When was the last time….

Everyone is pretty much sick of hearing from Christians every time the debate of homosexuality comes up.  I don’t blame them.  I am too.  We do a pretty bad job of jumping out and letting the whole world know how we feel when someone comes out with their sexual orientation.  I’ve had my thoughts before but I’m not a very social or political voice.  I have my beliefs and opinions but unless you’re in my tight circle, I usually err on the side of tact and avoid religion and politics until you REALLY get to know who I am so you don’t judge my heart based upon what I say about a certain topic.  We are too easily called to judge based upon what someone says about their beliefs.  However, this morning, my heart was just beating through my chest with this message…Like a bat signal being sent out for Batman hahaha I could not ignore what was running through my mind at light speed. 

I preface this by saying this is for everyone to hear…Christians or Not.  I’ll write it in both parts.  For those of you who aren’t Christians…I’m sorry.  I’m deeply sorry that every time someone comes out and states they are gay/homosexual, we immediately offer the fact that it’s a sin.  When was the last time someone got on the air, whether it been radio or news and said, “I’m a Christian, and I still love [insert the person here].  I haven’t heard anyone in a while.  The first thing they want to say is that it’s a rebellion against God and it’s wrong and sinful.  Now, hear me on this.  As Christians, do we believe homosexuality is a sin?? Yes.  Let me break it down for you so it doesn’t sound as harsh.  Sin, in God’s eyes, just means missing the mark.  You are good and your heart is good.  Sin is like a disease.  When someone has cancer, you automatically don’t think that it’s part of their identity, it’s just something they have.  We have sin but it doesn’t mean we are HORRIBLE people.  I see God as a master artist.  If you were to create a masterpiece of art, say the Sistine Chapel, and then someone comes along and tries to alter the original in a way it wasn’t intended, wouldn’t you be like, “That’s not how it’s supposed to be”?  We are all protective of what we create.  So when anyone sins whether it be someone lying, being too proud, murdering someone, stealing, committing adultery…All the sin means is that, that wasn’t what God intended.  And if you study the Bible, you will  learn there are 7 sins God ABHORS.  Homosexuality isn’t one of them.  Everyone makes it out to be a HUGE deal when God really hates such things as pride, not taking care of widows and orphans…so on and so forth. 

Now, another question for Christians.  Those of you who decide it is your duty to blast to the world how horrible homosexuality is, have you ever taken the time to understand what it feels like to have homosexual feelings??  I’ve had friends that have come out as gay, even those who attend church.  Have you ever stopped to ask them what it’s like to be in a Christian community, where your whole life, you are brought up to believe that God honors a love between a man and a woman, yet you have always had an attraction to men/women??  Can you honestly say you understand that??  Maybe you’ve never struggled with alcohol or drugs.  Does that mean the person who does is in some way  more flawed than you are??  I don’t think so.  Imagine having a feeling that your whole life, you are told is wrong and sinful, and you’re trying to build a relationship with a God who says that feeling is wrong.  Wouldn’t you feel frustrated?  Wouldn’t you wonder why you have those feelings and if God is a loving God, why would he create you in such a way that would go against Him??  Do you think about these things, honestly?  Because if you did, I think the empathy and compassion would be much better than creating a status of hate or misunderstanding.  Hear me on this,  I have an opinion.  However, if I believe in God and He is my King, I follow what the King states.  Does it state in the Bible that homosexuality is in a sin? Yes.  But so is pride.  So unless I’m willing to go around and start posting hate statuses about pride, you aren’t going to see me on some picket line for homosexuality.   I’m going to love that person.  I’m going to love you no matter what you struggle with.  PLEASE STOP POSTING STATUSES AND MAKING STATEMENTS, CHRISTIANS ABOUT YOUR OPINION AND JUST START LOVING.  Get on the air and say, “You know what, as a Christian, I follow a certain belief.  Do I believe homosexuality is wrong, yes.  But do I love him/her anyway? WITH EVERYTHING I HAVE, I DO.”  You don’t have to lie about your beliefs.  YOU MUST love the people around you.  And until you can get your sin perfectly under control, don’t go around making others seem like theirs are bigger and worse than yours. 

