Let’s Talk About Legacy

I think It’s time I wrote about this. This post is about the status of the church. Not the entirety of the body, but my experience and thoughts about what I have observed in many parts of it.

In my childhood, I recall eagerly greeting my church family with hugs and handshakes. After every service, I would go from group to group and person to person trying my best to speak with everyone. I in addition to the love I felt I had a boundless admiration for our predecessors. The Founding Generations of many of our churches built a foundation for success. They did this without the security of wealth or the privilege of higher learning. They found a way to build the churches despite the turmoil they faced as African Americans. As time went on they left the future in the hands of their successors; my father’s generation. In my adolescences, I would shadow my mother & father. Growing up in church I was never forced to go to church or dragged out of bed. Much like my parents I love God and love to be around people who feel the same way. Most importantly I love growing. When your a kid that’s motivation enough, being in love with God and wanting to grow stronger in that love. If a child doesn’t want to go to church chances are they aren’t experiencing authentic love. God’s authentic love is impossible to resist for children.

People often use fear and reverence as interchangeable terms. It’s my belief that this has lead many to miss out on the fullness of what God has for them. Often we preach the gospel from a dangerous place called nostalgia. We believe ourselves to be following in the footsteps of greatness. Yet the reality is we are more often than not sinking in their shadows. So often I hear about how the “old saints were harsh and strict”. But was that really what made the church the built great? Discipline is necessary to drive out disobedience, however, you seemed to have missed the point. The founding generation knew that to survive a tough world you had to be tougher. But at the same time, I’ve heard stories that highlighted the Christ in them. To many of us are chasing after the “Rod of Disciple” and forgetting it is held by “The Hand of Mercy”. We act as the only way to righteousness is to judge or be judged. We focus so much on what not to do we forget to be examples of what should be done. There are people in every generation that need to be saved. So an effective church sees growth at every level. But if your church has not had stable growth in 40 years you can’t blame it on my generation.

What have you done with the foundation the founders left for you. They didn’t build all of these churches for their names to be worshiped or for the pews to be empty. My generation wants to see an authentic move of God. My generation doesn’t care about fancy stages or tittles. We aren’t impressed by the simulacra of salvation we want the real thing. Emotional Experience has become the cultural capital of the American Church. Nostalgia is just another form of this. It impossible for us to have nostalgia for a time before we existed. Toxic Nostalgia has created stagnation in our services. To many of you are content with the status quo. Our God is infinite so why do we place finite limitations on Him? Why are we content to just do church as usual. For the Founding Generation Christ was the a The Solid Rock of their foundation. To many of us are building our Churches atop the sands of nostalgia. That is why we see churches flooded and crumbling under the waves of modern society. It is not because of some new threat. It is because we are so focused on where are predecessors went we forgot where they came from.

Many of you inherited leadership from your parents and grandparents. You are disappointed that your family isn’t living up to your expectations. But you forget Moses had children but it was Joshua who inherited his mantle. There are many of you that desire to turn an Absalom into a Solomon. Then when Absalom fails you, you blame an entire generation for the shortcomings of the few. Likewise, there are some of you who Operate like King Saul and expect us to follow you into war much like Jonathan. Moses and David inherited the legacy of God’s promise to Abraham. Moses was a great leader, but he wasn’t perfect. His harsh tongue and disobedience kept him from realizing entering The Promised Land. David was a great king but his “hidden” sin and bloody hands kept him from building The Temple. Despite their shortcomings, God provided them people to continue their legacy. When Moses grew too old to hold up his staff it was Joshua that held up his hands. When Moses passed away it was Joshua that lead the Israelites into Jerusalem. David fought to keep Jerusalem safe. David collected the resources for The Temple, but it was Solomon who built it. It was Solomon who prayed for wisdom on how to rule. It troubles my soul to see so many of our churches taking the route of Saul. Much like Saul you look at your successors as if they don’t have what it takes to be king. You try to equip them with your armor to fight battles you are too afraid to fight yourselves. When God says it’s time to pass on the mantle you fight to destroy the very people who want to help you.

