Tag Archives: art

I found my life back

I’ve been meaning to write another post for a while now, and I’d have many exciting ideas to ponder and write about. But not really to extent that I’d actually sit down and start writing. Also because I’ve been insanely busy lately, lots of activity and productivity, I’m glad.

I thought, lets write another one about theological standpoint this or the other. Or lets write about how much I loathe and despair the Christian cultural heritage in light of a greater truth. Just little ideas you play around with in your head but none of them really that breathtaking that I’d have to share them with the world.

However now that I finally have a moment to myself and am somewhat rested I find the time is right to write. And what I want to share about is a particular moment in my day to day routine. When I’m home there’s always the moment where I’m in the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, or make some food. And while that’s heating up I take a moment to lean at the window and reflect on the day. It’s a moment of serenity. Because I’m not at my pc where I feel I have to keep an eye on social media (now there’s an addiction I gotta kick) or anything else for that matter, just the food doing it’s thing.

And for a good while, it would be feelings of dread, boredom, being tired and annoyed.
As if life was over, you had all the chances in the world, got involved with Christianity and now everything is gone. You made your bed of stupid choices now sleep in it.

I’d look outside and sigh under the weight of walking what seemed like a dead end path of mediocrity into my grave.

And I’m glad to say that slowly that veil of darkness has been lifting. Life has been extremely kind to me by giving me companions that walk a very similar path to mine.
Hah, narrow is the path right? It sure was, some things are just too amazing to just give up on the childlike wonder and hope for what mystery there is beyond this life. Having the right people around you makes such a difference, it has kept me from growing bitter.

And those are different people for everyone I guess. For me it’s the people church has rejected. Either knowingly and willingly by choice. Or ignorant yet persistent by not understanding and not being a home unto them.

As the bitterness fades I learn that I’m willing to let go of adversity towards those who have wronged me. It’s in the past and my life must move on. The time has come to let go and pick up where I left off so many years ago. And this has been a process that’s been going on for a year or two now. Healing takes time.

The church downstairs has moved out, and as final symbol of new and better days ahead the place is being stripped down in order for someone else to move in. I hope to everything that is holy and good it’ll be a nice and quit store of some kind.

And my personal hopes and dreams have been given chances again as well. It’s hard work and the road takes many twists and turns, but all of a sudden the goal is clear again.

When I stare out of the kitchen window now, I don’t see the road to my grave so much anymore. I see adventure and hope ahead for things to come.

Life has meaning again.

(I might close this blog since I feel it has served it’s purpose, or maybe I’ll keep it only for it’s sentimental value and for others to learn, I might start a new one…we’ll see)

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A snapshot of the journey

 

Sometimes I’m grateful and happy,
Sometimes I’m sad, bitter and regretful

Sometimes I dream, hope and pray
Sometimes I contemplate, bicker and curse

When I pray I speak to “my Lord, my God,…Jesus”
But then other times I express gratitude and worship to life itself, to existence.
That’s when I feel no need to put a face or a name on “it”.

Sometimes I’m hardly grateful at all.
It’s when I give up on the future, dreams and love.

And yet there are also times, where I’m amazed that I still get out of bed with my head held high, convinced that my adventure has only just begun, and the best is yet to come.

I wish I could say I’m mostly the later guy, but to be honest I seem to spend equal amounts of time in both moods. The optimist and the pessimist.

But that’s not all bad, there have been times where I hardly had any optimism at all. In fact that was only a few years ago.

I’m going to turn 31 soon and after a very turbulent and intrusive time in my life I finally have found moments where I feel more at ease with myself and who I am.
Where there is no need to pretend for anyone or anything.

My life was going a steady course. But then slowly the”God”-thing made it’s way into my life. And that it did a lot of damage, something most church Christians give me a funny look for when I bring it up…  Don’t get me wrong, as immensely conflicting and frustrating faith can be at times, I do love God.

My faith was simple and pure. Not very complicated, adventurous,…everything you want in your movie. But then the church got involved…and it all went to hell.
I learned a lot and my world became a whole lot bigger, but there are plenty of times where I honestly can say “I wish it never happened”. And sadly that is where most church goers will never understand me. But I don’t need them to anymore either.

