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#i love not the man less but nature more etc etc
writingwithcolor · 5 days ago
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Black characters with white hair: the “Special Snowflake” Compilation
Is it problematic to give my Black MC white hair?
@roseoholic asked:
Is it problematic to give my black mc white hair? In my story, if someone dies and comes back to life, their hair turns white. Her origin is that she's a reincarnation of an escaped soul, and took the place of the stillborn fetus in her "mothers" womb. I am pretty flexible in her design still, so I am willing to change if it's a bad idea. Thank you if you answer! :)
I think we’re all aware that Black people can have white hair naturally, whether it’s due to
Aging
Hair that turns gray/white early in life
Albinism
Genetics - Black person (mixed race or no) who have very light or white hair.
Obviously, Black people can dye their hair white as well.
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Photo above: Black models Diandra forrest and Nyakim Gatwech posing. They both have pale blondish-white hair. Source: Essence.
The question being asked is if it’s okay for Black characters to have white hair by conscious choice of the author.
Answer: 
On its face, it’s okay to have Black characters with white hair. This is especially true if how the white hair comes about is a natural occurrence in your story that likely affects other races too. Motive is an important factor.
What is the reason for their hair being white? 
That reason could and should be everything but to make them seem special or more likeable. This isn’t aimed at you specifically, OP, but there are creators who feel compelled to give Black characters uncommon, rare or unusual features due to an aversion to feature Black people with more common features (dark and brown hair, skin, eyes etc). 
When aversion to Blackness is the motive, it shows. 
It’s in the way the narrative exalts this character over other Black people in the narrative, treating them more favorably and giving them more of an arc over other Black characters. This is sometimes known as making them a “Special snowflake” which isn’t a term I particularly love, as it’s sometimes used to devalue real struggles people face. However, It does serve to categorize the trope. (See: TVTropes Special Snowflake)
Signs you’re treating your white-haired Black character better over other Black characters, aka the “Special Snowflake”
Stronger characterization and arc, more importance and “Screen time” than other Black characters (even when they’re not the main character)
Unique features are overemphasized and described at every chance (fetishized)
Better treatment in the story compared to other Black characters. They’re also less likely to face suffering and abusive narratives. Good things happen to them more than other Black people.
Shown to be more deserving of love, affection and romance over other Black characters; may have a love interest while others don’t.
Takeaway:
You can have Black characters with white hair. However, do not use light or unique features to exalt or set your character apart from your Black characters as “better.”
That is, not without an explicit social commentary, since yes these folks tend to be treated better by society and media in real life. 
It also helps to have other Black characters with more common features who are treated well and have a fully developed character arc. These other Black people’s lives also should not revolve around just supporting white or the white-haired character, either.
Black Girl, Snow White Retellings
@morganadelacour​ asked:
Hi there,
I (a white woman) would like to write a re-telling of Snow White and make her a Black girl with white hair. Snow White would be under the impression, that her stepmother (a white woman) is evil, when in fact, she only tried to protect herself and Snow White from Snow White’s father (a white man). The story would be told from both perspectives, probably first from Snow White’s perspective, then from the queen’s. In the end, both women make peace, Snow White understands the queen’s actions and the queen apologizes and tries to make up for her actions that hurt Snow White. Do you see a problem with any aspect of this outline and/or are there certain things I have to keep in mind?
Thank you so much for all the work you do with this blog and for your efforts to educate.
@corbeaudelys​ asked:
I'm writing a science fiction variant of Snow White with a protagonist that has dark skin with white, 3C hair and brown eyes. I read a post that said magic white hair, dark skin, and European features was a bad trope; would it still be bad even if I made it clear that she has no European features and her hair's not magical?
See “Is it problematic to give my Black MC white hair?” which answers the core of this question. Motive truly is the main factor in if it’s okay or not, and the resulting treatment of that character and other Black characters that may exist in the story. I have a Black Snow White in one of my retellings, too! 
The motive is clear here: you’re retelling Snow White with a Black girl and want to keep it relevant by assigning the white feature to hair instead of skin. It’s also a story where Snow White is intentionally meant to stand out as the “fairest of them all” so the exalting does have plot relevance. 
As noted before, I would caution against making her beautiful to mean that other Black women are not beautiful or are unworthy. 
I would like to make special mention that you can also do retellings where Snow White goes the other direction, and her compelling dark features make her the “fairest of them all”
Black woman dyes hair white, problematic symbolism?
@tlking-heads-moved said:
hi! i have a story with two black women protagonists: 
1.) leader, strong and loyal, with very curly dark hair (usually pulled back) 
2.) part of the group, elegant and refined, with light pink braids (or other protective styles).
Towards the end of the story, both of their hair changes styles, the second character dyes her hair white.
I am afraid that the character with the styled, pink/white hair will come off as “purer” or “better” than the character with the natural, dark hair, because of their personality + appearance differences. should I change either of their usual hair styles or their personalities?
These seem like stylistic choices. As the girl already had a pink braided style, hair color changes seems like something she likes to do and does not have to be symbolic of anything. Your use of color throughout the story could help avoid implications of white as more pure, if this is something you’d like to avoid:
See more about Color symbolism in our Color Symbolism Guide
Also, going from pink to white, which both have connotations of femininity and softness (according to a Western Lens) doesn’t come across as a stark difference. Without knowing the full details of these personality changes the girls undergo, I’m personally not getting that impression. Again, the full narrative will inform this and you may want to pay mind to your use of color throughout.
