Archive for May, 2015

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Twilight: How I’m Like The Cullen Family

May 25, 2015

cullens1I never thought that I would enjoy the Twilight movies. One of my roommates had been trying to get me to watch them for some time and I finally got around to it. I have not read the books. We watched the whole series in a week. It surprised me that I actually really enjoyed them.

For those who haven’t read the books or watched the films, here is what you need to know for my blog to make any sense. It is the story of Bella Swon. Her parents have separated. After years of living with her Mother she moves up to Washington State to live with her father. At her new school she meets and falls for a guy named Edward Cullen. She discovers he is a vampire but is not afraid of him. She soon becomes friends with the Cullen family. The father figure is a Doctor and he and his family believe that killing humans and drinking their blood is wrong. They are considered “vegetarians” in the vampire world as they only drink the blood of animals. Not many vampire take the stance that the Cullen family have. Bella and Edward marry and he turns her into a vampire upon her request.

The thing I loved about this movie the first time around was how Bella immersed herself, as much as possible, in the Cullen family. They were a bit unsure at first as I’m sure no one had ever tried to befriend them on that level before. Bella won them over. It reminded me of when I was living in the Philippine Islands as a missionary. I had to immerse myself in the lifestyle and culture of the people to become one of them just like Bella did with the Cullen family.

Recently I decided to re-watch the saga. As I was watching it God showed me that I was somewhat like the Cullen Family. As vampires, their instinct is to drink the blood of humans. Most vampires didn’t think twice about this but the Cullen’s have chosen to go against their instincts and the rest of the vampire race and re-train themselves. With will power and the help of their family, they fight the urge to drink the blood of humans. There was a scene in the films when Bella cut herself and started to bleed and when she was having her baby and she bleed in front of the family. It clearly affected the newer members of the Cullen family. The older members had to get them out of the room and help them through the spell that had clearly taken them over.

Likewise I have chosen to deny the way I feel and what society is telling me and not give in to my homosexual desires. I have chosen to believe what the Bible has to say and with God’s help and my support system, I am learning to fight my sexual desires. I’m in the process of re-training my desires. Don’t be fooled, this is not an easy process but sanctification rarely is. I make lots of mistakes but God is faithful and gives me grace to walk it out. God never promised that it would be easy but He did promise that He would be there for me.

The Cullen Family were not born vampires but through situations in life they were turned. I believe it is the same for those in the LGBT community. We have a devil that is hell bent on destroying us and what God has made. I didn’t choose to my homosexual thoughts and feelings but I do have a choice. What matters is what I do with that choice. I can give into my desires and live for myself or I can choose to die to my flesh and live for God despite of how I feel. God does not promise to take away our sexual desires. After all He made us to be sexual creatures. We will always face temptation on this side of heaven. I can be doing well and then without warning I see someone or something and just like the Cullen family seeing Blood, temptation takes over and I can’t see straight. Learning to die to ourself is a hard processes especially if we are not used to keeping our minds and actions in check. We also need a loving support system of people that we can run to and confess our failure. People that will not judge but will encourage and support us. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall. What matters is we get back up and continue the fight. We may have to stay away from specific movies and books as they can flare up our sexual appetites. In today’s day and age it is almost impossible to stay away from temptation. It is all around. If we take in things that are impure, then our life will be impure but if we take in things that are pure then our life will be pure. The Bible says in Philippians 4:8 NLT:

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

God is not an angry tyrant waiting for us to make once false step so He can get us. He knows and loves us more than we can possibly understand. He came to earth to die a horrible death on a cross because He loves us. He is patient and kind. Hebrews 4:15 says He understands everything we feel and desire. He is not surprised by our temptations or failures. He knows what is in our hearts better than we know. My first instinct when I have given into my desires is to hide and try to clean myself up before coming to God. What I am learning is that I don’t have the ability to make myself clean. If I did, then He wouldn’t have had to come die on the cross. The Bible, in Hebrews 10:19, says that we can enter His courts with boldness. He loves us too much to leave us broken and wallowing in our own mess. He is the only one who can clean us up and make us new again. We need to run to Him so He can wash us.

In John Chapter 6: 47-58 after feeding the 5,000, Jesus tells the people that unless you feast on my flesh and drink my blood, you can not have eternal life. And later at the last supper He made a covenant with His people (us) and commanded that we take communion as a remembrance of what He did on the cross for us. Just like vampires we feast on His flesh and drink His Blood (Matthew 26:27-28) which he poured out for us.