I am part of the demographic Church has failed to cater to, you’ve hurt us by not understanding us. And now we’re all leaving you, the institutionalized religion, behind.
And some of us are angry that you refuse to understand us, instead of admitting you’re like us you keep clinging onto empty traditions and practices, because they feel safe.
The disenfranchised have gotten the message. You don’t want to play nice with the other kids…

Luckily there is love and life after church. It took a lot of contemplating, spending time with my feelings, going over all the things that had happened. I have found a certain peace with the idea that, I don’t need to belong there. As much as the “church” wants you to believe that.

It took friends, friends that are people I genuinely want to spend time with rather then Mister “Youthpastor-Mc-go-getter”…God I can’t stand those kind of people.

It took my real parents, it took my real sister, it took my agnostic friends, my atheist friends, my satanist friends, my fellow believers who also have been pushed out of church.

It took all of them to heal bits and pieces of my heart.

It’s true, sometimes it’s hard, and I feel like giving up.
But then again, there’s also plenty of moments where I feel like I’m going to be just fine.
If you’re lucky enough like me, you might find a certain poetry in your life that makes thing bearable. And that gives you just enough hope to be a dreamer.

 

 

Christian Porn Music!

Hah got your attention didn’t I? Right of the bat I gotta be honest with you, the tittle is slightly misleading, but if you were expecting to be offended I’m pretty sure you will be so stick around why dontcha. Don’t want to let that click and loading time go to waste huh? It’ll be worth your while!

Before we dive into this a few facts about me to set the stage. I’m someone who “became christian” after a life lived far and away from church culture for way more then half of it so far. I studied and graduated in arts and after that music. I’m wired for raw expression and esthetical beauty. I can’t believe I’m going to use these words because they always have sounded so extremely “ladidah” and artsy fartsy to me but here it goes, I’m a searcher. I’m convinced there is a God and Jesus has a big deal to do with him. But I will distance myself from the idea that christianity as we have it today is the way. There’s lots of excess fat to be cut off. And that’s where I search, what is from God and what is cultural nonsense.

So back to the porn shall we? One person I have always taken interest in is John Carmack, for those who don’t know him, he’s one of the guys responsible for the video game Doom among many other endeavors. Here’s one thing he said that has become a pretty famous qoute.

“Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important.”

It hasn’t aged well because of how video games have advanced and to be honest, I think it’s just one of those things he kinda blurted out at the time not really paying attention…whatever.

What I do want to get at with this is the following. Music in church…oh dang here we go…lets have it. When you go to most mainstream christian churches in europe (I’m speaking from first hand expierience only to be fair) as an “outsider” you’ll quickly find yourself bored. In daily life you think of music as something to dance to, something to be in awe of, something to celebrate, something to help you through all kinds of emotions from utter joy to complete despair. As you enter the teenage years you quickly identify with a style of music that triggers something in you, and if you were like me you adapt your lifestyle to it even. Music is a driving force for every human beeing as it gives shape, identity, hope, courage, comfort, …not only that it helps define what we can’t otherwise communicate. I can search for the right words to tell you how breathtaking a mountain is that I saw, as it emerged from the mist and pushed aside the clouds towering over and completely dwarfing the horizon. But you’ll never understand. But when I seek out the right sounds and textures and compose them into an expression of that mountain, suddenly you’ll be halfway to understanding my awe of it. It will almost be like you were there yourself.

Back to church, in “worship” music of todays church they only seem to know one modus => On/Go. Buildup, beauty, craftmansship, honed skills, sincere expression, dept, mystery, poetry, extacy…everything you know and love about music are things that are expected to be there….but in church nobody really seems to think they’re that important.

We’ve had Handles Messiah, we’ve had amazing grace and according to the bible we’ve even had music so powerfull it brought the glory of God down the earth. Where is it today? Yes ofcourse theres the few video’s of gemstones manifesting in some church nobody ever heard about during worship, or gold dust manifesting…leaving the authenticity debate aside, hey if it works for them more power to them. But that doesn’t satisfy my hunger. That doesn’t answer my quest.

Where is that music that makes my heart swell and tears run down my face? Where is that music that will have me weeping by it’s cheer majesty. By how it paint’s a portrait and tells of a God so vast and magnificent that it drives me to my knees embracing the ground with trembling hands from both fear and extatic joy at the same time? Where I ask you? If you put your hand on your heart and are completely honest you can’t tell me it’s in a church building. Yes you will have remarkable moments during worship but I’m convinced you brought yourself there for the most part. Which isn’t wrong by any means, call it prayer or meditation on music if you will.

