I know I have all religions following my blogs but still let me say Happy Resurrection Sunday and Happy Easter to all my Christian brothers and sisters !!! Don’t be ashamed of your faith. I see your posts that are filling up my timeline on some of my social media accounts and rightfully so!!!! Today we celebrate the reality that someone murdered somebody that wanted to be killed (basically assisted them in committing suicide) and they came back from the dead! The whole torturous ordeal was good and ordered by God to give the world a picture of Love!!! In fact the bloodshed cleanses, washes and redeems the soul – and makes you whole if you actually believe all of it happened and drink the blood from the murder (we call it Holy Communion) or are baptized or smeared with it (we symbolized that by water or oil). I know it can sound weird to you but hey, this is part of the reason why we are now more understanding of your religion. See, we have ghosts, good and bad spirits and good and bad people with superhuman strength, powers, and abilities in our sacred book too. We have talking snakes, donkeys, fire breathing many-headed dragons, sea monsters, and other magical and mystical creatures and happenings as well in there too. And we BELIEVE all these things (that sound like a Marvel movie) in our religion and as a result of our faith in what we BELIEVE – we experience REAL THINGS in our life. So we no longer diss your holy days or religion that we find weird strange and maybe even ridiculous in part or in whole. So don’t diss ours! Let us have ours and celebrate the day our God magically rose from dead like every superhero always does in every movie – and let us hope and believe it will make our lives lived happily ever after. I mean you’re doing some version of the same thing so let us do us!! Anyway, as I was saying – Happy Resurrection Sunday to all my brothers and sisters.
So many times I am asked by people of all religious beliefs “How do I heal my thinking and what feels to be my soul from the warp that it has experienced?” They tend to believe it’s primarily the result of the years of frequenting church, temple, mosque, synagogue, monastary or the like. These are the 4 things I tell them and I believe they are important to do if you want to recover from religion and enjoy the pure spirituality that flows out of a connection with God.
- Get around those that will challenge the biases you hold.
- Stop going to church, mass, temple or any gathering where freethinking is prohibited and thoughts and feelings are contrived or controlled and dialogue isn’t the norm.
- Advance your awareness and consciousness through routine personal prayer, meditation, reading, and writing. Take online courses or have some form of continuing education that you are actively participating in.
- Trust a spiritual mentor enough to teach you. Expose yourself to them as often as possible to constantly have your thoughts stretched, expanded, and extended.
The following is a Monologue written by Larry D. Reid for actors auditioning for a role in one of his plays in 2015
What do you do with this gay. It’s sort of ‘in the way’. It’s oddly shaped, brightly colored, sticks out among the rest and it won’t act straight! What do you do with it? What do you do with this gay? I tell ya, no one knows what to do with it! Let’s ask moms, question the dads, tell the teacher to speak on it and the preacher to preach on it! Somebody – anybody – nobody knows what to do with this gay. I know! Let’s ask God. Let’s search His holy book.
Ummmmm I see what He says …..how wrong it is….. how abnormal it is….. how unique it is? It’s so rare that He didn’t speak on it like He did other things, but His people sure do. Maybe God doesn’t know – I mean, He didn’t give us much of a show in The Text to know? I do know that
But, YOU don’t know – WE don’t know and ME don’t know what to do with this gay. So let’s just throw it away. Yikes it’s back! It’s louder now. It’s bigger than it’s ever been. It’s everywhere. It’s in the common places and the not so common of places.
Wow-wee let me see. One, two, three and me? I didn’t even know. I thought it was just the homosexuals that the church, the government, organizations and institutions had a problem with – but its not. They have a problem with gay: the brilliant and the brightly colored, oddly shaped, and that which sticks out. The stupendous and the impressive they hate that it can’t be boxed in.
So now I see, anything that doesn’t conform or refuses to change its form – is gay. Well gay I’ll be and gay you’ll be and we will always be treated gay. We are the rarity. We are gay and gay is the phenomenon!
©Copyright 2015. LDREnterprises
Spirituality is all about consciousness. Coming into an awareness of your core self and maintaining that awareness at all times and in all situations. Through a relationship with God which began when I was introduced to Jesus in the Christian Church – I continue to enjoy all of the rewards of a very exciting spiritual life. However, many more people are finding it difficult to connect to God through this religion or any religion and I understand why. “By the skin of my teeth” – I found God in Christ Jesus.
