I've been super busy with some travel, a week at youth bible camp (AWESOME) and more travel, plus moving in the midst of all of it... I'll be finishing the move this week, and then travelling to Colorado for a few days over the 4th of July weekend. Upon my return, I'm hoping that things calm down a little! I have a lot to say about how God has been doing some amazing things right before my eyes, and how He never ceases to amaze me. Keep your eyes peeled, there will be good stuff coming soon, I promise.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Sorry. Not Sorry. I stand with Israel unconditionally. The Christian-Judeo faith pre-dates Islam by CENTURIES. There is no such thing as a Palestinian. Hamas, the Muslim hordes that support them, and their liberal apologists around the world are ignorant fools. There is no more dedicated or zealous defender of a people than the Israeli Jew. In a country surrounded by enemies who have sworn to continue their war against the Jews "Until they have been driven into the sea", the Israelis fight like King David, Saul, and countless other biblical leaders of the Chosen People.
While I pray for our enemies, the fact is, like the Philistines, this Islamic horde of savages and genocidal maniacs will surely be defeated. And it will always be in a brutal, heavy-handed fashion, as there is truly no other way to fight these animals. These terrorists do not understand logic, they do not know compassion, they cannot be reasoned with. They have, literally for centuries now, given nothing to the world but murder and barbarism. In the same way The people of Old Testament Israel slaughtered Philistines and salted the earth in their wake, this will be the eventual ending of today's Palestinians and their myriad proxy partners and allies like Iran.
All we have to do is read 2 Samuel to truly understand how God empowers His people, and how complete and brutal the defeat of Israel's enemies has always been, and will need to remain... Do not be fooled into thinking that Jesus' sacrifice and our salvation on the cross at Golgotha has rendered God's capacity for Old Testament anger and judgement soft. There is, and always will be, judgement, condemnation and death awaiting the enemies of God and the 12 Tribes of Israel.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
My wife is a brutally honest sharer of opinion and analysis when it comes to me. Sometimes, it hurts my feelings, generates offense on my part, but one thing I can always say is that I am never unclear as to where she stands on any issue. The problem with my legendary ability to be offended is that she often has wisdom and advice that I actually need to hear. So I find it funny that lately, over the last few months, she has seemed (to me anyway) less likely to “come at me bro”… I just figured she was finally figuring out that I’m the greatest spouse on earth, and that she has a dadgum WINNER for a husband. What’s funny isn’t actually funny at all. Which is the reason for this post:
Three nights ago, unsolicited (although most of her opinions are “unsolicited”, lol), she tells me that over the last six months or so, she has noticed that I have an anger simmering under everything I do. She was quick to point out that it hasn’t manifested as a hotter temper or other behaviors that have plagued me throughout much of my life, but that it is noticeable in many facets of my daily life. From taking offense at the way Diego takes too long to put his socks on, to general negativity about everything around me. She tells me, “I can tell you haven’t been in your Bible hardly at all over the last few months. It’s obvious.”
So one can imagine, in my head I’m like “Psssh. Whatever dude, quit judging me!” but something in her voice and the look in her eyes was so completely devoid of judgement or condemnation, so I couldn’t really board the offense rocket like I wanted to. It was like God whispered in my ear and said, “If you won’t listen to Me, maybe you’ll listen to your wife”… She tells me how the music I listen to in the shower is a barometer for where I am emotionally. I agree, music is literally part of almost everything I do, and the shower is where I belt out the songs that fire me up and dump the day’s stresses, etc. But when I’m in a good place, my playlists for the shower will include classics like Pink Floyd, The Who, Elvis, mixed with some contemporary Christian music, etc. Pleasant stuff. She points out that I’ve been rocking what she calls “screamo” (it’s not screamo, that stuff is for weirdos, I rock the old school metal and hardcore like Anthrax, Cro-mags, AF, etc) for months. She was so gentle about how she presented it. I don’t know what went through her head prior to the conversation, but it felt like she put a lot of thought and effort into delivering this important message from a place of love and faith. She didn’t have to condemn or convict me, I heard the message and convicted the ever-lovin crap outta myself. I think I’ve been faking it the last few months. So if y’all would indulge me, let’s look at what has been rattling around in the cavernous, immense void that is my skull, and at the sickness that has grown in my heart, as I spent the last few months going through my Christian motions while doing my damnedest to avoid real pursuit of my Faith. I’m going to present it from a “we’re all dealing with this sickness on some level standpoint”, just to keep it relatable.