But honest music to me seems to be an entirely diffirent thing. I can’t say it otherwise but for some reason I can’t help but see that the more overtly Christian music is, the less it manages to stirr my emotions….other then irritation. And this comes from a person who honestly loves Jeshua. I struggle with my faith, I doubt at times, I search…but all that aside I LOVE Jeshua. I love God! Why do I hate what people claim to be the music that comes with the package so much? It’s one of the main things that keeps me away from a church service…not even joking here.

I’ve debated this to death with pastors and churchgoers alike…and I seem to get little positive response. Only a few understand where I come from and are willing to agree to some extent.

Here’s a beauty of an argument “we want to use music that is accesible to the general public” this was said by the typical modern pastor in who’s church they play the typical acoustic guitar/piano duo. Ofcourse the songs follow suit by not going verry far outside of the hillsong united confines.

My parents, who are absolutely a good representation of the general public where I live, had this to say about the music: “we’d love to join you for this church son but the music is just horrid, it’s always the same”.

No I’ll tell you why you stick to the hillsong formula pastor, because it’s convienient. Because you’re afraid if you do something original you’ll lose the typical christian population and will have outsiders walking in who God forbid might mix things up a bit… or even worse…have an encounter with God. You’re afraid that if you give the music part of the service into hands of actual musicians people might actually have a bit of uncontrolled fun (can you tell I have something on my stumach here?).

Alright one more train of thought and I’ll let you go. Think of it this way, say an average small church has the president of the Usa visiting. Ofcourse they will do everything they can to clean the place up and to rehearse the whole service beforehand to bring nothing but the best the church has to offer.

Now take that and put it next to God, who shows up every week. Who died a hellish death of torment and agony to save your hinders from the lakes of fire

 

…ah don’t worry about it, we’ll put of rehearsal till next week just like we did last week…

 

Come and take a swim part 3

Hello!

It’s been a while huh, I thought it would be a good time to start writing this segment again. Now Last time we focussed on me standing up for Jesus every now and then during high school. And this is where things got sort of set into place for my life to become interesting later on. Lets take a small detour from beeing a Jesus rebel here, we’ll get back on track with that later on.

I was in 4th grade and I made friends with a guy who was just a couple of years older then I was. We both passionatly loved video games and it turned out we didn’t live that far from one another either. Wel I say not that far…I bet it took nearly an hour to get there by bike. But living where I lived and beeing who I was…there weren’t many people I wanted to hang out with and this guy was definatly it. When I met this guy I was sort of in a phase of beeing in between. Didn’t have big aspirations, didn’t really plan on doing anything. Just a kid going to school. But then one day, my friend took out his cd-man…remember those? I got introduced to metallica…I heard of them before but nothing special came to mind. And we started sharing about music we liked. At that point all I knew was the “goth” music from my older sister…(not really,but I thought it was) and a few bands I borrowed from the library when I was much younger. Manowar, sepultura, slayer, obituary, …I’d tape the cd’s from the library. Anyway, back to my friends metallica cd. Shortly after he told me he plays a little guitar himself…now that struck my interest. A lot. We started hanging out playing video games, and a little guitar in between. I dusted of an old acoustic my dad inherited from a friend and I’d figure out little bit’s of chord on my own. Suddenly the guitar craze had bit me.

 

I didn’t take long for my dad to get excited about it as wel…and while it was against my mothers wil “because he will play that thing and school wil become second” I got my first electric guitar. Every single weekend I’d be playing that thing from morning till evening. I loved it. I’d be in my bedroom pretending to be James Hetfield, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai,…I had found my passion. It didn’t take long for me and my friend to start writing songs. We had such a blast, we’d stay over at eachothers house all summer. We’d have those first rehearsals where you improvise this contraption to record with a tapedeck and you’d play until you had it right. Fond, verry fond memories. I’m so glad to have them. Even as I write this I can’t help but feel immense gratitude on the edge of a tear for such beautiful and innocent memories.

We’d design bandlogo’s, after all we did artschool. We’d write lyrics and get into some singing…and it started to feel like an actual band except that it was just the two of us and there was lots of room for improvement.