For those of you who feel you are gay/homosexual….If you were to ask me, “If God loves me, why would He create me with an attraction towards the same sex?”  If I had to be honest, that’s a tough question.  I don’t claim to understand everything about God or why certain things happen.  I look at it as the same way of why God would create someone blind or with a missing limb.  I don’t believe God causes these things.  I don’t full understand either why He allows them.  I do have some insight though.  My answer is in two parts.  First, we all struggle with something.  If I believe in God, I have to believe in the enemy, Satan.  If Satan wants to kill, steal, and destroy us (God’s creation), then He is going to find a way to destroy us by rebelling against God.  It just makes sense in this love story.  We are hated by Satan.  He hates God so he wants us to hate Him too.  He will tempt us with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to get us away from God.  I have friends that struggle with the urge to steal, the urge to get wasted all the time, the urge to do drugs, the urge to lie, the urge to manipulate.  I believe all of us are created with a certain struggle.  Some people have that struggle of homosexuality.  Now, I say that lovingly because some people will read that and believe that “homosexuality isn’t a struggle, it’s who I am”.  I understand that.  I’m just saying it based on my beliefs.  PLEASE understand that I love you no matter what, in the event that it comes off as not understanding.  MY WHOLE GOAL is for you to see that I love you and I am not here to try to understand.  I couldn’t ask you to understand my struggles either.  The other reason I believe we suffer/struggle, is to bring God glory.  We grow by overcoming our struggles, or our faith is strengthened by our suffering, He gets the glory.  Just like growing our muscles by using resistance/struggle.  It’s like as a parent when you have to do things to let your child grow.  My mother tells a story of when I was a baby.  She said that for me to learn to fall asleep on my own, she would have to put me to bed and then leave me to fall asleep, even if I was crying.  She said it was the hardest thing she ever had to do because I’d be crying for her with my fingers under the door.  She said she would cry tears and want to let me out but SHE HAD to let me grow.  I’d eventually fall asleep with my fingers still under the door hahaha.  I imagine God feeling that way.  HE HATES when we struggle but knows we must struggle to grow.  Let me state what I have learned…GOD HATES SUFFERING.  There isn’t a tear He doesn’t account for.  Why doesn’t God intervene sometimes?? Because if He forced everything, it wouldn’t help us grow and it wouldn’t be a love story if He forced everything.  Now there are huge tragedies that are awful.  Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Earthquakes…God hates when people suffer during those too.  These are all deep theological questions that even us Christians struggle with.  I’d be lying if I didn’t.  But I’ve seen enough love and goodness in my life to trust that God loves me and He is always for me, even when it’s difficult to understand Him.

With that being said, I don’t understand what it’s like to have strong feelings for the same sex.  I’ll never act like I know what it’s like.  All I can offer is that I will love you no matter what.  Do I agree with it?  No, but my beliefs don’t have to dictate how much I love you.  God didn’t state that my love was to be contingent on your beliefs.  Jesus didn’t live that way.  You read the bible, He hung out with everyone who struggled with something deep, not the people who thought they had it all together.

My whole goal in this was two-fold.  One, to show that I LOVE YOU no matter what you struggle with, Christian or Non-Christian.  Two, this is for the Christians who decide it is their duty to let the whole world know how they feel on ONE SIN instead of using the opportunity to love others.  I read an article once about a pastor who was about to give a sermon on homosexuality.  He was gonna teach how it was wrong and sinful until He was convicted to change it to a sermon of apologizing.  He heard from someone that was gay, that they thought Christians hated them.  WHAT?!?!?!  You know we aren’t doing something right if someone thinks we hate them.  Do as this pastor did and change your thoughts.  He ended up spending the whole sermon apologizing, making it about how we have failed at letting the world know, we actually are called to love those in it.  When was the last time you told someone you loved them, despite what they were struggling with? 

You wanna know my beliefs on homosexuality, pride, murder, adultery, any sin??? I believe they aren’t what God intended.  But even when you do sin, and I sin, and we sin…I will love you, everyone, and myself all the same and with the passion that God calls me to, as best as I can.  I hope this provided some insight and love for you.

