Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hey There, Universe and It’s Stars!

A lot has happened since last year. A lot. First job, first car, first time joining a dance company, first time zip lining and rock climbing, and many, many other things. It has undeniably been a beautiful and fruitful journey. I guess I’m finally sitting down and taking the time to write about all that has happened since 2014 up until now.

I will start with my first job experience. Yes, I was offered and worked my first paying job at the ripened age of 22. That’s right, 22! Anyway, I had the privilege of working at Wellspring Texas, a wellness camp program for children, adolescents, and college students that struggle with overweight or obesity problems, in San Marcos as a Camp Counselor from June to August. My job, along with another Camp Counselor whom I worked closely with throughout the duration of camp, consisted of waking up my campers (14-17 year old guys) every single morning at either 6:45 a.m or 7:45 a.m. (Weekends) to meet outside with the rest of the Wellspring Texas family; overlooking our campers all throughout the day to make sure they stayed replenished with water, covered in sunblock, and doused in encouragement; finding, creating, or participating in fun activities during their main four activity blocks (i.e. dance choreographies, exercise routines or circuits, sport games, game room time, etc.); and so much more.

Our sign-off, when the staff would walkie-talkie each other saying goodnight and other random nothings, officially ended at 10:30 p.m. (Thank you God for those well anticipated off days once a week, much needed). With that, in addition to some of the descriptions of what I did as a CC, it should be somewhat clearer how taxing, time consuming, and long the days were for this job. However, those mental and physical demands fail highly comparably to the intrinsically gratifying rewards I received, such as seeing a guy that weighed a little over 500 lbs lose over 100 lbs by the end of the program or receiving letters of appreciation from your campers and other CC’s campers letting you know how much you impacted their life within such a short time. Even getting to have impromptu one-on-one talks with various campers during the camp’s morning walks proved to be some of the most fulfilling times for me that summer because they enabled me to learn more about the campers and enabled them to open up to me about personal issues they were comfortable telling me. Those moments remain rightfully brag-worthy of.

And I have to brag on the staff I was able to work with. Those guys were so much fun and very supportive! From my Director and Supervisor to the Behavioral Coaches, Dining and Cleaning staff, and other Camp Counselors, they were all simply delightful. Despite those eternally long hours and particularly frustrating days in which campers felt that rebelling was the best option, I would happily be part of such a life-changing experience and body of people again.

With the job finished, recently graduated from college in May 2014, and slowly nearing the pestering notifications and impatient deadlines of loans wanting to be fed cash, I was back in Houston with no complete or clear idea of what in the hell I was going to do next. Well, there was this one potential thing.

I promise you this will make sense as to why I’m going back another year when I just mentioned twenty-fourteen, but in December 2013, I contacted a guy I went to high school with because an event he was hosting popped up on my Facebook newsfeed in regards to dance auditions for his performance crew. At the time, I could not audition because I was going back to school for my final semester of my undergrad. Fast-forward to the last week of July 2014, I contacted him again to see if he was having anymore auditions and stumbled across another event of his, this time for a dance lock-in on a Friday night. To slightly disregard a few details of the story and speed things up a bit more, I ended up joining his dance company that August and have been part of it since.

(Interested in what we look like? You better be! Check out this video of us at the Houston Salsa Congress!)

So yay, dance company! Yet I was still without a job at the time and would be jobless until I started substituting in October. The time prior landing that job, however, was pervaded with filling out applications, attending interviews here and there, waiting dreadful periods of time, and hearing my fair share of nos. Concurrently, I was also trying to figure out what I could do with a B.A. in Psychology. I came across a few things that seemed like great opportunities but only great temporary ones nonetheless. And though I had this degree, the options or careers it offered weren’t topics I was all too passionate or thrilled about unlike some of my alumni peers with their Psychology degrees.

The searching and exploring continued.

Finally in October, things started to pick up some moderate tempo. The first Monday of the tenth month of the year, I started my first day as a substitute teacher and teacher’s aide. Additionally, that following Monday I would be having my final interview with Teach For America, a non-profit organization whose mission revolves around eradicating educational inequity.

After participating in the interview and subbing for about a month, I finally received an email from TFA about three weeks later while assisting some of the kids with their math. It was a no, a no that definitely sank to the bottom of my stomach and took some time to digest. And this wasn’t the first time I applied to them and received the “Thank you for your interest” and “I am sorry to inform you” status upon logging in to check my application progress . I first applied to them during the Spring semester of 2014 and only made it past the online application to the phone interview. Indeed close but not close enough.

Still subbing, I continued looking at various teaching paths that I could potentially walk to smell the lilies of and then suddenly had an incoming wave of various opportunities I could consider via emails. (Thank you TFA for referring me!). Organizations based in Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New York, a fair share of Texas cities, such as San Antonio and Austin, and even places outside the U.S. all became possibilities I could delve into and perhaps select as viable options to further my teaching ambitions.

As November waltzed along, I began scheduling informational chats with different representatives from teaching organizations and school systems that whet my interests. The one I would begin pursuing the strongest of them all would be YES Prep Public Schools, an open-enrollment public charter school system serving students grades six through twelve in Houston’s, and soon to be Memphis, Tennessee’s, most disadvantaged communities.

I emailed, talked with the Manager of Recruitment of YES Prep, heard her experience firsthand, and became extremely hooked. What she breathed and felt during her teaching years, I wanted. And it was that gripping desire that egged me on to apply for YES!

I applied.

And later, I discovered I’d be invited to a phone interview. Inching there slowly but surely. I had the phone portion of the application process on December 5 and it went well. I would soon get a ring-a-ding-ding on the cellular following up from the phone interview while subbing at a different school. The call was from the School Director of the Southwest Yes Campus and he wanted to invite me to a finalist day on January 12th, a Monday. That was such a frightening but joyful call. Frightening because I was not sure if he brought good tidings or not. Joyful because he indeed brought good tidings. Inching with more oomph now.

After Christmas Break, I have my finalist interview, meet some of the amazing staff at the Southwest Campus, engage with interested students, and enjoy my momentary stay at the campus; it was a warm atmosphere despite the shivering December weather.

Two weeks pass by and I get some not-so-happy news: I wouldn’t be selected for the position. Son of a Mother! Another distasteful gulp that I had to stomach. Son of a Mother’s Mother (grandson by the way)!

I informed the Recruitment Manager I had talked to before and updated her on the Southwest’s decision because I had been in close contact with her throughout my entire progress of the application. She was tremendously helpful and supportive the entire time. And she, surprisingly to me, seemed more bummed about the announcement than I did.

A week or two later, I received another call from YES. This one, though, had a sweeter and brighter tone to it. It was a member of the Selection Team notifying me that the Director in which I had interviewed with not too long ago, referred me to the future Director of the new YES Campus, believing that I’d be a better fit for that location.

Round 2.

I was going to get another finalist interview day, which inevitably meant a second chance at a full-time position as a teacher for the 2015-2016 school year. Just like the interview before, I experienced the same formalities: sample lesson, debriefing, interview portion, and so forth. And just like the interview before, it ended with another no.

Okay, that’s a lie. I was offered the position on the spot and will be a 6th grade ELA teacher starting in August!!! PARTAAAY!!

Yeah, that last sentence right above this one is legitimate. The Director was impressed (as I was madly shocked) and felt he did not have to wait to make a decision or think if I would be a potential fit.

You ever have a moment when your insides are bursting with happiness and joy but for reasons untold and unknown, you pathetically try to withhold those internal emotions from displaying on your outsides? Definitely one of those moments.

To make you chuckle, to give you the 411 of my journey currently, to let some of my many rampant thoughts become black and white – these are some of the reasons I wrote all that I wrote. However, I mainly wanted to convey a message that reminded you to never back down from your heart’s greatest passions and desires, even when you get discouraging or unfavorable new, and never begin to see yourself as an incompetent or failure of a human for trying. Going after your dreams to make them tangible buildings, organizations, books, jobs, hobbies, technologies or even make them others’ tangible dreams can be a daunting and difficult task. You may get denied. You might get held back. It’s possible all the work you were investing in may break or fall into shambles piece by piece.

Follow. Your. Dreams.

Don’t. Abort. Them!

Please, don’t.

