Different

I have come to the conclusion that I am different.  I know we are all different.  But here is a little more background, and some may not like me for saying this.  I started this little Church to remain positive in life.  To focus on the positive and to reach out and accept others for who they are.  But this doesn’t always work, and sometimes it can just bring you down.

I have very different views when it comes to religion and spirituality.  I did not grow up going to church or worshiping any God.  I grew up in a very agnostic home, and it was awesome!  I was able to explore religion and spirituality and I was allowed to make up my own mind.  This is exactly why I do not follow any current religion which is available to me.  This is why I made The Church of Positive Vibes.

I just had to stop following a blog of someone who is very religious and believes they are doing the right thing, but I found it so negative and with such an agenda.  I just found it to be everything I was trying to get away from.  I would read the comments from the followers and it was all about praying for someone else, and how God wants you to pray for others etc…. I personally just cannot wrap my head around this concept.  Good thoughts or prayers are great, but there is far more to do.

There is also a time when you need to step back and realize that your own perception is not necessarily what is actually going on.

Many years ago I was very sick with the flu.  I had lost about 15-20 pounds (I was already tall and thin) and I had not been in the sun in over 2 weeks.  The color was gone from my face, I was skinny and I was finally feeling a little better after being able to eat solid food for two days in a row!  So I went out to see some friends.  I still had a slight cough but nothing contagious and I needed to get out of my house!

A friend came up to me and asked me if I was alright.  I said “yeah, finally.”  I told him I had been sick and it was great to finally be feeling better.  Well he didn’t believe me.  He had a drug problem which he was recovering from and he kept insisting I was on Meth.  This is why I looked so pale, this is why I lost weight and this is why I hadn’t been around.  I told him he was crazy and left.  For over a year he insisted that I was on drugs when I wasn’t and have never been an addict or even tried anything like Meth!  He needed to project his own addiction upon me.  He needed to “save me” before it was too late.  He was so blinded by his own projection of the reality around him that he and I are no longer friends and he could not see that not everyone has his addiction.

He had also joined a church, through his 12 step program, and it was about going out and “saving” everyone.  This was part of their recruitment process.  That is what I call it, recruitment.  This is where I have big issues with religion in general.

Yes, I am a reverend, but I am not a follower of any specific religion at this point.  By definition I am probably an Atheist because of my non-belief in God, Allah, Jesus or any other name given to an omnipotent being.  Why you ask?  Why do I have the title of “Reverend”?  Simple.  It is the title given to me by the non-denominational church who ordained me and where I studied theology. The more I studied the more I found it to be not true.  And I wanted to seek out the truth or at least what seemed true to me.

I do believe in energy.  I do believe in spirit.  But I do not believe we have quite figured it out yet.  And maybe we are not meant to?  The Universe is far greater than any human thought.  It functions at such a higher level of existence that there is no way we can possibly understand.

What I do understand is the human connection, and maybe I should call it an animal connection.  We are animals, a little higher functioning than our pets, but not really that much higher.  Especially when it comes to figuring out the universe we are not much higher on that ladder!  The animal connection is an instinct.  We refuse these instincts when we start believing in a God.  We think we are here to rise above our own instincts and we are here for a higher purpose.

My friend (who thought I was on drugs) was using his instinct to help a friend, he was misguided by his own flaws.  He was misguided by his own beliefs.  If he could have just believed me when I said I was sick maybe we would still be friends, but he insisted he knew because he was given a job of bringing in people to his new church.  The job wasn’t to help others, it was to help others in our way.  This is what I call an agenda.

True faith, true religion has no agenda.  Heaven does not exist in my religion.  So why believe then?  Well, I don’t believe in anything specific, except for maybe being a good person.  I have had religious people tell me my friend who committed suicide is in hell and I should pray for her soul.  Seriously?  This person who was abused, who was shot up with heroine when she was just 12 by a junkie who wanted to mess around with her, who was abused by her family’s church as well is in hell because she finally lost her battle with her mental illness?  This is not faith, this is nothing more than a blind following of false scripture.

I believe the spirit lives on, how I can’t explain.  But I have felt my friend’s spirit on many occasions, as well as others.  But this theory of Heaven and Hell is completely false, at least in my studies it just doesn’t exist.

There was something I read recently, it was said to have been said by someone of Catholic faith, but I have heard this before and I do like the way it sounds.  I’ll paraphrase as I cannot remember it exactly.

When it comes to helping others, be an Atheist.  When you see an Atheist helping the poor or those in need they are doing it from the kindness of their heart.  They are doing it without any thought that this will help them get into Heaven.  They do not go home and pray for God to fix the problem.  They take action and help as they can.  So when it comes to helping others, be an Atheist, do it from the kindness of your heart and not because it is what God wants or for any other reason other than that it is simply the right thing to do.