2020 was, for a huge majority of Americans, especially those who are the same age as me or younger, the absolute worst year ever. A global pandemic that literally changed how we live, work, learn, interact or engage in the world around us. Social and political unrest that threatened (and continues to threaten) the very foundation of this Nation’s social, moral and spiritual values. And in the midst of all of this, our government, the “Legacy Media” and our 24/7 engagement via a myriad of social media platforms has left what seems to be every single one of the 315 million people in this country angry, scared and just plain frazzled. None of these things in conducive to emotional and spiritual fulfillment and peace. So I am certain that much of what I’m about to say will resonate with most folks, whether they share my Christian faith or my political and moral values. This will be another look at how your worldview and your heartview require constant work to balance, and how the pursuit of a relationship with Jesus Christ is really the only way to make that happen.
Let’s look at Johnny Knuckles’ world view as I type this post. I HATE cancel culture and all who participate in it or support it. I HATE the mob culture and victim culture that justifies the rioting and chaos that has plagued this country. I HATE that the false narrative of racial genocide and systemic racism in law enforcement is so widely accepted. I HATE that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris got elected, and are now actively and overtly working to subvert the Constitution. I HATE that a global pandemic has caused such widespread restriction of how we live our lives. I am SCARED of what the pandemic and the vaccines and everything involved still hold in store for us. I am SCARED of what may happen when the George Floyd verdict comes in. I’m SCARED of what will happen to this country when the left pulls off the agenda they’ve been pushing for decades. I am PISSED that George Floyd was killed by a cop who didn’t deserve the badge. I am PISSED that ANTIFA was allowed to burn cities all over the country with impunity while those on the opposite stormed the Capitol and are being jailed by the dozens and charged with treason, sedition, insurrection, etc. I am PISSED.
Fear. Anger. Hate. Uncertainty breeds fear. The natural progression from fear, waaayyyyy down in our monkey brains, is anger. Anger is a defensive emotional response to fear. But unchecked, unaddressed anger only goes one way. Hate is the natural end result of anger’s progression when left to nature. This is a fact. In every culture, in every religion, 200 years ago or this morning at breakfast, anybody who steps back and looks at how this whole thing works, knows this to be true. Even someone with love in the heart and a good person in their core, even a child, can easily be turned into a seething blob of hate and discontent when fear becomes the norm. And I can tell you, I’m a big strong manly man. Alpha. Sheepdog. Warrior. And I’ve been living in fear for well over a year…
The United States of America that I grew up in is long gone, burned to ashes in a two decade whirlwind of moral decay, corruption, and division. What I thought was an incontrovertible, incorruptible moral foundation and framework as designed and built by our forefathers and defended by our grandparents and parents, was actually pretty fragile. Which, I suppose, is why so many have died defending it. Freedom, real freedom, and the American Dream require constant maintenance and protection. And since the early 1960's, although many have truly fought to preserve it, many more actively or passively worked to destroy it. And we let them. Today, in 2021, simply being born caucasian makes you a racist. Believing that there are biologically only two genders makes you a monster. Being a male makes you a misogynist. Working hard and earning a decent living makes you a capitalist oppressor of the downtrodden. Ok, off my political soapbox.
The fear that comes from not knowing what the future holds for my children and grandchildren is immense. The fear that my plan for growing old and how that all plays out is now totally up in the air as our country appears to have radically changed direction. Social and civil unrest, lies and corruption at the highest levels of government, enemies foreign and domestic overtly cheering the demise of everything I thought was correct and good... The confusion and anger at this sort of thing bleeds into my daily mindset, in relationships with my loved ones, my friends, my workplace. And it DEFINITELY interferes with my relationship with God, as I spend less time in my Bible and more time reading internet stories about the crapshow around us. Step one was easier than I thought it would be. I deleted my facebook account, and trimmed my Instagram feed. Within hours I felt better, at least now if I want to be lied to or censored or whatever, I have to seek it out intentionally...
So I had to make a choice. A radical change in direction for my life and how I live day to day:
Option One: Continue talking the Christian talk, but continue walking that secular life of anger and fear and frustration over the unknown future and the chaos of today. Let anger be my jam...
Option Two: Return to the Word of God as my refuge. Embrace the path and peace that He has laid out before me, for all of us. Place all of the fears and angers and negativity as His feet and take up His yoke, which is light...
So stay tuned for Part Two of this one, as I collect my thoughts and keep this one in prayer to make sure the message is biblically sound and functionally legitimate for our daily lives. It's gonna be good, I promise!!!
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
I have left The Book of Face. For my own mental health, and to make some online/screentime room for this blog. There will be much more content to come (including a better explanation of my departure from Facebook and why you should consider leaving too), and I will also be focusing a bit more on YouTube content as well. If you didn't know, my YouTube channel is also called Knuckle Sandwiches and Big Words... Working on a blog post now about an epiphany provided by my Heaven-sent better half, should be up in a day or so.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
I'll be doing a youtube video on the subject in the next couple of days, but I encourage you all to read the above article, and know that the impact this pandemic (more on the response to the pandemic, not the actual virus) continues to have on our society and especially our kids...