Don’t see rejection or the nos as a mocking jest tallying up your future failures, but rather see it as a beautiful, though stinging, learning experience to spring your closer to your touchable manifestations. Look at those set backs as waiting periods to smile, laugh, and keep your held high. And even when your dreams start appearing to take on nightmarish qualities because things go awry and awry again, may you be immediately reminded of how gifted, amazing, and useful you are. May you be struck by a jolt of affirmation that electrifies your being into believing and dreaming again. Realize that your dreams are not meant to stay hidden in your heart or circulate endlessly in your mind but rather cultivated, released, and enjoyed by a powerful walking, breathing, living entity – You!

The Universe awaits you, Stars.


Foddly-Poddly-Diddly-Dee .2

Yuck! Mayonnaise and mustard on my egg salad sandwich? Mom! Why did she do that? I hate when mayonnaise and mustard are mixed up together. It looks fishy and smells stupid. Yuck, yuck, yuck! I wonder if anyone will trade with me. Wait, if I ask to trade my sandwich, then they may ask for my good stuff. I’m not gonna trade my sliced pineapples. Off limits for sure. Chocolate chip cookies. Ha!! Off limits as well. Apple juice has to stay with me because if I trade that then I will get thirsty. I could drink water but the water from the water fountain isn’t apple juice or doesn’t taste like apple juice. Plus, that water tastes salty. Why is the water from the water fountain salty and how come no else talks or says anything about the salty water fountain? Anyway, juice, you are staying. I need to hurry and start asking who will trade with me before every starts eating their food up. Let’s get to it. Not gonna ask Jonathan because he’s allllways mean when someone asks him to share his food. He’s mean all the time so why bother anyway?

Yes! Zihir has a Turkey and Cheese Sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes! That’s perfect! Yum! And he’s picking his nose. Still picking. Still picking. Still…I don’t even like Turkey and Cheese that much. How many boogers does he have in that nose!? Stop picking, Zihir! I feel so bad for his poor nose. Okay tum-tum, stop making noises. I’m working on it, hold on. Now, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would be killer! Looks like Terra has one. Oh no, I hope she didn’t touch it yet when she unwrapped it; I didn’t get my cootie shots for the day and it would suck to be hungry and sick at the same time. Then I would have to sit out during recess and that’s no fair for me or my stomach. I rather not risk it.

Those tater-tots from the lunch line look good. Bethany and Marcus got food from the lunch line, so I could ask either one of them to trade. That’s also hoping Bethany didn’t touch her precious tots yet though! Yes! She hasn’t. Finally! And she said she’s not even really that hungry. Stomach, I think we have found our perfect match to trade with! I can’t stop smiling right now. Is she serious right now? She’s not gonna trade because her mom tells her not to trade her food with classmates. That’s so dumb! Your mom isn’t here! How would she even know? I just want to trade my sandwich away for something I would actually eat! Grrrrrrrr. Time to ask someone else who isn’t under those selfish rules, like Marcus I hope.

Please Marcus, please want to trade with me! Sweet, he doesn’t mind. My sandwich and apple juice for his tater-tots? But why is he including my apple juice when he already has one from the lunch line? BECAUSE ITS NOT OFF BRAND!? Is he serious right now!? I just wanna go sit down and eat man. Don’t make this difficult like Bethany. Okay. Now that’s a little fairer, my sandwich and a cookie for all of his taters. I can do that. Oh, and ketchup! Can’t forget that red, squishy goodness. Trade another cookie for you two ketchup packets!? Lunch is becoming my not so favorite period today. I just don’t wanna walk all the way over to the front of the lunch line just to get two ketchup packets when two ketchup packets are right here that he’s not using. He’s acting just like those greedy pirates from our summer reading book The Chest of No-beard Hook that take and take! Take the dumb cookie! Wait, no! My cookie! Finally, I can sit down and eat lunch. Stomach, your grumbling days are over. Uh-oh, why is Zihir heading towards me? Is that booger-picking finger really pointing at my sliced pineapples right now? I am NOT trading them for that booger brushed apple in his hand. What? It was traded with Terra for an orange!? Cooties and boogers wanna ruin my lunch. I didn’t ask for all of this! Zihir, I just want to eat before lunch is over. Thank you. Everyone’s eating and stuff and I can do the same. Yum, these are some good tater-tots!

Foddly-Poddly-Diddly-Dee .1

“I am so sick of your shit, Debbie,” Rick said.

“Well, I’m sick of yours,” Debbie strongly retorted. “I am so sick of yours! You never take responsibility for anything and then you turn around and blame me for you crap. It’s getting very old, so grow the hell up!”

“Me, grow the hell up? I’m not the one still fantasizing about taking useless, expensive trips around the world so I can ‘expand my way of thinking.’ Why won’t you just try meeting new people, huh? And stop being so damn closed-minded. It won’t hurt if you just try it!”

“Just try? It won’t hurt if I just try,” Debbie asked with remorseful tears welling up in her eyes.

There was a painful stillness in the room. Rain was pounding the roof of their apartment as lightning flashed and thunder roared outside. They stood quietly facing each other, nearly at their wits end. They were both tired, frustrated, angry, confused but mostly wondering how they strayed so far away from loving each other over the past year.

“Being with you is my first and biggest step at trying and being more open minded, so don’t give me that bullshit. Just don’t! And you should know by now how hard it is for me to trust people. Even fully trusting you is scary every time I think about it and this fight surely isn’t helping to build trust! This entire last year has been from hell to be honest. You know what happened to me and you know why it is so hard for me to trust people. Hell, you’re the only one that knows, Rick. Only you. Can I get any credit for that?”

“G-g-g-g-g, D-d-d-d-d,” Rick beginning to stutter on words.

The rain began pouring harder, making it more difficult for the couple to hear one another. A few of the lights in the room flickered a bit after a large lightning flash swept over the area but the stillness remained. He was so scared, more scared than he had ever been in his life. Guilt and fear was gripping his vocal chords and trembling his entire body, affecting his power to talk clearly and stay still. His inability to be completely honest with his wife of three years had taken a volatile toll on their marriage.

She remained standing there quiet, waiting for him to say something else other than those stuttered letters, until she took the intiative to slice the silence.

“Rick, stop shaking and say something, please! Say anything.”

His body continued to tremble from all the bottled guilt and fear.

“Got Dammit! Why is it raining so hard right now? Lights flickering and crap,” he said looking up at the ceiling and around the room. “I-I-I-I-I-I-I don’t think I’m cut out for this whole marriage stuff.”

The rain and thunder slowly started to back off in intensity. Each individual droplet could be heard when it smacked the roof or the windows. Even the lights became still and more silent. Debbie didn’t say anything but just looked as her expression asked, “Is that all you have to say to me?” Rick, staring at the carpet stain on the floor, finally got control of his bodily jitters and his vocal chords. Everything was strangely calmer.

With a deep breathe, still staring at the stain on the carpet, he repeated, “Deb, I don’t think I’m cut out for this marriage stuff.” Hearing it a second time engendered more uneasiness in her. “I can’t be the husband you need. After I lost that job, the one thing that helped me feel like some kind of a provider for you, I knew I wouldn’t be able to really care for you like you deserved. Fuck Deb, I can’t do this and you know I can’t.”

The rain had come to a complete cease and the thunder left no more growls in the sky. Clouds began saying their final goodbyes as they dissipated from the atmosphere. Her attention stayed fixated on his every word. This was new for the both of them.

“And as you know, I haven’t been able to land a steady job this past year, only pickup gigs from here to there,” Rick continued, now looking up in her direction but not at her, for he was still timidly nervous. “That’s it. That’s all I’ve been able to bring to the table. I messed up a lot. I’m not sick of you; I’m sick of me and my shit. All the stuff I expect you to deal with and fix. That’s what I’m sick of. And I’m sick of feeling like I can’t protect you knowing about the abusive past your step-dad gave you. I can’t fight. I can’t brawl. I can’t,” he paused to gather the remainder of his thoughts.

Debbie stayed attentive, but her attention slowly changed into an adoring and tearful gaze as she continued to listen.

“I can’t do any of those macho things for you, Deb,” he restarted. “I’m sorry for not undoing the emotional scars caused by his pissy insecurities and thirsts for power. I’m sorry for drowning your dreams out because I couldn’t offer you a safe place to swim with them. And I’m sorry for snapping at you when I was the damn problem. I’m sorry but I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this to you anymore.”

He looked up at his wife for a split second, saw the serenity in her eyes, and turned around to exit the room and leave the apartment. Without hesitation, she removed the distance between her and her husband, paced quickly after him before he left the room, and hugged him from behind. As she continued holding him, she moved in front of him to lay her head on his left shoulder. He reluctantly raised his arms to embrace his wife, only to finally squeeze her back with gratitude.

