Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

35 years old
Male
from Memphis, TN

  • Activity

    • You are not special.

      3 days ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      I've been thinking about this for some time.  There was a movement that started when I was in school that emphasized the importance of positive reinforcement and self-esteem building.  Simply put, it stated that it was important for an individual to feel valued.  This has changed the language that we have used over the past few decades to reduce negatives (like failure) and increases ambiguous double-speak (opportunities.) So, instead of saying, "This assignment was a failure," instead you say, "This assignment was completed amidst challenges and has presented us with several opportunities." Whether pass or fail, it is more important to be positive.


      Why?


      It's because it doesn't feel good to fail. It isn't nice to learn that we don't line up.  It isn't fun.  I see where the idea comes from: You don't want failure to become a barrier to future success; but I feel like this is not the lesson that has been learned.  I feel like the lesson is, instead, I feel like people have learned that how they FEEL about things are other people's responsibility.  It doesn't matter if you pass or fail, but it is my responsibility to make you feel good about the end result.  This is at the heart of the issue by where people make the argument that "I just want you to support me in X" where X is what the other person disagrees with.  People don't want to hear your opinion...they want you to acknowledge their opinion in your mouth, and they want you to validate their position. They can't feel good if you don't make them feel good...and it doesn't actually matter what you think.


      So I'm here to tell you right now: You are not special.  You are not different.  You are not unique.  We are the same in our individuality. The story does not revolve around you, and the narrative is not centered on your life.  Everyone you meet, each individual person whether you acknowledge them or not is on the exact same linear path through life.  They have individual hopes and dreams, they work and create things, and most of this stuff never matters to your life...and yet it has just as much value as the things you do.


      Never allow yourself to think you are special. Never allow yourself to think you are gifted.  Never allow yourself to think that you deserve the approval of others, or that others have an obligation to validate you.  Your world isn't a PC vs. NPC world...everyone is a PC.



    • Why is perception important?

      2 weeks ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      Thank you to everyone who commented yesterday.  


      The reason I asked the question is that I believe that it is important to know how other people judge you.  Often times we hear the modern adage "Don't worry about what other's think; just be yourself."  I think that some people use this concept as a proof to do whatever they want to do while ignoring how their behavior/attitude speaks about their character to the people that surround them.  


      I submit to you that it is very important what people "THINK" about you because it reflects the type of shadow you cast.  It's not that you pander or placate to the whims of others, or you let their perspective define you; but you should absolutely care what they think of you, how the value what you say because it is the only way to see the truth of yourself. I always want to make sure that people perceive me as I am, and I want to make sure I am who I want to be.  If I am perceived as different than I want to be...then I am doing something wrong.  I want to always be an open and honest, legitimate person.  This doesn't mean that I'll always agree with or fit in with a group, but at the end of the day I want people to know who I am.


      What does this mean to you?  Do you care what people think?  Are you aware of what type of shadow you cast on those around you?    

    • How am I defined?

      2 weeks ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      I am sitting in church right now, and the sermon is cautioning us on what defines us. I am curious: Knowing what you know of me, what do you see defining my character? How do I look to you? Be honest.

    • The Tome of Dear Leader Matt

      in Forums > The Tome of Dear Leader Matt | Follow this topic

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      What can we say about Dear Leader Matt?  He is as wise as he is smart.  He is as tall as he is high.  His girth is...well, on a need to know basis.  For far too long at the OCC we have neglected our solemn duty to expound on the accolades and merits of the Dearest of Dear Leaders: our very own DLM.  DLM puts the "I" in wise.  DLM can put his pants on both legs at a time. DLM tugs on Superman's cape.  DLM never has to brush his teeth because his gums fight gingivitis naturally.  The sun never sets until DLM has given it permission to. DLM plays 5D Chess.  


      There are many other stories and legends of DLM, but I am not worthy to know them all.  If you have heard stories; please post them in the thread below so we may create the tome of tomes: The Tome of Dear Leader Matt.

      17 replies

    • Musings on C.S Lewis- No one will ever read this.

      2 months ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      I've been reading a lot lately (I actually always read a lot, so this statement is actually true more often than it is not.) Particularly, I have been reading C.S Lewis.  While I'm sure that most people are aware of him, if you're not, he is the author of the Narnia saga, as well as a number of deep Christian philosophical musings.  He would not consider himself a theologian, however his thoughts on spirituality are often used today with reverence across many denominations.  He was a great thinker, friend of J.R.R Tolkien and he died the day that JFK was assassinated. 


