Ariana singing Dangerous Woman B96 Summer Bash Chicago June 26, 2016

Ariana Singing Dangerous Woman at the B96 Summer Bash in Chicago
June 26, 2016

Happy birthday, girly. You do indeed look happy.
I paused you here at t=0:35, where you cock your arms back.

The last time a girl cocked her arms back at me like that,
I destroyed her bed into a thousand pieces.
There was nothing left of her come morning. (Yes, I looked.)

The last thing I heard her say was, "Wow .. I have never felt anything like this before."
She looked kind of dazed and confused when she said it.
( She actually looked very dazed and confused .. to be frank. )
I did not say what I was thinking when she said that.

( I really do try to keep my ego in check, girly .. but you just make this so hard sometimes. )

You are obviously feeling this. And I am totally feeling you.
I am not even gonna write what you are making me feel here.
But, I know that you know.

I mean, this is shitty audio (taken behind the bass speaker, which is distorting the sound) and lousy video,
but still, I am feeling you so clearly.

You have this amazing life. How cool does it feel to wail before an audience on your birthday?
I have a pretty good imagination .. but I dont know that I could imagine how good it must feel.

I was just thinking recently how your voice seems indestructable.
But I see here that your woo-woo thing is giving out.

I mean, you have been wailing like a crazed banshee all over the world.
For the last several months.
And you dont just sing one or two songs, either.

So I was not surprised to see you backing off on the woo-woos.

This stroking the mic stand that you do .. that is very bold shit, girly.
I can feel your authenticity on the slide.

When you sang this song in Paris, you snatch the mic off the stand (at t=0:22) so snappily that
my hand instinctively went down to check and see if my artillery were still there.
I was like, "Whew .. it's still there. Good. She didnt get it. 'Cause it felt like she did."

This is very sexy shit that you are doing when you are feeling this so much.
It somehow transports the thing to a whole 'nother dimension.
Where I can feel you so clearly.

I like feeling you, girly. You make me feel good.
Here in Chicago, you sing with a million little gestures.
That all speak to me .. very confident shit.

Confidence tells me that a girl can handle me .. handle my weight.
I take them slow .. adding a little more weight at a time .. and see how well they respond.
I realize that there is a lot there .. and I surely dont want to hurt anyone.

So, when I see this display of confidence, it says to me » "She can handle more weight."

I can feel you talking to me .. communicating with me .. touching me.
Thru your art, thru your gift, thru your thing.
You look so happy .. that makes me happy.

You do some serious woo-woo'ing there in Paris.
I cannot understand why it has such an overwhelming affect on me.
But it does. It obviously does.

At 3:36, at the very end here (Paris),
you reach out and extend your left arm and touch the bass player on your way out.
(.. with a big-ass smile on your face )

That speaks to me .. and I very much like what it says.
I do shit like that.

You're just putting a little love and appreciation on him.
And you want him to feel that love and appreciation.

I'm not gonna say that I love you, girly .. but it keeps getting harder not to.

Actually, you are not even a girly here.
You are grown-ass woman .. throwingdown most impressively.
Speaking of grown-ass women throwingdown most impressively...

» Is it Just Me .. or Does Not Selena's Bell Look Rung Here?

What do you think of the lyrics in this Selena video?
Song release date » June 3, 2016.
I like her .. because she is a roller coaster girl.

Is she really the most followed person on all of Instagram?
Is she really the Queen of Instagram?
I am not surprised.
Well, I am .. but not too terribly.

[ I never check Ariana's Instagram. I know better than to do that. ]

Is it just me.. or does not Selena look like she just got her bell rang here? (rung?)

Is it just me .. or does not Selena look like she just got her bell rang? (rung?)

Do not the lyrics suggest such a thing?
She looks happy enough here for 10 girls. Good for her.

I have seen a few things where she spoke.
And it was obvious that she is a thoughtful, intelligent person.
Not just another pretty face.

James Corden was pissing his pants on that roller coaster,
and she was cool .. singing to him.

Guys always hate it when girls make them look like big pussies.
Especially so when girly-girls do it.
But, long as you aint that guy .. then, it's fun to watch.

I see you, Selena.
I see your JFL hair, too .. and your JFL smile.
( Maria is the one who taught me about the JFL look .. among other things. )

Sometimes, afterwards, I just start laughing .. like a nut-case.
I'm not really sure why I start laughing.
But I know that it just feels so good .. that I cant stop.

It is a laugh that goes very deep.
Like something way down in there is tickled pink.

Sometimes, if you have lots of frustration built up, and it comes out .. that can feel good.
Very good.

» My Justin Bieber Story

I will tell you my Justin Bieber story, since you obviously know him so well.
A story which I was going to tell Ariana.

So .. I pick up my son from school. He was in the 1st or 2nd grade.
And I would take the bus up to his school, because the court had taken away my driver's license.
( Even after I had max'ed out all my credit cards to pay for lawyers to defend myself ..
.. and had sold my car to pay child support and was using a friend's car to get around. )

I would ride my bike to the bus stop, with his razor-scooter slung over my shoulder.
I loved picking him up from school.

When he was in kindergarten, I asked him, "What's your favorite part of school?"
He gave it a few secs of honest contemplation and said, "When we get in line to go get our parents."
I thought, "Oh my God .. he cannot possibly know how cute he is."

So I picked him up on this particular day and I am riding my bike slowly in the gutter beside him,
while he is riding his razor-scooter on the sidewalk.

And I was asking him about his day at school.
And he says, "All the girls like this Justin Beaver guy."