We cannot afford to continue this way. There is a generation coming up that needs to feel the authentic love of Christ. A generation that needs a place to grow. Every member of my generation has entered adulthood. What comes next is a generation that is going to need guidance. This world will always be chaotic. Christians should reflect God’s light. If we are too busy bickering to be beacons we are of no use to anyone. I am challenging everyone who reads this post to ask themselves who they are. Who are you to the generation that came before. Who are you to the generation that came after. Maybe your Moses and you’ve been in the same spot for 40 years. Or maybe you are Joshua inheriting a battle you don’t feel equipped for. Are you a Saul or David? Are you a Jonathan, Absalom, or Solomon? What role are you playing it shaping the next generation? If you what to be Absalom, then clear the way for Solomon. If you are a Saul, clear the way for David. If you are a Jonathan why are you fighting alongside someone you know is heading in the wrong direction. Is that really where you want to make your grave?

What is your legacy and what is your foundation? Would you find it satisfying to spend another 40 years where you are now? I am 26 and I have prayed about this for the better part of a decade. I am not content to sit in stagnation. I want to see a revolution. I want to see change. I want to experience Boundless Admiration for what the body is doing. I want to be challenged to grow and help those around me grow as well. What is it that you want? Is what you have now really enough for you?

By ionicprodigy

It’s Not New.

The ability to reach an audience is the most effective way of bringing about real change. Humanity has historically been ruled by with power. The major force of change in civil principals is the availability of platforms. With social media, the formerly voiceless have a platform.

The consciousness revolution is not creating new issues. Social media is a platform for equalization of representation. Individuals from historically marginalized groups can now engage in shaping the world. For this reason, we must continue and bring inclusion into the narrative. The inclusion of minority issues and problems is not an attack on the majority. The empowerment of the underrepresented is not a call for the enslavement of those in power. Our quest for equality is not an attack on your freedom. Our desire to exist is not a call for your demise. Talking about history does not mean you are stuck there. We must acknowledge the shortfalls of the past if we are ever to move forward. If we desire to advance we must examine the foundation of where we stand.

A monument built on blood & hate is a tombstone for everyone involved. It’s nearly impossible to heal from a wound that has never been treated. The idea that bringing up the past is irrelevant is foolish. It is possible to acknowledge all parts of history and move forward to a better tomorrow. Yet still, it takes more than acknowledgment to proceed. You do not have to be a genius to learn from the history of others. Success is built on learning from mistakes. A mistake does not have to be yours for you to learn from it. Remain open to the existence of the lessons to be learned from the mistakes of those who tried before you. History allows us to gain knowledge without suffering from the mistakes of the past. Only a fool would reject wisdom that is so freely given. Refusal to acknowledged and learn from the past is willful ignorance. This ignorance can lead to unnecessary pain, strife, and disaster. Fear is the product of a perceived threat. Sometimes minorities fear that the those who outnumber them are ignorant. Often majorities are ignorant of those fears of those they outnumber. The danger is that minority fear is often suppressed in favor of the ignorance of the masses.

Whenever it can be avoided do not remain ignorant of the plight of people different than you. It is too easy to act as if the world revolves around you. The human experience is more diverse than anyone can hope to comprehend. Learn to respect people beyond what you can relate to.

By ionicprodigy

Seven

1st period algebra is where I met my true best friend.
Do you remember? It was 2007 when I met you back then.

By 08 I had lost you we barely even spoke.
Every memory of that year is just as clear as a reflection made of smoke.

A swell of emotions I still never overcame.
Competed with the feeling I was not the same.

The summer of 09
when I thought I could be fine.

I tried put my feelings on a shelf.
I convince myself I can find some else.

A year goes by, your still on my mind.
I start looking for someone else, anyone I could find…

That year I meet someone
I imagine perfection where there is none.

Talked about kids, making her my wife,
imagining that someone outside of you could complete my life.

Oh sure it felt like fun… the same way falling feels like flying till you hit the ground.
The same way silence is just music without any sound.

I was her boyfriend from the spring of 09 to the fall of 11
but my heart was in a box marked 2007.

It had been 4 years,
I had forgotten the tears,
but just like that you reappear.

You always do that…

Disappear then come back from out of the blue.
But even when you are gone I still think about you.

When your around it is the first day of spring
or perhaps the last day of winter a time for wondering the next season will bring.

But instead of something new
I fall into a pattern of running from you.

Two steps forward, then a complete left turn.
I am directionless as I continue to yearn.
I try to move on again… I still did not learn.
Another year wasted, another lover spurned.

Then finally Twenty Thirteen we are both finally single.
But instead of going for the one I love, I decided to mingle.

Obsessed with a need to be needed,
I rush to find someone who made me feel completed.

