Posts Tagged With: Christian

Walking In King Davids Foot Steps: A Guide To Interaction With The World

 

1985 King David

The title almost sounds like the beginning of a book doesn’t it? But the truth is many of us don’t really know how to navigate the rough and stormy waters of interaction not only with non Christians but Christians too.

Today I’m going to show you how I hide myself among the crowd that nobody is ever any the wiser of who I am and what I’m doing. You’re not going to like it especially if you’re the squeamish type of Christian who doesn’t like concealment or telling little fibs.

King David has been on my mind recently for a couple of weeks now. I heard a mystic once say that when a Saint is on your mind it means he’s watching over you and reaching out to you so you should pray to him.

He is one of my favorite saints not because he was so pure and Holy, but because of his Loyalty. After all the killing and the adultery most priests walk away from the Church or are thrown out. King David remained and carried on his ministry. He’s the perfect example of the ordinary prophet.

When I was 17 years old I had a girlfriend and we would take walks in the local park and there we would make out under a big oak tree. As we walked through the park on a fine sunny day there was a group of dangerous young lads who had congregated on the green.

Seeing us both at a distance they began to get up and walk towards us. Their eyes set on me and their body language giving off all the signals that they were going to confront and beat me, I devised a little plan.

I turned to my girlfriend and said ”There are far too many of them, I’m going to act retarded, deaf and dumb and you’re going to play along. They will see I am disabled and perhaps allow us to go on our merry little way its our only chance.”

When they approached me I was already in character and they said ”What the fuck are you doing here you little prick?” I stood with my head waving as if I was retarded and made signals to both my ears and my mouth that I could not hear nor speak with them.

The leader of the group looked at me and said ”Oh I didn’t know you were deaf and dumb sorry” and my girlfriend remarked ”Yeah I’m his minder and I’m just taking him for a walk”.

In unison they all apologized and they let us move on. We got around the corner and when out of sight we busted into nervous laughter at how it all unfolded.

When I related the story to my father he told me that ”King David did the same thing as you”. When he was confronted by the servants of the King Of Gath whose name is Achish, David played the madman and behaved like a lunatic, banging the doors and letting spittle run down his beard. The king thought he was out of his mind and so let him go.

”And the servants of Achis, when they saw David, said to him: Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to him in their dances, saying: Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? But David laid up these words in his heart, and was exceedingly afraid at the face of Achis the king of Geth.  And he changed his countenance before them, and slipt down between their hands: and he stumbled against the doors of the gate, and his spittle ran down upon his beard.  And Achis said to his servants: You saw the man was mad: why have you brought him to me? Have we need of madmen, that you have brought in this fellow, to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?” (1 Samuel:21:11-15)

He had hidden himself from them and that is how he survived.

There is a lesson to be learned from David here in a spiritual sense also. Often what I do is I hide myself among people by behaving with their temperament, going so far as even to mirror their speech. I do this either to survive or to help them in their conversion.

One thing I don’t do is compromise my faith around them. You see it’s not easy for Christians who want to live a life of spiritual perfection to remain in a civilized life. Many therefore who have this vocation will often retreat into a monastery or other sustainable way of living. Some may even create jobs for themselves in the Catholic sector that they purposefully do not have to engage nor work for the secular world.

Some of us however are not so fortunate or we have different vocations to evangelize the world and you know no vocation is better than the other but it’s a dirty messy job. There are those of us who have to engage with the world we have not a choice.

I was saying before that in conversation with someone, when you’re extremely Christian in front of them and silent around them protecting yourself from sinning, the worldly person does not understand what’s going on. The devil deceives him and plants thoughts in him that you’re acting nuts, being rude and paranoia sets in.

He sees that you’re not really a copy of himself which he’d love because us humans carry a shopping list of the kind of friends we want. If it is discovered that you’re not on that list friendship can be nigh impossible.

Rich people don’t mix with poor people, they’ve a different mindset. Therefore Poor people will surround themselves with other poor people and rich people often befriend others with similar traits. It’s the way the world works and so we will never change it but we can use it to help souls and to survive.

