Christianity Sounds Weird

I have come to realize that trying to explain Christianity to someone sounds like a really intense sci-fi style acid trip.

“We worship an all-powerful otherworldly non-gendered and non-physical being who is split into three persons and exists outside the laws of common physics. This entity has these other weird-looking creatures which are also non-gendered and non-physical, and they all come from this non-physical plane/dimension of existence that cannot be seen through natural human vision. Also, this all-powerful otherworldly non-gendered and non-physical being flies around on a giant glass-like seat in the middle of a glass-like platform supported by four gyroscope things. Oh, but this being is also technically everywhere at once while being on that seat.

“Also, there was a war in this other dimension and now there are two factions of these non-gendered, non-physical beings that came on Earth and now fight amongst each other without you being able to see them.

“And after my body shuts down, my consciousness will travel to another plane of existence, where I will be with this incredible all-powerful being forever and ever. Eventually, this same all-powerful entity will terraform the Earth into a new planet. After this point, we will live in a giant multicolored floating cube utopia about 1400 miles in length, width and height. And we will live in peace for the rest of eternity.”

It is incredibly strange. It’s not going to stop me from believing in God and Christianity, but hey, it’s certainly interesting.

 

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Late Night Thoughts

This one is mainly for Christians, but if the rest of you all want to join in you can. What has happened to the great Christian hymns recently? Did they just stop existing? Why aren’t we singing them anymore? Honestly, some of the newer songs are just straight up self-centered. We need to return to the days when worship songs were to worship Christ, not tell Him how incredible our faith is. Seriously, isn’t that what worshipping is about? 

Traditional hymns are awesome and deserve some better respect. You can feel the writer’s soul being poured out with every word. Some of these guys were in such dark places. The words are so heartfelt because of that, so it’s easier for me to be passionate about a traditional hymn. 

They are not just old. They are timeless.

Gabriel Penn, out.

Faith Fridays: Regarding Free Will

Faith Fridays

Today I have decided not to use my own words, but the words of an old church father, to talk about a big discussion in the church: free will. That church father I mentioned is none other than St. Augustine! Here is the question: Can God’s sovereignty and free will coexist? So here is a small piece from the piece “Augustine’s Retractions”. He nails it excellently. Prepare yourselves; it’s a bit…

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Faith Fridays: Regarding Free Will

Today I have decided not to use my own words, but the words of an old church father, to talk about a big discussion in the church: free will. That church father I mentioned is none other than St. Augustine! Here is the question: Can God’s sovereignty and free will coexist? So here is a small piece from the piece “Augustine’s Retractions”. He nails it excellently. Prepare yourselves; it’s a bit wordy and it is quite formal, but it does explain it all quite well.

It’s about to get deep, y’all.

Continue reading “Faith Fridays: Regarding Free Will”

Faith Fridays Double Feature: Concerning Going Home (Part 1)

Faith Fridays

I realize that I missed a week somewhere along the road. So to make up for that, we’re making a double feature of Faith Fridays, the second portion coming Sunday. Today’s one is an odd one, but I still feel like I should do it. It is concerning this wonderful gift of Heaven that we as Christians have. It is perhaps an odd thing to say that my home here on Earth is not my home. But since I came to…

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Faith Fridays Double Feature: Concerning Going Home (Part 1)

I realize that I missed a week somewhere along the road. So to make up for that, we’re making a double feature of Faith Fridays, the second portion coming Sunday. Today’s one is an odd one, but I still feel like I should do it. It is concerning this wonderful gift of Heaven that we as Christians have.

It is perhaps an odd thing to say that my home here on Earth is not my home. But since I came to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior, many things have changed. Now it does not feel so odd as when I heard others say it. I look forward to it in a way that I can’t describe. I love that Christ has given me the chance to do it, because it was completely unnecessary. It was unnecessary to save me from Hell because I did not deserve it. And yet he went even further and gave me a place in a perfect eternity. He could have erased me from existence after I died, which is a far better deal than eternal damnation. (There are some who hold to the theory that He actually does this, but we will come to that at a later time.) Yet, instead, he chose to not only save me, but adopt me as His own. What a wonderful opportunity.

Continue reading “Faith Fridays Double Feature: Concerning Going Home (Part 1)”

New Year, Real Me!

2015 has come around. How fun! Because of this, I have determined to get in on this whole resolution thing. I used to think it quite ridiculous, but now I see I have some changes to make. The theme of this year’s resolutions, as shown by the title, is New Year, Real Me. So here are my resolutions for the year.

  1. Be more… myself…. around people.

I have come to realize that I’m not honest with people. At least, not completely honest. I act like a hardcore person all the time, when in reality I’ll release spiders into the wild after finding them in the house because I don’t want to kill something just because it’s small. And even though I’m a fit, bearded male, I like some shades of pink. That can happen!