He says "Beaver" .. like the animal.
I said, "I think his name is Bieber .. with two "b"s .. but, I know who you're talking about."

And the way he says it, you can tell that he is clearly dejected.
I had rarely seen him like this.
But, this is a feeling that every guy knows only too well.

He is looking straight ahead and you can see that he is clearly not happy about this.
I waited a few secs and said, "I think he lives up in LA. You wanna go up there and kick his butt?"
".. And tell him to leave your girlfriends alone?"

» We Gotta Go to In-n-Out, Dad

Now, there is an In-n-Out both at the stop where we get ON the bus (across the street, diagonally),
and also at the stop where we get OFF (right around the corner).

On this day, we were heading to the In-n-Out where we get OFF the bus.
We had our little routine.
( Gigi knows about In-n-Out .. obviously a supermodel staple. Adele, too. )

And when I say this thing about kicking Justin's butt, a little smile breaks out on his face.
Obviously he is amused by the idea of kicking Justin's butt.

But he says, "We gotta go to In-n-Out, dad."
I waited another a few secs before saying,
"You're right. A man has his priorities. Maybe some other time."

That's my Justin Bieber story.
Who all the first-grade girls love.

It was just a cute, little story that I wanted to share with Ariana,
as a way of establishing another point-of-contact with her,
seeing that she obviously knows him personally.

But you know him even better, I'm sure.
Speaking of Justin, it looks like he was just hanging out in Laguna (on August 5).

He has no idea how close he came to getting some First-Grader Home Alone action.
Good thing for him it was an In-n-Out day.

» Sometimes these Crazy Voices Actually Make Sense

While I was writing this, the voice in my head said,
"Dude, do you realize that you're telling Selena Gomez your Justin Bieber story?"
Sometimes these crazy voices actually surprise me with their insights.

» By Grace Through Faith

Speaking of these crazy voices ..
I noticed, when I went to your Instagram page, in order to grab that link,
seeing that you are the Queen of Instagram,
I noticed where you wrote at the top » By grace through faith.

Selena Gomez Instagram page heading

It made me pause and ponder.
I was certainly not expecting to see that there.

This is actually the gist of the thing that pastor said to me here.
This was a very difficult concept for me to 'get' .. for me to grasp.
Especially when you consider that it is a relatively simple concept.

I have already spelled out here my positions on the topic and their reasonings.
I do not normally proceed down such paths with my writing
unless I feel led.

» Making It My Own

[ Tho I do, periodically, set links to words I write .. ]
[.. links to verses of scripture that demonstrate my understanding of that particular verse. ]
[ I especially like to do this when the effect of the linked-verse creates a thought-provoking effect. ]
[ This is my way of saying, "This is my understanding of this verse .. what do you think?" ]
[ Because I think that many people have an inaccurate concept of God .. like I used to have. ]
[ Many people try to fit God into their limited mental framework .. instead of using His Framework. ]
[ Linking to these verses is, for me, a way of making them my own. ]
[ Along with, of course, putting them into practice in my life .. much as possible. ]
[ Which is trickier than it looks .. much trickier. ]
[ Love those who intentionally fuck you over .. I mean, how hard can that be? ]

Because most people have already formed an opinion on such things,
and many of these opinions are strongly held.

There are many shitty, trick-fucking people out there,
who fly the flag of a christian.
They turn off a lot of people.

Completely understandable.
Because these so called christians do some really horrible shit.

People see these self-professing christians doing this nasty shit and they say,
"If this is what it means to be a christian, then this is obviously not for me."
(I get it.)

» If This is What It Means to be Catholic...

Even with myself .. growing up Catholic in Connecticut ..
I could see, "If this is what it means to be a Catholic, then it obviously aint for me."
I didnt know what the answer was .. but I could clearly see what it wasnt.

I remember thinking, "I gotta get out of here."
Tho, I wasnt really looking for anything else .. except escaping from the dysfunctional dystopia.

» Everything You Believe About Religion is Full of Shit

It wasnt until I ran into this dude, this California dude, who I had known before,
but then we lost touch .. until I ran into him again and we started to catch up on things.
You know.

Now, this guy .. he is the l.a.s.t person who you would ever imagine even knew what the bible was.
( God is famous for using the l.a.s.t person you would ever imagine. )
And he was sharing some things here-n-there among telling me this-n-that.

And he was actually quoting to me chapter-n-verse.
Which, itself, was kinda tripping me out.
( If you knew this dude, you would understand. )

But, growing up Catholic, I really never learned much of anything
regarding what the scriptures themselves actually say.
Other than the obvious » try to be a good person and you should feel bad if you fuck over somebody.
( Indeed, for centuries, the scriptures were locked away. )

And I had gone to Sunday school right after church for years.
( That classroom was so cold in winter that we left our coats on. )

And this guy .. he is basically telling me that everything I believe is bullshit.
I mean, he didnt come right out and say it like that, no. But that was his gist.
So, he kinda pissed me off a little.

There was definitely a part of me that found him irritating in that respect.
Paul says that the Word of God is » "sharp and piercing".
I could definitely feel him sticking me with it. (Ouch.)

But, I knew jack-squat to refute his bullshit.
Now, I only saw this dude for a short time .. a few times over a period of a few weeks.
And we talked about lots more stuff, too.

He had traveled the world and had stories galore, and photos to authenticate the stories.

But it definitely rocked me on a certain level, when somebody takes a sledge to your foundation of faith.
.. to everything I had ever thought and felt about religious things.

