I just wanted to take a moment and share some thoughts on my mom’s passing.
I just wanted to take a moment and share some thoughts on my mom’s passing.
It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when I looked up to church leaders.
It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when I looked up to the so called “Christians”.
I once felt like I belonged in the “Christian” group. Like I was home amongst people that genuinely cared for me.
Many of you probably knew me back then.
It’s hard to imagine how blind I used to be, and how I didn’t see past the farce sooner.
I stand looking at my social media feeds and what is happening as our nation elects what is without a doubt one of the most ungodly if not THE most ungodly man to ever aspire the seat of the American presidency.
What’s even worse is that so called “Christians” are cheering this sad scenario on. These are the same “Christians” that I’ve personally debated over the appropriateness of worship music styles (such a trivial matter really) and yet they back a man that shames our country with a filthy rhetoric of hate and intolerance.
The same “Christians” that taught me to guard my heart are turning a blind eye to one of the darkest hearts in politics right now.
The same “Christians” that admonished me to live a sexually pure life support a man that is OK and even boasts of grabbing women by the pussy, demeans women by attacking their looks and their personal struggles, and has even been married three times. What ever happened to all that preaching about divorce?
Let me make this clear: you “Christians” have lost any credibility to preach to me about your delusion of righteousness.
I’m tired of pleading with a group that is able to suspend notions of belief only to elect a morally bankrupt man because his worlds tickle the ears.
However, you will find yourselves deceived.
The devil promises many things and keeps none.
But by the time you realize your error, it’ll be too late.
What happens from here on is your responsibility and you bare the full blame.
When love was required you embraced hate. With your vote, you told people like me that we don’t matter.
How could I ever turn to a group who doesn’t care about me.
I will never turn to such a group.
I challenge the notion that you serve a loving god knowing full well that you don’t.
You serve yourselves and disguise this in a Halloween costume of a poor imitation of the Truth.
I will still seek the Lord. I will do so for the rest of my life.
But at least now I know where I won’t find Him.
The very mention of this name saddens me. But not for any reason that you might think of.
Donald Trump is a glaring example of how the church has lost sight of her first love.
Why is Donald Trump so appealing? It’s not because he is the epitome of morality, character, or spiritual fortitude.
His appeal, as far as I can see, is due to his promise to “make America great”. To defend the seemingly pure race of Americanism and expel the dreadful illegals that have overrun this country and whose sole purpose is its destruction.
But that’s exactly where the problem lies.
I met a man once. A godly man, full of the Spirit and incredibly wise. He was a missionary and you could tell he ached for those who had never heard of Jesus.
This man had been to some of the most remote places on earth!
He loved coming into contact with foreigners because, as he put it “it’s an opportunity to share the good news”.
I always admired his zeal because it was one of the many ways where his love for the Lord showed.
Today, Christians are shouting for “illegals” to go back to their country. Today, Christians are more concerned about the comfort and status of a “pure America” rather then the passionate heart of a loving God that says “if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me”.
WAKE UP CHURCH!
The scriptures say that in the end times the church will be deceived. From where I stand it looks like that’s already happened.
We’ve been deceived into believing that this world is our home. We’ve been deceived into believing that we have rights when we’re not even our own. We’ve been deceived into valuing the welfare of our own interests when our master laid down his throne for us. We’ve been deceived into caring about the financial status of our country when our Lord was able to produce coins from the mouths of fishes.
We’ve been deceived into elevating the law of God above the law of love which scripture clearly says is more valuable than the law itself.
We’ve forgotten who our first love is. Is He not the one that told us never to worry because he clothes the lilies of the fields and we are more valuable than them? Is He not the one that showed us who our tue neighbors are with the example of a Samaritan? Is he not the one that reached out to the woman at the well when societal norms strictly prohibited him from doing so? Is he not the rose of Sharon? Is He not Emmanuel? Who is it that we are following? Please someone tell me?
The lord said “you shall know my disciples by the love they have for one another” but the church is anything but loving towards its own, and let’s not even talk about those who are not “their own”. The church fails Jesus’ test.