      One of his less known stories is his Space Trilogy.  This trilogy was written much in the tune of an H.G Wells fantasy, and as such it isn't so much science fiction as it is fantasy. It has deep Christian undertones and really is a platform for Lewis to explore his philosophy in a way that makes the reader think about it from a different perspective (much how Narnia does, only the Space Trilogy nearly requires a college degree to understand it is so complex.) The first book deals with the problem of, well, in simple terms, human progress. How the pull of manifest destiny leads man to commit the most heinous crimes under the guise of humanistic exceptionalism. 


      "To you I may seem a vulgar robber, but I bear on my shoulders the destiny of the human race.  Your tribal life with its stone-age weaponry and beehive huts, its primitive coracles and elementary social structure, has nothing to compare with our civilization- with our science, medicine and law, our armies, our architecture, our commerce, and our transport system which is rapidly annihilating space and time.  Our right to supersede you is the right of the higher over the lower.  Life...is greater than any system of morality; her claims are absolute.  It is not by tribal taboos and copy-book maxims that she has perused her relentless march from the amoeba to man and from man to civilization"


      In the book, this speech is translated into "Old Solar" which provides an interesting nuance.  This is the translation:


      "Among us, Oyarsa, there is a kind of hnau who take other hnaus' food and- and things, when they are not looking.  Hey says he is not an ordinary one of that kind.  He says what he does now will make very different things happen to those of our people who are not yet born.  He says that, among you, hnau of one kindred all live together and the brossa have spears like those we used a very long time ago and your huts are small and round and your boats are small and light and like our old ones, and you have one ruler.  He says it is different with us.  He says we know much.  There is a thing happens in our world, when the body of a living creature feels pains and becomes weak, and he says we sometimes know how to stop it.  He says we have many bent people and we kill them or shut them in huts and that we have people for settling quarrels between the bent hnau about their huts and mates and things.  He says we have many ways for the hnau of one land to kill those of another and some are trained to do it.  He says we build very big and strong huts of stones and other things- like the pfifltriggi.  And he says we exchange many things among ourselves and can carry heavy weights very quickly a long way.  Because of all this, he says it would not be the act of a bent hnau if our people killed all your people.

      He says that living creatures are stronger than the question whether an act is bent or good.  The only good thing is that there should be very many creatures alive.  He says there were many other animals before the first men and the later ones were better than the earlier ones; but he says the animals were not born because of what is said to the young about bent and good action by their elders. And he says these animals did not feel any pity."


      It goes on and on, Weston's speech and Ransom translating it.  The interesting thing is how packed this chapter is with critique.  First, it is a critique against the idea that the better good, pursuing longer, healthier, stronger human existence at the expense of the individual, or the minority is folly.  Could we, with our technology, descend to the plains of South America and civilize the aboriginal people there?  Yes.  Could it allow their future generations prosperity?  Yes.  But at what cost?  What right do we have?  Second, it is a very critique of the concepts.  As Weston is speaking, he assumes that his audience has the same frames of reference he does...but Ransom struggles to translate because the concepts are lost on the people.  If you have never seen an army...how do you explain it?  Weston was all ready to rape and pillage the world of Mars because he had a right to, as he was stronger and more advanced than the aboriginal people of Mars.  


      In the second book, Ransom goes to Venus, which is an oceanic garden world covered by a dome like expanse.  He meets the queen of the world, and we are slowly exposed to the fact that this world is what the Earth would have been had sin not entered into existence.  It is paradise for all intents and purposes, and completely innocent.  Weston shows up again, but this time, his purpose is different.


      "During my [recovery from the events of the previous book] I had the leisure for reflection which I had denied myself for many years.  In particular I reflected on the objections you had felt to that liquidation of the non-human inhabitants of Malacandra [Mars] which was, of course, the necessary preliminary to its occupation by our own species.  The traditional and, if I may say so, the humanitarian form in which you advanced those objections had till then concealed from me their true strength. That strength I now began to perceive. I began to see that my own exclusive devotion to human utility was really based on an unconscious dualism.


      ...All my life I had been making a wholly unscientific dichotomy or antithesis between Man and Nature- had conceived myself fighting FOR Man against his non-human environment.  During my illness I plunged into Biology, and particularly into what may be called biological philosophy.  Hitherto, as a physicist, I had been content to regard Life as a subject outside my scope.  The conflicting views of those who drew a sharp line between the organic and the inorganic and those who held that what we call Life was inherent in matter from the very beginning had not interested me.  Now it did.  I saw almost at once that I could admit no break, no discontinuity, in the unfolding of the cosmic process.  I became a convinced believer in emergent evolution.  All is one.  The stuff of mind, the unconsciously purposive dynamism, is present from the very beginning.  