See, unlike the “spokesmen” for the gods of the other 3 major religions in the world, Jesus claimed to actually be God. That intrigued me. See, it was God that I wanted to know. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and called God His Father which is literally to say He was God. Of the 4 major religions: Christianity (Judaism), Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam – it is Christianity that introduces Jesus. Unlike the other teachers of these other religions, Jesus claimed to be God and claimed to remedy ALL PEOPLE by sacrificing his life and dying for the sins of ALL men – so that none would perish. This is one of the biggest differences between Jesus and Muhammad, Buddha, Lord Krishna, or any of the sages of these religions. Jesus came to reconcile ALL men with God and pardon ALL sins. Though there are similar stories hundreds and thousands of years older than the bible – history had never seen anything like Jesus or his claims before. And for me, he was real, he is real and he is God. This is what I believe.
Prophet Muhammad was a great man, Gautama Buddha was an enlightened man, Lord Krishna is a profound sage, and Jesus embodied all of what they were but for me he superseded their ability and their qualities as a man. He had supernatural powers that came from God. Most religions were started by someone who claimed to have had either a supernatural vision or a divine message but in addition to that Jesus added that He was the message to embrace. He claimed that he was God. He was and the phenomenon in history and in science doing what no one else had done before.
Many Christians do not believe that Jesus Christ is God but the bible that Christians preach from clearly states that He is. Believing He isn’t God really subjects your belief system to Christianity’s version of and/or explanation of Jesus which really is a European Roman constructed idol – and for me is the diabolical replica of God that is more widely known and received today. That Jesus is not the true son of God but has been manufactured by Christianity. Modern Christianity is so terribly mongrel and mixed that it makes discovery and relationship with God difficult to discover though there is the constant mention of Jesus being the way to God. Relationship with God through Jesus Christ is for ALL people no matter what their religion is.
He is the unimaginable existence of Love. I do not believe that this Jesus which is REVEALED (rather concealed) in the Scriptures can be refused when He is properly presented to others. He is the embodiment of all that is Love in this world. Jesus and who He was and is through others can be seen in many religions of this world. Let me share this truth with you. ANY religious construct or practice that teaches or admonishes 1) Love for yourself and a selfless love for others 2) Give and it shall be given 3) self discipline 4) commitment to good character and doing good to others 5) and an unwavering faith in yourself and all that is good – is pointing the way to all that is good and all that is love. That religion is pointing you to God. That religion is teaching you the ways of Jesus. That religion will connect its followers to God, for Jesus (al that is good and all that is love) is the pathway to Father God.
Religions rarely give its followers this privilege of being introduced to the Lord God of the entire Universe because of all of its desire to convert men to their religion and the adoption of all the additional doctrines, beliefs, practices, and traditions that they require strict devotion to in order to be “acceptable in God’s sight”. Religion will make you believe that refusing devotion to certain things means disobedience to God, and kindling of His displeasure toward you. See, people get “lost in the sauce” of religion. Many devout followers have to abandon their religion to truly find God because of the distractions and misconceptions within these religions about Him.
Religion gives its devout adherers to its rules the hopeful feeling that “God” is pleased with them and with how they live their life and will bless them with the good life or either let them go to heaven when He returns. Religion say the strict adherence is how you are made right with God or escape judgement or hell in this life or in the afterlife. Although religious holiness can be profitable and is revered in most communities for being above-par conduct and behavior – it isn’t truly spirituality.
The 5 practices numbered and mentioned above embody what Jesus taught and can be found in any religion – as a result there are many paths to God. I was presented Jesus (the European idol) but even he peaked my interest to get to know who Jesus really was. Jesus was the Way I got to God. It is that Jesus I hope to be like. I want to positively impact the world as I believe he would. Jesus Christ is the God of my spirituality.
“Hey. I have an idea. Let’s start a Cyber Church!” says the random free thinker.
No doubt just a few years ago it would have been preposterous to consider, but boy have things changed. One of my mentors Mikki Taylor says “If you don’t evolve you will evaporate”. I am noticing that for an increasing amount of the working class citizens in America, going to church a few days a week, once a week, and even a few times a month is no longer feasible for them. For many of them it isn’t because the church is antiquated, disinteresting, or an inconvenience – but it is because they are fulfilling their dreams and fulfilling their destiny. They are consumed with their purpose. They have locked into the reason(s) why they were born and are clear about what they have been called to do. They are busy doing just that. Their assignment is to be a representation of Jesus Christ in the workplace and in the marketplace. They are called to film, music, dance, medicine, politics and etc. They are entertainers, educators, producers, and etc. For them, being at work, on set, in court, or at the hospital is being in the place that they must spend a considerable amount of their time representing and advancing the Lord’s agenda carrying the sacred into the secular. They desire and require spiritual connection and want to be a part of a group of individuals who are doing the same. They want the same caring, supportive, and loving community that traditional church gives, but how will we give that to them?