» Nothing Like the Berean Jews

So, I went out a bought my own bible.
Now I was not very diligent .. nothing like the Berean Jews. But I would read a little here and a little there.

Months had passed since I talked to that dude.
When I finally started to see some things .. and I am like,
"All that stuff that this dude was saying is right here in the book."

That was a very weird feeling for me.
I can only imagine the look on my face.
I mean, what do you do?

Do you stick with what you have known to be true all your life?
Or do you go with what the book says?

This is not as easy of a decision as it might seem.
Not hardly.

They teach you, you know, growing up, that, if you ever leave the Catholic religion,
you are going burn in the fires of hell eternally forever .. and probably longer.
They drill this into you repeatedly .. from a very young age.

To what degree does rejecting what the scriptures say equal a rejection of God himself?
Many such troubling questions started bouncing around inside my coconut.

Anyway, my point here is that .. I really set out to prove that this guy was full of shit.
And I wanted to be able to back up what I was saying with chapter-n-verse,
just like he was doing.

And I did not like the feeling of being so ignorant on the topic.
( I do not like feeling ignorant on any topic. )

But, the concept of by-grace-through-faith ..
I had never even heard of that concept growing up Catholic.
It was completely foreign to me.

See .. to the ears and eyes of a not-very-religious Catholic boy (like me),
what this dude said, and what I read in the scriptures was this .. to paraphrase,
"There is nothing you can do .. to put yourself into a right-relationship with God."

No matter how much good stuff you do .. it can never be enough. Ever.
(So why even try?)

Christ the Redeemer| Rio de Janeiro

Or perhaps putting it this way would be better » "Your best aint good enough .. not even close."
This is not something that anyone with an ego enjoys hearing.

» Found by Those Who did not Seek Me

There is a verse in Romans, where Paul is quoting Isaiah, who is quoting God Himself, saying:
"I was found by those who did not seek me."

This verse very much speaks to me.
Because I was not "seeking God" per se.
Because I did not even know that I needed to.

I was simply trying to educate myself as to what the scriptures themselves actually say.
So that I would be able to respond to people who presented me with arguments like my friend had.
And so I wouldnt feel like a clueless, ignorant christian.

» Like I Wandered in the Backdoor

So, perhaps you can see why I felt like I had wandered in the backdoor on this stuff.
When it finally dawned on me what had happened,
which probably took the better part of a year ..
I thought, "Oh my God .. I'm one of those crazy people."

» One of those Crazy People

I can only imagine the look on my face.
And I prayed, "Dear God, please dont let me become one of those crazy people."

» The Baptist Girl

And when I started to see into some of these things,
I was seeing this girl. She was actually a few years older than me,
and many more years ahead of me in other ways.

( She was definitely a fascinating creature. Many times she blew my mind. On an almost weekly basis. )

She had grown up Baptist.
I have done some research in this area,
and Baptists are, on average, the most scripturally well-informed group that I have come in contact with.

I mean, they can tell you what the scriptures actually say,
rather than the teachings that their particular denomination might cite as doctrine.
Which mean nothing, no matter how enthusiastically those doctrines might be embraced, if they are based on error.

» I Wasnt Even Looking for this Thing

Perhaps you can see why I can identify with some of the things that Paul writes when he says:
"I am the least of the saints."
Because I wasnt even looking for this thing. It was like it found me.

» We have Never Heard Anything Like that Before

I'll never forget the look on the faces of Warren & Eva,
when I told them,
when they asked, "How did you find God?"

They are the only people, by the way, who ever asked me that question.
I am reluctant to discuss such things .. because it can sound kind of crazy.

See .. I didnt really find him. Rather, he found me.
I didnt know what that look on their faces meant .. but I know that it meant something.

They looked at each other and then they looked at me, and Warren said,
"We have been at this a long time .. and we have never heard anything like that before."

This is when they started saying to me, whenever it was time for me to leave ..
.. they would say, "Can we pray with you before you go?"

Well, what I am going to say? No?
So they would take you out onto the outside patio for a little privacy,
because they often had other people visiting at their place, too.

And both of them would grab one of my hands and the three of us would form a circle of sorts.
And while they are praying, I could feel the electricity running into my palms and up my arms,
and down into my belly.

That was very trippy .. how they did that.
It stopped when they stopped praying .. but it just zapped me so strongly that I couldnt even talk.

I wanted to talk to say goodbye, but I ended up just waving goodbye,
and thinking, "They must not know how I feel right now, or they would never let me walk down these stairs."
I held onto the railing tightly and took one step at a time, slowly.

I would sit in my car for a minute or two, wondering if it was safe to drive.

» It had a Stop-n-Go Quality to It (not Continuous)

And here is the real trippy thing .. this electricity thing that I could feel running up my arms ..
It was » not a constant thing. Rather in was a quickly stop-n-go type-of-thing.
Stop-go-stop-go-stop-go all the way up my arms .. both arms.

I could feel it go and then I could feel it stop .. very quickly.
What does this mean? Why wasnt it a continuously smooth thing? I dont know.

I have already addressed the concept of smooth, continuous vs digital-like data before.
And here is where you get over into the spiritual (continuous) vs the physical (digital/quantum).
I have explored the place where these things meet.

It sounds kind of crazy when I talk about these things .. so let's change the subject.

» Perhaps the Most Genuinely Loving People I Ever Met

But let me simply make an observation here .. that they were genuine believers.
And they were some of the most loving people that I have ever met.

And they may even have been thee most loving people that I have ever met.
They are definitely in contention for the top prize in my book.


» Unwilling to Suffer With?