I Love You All,

Christopher

Here it is!!! The world premiere of “Levitate”…My first single, from me to you!!! Hope you enjoy it!! Download, spread the word, share, Retweet…whatever you gotta do!!!

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Amen :))

Amen :))

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Shower of Emotions

I will never understand why the shower is a place of widespread inspiration…However, it always seems like every one is hit with a great idea while taking a shower.  That being said, as I was in this so called creative space this morning, I began to take some inventory of my most recent emotions.  Most everyone knows me as a extroverted person who smiles A LOT.  It would be quite a change for me to display a consistent string of anger or frustration.  Unless you were one of the employees that worked under me or a close member of my family, you rarely probably have ever seen that side.  I’ve dealt with extreme cases of anger, channeled into bitterness and resentment over the past few years and as I was getting my Old Spice After Hours cleanse on, I decided it was best to allow myself to finally be ok with FEELING the emotions I never wanted to showcase.

If you are like me, and even if you aren’t, most of us have a certain level of how we want to be perceived.  I certainly don’t want any of you TO EVER think I am not there for you or don’t always have an unlimited amount of encouragement available.  In doing so, I push down and repress a lot of the “negative” emotions that I fear would change a lot of thoughts on my character.  In trying to deal with these emotions in private, I have found that doing so much internal repair work, nothing was getting better at trying to fix them behind closed doors.  Almost like when you get in trouble in public, your mother smiles at everyone and says “Excuse us for a second” before she takes you somewhere private to give you either the classic Mom look that you NEVER want to see, or you get the spanking of a lifetime.  I treated my emotions that way.  Never to show any one, even myself, how awful I was feeling.  

Now, I say all this to arrive at the reason for this post today.  My shower will not go in vain.  I want ALL of you that read this to learn to FEEL.  Trivial and elementary, yes.  However, every emotion we experience is trying to tell us something, both positive and negative.  If we try to act as if they aren’t there, as if they will go away on their own, or they can be taken care of “behind closed doors”, they are only going to keep sounding the alarm until you give them the attention they deserve.  This does not me if you are feeling anger, blow up in everyone’s face.  This does not mean if you are struggling with anxiety and bitterness, that you become vindictive or hateful towards others outwardly. I have learned instead of being afraid of the feelings I never wanted to have, I instead face them, figure out why they are there and let them out whether that is through journaling, through songwriting or even just to a close trusted friend.  I know this may seem a bit silly.  Some of you are probably thinking, “Of course it’s ok to feel”.  If you are intuitive and are already on a college reading level with your emotions, my hat is off to you.  Nonetheless, I know there have to be more people out there like me who need to know, they don’t have to be afraid to feel the emotions they are afraid of feeling, positive or negative.  Take baby steps.  Learn to address what your emotions are trying to tell you.  They will thank you for it later and you will have MUCH more clarity on the life you want to live.  Now I must go lather up my loofah hahahaha

-Chris J.

When You Fall…

Setbacks.  Disappointments.  Failures.  We all have them.  We all experience them.  And for those of you like me, who have a natural tendency to beat yourself up in the worst way mentally and emotionally, they can be debilitating.  My hope in this blog is to touch on those who have a hard time not berating themselves every time you screw up.  Whether you are someone who bounces back quickly or falls deeply in despair, I believe we can all learn to pick ourselves back up.  I mean, the whole point of representing a phoenix is rising from the ashes right?  One of my favorite quotes is one everyone has heard, “Fall down seven times.  Stand up eight.”  It doesn’t matter how long it takes, we MUST continue to stand up.  The hardest part is when we continually fail.  It beats us down.  The Enemy will want you to believe that you aren’t good enough.  ”You will never get over this”, he whispers.  The lies we are thrown daily are dangerous and can really hinder us from overcoming some of our biggest battles.  And that’s exactly what they are, LIES.

