free flow

I just wanted to free flow some ideas today since there isn’t any one thing I wanted to blog about that I felt was worth justifying an entire post.

First up, I think I’ve seen these ads on VH1 or MTv when my wife is watching them (I don’t like anything on those channels) – Elexa – a new feminine sexual line of products by the makers of the Trojan condom. As they have just launched the brand, the commercials are nice and cryptic – of course the reason for that is because Madison Avenue wants you to be all curious so that you go and check out what’s up with this product. I had no idea what it was. Looking online, I see that it consists of freshinging cloths, a lube, and some condoms. I have no idea what the freshening cloth is, but from their description using “polite” words, I think it’s a quick way to clean up after sex without going to shower. An interesting idea, although as a married man in my own house – I’d rather just get in the shower. I could understand if you were having sex somewhere else and had to be discrete or something and couldn’t shower – then they’d be pretty useful.

But really, the reason why I wanted to blog about this product line is that when I went to the drugstore today with my wife to return a prescription for her father, I saw the boxes of Elexa by the counter. They each come with a small purse! And I thought to myself – this is what marketing is all about! A woman with a condom is a slut! Why else would she be carrying one? But if it’s in a little purse, she can be discrete about it, and have one around. What I like about it, thinking from the point of view of the girl is that she can have the responsibility of having a condom if the man wants to use the excuse that he forgot one, and have unprotected sex in the heat of the moment.

Second, I noticed an advertisement for AOL while setting up Windows XP for my wife’s aunt today. We bought a brand new computer and I was clicking through the endless Windows setup process:
“Will you agree to sell your soul to Microsoft Corp, a subsidiary of the Beazulbub Group?”

“Do you indemnify eMachine, Corp from any and all illnesses that shall befall your children down to the 40th generation?”


When I saw something to the effect of (no exagerations here):

“How fast is your current internet connection? Do you have blah blah or yadda yadda? Then you should switch to AOL!

Do you wish to switch to AOL
yes or no”

I’ve never seen something like that before – except in adware when installed some programs off the net back in the day.

Mauricio is definitely on the top 5 list of my closest friends; those who I would actually care to keep up with. This post to his blog gave me mixed emotions. On the one hand, I felt sad for Mauricio and how the world was forcing him to abandon his ideals. He now knows that he cannot continue to live life by what some silly authors write about. Life is a very personal thing and only YOU can decide what is right or wrong for you.

I remember in high school he was always reading Christian books on dating. I must say that in my own Christian walk – dating is where I left Christ at the coat check. I was always agonizing over my decisions and the hypocrisy of my life. I didn’t swear or watch bad movies or do anything wrong. I “honored” my father and mother – the whole nine yards. But when it came to dating, I let my hormones be in charge. Although I’m proud to say that I was a virgin when I got married – it is without pride that I must say that I did do pretty much everything but intercourse. It was a place where many fell – almost everyone I knew at church who was otherwise a Godly person, was doing all kinds of crazy stuff in the bedroom – even those who were the most pious. Sure, we are taught that we must each make a personal account to God when we die and we can’t say, but Johnny was doing it too! But it made it that much harder for me to put my hormones on ice when everyone else had them on the oven. It’s in the past, but I’m glad to finally get that out. Back to Mauricio – which is what this part of my blog is about!

So I’m sad that he’s changing. He was the ONE idealistic Christian in my life. Long time readers of my blogs will know that I mentioned him in at least three posts as someone who would ALWAYS put a smile on my face. He would say things like “potty mouth” and “Wow, God made a beautiful day today” and other things. The funny thing is that he wasn’t always a Christian and maybe that’s why he looked at things with such a fresh light. He was, when I met him, a relatively fresh convert. I, on the other hand, had spent my entire life at church. While that didn’t turn me off to church, like it does to so many others who spend their lives in church, I certainly wasn’t screaming fire and brimstone. While the world pulled me towards sin, Mauricio always pulled me towards God – he kept me grounded.

So I was sad to see him write, “I want to tell her that I’m different now, that the fundamentalist stick is removed from my ass”. It was sad that he considered himself a fundamentalist. We used to always love that Supertones song, “…I’m a freak and they say I’ve lost my mind. They say I’ve gone too far and that lets me know I have not gone nearly [far enough].” It was sad to see him write “ass” for he’d never use that word.

But I was also so proud of Mo. He is beginning to see that life doesn’t fit into the neat little boxes that some naive people want it to. Yeah, Jesus said to turn the other cheek – does that mean, let the terrorists have another go at the US? I’m not saying that I question my faith or the teachings of Christ – but rather that they always don’t fit into our world; that sometimes, you have to go against what may sound right, but just doesn’t work. Or maybe it’s just that we don’t quite get the whole thing. Maybe “turn the other cheek” wasn’t quite how it was meant to come out, but that was the only way to say things back then. I has lost my coherance, but I guess I’m just trying to say that we don’t live in a commune.