I have heard christians tell me many eyebrow-raising things.
For example, I have heard (with my own ears, no less) christians say that Jesus didnt suffer.
I am talking about christians who have spent their whole lives in church.

And I wonder how they can say such a thing, because the scriptures say over and over again that he did indeed suffer.
He even said it Himself .. repeatedly.
The prophets prophesied of this suffering.

So naturally, I catch myself wondering,
"How can these christians ever expect (as a child of God) to suffer with Him .. if they dont even accept that He suffered?"
.. if they dont even believe what the scriptures say over and over and over again .. that He did indeed suffer?

Valid question, no?
Where are they getting their doctrine?
I honestly cannot see how a christian can come to such an understanding.

Maybe they know something that I dont know?
Perhaps I am missing something obvious? .. something painfully obvious.
Am I reading the scriptures wrong?

Even as a Catholic boy I knew that Jesus suffered.
And I hardly knew anything at all about what the actual scriptures themselves said.
Even people who are not christians know that Jesus suffered.

This fact is fundamental to the whole gospel narrative .. is it not?
Do not the sufferings of Christ not lie at the very heart of the gospel?
How do you read it?

Paul wrote that it was » "because of the suffering..."
.. that he was crowned with glory and honor.
You reckon he might know?

Why would someone reject a fundamental tenant of the gospel narrative?
You never want to find yourself in a place where you are denying what the scriptures say.
This is a fool's errand, my friend (.. as you will see).

Just like you never want to find yourself in a place ..
.. where you are fucking over (oppressing) the weak and the poor and the helpless.
Such a place is fraught with much danger.. my spidy senses tell me.

You are certainly free to believe whatever you like .. because that's the way the deal works.
But the scriptures say that we will suffer the consequences for our beliefs and our actions.

And if you try to to tell them what the scriptures actually say, they get offended.
.. as if they dont really wanna hear what the scriptures say.
It's like they hear only what they want to hear.

The scriptures also say that Paul was going to suffer, too.
Would the Lord demand something of others that He Himself was not willing to do?
Everybody knows people like this .. and they are not very nice people.

Nothing seems impossible .. to the person who does not have to do it themself.
And I realize that it is much easier to say than it is to do.

But what can you do with people like this?
The scriptures say that the real christians rejoiced at being considered worthy to be beaten and suffer for his name.
They considered it an honor for them to suffer as a christian.

At least, that's what the scriptures say.
What kind of twisted thinking can dismiss such an obvious point?
I admit that such suffering can be a difficult, unpleasant thing.

Perhaps they find such suffering too difficult .. too unpleasant.
Perhaps they find any suffering .. too unpleasant, too difficult, too much to handle.

Tho it begs the question » What kind of christian is unwilling to suffer with Christ?
What kind of christian vigorously denies that Christ sufffered?
Because safety and salvation is always on the side of the prophetic scriptures.

» I Refuse to Believe That

With my own ears, I have also heard christians say (somewhat dismissively) about certain verses, "I dont believe that."
and, "I refuse to accept that."
I am talking about christians who have spent their whole lives in church.

What kind of christian flatly rejects the scriptures that they dont like, and which dont say the pretty things that they prefer to hear?
I thought, "Wow, they are flatly rejecting things written in red .. from the lips of the Lord himself."
They reject any verse of scripture that suggests the christian life might involve a degree of hardship.
What kind of christian does something like this?

We'll find out soon enough.
Because they arent the first to say such things and they probably won't be the last.

» The Fisherman with the Boat

Peter said that the christian would "do well to" pay attention
to those prophetic scriptures .. did he not?
You know Peter .. he's the guy with the boat.

» Suffering is the Thing that Gives the Blood of Christ Its Redemptive Power

To put a finer point on this thing .. on this suffering thing .. let me just say that
the thing that puts the redemptive power in the shed blood of Christ .. is the suffering that he suffered.

But notice in particular (and this key) that the scriptures teach that he did nothing deserving of punishment.
So why, then, did he suffer so horribly?
Right about here is where the lightbulb should be coming on for you.

I'm not saying that everything that this lightbulb illumines for you is going to necessarily be pretty,
such as the one that you might be used to.

But if you follow where that light leads you .. no matter how ugly things might appear ..
(.. and yes, for me, they were very ugly)
this light will take you to a cool place.

Now, if you're looking for easy .. this is not going to be easy.
Unless you consider having your soul ripped apart an easy thing.
Only the bad parts are going to be ripped out, but you may feel like a part of you is dying.
(Because that's exactly how I felt.)

I saw Steve Harvey wearing a shirt that said:
Faith doesnt make it easy; it only makes it possible.
I very much resonate with that sentiment.
But, what is the "it" that he refers to?

Some people arent looking for easy, they're only looking for a chance.
A chance at what?
The lottery gives you a chance. Is Steve advocating playing the lottery every week?
Is that the kind of possibility he is talking about?

Galileo said, "We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves."
True that, Mr. Galileo.

But if people arent interested in seeing these things of which I speak,
then even God Himself doesnt force them.
He leaves them to their own devices.

My point here in this section, perhaps, is to say that
if a person cannot or does not see that the sufferings of Christ are what gives His Blood it redemptive power ..
this person is in a bad place.
A very bad place.

Sometimes I feel funny writing about this stuff, because I have not been classically trained in a seminary.
I just read the book. Any American can read the book for themself.
Nobody is stopping them from reading it for themself.
(Nobody stopped me, anyway.)

