Donny's Ramblings

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

21 Comments

LINKS:

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

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

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

CHURCH TONIGHT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21 thoughts on “The Issue of Links Staying "As Is". And Church Tonight.

  1. yes – it’s true anyone can find those links…

    but it takes away from your credibility. The skeptic will say “oh it’s made up. make a story of it so someone looks up the blog – then looks at the old blog… bingo! increased views.”

    Donny – I beg of you. The posts – yes, do add to your story. but please – remove the links to your sites, and external links to other porn sites.

    Please. A former drug pusher doesn’t have stock of his old drugs still available just because they “add to his story.”

    Please – be responsible, and remove your porn links.

    God be with you.

  2. I’m transferring the comments from the old blog into the reposted blog entries on my new blog.

    Original Posting Time/Date:
    12:02 AM, October 02, 2006
    Zach Tanksley said…

    Donny, the process is gonna be long and difficult, but jsut know this, eventually God will lead you to where he wants you to be man. I ended up at a church where he sent me away from originally, and went to churches I never though I would like attending and were with them until he called me to move again. And man if you got thoughts write em, songs or sermons do it.

  3. Gee I guess I havnent’ gotten over here in awhile. Apparently I have a lot of catching up to do.

    I hear what you are saying about churches. It’s very difficult to find a place where you fit in.

  4. Original Posting Time/Date:
    5:48 AM, October 02, 2006
    Jeff said…

    Hey man,
    Just keep looking. Yeah, I hate most church services now too. It’s why I don’t choose a denomination anymore. But know that there will be a church that will speak to you, from music to the speaker.
    That idea I had…yeah, didn’t pan out. I’m still looking.

  5. At 12:10 AM, October 02, 2006, Jan said…
    I must say, your new journey intrigues me.

    I have to ask, however, why you feel the need to join an organized religion? I grew up in a catholic household but it never really fit me. I don’t like the hypocrisy, the judgemental nature of the followers and also the “strictness” of it all.

    I believe you can be “in touch” with god without all the nonsense and rules that were created by humans (organized religion). Frankly I don’t find chruches spiritual, nor do I find them “positive”.

    But then again I don’t subscribe to religion in general. I believe that God is a spiritual strength within you that you can converse with and he gives you strength to grow in life.

    Everybody has their own God, because God is within them and only an individual knows what is good for that individual.

    The one thing I find sad is that most people are basically trained to follow what their parents/community tought them and few question things especially when it comes to religion.

    I can see from your posts that you’re different and I hope you continue to question things even when sometimes it may be overwhelming when a ton of people are trying to pull you in a certain direction.

    Thumbs up to your pop though on what he said…..

  6. Hey Donny,
    About the whole link thing…stay true to yourself. You decide what to do with them.
    One thing I hate is the whole, “Oh! It’s your past, so there’s no merit in it” idea. I’ve always thought that if someone were to be serious in writing a movie where the guy comes to Christ, the guy should swear his heart out in the first part. Because it’s who that guy is and it serves to show just how differently the guy used to be.
    There may come a point where you look back and go, “They don’t need to be there anymore.” But that’s YOUR choice. Anyone who disagrees can feel free to get your backstory from another avenue.

  7. Oh donny you convinced me! NOT

  8. Hello you fucking cult obeying sheep.

  9. Donny,

    Go see Pastor Larry Lane at Chico Neighborhood Church. He’s a great guy–real; down to earth and most importantly–NOT BORING! I’m praying for you. Ron

  10. Donny, I know what you mean about so many churches. That’s why my family and I drive about 40 minutes to a non-denominational church, Frontline Fellowship, that has members that drive even farther than we do. Our pastors have made it a stated intent to always preach about things that are useful in daily living, and let God convict us about our own individual sins. And it really seems to be effective. We have had at least two unmarried couples, with children, join our church, and without once being preached to about their lifestyles, or treated disrespectfully by “holier” members, they decided that God was telling them, as a couple, to marry.
    We also have a band that rocks, and really relates to what people are feeling inside. We are in an area near St. Louis that was hit by the severe storms this summer that knocked out power to most of the town where our church is. We were one of the few churches in our neighborhood (there are at list 15 within a 10 block radius) that had services while the power was out, and we did it outside. Our band set up using a generator that one of our church members donated, and we had people not only from the surrounding neighborhood join us, but even a few people from other neerby churches who had decided to cancel because of having no power, all becasue they saw us rocking and enjoying being together and joyfully worshipping The Lord.

    Dennis Hightower

  11. Hey Donny,

    I feel the same way as you about the repetitive praise choruses. In fact, just this past Sunday, I simply stopped singing each song at the point when they were simply repeating things over and over.

    I think some people think it gets them into some sort of ecstatic high or something, but I’d rather sing fewer verses and more songs myself. Keep looking for a cool church. I’m sure they’re around.

  12. Come to LA and visit Oasis…. http://www.oasisla.org !! It is a great church!

  13. Hey Donny. I came here off of xxxchurch’s newsletter thingy. I know what you mean about the repetition thing. I got sick of it, too.