Who do we serve?
Do we serve an anemic God whose frailty prevents him from providing for our needs to the point that we must run to a morally bankrupt leader in hopes that he provides them?
Do we serve a God so cold hearted, that we think that he would be ok with us turning people away due to foolish things as “laws” when time and time and time and time again HE says, welcome the foreigner among you and treat him as your own?!
Have we forgotten the measure that God looked for in a leader? What he has always looked for In a leader? Spoiler alert. It is not Donald trump.
WAKE UP CHURCH!
You who proclaim and judge and chastise those depraved individuals in sin, won’t you judge yourself?
The world looks at you and laughs. You’re a joke?!?!
With one hand you proclaim to serve a powerful God but all of your actions say otherwise.
You are a joke!
Because of you the name of the lord is blasphemed at the top of the rooftops.
You are weak!
You are sick!
You have led many children to their deaths both physically and spiritually. Do you not think that on that day, God is not going to judge? Oh He will judge and you will be found guilty.
Don’t think you can hide under your “Jesus salvation” for true salvation comes with a change of heart. But what I see is a lot of talk and little action.
When the God of love resides in you, you can’t help but have love. So don’t fool yourself you who think a simple prayer saves your soul.
The scriptures say if you believe “with your heart”. Not with a prayer.
If I were you, I would check your salvation. Because what you are doing and are failing to do is more inline with the demons than with the Angels.
Wake up church!
You’ve played the whore with God and the lover is none other than yourself!!!
But the Lord says he chastises those whom He love.
Church, your chastisement is near. It’s at the door, lo it has turned the handle and its walking in!
Your chastisement is near.
Turn from this cold heart and ask the Lord, the true God to change it. Has he not said that he makes beauty from ashes? Can he not do the same to you?
Your actions have not gone unnoticed but have been judged lacking. But the Lord is still knocking. If anyone hears his voice and opens the door, he will come in and dine with him.
Church, the Lord is knocking. He has been knocking for quite some time. He is waiting for you to open the door. That door that you have slammed in his face.
You say the sin in America is incurring God’s wrath.
Foolish church. The Sin in America is you. Your lack of love. Your lack of power. God tasked you to proclaim the truth, but the truth is more than just words. The truth is power! The supernatural power of God to love and overcome supernaturally.
You have hidden it. It doesn’t show. You have failed to proclaim to a lost world that a God full of power is pleading with them to come to Him!!!
The sin is you! And the judgment coming to America is your fault.
How can you possibly build a nation with a rotten foundation? The weight of the structure will fall and crush anything caught underneath.
He who has an ear let him hear!
Repent oh church!
Put on the garment of praise and let your husband’s fragrance of Iove permeate your attire.
Come back to that place where you first met Him. And let Him love you. Let him embrace you in his loving arms and reassure you that you are loved beyond measure. His desire for you is great!
But you run.
Even when you think you are walking you run.
But as soon as you turn, you’ll see you could never in your wildest dreams outrun a loving, jealous, passionate God. He who moves mountains to reach his beloved.
These past few weeks has revealed a horrible truth: people like me are still not safe.
On one hand, you have terrorists; vile and depraved beings, who think so little of human life so as to destroy the life of 50 innocent people only because of their different sexual orientation. On the other hand, there’s the select few who have taken oaths to protect us but instead hunt us down for no other apparent reason than the color of our skin.
But as if all this was not enough, then you have those; who for the outlining actions of a few, villainize the whole and take it upon themselves to exact retribution.
A barbaric, senseless, shameful, and dehumanizing retribution.
I can’t help but have a heavy heart.
How can a creature that is supposed to be an evolutionary advancement be so primal, ignorant, and destructive?
I want to believe that humans are better. I want to believe that one day we truly will look at each other not through a tinted glass of warped reality, but rather through no glass at all.
Hate is never justified. Unfortunately the actions that are plaguing most media outlets exemplify hate.
But the answer to what is plaguing society right now is not far from anyone’s reach.
