Donny's Ramblings


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Easter Vigil 2014 – Why Catholicism?

I’m re-posting this from my Facebook Page.  Here on my blog there are other posts about this topic, for those interested in more detail on my reasons for converting.

More than 5 years ago, a Catholic ministry asked if I’d be willing to be interviewed for a documentary they were making regarding pornography. I was surprised, because from experience, those leaders in the Protestant churches with which I was familiar would never have asked a Catholic speaker to be part of a ministry project. I got curious. I’ve always been the type to go directly “to the source” if I want to know what someone believes (for example: if I wanted to know about YOU, should I ask YOU, or should I read a book that was written by someone who doesn’t like you?). I began asking questions about the things Catholics believe, and began arguing with Catholics about how wrong they were about certain issues. Matt Fradd and I even had recorded debates on issues such as baptism and other important topics.

Fr-Carlos Martins invited me to speak to students at York University in Toronto. We stayed up until 2am discussing theology and other things. He told me that he saw I would become Catholic. I told him that would never happen. He told me that not only would I be Catholic, I was called to be a Priest. Little did he know, I’d had such thoughts myself, and they were becoming more frequent.

Father James Mallon from Nova Scotia had me speak for his parish. All of you who have been around me for any length of time know that I’m not afraid to say what I’m thinking. I told Father Mallon that a good friend had recently told me that the Catholic Church is the biggest mission field in the world, because so many Catholics don’t realize what a deep, personal relationship they can have with Jesus. I asked what he thought of that statement. He replied, “Both I and the Pope would agree with that.” He then asked if I planned to stay outside taking pot shots at all that I thought was wrong about the Catholic faith, and criticize it incessantly, or if I would instead get in and help educate people, becoming a “missionary” to an enormous group of people who are dearly beloved by God. That challenge really moved me. Honestly, that challenge gnawed at me then and still does to this day.

I started digging deep into Catholic theology. I had many questions, many issues, and many disagreements. Yet I felt drawn to the church. I really do feel like there is much for me to do inside the Church. And although most of the Catholics I’ve met when they’ve had me come speak for them have VERY close walks with Jesus, I’ve also run into just as many who seem intimidated to approach him directly, particularly amongst the hispanic, spanish-is-their-first-language Catholics. I firmly believe it is perfectly fine to ask the Saints and Mary to pray for us, as there is scriptural evidence that they already do so. But I also began sharing with my Catholic friends that we are the bride of Christ, meaning Jesus is our spouse. The Bible tells us that in our natural lives, when we are married we are to leave father and mother and cling to our spouse. This means we can and SHOULD therefore go directly to Jesus. Going to Him through a saint or His mother is not necessary (but again, asking for their prayers is great). The thing is, this line of thought does NOT conflict with Catholic theology in any way. I’ve been told, even by a Deacon, “Thank you for the reminder that we can have such a personal relationship with Jesus.”

I feel the unmistakable call of God to be a missionary to His Church, and I have pursued it. I am willing to be used in any manner He wishes. That pursuit continues tonight, as I am to be confirmed in just a few hours and will enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. I have NO DOUBTS whatsoever that I’m where HE wants me to be. I’m home.


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On Falling Back, and Voices in My Head

An email to a friend who asked if I think I’ll ever fall back to my old life:

H****,

You asked a question that I’m sure many have wanted to ask me: if I think I’ll ever fall back into my old life.

I’ll share a few thoughts.

I got into porn for a handful of reasons. I’ll share one: I thought it would be fun to be paid to be around naked women. I started by looking. I was only into solo photos; women posing all alone. It did nothing for me if they were with others, male or female, or if they were doing things to themselves. What got me going was a woman showing off her body. When I first started shooting porn, I was a prude by adult industry standards. Clients purchased what I created because I was great at recruiting people they weren’t used to seeing naked. I’d walk up to normal, everyday college girls and talk them into posing. I’d talk female professionals into posing. I’d talk moms whose bodies showed the evidence of having children into posing instead of being ashamed of their bodies. As time went on, clients demanded that I produce more graphic content, so I slowly did. What had repulsed me at the beginning of my career didn’t seem so bad by the end of it.