» The Writing Says to Pharaoh

It probably means nothing to anybody but me .. but, notice how the original language (greek for NT) ..
does not use the term » scripture .. but rather, it simply calls the scriptures » the Writing ..
with a capital W .. to notate a Special Kind of writing.

These kinds of things speak to me.
I can tell that there is much more there than I am getting.
but it is so good .. that even a little is a lot.

I am not going to tell you what this says to me, no.
Because then I would sound like a nut-case.
(Which I aleady do enough of .. with Miss Ariana. More than enough, actually.)

But surely you see how the Creative aspects of such Writing might interest me.
When I first saw HTML, I knew that this would be right up my alley.
Technology and writing combined.
Fun city for the creative writer.
For the experimentalist.

» The Importance of Technique (and Looking Good)

This might actually be why I am the greatest writer ever.
Because of my technique.
I learned about the importance of technique from Lance.
He wasnt very big or particularly strong .. but he could kick your ass in many different sports.
And Lance was all about looking good while you are kicking ass and taking names.
It wasnt good enough for Lance to merely kick your ass .. he also had to look good doing it.

» Appearances vs Substance

A guy wrote to me once and gave me shit for not capitalizing certain words, such as » scripture.
I mean, he was very much fired up by this.

My point with this guy .. was that, you dont show Respect by using a capital letter ..
.. but rather, by putting the scriptures into practice in your life.
And it's no easy thing to do, my friend.

It certainly looks easy .. until you actually try it.
Then you are like, "Ooh, this is much trickier than I had expected."
It's not far from impossible .. in my opinion.

And, of course, it's difficult to put the scriptures in practice ..
.. when you dont even know what they say.

Who does not know people like this guy .. who gives you shit about grammer and respect ..
.. but, from whom you feel no love? (None.)
You feel only judgment and condemnation from these people.

I did not say, "Go fuck yourself, buddy." .. but, on second thought, maybe I did.

I can only suffer fools so long.
(We should all know and be honest about both our strengths and our weaknesses.)

Anyway .. my experience has been that every one of these Baptists can tell you what the scriptures actually say.
They have all the key doctural points locked down hard.
And they can tell you what they say rather effortlessly, too, in my opinion.
Certainly more than any Catholic boy I grew up with.

You can make the scriptures say pretty much whatever you like,
if you pick-n-choose your verses, and take them out-of-context,
and ignore the inconvenient ones that say things you dont like,
and then bend those out-of-context verses to fit your unscriptural views.

( Cancer is an example of how the tiniest flaws and errors in code can grow over time to kill you. )

And I remember being amazed at this girl's familiarity with this stuff,
which had taken me so long to get.
She's like, "Oh yeah, we learned all that in second grade."

» Resonating with Themes Found in the Matrix

With me .. it was very much like that scene in the Matrix,
where Neo reaches out and touches the mirror out of curiosity,
and the mirror turns to liquid and slowly starts creeping up his arm.

Neo touches the mirror in The Matrix

I could feel this stuff creeping up on me .. slowly but surely.
And once it started creeping, there was no stopping it.
It seemed to be alive .. a living thing .. and it was definitely coming for me.

And it all began with a desire to show this guy that he was full of shit.
It still took me a long time to figure out the basics .. but that was the beginning.
The beginning of the end .. so to speak.

I am far from an expert, and not very religious.
But now, I do have the witness.
I did not have that before.

And the Witness witnesses that the promise of the Spirit is indeed by grace through faith.
And you dont get the promise of the Spirit without first being brought into a position of right-standing.
( And I got the love, too. You get that at the same time you get the Witness. You get the Lover. )

Speaking of the Witness, I learned thru these journeys and explorations that faith is a lot like love ..
in that, when you're in it, you know it.
There is no guesswork.

"How do you know?" some might ask.
Well, how do know when you've been struck by a bolt of lightning?
Answer » you'll know. You certainly wont be wondering, "Did I just get struck by a bolt of lightning?"

See .. this whole by-grace-thru-faith thing begins early in the chapter 4.
Notice how verse 3 says that God counted or reckoned righteousness to Abraham.

Righteousness is merely a right-standing-with God.
When you have a right-standing with God, it puts you into his good graces .. into a position of his favor.
Grace is merely favor that is not earned.
Unmerited favor.

He didnt say that Abraham WAS righteous, no.
He merely said that God was going to TREAT HIM AS IF he (Abraham) were righteous.
(Big difference.)

So .. the curious mind might wonder .. if God is God, why doesnt he just MAKE (deem, declare it as so) Abraham righteous?
I mean, God can do anything that he wants to do, right?
When you are God, you get to make all the rules.

The answer to that question (.. why didnt God just MAKE Abraham righteous? ) .. is kind of the reason why pastor said,
"if you get what this verse is saying, then you pretty much get the entire gospel message."
I cannot tell you why is was so difficult for me to get this, for me to see this .. but it was.

Notice here the phrase that Paul uses writing to the Hebrews where he says »
» "could not make him that did the service perfect" [King James] and "cannot make the worshiper perfect" [New American Std]
Can't God make anything perfect that he wants to?

This passage in Hebrews touches upon the same idea that I am referring to here.
These things were very confusing to me.
I had to change much of my thinking that I previously had concerning these things.
And it was fairly difficult for me.

» The Problem of Trying to Use an Economical World-View Perspective with Spiritual Things

Perhaps it has something to do with trying to use an economical view (perspective) of spiritual things.
An economical view conforms to the laws of supply and demand,
where things that are free and abundant must necessarily become worthless.

