Monday, April 13, 2015

What Should I Do With My Life?

I’ve wanted to be many things throughout my young life.

First, I wanted to be a construction worker. I loved building forts out of blocks, and building roads in the dirt under a tree in our backyard. Building things was cool.

Then I wanted to join the army. Watching Davy Crockett a million times might have had some influence. Guns were cool.

Next I wanted to be a football player. I couldn’t imagine life without playing football, so for a long time, I figured the perfect way to die would be on the football field after making some spectacular game-winning play. That would be awesome.

At some point in time I realized that I wouldn’t be able to play football my whole life, and my odds of dying while playing were extremely low. What to do? Nothing 9-to-5 really interested me. I loved history though, and would spend hours watching documentaries while other kids watched cartoons (though I did watch a few of those too). Maybe I would be a historian! But what do historians do but teach? And teaching didn’t appeal to me.

Well…I also really liked space and science. Maybe I’ll learn Astrophysics and become a rocket scientist? Of course, the only problem is you can’t really do anything with Science if you don’t also have an affinity for math. I do not have an affinity for math.

So now what? All the things I like I either can’t do any more, am not good enough at, or don’t make enough money. Maybe this blog could support me, but that’s a long-shot, isn’t it? Music production? That’s laughable.

I’ve thought about potentially studying theology or philosophy; however, those would only lead to becoming a teacher or a pastor, and I wouldn’t be able to do either of those for very long before getting fired most likely.

What now? What am I supposed to do? Am I doomed to be a failure? Are all the people right who said I would never amount to anything? Maybe I could join the Salvation Army like one of my old football coaches predicted I would.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I Am Back!

I am returning to blogging! 

Unfortunately my website isn't ready yet. The development process has been stalled, and so I'm not sure when I will get my new website. Since it was taking so long, I decided I might as well just start blogging again in the meantime. Posting will resume next Monday!

In case you were curious, here is what I have been up to since February:

Kingdom Pen

I have been putting a lot of time into Kingdom Pen, an eMag and community dedicated to encouraging young authors to write well, write purposefully, and to always write for Christ. If you are a teen writer, or you know any, this is definitely the place to be, and to get published. We recently just finished up a contest, and I have also written a couple articles recently, both rather politically incorrect.


Coastal Conservatory

My family is also on the cusp of launching a blog dedicated to encouraging intentional living for cultivating the family enterprise. I have been writing articles for it, and helping with the development. This will be a great resource for those who seek to run a family business from home, but will also include plenty of articles about homeschooling and family discipleship as well. If you find any of that interesting, or if you just want to learn more about how my family operates, you should check it out!



Misunderstood Modesty

Additionally, I have been writing an e-Book on the topic of modesty. Here is an excerpt from the introduction: 

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Believe it or not, I actually don’t like writing on the topic of modesty. I feel a bit like the always skittish Hector, the handy man from A Series of Unfortunate Events, when it comes to taking or writing about modesty.

First of all, this is because I am far from the most modest person in the world. What right do I have to instruct others how to achieve modesty if I have not done so myself? No, I don’t wear mini-skirts. That would be really weird, considering I am a guy. I am talking about the heart of modesty, which this entire eBook centers on: thinking of others as more important than yourself. I have a long way to go in this regard.

Second of all, I don’t like writing and talking about the subject of modesty as it inevitably leads to talking about the historically well-documented reality of one of the two greatest weaknesses and destroyers of men, and I’m not talking about money.

Well you sure picked a bad topic for your book then!

True enough, however, I dislike the misunderstandings surrounding modesty more than I dislike writing about it. My frustration with the lies our culture dumps into our lives like an EPA spiting factory has finally tipped the scales. Sure, I’ve written a few blog posts, but nothing this In-depth. So here we are, with another book on modesty.

Yet, this is not just another book on modesty.

There are aspects of modesty I don’t see many talking about. I see so much confusion and misunderstanding and backwards thinking, even by good and well-meaning people.

Then I see the hatred and vitriol spewed by those who seem to see modesty as a threat. I am tired of seeing all the straw-men attacks, the mocking, and selfish ideas surrounding modesty.

This is not your grandma’s modesty book…although she probably didn’t have one since modesty—at least in dress—was relatively ubiquitous. Other than my mini-skirt reference above, you will not find another specific reference to articles of clothing that are acceptable or not acceptable in this book. No ruler measurements, body shaming, or a list of what clothing is modest and what is not. 
-

Andromeda Coast

Also, since I last wrote, I released my second LP album with my electronic music project, Andromeda Coast.