With regards to survival we all know it’s wrong to fire someone on the basis of their religion. However many get fired on the basis of their religion in a roundabout way. If your boss is speaking with you, you’re Christian way of behaving is a constant reminder to him that his behaviour is less than desirable. Therefore you become a thorn in his side. All it takes is for even one co-worker to smoke you out of your job on the basis of religion. Therefore Children of light cannot really engage with the world without falling victim to it.

What happens the Christian in the workplace is that they will overload you with work and burn you out that you may quit of your own accord or devise another plan in keeping with the law. It’s really that bad for Christians.

I on the other hand have chosen to hide myself. I will curse like they do but I retain my limitations of just what bad words I’ll mirror and I won’t take the Lords name in vain. I’ll give you an example, someone brazenly opens their phone and presents to you a porno image ”Check out the tits on her”.

You can turn around and say ”I’m Christian and I wouldn’t be interested in that” but you’re letting the devil find you. I’d handle it like ”What? nah no way man, get the fuck outta here I’m not looking at that, my woman’s the only one for me and that’ll do”. I say it laughing and putting my arm around him to make him feel relaxed and that I’m not scolding him then I divert the conversation quickly to something else. You’ve still planted a seed in his wee brain that what he’s doing is wrong but you’ve done it in a way that kept you oblivious.

Would I behave this way around a practicing Christian who behaved the same way? Absolutely not I’d go through him like a choo choo train and he’d be sorry he ever pulled that with me.

I will concede here though that some friendships with people can be nigh impossible and that sometimes it does come to a surface in which we can no longer hide and must be direct but there are no many ways to avoid being direct and developing tension. You can be direct with people you’ll never see again but when you’re working on someone to convert them and seeing them daily in the workplace it’s not so easy. Therefore going incognito mode is the only sure way of survival.

The cons of it is that you can develop bad speech habits and personality traits. You have to take care of your psyche and spiritual dispositions. Regularly retreating into the mountains as Jesus did and into prayer to recharge your batteries is what you need to do so that you don’t end up catching fleas by lying down with the dogs and by dogs I mean the secular way of behaving and their philosophy.

King David did it, the angels of Sodom and Gomorrah did it, Pope Francis told lies to the Militia in Argentina to smuggle people out to freedom and you can do it too but you just need to let go sometimes of your fear of offending God.

God sees whats in our hearts and understands the motivation. But the Sacrament of Confession once a week is also important as it keeps you clean. You often shower yourself every day to keep clean before the world, why not do the same at least once a week and be clean before God?

One last example before I retreat into my glass of beer. I put up a post on my private facebook page how I found it odd that an LGBT flag would be flying from a Catholic school and why don’t the bishops just hand over the school arleady? They might as well have done so.

A protestant Christian friend of mine commented something like ”Homosexuality is of the devil and anyone who is homosexual and commits these acts are doing the devils work” . Is she right? Of course but her method and approach was all upside down, and as I’ve got people on my facebook page who I’m trying to convert I deleted her post.

Such a post will make matters worse. Remember Jesus said that he who  works for God gathers the sheep he doesn’t scatter them. There are sadly Christians out there who think they’re doing good work but are in fact scattering the sheep and the souls who need converted.

I’ve seen it myself where hardcore Christians come up to newly converts or people just sticking their heads in the door of the church for a look and speaking to them about things that are spiritually too much for them to handle. These Christians are loved by God but they’re the bane of my existence.

Interacting with new converts takes a little more than just throwing the catchism at them and behaving like St.John of the Cross around them. Likewise behaving with the world and getting through it is not easy but King David teaches us a valuable lesson here. Disguise yourself, go incognito and you make life more difficult for the devil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Surrounded By People Who Want To Convert Me

Christos Annesti!

They’re good people whom I love dearly and I know have good intentions, but I am surrounded by many who are trying to rope me in and get me involved in their religious communities. Some may offer an invitation to their Church and some may try and use something I possess like my photography for example to get me involved. Why? because people see I’m interested in the Orthodox church and so the Orthodox want to help me and the Catholics see I’m looking for a good excuse to leave the Catholic Church as I’m concerned for my boys and families spiritual future and growth (which I don’t believe they’re getting in the overtly feminine Catholic Church) and so naturally are employing tactics to get me to stay.