      The majestic spectacle of this blind, inarticulate purposeveness thrusting its way upward and ever upward in an endless unity of differentiated achievements towards an ever-increasing complexity of organisation, towards spontaneity and spirituality, swept away all my old conception of a duty to Man as such.  Man in himself is nothing.  The forward movements of Life- the growing spirituality is everything.  I say to you quite freely, Ransom, that I should have been wrong in liquidating the Malacandrians.  It was a mere prejudice that made me prefer our own race to theirs.  To spread spirituality, not to spread the human race, is henceforth my mission.  This sets the coping-stone of my career.  I worked for the first for myself, then for science; then for humanity; but now at last for Spirit itself- I might say borrowing language which may be more familiar to you, the Holy Spirit.


      He goes on, and I have to paraphrase because it is pages long: Weston believes that the end goal of spirituality is to achieve a plane of existence where self-thinking, self-organizing activity are attained, and guided by a Force of will pushing the individual to an inscrutable destiny.  He doesn't question this 'Force...' he simply submits to it because it is a 'spirit.'  He rejects the idea of a God or a Devil, stating that they are simply pictures of the same Force, Heaven is the picture of the ascended spirituality and Hell is the urge driving us away from the ascension.  Here's where it gets interesting. God is the 'next stage' beckoning us from ahead, the Devil is behind, pushing us forward.  Weston reasons that, based on this, nothing exists that supersedes this life-force, including morality.  That the ends justify the means, whether that means selling out England to Germany, lie in a scientific paper, or outright kill Ransom.  Full, unquestioning adherence to the spiritual force is what will ultimately lead to ascension.  He then positions himself as an agent of the Force pushing (see, the Devil) and Weston evokes the spirit who then indwells him and things go to hell (literally for him.) While there is so much more to unpack in the book, like how sweet original sin looks, or how petty the devil can be, or how our conversations can get twisted to mean things they're not, I want to pull at another string.


      In the first book, the philosophical error is the belief in superiority of man.  In the second book the philosophical error is the belief in the insignificance of man.  I posit that many of the philosophical clashes that we currently are seeing today are based in ethics that have a kernel of either of these thoughts at the center of them.  It is the juxtaposition of Man...is man a god, or is Man a beast?


      Are we a god who makes the rules, judging all things and having no authority other than himself?  Is the only reality the reality we create with our own will and control? We either view anyone who isn't like us as inferior (whether that be a cultural, intellectual, theological, political, ideological perspective) and as they are inferior we believe we have the mandate to mold society to what we think is the better.  The main problem with this is that we never stop to question what 'better' is. Better always comes at a cost.


      Are we a beast on which no rules truly exist other than how we feel?  Are we completely subject to our biology or a 'force' which is master over us, and the end result of our evolution is to 'not be' what we are today?  Are we without any sort of rudder simply living based on how we feel, or how we are pushed by that 'force,' hoping someday to reach that Elysium plane of enlightenment?  


      The paradox of either of these beliefs is that they ultimately lead to destruction.  Civilization is created by the destruction of all that is not civilized...that's just the way it works. Also, when there is no value on human life, then anything goes at all and the only thing that matters is the pursuit of happiness and the hope that we will evolve; but that evolution requires all that is now to pass away to all that is future.  It also runs the risk of justifying any action that helps prod humanity in that direction.  That's why ISIS wins if we engage in all out conflict with them: they look forward to the endgame of fighting in Mecca for the end of the world.  That's why so many fundamentalist Christian sects get their eschatology wrong- they look forward to the end of the world to justify them and they look forward to the judgement of the wicked.  That Force, or biology, or faith by itself is folly.


      So, if you've stuck with me this far, answer me this: Are we god, or are we beast?

    • The Green Mile

      2 months ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      Last night I watched the Green Mile.  I had forgotten how truly beautiful and well done that film was.  It was also rather apropos after a conversation I witnessed/participated in on Reddit yesterday.  There was a thread talking about how Sandra day O'connor retired from the Supreme Court in order to take care of her husband as he progressed through Alzheimer's.  In the thread there were hateful, obnoxious trolls saying how glad they were that she had to go through that and how such a terrible person deserved that amount of pain and suffering.