I believe that this is the perfect time for churches to give more attention to spiritual education, enlightenment, and empowerment ON DEMAND. Many churches have acclimated to streaming their worship experiences weekly which thousands of people participate in weekly across the nation. I have heard several pastors of small , medium, large, and mega size churches say that they have just as many (and in some cases more) participants online streaming as they do within the four walls of their churches. They say that these participants are growing spiritually and are a great financial support. There is definitely a great need for spiritual resources online that are crafted specifically for these that I am mentioning. Are you called to spearhead such a resource?
I believe that as time goes along, church will become a click on one of our devices. Assembling together will not look as it has for many years. While many will continue to come weekly to our physical churches, there will continue to be a growing number of people who will require and prefer a cyber source that will become their spiritual nexus that they can access LIVE and ON DEMAND.
Cyber Churches must be formed that they can become the premiere online source of spiritual education, enlightenment, and empowerment for Career Christians, Professional Pentecostals, and Marketplace Ministers that are on divine assignment.
The second part of God’s brightest idea in the universe is the wife-mom.
See, every family is God-breathed through the male – and mom has the grace to carry God’s purpose for each member of the family in the inside of her. These purposes are discovered individually and there is a path walked by each member of her family by which each child’s purpose is unearthed. She carries these children full of purpose in her. Can you imagine the very deep connection that moms have with their children? Do you now how hard it is to allow each child to follow and then chart their own path – especially when mom feels that the child is going a direction that isn’t good for them or will bring distance between them and their child? See, the mom has spiritually and emotionally devoted herself to carrying her children – and then caring for them. Her entire life is consumed with it. The mom has beared much, missed much, dealt with much, and has done so much that her children could have the best she could give them. Now age and maturity comes along, and asks Mom to let go and allow their child to care for themselves. It’s not easy for moms.
To master the art of allowing your child the space to grow and develop, and then learning how to mother them differently as they mature in age is no easy task. But Master Moms do it well. They manage to create, establish, and maintain a great relationship with their children even into their old age without being a source of self doubt or ridicule for their children. They do it without being the source of frustration for their children. They will not constantly overshare their opinion to manipulate control over their children’s lives. The children of Master Moms will do anything for them and can’t imagine doing anything in life without them. The children of Master Moms can’t imagine living their lives without the voice of their mom in the background cheering them on through the hard stuff, and being that constant source of unconditional love. This weekend on Mother’s Day we salute Master Moms. The Master Moms that are in the making, those that are still with us, and those that have passed on – we salute you!
In light of the recent suicides of many pastors I decided to write this blog to help others understand the personal pain that many pastors have. Depression is common in society and even more so for pastors and those that are care-leaders of any people. Let’s look at what I believe are the top six reasons senior pastors struggle with depression.
1. Their elite status. Being viewed as superior to others often means that no one in your life will ever deal with you for the human being you are. You are forced to ignore or bury your humans for the sake of not appearing less than angelic. This can cause the person or the pastor to feel cut off, isolated, and untouched by those around them. This eventually becomes the cause of bouts with loneliness that can lead to some vice or addiction to numb the pain. Also as an elite, you rarely get to hear your name. Your name is constantly repeated to you shrouded by the title of what you do. Being called anything outside of your name has the potential to bankrupt you of self awareness.
2. Lack of support. The pastoral staff are the only other people in the life of the pastor who are capable (in measure) to understand the pastor’s life, his burden, and his vision. When there is a disconnect between the staff and senior pastor, the pastor will feel abandonment. The final nail in the coffin for many pastors is when members don’t attend on the regular. Support from the congregation is shown by their attendance, giving, and a few other things that I will highlight.
3. Members that leave. Members will leave for several reasons and for many of them it is for reasons such as marriage, death, or a career opportunity. These changes often mean a very painful re-adjustment for the pastor that can be tough to weather especially if they are key leaders or congregants. However it’s the members that leave seemingly without a cause and without notifying the staff (who in turn notifies the pastor & others) that pains a pastor’s heart. How would you feel if a person you have dealt closely with for several hours a week and for many years suddenly disappear without a trace? What if it was several people in your life at one time that disappeared ? Well that’s how it is for a pastor when a member or an entire family leaves without a word?
4. Lack of enthusiasm. Believe it or not, the energetic attentive-interest that comes from the congregants when the pastor is teaching and preaching the Word of God is important to their person. Many pastors would say that they do not care whether there is applause or cheering when they speak because of their commitment to saying what God inspires them to say regardless of response. But no pastor would say that they would rather that the hearers remain quiet. I will guarantee you that! Anyone that stands before an audience to speak, teach, or perform needs to know that the audience is listening, understanding, or enjoying. An audience communicates that these things are taking place or have taken place – by their response. This response transmits an energy that leaves the pastor with feelings of accomplishment and effectiveness which makes their study time, prayer time, and any other preparative processes worth it!