It’s a good idea and I like their strategies because one knows that when you’re embedded into a group there’s a better chance you’ll remain in the Church or become part of theirs. I know my photography is awful so when someone asks me to come in and do it for them I’m always aware of the reasons why and its not because I’m any good at it (I’ve only being doing photography since 2013) but because they want to use it as a means to get me involved.

That said I enjoy doing it anyway if it contributes towards the church and the cause because I hold both of these things dear to my heart anyway.

I would just prefer it if people would not approach me in a roundabout way and do it directly be blunt and just come out with it. I don’t like to praise myself but I’m a little more astute than most people think in examining situations. I’d prefer it people just said ”Stephen would you like to speak with someone about why you want to leave the church or for any other help you may need?”

Great, its just so great because it eliminates the wastage of time inviting me here nor there. Again I’m not praising myself here or boasting but that’s something you do with someone whose spiritually asleep and who needs a gentle awakening and introduction to the faith because they’ve been hammered by secularism and numb to all things spiritual for years.

I on the other hand am a different kettle of fish altogether and to be honest there’s really no need to convert me because the massive row that’s going on between me and God at the moment over his Church he’s brought me into will be ongoing and there’s nothing you can do about it. I possess my own spirituality in the sense that I go to Mass once a week and confession, accept all the churches wonderful teachings and I’m happy to leave it at that with everything else in between such as the odd devotional prayer.

When I came into the Church I’ve done my bit in my immediate local community, tried to get involved and realized the church from laity to bishop wont listen to reason and so getting any more involved in the Catholic Church would drive me absolutely more bonkers than I already am.

I’m happy in the job I’m currently in and I’ve returned to what I consider a fairly normal life and I’m at peace now with that so just leave me be and focus on those who need your attention. It’s not your fault, its mine for advertising my difficulties on facebook and wordpress but you’re better off ignoring my rants and getting on with your own life. You have enough to be worrying about me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Self Defence In Christendom

If you’re a Christian, married man and you do not know how to defend your family then marriage may have never been your vocation. A married man is called to both spiritually and physically protect as well as lay his life down for the wife and children entrusted to him.

Any married man who refuses to do so or acknowledge his need to learn the art of hand to hand combat is a sorry excuse for a human being in the eyes of the Lord.

There is no doubt that turning the other cheek and choosing a path of non violence is the higher ground, but not everyone’s vocation is the higher ground.

Saint Paul in Romans recognized civil authority and even said that we should obey the Law or prepare to be struck by him whose job its been given to bring down the sword. He even goes as far to twice call him Gods ”minister” whose been called by God to bring wrath upon any wrong doer.

”For he is God’s minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.” Romans 13:1-7

Thou Shalt Not Kill is for the innocent but not for the guilty. This is where a lot of people get confused about the command not to kill. Some people just read it for what it is but the actions of Moses (who gave us the commandments) and that of King David who done a lot of killing proved that this commandment was only for those who were innocent.

King David was the greatest example of a man who can teach us everything about why it is necessary to protect ones country, culture and family. In addition to this, post new testament, the knights of templar are another good example of men who were employed as those to protect the Christian heritage of Europe and Jerusalem.

Without the Crusaders the western world would have fallen to Islamic rule. That isn’t even a theory but a well known fact. Many like to infer that the Crusades were an act of violence against the islamic people. This is not the case at all, it was set up originally to defend Christian pilgrims from being raped and murdered as they traveled to the Holy Land. That was it and so the fight against a very evil religion that’s still causing us trouble to this day began.

So what Self Defence training do I recommend? I myself practice Krav Maga, a self defense martial art that is put into use by the FBI, CIA, SAS, Irish Rangers, and literally all military and police training. It was developed by an Israeli Jewish man called Imi Lichtenfield a hungarian born Israeli. You can read more about him here.

It brings all the martial art forms together to bring mans natural reactions in a fight so that he may use these to his advantage when in a life threatening situation.

Although all marital art forms provide us with discipline, awareness and fitness not to mention great life skills, they do not really prepare us for a real life situation. Most are just sports. I wanted more than this and so I got involved in Krav Maga. You will learn how to strike on the street (which is different than boxing), ground fighting, knife and gun fighting. There is so much to learn I couldn’t fit it all in here so here’s some videos of my own Krav Maga Club.