      I was flabbergasted.  I do not understand how one can come to the point where they disagree with a person to the point of wishing great pain on them in this manner.  I didn't agree with Obama on much, however I really, truly, hope that he lives a healthy life, his family is well, and he dies a satisfied old man surrounded by people who love him.  I really don't like Trump, but I would never wish any harm on him, and I also hope that he lives a satisfied life.  I find it incredibly sad that so many people out there are married to their perspective so completely that they dehumanize anyone who doesn't fit their mold.


      That takes me back to The Green Mile.  If you ever want to know how you should behave from an empathy perspective to people who don't deserve it, this movie is a master class.  John Coffey aside, there is no doubt that each of the other death row inmates deserve to be there.  While we don't know what they did, each of them (except Wild Bill) express remorse in one way or the other.  They knew they had done the crime. These were guilty, convicted men destined to die for crimes that they absolutely committed (except...again, John Coffey.)


      The way that Paul and the rest of the guards (except for that asshat Percy) treat these condemned men is how we should all strive to treat people.  There is an argument that these men, in whatever act was so gruesome, waive their right to dignity and justice.  The guards of the Green mile reject this.  They do their duty, but they provide quiet and empathetic dignity to the inmates. They go out of their way to make things easier on them, and they listen and give respect. Their response to violence is judicious, and they even afford Wild Bill the highest possible level of respect he allows them to.   


      This goes deep into their personal ethos.  Several times Brutus says "What happens on the Mile stays on the Mile." There is little to no oversight.  Paul and his crew could easily get away with acting like Percy. These are condemned men and there's no reason they should be afforded any sort of concession. So while "what happens on the Mile stays on the Mile" is the rule, it is used to comfort...not to curse. It's not rules that keep them from torturing these inmates...it is their own morality.


      How do we apply this to our lives?  


      First- How YOU treat others is NOT dependent on what they "deserve." How you approach people you disagree with or even hate does not say anything about them...rather, it says everything about you.  


      Second- Empathy is greater than justice.  This is not to say that consequences should be damned, but rather understanding a person and putting yourself in their shoes is a powerful tool...much more powerful than balancing any social scale. You may have a conversation with a person you don't agree with...try to walk a mile in their shoes.  Try to see their perspective.  This doesn't mean that you have to ACCEPT their premise or agree that they are right, but it allows you to understand their perspective.  Calling a person a racist is a super easy way to 'fight for justice' but it does little to help truly understand the situation.


      Third- Keep peace in mind.  There are situations that no amount of talking will resolve.  What purpose does it serve for two people to continue an unhealthy conversation that leads to no where?  Escalating and creating tension does absolutely nothing positive, and it is a worthless technique to try to convince or convict someone.  React only to the point where peace is threatened.  If peace is threatened...go somewhere else.  It's not worth it.  There is no reason to provoke anger; it is a selfish and heartless person who takes pleasure in pushing a person to the brink.

    • Lets just talk for a second

      2 months ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      I don't talk about it often (I've mentioned it in passing in my journals once or twice.) but I have very graphic intrusive thoughts, most of the time centered around suicide or the death of my family in various and very colorful and detailed scenarios.  I think that it stems from some sort of un-diagnosed depression and ADHD (which my wife is convinced I have.)  I've never felt the need to seek any help, as I am very well-adjusted and I have perspective...well, and I'm super proud and don't like admitting any sort of weakness even though I KNOW that having a positive diagnosis and getting some sort of chemical assistance is not weakness.  But up to and including this point, I've never been paralyzed by it.  I know what it is, and I don't let it take my perspective from me.


      Reading about Chris Cornell's suicide makes me contemplate this part of my mind, and brings me to write this post.  I know I'm not the only one who has this happen, and I think that it is much more common than most people think.  Self-destruction is an odd thing to contemplate philosophically, and the conclusion I come to is that it is mental-illness. Being exposed to a real suicide causes these thoughts to increase in intensity and I am met with empathetic hopelessness.  I think about the emptiness he must have felt as he ended his life, his money, his fame, his family, his talent, his lifestyle not able to balance the scale of oblivion.  


      This brings me back to some thoughts I had when I watched "13 Reason's Why" on Netflix.  I want to start out by saying that I absolutely hate this show, and it is one of the only things that I truly wish was never made.  Everyone involved in bringing it to fruition should sit back and contemplate just what the heck they thought they were doing.  Instead of approaching suicide from a perspective to help those who are considering suicide, they turn suicide into a grand epic journey that culminates in suicide being treated as catharsis...a catalyst to right wrongs.  I didn't start thinking this. To be honest...I didn't know what I was thinking when I started watching the show.