I want to leave you with these lyrics from Pam Thum’s song “Will You Come To Jesusfrom the album “Faithful”:

Will you come to Jesus, will you open up your heart. Will you let his love surround you, you can come just as you are. You’ll find Peace forever and shelter in his arms. Will you come to Jesus with your heart.”

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The Willis Clan’s New Album “Heaven”

May 17, 2015

1483478_792635450823784_7460199499494476003_oMany of you have probably heard me talk about The Willis Clan before. For those of you who don’t know who they are, here is a brief summery about them.

They are a family band based just outside of Nashville, TN. There are 12 kids in the family but only 7 of the kids are in the band. They have been called the modern day Von Trapp family. They are all very talented. They write all their own music and older kids teach the younger kids the over 80 musical instruments in their house. They are homeschooled as well. The boys have been taught to wrestle and complete as their father was a wrestler in his youth. They are also award winning dancers and have competed across the country. These days they focus more on their music. They are regular guests at the Grand Ole Opry and have competed on The Voice. They currently have their own show “The Willis Family” on TLC. Catch their show on Tuesdays nights at 10 PM (9 PM central).

I discovered them about 3 years ago, when I found their first CD at a local music store. I love Celtic music and the Celtic cross, on the front cover, caught my eye. I decided to give it a try. It was one of the best purchases I have ever made. I fell in love with their music from the moment I first listened to them. I have eagerly purchased each of there CD’s as they have become available. This new one is no exception. Monday, they are set to release their brand new album “Heaven” on iTunes. It’s not too late to pre-order your copy today.

I had the privileged of attending their album release party down town Nashville last Monday (May 11th). It was a lot of fun. TLC was there filming for the TV show so keep a close eye out on the episode that features the release party. You may find me in the crowd. I was the only one that had on a Willis Clan T-shirt. I have only had the opportunity to see them once before. It was last year at a park in Ashland City, TN near where they live (see photo below). If you get an opportunity to see them live, I would highly recommend it. This is not something you want to pass up. They put on a very entertaining show.

I would call The Willis Clan a Celtic band. Their first album “Chapter One: Roots” is considered traditional Irish music. Their second album “Chapter Two: Boots” is mixture between Celtic and Bluegrass music. Funny how close the two intertwine. Their third and latest album “Heaven” is considered Celtic Pop. It is another amazing collection of songs. I have enjoyed all their albums and this one is no exception. They have earned their right to be in my top 5 favorites.

My all time favorite song from The Willis Clan is “Fair Weather Love” written by Jessica Willis who is also the lead singer for the band. This song first appeared on their second album “Chapter Two: Boots”. They cut a newer version for the album “Heaven”. Both versions are amazing. My favorite song from “Heaven” is “Bitter Cold”.

They are currently working on a music video for their new song “City That I’m Looking For” which will hopefully be out soon. Keep an eye out for that.

I have an older stereo in my car and I can not plug in my iPod. So I like to make collection CDs, that I keep in my car, for my favorite musicians and groups. Here is the list of songs that I choose for The Willis Clan CD. It was hard to narrow down the final list as they have so many amazing songs to choose from. I have listed the song title and which album the song can be found on. Consider purchasing their music library and support this amazing band. Go to iTunes to hear the sound clips for these songs.

  1. The Traveling Song from Chapter One: Roots
  2. What Can I Say from Chapter Two: Boots
  3. Chasing Love from Heaven
  4. Lonely Castle William Set from Chapter One: Roots
  5. Slow Me Down from Chapter Two: Boots
  6. Now or Never from Heaven
  7. Jack B from Chapter One: Roots
  8. Fair Weather Love from Chapter Two: Boots
  9. Carried Away from Heaven
  10. The Rambler from Chapter One: Roots
  11. Since I Left Home from Chapter Two: Boots
  12. Ship On The Line from Chapter One: Roots
  13. Come With Me from Heaven
  14. Lottie Lies Among The Flowers from Chapter One: Roots
  15. Sadie from Chapter Two: Boots
  16. Bitter Cold from Heaven
  17. The Wounded Crow from Chapter One: Roots
  18. Heaven from Heaven

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