But the appeal of working with naked women was only part of the reason I started. Money was another, but that was actually far down the list. What really motivated me was hatred toward Christianity. Like anger, hatred is usually an expression of pain. I was deeply hurt when I started believing that all I’d been taught to be true was, in fact, a lie. To this day there is nothing I despise more than being lied to… it just feels like the ultimate form of disrespect. It was so disappointing to feel like a fool who had believed lies, and I channeled the pain of that  disappointment into anger, bitterness and hatred.

I loved my parents, so it made no sense to take my  disappointment out on them, even though they were the primary source of guidance into the Christian life I was ever increasingly believing to be a lie. So instead I hated people from their churches who displayed hypocrisy. I hated the legalistic denomination with whom they had chosen to align themselves. And soon I hated all Christians in general.

After XXXchurch started changing my perceptions of Christianity, I started praying and challenging God to prove to me that He is real. I did this while at the same time blogging about being an atheist. When He physically touched me in 2006, I no longer doubted He existed. But that touch isn’t where it ended. After I asked him to take control of my life, He started speaking to me. Sometimes in dreams, but other times in whispers right in my ear. It was amazing. That went on for a handful of months but then stopped. It didn’t happen again – His whispers in my ear – until October of 2012 as I sat on the porch of a seaside cafe, having coffee with a new friend in Australia. That was the last time to date. But it doesn’t have to ever happen again for me to be sure it was God speaking directly to me.

Some might say I’m crazy and haven’t heard God whispering in my ear, but am just hearing voices in my head. I know better. Some might say the shock I felt in September of 2006 wasn’t God, but something more realistic like a short in my car’s electrical system. But I know better.

The pain of disappointment is gone. I know He is real. I don’t want to rebel anymore. I have no reason to express pain via hatred anymore. I have no reason to “go back” to that life.

Instead I am driven to dig deeper, learn more, love more, keep inviting Him to change the yucky parts of me, and keep asking Him to let me see others the way He does. I love Him.  I don’t want to betray Him anymore.

– Donny


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Thoughts

Dogs are very loyal. I love my Mastiff pup. He’s very cuddly and loves sleeping with his head on my lap.

I’m very proud of my country today. I have high hopes. I think the team our President has put together is going to fight hard and has a lot to prove. Because of that, I think he and they will do their best, and that’s all we can really ask.

I’ve met my friend Carrie in person one time, but talked to her for hours online. I still consider her my friend. She’s on a mission to save animals and homosexual marriage rights, and doesn’t believe in God at the moment, so we definitely don’t see eye to eye, but I know she’s a good person and think she’s beautiful. She makes life more interesting without even trying. Pray for her as she works her way through heartbreak.

Mastiff puppies fart a lot. It’s not pleasant.

Rick Warren prayed in front of the entire world earlier today. I was impressed at how well he stood up for his convictions. Good job, Pastor Warren!

I think denominations argue too much over petty things. My friend Drew will argue about random nothingness until he’s blue in the face. So will my friend Chris. How spoiled we are to live in a country where we can argue over whose church is closer to what Jesus had in mind.

My ex-wife is amazing. My son says she’s the best person in the world. I have to agree with him.

Did I mention I love my Mastiff?

Click Any Photo To Enlarge:

Hiding From Tickle Monster

Sleeping

Wha? Whaddaya want, dad?


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Focusing on What's Important

We all get so easily distracted by petty things and ask the wrong questions. That’s what hit me as I read this:

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong questions. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over.”

Of course, we all know the outcome of that story: Jesus healed the blind man’s eyes so he could see.

I still have goosebumps, literally, from his words. “You’re asking me the wrong questions. You’re looking for someone to blame.” That is just SO like us. Like ME. Asking the wrong questions, and looking for someone to blame instead of searching, while the sun shines, for the work that I COULD and SHOULD be doing.

Today I’m going to try my hardest not to look for someone to blame. I’m going to keep my eyes open and try to see the work that needs done. God help me see it.