The economical mindset says » "Be it unto you according to your works."
But spiritual things are » NOT according to your works.
Rather spiritual things are » according to your faith .. as you have believed.
It is a different kind of economy .. very different.

[ And the scriptures say that he never changes. ]

The scriptures instruct the believer to "renew your mind"
so that you are no longer "conformed to this world," which is a world based on an economic mind set.
It's not a difficult mistake to make .. quite understandable.

» Getting Knowledge of What the Actual Scriptures Themselves Say was the Key for Me

Perhaps it is the geek in me .. but, once I can see underneath how a thing works,
once I can see the why behind the what .. then, this helps me to understand a thing better.
I would imagine most people feel this way, too.

Now, I have looked this thing up and down and all around.
I'm talking about after the fact .. looking for the key.
Everybody seems to have a different key.

But, for me, the key was » getting knowledge of the scriptures.
(I have given this point much thought.)
Before, I had merely knowledge of Catholic doctrine .. and not a whole lot of it, either.

Knowledge of what the scriptures actually say and teach.
And anyone who actually has this knowledge that I am referring to ..
knows exactly why I would say this .. why this is the key.

I can feel myself waxing a tad abstract here .. so maybe it's time to eject from this tangent.
Once you have actual knowledge of the scriptures, you are not done.
But without such knowledge you are going nowhere fast.

» The Cool Feeling that Comes When Your Life Resonates with the Scriptures

At least, this has been my experience.
Which jibes with what Peter said ..
that "everything is bestowed" through » knowledge.

I like that feeling that you get
when the scriptures seem to validate your own life experiences.
(Doesnt everybody?)

I am feeling Peter here.
That has been my experience.

Most people cannot be bothered to exert the effort
to learn for themselves what the scriptures actually say and teach.
They will gladly let somone else tell them what they say.

But, how do they ever expect to be sanctified,
if they cannot even be bothered to learn what the scriptures actually say?

I can see now that scriptural "things" w.o.r.k for you (for us, for me) ..
when you/us/me are actually » believing the scriptures themselves.
This might seem like an insignificant point, but I can see now that it is actually crucial.

See .. many people claim to believe the scriptutres because of what somebody else said about them.
But this is not believing the scriptures; rather this is believing that person.
For things to 'work' for us, we need to believe the actual scriptures.

The is key.
If we believe someone else, and that someone else turns out to be wrong, then we are fucked.
(No matter who that someone else might happen to be.)

Notice how James says that it's the word-implanted .. that saves your soul.
It wont work if you try to implant words a.b.o.u.t the word.
You have toi go directly to the Source Itself.
Because you are required to believe the Source Himself.
It's not a difficult mistake to make .. not at all.

Because we need to believe God .. not some person.
We need to believe the Scriptures, or is doesnt work. (Period.)
And you cant believe them .. if you dont even know what they say.

Any teacher worth their salt should be pointing to the Original source.
Because that's how the system works.
There's definitely a genius aspect to the simplicity.

I call it "the system" here .. but really, it's the administration of the mystery.
And I happen to know a lot about administration.
Probably more than I should.

And this is why my research into these things worked for me ..
because I was dealing with the source material itself .. the scriptures themselves.
Even if my intentions were to mine this material (ore) for a different purpose.
(To show this guy that he was full of shit.)

» Forcing vs Letting

The other thing that really gave me trouble and tripped me up ..
was what I call the forcing-vs-letting thing.
Which I hesitate to even mention .. cuz it has serious rabbit-hole potential.

I sometimes summon a yin-yang symbol here .. because it can be applied graphically.
But my point here is that you cant 'make' this stuff work for you.
Rather you have to let it work for you.

There is indeed an aspect of (what I call) 'forcing'.
But that's not what does it for you.
From a distance, it can be confusing .. as to what you force and what you let.

But this forcing-vs-letting thing .. is very about » by grace through faith.
Grace is grace .. you cant force grace.
You have to let it.

Forcing, on the other hand, is very much about labor and works and working and receiving your just due.
Which is completely different from grace.

And, to the degree you are about works and working and receiving your just due compensation ..
this can make the grace paradigm difficult to see into.
Even tho it's not very difficult to see.

But, if you are caught up in the works paradigm and mindset so completely ..
that makes the grace paradigm seem unreal.
Even tho God has been there all down thru the centuries saying, "It is very real indeed."

Nobody is saying that honest labor and works and working is/are not important.
I'm just saying that they shouldnt be all-important.

» You Must Go Directly to the Source and Get It for Yourself (No Piggybacking)

While I am mentioning spots along the way that I found particularly troubling ..
I should probably mention this thing about trying to boost your faith using the faith of others.
You have to get your own faith directly from the scriptures yourself.

That's the way the deal works.
Just because some other person achieved a degree of success ..
.. this should certainly inspire you, yes.

But you cannot do what they do just because they did it.
Pretty much everybody makes this mistake .. so it's no big secret.

It won't work for a person if they just believe what I have written here.
Rather, they must go straight to the source for themselves in order for it to work for them.
All through the scriptures, everybody is pointing back to the original source .. not to themselves.

They do this for a reason .. for no small reason.

Not often, but there have been a few times where I unexpectedly wandered into some docturnal dispute.
Which ended when I said, "Well, that's not what the scriptures say."
And I only say that when I am confident of my position and prepared to cite verses as supporting reference.

» Establishing Intimate Relationships

When you share stories about yourself with someone, Selena,
stories that few other people know ..
do you feel that this makes for a more intimate relationship?