As they stood there hugging one another, she reminded him, “Honey, I love you and I still believe in you, okay? We are gonna get through this, even if we have to trudge through it together. Stay here, with me, by my side. Please.”

Rick mustered up the strength to momentarily ignore the self-blame and shame to look into his wife’s convinced eyes. Taking a long, deep breath and releasing an equally long, deep sigh, he replied, “Okay, Deb. Okay.”

Impressions, First

I was taught at an early age that first impressions go an extremely long way. Matter of fact, they apparently went so far that if I made a bad first impression or was not on my best behavior in front of someone or a group of people, I could instantly be written off as a troublemaker, as someone others should stay away from, or as the person to keep an eye on.

Eh. I think that lesson is useless.

I guess I am addressing this idea of first impressions because it either says or encourages that if your first impression is anything short of spectacular, that’s a wrap. Or to be blunter, one strike and you’re out. However, to be a bit broader in scope, I am getting at our, as in the human race’s, lack of patience and understanding with one another as human beings. It is vital and necessary as inhabitants of this large green and blue globe we call Earth, that we learn to be and practice being consistently patient with one another in order to thrive, not just simply exist.

Please, do not fall into the comfortable pitfall of judging someone off their first impression, whether pleasant or terrible. If they entrust you the beautiful privilege to do so in their lives, get to know people and their stories because you would be very surprised to discover why they do the things they do, believe the things they believe, and act the way they act.

For instance, the young girl that is nice all the time may feel that the only way to be accepted and acknowledged by people is by being pleasing people at any cost, even if it is at the extent of her own happiness and well-being. The cashier at the grocery store may be red-hot ringing up groceries because he, as a single father, is doing as much as he can to financially support himself and his little child. The quiet person at work or school that is not talkative or is normally aloof towards others is so because he has seen how those closest to him outcast and throw stones at, literally and metaphorically, other people included in or involved with the LGBTQ community. And the homeless man living on the street looking into passersby’ eyes is not particularly looking for money (though he could use it for food, water, and shelter) but rather the sheer possibility of being noticed as a human again.

I understand how helpful generalizing can be at times for its convenient purposes, but know and remember that every single person is different and is multi-layered with culture, background, history, and personality. In other words, people must be dealt with in a unique, individual fashion. Be patient with people in their frustrations, in their fits, in their quiet times, in their times of confusion, in their hurts, and in their rages. Give people room to make mistakes and chances to be resilient. And while you are at it, be patient with yourself as you are patient with others.

Let first impressions remain exactly that, first impressions. Try not to be so eager to jump to conclusions when interacting with people because there is, more often than naught, more to them than meets the impressionable eye.

Hell is Just So Stupid


I no longer, for almost about a year and half now, have been able to jive with the belief that the majority of Humanity (past, present, and future) has the honor of being the fried inhabitants of a fiery red, crispy orange, and smokey black place of eternal separation, damnation, and burning from God called hell. I call mainstream Christianity’s bull on this doctrine and raise them multiple questions.

Before I continue, however, I think it only fair that I provide for you as much context from my background as possible so you know that my change in thinking has been an ongoing journey of unlearning, learning, and relearning. I learned God created this one guy named Adam. Following that, God thought it was perfect for Adam to have a helper so He put that dude into a very deep sleep, took a rib from him, and created his boo thang, Eve. Eve is later tricked by this serpent animal thingy into eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil–the very tree God told Adam not to eat from–saying that it would grant her something she already possessed–being like God. Adam, seeing Eve partake of both the fruit and the serpent’s lie, follows suit and eats of the fruit as well. At this point , because of Adam’s disobedience specifically, him and his woman are punished. Not only that, but his mistake freaking ruined it for all of Humanity and paved the way for everyone of us to be born into this world rotten, impure, sinful, and predestined a vessel of wrath, fire, and brimstone.

Thanks Adam. Just thanks.

Don’t worry it gets worse from here. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a little disturbing news to help lighten up their day am I right? Now that you were born into a fallen world via Adam’s mistake, it is all up to you to escape this amplified Bunsen burner of toastiness and the Mastermind behind creating it. But wait, there’s more! Paradoxically, you are told you must submit or give your life to Him because it’s the least you can do for Him sending His Son to die in your place, though you undoubtedly and initially deserved it.

If you so choose to give your life to God, which is basically your way of purchasing your Salvation that Jesus died for, you must maintain it on your own lest you be sent to hell by the very God you just gave your life to. Now, there are myriad Christian disciplines that must be kept in one way or another that are some of the most obvious signs of spirituality and spiritual growth. It is already a given that you must attend church services majority of the Sundays in your life; you get a few of them off like unused excused school absences or vacations days from work. And you probably won’t be able to stop there because there are also Bible Studies, Life Group get-togethers, and other church events that take place during the weekday and weekend.

Reading the Bible and praying every single day, even if that means getting at least one Bible verse or five solid minutes of quiet time in, is a clear sign that shows God you are not only serious about the Christian life but serious about not going to hell. Eventually, you are expected to progressively increase your reading frequency and prayer length, which is another nice way of seeing one is growing in the faith. And don’t forget the amazing practice of fasting! The more food and fun you substitute for prayer and Bible reading, the better your chances for slipping on into those Pearly Whites and away from those Grimy Blacks.

I say much of this in a very light and fluffy tone because I used to believe the absurdity that one’s eternal destiny was always based off of what s/he did (going to church, repenting, asking for forgiveness) or didn’t do (i.e., sin, say cuss words, think going to church was boring). Simply said, performance would be the determining factor that separated those who made God’s All-Star dream team from those who didn’t quite make the cut because of their God-geared deficiencies, not Jesus

Regardless of the silly way in which I presented the aforementioned information, somehow I was brainwashed into believing that this was the love of God. The greatest way God could show me how much He loved me was by sending His Son to die for me and presenting me with the option to accept this Salvation, though making the wrong choice would cost me an eternity’s worth of literal flames, torment, and abuse. I seriously believed that God was so loving enough, that He didn’t decide to stay impatient with me, take me out when He could’ve, and drop me in my predestined fate of hot dancing embers.

This was Good Love. Divine Love. Justice and Mercy at it’s finest.

Yet, after hearing the pure message of the Gospel over a year ago, that hell seemed and sounded illogical, arbitrary, stupid more and more. Not only that, but many of the questions I had entertained from time to time about the doctrine of hell or desired to ask even before hearing the Gospel, continued to get swept under the rug of my own fear. I couldn’t stomach much of the whole hell thing, but I slowly began to let the venomous toxins of this doctrine permeate my mind and life. Not only was I believing this damnable garbage and preaching this damnable garbage, I was also gloating in my Salvation as one on his way to heaven while all those other poor, non-God-fearing sinners and hypocritical, lukewarm Christians were quickly on their way to hell.

One Sunday morning at church, I remember hearing a message being taught from the perspective of getting your life right and if you don’t, screamed with complete religious conviction and assurance from across the pulpit, I heard “You are going to hell!!” Followed by amens, claps and hallelujahs, I sadistically smiled an actual smile and nodded my head with utter approval, and I blindly believed one of the most atrocious and heartwrenchingly untrue declarations proclaimed and held by a vast majority of Christianity as the heart of my Daddy.

Hell no.

The amazing, loving, kindhearted, and tender caring Father Jesus revealed and I have come to know, talk to, be embraced by, and adore looks nothing like that fickle prick that I was hearing about. As a result, I look at that painted hell doctrine and say, “Ha!”

At this point, I can really care less which Bible verses one darts my way, how many Bible verses one darts my way, and who, regardless of their religious, theological, and academic credentials, darts Bible verses my way. I will remain unmoved and boldly grounded in my Dad’s unconditional love and goodness so clearly revealed in the life and deeds of Jesus

Think about it, using the widely accepted view of hell. You’re in heaven, for example, having a freaking blast with everyone else who managed to make it with you while you get to live forever knowing that there are billions on top of billions of people ceaselessly burning moment by moment, nonstop. They don’t get water; they don’t get air; they don’t get help. Only pain. They are forever screaming because of the agonizing torment from the hottest flames that any man has ever or could ever experience. The oven is cranked all the way up, surpassing the temperatures of the Sun’s most fieriest solar flares. Hell probably makes the a visit on the Sun sound like a long happy walk on the beach. While you are laughing it up, they are burning and not dying, feeling each and every piercing sensation while God doesn’t do a damn thing about it because “they chose hell” instead of serving Him.

Really? For real? Like, really?