(more and more, I’m becoming a Jesus Freak)


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Focusing on What’s Important

We all get so easily distracted by petty things and ask the wrong questions. That’s what hit me as I read this:

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong questions. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over.”

Of course, we all know the outcome of that story: Jesus healed the blind man’s eyes so he could see.

I still have goosebumps, literally, from his words. “You’re asking me the wrong questions. You’re looking for someone to blame.” That is just SO like us. Like ME. Asking the wrong questions, and looking for someone to blame instead of searching, while the sun shines, for the work that I COULD and SHOULD be doing.

Today I’m going to try my hardest not to look for someone to blame. I’m going to keep my eyes open and try to see the work that needs done. God help me see it.

(more and more, I’m becoming a Jesus Freak)


4 Comments

Dinesh D'Souza's "What's So Great About Christianity"

On May 19th I posted my controversial To Carrie, Regarding Atheism blog. On the 30th of May I followed up with a promise that I’d post scientific evidence for God in a future blog entry. It was my intention to create another blog post listing detailed references. I first planned to read a bit more, organize my thoughts and the evidences I’d found, and list them all out in another long, detailed blog post. But then I read this book:

With this book, D’Souza did exactly what I intended to do with my blog post, but in much more detail than I possible could have done. It is my opinion that if an atheist can read this book and not be convinced by the evidence presented… well, nothing will change his or her mind.

In the first 80 pages Mr. D’Souza addresses topics relating specifically to Christianity. He writes about such things as the murders during the Crusades, putting a proper perspective on them. He points out how many deaths resulted and over how many years, and then as a comparison he discusses the killings attributed to atheistic regimes throughout history. He also addresses several other topics that have been used to “attack” Christianity. All were good, but I was much more interested in the book AFTER I’d read beyond those first “defense of Christianity” pages. After all, I wanted to get to the scientific evidence for God.

And boy, was I happy to get there!

For now, I won’t say much more. I highly recommend buying this book for any friend that has “atheistic” tendencies or a hatred of Christianity. But before you give it to them, read it yourself! I’ve handed my copy out to others (my dad has it at the moment), and sent a copy to Carrie as well. When my dad returns the book to me I may write another entry on this subject, quoting a bit of D’Souza’s writings. I think, however, that this book needs to go in my “books that changed me” section over in the right column.

Buy it today. Just do it!

(Oh, and special thanks to Bill Giovannetti, my Pastor, for recommending that I read it)


8 Comments

Dinesh D’Souza’s “What’s So Great About Christianity”

On May 19th I posted my controversial To Carrie, Regarding Atheism blog. On the 30th of May I followed up with a promise that I’d post scientific evidence for God in a future blog entry. It was my intention to create another blog post listing detailed references. I first planned to read a bit more, organize my thoughts and the evidences I’d found, and list them all out in another long, detailed blog post. But then I read this book:

With this book, D’Souza did exactly what I intended to do with my blog post, but in much more detail than I possible could have done. It is my opinion that if an atheist can read this book and not be convinced by the evidence presented… well, nothing will change his or her mind.

In the first 80 pages Mr. D’Souza addresses topics relating specifically to Christianity. He writes about such things as the murders during the Crusades, putting a proper perspective on them. He points out how many deaths resulted and over how many years, and then as a comparison he discusses the killings attributed to atheistic regimes throughout history. He also addresses several other topics that have been used to “attack” Christianity. All were good, but I was much more interested in the book AFTER I’d read beyond those first “defense of Christianity” pages. After all, I wanted to get to the scientific evidence for God.

And boy, was I happy to get there!

For now, I won’t say much more. I highly recommend buying this book for any friend that has “atheistic” tendencies or a hatred of Christianity. But before you give it to them, read it yourself! I’ve handed my copy out to others (my dad has it at the moment), and sent a copy to Carrie as well. When my dad returns the book to me I may write another entry on this subject, quoting a bit of D’Souza’s writings. I think, however, that this book needs to go in my “books that changed me” section over in the right column.

Buy it today. Just do it!

(Oh, and special thanks to Bill Giovannetti, my Pastor, for recommending that I read it)