      So I started watching the show.  Off the bat, I noticed how incredibly on the rails the narrative was.  As we KNOW how the show was going to end, it allows us to frame each part of the telling to understand the ultimate conclusion and to ascribe 'meaning' from the authors perspective to include when Hannah ultimately kills herself.  As such, every action, inaction, and word spoken seems important, identifiable, and telling.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and as such it has already created the premise in your mind that you, me, we, us are already all responsible for this ultimate demise.  There were signs...right?  We should have seen the signs.


      As we go through the narrative we are exposed to elements of morality: bullying, budding sexuality, graphic violence, discrimination,  objectification, and invasion of privacy.  These are themes that we get clear guidance on how we should feel.  We are told to be sickened by it, and at every turn we are also reminded that we are the ones responsible. Ultimately, Hannah's suicide vigilante comeuppance, a magnum opus against these moral failings.  Her death is not just on the hands of the bullies...the screenwriters want to make it clear that we, the audience, are responsible for killing Hannah.  We are supposed to feel an utter sense of remorse for our inaction.  We are supposed to be convicted of our wrongdoing.  We ARE supposed to feel responsible. But in treating suicide like this, we are turning suicide into the ultimate weapon to fight hopelessness. It turns a purposeless act into a purposeful act. 


      I wonder if they ever thought about how a person who struggles with suicide would learn from watching this show?


      Hannah's suicide was graphic and stomach churning.  I was in tears, but I had known the entire time that we were going to be here.  When her mother came into the bathroom and just didn't understand what she was looking at, I was there too.  But in the back of my mind, I knew that from the very moment I started watching the show, Hannah was doomed.  There was never any hope that there was another outcome. There was no help to be had.  It was, from the get go, a forlorn conclusion. Remember, when someone is struggling with depression, the way they process information is processed THROUGH the depression.  What kind of message does this give a person who already is suffering with clarity and perspective? It. IS. Inevitable.  I look like Hannah, my life is like this...and no one is listening.  It. IS. Inevitable...


      So we have started with the fact that suicide is a forlorn conclusion...we knew Hannah was never going to make it; but what caused her to go down this path?  we are teaching people that suicide is caused by external environmental forces, and this is wrong.  There are 13 reasons, and all of them have to do with what others are doing.  Yes...the majority of suicides we hear about are suicides that are brought on by bullying and yes, there is a huge connection between the two; but tying the two together and creating a causal relationship is horribly dangerous.  Suicide is a symptom...not the disease.  Depression and anxiety are comorbidities that are directly and demonstrably tied to suicide, and yes, environmental factors do contribute to this; but the disease is the mental-illness, not the environmental factors.  There are people who are bullied all the time and do not commit suicide, and there are people who commit suicide all the time that were never bullied (conservatively, nearly half of suicides are not related to bullying.) Tying the two together is irresponsible, and creates a narrative that ultimately is false. Think about the lesson this gives someone who is already contemplating it.  It's not their fault...it's society, its bullies...I have no control.


      The most damning damnable lesson we learn from 13 Reasons is that suicide is necessary if anyone is going to listen to us.  That's what happened to Hannah; her death prompted everyone to listen...literally.  Plus, and this is the darkest part of it, we get to see the result.  A person who commits suicide doesn't get to see what happens after the act is done, and this show provides a fantasy driven chain of events which culminates in the learning of lessons.  In my darker play-acts, I envision how those whom I love will be impacted.  Do I leave a note, do I not?  Will they think I'm selfish?  Will it be mentioned at all at my funeral? Will my wife hate me? In Hannah's world, wrongs are brought to light, Clay shares her journey, and catharsis is reached.  Without her death, change and salvation is impossible.  Clay's 'come to Jesus' speech at the end is impossible without her death, and as a matter of fact her death drives the point of all of the bullying, the assault, the invasion of privacy home.  Her suicide becomes a way to get revenge on those who have hurt her, and it is the ONLY way that anyone will listen.  What 'effing' sort of message is that?  It turns suicide into a noble act of war against social injustice and the only conclusion to living a life fraught with tragedy.  It's not just a tragedy...its a handbook on how to make people listen to you.  It invites people to follow suite. It RATIONALIZES an irrational act.


      I can't stress enough...this show is a horrible, HORRIBLE idea for anyone suffering with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or suicidal thoughts.  Horrible.