How in the hell could any person in heaven just sit back, legs outstretched and shrug his or her shoulders while cloud surfing through rainbows and conclude that that’s how the cookie crumbles, or rather how the fire burns? If we are honest without ourselves and with one another, hell is an eternal, deserved promise of sizzling vendetta for everyone unless they have purchased fire insurance called Salvation. This ‘gospel’ rinks of conditions, releases fumes of fear, and portrays a god that looks more like an enemy than a friend. This ‘gospel’ is unfair and arbitrary.  This ‘gospel’ is no Gospel at all. You get no choice to be born but all of a sudden have the decision to control your eternal well-being? There is a lot of something faulty within that line of thinking.

The more I feel the heartbeat of God and see His adoration for His most prized possession, His redeemed image, His kids, hell sounds unsurprisingly idiotic! To hell with hell. It’s hell enough for people trying to please a God that already worships them or jump through religious hoops for a God that never stopped noticing them. It’s hell enough for people that don’t have food on to eat, protective clothes to wear, or a stable place to call home. It’s hell enough wanting to be yourself around the very people that love you only when you are conforming to their manipulative, abusive ways only to make them happy.

I have zero regret for knocking the doctrine of hell. And this has nothing to do with cherry-picking the Bible to make it more palatable to “tickling my ears.” This has to all to do with Jesus. Love. Joy. Peace. Kindness. Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. Adoration. Truth. The Gospel! Things hell neglects altogether. I continue to taste and see that the Lord is so damn good! He’s scrumptious. He’s sweeter than the most chocolaty chocolate chip cookie with a side of ice cream I’ve ever had. Multiplied by infinity. By another infinity. And then another! If that was God’s best eternal plan before creating Humanity, if that was the best thought He could possibly conjure, then I wouldn’t hesitate to turn my back on Him.

Dad doesn’t need to threaten you with Him so He can get you to worship Him and boost up His confidence meter. He doesn’t need to present you with a large deep fryer as a final ultimatum to get you to live holy and righteously. And He doesn’t need to use any sort of subterfuge in hope you love Him back. He is not only confident in His love for you but He is fully confident in you!

Be free from that bondage, that voice, that fear that claims God is or has been out to get you if you don’t do what He says. He is so much better than we can all imagine. Get some sleep. Take a deep breath. For goodness sake, laugh and enjoy this amazing life.

That fire and brimstone hell stuff is stupid.

Daddy loves you, I promise!

God Loves Everyone in the Adult Entertainment Industry

Sport Fucking.








Sex Orgies.



These guys are probably just a few of the initial descriptions that can come to mind when one mentions adult entertainment. In this case, I’m using adult entertainment in an extremely broad sense that encompasses pornography, prostitution, sex trades, strip clubs, pimping, and adult magazines. Now, I must immediately throw out the forthright disclaimer that this blog is not about, in any way, shape or form, sin or me pointing fingers at individual people or corroborating some poor, recycled Christian argument that aims to make you ‘repent’ by feeling worse off.


This post will sincerely be about Grace and Love, about Acceptance and Restoration, about Forgiveness and Hope.

This post will be about a loving Jesus that faithfully welcomes, continually desires, and ferociously craves all people, regardless of what they ever did, are doing, or will do.

This post is about beautifully valued people who are still worth all the eternities to God.

For quite some time, I have held my mouth shut on many controversial topics and just found it so much easier and more fun to just love on people. Apart from that, I felt like cranking out the old chatterbox so here I am chatting…er typing…away.

I guess to have some sort of a grid on where I am coming from and how I arrived in my particular thought processing, I would definitely encourage you to read The Real Charlie (my first blog that may help explain some of my musings) when you have the time.

As I have already said, this post isn’t directed towards sin, sins, or sinning. I am not here to call out every male and female that watches a porno or has the urge to go into the jungle and dance with the anaconda or explore the cave. I am not going to say how evil sex is or how the adult entertainment industry wouldn’t exist if women just put on more layers of unattractive clothing on or if Christians prayed more for celibacy, abstinence, and purity rings to work.

Bump all that.

I’ve done the whole ‘True Love Waits’ ceremony. It doesn’t work! It’s just Christianity’s way of pointing you to your strength and ability to keep yourself away from premarital sex, “lustful” thoughts, and “sexually immoral” behaviors. Eh.

I get it. Sex is a Juggernaut within our society and within our media. It’s rampant almost everywhere you go, whether you are surfing the Web or surfing certain parts of the streets late at night.

I’m very well aware of the women that strip for money to make ends meet; or the men that pay women or men to have sex with them; or the men that slyly persuade or undeniably force a girl or woman into the sex industry; or the men and women that create sets for pornos and film other men and women performing more physically rigorous, demanding, and taxing sex scenes; or the girls that think sex is all they are good at; or guys that think the only sense of true intimacy and pleasure comes through a couple of HD screens and printed color pages; or people that believe there is zero glimpses of hope outside of the adult entertainment industry and sex, however sold, is their only contribution to the world.

Yet, this isn’t what bugs me most.

What bugs me most is knowing that these people are still people but aren’t talked about, described as, or treated like people. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that much of what’s done all in the name of business and entertainment is harmful and damaging and often dehumanizing to the participators and managers, as well as the viewers. But I can’t help but remember and reflect upon Jesus on the Cross.

His death was the loudest statement that said to every person on this planet, prior and after His death, “I will love you unconditionally and hold nothing against you regardless of what you do, still wanting you to know that you are beautiful and are incapable of losing value in My sight.”

This post is about the offensively permanent, scandalously greasy Love of God for all of His children. This is about a happy Father that longs to love His most cherished and prized possession and extend the highest praises of adoration in her favor. This is about a giddy Lover that hurts when He sees His Boo Thang hurt, but is still wanting to assure her that He’s not disappointed in Her though He disagrees with her harmful choices. This is about a God that came in the Jewish flesh of Jesus to touch His creation, hold His creation, kiss His creation, lay upon His creation, wash the feet of His creation, serve His creation, all the while showing that it was His deepest joy to get up and personal, be honestly involved, unashamedly physical.

To the stripper, no matter your reasoning for stripping or your current age, you are my sister and I love you so much. I wish you could hear the tremors of my voice physically tell you this but I really, wholly, legitimately love you. I can’t wait to be the crazily insane, yet lovingly affectionate, friend and brother for you that shows you how worth it and amazing you are, that you aren’t valuable because you know how to work a pole, have plump breasts or a nice, firm ass. I wish, if financial issues were the sole reason why you were perhaps trying to make ends meet or save up money for whatever reason, I could help out as many of you gals financially as possible. You aren’t dirty or beneath a woman because you strip. You aren’t less elegant or classy because you strip. Simply put, you are my sister and Dad’s daughter. You are elegant, classy, and made with the best stuff eternity has to offer because He says so.

To those that attend strip clubs and gentlemen clubs, you are just worthy. God isn’t angry at you, hoping you clean yourself, feel guilty, and finally enroll in a church to be saved or made right. I promise, He still loves and likes you. His infatuation for you and your romantic and creative ways has not been ceased. Above so many things, He wants you to know that He still is for you and loves you in this very moment and equally in the moments you are in the strip clubs tossing out cash. He proudly declares you His child and beloved.

To the beauties that prostitute, you still possess an illuminating purity that cannot be lost or destroyed. No matter how many people you sleep with or slept with, were disposed of like a rag doll, or abandoned because you appeared worthless, Jesus still looks you in the eye and recognizes a sharp, irreplaceable, and remarkable jewel unfathomable to the untamed eye. You are still His everything and His decree has always been you were worth it. I await the days I get to hold you cuties in my own arms and either introduce you to what it feels like to be caressed in an embrace of security and safety or reintroduce you to what it feels like to be caressed an embrace of security and safety.

To those that sleep with prostitutes, you, too, are worth it, worth dying for, worth living with, worth being around, worth bragging about, worth putting everything on the line for. You aren’t a monster though you probably have done some seemingly monstrous and unforgiving things. Dad looks at you with a thick raging fire in His eyes and knows that you aren’t a being of conditions, evil, and destruction but of love, good, and restoration. Despite the times feeling the desire to fulfill a particular sexual or emotional need, even at the expanse of paying for sex, Jesus still has no reason to condemn or judge you. And what’s even funnier was that He was still there with you and near you, speaking softly to your soul and reminding you that you were far greater than you could even comprehend. He still accepts all of you without any hesitation.

