Love God. Love People. Period.

I really really do try to see both sides of every story or situation but sometimes I can’t hold my tongue. Since the AMAZING history making announcement Friday, I’ve found myself defending more than celebrating the glorious news. The thing is, same-sex marriage at this point in my life, really, doesn’t effect me at all. I’m not gay. I don’t have gay siblings. I’m not super close invite-me-to-your-wedding close with any gay people that I know but I find myself having this need to defend an enormous and welcoming society of people. The same society I come from. A society that doesn’t even need defending because there shouldn’t have to be anything to defend but there is.

I’m often politically incorrect and I can have pretty skewed opinions but I’m sorry; I can’t wrap my head around the “Christians” who spew hate towards the [God-forbid] idea that two men or two woman or a transgender human BEING are allowed to marry one other. It makes me want to scream every time I scroll through my newsfeed and see the ignorance or the hate or the preaching Christian quoting bible verses.

Of course, I’m nosey. I can’t just ignore a post and keep scrolling. I really do want to “understand” the other side of the opinion. I can’t even tell you how many posts or videos or info-graphics I’ve viewed. I can’t deal. My mouth dropped when I started watching the video posted below. And this doesn’t include the post that went along with the sharing of the video. It doesn’t include the comments of the people I went to school with. The kids I attended Sunday school with. How can so many of us have been taught the same thing every Sunday and then in high school every Wednesday, feel and believe so differently? Nature verses nurture? Really? What the video below does include is how incredibly ignorant I am to not see that the world really can never be full of peace and love and happiness and acceptance.

Two gay, married women [or men] don’t contribute to society? Are you kidding me? They work just as hard if not harder than anyone else. They participate in community projects and fundraising efforts. Same-sex couples welcome and raise and love and cherish children in their lives every day. They are successful. They are moms and dads all rolled into one. Same-sex couples are college educated and pay their bills. They go on trips and I bet they’ve even sat next to your gay-hating butt at the airport. They don’t contribute to society? What kind of meth are you cooking? 

I don’t have the ability to hold my composure watching this video. This isn’t the worst one I’ve seen. It’s not the worst thing I’ve read. But I’ve had enough. There are clearly either multiples Gods in the universe or this is some kind of extreme pre-Revelations type test because “MY” God loves everyone. 

And if you’re not a Christian and you still have an “issue” with same-sex … anything. Why? Explain it to me. I’m mostly ranting about the Christian following because that’s where all the negative I’m seeing is coming from. I have a wide array of people on multiple social media platforms and the only disgust I’m seeing is from those with a firm and clearly pounded into Christian pavement belief complex. There are so many religions in this world. So many opinions. So many followers and believers. So much of everything. Do we have nothing in common? Is love and acceptance for everyone too much to ask for? Love God. Love People. Period.

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#ProudToLove

This. This is why people fight so hard. I’ve already seen one too many posts on my Facebook feed throwing the Bible in the faces of those so happy about today’s history making decision.

I’m not perfect. I’m judgmental and have issues with people for the worst reasons but under my “hard” judgmental hat, I give a shit about the basic rights of people for Christ’s sake.

Black, white, native, or Asian; if you commit a crime, you should be treated equally. If you want a job, you should be treated the same as your competition. Color shouldn’t be a part of the equation.

Same goes for the LGBT community. You’re a gay male and have the education and experience to be the VP of advertising? Have at it. Mary loves Jane? Fine by me.

I was raised in a Catholic church. I believe in God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I pray nearly every day. I ask for angels to watch over my family and friends. To keep them safe and happy and healthy. I pray for good things to come and for my sins and hurtful words or actions to be forgiven.

There is a God. And he will listen and answer any prayer no matter who you are. God is all knowing and all loving. All accepting and always available with open arms.

You don’t have to understand “gay people” (which by the way I’m sure is offensive) but you don’t need to persecute them either. Reciting Bible verses that are interpreted just about as well as the terms in any lawyer written document doesn’t make you better in the eyes of God.

We are all sinners. We’ve all said hurtful things, thought hurtful thoughts, and acted on hurtful actions. But love? That’s not a sin.

The worst interpretation of a Bible verse that I’ve ever come across says something about having feelings for the same sex happens but acting on them is the sin. So what about those that can’t “act” on their feelings? They sit in solitude and resort to a life of depression over the feeling that they will never love or be loved the way straight couples can? Being gay isn’t any more about sex and drugs than any heterosexual relationship is. This movement, this fight; it’s about love. L. O. V. E. Love. And love won.