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Denise Hobbs was the leader of my church's prayer ministry, a grandmother raising her granddaughter, and a great human. But these words cannot possibly be enough to describe who she was to our church, and to humanity. She was blessed with an incredible gift of intercession, a Divine connection to God via prayer. When Denise prayed for you or with you, it was as though God had dropped down from Heaven and sat there with you. She was truly filled with the Holy Spirit, and used her gift to bless others at every opportunity. Her faith and her personality, and her love for Jesus made her a huge presence at church and in the world...
On February 18th, on a dark and snowy night, in the middle of nowhere, Denise pulled over on a treacherous stretch of two-lane blacktop to render assistance to a stranded motorist. A stranger. All logic and common sense would dictate that a grandmother should NOT do such a thing, the risks are many. Maybe the motorist is a psycho killer. The roads are terrible, what if something happens? But Denise probably never even considered those things, as another person was potentially in trouble, and she was compelled to offer help, as that's what her faith looked like to her. Selfless, unconditional love for her fellow man. The details of what happened next are incomplete, but we don't need them anyway. Denise was struck and killed by another vehicle.
The impact of her loss will ripple across uncountable numbers of people throughout the community she lived in and the people she touched. A granddaughter who attempted CPR on Denise along that dark stretch of highway, begging God not to take her. A husband who must now navigate a world without his partner. A church that counted Denise among the foundational pillars of it's very existence. Friends, strangers, family, surely the number of people suffering in this terrible loss is in the hundreds, if not thousands...
Across the country, Clint, a man I have never met, but who is a member of my fleet in an online game, lost his two year-old son, Cole, to cancer a couple of days ago. He shared with me the Caring Bridge link, where the agony of a child's fight against a monster was documented in heart-breaking detail by parents who also happen to be strong Christians. This family never stopped believing that God could heal little Cole, and yet when Cole went home to be with Jesus, they did not waver in their faith. They accepted that we do not, and cannot, possibly understand God's plan, or how such suffering is part of His plan for us. And they leaned even harder into their faith and their love for Him. Reading this story from the day of diagnoses to the day Cole got his wings brought me to tears...
In the same couple of days as finding out about the loss Clint and his family had suffered, another member of my fleet lost his 25 year-old younger brother. I know nothing further about the details of that loss, nor do I know whether or not they have faith to lean on in this time. But yet another gone too soon.
The cherry on top of this crappy cake? Yesterday would have been my own little brother's 46th birthday, but he too was taken by God on February 12th, 2006. It's a loss I still carry with me, and if I'm being honest here, it's something I haven't fully recovered from. So where am I going with this litany of heartbreaks and sad stories? Every day is about perspective, my friends:
It's easy to get caught up in the miseries of our day to day life in a fallen world. To find plenty of reason to complain or be angry, bitter about the perceived injustices and unfairness of life. Your job sucks. Your wife isn't affirming you the way you want. Your kids don't appreciate your efforts to parent them. Your car is a piece of crap. Your bum knee hurts all the time. Your guy didn't get elected as President. You're sick and tired of COVID and these stupid masks. You can't eat Cinnabon anymore, as you're overweight and trying to get healthy. They fired Gina Carano. When we lose perspective, it's super easy to develop offense, to be angry or depressed about all of these things that don't meet our expectations. In fact, the reality is, life rarely actually meets our expectations, and it often takes something that truly sucks to remind us that our expectations are mostly worldly, ego or emotion driven things that don't actually benefit or improve our lives. As a matter of fact, lack of perspective is a poison that contaminates every facet of our lives.
In the Bible, we are shown over and over again, that the only real peace and contentment we can rely upon is found in our faith. From Abraham nearly sacrificing his only son, not understanding why God would ask such a thing but fully faithful that God's will was just and Holy. And Abraham's pure faith was rewarded, just as God had promised. Job suffered countless indignities and terrible losses, and while he was clearly angry and hurt by all of this, even angry AT God, his faith in God was unwavering and eventually his prayers were answered. So I'll end with this, the important part, PERSPECTIVE:
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present of the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation, can separate us from the love of God
God will NEVER cease pursuing your heart. You can run as fast and as hard as you want, but He will be right behind you, keeping up, waiting for you to stop running. We often don't even realize when we are running away, maybe because we don't fell like we're running, maybe we've just gotten off The Path a little, and are just kind of walking along all wrapped up in our worldly desires and problems, and haven't made time to talk to God or seek His Word. Even then, He is literally right behind you, patiently waiting for you to turn around and come back... We will all suffer the terrible emotional burden of losing loved ones, we will all suffer the indignities of unmet expectations, and we will all wander off The Path now and then, suffering the worldly consequences. But we find incredible clarity in our perspective when we keep our eyes on Jesus, as we are reminded that He suffered the ultimate indignities to ensure our place in Heaven. Our time here in this world, on average, without any hiccups, averages around 75 years. I'll eat my shoe if you can tell me what percent of eternity 75 years is. While pain, suffering, trials and tribulations are sure to come in one's life, it is sooooooo important to process it all through a lens based in our Faith, because that lens will provide you with the perspective you need.