To all those in the porn industry, you still belong to Him. Daddy’s heart is not set on repaying you back with an STI, a broken heart, or a life filled with trouble, paranoia, and distress. He has given you abundance and desires you live from that given abundance with reckless abandonment to empower and love those around you. Those kiddie dreams you were told to give up on and replace with more ‘adult like’ passions and perspectives, let them breathe again and become the reality your heart was set to before the numbing came. You are still clean. You aren’t some filthy leper that deserves to be shunned away by society or any scoffing holy roller. It matters not how many times you have orally gone down on a man or a woman, how many times you had to have sex with multiple partners, how many times you were asked to perform uncomfortable and harmful sex stunts (or suggested these stunts) to make a scene more graphic and alluring, or how many times you had to take some sort of sexual enhancement drug to increase and prolong stamina and performance, I can’t wait to drown your forehead with sloppy agape kisses, hug you tightly, and kick it with you. You are innocent beyond wonder.

To those who watch porn and masturbate, seeking intimacy, relationship, friendship, or romance from the sexual positions and encounters of others, seek it not externally but internally where the fullness of intimacy, relationship, friendship, and romance abide — within you. You are the abode of what you are looking for. You aren’t a pervert or a “sick fuck.” Jesus still wants to laugh with you and learn more about how awesome you are and how awesome He believes you are. He still doesn’t mind putting His hand around you after you watched pornography or holding your hands after you have just masturbated. He doesn’t glare at you with eyes of disgust and impatience. He looks at you in wonder and says, “I can’t get enough of your presence. It’s okay if you mess up or feel you messed up. I’m here you and I’m not leaving. We are in this together.”

Whether it be the world of stripping, pimping, prostitution, or pornography, your world is incapable of being  too dark, too far gone, too “unholy” for God to turn away from. He aches at what He sees his children put themselves through when there is so much liberation, joy, happiness, peace, and breathing with their name on it. He aches when He sees His babies shackle one another and themselves by the neck, wrists, and ankles to illusory chains with real suffocating consequences. Yet, He smiles still knowing that they are beautiful, captivating, jaw-dropping, and knee-wrenching. He doesn’t care what they do in the sense that it doesn’t alter His perception of how He views them but He does care in the way that He’s knowledgeable of the effects certain decisions will have on their and other’s lives.

No, I don’t agree with probably 100% of the things that go down in the Adult Entertainment Industry. But I do know that all those people are worth it. Have they done crumby things seemingly worse than others? Grace. Have a lot of people been hurt from this  business? Love. Have marriages and relationships been shattered because of unhealthy and uncontrollable addictions? Reconciliation.

I am not tossing out the hurts people have experienced or the families that have been psychologically, physically, and emotionally trashed because of the grips of such a clawing beast. But I am saying Love can do and undo things anger, bitterness, and resentment could never do.

God’s mind is made up about these guys: They are worth it. And I agree with Him.

The Real Charlie

Hey there beautiful people.

My name is Charles but please feel free to call me Charlie.

I think it time I finally start this whole blog thing after various people have suggested or mentioned it to me. So since I have much down time during this summer, I would like to share some of the ideas that go on in this noggin of mine and the things that are very dear to my heart. I don’t know where this blog deal is going to go and I don’t know how often I will be writing but here is a little attention grabber to say the least.

Truthfully, I am having a bit of a hard time starting this thing because there are so many different places where I can start, yet I want to start at a fitting place that places you right in the middle the of heat of fire. Freaking goodness, this feels exactly like that time I was trying to write an introduction for this ridiculous 10-paged research paper. (See what I mean? The things that go on in my noggin).

I am a 21-year-old Houstonian kid that lives at home with his lovely mother and madly frisky, but playful, black miniature poodle, CoCo. I am also a very playful child that loves to have fun, crack jokes, and make the masses laugh by being my randomly goofy self. Additionally, I am very forward and blunt with the words I say and my mouth can be quite spicy as will be revealed later throughout my writings. I have this crazy infatuation and affection for people, more like an actual love and craving for people. I love them. A lot. Because they are so damn amazing and they are family! I also like segmenting sentences for emphatic purposes. Plus, it sounds so much cooler in my head when I read it to myself. I love Jesus, too. Really cool guy. Jewish with a very unorthodox and un-Christian sense of humor compatible with his sweetness, love, mercy, and transparent heart. This is really one cool dude. Saved the World and everyone this one time like 2,000 or so years ago. Man crush? Yup! In love? Definitely. Love my sexy chocolate self? Best believe it. [Laugh here].

Now, instead of me starting from the beginning when I came out of my mother’s womb covered in vernix, I’m going to start at the point where things got interesting (not to say things weren’t interesting before), where I began to see life and people in technicolor and melody, where I first heard and believed the Gospel.

Let me toss a disclaimer out there now: I am not your typical Christian. Even further than that, I wouldn’t even label myself one. The way I see things and the things that I say would freak out and piss off a good 90-95% of the Christian population. Let me toss out another disclaimer: my intent in this blog is not to purposely offend you, ruffle your feathers (though it may happen), or point fingers at you because I really just want to share my heart for the open ears out there. With that being said, what I am about to share will stem from my experiences at the church I have gone to and grown up in for essentially all my life. I will not be taking personal shots at people or going on a preacher-minister vendetta because I really don’t have a reason to. This is not me being angry, bitter, or resentful towards anyone at the church, let alone me responding out of hurt. This is me just sharing my heart and kinda “coming out of the closet” with things I have intentionally been holding back on saying.

To somewhat set the scene of my church home, it is an Apostolic black church glazed with a Pentecostal background — also known as Non-Denomination — that is characterized by shouting, being baptized specifically in the name of Jesus for the remission of one’s sins, being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues as evidence of being filled. I love these amazingly beautiful people and their sincere intentions and I am fully convinced knowing that Jesus loves them without fail or regret. Concurrently, I cannot avoid that within this sincerity, much unintentional harm has been committed, spoken, and showered towards many innocent bystanders.

Go figure.

In all honesty, I had a very vague understanding of who Jesus was growing up at my church. Consequently, I had a even greater misunderstanding about who God was. I knew many of the church cliches, learned the vernacular quite well, and had my Doctorates Degree in Communications of Christianese. I mean I heard that God was good all the time and all the time God was good nearly every Sunday. I was taught that Jesus died for me on a Cross for my sins when it should have been me instead for my sinfulness. I was taught about the seriousness and depth of hell, its eternal fire, and the Sovereign God overseeing everything that was to make it happen unless I changed the way I was living. I was to be in the Word of God, rightly dividing it accordingly. I was taught that I had to give 10% as a tithe to God and also offer an offering as well. I was supposed to serve God with “all my heart, energy, soul, and strength.” I was told not to sin or to stop sinning or to get it right or to “choose ye this day” whom I was gonna serve: Jesus or Satan (along with sin). Speaking in tongues, repenting for my sins, and getting baptized in Jesus’ name was heavily emphasized. I was taught so many things, was to believe so many things at face value, and I didn’t know what the hell any of it really meant. I just went along with the flow of things.

As I grew up and started getting more informed about the “calling” on my life to preach, I, consciously and unconsciously, started to take church, ministry, my calling, and my life a bit more seriously than needed. But serious in the wrong way. So serious to the point that I started becoming a young, closed-minded Pharisee in the making. I secretly looked up to the key preachers and speakers at church that declared the “Word of God” from across the pulpit. I also started taking special note of their styles in delivery, the way they gesticulated, the way they articulated their words and altered their tone while reading the Bible. I quickly learned the ways of the Jedi Shouter on the alters. I was academically memorizing and retaining Scriptures without fail. My activity levels in the church were through the roof, literally bursting forth with glee. And before you knew it, I had climbed that Apostolic ziggurat by being a youthful, zealous and eloquent voice on the pulpit and developed a pretty cute reputation at my church.

And with all that, I still didn’t know the heart of my Dad.

I still knew little about loving people unconditionally. Without any type of conditions, fine prints, or ulterior motives. My Ph.D in Christianese did me zero good in seeing and loving people the way Jesus sees and loves them. With all my memorization of Bible verses, my nice little reputation as the “little bishop,” and being somewhat of a popular face around the church, I was always judging people because they weren’t meeting up to my standards, the arbitrary standards I learned from the upper-level laity, or the standards of holiness and righteousness I believed God placed upon them. If you cussed, you missed the mark. If you smoked, you missed the mark. If you got a tattoo, were considering a tattoo, or had a tattoo, you missed the mark. If you weren’t as fired up and energized as I was about Kingdom Business or the church, you missed the mark. If you had a drink (beer, wine, or Mike’s Hard Lemonade), you missed the mark. If you had sex before marriage, you missed the mark. And if you were a homosexual, by God, you were the vilest creature to be in my presence.