2. Stop comparing myself to other people. I’m not other people.

I honestly worry about my writing all the time. I’ll look to other fantasy writers for ideas, but I need to see that the person I need to look to for ideas the most is me. I’m not J.R.R. Tolkien, I’m not Christopher Paolini, and I’m certainly no C.S. Lewis. I’m just me, and I can have my own style. And that’s not a problem.

3. Talk more

I’ve actually been asked why I’m such a loner all the time. I go to a school where the cafeteria’s population is bigger than that of my village, yet I tend to sit by myself at my own table. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to them, it’s that it freaks me out. I have an unnecessary fear of rejection. Fact: I’m just slightly eccentric.

4. Destroy the Norm

I’m not normal, so why be barricaded by the norm? I don’t need to be! In fact, I actually have worn eye makeup for cosplay (and looked pretty decent in it, according to my own dad). I have had a shaved-side hairstyle before. Yet I stopped doing this at college not because I stopped enjoying it, but because I grew fearful of people’s opinions of me. But if I enjoy it, why worry about it? It’s not like it’s personally harming anyone by me dressing as I want to.

5. Be More Open

I actually worry about people knowing my religion a lot. It’s not that I’m embarrassed that I follow Christ, but I worry about the stereotypes involved. The most annoying stereotype is that we hate all queer people. My current best friend has bisexual tendencies, and another one is transgender. Fact: Even those who disagree with people dating the same sex or switching their birth-gender typically don’t actually have anything against those who do. Unless you’re from Westboro Baptist church. But almost no one likes Westboro but Westboro. So I’ve determined not to have a problem with people seeing me with a bible in the open, or praying at a restaurant.

6. Get Fit

Yeah, I know this one’s a typical one, but I need to do it. It’s not that I’m actually visibly overweight, it’s just that I don’t work out, and if I want to get into fencing, I’m going to need to get a bit more fit than I am. So it’s time to gain a few more pounds of muscle.

7. Write Stuff

I like to write, but I have a book to get finished by 2016. It’s time for a crackdown on that! Plus I want to learn poetry, so, there’s that. All greatness first comes with a lot of… not-greatness. So hurrah for oncoming not-greatness!!!

What are your resolutions for this year? Let me know below!

Auld Lang Syne, my Dear

2014. What a year.

So as it is the last day of it, I think perhaps it is time to look back a bit, and with our last glance back remember that we have always things to look forward to.

I remember the beginning of the year for me. I was going to another Bible college before the one I go to now, up in Upstate New York. I don’t know if I would do the beginning of the year again, as it was near a lake and therefore felt like the North Pole up until April. But I learned much through it, especially when the Teen Winter Camp started.

I, like a lot of people, volunteered myself for camp counsellor. It would mean that I would be taking on a small group of teens, keeping them safe and happy during the weekends. It was the first time that I would get the chance to be a father figure for a bit. It was certainly not easy, but it had its ups as well as downs. The first weeks I was unable to do much good at all. By the end, I realized something. I enjoyed parenting. I really did! Regardless of the mental handicaps, behavioral patterns and any issues that we faced, I really enjoyed teaching them, guiding them, consoling them when upset and praising them. I even grew to appreciate the time correcting, because I knew it would guide them into becoming a better person.

And then, during that time I found something. I was finding myself to be slowly becoming more and more interested in a lady friend of mine. Apparently she and I were the only ones who saw it coming, as we were so massively different. Me, a hipster geeky, metal lover, and her, a rap-loving, baggy-clothed dreadlocked gangster chick; we seemed incompatible even as friends. And yet, two weeks into the spring semester, we found ourselves going out regularly, and eventually, after a bit of talking, were officially dating. I had known her for some time up until that point, but to be actually dating the person you want to be? That’s a very surreal feeling.

And as quickly as it began, summer came and we had to make a decision now that our paths were separating. Would we continue as before, or would we have to go our separate ways? There was always long-distance, but still…
In the end, we decided splitting up for a while was the best option. And maybe that will return, who knows.

So came summer, and once again I decided to counsel at a youth camp. I hoped that I would get teens again. Apparently I was good with them, or so I thought. And yet as fate would have it, I found myself counseling children not much older than my own nieces and nephews, ages from five to twelve. I was terrified, and thought for a surety that I could not handle them.

And through that I learned something, too. I learned that parents don’t work just on occasion, they work all day, every hour, even in their sleep they are working. I would find myself comforting kids who were missing their parents, singing to kids who needed it, sitting down next to kids who just needed someone to talk to. It’s a beautiful thing, to take care of a child, I think. I can never underestimate the work parents do again, because it is incredibly hard. But it is also incredibly rewarding, and I would do it over and over again if I had the chance.