The planet completes its circle around the sky.
And I am still not convenience I could ever be your guy.
I am the biggest idiot on the earth.
I push you into another’s arms instead of telling what your worth.

Twenty Fourteen spring comes again,
and so starts a season without my true best friend.

I met a woman I liked,she helps me with the pain I am going through.
I cry during a movie as I think of you.
I should not be this upset I should just let it go.
But as I try to move on even more feelings show.

At some point you are single again, but I have convinced myself I do not stand a chance, that when that literal bastard tried for a shot of romance.

As terrible as it was it taught me something new,
that maybe I actually did stand a chance with you.

I sat on that info and did not say much,
I should have said something
I could have in the least invited you for lunch.

You were drifting away and I stood there still
Wondering if I was the only one who felt how I feel.

Into another’s arms you fell again, but I did not care as long as we were still friends.

I was stupid and comfortable when I should have been bold and smart.
I let my complacency create a hole in my heart.
Then  I realized how much it was tearing me apart.
I was to move to scared to start.
Then a day came when you where about to depart
Leaving you street a car came like a dart

My world could have died that day.
I was so scared I was not sure what to say.
I just know that I needed to see you right away.

I held you in my arms and tried not to cry,
I did not good job cause not a drop left my eye.

As I held you I knew one thing.
I would be with you forever no matter what tragedies the years would bring.

As time went on things got worse,
I resented the man you were with because I could see his worth.

I saw your pain through out the next year.
I saw how your man gave into Fear.
I hoped he had the capacity to grow.
But now I see the best he can do is put on a show.
You have even asked if how you felt was insane.
But as I looked at it frame by frame.
Only one single thought remained.

This man is a boy who can not take care of you,
The signs are as subtle as a heard of caribou.

Regardless you want him and that is your choice.
But I refuse to stay quiet when I have a voice.

I want you to want me because I know this is true,
I have searched and I know there is no one else but you.

At this point one of us or both of us should be crying.
The truth is out there now I am not giving up with out trying.

Twenty Sixteen is nearly at its end,
I plan on going into twenty seventeen with my true best friend.

By autumn we could be celebrating a decade of this
You and me as friends as we currently exist.

But I  want more then that. I want to show you happiness you never new existed and love you never thought possible. I want to take your expectations of what joy means and exceed them in a way beyond what you can not begin to imagine. You are the woman I love and this is the part where I off script and start living like I want you in my life.

By ionicprodigy

Art

Art,
If my love for her was sand I could fill the hour glass of eternity. My passion for her burns brighter then the birth of the universe and a world without her is colder then its end.

By ionicprodigy

Daily Prompt: Perplexed

 

 

I wasn’t hurt or crushed or even surprised at the ending. I knew in crystal clarity the good the bad and the ugly. What upset me wasn’t the fact I didn’t get the girl. No what was upsetting to me was a much colder reality. The heart break that someone would normally experience in that situation was completely alien to me. The absence of pain made me feel hallow. I know when I find the right person it probably won’t be hard it’ll just feel natural. However, I often worry that without the contrast of heartache I won’t truly be able to enjoy it. I am scared that I won’t be satisfied with my adventure unless there is a challenge. For me living is facing obstacles and overcoming them, so nothing hurts me more when people tell me how much of a catch I am. I hate that and I hear it very often. I feel as though that if I don’t provide my partner with a challenge she will get board of me. I don’t think anyone is truly content anything life gift raps them. I think I am not alone in wanting to have to fight for the things I want.

People want to feel like they’ve earned what they have. I feel like that how I am take that away from people. I think that I am not selfish enough to be deserving of authentic love. The type of love where a person loves you so much they don’t change because they trust you can love them anyway. I don’t trust that anyone could love me if I made a mistake, but I know if I don’t make any mistakes no one will love me. Yet still I don’t know how to love anyone without compromising towards the idea of perfection. An idea people fantasize about but no one truly wants. I don’t know how to accept my own flaws it’s no wonder people think I can’t accept theirs. I can’t live without being in conflict of who I am and trying to grow beyond that person every day. I want to be stronger, smart, and all those other clichés… but each day I fight I feel the distance between me and those around me grow. I want to be the best version of myself, but I don’t know how to let others contribute to that growth. I’ve grown so use to doing it alone that I systematically distant myself from anyone who could possibly help me before they even know I need help. Every moment of every day I feel the valley widening. Now it’s at the point where I the only pain I can experience from interacting with others is the pain of not being understood. It’s that pain that hurts so bad that I wish I could understand how it feels to be upset over something as insignificant as being single.