Click on the image for a sample
It is available for digital purchase at:
And free streaming on:
You can also purchase a physical CD here:
or on Amazon

Also music related, I will be mixing and mastering the debut album of the Long Family Singers!


On top of all of that, yes, my new website is still being developed. 

Yes, it really takes three computers to make a website.



And I've also been huntin' gators in the glades:


Stay tuned for future blog posts! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Singles Awareness Day?

Valentine's Day is upon us, and of course, the internet has been filled with quotes, pictures, and memes about love, romance, and relationships. You go to the grocery store, and pink heart decorations are superfluous. Why, good old Spotify is even suggesting love song playlists to listen to. How sweet.

Valentine's Day is seen as a wonderful holiday...except for those who are single. How about all those poor single people who have to be alone on a day about love? So tragic...or is it?

I've seen people bemoan their lack of a girlfriend or boyfriend before, but it typically increases around Valentines day. Many seem to treat singleness like a disease (and I'm not just saying that because I am single). Maybe some people find this hard to believe, but I'm single by choice. Our society seems to think that if you are single, you are somehow less of a person, not capable of being liked by the opposite gender, and therefore possessing no merit whatsoever. This is not so.

Our society seems to think that if you are single, you are somehow less of a person, not capable of being liked by the opposite gender, and therefore possessing no merit whatsoever.


Then there are those singles who band together and form, “Singles Awareness Day”, on Valentines Day. Those who observe “S.A.D.” really just end up throwing little pity parties/hey I'm available hangouts.

Or, some take things in the other direction, and spitefully scorn the entire concept of love and romance. Their "S.A.D." day becomes a celebration of the individual, and an abandonment of other people. 
In both these cases, the focus is all wrong, and it's not about love at all, but on the self. Valentine's Day just seems to be about celebrating your relationship status, or bemoaning it.

Valentine's Day just seems to be about celebrating your relationship status, or bemoaning it.



Singles, seriously. Pull yourselves together. It's not a tragedy if you're single. And being single is far better than riding the dating roller-coaster that everyone else does in our culture—throwing themselves away to each new romantic interest. Singleness is a great and unique time of life where you can devote everything solely on God. Don't be “S.A.D”.

Contentment is elusive, even for those who are in a relationship, even for those whom are married. We're fooling ourselves if we think getting a gf/bf, or getting married is the answer to all of our woes. If you're not content now, you won't be when you marry either. Contentment doesn't come from possessions, be they material objects or a relationship status.

I don't know about you, but I think this notion can be rather depressing.

What? Even when I'm married I won't be content? OH NO! I'm DOOMED! What hope is there?

However, we are not doomed to perpetual discontentment. Reality is much better. Since contentment doesn't come from possessions or momentary pleasures, we can be content no matter the circumstances, as Paul points out in Philippians 4:11-12. We can be content always, because contentment comes from living the way we were created to, and we were created to love God and love others. We become content when we seek the good of others, rather than seeking to satisfy ourselves.

The Lord is our shepherd, and we lack for nothing, not even when we're single.   

We don't need a "S.A.D." day to highlight the mythical plight of singles. Those without a "significant other" aren't left out of Valentine's Day. If Valentines Day is really is about love, then it's a holiday that is just as relevant to singles, as it is to married folk.

Love—as Jesus taught it—is willing the good of another person. It's doing good for others even if you gain nothing. Doing good even if it hurts you. Love is sacrifice, and everyone needs to have love, and practice the love that Jesus practiced.

Valentine's Day is for singles too.So, this Valentines day, don't focus on your relationship status, don't be S.A.D. Instead, focus on Christ and His love. Be reminded of the incredible sacrifice He made for us, and be inspired to sacrifice for others!

Have a happy Valentines Day, and find someone to love!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Blog Under Construction

Hello Readers,

I am temporarily putting my blog on hold while I transition from Blogger over to Wordpress. This process may take some time, so it could be awhile before I post any new content. However, I do have over 150 published posts, so if you haven't read all of those yet, now is a good time. Haha!

In the meantime, I will continue to write, so when my new site goes live, I'll have a bunch of new posts ready to go. If there are any topics or subjects you would like to see me write on in the future, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.