 

 

 

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How To Prepare Your Child For Warfare

You may not think it, but every single Christian is a spiritual soldier engaged in warfare. Do I sound like a crazed redneck gun lover putting spin on Christianity to militarize it? Maybe I do and I do like my guns but no that’s not what I am at all.

The warfare I speak about is different. The weapons and strategies to win this war are completely different in comparison to how we would understand war to be.

In a real war such as world war II which my grandfather fought in from beginning to end (he was a british soldier) there was a lot of suffering. in the midst of all this hell there was also moments of peace. People preferred those moments over and above the necessary killing and warfare that ensued such beautiful moments.

It is the same in the world. The world is a battle ground and whilst it has it’s beauty and peaceful moments our goal really isn’t to make earth our home and bed down for the night. Our final resolution is to work out our own salvation and lay down the blueprint that will see us get out of here alive and well.

In this fight to save our souls and others there will be more suffering than peaceful moments I guarantee you that. Take a look at the apostles during the transfiguration in the Gospel. They wanted to stay put and build tents for moses and elijah and live happily ever after in ecstasy. Unfortunately for them they had to be brought back down to reality  and into suffering again.

So what does our children have to do with this? Well their bootcamp begins in the womb and training doesn’t stop until the job is done and they’re either married or religious and at very least a very spiritual and talented Christian in whatever profession they choose.

Read them the Bible, behave Christian around them as much as possible. Take them to mass regularly.

Ok so you get all this what’s new? well for a start, most parents don’t ever teach their kids mystical theology. They never sit them down and show them the difference between Us (Christians) and ”Them” (The secular world). This is why their kids roam around the city getting into all sorts of trouble because whilst prayer and Mass are good, the kids are lacking someone to educate them so that they can make sense of it all and the fight between us and the powers of darkness.

It is my plan when my son reaches 12 years old that I will sit him down and discuss with him a very serious mystical theology of the early fathers both Orthodox and Catholic church fathers. I will train him how to think in the spirit and not by himself. Don’t believe people who tell you they think for themselves as such people live in a delusional world. Everyone always thinks under the influence of others and forms convictions based on what thought may be popular. I wont get into that right now but teaching your child a heavy mystical theology early on is healthy.

Going from sexual sins and that of the flesh right up to spiritual sins and those of the heart and how to avoid them is important. For boys sexual sins are going to be tough ones especially in our sex crazed society today. Therefore boys will need our closer attention. Women on the other hand are more emotional and so they need training in how to control that. Women often read romantic novels and engage is whats known as emotional porn.

Men are more aroused by the physical and so as the teenage years approach proper training in the theology of the body and how it all works is crucial to a more clean and safe journey through adolescence.

So at age 12 it may seem heavy but I highly recommend you plough through the philokalia, St.John of the Cross and Catherine of Siena books. Mystical theology is missing in the church today, If we were aware of this more we may change our lives around a lot sooner.

Children need guidance and it’s very important you do not become a blind guide because that’s how most children sadly wander away from the faith, Most of these young people lacked the guidance at a young age. Give it to them because Jesus in the sergant and we all will have to give answer for those men we lost on the battlefield through our own negligence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Happened The Person I Once Knew?

If you’re a Christian convert to the Catholic faith or other perhaps you’ve had this thrown at you from your family or an old school friend.

It is said that when you become a Christian…really …really…become a Christian and there’s a radical change in you that takes place that this somehow means you’re no longer the person you used to be. That is true in part but I don’t like to use that phraseology because it determines that somehow I’ve gone beyond ”normal” and I’m not mentally stable.

I prefer to say that I am not a new person nor am I different. I am the person I was always created to be. I have not gathered anything new but have simply come back to my senses.

I’ve had it said to me to by my brother who laments my conversion to the Catholic church ”Oh I just want my brother back, give me back the Stephen I once knew, the hard rocker who was good at his craft”. When someone says this to you it is because your new self brings to surface all that’s wrong within them and so the reactionary and passionate pleas usually have their foundation in a sort of insecurity about themselves. Pride restricts them from admitting this.