Questions of belonging, self-worth, intellect, and beauty… I wish I could experience those things instead of this. It feels so empty to understand your own worth when you feel like so few people understand you. I am scared that sense of emptiness will remain with me always. I am afraid that as I grow and mature it will just get bigger and bigger as it has throughout my life so far. Every achievement makes me feel more alien and more alone. The more successful I become the more alone I feel. I admire people who work hard yet have few successes in life, who try and fail and keep going despite all odds and still fail but are happen nonetheless. I wish I could be like them, I wish I could through myself whole heartily into something that has no chance of succeeding. Sometimes there are things in life I know I can’t have, people know I can’t be with, but I wish I had the idiotic determination to go after these things, fail miserable, have no clue what I am doing, and still be happy. For me even my defeats are turned to victories. I rob myself of the opportunity to experience sorrow, and because of that joy is even more fleeting. After all what is the point of a sunrise on a world with no night.

via Daily Prompt: Perplexed

By ionicprodigy

Isolation vs. Embracement II

“You want others to know your true self, yet you only show them a false face. How can anyone know you if you don’t reveal yourself? If you hide behind masks, you are afraid that they’ll find out who you really are.” -Charles Zi Britannia (Code Geass)

If there was ever a fictional character who I felt I could relate to it would be Lelouch Vi Britannia from the series Code Geass. Lelouch is logical, methodical and goal driven. But at the same time he is deeply resolute in not just his ambitions but also his emotions. At times, he can be in anguish or bereaved because of pains that no one else knows. Still all the while maintaining a look of confidence a smile despite his cynicism. The truth is no matter how many people he surrounds himself with he is always alone. Whenever you put a wall between yourself and the people around you, you isolate yourself.

We all do it to some degree, but it’s when you allow no one in that your mind becomes a prison consisting solely of your true self. That person whoever they are is isolated until you allow them to escape. It is only through freeing yourself of those chains that you manage to make any real connection with those around you. Not every bond you form will last, but then again they won’t all break.

Much like Lelouch I do not allow myself to form many bonds that go beyond the surface. But despite this there are always people who see right through the mask. People who know who I am and truly appreciate my friendship, even if I refuse to allow them to be my friends. For that reason even in my isolation I am not alone. The difficulty comes when there are people who I know I can be myself around, but I selfishly choose to push them away. The sensation of being me is so alien that I am uncertain of how to proceed when it comes about.

Sometimes it’s easier to be disliked for pretending to be someone else than to be misunderstood for being yourself. At least when you wear a mask the intentions of your actions shine through even if the mask is hated. The deeper issue is when you lose yourself to that person you pretend to be. It is truly selfish to rob the world of getting to know you because you fear the persecution of society. Even if you are 1 in a million there are still over 7 thousand people on earth who are exactly like you. You are never alone in the obstacles you face, somewhere out there there are people going through the same things. Some are doing better, some are doing worse. The important thing is that no matter what you are going through no one can be a better you than you. Find yourself and embrace that person. If you wear a mask lose it before you lose yourself.

By ionicprodigy

Isolation vs. Embracement I

There is almost an ethereal quality about the bond shared between two people who truly know each other. It’s almost as if life is a journey through a hall of mirrors. In a world so stricken with duplicitousness, it’s hard to know what’s real and what is an illusion. I find it almost becomes second nature to construct facades. Almost as if we know that being oneself is the most dangerous thing a person can do in this world. While the dynamics of friendship are somewhat alien to me I do understand it somewhat. I’ve found that most people consider their friends to be the people who they can be themselves around.

By that standard, I can count my friends on one hand. Yet another important factor is trust, comfort, and familiarity. When counting all the criteria I think I’ve really only ever made 1 or 2 friends in the first couple of decades mucking around the planet. Which I suppose isn’t too bad. But then again maybe I am defining friendship all wrong. After all, there is a multitude of people who consider themselves my friend. The only issue I have with this is, I don’t believe any of them truly know me.

Again my own fault, for as before mentioned the construction of facades is just another part of living in a mirror world. Do we by mirroring one another multiple the light of society or just warp our perspective of it to suit the status quo. While it’s not for me to say, in some ways I feel as though conformity is one of the greatest threats to our advancement as a species. But I am getting a bit off topic, perhaps I’ll save that for another day. Tonight my mind is more focused on the feeling of isolation vs embracement. It stands to reason that the origin of people’s fear self-expression is the persecution from their peers. Inadvertently by hiding ourselves we empower persecution. It is only by becoming emboldened to be whoever you wish to be that you can overcome these forces.