It’s not really about what government reforms can be accomplished.
It’s not about the removal of weapons or even a new president.
It’s about challenging hate…within ourselves.
Hate is a nasty weed that uses justification and excuses to exist. It hides behind the rock of principles and laws and grows on the nourishment of status quo. Like all weeds, hate starts small. Unchecked however, it grows out of control and before you know it, this invasive creature has taken over! It’s easier to remove it when it’s a tiny plant. It’s significantly harder to uproot once it has taken hold. Nevertheless, in both scenarios, hate can be dealt with.
There is hope.
This may sound cliché, but the truth is if we want change in our world, we have to start changing ourselves.
The moment we can realize that none of us are guiltless of hate, the faster we can work together towards a solution.
Scientists believe we are the evolutionary apex of our current time. Religious folk believe we were created in the image of God. No matter how you look at it, humans are on top. Smarter and more powerful than any other living being.
Therefore, it stands to reason that we are more than able to challenge ourselves.
To be better.
To defeat hate.
My heart is indeed heavy, but I choose hope.
Politics is scary and it’s rare for me to be in this position. I tend to not be too vocal about my political views. However, this election is different.
At first I thought it was a joke. Donald Trump running for president? What kind of popularity/media antic was this? Surely no one would ever think of taking this guy seriously? After all, his off color tweets, crazy media rants, financial woes, etc more than show his inability to lead a country. Anybody can see that…but boy was I wrong.
As I sit here and write, Trump has won the South Carolina Primary by an overwhelming 32.5%. He’s also won New Hampshire and Nevada. What I previously thought was laughable, has now become a source of concern. This is a candidate that wants people like me out of this country. This is a candidate that hesitates to denounce a confirmed white supremist activist. This is a candidate that belittles women and minorities. And that’s not even the worst part…not by a long shot.
What saddens me even more is to see the evangelical group seemingly in full support of this man. What I once hoped was a cynical view of religious people has now be proven to be a correct view after all. The church does not care about the world, people, caring for the sick, the poor, the needy. They don’t care about preaching the gospel, following Christ…none of that. The church has become a lip service, a figure head of something that is nice and that every good person should try to do. But when it comes to standing up against injustice and those who practice it, nah, that’s too fanatical.
Donald Trump (among many things) has advocated against the poor, the needy, the hard working. He also dares to claim to be a Christian, a follower of Christ, who according to his own words is not in need of forgiveness. Wait…what? Isn’t that the whole point? That we are sinners and need forgiveness?
I’ve been told by some of my friends that they rather vote for him than “a socialist” or God forbid, someone like Hilary Clinton. But is Fascism better than Socialism? In order to not vote for a socialist, you rather vote for a fascist?
I cannot be silent anymore. This man, Donald Trump, is not someone a Christian should be voting for. He reflects everything Christ has denounced! His actions are prideful, arrogant, rapacious, reckless, and so much more. Scripture tells us that a wise man rules over his tongue and is slow to anger but Donald Trump has shown otherwise. How can a person rule a nation and yet fail to rule himself?
As I sit in and pray, I can’t in good faith say that I am voting for someone who is godly, honorable, and righteous. Of course, you could argue that no politician is like this. I might even agree with you. However, if there was ever a display of a lack of decency, morality, conviction, wisdom, compassion, mercy, truth, and anything that is Godly, is here and now in Donald Trump.
I may not know exactly who will have my vote…but I do know exactly who won’t. And that person is emphatically, without question, and certain with every single fiber of my being, Donald Trump.
It is finally here!
The day when I have finally decided to step out and do something that for the most part freaks me out and yet completely excites me.
I have started my own YouTube channel!
Though currently small, my goal is to grow it to 500 subscribers by the end of this month. Feels like a daunting task but I’m confident it can be done.
So what is this channel all about? Similar to what this blog has been all about really, recording struggles and successes as honestly as possible. I want to offer the world (or whoever subscribes) a perspective that is a bit rare in my opinion and seldom presented in a loving manner. I want to tell the world how it is for a gay Christian.
