For the past 20 years I have always had a ‘thing.’ I have always felt my value was in the extracurricular activities I was a part of. Whether it was volunteering at a church, rehearsing with a band, recording podcasts, or designing websites I have never NOT been doing a ‘thing.’
Being raised in a family where your entrepreneurial spirit felt like the only true metric of value you brought to society, I never allowed myself to celebrate the traditional career successes I have been afforded. I still after thirty-nine years had convinced myself that my career was only a means to an end. An end where I had built my own empire. I never gave myself credit for the incremental accomplishments I had achieved.
Does this mean I’m done with my entrepreneurial side quests? Absolutely not. My passion for music, film marking, gaming, and podcasts has not dwindled, but I for once in my life, need to make some space. Some space to recharge, feel creative again, and find my passions anew.
I returned to streaming on Twitch multiple nights a week almost immediately after PDG had failed. This was a mistake. This was me falling into my own traps again. I need to know what it feels like to not be consistently pulled in multiple directions. Simply put, I just need a breather.
I’m not making excuses, I just wanted to be up front with the people who have consistently supported my ventures over the years. Without your support I would have fell apart long ago.
Thank you to anyone reading this for your understanding and patience as I venture into the uncharted territory of peace and clarity.
Much love, Eric
P.S. I get the privilege of being a part of the unCOMFORTABLE podcast every week. So if you’re looking to stay connected to one of my creative outlets, this is a great option.
Dear Christians: A Warning of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
You are writing your own demise. You are writing an unnecessary ending to your story. You are so desperate to be persecuted that you will ultimately bring persecution down on your own heads and when it happens you will proudly proclaim with righteousness, “I told you so!”
The American Christian has long pointed to scripture to make claims that persecution of the faith is indeed coming. Many have tried to predict it. Now it appears as though Christians are willing to fabricate persecution simply for the sake of winning the argument. Every time a self-proclaiming Christian shares false and ridiculous claims on social media or even privately in social circles, it further proves that they want to usher in their own demise. It further proves that truth isn’t as important as slander, truth isn’t as important as self-righteousness, truth isn’t as important as irreparably damaging the reputation of the Christian faith.
Obama wants to bring on a new world order, Joe Biden is a child molestor, Nancy Pelosi is a lush, Hillary Clinton invented AIDS, the COVID vaccine is the mark of the beast, the ENTIRE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS A PEDEPHILE, BABY-EATING, VAMPIRE CABAL! With the king of all lies being, Donald Trump was sent by God to make America great again.
Wether or not America is great again can be left to ones opinion at this point, but the fact that many believe Trump was sent from God, is where we need to look first. In order for someone to make this claim, it is quite the leap of faith. Not only is it a leap of faith, but it bolsters all other false claims, misinformation, and conspiracy theories on its back. If someone can convince themselves that Donald J. Trump was directly sent by God to raise up a Christian nation then it makes it much easier to take other claims at face value, especially if they are opposing the interpreter of such claims perceived enemies.
Sure many of the formally mentioned conspiracies sound outlandish to most, but if someone can paint another person with contrary viewpoints as the enemy then there is a sense of victory. The cost of that victory is rarely considered. With the rise in awareness to social issues such as racial injustice and rights for the LGBTQ+ community we’ve bore witness to many Christians grasping at straws to deal with how the world is changing. It has led to a sense of great desperation in which Christians have been willing to exchange lies for spreading fear in what can only be assumed as an attempt to scare people straight into believing the way they do. Christians have rallied together and found communities and unity based on falsities. This has led to the Christian community at large to fulfill their own prophecies. Christians want to claim that they are living in an age of persecution. Whether it’s pandemic church closings or the destruction of the family unit.
Matthew chapter 7 tells the story of the wise and foolish builders. This is a poignant example of what has been happening within the Republican Party for years now. We have been witnessing fools building a house on the sand and on January 6, 2021, we witnessed the wave that came to wash it away. When Trump supporters stormed the Capitol we witnessed people holding up signs of the Christian faith and a man in a buffalo costume lead a group of insurrectionists in a prayer on the floor of congress not far from where some had just died for their erroneous cause. You, as a Christian may vehemently disagree with what happened at the Capitol, but the perception of what a Christian stands for was further damaged for the foreseeable future.
The FBI has arrested many of these characters for the crimes they committed in the name of God, which is a prime example of breaking the third commandment, but I digress. Furthermore the FBI has sought neighbors, friends, and family seeking to apprehend these individuals labeled as domestic terrorists. Now let that soak in for a moment. American citizens committing crimes in the name of God, labeled by the FBI as domestic terrorist. I have no desire to institute fear mongering or use this example as a scare tactic, but growing up in the church, I’ve heard it over and over again that in the end times Christians will be persecuted. But have we considered that Christians have been preaching a self-fulfilling prophecy?
If Christians are unwilling to separate themselves from these radicals, how far are we from the government labeling Christianity as a terrorist organization because of their own wrong doings, even if only by association?
Many of us have sat back and watched the rise of Christian Nationalism and have either felt pride or indifference, but it hasn’t called us to action to defend our faith from being eroded from the inside out. We know Jesus would love first and would never force anyone to love him. Yet somehow many have convinced themselves that we can thrust our beliefs on culture in an attempt to change it, even if it requires us to believe and spread lies. This is not the example we should desire for the next generation, nor should we sit idly by and allow labels of terrorism be spoken in the same breath as christianity.