Also did you know people create images of you in their head and it’s these they fall in love with and want to desperately hold onto not ”you”?. Have you ever met an old school friend from years back only to discover they’re not the same and bubbly person you once knew? You immediately say ”ah this person is no longer the outgoing person I once knew, I’ll not be hanging out with them anymore.”

Your memory of that person stuck with you didn’t it? That fun and outgoing person now has a completely different outlook on life and is no longer the party animal. You thought you liked that person didn’t you? of course you didn’t, you only liked and fell in love with your own drawing of that person not the person themselves.

This is what we do, we use people as vehicles of gratification. We carry a shopping list not of people we love but personalities we want to hang out with and it’s these we fall in love with not the person. We never ever see the person, only what it is WE love and WANT in that person to suit ourselves.

So when you hear ”What happened the brother I once knew” or ”the person who was so normal and liked by everyone” what you’re actually hearing is ” I don’t actually want you, but the personality that once fitted my personal tastes and brought me satisfaction. You’re no longer a vehicle for my gratification, you have become useless to me now.”

Remember, if you’re a Christian but people still like you, it probably signals you have one foot in the world and one in the church. You have not yet fully committed yourself to Christ. Not only should your old friends hate you and avoid you altogether, but even Christians and religious clergy should also despise you.

The more hated you are the more and more likely you’re doing things right. So when someone says to you ”You’re no longer the person I once knew” take it as an absolute badget of honour, take it as Christ himself speaking to you directly saying ”You are on the path to Salvation and these rebukes and all this hatred is my gift to you, to sanctify you even further”.

People ask God for all sorts of crap. But rarely do we see the gifts that really matter.

Your persecution is Gods gift to you. Ouch, I bet it hurts to hear that but there’s no victory without Cross, none no matter how big that Cross is or what manner it comes in.

God bless

 

 

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Finding A Spiritual Confessor

People write books about how to find a spiritual confessor. I’ve never found one but here’s a very short tip on how you know you’re not quite there yet:

If you go into confession with a priest and you ( a terrible unholy sinner that ye are ) end up giving him spiritual advice its time to move on.

The times are hard as most priests are only interested in playing Golf and watching the GAA.  If you go to confession sometimes you will hear ”Ah you’re a good lad really and there’s no badness in you, say an Our Father for your penance and now you’re act of contrition please ”. This is another sign you’re in with the wrong kind of priest.

Anyone who praises you in confession and overlooks the bad things you’ve done and doesn’t in gentleness discuss this with you is more blind than you are and you should probably pack your breadcrumbs and move on. If you cannot move on and he’s the only priest in the village, then you should by all means keep going to confession. BUT……… keep praying God will send you someone decent. priests like this are just evidence that many are called but few are actually chosen.

There’s also this new age thing going on where they meditate like the Hindus and introduce Chinese or Japanese meditation techniques at retreats.

I remember going to a prayer group one night where the priest talked about Eastern meditation ( no…not the Eastern Christian kind ) and instructed us to breath in and out.

It wasn’t really going anywhere other than breathing in and out and getting light headed. I was left wondering at what point will all the ladies throw their gold rings and necklaces into the center of the group so we can all make a golden calf out of it but to my surprise it never happened.

Look….Life in the western church is hard but if you buy the right kind of wine its made that little bit easier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A meditation on Tom hanks Castaway ” Wilsonnnnnnnn!!!!”

This morning I awoke thinking how much my prayer life is lacking especially in the area of the Rosary. When we first pick up the Jesus prayer or Holy Rosary of Our Lady, we begin to pray but we feel much unrest and we are like monkeys jumping from one branch to another, that is from one thought to another. We begin to feel very lethargic and prayer can seem like a chore for most of us and all of these experiences can make us run from prayer, feel great discouragement and just sit and mope. But I find that each of us is stuck on an island that separates us from God. It is an island of an empty pleasure of the world where the soul at some point realizes it doesn’t belong and try’s to break free. Our journey off this island of self adoration and interest never always begins instantaneously but requires us to play our part and use the materials God gives us if we are ever going to get a response. It requires us to get up and search for The Holy Spirit, for freedom from the bondage of the bodily passions and sin.