    Here’s the first hymn that I sang after that. It’s… it’s good, y’know?

    http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh361.sht

  14. Hey man if you write any songs, you should send them my way. I attend a worship and arts college in Lakeland(pretty much Memphis), TN and I would love to hear what’s on your heart. I totally agree with you on your stance, regarding church and songs.

    Rock On!
    p.s. if you can’t get a hold of me from here, hit me up at http://www.myspace.com/marcojason

    M

  15. Hi Donny,

    I googled you when I read your story in a XXXChurch myspace blog.

    Firstly, congratulations! Wow, I really admire your bravery, I can’t even imagine how crazy things must feel for you right now.

    Secondly, I hope this helps you with your questions about worship. Worship helps us to be closer to God. If you think about it, the people you admire are the things you strive to become, right? So expressing the way we feel about how great God is helps us to become more like Him.

    Worship is also an act of submission. Yep, it can be a bit embarrassing, it can be a bit weird to start off with, but putting up with all of that and worshipping God anyway is a really humbling experience. It’s hard to be proud and think about how good you are if you’re sincerely telling someone else how fantastic they are.

    I hope that helps you a little bit. Take a look in a bible with an index under worship and you might find some things that explain it better.

    I also wanted to comment on the church in general: I don’t know what denomination it was, I don’t want to know because I don’t think any one denomination has it all right, but I think it’s a great idea to visit a few churches to try and find the best one for you. I know I left my old church feeling pretty dissatisfied, but the church I’m at now truly feels like my spiritual home. However, the more you want to get out of church, the more you’re going to have to put in!

    Whew, pretty long comment. Anyway basically I just want to encourage you, I’m sure there’s hundreds of people all over the world cheering you on and keeping you in their prayers.

    God bless you Donny!

  16. What kind of church was it that you went to? You might want to check out a different type of church. I mean…there are tons of them that really do focus on singing really meaningful songs that touch the spirit and speaking on things that really impact people’s lives. You could google it for churches like that in your area…just an idea! πŸ™‚

  17. As a pastor, I am so sorry that many churches in America suck and are desperately irrelevant. Just keep looking and you will find that right church that is filled with Christ followers instead of Christians.

  18. LOL I love your honesty dude. Don’t lose that.

  19. About God ‘wanting’ praise. I used to get stuck on that too. Perhaps I can say something helpful. I hope I don’t come across as “preaching”, I’m just trying to explain something that helped me personally, so please be patient.

    Part of the reason, I think, we get hung up on this is that we are in a completely different position than god. Sometimes what is wrong for us is right for god, because we’re not in the same position, and we’re not like ‘him’ in certain ways.

    God is love, right?

    Love rejoices in the truth, yes?

    If a little kid did good at school, wouldn’t you want to see that acknowledged and rewarded? If a man saved a life — or a hundred — wouldn’t you want at least to see that example publicly praised, if not the person him/herself receive some appropriate praise and thanks?

    The reason this is wrong for us to seek for ourselves is because we are selfish. When we seek praise, it is usually because we are being ego-driven.

    But a universe-creating “God”, if he is good at all, would not be selfish. So he would be as happy seeing “himself” praised as he is happy to see us praise any other good thing in life. (And in fact, the bible says HE will praise every good thing.) But it’s not his fault he happens to be the very source of all goodness. When goodness is praised, however, we should also acknowledge the source.

    One more point is that, frankly, we’re not all that worthy of praise. Most things we do, if we’re really honest, are motivated by a self-focused need, even if just a need to see ourself as a “good” person. But God ain’t like that: the idea is there is something out there which is actually selfless.

    A final thing is that it is beneficial for us.

    “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable β€” if anything is excellent or praiseworthy β€” think about such things.” (Phil 4:8)

    Our messed-up brains need to be realigned with goodness and truth. Part of that truth — a big part, in fact — is the little detail that God is, in fact, good. So it’s good to remind ourselves of that, and remind ourselves of our relative position in regard to that.

    This may not make emotional sense right away. But, me personally, I could see that intellectually, as a kind of “math”, it made sense, and the rest eventually followed.

    Regardless: I hope I’ve not done harm by saying this, or made things worse in any way. I wish you the best in your new journey, friend.

    I’ll try to remember to pray for you a few times, but frankly, I usually suck at that.

    God bless you.

    – Tim

  20. donny, try listening to some of rob bells messages. creative, insightful, inspiring

    http://www.mhbcmi.org/listen/index.php

  21. this was an interesting blog. i’m glad you posted honest feelings about your church’s music. i personally don’t believe that God tires of us praising Him. But a relationship with God needs time to build, just like any other relationship. I always figure that if I were just coming back into church I would not want to sing “God is great…” over and over just yet. I would rather sing to something i can relate to more like maybe the lyrics to the song “Shadow Proves the Sunshine” by Switchfoot.

    anyway, my husband and i lead praise and worship at our church and we do “Shadow…”

    I’m enjoying reading your blogs. You’re in my thoughts and prayers!

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