Thanks for reading!
- Reagan

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dating Is Legalistic

If I were to say, "Courtship is legalistic," would you be shocked by such a claim? Probably not.

We’ve all heard people say that courtship, and/or courtship advocates, are legalistic. To some extent, this is true. While I haven’t met any legalistic courtship believers, I have heard plenty of stories about them. Additionally, anything can become a form of legalism. Any belief, any idea, any thing can become an idol or source of legalism.

However, there is a “system” which is far more legalistic, in general, than courtship: recreational dating. Yes, recreational dating is legalistic.

Now, perhaps, you may be shocked. You don’t hear people claim dating is legalistic very often, if at all. Before I go into just how dating has become a form of legalism, first we need to define terms. What is legalism after all?

There seem to be three forms of legalism today:

1. Good works and/or obeying the Law must be done to attain salvation
2. Good works and/or obeying the Law must be done to maintain salvation
3. Looking down on other Christians who do not hold to an individual’s standard of holiness.

This third form of legalism is the sort of legalism most commonly thrown around today. I have never heard of anyone claiming that you must court in order to achieve or maintain salvation, but if they exist, that is pretty peculiar. However, we do have courtship/betrothal advocates being labelled legalistic because it is believed many of them look down on Christians who do not court.

As I said above, this is possible. Courtship and/or betrothal can become idols. They can become legalistic. That being said, Dating, and it’s loyal supporters, are far more guilty of this form of legalism. While courtship opponents are quick to point out that courtship is not a system to be found in the Bible, they forget that dating is nowhere to be found. In fact, the dating practices of today would have been considered scandalous during biblical times.

While I think courtship advocates do need to be careful, I think it is the courtship opponents, and supporters of dating, who really need to look themselves in the mirror.

While I personally believe that courtship can look very different from person to person, many dating activists religiously cling on to certain aspects of dating, and believe that you must do things their way, or else you’re a weird, legalistic buffoon doomed to never marry or “marry the wrong person.”

5 Ways Dating is legalistic:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Love Is Manly

When I was growing up, I always thought of love as being girly. Our culture portrays love with big red hearts, warm fuzzy feelings, and physical displays of affection. These are all things girls are generally more easily drawn to. "Love" and being "manly" seem to be diametrically opposed. This is a big reason why my young self vowed to never marry. 

Love in our culture is shown as being soft. Being nice. Not hurting anyone’s feelings. This is the kind of love that comes more naturally to females.

Certainly, this feminine side of love is real, and important. However, this is not all love is. Love is also masculine. Love isn’t always elegant, nice, or pleasurable. Love is sometimes harsh, tough, and uncompromising. Love is manly too.

This of course doesn’t mean that all women are tender whereas all men are hard and uncompromising. On an individual level, people—men and women—differ and vary quite a bit. In general, however, there is a distinction. There are two sides of love, one side women more readily express, and the other side men more naturally express. We all need both.

However, in the church today—and the culture as a whole—the masculine side of love is often ignored and even demonized. Frequently, this “manly” side of love is criticized as being “unloving” or “un-Christ-like” and this is because we only see the feminine side of love as being legitimate. It’s just fine to tell men to “get in touch with your feminine side,” but you don’t so often hear women being told to “get in touch with their masculine side.”   

We all need to embrace the fullness of God’s love, both the masculine and feminine aspects.

Friday, January 2, 2015

I Hate You Because You're Confident

In our Post-Modern world where truth is relative, a curious phenomenon has developed: people don’t like you if you are confident about your beliefs. It’s very strange. These Post-Modernists are confident that you are wrong for being confident in your “false” beliefs, just as they are confident that there is absolutely no such thing as absolute truth.

It is cool to be a skeptic today. Doubt equals wisdom. If you express confidence in your beliefs, then you are dogmatic, judgmental, legalistic, and a slew of other derogative terms. Of course, without God, this makes sense.

If you don’t believe in God…you really can’t trust that you know anything. If we all just evolved by accident in the primordial soup of Earth’s ancient oceans, if we were just cooked up by the flaming prehistoric meteorites slamming into Earth bringing with them the “ingredients for life,”  if we were just dead material shocked to life, ala Frankenstein, by lighting or whatever it is atheistic scientists are now claiming allowed life to form from non-life…then we can’t really trust anything.

If we evolved randomly, then we can’t really trust our own reason or intellect. We can’t trust that we really know how we got here.