Repulsive, I know.

Most times it wasn’t evident that I was judging because I was doing it internally. Sometimes, if I heard you proclaim that you were a Christian or I knew you were, I quickly voiced my Christian moral beliefs that proved why what you were doing or saying was sinful or wrong. Other times, I would feel conflicted and shitty because I could never understand why I could never bring myself to say or behave in such ways towards my best friend since second grade who wasn’t what would be considered “straight” during high school and didn’t really believe in God. Continually and consistently was I being morphed into and behaving from the image and likeness of the church elite. I didn’t know who I was. Yet, I didn’t know anything outside of that. I didn’t really know what I believed; I just believed it. Fear, his girlfriend, Law, and his parents, Condemnation and Guilt, along with their bastard cousin Hell did a massive whammy to the way I viewed people, relationships, church, God, love, and life.

Then we fast-forward to the summer of last year, then a sophomore/junior in college. This is when everything changed. Everything.

Last summer was the first time I had heard the Gospel. I know this may sound and seem a bit counterproductive after having been in church all my life to make such a statement. I can unashamedly say this though. I started listening to this amazing teacher of the Gospel, John Crowder, and my little Christian antennas at the time were on high alert because I didn’t understand what was going on. More specifically, for the first time while hearing this guy teach via his Youtube videos, I saw a really happy guy totally in love not only with Jesus but with how much Jesus loved him and the Human Race, a guy not speaking from Christian duty or moral obligation. As the guy talked, shared his heart, and pronounced this Good News that I had never heard taught aright, he exuded so much unexplainable joy, happiness, intoxication, bliss, and authenticity I had never seen before. The way this dude expressed Dad’s heart slowly, but surely, began to make me aware of a world and reality that had always existed, that I had always been part of but unfortunately was veiled to. I saw that this was what it looked like to be overtaken and constrained by Grace and all its majestic splendor.

The way he talked and what he talked about was beyond foreign to me; it was downright blasphemous initially. For so long, I heard about Jesus, about joy, about freedom, about the power of God, about holiness and righteousness, about being saved, about various things of the like. And yet, I still wasn’t experiencing this Jesus that had happily ruined John Crowder. Though it may not have been the intent behind what was spoken and preached at my church, I found myself either feeling guilty about my “secret sins’ while being unsure about the destination of my soul’s outcome to feeling like God’s favorite because of my church-driven performance to shout properly, speak in tongues with clear enunciation, and be zealous like those who’s spirituality was hallmarked by ruthless fasting, praying, and whatever other spiritual disciplines.

Unknowingly, I was hooked to the Jesus and God that Crowder was proudly proclaiming. No matter how many times I felt quick to label him wrong, heretical, or off, I kept coming back for more. He was saying some, at the time, excruciatingly out there statements such as:

  1. God is not mad at you.
  2. Jesus died for and as the entire Human Race.
  3. We are perfect and without flaw to this Lover.
  4. I am not a sinner and there is nothing sinful about me.
  5. God forgave all of Humanity and isn’t holding trespasses against them.
  6. Jesus’ obedience without a doubt trumps Adam’s disobedience.
  7. I am righteous and holy and clean and pure.
  8. God reconciled the world to Himself in the Person of Jesus [Union].
  9. You belong to God and He accepts you.
  10. Jesus saved you whether you know it or believe it or not! It is finished.

These few little points may seem trivial to some and offensive to others  just as much as it was to me when I started hearing them, but these truths brought so much freedom, so much life, so much joy. I was beginning to lose my mind only to find it in Jesus. I was rediscovering and discovering, relearning and learning, recapturing and capturing the eternal beauty of this Jesus figure that really always had me and the rest of Humanity in mind and in his hands. Astonished, shocked, scared, amazed, lost, unsure, overwhelmed, mesmerized — these were just a few of the things I felt and experienced when hearing the Gospel. Just like that, much of what I had been taught and hugged so tightly to as a foundation had literally disintegrated right before my eyes. What was once concrete assurance in my faith turned to mere chocolate pudding. I was left, just like that, to actually get to know this God that Jesus perfectly revealed. I no longer had to or could cling to Fear and all his relatives anymore for my theology, my Salvation, or my relationship with God. I no longer had to let fiery flames and an eternal furnace be my motivation in trying to talk to the “lost sinners” or those in the world or those that didn’t believe in God or those who didn’t believe God exactly like me verbatim.

Everything changed.

The way I read, saw, and interpreted the Bible was turned upside down right on its cover. It began to actually make more sense when I saw it through the unchanging act of Jesus on that Cross. I was beginning to understand that Grace got me and that Grace was a Person named Jesus! Such a sweetie pie. The pie that has a pretty gnarly kick and punch though. My heart was captured like a lemon on a hot summers day. My insides were torn into pieces, left with the fullness of thankfulness, happiness, and hopefulness. The subconscious mentalities of us vs. them, in vs. out, Christian vs. the others made no sense and lost any trace of existence they could possibly have. The spineless traditions, hand-me-down teachings, and harmful beliefs were getting ambushed and replaced with the goodness of God as revealed so clearly through my bro Jesus.

Everything changed.

My desire to continue going to church had been squelched. Nonetheless, I was so eager to bring this news back to the home church and tell the people that they can stop with their dreary tears, loud cries, and balled fists towards God because He was pleased with them. Not on a basis of their performance or lack thereof but because they are His damn kids! Because He did something so foolproof and permanent in Jesus on the Cross that He couldn’t help but be pleased. I was up and ready to let people at my church know that God really loved them unconditionally and wasn’t threatening them for not loving Him enough back. I was eager to let them know that it wasn’t up to and never had been up to them to preserve, maintain, or attain their Salvation.

Sadly, I immediately found out that this wouldn’t be such a wise decision. For instance, this one Sunday morning during Sunday School, I questioned something within the lesson and said some things that came against what was being taught. I wasn’t trying to be offensive for the sake of offense or flare up the hornets nest to egg on a reaction. I was just throwing something out there for brainstorming purposes. But let’s just say what I asked and said wasn’t welcomed with open arms and warm kisses. No, I wasn’t excommunicated from the church or chased out after with gasoline drenched torches as if I were some witch or warlock. But, there was a quick urgency to correct me and tell me what was right and why it was right.

Surprisingly, this was what I had done for the majority of my life because this was something I adapted as a Defender of the Faith. When anything pertaining to God, church, or sin came my way, I was always on my toes to correct or point out why something else was wrong. If it didn’t line up with what I grew up learning, it must have been wrong. If it seemed to me that your life wasn’t on the straight and narrow as I felt it should have looked according to me, I would try to guide you back to the “Word of God” so you wouldn’t spend forever in the Hell God prepared for sinners.


Learning more about Grace, my identity as a Son and not a sinner, and not being sinful, rotten, or dark (besides this milky skin color of mine), I began losing every taste, urge, mindset, and desire to sin. Sin became more and more irrelevant. Smaller. Alien. As I began to rest in the reality that Jesus really does love and accept me for me; that I didn’t have to live up to the expectations of what others figured I would be; that He always desired me and never took His gaze off of me even when I was in sin or sinning out of ignorance; that He still wanted to just hangout and have fun with me, I began surely falling in love with a very, very, very good Father and Lover. A Person that cared. That loved living life with me and seeing life through my eyes.

During all the quick and gradual changes that were taking place in my life, Dad started showing me the real me. Not who others wanted me to be. Not who others thought I’d be. Not who others wished me to be. Just the Real Charlie. I have been learning more about who I am and how He expresses Himself through me. It’s one heck of the combination of sexy, bubbles, rainbows, and Tinkerbells.

I began to get a greater understanding of His heart towards His girls. The sweet spot I have for women and the way I express myself towards them is something I know only His freedom and love can produce in me as a guy. I like it though. A lot. I am super affectionate, brotherly, sisterly, motherly, and fatherly, and can be quite the intimate one. I get to call them beautiful, gorgeous, boo, sexy, amazing, treasured, darling, cutie pie, valued and even “all that” (anyone still uses that phrase in the 21st centruy?) without trying to get into their pants or imply some discreet sexual undertone that I want to hook up with them. I hug them tightly. I embrace them. I avoid  that awkward side-hug bologna like the senseless plague it is. And for the love of Obvious Land, it is apparent women have breasts on their chest. Goodness! And sometimes, if I know the comfort level and freedom of the individual or depending on the situation/setting, I will kiss her on the forehead, head, or cheek. I have held their hands, been in close proximity with them, consoled them as family would do, and looked them deep in the eyes with full acceptance as I do my beautiful girlfriend.