I would humbly ask that all who read this blog please lift up Denise's family and friends, Cole's family, and all who we know to be hurting or wrestling with things we cannot know or understand, that you all keep these people in your prayers and that each of us might seek Spirit-led opportunities to improve our own perspective.
Heavenly Father, thank you for keeping your promise to love and protect me, despite all of the countless times in my life that I have wandered away from you, or consciously turned my back on you. Thank you for sending people like Denise into this world, and for the love you have shown through people like Cole's family. I pray that you would lay your protective and comforting hand upon the hearts of all who have suffered so much lately. Please give us all the wisdom and discernment to recognize when you are providing a perspective adjustment, and the courage to use it to glorify You and strengthen our faith. In your Son's Holiest Name, Amen.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
My apologies for the sparse content since the election, it's been a busy few weeks digging out the backyard to construct a bunker, and scouring the interwebz for information on how to freeze dry my wife's green chili chicken enchiladas for long-term storage in the event that the apocalypse arrives sans Rapture...
I won't ramble too much, as the attached video is where the important stuff is, but here's the deal. I hereby renounce or deny my identity as a member of "The Right" or even as a Republican. I am a Constitutional Conservative with a strong Libertarian leaning with a dash of Christian social responsibility thrown in just to keep the haters hating... While the idiots who stormed the Capitol last week are no more representative of Conservatism than ANTIFA is representative of your garden-variety Democrat, the fact is that they are no better than ANTIFA.
We, as a Nation, are being lied to, manipulated and swindled by our government, on both sides of the aisle. In collusion with Big Tech, Big Business, Big Pharma, the Military Industrial Complex and countless other "Bigs", our leaders actively seek to divide us via identity politics. On the "right", the riots and chaos created by BLM and ANTIFA in 2020 played right into their hands, a super visible, high shock value display of the destructive and lawless nature of the left. On the left, Trump's refusal to accept the election results provided ample proof that he is a corrupt, arrogant leader who threatens the very fabric of this country's laws and processes, and his supporters storming the Capitol proved how dangerous the right really is.
At least that's the message you are being sold... The FACTS are much less exciting. A great majority of voting Democrats do NOT support the anarchy and violent rioting, looting and rhetoric that fueled the BLM/ANTIFA show last year. But the narrative provided to them by their "leadership" (Orange Man Bad, Black Genocide via Law Enforcement, etc) and their various legacy and digital media platforms ensured that plenty of these folks see the right as dangerous, power-mad, racist bible-hugging lunatics. A great majority of voting Republicans are disgusted with what happened at the Capitol, and strongly oppose racism and all of the other isms they are so commonly accused of. But the narrative provided to them by their leadership ensures that plenty of them see the left as straight-up morally bankrupt, criminal apologists who are trying to steal their money, ruin their neighborhoods and sell America down the socialist river.
Here's the real deal: The left does indeed want to change some things within the Constitutional foundation, the bedrock of our Nation. They have engaged in plenty of shady behavior and back-room deals to pull off stuff like Obamacare and are currently outright bragging about how they intend to stack the Supreme Court, to gut the 2nd Amendment while encouraging media platforms to interfere with the 1st Amendment. But let's not leave the right out of this. The right has always bragged about how they support Big Business, often with little regard for how that might impact the average man on the street, the environment or the best interests of the United States. Both sides use the demonization o0f the opposition as a way to divert attention from their own efforts to tighten their grip on power and control...
So while I do indeed strongly oppose progressive ideology in general, and firmly believe that it is in direct conflict with the Judeo-Christian values and morality that this Nation was founded upon, that it intentionally and vocally attacks and weakens the Constitutional framework that has provided us with nearly 250 years of freedom, growth and success, the reality is that much of the conservative ideology has been twisted and manipulated to the point that the good things that come from the middle ground are unattainable due to an arrogant belief that biblical truth, patriotism and strength are only found on the right. So I will take my Constitutional Conservative belief system, my faith in The Lord and Savior, and my love for my fellow man, and stand outside of the box our leaders have tried to put me in. I will welcome discussion and understanding with ANY person who I do not see eye to eye with, and I will do everything I can to let my actions and my heart be unmistakably Christian. Please check out my Youtube channel for a video about what pursuing your identity and how letting the world around you define it is a HUGE mistake.
Hang in there friends, we serve an Almighty God, and He is a much bigger deal than Donald Trump and Joe Biden... I assure you He is neither Republican or Democrat.