5. Undervalued and under compensated. Many, if not most pastors, are being underpaid for their services and to add insult to injury, their life sacrifice is often going unrecognized. Many pastors of small and medium sized churches still carry out the menial duties of pastoring such as counseling and one on one mentorship – along side of their personal responsibilities of a career and/or personal ministry or business. Most members say they find it hard to come to church once a week or a few times a month due to their jobs but never consider that the pastor in most cases are doing what they are doing in addition to their pastoral duties. For the pastor, normalcy isn’t anywhere to be found. If the pastor is married and has a family, often “their family” includes church staff, or members who are separated from their families that they emotionally and financially support. This can be a financial strain and a sensitive responsibility with severe repercussions if not handled with care. Their life decisions are all made with the church in mind and their financial decisions are largely contingent upon the liberality of the church. Pastors will never (and can never) have “a life” and do their job effectively. No other career is more physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually taxing, consuming and intrusive as being a pastor.
6. Vision vultures. The lack of financial support for the vision from those who benefit from it or have benefited from it, is devastating to pastors. Can you imagine giving your all to something for the benefit of others or to someone for their sole benefit, and on top of being underpaid for it, and in addition to your personal issues and struggles – no one consistently puts their time, energy, effort or money forth to assist? Burn out happens to pastors and even pastoral staff when teamwork isn’t the practice when attempting to reach goals. Instead of vision builders the pews are loaded with vision vultures especially in churches where the education level of the average member is a high school diploma.
Being a pastor has been a career choice for many, but as you can see this people-service shouldn’t be viewed or approached as such. I believe it is a divine calling. It takes supernatural faith and divine empowerment to give of oneself at this level for what very well could be a lifetime. The demand and stress of the job rightfully leads many pastors to self medicate in ways that aren’t ethical or morally correct. I believe unconsciously those many began to look for things to do that can resessitate them from the comatose state that they are in through routine obligation and responsibility. I believe unconsciously they are looking to make their life enjoyable as it is – so they incorporate some event or even someone to “get them through” the paining humdrum instead of finding the deeper excitement through fullfilling their purpose. Instead they find it in “games that numb pain”. Pastors that are numbing their pain with drugs, alcohol, illicit sex with others, money, cars, houses, clothes, and such are unmotivated to face the personal pains they are having as pastors and “choose to soothe and use”. Addicts indeed! They are suffering in secret. Let me say this. I believe pastors must be above the par and well able to lead under these circumstances and weather the pangs of such a career/calling. I believe pastors should be pastors and do their job and be an example to others. I believe that pastors should be motivated to do what they do because of others and IN SPITE of others. And I firmly believe that it is essential for pastors to have strong prayer lives along with proper confidants along side of them – who were picked in wisdom. This blog is in no wise to pity any pastor for their load of duties or responsibilities, but this blog aims to offer insight to those who may not understand why pastors struggle with depression and other things, and so that the reader can understand their job. I have counseled many pastors and have been a pastor myself of several churches since 1997. I know that these perils are very real for many. I also know that having an extreme undying warm heart for others is the one thing that a pastor must have burning inside of themselves every waking minute of their day, if they want to stay true to this call and committed to it for any considerable amount of time. ..and that is what I am thinking…..
Dr. Larry D. Reid, B.Th., MACC, D.Th.
For books, preaching/teaching, or music by Dr. Larry D. Reid Ministries please visit http://www.drlarrydreid.com
Pastor Commits Suicide – Isaac hunter http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2013/December/Florida-Megachurch-Pastor-Ends-His-Life/ Pastor Commits Suicide – Teddy Parker http://www.christiantoday.com/article/pastor.teddy.parker.commits.suicide.congregation.waits.for.him.after.confessing.sometimes.he.cant.feel.god/34672.htm Pastor Commits Suicide – Ed Montgomery http://guardianlv.com/2013/12/grieving-pastor-commits-suicide-mom-and-son-watch/ Pastor Commits Suicide – Allen “Tommy” Rucker http://m.christianpost.com/news/godly-iowa-pastor-who-read-bible-constantly-takes-own-life-behind-church-parsonage-church-in-shock-says-deacon–114548/ Pastor Commits Suicide – Robert McKeehan http://www.joy105.com/prayer-another-pastor-has-committed-suicide/ Pastor Commits Suicide – Bishop David Huskins http://www.charismanews.com/us/45175-charismatic-church-network-leader-dies-in-apparent-suicide Pastor Commits Suicide – John Gibson