But to do so alone is a terrible thing. I recall in my formative years often being subject to such persecution. Be it the way I spoke, thought, or acted is of little circumstance. The matter being, society became a place that I did not feel safe to express the fullness of my mind in. Though at the time I didn’t not understand it completely I understood the isolation I felt well enough. It was at that time I began to seal myself away behind a charade of mimicked behavior and obfuscating stupidity. I did this for a number of years and often rely on that mask I created then to navigate through difficult social situations. I’ve worn far too many mask, to count but in isolation I am not alone.

By ionicprodigy

Self-actualization

Self-actualization is to go beyond the person you are today and aim towards being the person you were always meant to be. It is not about knowing who that is the moment you start your journey, but doing everything possible to be that person in the end. If you are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs then you know that one does not simply wake up self-actualized.

The truth is that when it comes to complexity people are prodigiously afflicted. There are so many things in life that distract us from living to our potential and the time we have is so fleeting. Time is the enemy of every man, our lives are so infinitesimal when compared to the complexity of eternity. Yet to scale there is so much more possible in a human lifetime then even seems imaginable.

To go beyond merely maintaining homeostasis, that is the nature of Self-actualization. There are moments in each of our lives that we begin to approach the peak of who we could be. It can be a sudden realization, a surge of intellectual growth, or even a burst of creativity. Ultimately who we are is all that stands in the way of who we could be. We are the stones the block our own paths. Like Sisyphus, we must toil and push that boulder called self. Fighting inertia, reaching the peak, descending, rising again.

It is only after dedicating oneself to overcoming the gravity of mundane life that a person can surpass themselves. There is a person I was becoming, a person I forgot, left behind, and forsake. So many times I had the chance to be more and instead settled on being comfortable. No more, now it’s time for me to do more than simply live. Now is the time that I rediscover the man that I know I am destined to be, a person who is more than I am.

By ionicprodigy
Quote

I was having a conversation about music and the sorts of sounds that bother me. The conversation quickly transitioned into being about my favorite sounds. I accidentally wrote something, so I thought why not share it. I call this one “Sound, Color, and Scent”.

I am the puck heard when tennis racket meets ball, the distant ticktock of a German glass clock, the sound of a discipline karate punch you never saw. My soul is the color the sky in winter. That longing for chocolate like the pain of a splinter. I am well-ordered chaos with the scent of a tsubaki so unless you understand you really don’t know me.

Sound, Color, and Scent

By ionicprodigy

Distinctive Trait =/= Identity

No matter who you are you can be more than you ever dreamed possible. You have the potential to grow beyond your limitations and advance in ways you never thought possible! Every person is born with multiple distinct traits and characteristics. Over time, these develop and set them apart!!

Every person is born with multiple distinct traits and characteristics. Over time, these develop and set them apart as individuals.  Too often, society uses these characteristics as a way of classifying and defining a person. For instance, people with an innate inclination towards aggression who are viewed as aggressive. Those born with commendable skills like athleticism or a unique learning prowess are rewarded for their nature. However, we cannot look at the surface of an individual’s development and circumvent what they may become if properly guided.The development of an individual goes far beyond their innate proclivities. That is to say, we are shaped not only by our nature but also by the world around us. A person with an abnormal proclivity to violent behavior is often trapped and assigned to niche “violent type” at an early age. The classification of people (especially children) into “types” is one of the greatest mistakes we make as a society. Often the aspects of a person’s identity that are.

The development of an individual goes far beyond their innate proclivities. That is to say, we are shaped not only by our nature but also by the world around us. A person with an abnormal proclivity to violent behavior is often trapped and assigned to niche “violent type” at an early age. The classification of people (especially children) into “types” is one of the greatest mistakes we make as a society. Often the aspects of a person’s identity that are expressed most dominantly are the only aspects we acknowledge. People are multifaceted and are capable of having both contemptible and magnificent traits. The acknowledgment of a trait unoccupied by proper development is purposeless. Only by the advancement and development of our positive traits coupled with the discipline to control our negative aspects do we progress as a society and individuals. The perpetuation of negative classifications without effort made to escape them chains us to preconceived notions of self. It is only through the acknowledgment of both our weaknesses and strengths that we can truly progress.

By ionicprodigy