In my recovery from struggling with anger and bitterness, something I will definitely touch on in the future, I have struggled with how much I have fallen.  If you all knew, how many times I have failed at striving for things, especially change in myself, you would wonder why I keep going in the first place.  I have lost amazing people, squandered amazing opportunities, and yet, new ones keep popping up.  I believe God’s grace is at work in every situation in our lives.  No matter HOW MUCH we screw up, no matter HOW FAR we feel we have fallen, it seems there is always a hand ready to lift us back up.  No matter what you believe, you can’t deny that somehow, some way, there is always a blessing around the corner, even when it seems there isn’t.  And SEEMS is a big word.  Be careful of your perceptions.  We sometimes fall in the the trap of constantly failing because we see actual blessings as another failure.  I certainly have gone down such a road of anger that I perceived true things of beauty as evil.  Don’t fall in to this trap.  Really take a step outside of yourself and analyze what is truly there to help you.  You don’t want to miss out on something good in your life because of your misperceptions.  And even if you have already done that, like myself, be easy on yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Everything in life is a learning experience.  Yes, sometimes we knew better and that hurts, but we can still learn from it. 

My point is, be easy on yourself, forgive yourself, and work as hard as you can to stop beating yourself up.  No one ever succeeded or overcame an obstacle from focusing on the disappointment or how awful you think you are.  The truth is, and I believe this, that even in our worst state, there is a God who loves us deeper than we could ever imagine.  Whether we are on top of the world, or in the deepest valley, the love never changes.  So try just loving yourself a little bit more today.  I love you.  Even if I don’t know you.  I believe you have something inside of you that no one else has.  And I love you for it.  Keep dreaming.  If you are in the ashes state, you will rise again :) 

Dreams Of A Phoenix

Second Chances…We all hope for them.  We all get them.  And sometimes, more often than not, they are exactly what we need to springboard our lives on to a whole new level of success.  It could mean a second chance at love or an opportunity to redeem oneself with a friend.  It could mean losing one dream to actually find your destiny.  Many out there have supported me in my endeavors to pursue a dream of music.  However, not many of you know what that road has completely entailed and I guarantee you, it is more than just a story about hopefully becoming the next big songwriter.  In the desire to pursue a dream, I have discovered our dreams more or less are vehicles to discover our true purpose.  My desire is that everyone out there learns and is inspired more by my JOURNEY to succeed in music than the actual music itself.  The beautiful thing about purpose is, many dreams can give you the path to achieve your purpose.  Purpose is deeper than just a dream.  It’s something you can activate and live out every day whether it be at your job, at your church, with your friends, with strangers, with your family, while at a restaurant, while in line at the grocery store, and many other scenarios.  

So what does this all have to do with a phoenix and second chances??  My life up to this point has been a battle for the heart.  Something many of you are experiencing right now and may not even know it.  My purpose in life follows this story, this mantra, this idea I call “Dreams of a Phoenix”.  Like a Phoenix, I have been destroyed, reduced to ashes, and until quite recently have spent a good amount of time rising up to overcome and realize my dreams.  Take a ride with me.  Allow me to show you some deep secrets.  Allow me to ignite your heart in a way that took me a very long time to uncover.  I know you have dreams.  I KNOW you have passion.  Follow me on a journey.  I’ll show you what it’s like to think you’ve lost everything, only to claw and fight your way back through faith, hope, tears, and struggle, to believe in dreams again.  To be reborn and reinvented in your own heart.  Along the way, I hope to give you the most vibrant, creative, and energetic sounds you have ever heard in my music.  I hope to inspire you through creative visuals.  I hope to introduce you to people who have also struggled, gone through the ashes, and redeemed to live a whole new life :)  It doesn’t matter if it’s your 2nd chance or your 104th chance…each one is brand new.  You will make it :)  I promise you that.  

-Chris J. 

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"Everyone is an artist, we all just have a different canvas" - Krista Bella

theonlydanja:

U stare at the screen long enough and bust your brain creating this is what u start to see…

theonlydanja:

U stare at the screen long enough and bust your brain creating this is what u start to see…

6 notes

You feeling lucky?!?! Haha 

You feeling lucky?!?! Haha