Things don’t always work out right and you can’t be a super-Christian. That makes you no different from the Islamic fundamentalists. You have to find the right balance in your life of Christian Idealism and Christian Realism. But what ends up happening in real life is that, just ike all other areas in life, you never quite find that right balance. You oscillate from one extreme to the next and never quite find that spot. Before, I couldn’t go a weekend without church and now I haven’t been to a church in over a year (not counting marriage stuff). Neither one is perfect and right. I should be going more often to get recharged and fellowship with other believers. But I also need to make sure that my wife and I have time for each other and out hobbies. Yeah, that sounds uber-selfish – “sorry God, I have to play civ4 – can’t go to church.” But I know it’s reality. My parents have always been somewhere like that. There were times in my life when we went to church every weekend and tried to get my cousins and uncles to come. There have been times in my life where we went months without even so much as thinking of getting up early on a Sunday morning. There’s no perfection. We’re human.

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One response to “free flow”

  1. Hey hermano,
    Thanks for the email & the interest. I truly appreciate your willingness to be honest with me and to let me know how you feel about things. I can also tell that you’re feeling somewhat concerned about where I’m at worldview-wise. However, I think a bit of context will go a long way towards easing your mind on this.

    First off, some nonnegotiatables; I believe and (Lord willing) always will believe that this world has nothing for me and that Christ is exactly who he said he was. I still believe everything I was taught and everything that I learned regarding the truth.

    However, I’ve come to realize that along with my faith came a lot of things that did nothing to help me to love people who are different than me (a discomfort around homosexuals or people who party, for instance). These things weren’t taught explicitly, but when you spend a lot of time around people just like you, you start to forget what it’s like to interact with people different than you, and sometimes it’s uncomfortable. I don’t want to be uncomfortable around the people I am called to show God’s love to anymore. That was frustration no. 1 in my post.

    Secondly, my definition of fundamentalism: I tend to use the word as people outside of the faith use it, in its negative context. There was a time at FSU where my love for theology turned it into a way to put unfair labels on people and it hurt the girl I was dating at the time. I broke it off because I knew it wouldn’t last, but it was my distance towards the end that hurt her the most. If I had cared about her the way I should have, I would have taken the time to get to know her better before getting so emotionally involved with someone who didn’t share my core values. I treated her differently than my Christian friends (not badly, just differently; there was a disconnect there), and I know now that given the chance to do things over again, I would have done it differently. I never, ever, want to make a girl cry like that again. Frustration no. 2

    Thirdly, my choice of words; part of it was a phrase I know was on her mind a lot towards the end there (we broke up last December), but that’s not the whole reason. In religious communities sometimes there’s this lie that Christians are supposed to be shiny happy people all the time, but it isn’t true. My livejournal is a place where I want to be honest with whatever I’m feeling at the time, as ugly as it is sometimes. I don’t use words like that often (you know this), more for other people’s sake & because I don’t like that kind of language than because I have a moral problem with it, but there are times when the words are there, I’m thinking them, and I don’t like it, but they’re there.

    I’ll add one more thing to that: If I was content to sit around whining and using crappy language, I’d slap myself. As distressing as that post was (It bothered me, too, looking back), I know that’s not the end of the story. One day I won’t feel things the same way I feel them now, because Christ is changing me from the inside. Scripture tells us that God insists is that we don’t have to live the old way anymore. As ticked off as I get sometimes about my faults, my impatience and selfishness, the promise of Scripture is that we not the same anymore, and I’m slowly learning to believe that it’s true. Of course, when I forget, I beat myself up and get frustrated and post entries like the one you read. However, six days later you see something different. I’ll go ahead and quote Rob Bell on this. You’ll see what I still need to learn:

    “…The issue then isn’t my beating myself up over all the things I am not doing or all the things I am doing poorly; the issue is my learning to who this person is who God keeps insisting I already am.
    Notice these words from the letter to the Philippians: “Let us live up to what we have already attained.” {Philippians 3:16}
    There is this person who we already are in God’s eyes. And we are learning to live like it’s true.” – Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis, ch. 6

    I’m sorry that I worried you Eric. I hope this clarifies things a bit. I don’t think a lot of what I wrote that night was right, either. Some of it may have been true, but all of it was what I was feeling at the time. I’m going to copy and paste this reply into my own journal, because you may not the only one with a concern about this. Thanks for being who you are, and for being willing to hold on to our friendship. If you’ve got any other concerns or thoughts about this, please let me know. I look forward to seeing you again, my friend.