      I am lucky.  I am surrounded by people who support me and influence me.  I have lived life to the point where I have gained perspective.  I cannot imagine what would happen had I been 20 years younger, dealing with depression, and seeing a show that tells me that 1.That everyone is guilty  2. That there is no hope in finding another route to wellness 3. Everyone who hurts me will be hurt worse by me killing myself.   This show offers no hope, and could in fact fuel hopelessness. I hate this show.  I am upset that anyone thought that this was a good idea. 

    • FU Day!

      3 months ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      So I'm an FU!!!


      I want to take this time to say, if you show up on my profile because of this, please feel free to join us at The Oxford Comma Cafefor good company and conversation.

    • Faith

      3 months ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      What is your perspective on faith?  Are you religious? If so, what does the concept add to your life?  If you are not religious, what are your thoughts?  I guarantee we'll all have varying degrees of perspective on this.  


      Let me tell you why this is on my mind this morning.  For the past few months, I have been struggling with a number of things that have tested my faith, both for people in general and the modern institution of the Church.  There have been two extremely personal events that are mainly responsible for this introspection, and through one of these events I have been exposed to more of the inner workings of how church business is done than I ever wanted to be involved in.  The best parallel to this I could liken it to here would be going to work at RoosterTeeth and realizing that RT as a business has issues and professional conflicts and that the function of the institution is not as smooth as you thought it was.  Emotionally, it was like the feeling I got when I found out that Jamie and Adam from Mythbusters really don't like each other.  It was as if I was peeking behind a curtain.


      In our group on Sunday morning, we are going through the book of Ecclesiastes. If you don't know what that its, it's one of the books of Wisdom.  While it is written from the perspective of Solomon, scholars don't believe that it actually was written by Solomon.  The book is about seeking purpose, and finding meaninglessness.  "Everything is a vapor, says the teacher."  The third chapter of the book is the chapter where the Byrds get the lyrics to "Turn, Turn, Turn" and it talks about the time for every purpose "A time to be born, a time to die...etc.."  The idea is that as the world moves forward, the only thing that we really know is that things will happen, and there really isn't a whole lot we can do about it.  Sure, we can focus on education and getting a good job...but we all will die, and we can't take that with us.  Sure, we can make an impact on the planet.  Julius Caesar is still known for his impact on the world today, but there are mountains that existed before him, and those same mountains will exist long after he has been forgotten.  Time moves forward, and the further you move, the less relevant anything is.  The human race could be completely removed from existence, all knowledge and experience erased...and it would make no difference to the universe at large.  The stars will still burn out at their appointed time.  Everything is meaningless.  It is vapor.  Smoke.  I could seek purpose in knowledge, physical pleasure, doing good, religious piety...and it all means nothing on its own.  When I die, my knowledge will be forgotten, pleasure is fleeting, good deeds don't last, and religious piety turns on its head.  At the end of the day, we have zero control.


      So what adds purpose?  The author of Ecclesiastes leaves us with "Fear the Lord" which means reverently follow his commands...which by the way is different than religious piety, and live simply. enjoy little things like good food, family, and the company of friends. 


      So I was thinking about this, as well as where my heart is.  I am sad.  I am angry.  I am getting bitter.  I am disappointed. I am hurt.  But I found when I was at Church, I hid these things. I realize that this is what that piety is, giving the answers that you know are right, but not allowing people to see you as you are authentically.  I know that God works good, and I know that he has plans...but right now, I am pissed off.  I am upset. But I wore a good mask.


      I think that's a misunderstanding of faith on my part.


      You see, faith isn't being sure of what you can see...it is looking to the past and seeing the times when God has been faithful, knowing this especially when I don't feel it.  The last thing I want to do is be around people, especially church people...but I know that I need them there to remind me of the past, and encourage me in the future.  Faith is, for me, remembering.

    • Thoughts this morning

      3 months ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      I can't support Democrats because they spend money they don't have and incite class-ism.  I also can't support abortion.  They over-regulate over-legislate and they are putting people in bondage by promising to give people all these things without them having to pay for them.  They are the party of no responsibility.


      I can't support Republicans because their policies are reactionary and a knee jerk.  Republicans are acting like demagogues and pushing academic agendas without any thought to compromise or unity.  They are eating themselves up trying to appeal to the hard line.  I am embarrassed with how my party has progressed.




  • Comments (71)

    • Ratatoskr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Logics

      3 months ago

      I see...


      un23nn0.gif


      ... an FU.


      Congrats!

    • andytheciderman FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTCyclist/Keeper of Wine

      3 months ago

      Happy FU Day!