Speaking of having the courage to share intimate, private details .. I see that you just had a birthday yourself.
Please let me wish you a belated happy birthday.

Perhaps, if I hadnt missed it .. you would of had a happier one.
I'm pretty sure of it (.. or maybe that's just my ego talking).
I have noticed that, when I am tired, my emotions get whacked out easier.

Havent you been on tour for a while?
That must be exhausting, no?
I've been on a few tours myself .. I was always happy to get back.

This page here, where I am writing to you ..
this page was originally posted with, for and because of .. an image of Ariana singing on her birthday (23).

And now your birthday (24) has come into play here.
I did not plan it like that.
I can feel a part of me wondering if it means anything.

Existential pattern-matching.

» Accomplishments of People in Their Twenties

Speaking of birthdays ..
Do you know how old Fitzgerald was .. when he wrote Gatsby?
Do you know how old Einstein was .. when he rocked the very foundations of the physical world?

No pressure, of course.

It cant be easy .. doing what you do.
( I certainly could never do that. )

You do bring a natural authenticity to it, which appears effortless.
How much of that is you .. and how much of it is a crafting of the image?
Obviously a well-crafted image you present.

Do you feel like a part of you is owned by others? By your fans?
Are you conscious of eyes being on you .. even when you're not on stage?
(I dont see how you cannot be.)

Do you wall-off different parts of your life?
Is that how you deal with all the eyes?
Have you established concentric circles based on trust?

How do you find privacy?
How do you find solitude?
Do you live a commununal style life?

There is a scene in one of Lana's videos,
where she takes a rocket-powered bazooka out of a guitar case and blows a helicopter out of the sky.
The prying eyes of the helicopter .. hovering just outside her window .. all day long.

Lana Del Rey | High by the Beach

Do you ever feel like that?
Like picking up that rocket-powered bazooka?
And cocking-back the load mechanism.

It would certainly be understandable if you did.
It would be surprising if you never felt that way.

[ I have gotten high-by-the-beach myself .. more than just once, actually. ]

Speaking of dealing with the effects of mega-celebrity and being by the beach ..
have you seen Angelina's » By the Sea?

How do you recharge your batteries?
Your emotional batteries.

» A Beautiful Creature

This is a nice image here.
When I saw that image, something inside said, "This is a beautiful creature."

A beautiful creature | Selena feeling grateful

I have dated girls that do things like this.
(And yes, they were all beautiful creatures.)

And I see that you have a ninja outfit of your own.
All you slayers do.
Gotta have a ninja outfit in your slayer wardrobe.

I heard that you got a haircut. Both you and Ariana did.
What's going on with you girls?

» Ariana in the Russian DNC Email Hack

I heard that Ariana was in the Russian DNC email leak.
That does trip me out a little.
Maybe even more than a little.

This dude here either did the hack himself
or knows who did.

Vladimir Fomenko

This dude lives in Siberia. You gotta be a tough fucker to live in Siberia.
No pussies live in Siberia .. not for very long, anyway.

[ Or maybe it was this dude. ]
[ Tho now they say that it was this Ukranian dude who goes by the name Profexer. ]

» How Real Bad-Asses Drop the Mic

The Czar sent Dostoevsky to a prison camp in Siberia for 4 years .. right after a mock execution.
No doubt it took years off his life.
Yet he still managed to help forge the modern sensibility.
(That's how real bad-asses drop the mic.)

I admit that she does indeed freak me out a little.
The DNC was saying, "It would look bad to have that donut-licker singing for us."
Difficult to miss the irony in such a statement.

» When Girls Change their Hair

When us-guys get a haircut, it just means that our hair was getting kinda shaggy.
But when girls get a haircut .. they say it means more.
Is that true? (Maybe it is.)

Remember when Britney shaved it all off?
Can you relate to her there?

» Selena's Vogue Australia Cover for September 2016

I see you are doing the cover for the September issue of Vogue Australia.
Scheduled to hit news stands August 15.

The folks at Clevver quote you (on August 8) as saying that you would be "so stoked"
.. with a writer, or a producer, or an actor who is low-key.

Selena says that she would be so stoked with a writer in the September 2016 issue of Vogue Australia

» It's All Ariana's Fault .. that My Ego is Out of Control

I'm not even going to tell you what my ego was saying when I heard that.
But it's all Ariana's fault .. that my ego is so out of control.

I have some thoughts along these lines .. as I naturally would.
Perhaps I will return later to share some of these thoughts with you.
They say that some of the best writers in the country go to the legendary Iowa Writers' Workshop.

I think, with someone of your stature, you need to aim toward establishing meaningul friendships,
where you focus on getting-to-know and establishing trust.
That is a good platform from which to launch something more intimate.

Once you introduce the concept of a boyfriend or a girlfriend,
then people bring into play all these other expectations.
Many of which border on the unreasonable and the unrealistic.

Really getting to know a very cool person is a very cool thing.
You cannot manufacture chemistry; either it's there or it aint.

And people who are insecure deep down often do stupid things in relationships.
And someone of your renown can only exasperate such insecurity.

You also need to detail at the beginning what you both are looking for.
And what you are not looking for ..
in a relationship.

Maybe you will find that you are looking for two different things.
That wont work.

Selena says that writer-guys are terrified by her celebrity lifestyle

In the end, arent you really looking for someone who you can trust,
and with whom you can share your most intimate thoughts and feelings?
(With whatever benefits you can mutually agree upon.)

You want to set the expectations as low as possible in the beginning,
and then raise them as time passes and the relationship develops.