I love being the Real Charlie. The guy that has no shame in being unresponsive towards manipulation, coercion, or control. I respect those in authority, but I will not bow down to you and your forceful, unloving demands. I will not “submit” to what you tell me to do simply because you tell me to or have some years of experience and age on me or think it the will of God to throw Bible verses at me with a “thus sayeth the Lord” attached to it.

I get a thunderous joy being myself with people, sharing my wholeness with that of others. I love to give to people whether it be monetary or material. I enjoy investing into the lives, dreams, and desires of those around me that privilege me in doing so. I think the homeless are so damn awesome! Genuine. Sweet. Peachy. Colorful. Actual people with real life stories and human experiences. I like to break out in dance or song along with random strange sounds that make no sense. I love being the big kid that I am without having to constrain my happiness or feel like I must be someone else so I don’t disrupt the comfort zones of those that believe Jesus is too serious for laughter and fun. I like being as or more childlike than my nieces and nephews and other people’s children.

This is the Real Charlie.

I am not the hugest fan of modernized, traditional church today. I don’t read my Bible daily and I don’t have a set quiet time to talk with Jesus. I listen to “secular” music. I like Paramore, Breaking Benjamin, and Anberlin. I like Seagrams and Wine Coolers. They taste like spiked Snapples or Arizona Teas. I love dancing to songs that have a  funky, old school or Latin feel to it. I love visiting my girlfriend’s Facebook page because I can’t get enough of her smile and aura of joy. I love being transparent and direct. I enjoy laying out the truth for you (if you care to hear it). I have grown a unique affinity for bromances more than ever recently. I don’t mind letting my feminism coexist with and blur together with my masculinity. I think it’s cool knowing Jesus farted and probably had morning wood (Google it). Because he is a dude and experienced puberty.

I love witnessing Jesus reconcile a marriage back together right before my eyes when a wife was fearful that her marriage was a goner. I enjoy seeing love Chuck Norris kick the lies in the face that are tormenting a fellow sister/daughter contemplating suicide. I love hearing from my friends that dead babies are being raised back to life after having been pronounced dead while in their mother’s womb. I get a kick out of seeing people so intoxicated on the very freedom Christ died for them for. I get wrecked hearing that His kids are living in freedom without having to die daily, crucify their flesh, or combat against sin as if it is an unbeatable foe. And I love losing my self when others begin awakening to the declarations and beliefs that God has always spoken and believed about them.

This is me. The silly, goofy, straightforward, nothing to hide, having fun Charlie. This is who I am.

The Magnificence of the Gospel

Hey there amazing, holy, righteous, dazzling, stupendous loving family! My name is Charles and I am a new addition here to Gospel911. My bro Justin opened up his blog to me so I could open my heart to others and I am completely honored to share with you what Daddy has been sharing with me.

Before I start getting off into my first blog, I want to tell you a little about myself.

I. Love. the. Gospel! The beauty of this unchanging and eternal message has utterly ruined me. My script has been flipped for good. I am still trying to juggle the gorgeous realities and revelations that He constantly enables me to enjoy and see. I no longer regard any man after the flesh, after any false identities, or after any labels. All I see I is Christ, a world that was exposed as right-side up, my family made in the spitting image and likeness of Papa God! It’s beautiful.

I also am a dance fanatic. I am dead serious. I really enjoy the freedom that is compatible with dance. If you ever see me in person, I guarantee you’ll see me busting a move at one point or another.

Writing is surely one of my top preferences and mediums in sharing the Gospel or loving on people. But there is nothing like face-to-face, lovely gushy fellowship! That’s my favorite.

Enough about me and my random quirks for this and that.

The Magnificence of the Gospel.

Even the word “magnificence” is an understatement (like any other word) in trying to describe the awesomeness of the Gospel. What God, through and as Christ, accomplished on the Cross is the Finale of all finales, the Grand Slam of all grand slams, and the Yes of all yeses. There wasn’t a time in eternity when God was not thinking about you, anticipating the moment when you would physically manifest and be born before His attentive, star-struck eyes. The victory and success of what Jesus  fulfilled on the Cross screams of Daddy’s made up mind for you and every possible person that would graze the earth.

Now that that’s settled and this limitless Truth has been established, time to switch gears just a bit. The next few things you read may be a bit challenging. Another thing I forgot to mention about myself is that I don’t mind being blatantly transparent, real, and to the point. I have no need to beat around the bush or cut around the hedges. BOOM! Buckle up because there is a strong possibility that your mind might be stretched to the mind of Christ that you already possess. If you don’t initially agree with all that I write this current moment, I am totally okay with that and so is Daddy. Regardless of disagreements, we are still 100% family and still 100% His!

Being brought up in the church, I was unknowingly placed under a skewed mentality of us versus them, in versus out, saved versus unsaved. This very mentality continually tainted my outlook on unconditionally loving people and seeing them as how God sees them: His children. It was difficult for me to look at the homosexual, bisexual, transgender or gay without judging them not just apart from their behavior but literally. And if you cussed around my virgin ears and were a believer, I would be quick and nimble to ask if you could be careful with your tongue because to my knowledge, cussing was a sin. I was also the swift, sincere little Pharisee that would prove why Christians shouldn’t get tattoos or drink occasional glasses of wine or have a beer here and there because our bodies are temples and we want to present them as holy and living sacrifices unto God.

In essence, I hadn’t heard the Gospel. I learned Churchinese thoroughly, spoke in tongues, was aware of the spiritual realm and knew what I was taught pretty well. Aside from that, I had no clue what it looked like to love the “sinners” unconditionally for simply who they were. My mind was so clouded by the illusory wall of church|world that my common response was judgement, condemnation, or indifference. But Daddy has surely revealed to me His Goodness and His eternal Good News and it is this same Goodness and Good News that segues into the main course of this blog.

If we ever believe or agree that some people deserve less love than others, we indeed have an issue. The prostitute, the abusive man (or wife), the pimp, the pedophile, the serial killer, the homosexual, the young lady who had an abortion, the porn addict, the theif, the unfatithful spouse, the young pregnant teen, the racist, the peeping tom is of NO LESSER VALUE than the next.

For many believers, Grace, Love, and Mercy are beautifully flowered topics to talk and write about, but when it comes to extending them towards others, their brothers and sisters, Grace, Love, and Mercy immediately become the most conditionally choked gifts known to man. There is a natural tendency for us to have much more sympathy for the victim who was hurt, afflicted, put through pain or whatever else and I get that. On the other hand, however, the person who caused or initiated these states upon the victim is looked upon according to the behavior compatible with a false identity and usually treated like the scum of the earth.

One Word: Conditional

Now, this perception would make complete sense…if I were still looking at my fellow brothers and sisters through a broken, distorted frame of  judgment and fallenness, or as Paul would say, “after the flesh.” As soon as we think that the spouse that commits adultery, the person that goes on a rampant killing spree, the kid who steals money for drugs, the pregnant teen girl getting an abortion, the physically and emotionally abusive parent deserves less Grace, Love, and Mercy, we have stepped into partiality USA. Let me be clear: I am not condoning their actions that align with an already, nailed-to-the-Cross false identity but I am also not condemning them because neither does Dad.

As far as Christ is concerned, He still sees HIS child made in HIS image and in HIS likeness. The beauty of Jesus is that He represented, died for, and died as Humanity just as Adam represented and corrupted that same Humanity. But O’, how much more glorious was the second (and LAST) Adam that came and stood for Humanity, as Humanity, because of Humanity.

These lovely people that operate out of hurt, pain, ignorance, anger or hate do not or may not know what Christ has already completed for them on the Cross for free, that He considers them righteous, holy, spotless, blameless, and my favorite, INNOCENT! These awesome people have in NO WAY lost value to the Creator of the Universe. If we so faithfully and cheerfully label individuals in categories of deviant, crazy, evil, castaways, hopeless, helpless, useless, then that’s what they will manifest and that’s what we will continually see. Yes, actions still produce outcomes and causes still have effects, but what Christ has done significantly overrides what “offenses” or “crimes” any person has committed. Performance, whether contrary to our nature in Him or to get to Him, is futile. God loves them unconditionally and has already forgiven them; they just don’t know it yet. Now, I know this may sound a bit offensive and if you feel a bit of anger possibly rising up, it is strongly possible that you haven’t heard the  pure, untainted, life-changing Gospel. With that being said, I encourage you to hear the scandalous Grace of the Good News, that we have been co-crucified, co-buried, and co-resurrected with Life and Love Himself.