I learned a lot that summer. I gained friends that I will always remember, a man who I consider equal with my own brothers, and life lessons I will never forget. Most importantly, I gained wisdom that will stay with me for the rest of my life. You age a lot when you’re raising up the next generation for eight weeks straight.

Then came the end of summer. I would have to say goodbye to friends that I had for so long, and find new ones. I would be going into a place so much unlike what I had experienced before. I would be going from a very little known school to a massive one, Liberty University. I remember walking into the cafeteria and thinking, “Gosh, there’s more people here than live in my own hometown. How am I going to meet anyone?”

So I sat down next to a random person, and found out something. I’m not good at making starting conversations at all.

Weren’t expecting that one, were you? Some kind of sappy thing like I was putting before? Hah! Nice try, ain’t gonna happen!

But I kept trying anyway, and now I’m friends with like a quarter of the school. Basically if I’ve talked with you for about ten minutes you’ll find a Facebook request from me. I’m just that kind of person. With college came meeting new friends, cosplaying for the first time (Jack Skellington, since I’m incredibly and increasingly skinny), my everlasting hatred of finals week, and a very short dating period with someone who was already dating someone else.

And to end this brief tale of college, I must talk about the one thing that returned, which is the return of writing my novel Dark Soldier. While I was working on school things, I found out that I truly enjoy writing more than I enjoy my artwork. For me, it was probably the most unusual find of the year. Until that point artwork was my life and my joy and pride. But I came to find that as good as I was, I did it far more often because I was good at it than that I actually enjoyed it. And so now, I pursue things that I enjoy, not that I’m good at. I think life is better that way.

I think this is going to be the beginning of possibly the most epic journey of life I have ever had. And to think, in only a year and a half I’ll be out of college and heading out to find what my life work will be. It’s probably going to be finishing my novel the Soldier Chronicles, Dark Soldier being the first book of the series. Thanks to writing, I’ve gotten tons of friends and fans, in real life as well as online. I’ve gotten a blog, which I love writing for, a Twitter, which I never thought I would get, and over five hundred fans on Facebook! That’s mind-blowing to me. I never thought I would reach such a point. And so, with how much you blessed me, I want to bless you. So I present, my musical end to the year, Auld Lang Syne. Just follow the link, and you find me doing an instrumental cover of my favorite Scottish folk song. I have very fond memories associated with it.

I have so much to be thankful for this year, and with all the heartbreak and devastation and hard work I still wouldn’t trade this year for the world, not a single day.

God bless every single of you wonderful people.

Back with a Vengeance!

I have returned, and with me comes epic news.

For those seeing this for the very first time, I am writing a novel known as “Dark Soldier”, which soon may have its name changed to “Better Monsters” due to a change in content. It’s a young adult fantasy adventure with some creatures seen before, and some not. I have no fear of controversial content, so for those with fragile minds, this may not be an adventure you want to join.

Swords are being made. Sequels are being crafted. It’s all very exciting things.

The villains of the series, as shown in the featured image, are shadows. Shadows have come a long way since I first made them. They no longer look or act so much like vampires. Now they have become brutal, genius-level warlords, capable of destroying armies within seconds. Sadly, the featured image isn’t mine, so she doesn’t have the red eyes that shadows also have.

The sword being discussed today: Enlightener. While the canon look is still in sketch phase, the story behind it is almost complete. Enlightener is an pure white elven short-sword, made to one day become the weapon of the First. Only in his hands can it show its true form, composed of magic and built for such devastation that even immortals cannot stand a chance. We’ll have the official canon look soon.

Speaking of canon looks, observe… Malkeon. My illustrator is awesome. Sadly this is not the best image of it. But she’s still awesome!

Malkeon

The editing phase has just begun, and its far harder than I was expecting. Also, he concept draft is coming out December 15, along with a teaser trailer centered around the antagonist. Strange, perhaps, but even the writers enjoy the antagonists just as much as the protagonist.

You may wonder why I say antagonist and protagonist instead of just hero and villain. I say this because who the heroes and villains are is really up to the reader to decide for this novel. Both certainly could be, for good people and bad people stand ready for battle in both armies. Enjoy that if you will.

In the meantime, follow what happens on Facebook! 

Regarding the editing phase, it really is a struggle. Being in college and having finals coming on my tail is driving me insane! I’m just hoping I can keep my head in the game and keep a good relationship with God at the same time. Admittedly, both are incredibly hard when you’ve got so much on your plate. Colleges should really start realizing how much of a burden they’re putting on the students. We do have social lives, after all.