I always set this first bar as being that my new lover doesnt intentionally try to hurt me.
(Because that is what enemies do.)

I couldnt help but notice your use of the term "so stoked" .. which is a SoCal surfer-lingo term.
I know a little something, Selena, about SoCal surfer lingo.
Totally gnarly, dude.

You could also do what Madonna did, and find the next James Dean,
and find one of the next gifted actors of his generation,
and explore that.

I dont think that I'd like an actress, because then I would be wondering,
"How do I know that they are not acting right now?"

» You Can Have Any Guy You Want

You are Selena Fucking Gomez .. you are the Queen of Instagram .. you can have guy you want.
You can do whatever you like.
You could go sit in on a class at Columbia or Harvard or Cornell and everybody there would be happy to have you.

More than happy.
You have life experiences that I know they dont.
You obviously have a lot to share .. a lot of insights.

( Writers are interested in accumulating a wide range of mutually-beneficial experiences. )
( Such as » "Sing me a song and I'll tell you a story." )

» Being Okay with Yourself (Without a Man)

I think it's a good sign, Selena, that you are strong enough not to need a guy to hold your hand 24x7.
(Taylor knows what I'm talking about.)

Taylor doesnt need a man to make her feel complete

My dad was the type of person who was not okay without a member of the opposite sex to validate him.
It is hard for me to respect this type of person .. because it speaks of low self-esteem.

At its worst .. it speaks of emotional neediness and perhaps even desperation.
This is another tangent entirely, and I could really get carried away, so we wont go there now.

I will say however, that ever since I have been relegated to riding my bike around town
I would often come upon a pair of girls walking on the sidewalk,
either coming the other way or walking in the direction that I was riding.

Now, you only have a few seconds where you can hear what these girls are talking about.
And I am a naturally observant person, in an existential sort-or-way.

And every time I would pass one of these pairs of girls, they are always talking about some boy.
(Key word » always.)
One time, I thought they werent. They seemed to be talking about something else.
But, just before they were out of ear-shot, I realized that they were indeed talking about some boy.

So, from my (admittedly limited) perspective,
it seems like young girls talk about nothing but boys.
Is this true?

» What Kind of Person Wants to be Somebody Else?

Regarding the idea of dating an actor,
I once had a girl tell me, a girl who had explored drama in college and who enjoyed drama ..
she said, "Think about it .. what kind of person wants to be somebody else?"

I am looking forward to reading your Vogue Australia piece.
Because you are a thoughtful, beautiful creature.
Who says thoughtful, beautiful things.

» Selena Fully Reclined on the Bed in Vogue Australia September 2016

Selena lying fully reclined on the bed in pink-n-black Vogue Australia September 2016

You look very nice here, Selena. You looked relaxed.

Oh, I see that you are going to be in a movie with James Franco.
And your part appears to be more than just a cameo.
I like James Franco. I like him a lot. I actually respect him .. as an artist.

There is nobody like James Franco.
He's a bit of a nut .. but this is why I like him.
If I were you, I would totally make friends with him .. get to know him.

(Say hi for me.)

Selena, did you notice that these Clevver girls came in on the Labor day holiday ..
to talk about you?
Is this why you were feeling 'inauthentic'?

(This is why I could never do what you, Selena.)

» Is This Going Straight Down?

You made James Corden look like a big pussy .. I loved it.

Selena and James Corden on a Roller Coaster

When my son was on his first roller coaster ride,
the coaster paused for a sec or two ..
right before a sharp, steep plunge.

.. to give you a moment or two to think about it.

In fact, you couldnt even see the track .. because it disappeared, so sharp and steep was the drop.
And he is sitting in the front-left seat, where James is sitting.

And he turns his head and shouts over his left shoulder, "Is this going straight down?"
.. with more than just a touch of panic in his voice.
Especially the words "straight down."

I was sitting right behind him and clamped down my hand firmly on his right shoulder,
to make sure he didnt try to get out, or do something stupid.

I never did get to answer his question.
It sorta answered itself.
He was not happy about that ride .. and he let me know when we got off.

» The Brief but Exhilarating Fun of Riding a Roller Coaster

Years later, he would try to play it down, inferring that he wasnt really as scared as he was.
But being a little fun-scared-exilarated .. that was part of the thrill of the experience.
And it only lasts for a few minutes.

To his defense, he was sitting in the front seat.
And the ride up front is certainly more harrowing.
He also had a pretty girl sitting in the seat beside him .. trying to comfort him.

Selena and James Corden on a Roller Coaster

Tho, sitting in the back, you sorta get that whiplash effect.
The easiest ride probably in the middle .. wouldnt you say, roller coaster girl?

The Film school girl cried hard when she got off the Superman straight-drop down ride at Six Flags.
Like it fucked her up.
And she was a tough girl.

I'd never seen anything like that with her.
She wasnt really sure why she was crying .. like she herself was surprised.
She didnt even wanna talk about it.

Some people have a deep fear of falling.
Marshall has some of that in some of his videos.
I have heard some speculate that hell has the feeling of falling forever.

I dont really wanna bring up the Christina thing,
because it is so sad and disturbing.

And I think that I read somewhere .. that you were the one who got her into the business.
I dont see how that cannot affect you.
How can you not feel responsible, in some way?

You know how the mind can play tricks on you sometimes.
Seems like a big thing to me.

And she just seemed like the sweetest person.
What the fuck?
Nana says that we cannot figure out things like this .. because they make no sense.

Did you go numb when you heard?
And this has implications for you and those who do what you do.
Maybe I shouldnt have brought it up.

The end. ■

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