    • Joron093 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of The Forges

      3 months ago

      Happy FU day man!  Congratulations, don't let it go to your head.  Eh, what the hell, let it go to your head, live it up a little.

    • LadyOddDuck FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Call Me Duck

      3 months ago

      I can think of nobody more deserving of an FU. Happy FU Day!

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 months ago

        I appreciate it, Duck!!!!

    • Lamkia FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Snarky Sarcasm

      3 months ago

      Hey my awesome Jedi-Priest drawing is on the front page!

      Oh yeah and I guess also congrats on the FU :p

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 months ago

        wow, my first FU!!!!

    • madmanmoe Keeper of Shenanigans

      6 months ago

      for some reason I thought of you when I saw this picture XD


      iLmt1sS.png

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        6 months ago

        lol, that is awesome.  


        My issue is not with the discussion.  My issue is how people act when they perceive that they have the moral high ground.  It's easy to justify dismissing the concerns of another person when you think that they are morally deficient. 

      • madmanmoe Keeper of Shenanigans

        6 months ago

        That's why I like having these discussions with you, we think a lot alike

    • Newbs FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Uncle Slam

      9 months ago

      Yo! "@Newbs  halp.  we want to have an MSt3K night.  Let me know best practices."


      Figured I would comment on here instead of in the thread. What exactly do you want to know? 

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        9 months ago

        What is the best way of setting up a simulcast with a youtube vid; other than everyone yelling 1,2,3 go and hitting play. 

      • Newbs FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Uncle Slam

        9 months ago

        @Priest


        http://sync-video.com/


        Just hit Create New Room button and you should be able to figure it all out!

    • topham FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold DHYB

      1 year ago

      I'm confused as to how we weren't friends on here before...

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        1 year ago

        as am I. BTW, I get you and @Toptoast confused all the time. look at your avatars, from a distance it gets quite confusing.

      • Toptoast FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of the Breakfast

        1 year ago

        We look so alike: https://cdn.drawception.com/images/panels/2015/3-25/2ahT2cBnce-12.png

    • Dylan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Davesexual

      1 year ago

      Just dropping by to let you know that I've cracked the code to get your dream to work in the story! I changed some things up, elaborated and embellished, but it's happening now and I honestly can't thank you enough. Hope you're having a great day, kind sir.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        1 year ago

        Fantastic. Just let me know when it hits theaters and get me a seat next to Ryan Reynolds.

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      1 year ago

      Happy Warm and Fuzzies!

      heart

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        1 year ago

        That's awesome.

    • Kiwi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold OCC Time Lord

      1 year ago

      Where did you find that Laboradorite knife? I NEED!!!

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        1 year ago

        Reddit, under the Blacksmith Sub. It is a Jay Fisher knife:


        http://www.jayfisher.com/Handles_Knife_Gemstone6.h...


      • Kiwi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold OCC Time Lord

        1 year ago

        @Priest OMG his work is gorgeous! But his knives START at $1,000. I don't think I could convince my husband to go for that, even if it is my favorite rock. Check out this knife - Jagdkommando Tri-Dagger - it's a little more reasonable at $700.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        1 year ago

        That tri-dagger is amazing.

    • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

      1 year ago

      I have never been a Featured User, Wow!!

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      1 year ago

      Happy FU Day!

    • Fly FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Blades

      1 year ago

      LOOK WHO'S A FEATURED USER!!!

      I guess they're hitting all the Tennessee folks first...

    • Joron093 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of The Forges

      1 year ago

      Happy Birthday! *confetti & streamers*

    • LoZelda FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Supposedly An Adult

      1 year ago

      I want you to know that you guys keep tagging me in posts, but tagging is broken. I can see what you wrote, but I can't see where it was posted, I can't navigate to where it was posted, and I have no option to respond.

    • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

      2 years ago

      Wait, we weren't friends? I've been watching you on here for years!

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      2 years ago

      Fun fact, apparently there was merging of SWTOR since I last played. My level 50 Sith Assassin made his way to Shadowlands as well! I made my Republic tank: justamiddleman. Come find him!

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        Absolutely. I never shy away from a good story, even if it's self-deprecating.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        BTW, thanks for letting me tell that story...it was hilarious.

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        Totally understandable. I probably won't be on until later anyway.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        I may play tonight after Reagan goes to bed. I like to play with her until she goes to bed since I don't see her all day.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        That...is super sweet!