Jesus didn’t die for Christians, He died for the world. He didn’t die for churchgoers, He died for the world. He didn’t die for believers who believed the same doctrine, He died for the world. For every single person that has touched this earth, that is on this earth, and that has yet to touch this earth. The Gospel is FANTABULOUS news for everyone at every moment.

Who is your Daddy and what Did He do!?

Who is your Daddy and what DID He do!?

One of my favorite movies to quote Arnold Schwarzenegger lines from is Kindergarten Cop. If you haven’t seen it, this is a clip of the quote I’ve chosen to title this blog series after 🙂

So…before we can really get into what your Daddy did, perhaps we should establish who YOUR real Daddy is?

But first…a little “Red pill/Blue pill” abstract to prime your cerebral palate!

Feel free to read, or feel free to keep movin on by…it’s your life 🙂

When Jesus Christ came into our world 2000+ years ago, in the flesh, and reached out to His children, showing humanity who He is and how much He loves us, He flipped the world upside down! Having been born in an obscure town, from a family that had no obvious royal heritage (even though He was in the lineage of king David), the fact that millions still worship Him (and many more knowing Him by name as their favorite explicative, haha) till this very day is a testament that He was more than a “good teacher”. But, validating the historical accuracy of Jesus’ existence isn’t the purpose of this blog series.

There are plenty of great Christian apologetic ministries that make compelling cases for the authenticity and reliability of the Bible and the accuracy of the historical accounts revolving around Christ, and I will add those ministries as links to this blog as time goes.

This message is primarily for those who have no issue believing that there was a historical Jesus, that He was God incarnate, He lived on this earth for about 33 years, was sentenced to death by crucifixion and then rose from the dead three days later…proving His deity and resurrection to thousands of eye witnesses for 40 days before He ascended back to heaven. This message is not only directed towards “believers”, however, but if you don’t happen to believe in the historicity of Jesus yet, you might not appreciate everything I’m trying to convey…but this applies to everyone, unless otherwise mentioned.

Alrighty…now, let’s get back to the Nitty Gritty!

So…Who is your Daddy?

In Matthew 23:9 – Jesus, speaking of God says:

“Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

Now, reading this in context with the surrounding verses, it’s clear that Jesus is referring to not elevating anyone’s spiritual and ultimate authority above that of God’s and considering everyone as equal, or as brothers/sisters (v.8). He’s not saying anything against dishonoring the role of our earthly fathers, but to make the point that God is ultimately Father to all of us.

In Matthew 6:25-27 – Jesus tells us we don’t have to worry about anything because our Father takes care of us:

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

If God takes care of the animals, who are far less valuable to God than you are, how much more will He take care of you? You are God’s child! Now, of course, life can be rough and there may not be an easy answer for suffering, starvation, poverty, etc…but God is good. I probably wouldn’t be far off in accuracy if said the riches earned by professional athletes in America alone could feed all the starving nations of the world…but who am I to judge what they should do with their money?

God gives life, and our lives are most enriched when we realize His presence and promise…whether in this world or the next. He promises He is always with you and will never leave you.
In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches us a simple prayer emphasizing that God is our Father and we can talk to Him directly:

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’”

For many more Scriptural references of God as our Father, visit this link – God the Father in the Holy Scriptures

Mike Miller explains how Jesus, the Son of God, revealing Himself as the “Son of Man” was indicating to all of us that we are equally “sons and daughters of God”. I highly recommend listening to the whole series, but this session drives home the point – Identity Restored – Session 3

So, now when asked “Who is your Daddy?”…your answer should be “God is!”

Okay, well some might not be quite convinced yet…but hopefully, as I get into this truth more, the revelation of what this actually means will hit us with abundant joy!

For my Bible thumpin friends, hahah j/k…you might be saying “Wait just a minute there buster! My Bible says that God is only the Father of Christians! Only those who believe and have the Spirit of God are God’s children! Well look right here in Romans 8:14,15, Paul says that only those who are led by the Spirit are ‘Sons of God’ and that we are adopted when we receive His Spirit!”

Well I’ll be! It sure sounds that way doesn’t it? You mean to tell me the myriad of verses in the Bible that tell me that God is everyone’s Father has been trumped by this verse or the few others that seem to imply this line of exclusionary thinking?!

Reading a little further sheds some light on the context of what Paul’s saying. In verse 16, Paul says that the Spirit of God in us testifies (which means He makes known the reality) that we are His children, so we can be confident that we do have an awesome Father who’s able to do all things.

The Amplified version of the Bible translates Romans 8:15 like this:

For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!

So, you still might say…”Sure, but the Holy Spirit testifies to believers and adopts believers as sons/daughters”

Heresy alert…the Holy Spirit has been poured out on ALL mankind! Acts 2:17, we are in the last days now!

When you “receive”, or more accurately are awakened by, the Holy Spirit, your heart is opened to the fact that you are God’s child and you always were. That realization ought to produce utter and ecstatic bliss in which we cry out for joy that the Creator of the entire Universe is our Father…He’s not some glorified ethereal judge who’s sitting up there anxiously waiting for you to die, in hopes that when you come before the throne He’ll be able to satisfy His wrath by eternal punishment in hell for rejecting His Son.

Tangent Alert ~ As a side note, don’t be fooled by pre-ressurection Scripture that may sound like God is only the Father to believers, like John 1:12 for instance. Jesus, Himself, was not a New Covenant teacher. He did extend grace a few times as He was segueing into ultimate grace, but much of what is in the red letters is an amplified version of the law as the Old Covenant was still in full affect.

The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, aka “The Gospels”, ironically do not really convey the message of THEE Gospel. They give the accounts of Jesus’ life and how He accomplished the Gospel, but Paul’s books are the Gospel oriented books. I know, I know…this sounds like heresy, but ya gotta trust me on this.

The Bible has to be rightly divided between Old Covenant theology and New Covenant theology. God IS the same yesterday, today, and forever…but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t stick to His end of the deal when He makes a covenant with man. I realize this side note opens up a huge Costco sized can of worms, but…please allow me to explain this side note further in future blogs.

Okay, back from the tangent…

One more case to hopefully bring the point home that you are God’s child.

Have you ever heard the expression “Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesars”?

Just in case you haven’t…allow me to capture where that came from and what it means.

In the book of Matthew, Chapter 22 , some religious folk who were trying to find ways to put Jesus in jail figured they could trap Jesus in some sort of admission that He was a law breaker. He’d obviously been telling people that they are citizens of heaven, children of God, and their allegiance ought to be to God and not man. So with that message, they thought He was advocating that they are free to break earthly laws, since their government and kingdom is Heaven…which included not having to pay taxes.

So, realizing that they were trying to trick Him, He asked for a coin and asked them to tell Him who’s image was on the coin. When they told Him that Caesar’s image was on the coin, He said…”Okay then, give back to Caesar that which is Caesar’s…and give back to God that which is God’s”.

Why didn’t they ask Him, “okay, so what belongs to God then?”…because they knew exactly what He meant, since they knew the Scriptures well.

In Genesis 1:26, when God was creating the Universe…when He was deciding how to make man, He said “Let Us make man in Our image.” Just in case you didn’t catch that…the “Us” that God is referring to is Himself – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, being that man is created in God’s image…when Jesus said to give to God that which is God’s, He’s saying to give yourself to God. He didn’t say let’s create Christians in Our image and we’ll make a race of sinners in the image of Satan. No, we ALL bear His image and He is the Father of EVERYONE!!

Our paradigm of who God is must be awakened to the truth! God’s wrath is an extension of His magnificent love for us. It’s His emphatic “NO” to sin, not because He’s offended by sin and needs to squash every bit of evidence of it in the world, but because of what sin does to beloved His children!

Christ obliterated every trace of sinfulness in this world 2000 years ago…when He died, you died. There is NO separation between you and our Father. He died on the cross not only FOR you but AS you. Every penalty that you feel you owe for your behavior has already been paid.

Embrace YOUR Father…you ARE His child and He loves you more than you can possibly imagine!!

This is a good place to take a break, and I’ll continue in the next week or so with discussing why it is so important for us to realize that God is our Father, as when we realize that He is our Father, we’ll expect He has the characteristics of a father.