If you “don’t get it” that’s fine. Just move on. Be positive; be passionate in all the other good things the world has to offer. Let go of something you don’t understand and let God handle it. #ProudToLove

God’s Not Dead.

loganI’ve been busy being busy. The good kind of busy though. Where time doesn’t drag and you enjoy the people you’re around. I had a great weekend. My teeny tiny taller than me baby brother went to prom. Which is kind of a big deal because he’s so…Logan. You’d have to know him to get it. But he definitely looked dashing. His girlfriend and him complimented each other very nicely.

My mom’s birthday falls tomorrow so, because we’re kind of a ways away, my brother Nick and I celebrated it with her yesterday. We went to Fargo to spend the day at the 8th annual Holistic Expo and grabbed some grub.

I’ve been to the expo before and really enjoyed it. There is everything from healing stones to palm readers to balancing the mind and finding peace. Two years ago I went to PaLiChi and felt such peace and harmony after my reading. I was going through a really tough time and her words and reassurance had stayed with me since I last saw her.

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PaLiChi – 763-742-8690 www.falithihealing.com

She was at the expo again this year and I was more than thrilled. I won’t go into detail with my experience but I want to recommend her to anyone that ever needs help or healing in almost any sense. She is a Master Shaman, Psychic Medium, Spiritual and Energy Healer.

I’ve always known that spirit guides worked through people on the physical Earth. I’ve never doubted it. And to be able to have gone to her multiples times now and see what she can do even if just for a few moments really moves mountains.

I believe the Holistic Expo is in Fargo only once a year each spring but she is located in Brooklyn Center, MN. I have posted her website and contact information below her photo for anyone that is interested in experiencing her gift.

Following our trip to Fargo, my mom and I came back to Grand Forks and went to the movie “God’s Not Dead.” I had heard a little about it but hadn’t seen or sought out a preview. We were kind of tight on time and it was the first one closest to the time that we wanted to go, so we did and I’m glad we did. It amazing how so many little things in a day can link up and make you feel like a totally different person.

After my reading with PaLiChi, being with my brother and mom, and then seeing “God’s Not Dead;” I felt different. Whole. I felt open to positivity and accepting everything that is handed to me. I saw through another persons eyes that sometimes the answer God gives you is no and it’s not to be cruel or to cause pain. It’s to save you and help you. I felt at peace knowing that things from my past and moments in time that I wish I could change were meant to be. I have multiple purposes in this world and it brings me joy to know that even though I’m just one person in the 7.046 billion or even more people, I can still make a difference. I might not change the way of humanity, make national news, or even have something I do be noticed, but I can change peoples lives in the smallest ways. I can be kind rather than crude. I can help rather than ignore. I can pray instead of doubt and most of all, I can trust that everything happens for a reason.

I don’t believe in every single practice of Catholicism in which I was raised. I eat meat on Fridays all year round. I believe that anyone of any race, gender, or sexuality should have the freedom to love and marry. I think marijuana will do more good than closed minds think. It should be regulated and alcohol prohibited. I think war is pure stupidity. I firmly believe that people should be hired based on knowledge. Just because you have a degree behind your name does not qualify you to do something. If you’re an idiot, a degree will mean nothing. I have opinions and am more judgmental than I’d like myself to be. I have flaws and sometimes I’m a royal asshole. But I have a heart, I am a person, and I love. I know I have angels and auras all around me. I know there is a higher power.

starsYou don’t have to be Lutheran or Hindu. You don’t have to be an Atheist or Jewish. You just simply have to be. And if you can find peace and happiness in just being as best as you are capable of being than that is enough. Nothing needs to be proclaimed or preached. Help others, do good, and be present. That’s what matters.

God Loves Us Just The Same I Figure.

I overheard a conversation about churches, religion, and it’s relation to dress code today. At first, I almost had a “no way” moment but upon analyzing the situation; I’ve found myself thinking about it all day. To be clear – I wasn’t a part of the conversation but in such a small office space, anything that anyone talks about is open to all ears so of course mine were peaked.

The two women were talking about the churches they attend or have attended in town here and elsewhere. They were discussing the strictness and leniency of the dress codes. On Wednesday nights – it appears – is no big deal. I don’t know if they actually have mass on Wednesdays or if it’s the same as when I was in school and we just had Wednesday night religious ed. Regardless, come as you are on Wednesdays I guess. However, on Sunday; it sounds like your ‘Sunday Best’ is a requirement. 