I am an Atheist.  I am a Reverend.  I am very spiritual.  I was not raised with religion so I do have a different point of view.  I’m sure some will “pray for me” that I find Jesus or something like that.  I appreciate the positive vibes, but please do this first.  When you pray, do not pray with agenda.  Whenever you say you wish someone could just surrender themselves to Jesus, or I wish they could just know what I know and understand why God is so important and is so great!  I want you to stop and realize that this is pushing an agenda.  Pray for joy.  Pray and be thankful for being in the right spot to be able to help that person you helped today.  Use prayer as reflection of the good things that have happened.  It isn’t a wish list.

These are just my thoughts today.  Without agenda, and I’m not trying to get your money or you to show up at my house and worship me.  I just want you to be a good person because you wish to be one.  That is really all I ever want.

Advertisements

The Positive

People love to complain. All week I have been hearing how someone’s boss is an idiot, someone did somebody wrong and they are so much smarter than that other person and blah blah blah.

Today is a day of thanks and I’ve already heard people complaining. Just stop. Simply stop and listen to yourself. You are complaining about everyone else, but it just may be that you are your own problem.

Take today and give thanks. Find something you are happy about and that you are thankful for having in your life. Focus on that today. Really think about how it makes you feel. Take in that feeling and enjoy it today. And tonight when you go to bed with a warm and fuzzy feeling I want you to think about at least one more thing you are thankful for and I want you to think about that tomorrow. And then do this again over and over.

At least once a day, be thankful for something. This will help you begin to take away the negativity in your thought process. Stop dwelling on the past, that happened already, you can’t change it. Stop dwelling on what went wrong, whatever it is it can be fixed. Don’t dwell on the negative, it will just make you upset. Instead, dwell on the positive. My dad said that last night. This is the best advice I can give. Simply dwell on the positive.

Be thankful, have gratitude and dwell on the positive.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just Be Nice

Lately I’ve been a little scattered and honestly a little lost.  I’m sure many others feel this way as well, and I’m not quite sure why but I have some ideas.

For a very long time my world existed of needing other people to like what I do in order to make a living.  I needed their approval in order to be able to pay my rent.  Not directly but definitely indirectly.  And I started noticing how many of us have jobs like that.  Providing a service used to be different.  And it is changing all of the time, especially with the use of social media.  People I’ve never heard of or even seen anywhere before are now mini celebrities based on how many people follow them on Instagram!

Personally, I’m not craving that type of attention.  I love playing music, I love taking photos of people, I love working with my hands.  I love helping others and I love doing it simply because I can.  Maybe I’ve gone off of the deep end as I simply don’t care about money.  I know I need it, but it is such a waste of time trying to get it.  And I don’t want to come off as some dirty hippie, but we don’t need it, the earth does provide for us.

This past election year (oh shit here comes the political talk) has got me really messed up.  It was amazing to see how people were very against helping their fellow humans.  I saw a talk where a woman scolded Bernie Sanders and said he lost her vote when she heard about “free college for everyone.”  What really shocked me was her lack of compassion.  The second shock was that she had no clue what the plan was about but she was just against it because “she wasn’t going to pay for that.”  But why are you against helping each other?  If it was free to you would you want it?  It isn’t like it is open to a D student, they actually have to get accepted into school and keep up their grades and have to stay in the state after graduation as many years as it took to graduate therefore helping the economy of the state which paid for their education.  It is more of a pay it forward plan rather than a free ride to all.  But I don’t want to get into politics, this was just one point I was trying to make about how we are so not willing to help others even if they deserve it.

I just found it a little ironic how this woman felt entitled to everything she had, but said that anyone who wanted a free education was just self entitled and didn’t want to work for anything.  This is sad to me.  Why do we have to hold others back to feel better about ourselves?  This shows how something is definitely lacking in our society and how we put money and status above actual human connection.

I remember the phrase “respect your elders.” But something has changed because some of our elders are not worthy of anyone’s respect.  Here is a very vague example, I’m just pulling this one out of thin air.  Back in the day, a man would tip his hat to a woman of any age out of respect.  He would stand when she entered the room out of respect for a lady.  This wasn’t sexism, this was respect which was taught to him by his mother in most cases.  It was also called manners.  Hence, manners are a way a person shows respect for another person.  But back to my point….

There were still young men who would cat-call women, say inappropriate things and be rude, hormones do really stupid things to some people.  But if there was a true man/gentleman around, that man would not be afraid to confront these idiots and defend the woman who was being harassed.  This didn’t happen because she needed his help, this happened because people were taught to respect others and to show respect for others.

For years I had the same bank.  Every so often I would see this elderly man leaving the bank and I would hold the door for him.  I don’t know how many times this happened as we always seemed to have the same banking hours.  But one time he actually stopped and shook my hand and said to me “thank you, I have seen you open the door for me, for many others and you always have a smile on your face and are always so kind.”  Honestly, this meant the world to me, just to make someone happy by simply being kind.  I told him you’re welcome and we had a nice brief chat.  And it is moments like these which have me so confused.  Why do I get so much joy out of simply being nice to others?  I wish I could market this and turn this into my day job!