Then came a time that would change everything…can you guess what it was? Two friends having a good time and then suddenly…I had a girlfriend. Oh-oh here comes trouble. Wel I did have some “girlfriends” before that, but you know holding hands and kisses on the cheeck because at that age…wel girls have the cooties and what do you know huh? But this girlfriend was a little older then me and she’d been around the block a couple of times. It was fun while it lasted but my parents confronted me with the fact that, this wasn’t a girl for me. What followed was a short depression…but my friend stuck with me through it and did his utter best from letting me fall. He had his eye on a diffirent girl but sadly he got a bit friendzoned if I recall correctly. And all was back to normal again…at this point we deserved a big applause and a round of cake…our band was still existing after the first encounter with women…in band terms that means…you guys have potential…yeah forget what they say about playing on stage…if your high school band survives a girlfriend…that’s when you really know you’re the man! It’s the high school band equivalent of taking down a grizzly bear barehanded…you’re all kinds of bad-ass!!! Finally you can sport that little speck of fluff on your chin like it was a full blown lumberjack-beard.

At this point our band started getting a slight bit of personality btw, I started wearing these celtic rings and woolen sweaters…like I was some kind of metal John Lenon…yeah teenagers are pretentious. And that’s an understatement. 

Anyway. Our friendship got stronger, but also a bit more complicated. However we did keep on rehearsing because we wanted to play at some kind of high school reuinion day or something. Single minded we pushed onward because we were determined to be a band!

And then one day, she walked into my life…(thum-dum-duuuuuuum!!!! MAJOR cliffhanger)

 

More about that soon… 😉

 

Come and take a swim part 2

Hello again

Last time we ended at my earliest church memories, or rather my earliest memories of hearing the gospel. A major event in my life that I would only realise it to be that many, many years later. Throughout the years growing up my respect for this character called Jesus never really went away completely eventhough I had nothing to do with church. Sure I’d forget about him for long periods of time, not even a question on my mind why excistence is. And yes there also have been moments where I was pretty blasphemous. Good golly, especially when I was a teenager (don’t most of them do that?). But then there were also brief moments where I’d state my case for Him…totally out of the blue not even knowing why. These were really interesting moments looking back now.

As a teenager I was a considered a Goth kid. However I was more of a fantasy roleplaying game nerd dressed in a long raincoat and combat boots, and this was even way before Goth was a “thing”. Some people knew the word, but for some reason they thought it was a diffirent word for hippies…sure why not. Oh there was also this one=> I was suposidly the leader of a cult according to some guy…ah kids can be harsh…and stupid.

Anyway getting back to making a case for Jesus. At some point between the many jabs and taunts people would throw at me this one arose: “You look like Jesus in a bathrobe”. Because of the long hair and raincoat, hah good one. Somehow I didn’t know any better then to respond “why thank you, it’s an honour to be compared to Him, because it’s Jesus and of all people none is higher then him” or something allong those lines. She was a bit dumbfounded by this. Thinking back, so am I,…how in the world did I come up with a response like that?

Or this one, at some point during class one of our teachers said sort of mocking “Hah, you kids these days, none of you are Godfearing” (wel actually she said “Godvruchtig” which means able to bear the fruits of God). Somehow I felt like making a case out of this, so I spoke up loud and clear.

“I am”

She: “I don’t believe you”

me: “I know I am”.

End of argument. The class was awkwardly silent after that…

And this one (as I write it all comes back to me) we had finals and everybody was stressing their hinders off, trying to come up with creative responses to the teachers their challenges. One of the tasks was to paint love. Yeah that’s vague huh, that’s art school for ya.

Somehow, I felt the urge to paint Jesus on the cross, and so I did. Even under protest from the teacher, she thought it was sappy. But I was determined, I was gonna paint Jesus with light around Him and for some reason a flag that said “blues”.

Now I can wear these memories with some pride but I’d be lying if I left out my less glorious artschool endeavours. Like at some point I had the “brilliant” idea to paint Jesus surrounded by some strippers and prostitutes doing their jobs around the cross…it wasn’t my intention to depict Jesus as the Lord who loves everybody regardless of their background, it was to mock him. Luckely a teacher stopped me from doing that. If any of you reading this thinks of this as sensorchip of the arts or the expressions of a young man. I can asure you that I’m glad the teacher did. You know how sometimes years later you whish you could take something back you said to someone? Wel yes, that exactly.

So these are just some of my funny memories growing up and walking a fine line between a rebel and a minister of the gospel (without even beeing aware of it). This story is far from done. We’ll get to the ranting later, I’ll post my rants as they come in between.

Wel mah little fishies, that’s it for today. As I said last time, small bites, I don’t wanna overfeed (bore) you guys to death.

Have a gud one!