It feels like the modern Christian has lost their way and rejected the teachings of Christ in favor of self-righteous self-destruction. It is time to put aside our differences and end the demonization of those we disagree with. Give up the hateful rhetoric, close our mouths, and listen. Listen to the stories and testimonies of the alienated. Pray for humility, compassion, and empathy. Be the example of Christ and set a precedent of love unlike ever before. Realize our political parties have nothing to do with our faith and bring an end to the blurred lines we’ve created in the landscape of politics and faith.
In the end God will judge us for our actions, so please, dear Christians, let us put an end to this selfish and destructive chapter in our history before it’s too late and our witness has all but withered away.
20. DEMOCRAT vs REPUBLICAN
You know what the difference is between a democrat and a republican?
Both are products of their circumstance.
Both have developed world views, beliefs, and convictions based on the circumstance of their upbringings and personal experiences.
Both can be Christian, Muslim, atheist or any other religion they choose to be.
When you hate the person opposite of you simply because they don’t have the same values as you, sadly it only reveals that your insecurities prevent you from admitting error. Your pride prevents you from admitting to your lack of perspective.
Both sides have been conditioned to believe what they believe because of their life experiences and that is something that can not be taken away from any of us. That is something that is truly human.
Whether they were loved as a child or abused. Whether they have families or live alone. Whether they were afforded opportunities or had to make their own way. Whether they were academically successful or persevered by street-smarts.
We only perceive of a difference because we have bought in to a two-party system. You may agree with this system or you may not, but wherever you fall, it is not meant to pit us against one another.
The hurtful things you say about one party, true or not, can easily apply to the other. Most can agree that many politicians are corrupt or strive for self-interests. This is not a trait limited to one side.
These two parties are put in place to represent the unrepresented and effect change in our country. They are civil servants and when it’s working at it’s best, parties cross the isle to work together to better our nation.
When it’s at its worst, we see what we see now. Hatred, spitefulness, arrogance, and misinformation. You calling a democrat stupid or a republican racist, does nothing but reveal the state of your heart. A heart that lacks long-suffering, a heart that lacks self-control, a heart incapable of empathy.
I don’t foresee this upcoming election playing out much different from those in the past, but we can all do our part. We can vote, we can cheer on our candidate of chose without slandering others, and we can, most importantly of all, listen to the voices that sound different then our own and earnestly try to understand their perspective.
The simple saying “when you point your finger at someone there are three pointing back at you” seems applicable here, but not in an action of self-accusation, but rather self-evaluation. What are the unhealed emotional wounds you’re dealing with that cause you to lash out at others who believe or act differently than you? Is this an attempt to control something when you feel out of control?
Being misunderstood can be incredibly frustrating, no matter what party you identify with. So let’s stop and think before we proceed to misrepresent someone else, because in doing so, you ultimately misrepresent ourselves.
For the longest time, even up through high school, I thought the word karaoke was pronounced kuh-row-key. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I was corrected.
How I went 17 years saying this common word in such an uncommon way seems outlandish, but really it’s not all that unusual. Like many things in life we learn by doing things wrong and then being corrected by those we love and trust.
I had seen the word numerous times, but I hadn’t heard it spoken all that often. Sounding out the letters in my head, I came to the aforementioned conclusion.
So here I am, driving along with the love of my life in 1999 as we pass a kid’s pizza restaurant with a sign out front that says “KARAOKE.” I look to Christina, my girlfriend at the time and in the most embarrassing, redneck way say “oh look, they have kuh-row-key now.”
She, looking flabbergasted asks, “what did you just say?” I felt the blood rushing to my face wondering how I must have unknowingly humiliated myself. Sheepishly I repeat “Kuh-row-key.”
She graciously corrected me and we had a good laugh about how ridiculous it was that I had made it that long I’m my life saying a common word so horribly wrong. From that day on, I was sure to pronounce karaoke correctly.
Now I could’ve taken it personally, or stubbornly chosen to to say it wrong for the rest of my life, but because of the relational equality we had, I took it to heart and made an asserted effort to better myself.
Many times in my life since then when I’m presented with new information I didn’t always receive it so easily. Many times I would pridefully reject constructive criticism. However, in those times I have learned a valuable lesson.
That lesson is that being right isn’t nearly as important as I once thought it was. Having good character and choosing wisdom and truth over being first to be right was much more sustainable in the long run. As well as less humiliating when my boisterous attitude came back to haunt me.
In this age of political toxicity, where even something as unprecedented as a global pandemic can be politicized by internet sleuths and conspiracy theorists, it is of upmost importance that we can walk away from these squabbles with our character intact.
The lack of control we all feel right now may lead to the strong temptations to grasp at straws in an attempt to control the spiraling world around us, if nothing else, at least the narratives we believe.
We could even go as far to shame one another for being uninformed or fearful of the unknown. We can try to boaster what little information we gathered from a google search or a video on Facebook and try to present it as gospel truth.
Times are tense. Some have more time on their hands and some have less. We are all navigating this new norm and doing our best to rationalize its impact.
In hindsight, when we look back on this, no one is going to remember how right or how wrong you were, but rather how you treated them in the midst of the chaos.
Were you patient, were you kind? Do you show grace and empathy during a time of crisis that none of us truly understand?
If there is anything I hope to convey in these words, it’s that being right, means nothing to those around you unless it is presented with compassion.