But that’s not the end of the story.
I am my Father’s child, and I am much more than just religious dogma or a sexual orientation. I have other interests and passions that make me who I am, that make me extremely valuable. I think that’s the point of my new Vlog/YouTube channel. To have an open window into the life of a gay Christian while at the same time showing that there’s more to life, to a person, to me, than gay Christianity.
Through this channel I want an open dialogue with the Church, to hopefully give them a view of the heart and struggles of someone like me. I also want this to be an open dialogue with the gay community so that they too can see the struggles of someone like me. Because in the battle of discrimination between religious groups and homosexuals, few are discriminated more than those who profess to belong to both.
SO, I ask you, my blogging friends, would you consider joining me on YouTube? Would you consider helping me spread the word or at least consider joining my channel and being part of a community that will hopefully be an awesome source for good?
I hope you consider doing so. I know it would make me extremely happy!
On a related note, I will start blogging again. But I am considering moving platforms from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I feel it enables to be more flexible with what I can and cannot do (attach videos to blog posts for example).
However, I won’t be blogging as frequent as I used to (maybe once a week) but I will be blogging more than I have been.
With that said, I want to say thank you. Blogging was a necessary form of expression for me at a time when I was learning and evaluating a lot of things. This blog and your comments and interactions have been a huge source of comfort for me, much more than I could readily describe.
So thank you my blogging friends.
Onward to what’s next. Onward we go.
Ps: Click here to check out the YouTube Channel.
It has been my experience that most employers want an employee with a strong desire to perform their job rather than a strong set of skills. Don’t get me wrong, skills are needed and are important. However, when you are considering hiring one out of two employees; one has weaker skills but an obvious predisposition for learning, being a team player, and having a drive to excel (soft skills); while the other excels in the skill department but tends to lack the soft skills of the latter; most will choose the employee lacking in skills.
It’s always easier to teach technical skills (writing, calculating, designing) than to teach soft skills (communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork). In the world it seems like the heart (soft skills) is more desirable than the knowledge (hard skills).
It’s a lesson that anyone who is seeking a job would do well to keep in mind but it’s also a lesson that needs to be learned by many Christians.
What do I mean?
In 1 Corinthians 13 we come across what is known as the love chapter. In it, scripture tells us that love is above most things (if not all things). “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong… if I have the gift of prophecy…all mysteries…all knowledge…faith that can move mountains…but do not have love, I am nothing” Clearly, scripture values love more than the abilities that many may or may not possess.
Why is this important?
I have come across many Christians who lose sight of the fact that love is indeed above all…even theology. DO NOT MISREAD THIS. I am not saying theology is not important. But when Christians do actions that do not show towards another group of people because this other group of people somehow does not adhere to their theological beliefs, it’s unbiblical. There is no justification for not loving, period.
Why do so many Christians devote so much of their time to acquiring knowledge and fine tuning their theology and yet spend so little time reaching out to people who need to be loved. To me, this is not the gospel.
Churches have split because of theology. People have been persecuted. I feel like those who are the loudest at proclaiming the theological inaccuracies of movies, songs and books are seldom heard proclaiming their love for their fellow man. Those that are vocal about creating laws that prohibit what another group of people can and can’t do are seldom seen ministering to broken bodies, broken spirits, and broken hearts.
When did we get this simple truth backwards?
Will a day come when those who hide under the banner of Christ finally start acting like him?
The world has turned it’s heel against Christ and I can’t say that Christians are not to blame. As a body we need to step back and re-evaluate our goals and our mission. Christ does the redeeming, Christ does the outreach (If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me), but what he can’t do (and what we must do) is hug someone, care for someone, minister to someone.
He loves us.
He loves them.
And we are to be that window through which those who are searching can finally see.
“Christ equips the called”, I hear this often. Nevertheless what I don’t see often is it being practiced. If we are so convinced that Christ will “equip” those whom He calls, why are we so worried about what those who don’t yet belong to Him do. How can they do anything else when they have not been “equipped”. That’s like an employer yelling at an employee who does not work for his company!