With no God, we can’t really trust our senses. How do we know that what see, hear, feel, taste, and touch is really real? Indeed, some religions have arisen to tell us that this world is not real.

We live on a big ball comprised of particles we can’t see arranged in different patterns which give us all the different materials and substances we can see. We fly through a near vacuum at mind-boggling speeds, orbiting a gigantic nuclear-power-plant of a fireball…or so we believe.

We can’t know anything for certain. Even Scientists will say Science doesn’t prove anything. Science is merely the process of observing the natural world. Based on the patterns we find in our observations, we create theories and laws about how the natural world usually works.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Top 10 – My Most Popular Posts

2014 has been a great year of blogging, and was also probably the most difficult year I've ever had--in more ways than one. However, overall, all of the difficulty and changes have been very good.

I wrote most posts in the past year than in any previous year, so to recap 2014, here are my top 10 most popular posts:


(click on the images to visit the posts)





10. No Hugging; Now What?

A light-hearted follow-up to my series on why I don’t hug girls, seeking to find a healthy alternative.








9. Emotional Purity –Part 1

A post introducing my series on emotional purity, and why I have personally come to support the concept. 









8. I Am A Sexist

My awful confession that I think men and women are different, and created for different purposes.

My friends at Freejinger had fun with this one.










Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Waiting For Life To Start

Life in middle class America is simple.

Generally, you are born to parents who want you to be happy. Your childhood is spent getting spoiled and taught that money isn’t all that matters in life

Then you get older, and you start going to school. First it’s just half a day, and you’re in a comfortable room with lots of bright colors and toys. You have a teacher who always smiles and talks to you like she’s expecting an ice cream truck to drive up any second and hand out free ice cream to everyone.

Then you go to school for the whole day, but at least you have two recesses. And then only one recess. The toys disappear. Creative writing time is eliminated. Story time is eliminated. And then recess falls by the wayside too.

Next the windows start to disappear, replaced by barren walls or covered up by heavy blinds. The desks shrink. The markers and crayons go bye-bye. Heck, some students seem to never even be able to find a pencil.

You still have some writing, but it’s only for teaching the mechanics of English. If you happen to take a Literature class, you will read such marvelous works as the depressing and pointless “Catcher In The Rye,” or something as mind-bogglingly dull, inconsequential, and meaningless as “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” I think they have you read these books in school to crush any possibility students may gain an interest in reading.

Middle school only matters in that it prepares you for high school. High school only matters in that it prepares you for college. And college only matters so long as you are able to get a good job, and by “good job”, we of course mean a “high paying” job.

Getting a high paying job matters because then you gain status and can buy all the things you want. Why? Because this is what will make you happy. Right?

Isn’t that odd? As children we’re told, “money isn’t everything,” but you'd better do well in school so you can go to a good college, so you can get a good job, so you can make a lot of money, so you can buy a lot of expensive things. Schools eliminate all of the activities and ideas which encourage you to break free of the mold. All you need to be successful, all that really matters, is learning math and science so you can make a lot of money. Your life doesn’t really start until you get that job and start making that money. Everything else is just a build up for that stage of your life, right?  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Stop Giving Me Things!

With it being the Christmas season, there is of course, is going to be a deluge of gift-giving. Of course, among all of the gift giving and receiving, we try hard to communicate the message that it is “more blessed to give than to receive.”

As a child, I always thought of this as a nice saying, but of course, no one actually believed it, or could really experience this as being true. No, I really do like getting presents, thank you very much. You’ve probably seen those videos on youtube of little girls and boys screaming and jumping up and down over getting something they so desperately wanted. Yeah, that was me.

But, somewhere along the way, I realized this was wrong. I should like to give more than I like to receive. So, my young-self theorized, I must not appear to enjoy receiving presents too much. And for my next birthday, I tried it out, appearing very apathetic over the gifts I received. This resulted in a rather unpleasant conversation with my mom, and I remember her explaining to me that I should be more grateful.

Yes, many times, receiving gifts has felt like a lose-lose situation for me. To this day, receiving gifts makes me uncomfortable, and I don’t think I am alone in this predicament. Also, I am not just talking about Christmas or birthdays, but receiving gifts in general. Why? Is it because I’m just so humble? 

“Oh, no. Please don’t give me anything. I don’t deserve it. Please let me be. I must go back to bemoaning my wretched self.” I don’t think so.