Now, I don’t know if it’s literally a rule per the church, God, or society but I just about had to pick my mouth up off of the floor. Really? A requirement? I pondered this the rest of the day waiting until I could give my mom a call this evening. The women talking were discussing the practices of their Lutheran faith, respectively.

I was born and raised Catholic and per the confirmation of my mom – strictness and Lutheranism don’t really coincide so I was than even more perplexed with that conversation. Growing up Catholic, we were taught many things. Even though I went to Sacred Heart every Sunday, we were the minority in the little ol’ Lutheran town of Roseau. So I’ve been used to the un-christian-like slander my whole life. That’s another story, we’ll save that for later. But I just had to ask my mom: “Did we dress up to go to church?” Turns out we didn’t. If we wanted to wear a sweatshirt and jeans, God didn’t care. We were there, that’s what mattered. We practiced good faith and possessed good morals. Growing up, what we wore on Sunday was never a topic. I think that is the reason that this minuscule overheard conversation rattled my brain a little.

Looking back, I remember certain families that always dressed up. I guess I might have noticed back then but I really only figured that they dressed up to keep up with their image in town. In case you aren’t aware of the quite obvious fact, your status in Roseau, MN is a very important thing and to this day; I think that people put on an invisible mask in order to maintain that said status.

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Sacred Hearth Catholic Church – Roseau, MN

I also figured that the women in dresses, fathers in suits, and little kids with fancy new clothes were just rich. We’d go to church with sopping wet hair making water marks on our backs, shoes untied, and a crying snotty nosed brother in tow. God loved us just the same I figured.

It’s actually pretty crazy that this little conversation I eavesdropped on today would cause me to analyze so many people and years of my life in the church I grew up in. I feel very fortunate that I grew up the way I did. We had a great priest. I retained some of the best life lessons in that little community of a church. All teasing from school during the week disappeared. The music in my head all week was sang and the communion and forgiveness of sins made me feel whole.

Once we left Roseau, I began to slip away from the Catholic faith. Although, I still credit many Catholic beliefs to my upbringing; I don’t necessarily agree with certain areas of the faith now. Between the combination of the modern church and it’s scandals to my individual growth; I have my own opinions and beliefs. I’ll always acknowledge being born and raised Catholic but when I think of the church, I think of Roseau. It was very welcoming and accepting. There was no “wrong way” to dress. And if there were stares, I was young enough to be oblivious to that but nothing will ever take away from the great memories I had there. 

In conclusion, what is your stance? Have you ever felt that you needed to pull out your Sunday best on the day God rested? Why? Does it matter? Do people only choose to dress up for a social standing? Are you embarrassed of yourself or your family if you don’t? Let’s start the conversation.

Heavy Hearts And Open Arms.

Anything going on in my life is nothing compared to the sorrow of the families of those lost in the last 24 hours. My Facebook wall and Twitter feed has been flooded with quotes, sayings, and memories of three different deaths in the surrounding area. I lost a good friend a few months ago and up until that point, I didn’t have a terrible amount of empathy or relatable experience to anyone suffering loss. Not because I was a complete asshole but because I didn’t understand. And I still don’t. I don’t think anyone can completely understand the meaning of mourning and grief. It’s different for each and every person.

death

I didn’t keep in touch and I didn’t know what was going on in anyones lives. I didn’t bother saying “Hi” to people I knew in stores and I didn’t go out of my way to extend a helping hand. I was just doing my own thing in my own world by my own self until Aron died. Even though I hadn’t seen her in such a long time, her death put my life into perspective. I realized that I needed to show people that I care not just assume that people know it. I needed to reopen friendships of people that I’d pushed away and books that I had closed and most of all, I needed to appreciate everything.

I’m very fortunate that the most important people in my life are still on this physical Earth. But I am reminded on a daily basis that even though we are alive, happy, and well; that doesn’t guarantee us a lifeline. Any single one of us can be taken in an instant and although it’s only pointed out when a loss has happened, we all need to learn from it. We really do need to appreciate the people around us. Love them and tell them and show them and be with them. We need to reach out even though we haven’t spoken in weeks or years. We need to cherish the memories and the moments yet to come. Because it can all be gone in an instant.

I want to take a moment to extend my absolute deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost. I don’t know exactly how any of you feel (none of us do) and there are never any words that can be said to console everyone in the same way but know that every single one of you are in so many peoples hearts and prayers.

So tonight, hug the ones around you, reach out to the ones far away, and never ever stop making memories.