. Etc. Etc. Etc.

On top of being told verbally, models have to sign a five page release that makes it clear what they can expect. For some reason it seems the more they are warned, the more they want to pose. I guess that’s just human nature.

The girl this morning told me some of her friends found her photos, which somehow led to her father finding out as well as her employer. She works at a business owned by a Christian woman who is now implying she may be fired. Her father is disappointed in her. Her boyfriend is telling her that he’s “not going to date a porn star”.

The model herself doesn’t think posing was that big a deal and can’t understand why everyone is making it to be one, but her life at this moment is very stressful, to say the least.

This has happened before, of course. If this particular incident follows the patterns of the past it will blow over in a few days and settle down. But it illustrates exactly what I mean when I tell people that I have little personal attraction to pornography. When asked why I say this I tell them, “When I see a pornographic image or video, instead of seeing what the model is doing in the photo or video I see her two weeks after it was shot. The money has been spent and she’s crying on the phone asking that her photos be removed because her family has found out and are telling her that she’s shamed them.”

I used to reconcile these problems by reminding myself that the model had been warned and made her own decision. Even so, it would take a very cold person not to feel her pain. I take responsibility for the part I played.

I am so glad I won’t be producing porn anymore.


42 Comments

The Issue of Links Staying “As Is”. And Church Tonight.

LINKS:

Someone made a comment to my last blog entry that said:

You said you would archive [this blog] with the old links so it wouldn’t hide your past…but what about people who go to the archive to read your story (because maybe they are struggling to break free too) and then they have those links staring them in the face? So, hey, its your blog, and God will lead you to the best decision for you, but I thought I would point out that counter point. God bless.

Here’s my thoughts on that: I think everyone should take responsibility for themselves. In the soon-to-be archived section of my blog, the links are no easier to click on than those found with a simple Google search. Anyone who uses a computer knows how to type any porn related term into any search engine and find millions of results. I may reverse my decision to leave the links up in the future. But for now I want my “history” to be readily available.

CHURCH TONIGHT:

Please don’t think I’m being negative. To be honest, I was very happy all day and was a bit excited at the prospect of going to church after asking God back into my life. I tried to remain so throughout tonight’s service. But, as I mentioned in my last blog entry, I made a promise to my father to remain true to myself and to sugar coat nothing while on this journey, so I’m going to tell you exactly what I think. Here goes…

Church tonight really annoyed me. It’s like I never left. The same songs are being sung. The same things are being said in sermons. It’s just one more person parroting what everyone before him has said in every church service since the beginning of time.

Why must we sing about how great God is, over and over? I know, I know. God wants to hear our praises. This doesn’t make all that much sense to me but I’ll accept your word for it. As one of God’s children, I think of my relationship to him a bit like my relationship with my own son. I want my son to think I’m great and all, but he doesn’t have to tell me over and over and over and over every day for the rest of his life. In fact, I’d think he was a bit weird if he did so…

Seriously, now. Churches wonder why so many “fall away”. I’ll let ya in on one big reason: most churches sing stupid songs that don’t “get to” a person. Know what I mean? One song tonight literally repeated “God is so good” over and over. Wow! That moves me about as much as watching paint dry and almost as much as watching a snail crawling a wall. I mean, what exactly is the point of repeating that phrase for 20 minutes? I don’t get it.

And why must the same rhetoric come out of every preacher’s mouth in every service in every church around the world? Most of the people in church have been there since they were very young. We’ve all heard the stories. 45 times or so. Why tell it again? And why use the exact same verbage as every other preacher? Does God demand only certain words be used when proclaiming his truth?

When the church was singing tonight I was thinking to myself, “I need to start writing songs that people actually enjoy singing!” When the preacher was preaching I was thinking, “Ya know, there’s a big need for interesting preachers in today’s churches! If I ever get up in front of people I’m going to try telling them something that actually helps them in real life situations. Or at least come up with something that INTERESTS them!”

To be fair, on a “challenge” from my ex-wife I went to this same church not too terribly long ago and was impressed. There was a different speaker and for some reason the music was pretty good. I don’t know what happened tonight, but I’ll give them another chance or two. After that I’ll start visiting other area churches to see if I can find one where I “fit”. So far I’m having much more success talking one on one with other Christians or just driving alone in my truck praying.


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The Issue of Links Staying "As Is". And Church Tonight.

LINKS:

Someone made a comment to my last blog entry that said:

You said you would archive [this blog] with the old links so it wouldn’t hide your past…but what about people who go to the archive to read your story (because maybe they are struggling to break free too) and then they have those links staring them in the face? So, hey, its your blog, and God will lead you to the best decision for you, but I thought I would point out that counter point. God bless.

Here’s my thoughts on that: I think everyone should take responsibility for themselves. In the soon-to-be archived section of my blog, the links are no easier to click on than those found with a simple Google search. Anyone who uses a computer knows how to type any porn related term into any search engine and find millions of results. I may reverse my decision to leave the links up in the future. But for now I want my “history” to be readily available.

CHURCH TONIGHT:

Please don’t think I’m being negative. To be honest, I was very happy all day and was a bit excited at the prospect of going to church after asking God back into my life. I tried to remain so throughout tonight’s service. But, as I mentioned in my last blog entry, I made a promise to my father to remain true to myself and to sugar coat nothing while on this journey, so I’m going to tell you exactly what I think. Here goes…

Church tonight really annoyed me. It’s like I never left. The same songs are being sung. The same things are being said in sermons. It’s just one more person parroting what everyone before him has said in every church service since the beginning of time.

Why must we sing about how great God is, over and over? I know, I know. God wants to hear our praises. This doesn’t make all that much sense to me but I’ll accept your word for it. As one of God’s children, I think of my relationship to him a bit like my relationship with my own son. I want my son to think I’m great and all, but he doesn’t have to tell me over and over and over and over every day for the rest of his life. In fact, I’d think he was a bit weird if he did so…

Seriously, now. Churches wonder why so many “fall away”. I’ll let ya in on one big reason: most churches sing stupid songs that don’t “get to” a person. Know what I mean? One song tonight literally repeated “God is so good” over and over. Wow! That moves me about as much as watching paint dry and almost as much as watching a snail crawling a wall. I mean, what exactly is the point of repeating that phrase for 20 minutes? I don’t get it.

And why must the same rhetoric come out of every preacher’s mouth in every service in every church around the world? Most of the people in church have been there since they were very young. We’ve all heard the stories. 45 times or so. Why tell it again? And why use the exact same verbage as every other preacher? Does God demand only certain words be used when proclaiming his truth?

When the church was singing tonight I was thinking to myself, “I need to start writing songs that people actually enjoy singing!” When the preacher was preaching I was thinking, “Ya know, there’s a big need for interesting preachers in today’s churches! If I ever get up in front of people I’m going to try telling them something that actually helps them in real life situations. Or at least come up with something that INTERESTS them!”

To be fair, on a “challenge” from my ex-wife I went to this same church not too terribly long ago and was impressed. There was a different speaker and for some reason the music was pretty good. I don’t know what happened tonight, but I’ll give them another chance or two. After that I’ll start visiting other area churches to see if I can find one where I “fit”. So far I’m having much more success talking one on one with other Christians or just driving alone in my truck praying.