    • monopoly_j

      2 years ago

      1.gif
      MERRY CHRISTMAS!
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      • monopoly_j

        2 years ago

        smiley0.gif

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        Merry Christmas to you too!!

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      2 years ago

      I didn't realize you're from Memphis. What part? My fiancee is from there.

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        I appreciate the advice. We talked extensively about religion and children before we got engaged. As for singers, I'll definitely run that by her smiley0.gif

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        It is going to be difficult; though you have the Christian tradition to hold you together. One of my favorite musicians is Catholic- Matt Marr. Catholics can co-exist with Evangelicals or Protestants, so long as the foundation is the same. I would definitely get on the same page before children, You don't want confused kids on your hands.

        let me know if you need someone to sing, I sort of do that. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPg7vHP_RnA

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        And congratulations on your 5 years of marriage, and many more years to come!

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        As with all good things in life, it can't come without some struggle. Coming from different religions gives us a unique positive, in that we know we have to work through differences. In the end, it makes it all worth it and better than just kicking the can down the road.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        Congrats on marriage, btw- I've been married 5 years, it's awesome. There are struggles, but you'll work them out.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        Very pretty campus. I went by there last week. Belle Meade is a great area.

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        They do go to Second, and that's actually where we're going to get married next year. A lot of bs to go through since I'm Catholic, but we made it work out smiley0.gif

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        Nope. But if they go to the one off Poplar (second I think) that is a beautiful Church

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        So do they, but they're Presby's so I doubt it's the same church smiley8.gif .

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        I know exactly where that is. I go to Church right there on Poplar

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        Yep, familiar with that area. Her family is from East Memphis, before you cross 240 (if you're coming from the city).

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        East, Collierville. It's not a bad place to be.

    • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

      3 years ago

      Happy Father's day man.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        Thank you!!!!

    • edwin

      4 years ago

      Are you no longer in the Game of Death thread?

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      4 years ago

      Any idea why swooper is so worked up over this scramjet thing? I know he hates anything related to the military, but this is ridiculous. I'm really getting tired of arguing with him.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        4 years ago

        Sorry I just saw this. my work computer doesn't give me the javascript notifications that I have messages or comments, so this is late.

        I don't really know why he was so worked up about it, and his arguments made no sense. It's like he believes that there's some sort of 'glass ceiling.'

    • edwin

      4 years ago

      You literally removed all of your personal information. Did someone stalk you or something?

      • edwin

        4 years ago

        Sounds about right. All fair reasons, at that.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        4 years ago

        The moral of the story: people are more interested in what YOU are doing than actually paying attention to what THEY are doing.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        4 years ago

        I got heat at work, not from this page, but because I was 'posting on FB during work hours' and someone at my job complained to my manager (who couldn't care less because I get everything done and work my ass off.) My manager just told me to be careful, so I locked FB down to Friends only, put all my co-workers outside that box and now they only can see on FB what I choose for them to be able to see. But a simple google search can find my RT profile; so I removed any demo. info.

      • edwin

        4 years ago

        Fair enough. Why so secretive?

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        4 years ago

        No; I just can't lock the personal information down to just friends. If there was a way for me to filter who can see what...I'd do it.

    • edwin

      4 years ago

      You renewed too fast for me to heckle your non-sponsorship adequately.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        4 years ago

        lol, I got the email this morning that it had dropped and promptly took care of it.
        smiley1.gif

    • monopoly_j

      4 years ago

      1.gif
      Merry Christmas from Monopoly_J
      I hope the Holiday finds you doing well.

      tumblr_lvskgsRL1W1qz9phmo1_500.jpg
      Merry-Christmas-prev.jpg
      barlites02.gif

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        4 years ago

        Merry Christmas!

    • iamcevrus2

      4 years ago

      Actually, not an Atheist, believe in God very much, but I trust the Church as much as I can throw them. And they include but are not limited to an entire country.

    • Izzi

      5 years ago

      Congrats to you and your wife!

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        5 years ago

        Thanks!! :)

    • jay3of7

      11 years ago

      Welcome to Red Vs Blue !!!

  • Questions answered by Priest

    The Earth is Flat. I just want to see what that would look like.

    Hmm. Well, if I were to pick a car that would aesthetically look like a spaceship but not actually be a space ship, I would have to pick the Eagle 5 from Spaceballs


    latest?cb=20120107110408

    I would help you at no charge bud. BTW, King of the Road is one of my favorite songs. My family has always been musically inclined, and my Dad used to sing Roger Miller during road trips. Obviously quite different than Verdi stylistically, but hey, that's not a problem.