But as I get older I see less and less of this behavior happening.  I saw an article on a news site which talked about a lack of a certain type of religious values which is why this is happening and I couldn’t disagree more.  Look, religion doesn’t make you a good person, in some cases it gives a bad person an excuse to pretend to be good to only be bad.  But just like politics I’m going to keep this one on the down low for now.  But I will say this.  True religion and spirituality teaches love, tolerance and compassion.  If you are lacking any of these things, it is on you, not your religious beliefs or lack thereof.

For the record I am still a lot lost.  I am still trying to figure it all (or at least some of it) out.  But I don’t think that is the answer.  This life is my own personal journey and I am still very unclear of what my destination in.  This post isn’t about finding answers, it is more of letting someone else know that I don’t have it all figured out either.  I am just as lost as you.  This is just my own little path of trying to help those I can, mostly because I enjoy it, and hopefully I keep on getting to meet some cool people along the way.

I don’t know what I am teaching here, maybe it is about manners and respect.  Maybe if we all just try to do something nice at least once a day I might not feel so lost anymore.  I’d like to see more people just be nice.  Is that so wrong?

Stars

Where does it all begin?  Honestly I don’t have a clue!  This is a question which has been asked for generations.  Many have tried to explain it all in books, in religion, in theory and science has even tried to prove the Big Bang theory.


But where did it all start? This is what I get asked a lot. I don’t know.  All I try to do is figure out where I may be going later this week.  

This may sound like a cop out or something like that, but really I don’t have the answer.  Plus it all began so long ago that I’m not really sure if it matters?  Maybe this isn’t the most profound answer possible, but it is true.

What matters more? What happens to us today or what has already happened so many years ago?  One of these things is out of our control, the other, well not so much. 

I often go out and look up to the stars and think about my place in this universe. I have no clue what it is by the way. I know I’m a decent photographer and carpenter, I’ve made some good friends and met some amazing people. Maybe the stars aren’t talking to me yet or maybe I don’t understand just yet.


It’s okay to not have it all figured out.  We don’t have to have it all figured out.  My goal is to stay positive. Be a good person and to help those I can. It’s pretty simple, the rest may take a while to figure out. For now I’ll focus on what I can have some control over. 😉

Reclaimed

One thing that has become a habit of mine is reclaiming wood for new projects. I’ve built book shelves, magazine racks, counters and many more small items from reclaimed lumber. 

This is wood which is meant for the dump.  It is in perfectly good condition but it has been used before so people just don’t want it.  This doesn’t make any sense to me.  But this is the type of society we live in.We use things and throw them away.  It becomes so common that we even do this with friendship and relationships. We live in a disposable world, but do we really?


Do you want to be disposable to someone else?  Would you want someone thinking of your prized possessions as garbage? Or if something you worked hard on and built with your own hands suddenly became garbage how would that make you feel? 

I repurpose items because I don’t like waste.  This is the same reason I cherish friends and the people in my life.  There have been bad people, but I have learned lessons from them. The bad seem to exit themselves from my life, this keeps me from having to throw them away.  

There is also one key element to the task of repurposing anything.  It means to find a new purpose.  It allows you to start again.  Maybe we all need a little repurposing every now and then? 

Good Times

I feel like starting a journal again.  Probably a lot of randomness, some philosophy, some spirituality, lots of stories and just good vibes.  I like this blog, it is something I feel brings me a lot of positive energy in my own life.  It keeps me centered on where I want to be and what I want to be doing.

At first (when I started this blog) I had actually wanted to start a brick and mortar church only, not so much an internet presence, but now I kind of feel like the internet is where this church belongs.  There are many reasons why, some of which are kind of weird, like some of the people who wish to join and want my home address and want to move in…. not kidding.

But I still like the random emails I get, some messages on Instagram and I have met some very cool people along the way.

Today I was thinking about a photo session I had years ago.  I was contacted via Facebook from a very successful model.  The funny thing was that I had met her briefly before.  She was a fashion model who also happened to pose for Playboy and actually became the Playmate of The Year in 2010.  Honestly I didn’t know what to expect.  I had photographed many Playboy models before, but she seemed more chill and just wanted some photos that showed who she was.

I think my favorite part of the shoot was when we went to the beach.  The beach always seems to bring out the chill vibes and the natural personality in people.  It screams freedom to be who you are and to release your inner child again.  At least that is what it does for me.

But this shoot went really well, we talked about life and relationships and we went our separate ways.  It was a very positive experience and I feel like I got to know the person, not just the model.  This is why I love what I get to do.  I get to photograph people that I would never have met before.  I get to talk to them and see how they view the world.  I kind of want to add more of my photography of people, places and things to this site and dive more into the philosophical ideologies I have rolling around in my head.

I have had many good days in my life, I’m just here to enjoy the good times and I hope you all have many more good days ahead!