In the same way companies tend to value soft skills more than hard skills (or at least give it about equal value), so we should value soft skills (Love). Skills are nothing if they are not backed by a strong desire to put them into action, so is theology nothing if it’s not backed by love.
Remember, “Knowledge puffs up while love builds up” – I Corinthians 8:1.
Don’t forsake theology, but choose love and make love the definition of anything and everything you do.
(PS. As I write this, I realize this is something I too must take to heart).
I decided to run naked today. Sadly, it wasn’t a pretty sight.
No I wasn’t naked in the literal sense, more of the emotional sense.
It’s the end of summer, school is about to start in about two weeks and people are graduating. That’s the problem with a college town…people graduate.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the fact that young, eager lads and lasses pick up their mantle of completion as they dare to spread their wings and fly in the face of an uncertain world. Until, of course that flying takes them far away from new friendships or ones that have had the opportunity to develop over time.
Today I ran naked, but not because I took my clothes off and decided to grace my small town with a free showing to the “please-put-your-clothes-back-on” hour. No, I ran naked because one of my best friends graduated. And as happy as I am for him, I can’t help but to feel a selfishness creep up in me.
I already miss him.
We met when he and I took an acting class during college. Back then I was studying to finish my architecture degree while he was studying to conquer the discipline of …. Hmmm, come to think of it…what was he studying…
It was friendship at first sight.
We somehow ended up going to the same University. The plan was for us to graduate together. But he beat me to the finish line…
I didn’t realize how much I’d miss him
See that’s the problem with small towns like Gainesville. You develop strong relationships only to lose them to the inevitable destiny of graduation. Few stay behind.
I know that our friendship transcends land and sea and whatever else dares create distance between him and I but… proximity has its virtues…and I happen to like them.
I ran naked today because today was one of those rare moments, where my heart had to hide but couldn’t. With every box stored, and every furniture loaded I found myself dreading the incoming goodbye. As I sat on the clothed chair next to the transparent table all I could think about was how to say goodbye.
It’s what I thought about when we had lunch.
It’s what I thought about as I got out of the car desperately trying not to cry as my hands waved goodbye….I didn’t. I was proud of myself.
That is of course until I reached my apartment…Phew, good thing there are no cameras up in here.
I am exceedingly proud of my friend. As he walked across that stage when they called out his name, I could not scream loud enough. I am honored to know him.
And now, I am left with this thought: I may have run naked today. But I know I won’t run alone, No matter how far you go. I won’t run alone…and neither will you.
Warning: Before you read this poem know that it has some strong language. However, I think the language was necessary to convey the overall meaning.
Silent I sit as the world passes by
Silence. You Jerk! You can piss off and die
I’ve harbored your mess and believed all the lies
You bastard! I’m done. And don’t think I will cry
Silent I stand as my mind stirs and flies
Silence. You ass! Would you leave? Do you mind?
I’m trying to think, and I’m trying to pry
You’re loud. I’m done and breaking all ties
Silent I watch the sun set the skies
Silence. You’re done and don’t dare ask me why
You see all this mess yet you think I will find
You whore! You’ve bed me for the very last time
Silent I sit as silence is mine
Silence now waits as his arms reaches mine
His grip is so firm. My soul can’t deny
Silent I lay in a silent goodbye
If it mattered it would be unfair
To unveil the winds and tie what’s there
Grasping what’s disguised as air
Lamenting and running bare
If there was worth it could be unjust
Erect a wall in swamps of dust
But loneliness a grasp of must
And games to spin yet not to cusp
If there was truth it could be wrong
In silence sing a distant song
Confused to where and why belong
And never find a truthful bond
If it was so it might be harsh
A glimpse of hope to drown and parch
Where beauty reigned reveal the farce
Resign the dance and halt the march
If it was true I might just dare
To run with gold but show no care
And spin a top a dark world’s stare
Yet burn with all that once was fair
Juan Castillo Jr.
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