We build with prayer and this can take some time I find. At first tom hanks try’s to build a raft but he is met with great resistance as he fails to get over the first wave. What’s happened there? He realizes he has built wrongly and needs to go back to the blueprint and rebuild a proper way. It’s the same with us, sometimes we desire to get out of this world of our sinful imperfections but we are praying wrongly, and when we are met with the wave of resistance of the flesh and enemies that govern the air of this world we keep falling back and that the many exterior and interior ( but mostly interior ) obstacles seem to prevent us from shedding our old world in search of the new one and in truth the obstacle is often ourselves. But if we keep building and continue to pray and seek out Christ and look deep into ourselves we will find that eventually we build what’s needed with Gods Grace to get over that wave. But even then, once over the wave the journey has just begun and as with Tom and his imaginary and emotional attachment that is Wilson the football, we too still have many imaginary things that we are attached to that we need to die to having got over the initial wave. It pains us even to sometimes say goodbye to them for we stupidly believe that they bring us comfort and rest.

So the foundation of our raft must be the living of the Gospel and becoming dare I say Jesus himself, becoming another Jesus. But without the gift of Fortitude we will never acquire the sail that completes our raft, and our sail is the Light and Grace of Christ himself to get over the wave. So this is something I am praying for at the moment because I too want to get off this island and wilderness in which I am separated by my sins and my imperfections from truly seeing God face to face. So if your out there and your finding prayer difficult I would invite you to join me in the fight in using all the materials that Jesus and the Church has given us to acquire the means necessary to break free from the chains of the world and sail the sea to freedom. It takes time, it takes patience but if we pray through the torrents of all the lethargy and disinterest we will by the Grace of God get there eventually.

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Old Mellifont Abbey, Co.Louth

We went to visit the old ruins of a monastery today. It was a kind of de tour as we were visiting the local animal sanctuary and had not planned to go here. We came for a little bit and the whether began to turn so I grabbed some photos like this one before leaving. We learned that tomorrow from 2pm onwards there will be monastic beer tasting and tile painting for the kids. There will also be guided tours so we plan to go on those tomorrow. I will collect more photos and gather as much info on the guided tour and post it back on here because right now my knowledge of the monastery is limited. What I do know is that it was Cistercian, founded by St.Stephen and St.Bernard. The first abbot of the monastery built in the 11th century was St.Christian who travelled to Ireland from France. We named our son Christian as a result of this as we are quite close to this community who reopened a new monastery close to this site in the 50s.

So good night for now and speak soon. God bless.

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Are you conservative or a liberal?

When people ask me this question of whether or not I am liberal or conservative I answer that I am neither of these, I am simply Christian. It is only by embracing Christianity that we can truly be set free from all evils. A politics or country that denies itself and embraces the Gospel will always win. But then again I guess in some kind of an odd way I could play the hypocrite here almost and say that the Christian is both conservative and liberal. He ( the Christian ) wishes to conserve that which is true and liberate himself from evil and seeks new ways to communicate that unchangable truth to the masses. But on second thoughts there is no hypocritical outlook in what I said because being a Christian is the root, and conservatism and liberalism is but two branches that sprout from it or the fruit that emerges from being a Christian, because its a conservatism and liberalism as Christ would understand it and not the worlds idea of conservatism and liberalism both of which can often seek to contradict the Gospel the latter being the bigger culprit.

So yes I am a Christian who is both conservative and liberal. But when somebody asks me am I conservative or liberal they are asking me which worldly outlook do I agree with more, and the answer is neither, I am Christian whose Gospel message has a conservatism and liberalism that is much greater and of higher value than that of the worlds understanding of what real conservatism and liberalism is.

I think I have a headache now haha. Goodnight and blessings to all of you.

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Go on, have another drink ya big weakling

As Christians, when drinking we are required to engage in self control and not to drink to excess. Many of us encounter the peer pressure from our mates at the bar. You know how the slagging works: “ah ya can’t drink past two pints ya big weakling ya, go on have another one.”

Its persuasive isnt it? But there is a response to that. Everything non believers say we are, they are. Am I making sense? For example they are the ones who are weak because they have no self control. When they engage with someone who practices self control it enrages them because it makes them look weak so they wanna drag you right down there with them. As the old saying goes….misery loves company. Battery on my iPad is running out so more on this “everything they say we are, they actually are” later.

God bless.

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