Now, do avoid making the dark-haired one a Strong Black Women character. You specifically called her strong, which doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a SBW, but please see our several related posts to ensure she is not one.
I hope this helps!
~Mod Colette
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razielim · 6 days ago
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I want to make a follow-up point about the religion of a creator and how it influences their work. I’m not sitting here thinking “Actually, Christian people should make less work because I’m sick of their shit.”
My sole perspective on the influence a creator’s religion has on their work is that if their work does not invite me to sit at the table, I won’t sit at the table! I’ll go elsewhere. I’m not the target audience. It’s all good. Of course, my expression of my viewing/reading experience will of course reflect this unexpected surprise twist (especially if it comes towards the end), but I don’t hate works for being made with someone else in mind.
What do I mean that a work does not invite me to sit at the table? I mean that the work’s very progression, conclusions, and developments rely on the audience’s agreement and sympathy with a philosophy external to the work itself, rather than one developed within the narrative. A philosophy which I don’t know or understand, or perhaps fundamentally disagree with, will leave a big hole in the narrative and often sour or undermine the ultimate emotional payoff.
The author has not built rapport between me and their religious beliefs over the many pages they had available, and so I’m unable (and unwilling) to entertain the plausibility of these beliefs as a plot device.
Let’s first take the Mistborn trilogy as a counterexample to this issue. Mormon author, glimmers of Mormon ideas, narratives, and values within the story (possibly more than mere glimmers to people who are more familiar than I am). However, at no point in the story do Vin’s, Kelsier’s, Elend’s, etc. actions and motivations veer off unbelievably and unexpectedly from what the narrative has delivered or given hints of thus far. Their worldviews are explained to me and built upon, and the conclusion is a satisfying resolution that I find compelling because the logic and emotional thread of the path there was solid. A book/series like this makes you feel that you predicted some of their motivations and desires and almost might have predicted all the rest if you’d brainstormed enough. Everything you need, every piece of the puzzle, was made available at some point within the story itself, no matter how fragmented or cryptic. If you’d never heard of the Mormon religion, you wouldn’t be excluded from the emotional resolution. This is a Mormon authoer who has invited non-Mormon readers to also please come join him at his table while he tells a story.
(Now that I think about it, maybe I read C&P wrong. Maybe the real message is that if you commit heinous crimes, you will be punished by becoming a Christian. Let’s however assume that Dostoevsky wasn’t secretly an anti-Christian mastermind and his message is one of redemption and resurrection through faith, as one would more commonly conclude.)
On the other hand we have works like Crime and Punishment, which is an example of the author relying on philosophy and sentiment external to the narrative to deliver emotional cohesion. Orthodox author, glimmers of Orthodox ideas, narratives, and values within the story (possibly more than mere glimmers to people who are more familiar than I am). Raskolnikov’s actions and motivations are cohesive, despite being those of a man descending into madness. Here, we do have actual presence of the Orthodox faith, but it is held most strongly by Sonya, and religious morality does not seem to factor in to Raskolnikov’s private reasoning at all. It is her growing presence in the story that first starts to pull the welcome rug from the porch. First is the strange mystery of Raskolnikov’s love for her. Why does he love her? It’s not made clear. You are expected to understand that he simply would, that this is a natural development. (In this case, the author’s relying on the external sentiment that women in wretched circumstances are attractive to strong-willed men, which is our first glimpse that some people, the ones who don’t automatically understand this, aren’t invited to this story.) Fine. Then comes the long pressure of Sonya’s influence, which is easy enough to relate to and understand. Almost everyone I know has been pressured to believe at one point in their life, so her otherwise meek character being so insistent isn’t at all surprising. Raskolnikov slowly buckling to follow her prescribed actions is understandable too - we have been shown in the narrative that Raskolnikov is desperately looking for a way forward, and he’s progressively less picky about which way that is. We see him engaging with Orthodox faith in his own way, in fits and starts. The last chapter, still full of murkiness and anxiety, stands solid. Then suddenly, the cohesion shatters in the epilogue. Raskolnikov is seen crying with joyous piety. We are expected to understand, drawing upon our experiences with submitting to piety. There is no compelling development of this line of thinking within the narrative or any step-by-step triumphant subversion of Raskolnikov’s former thinking by new burgeoning feelings. His transformation has happened off-screen, supplemented by the reader’s willingness to believe that such transformations are not only possible, but also common and desirable. There is no additional information provided to help readers who have no such willingness to make that leap with the author.
(Another way of describing the epilogue is that Dostoevsky’s sentiment swings onto the stage to cease all madness and confusion and bring joy and forgiveness. It functions, therefore, as a deus ex machina. Except in this case, the “deus” is not a god but a religion.)
rtaserliorguaeirghoieg At some point while typing the above paragraph, I switched to calling Raskolnikov “Bazarov,” which I guess just goes to show which book I’d rather be thinking about. Fathers and Sons is good, y’all. Still, at the risk of ruminating on things I don’t love, I think it’s important to delineate religious influence on a story which is internally cohesive from start to finish, and religious influence on a story whose conclusion falls apart if the reader does not ascribe to that particular religion’s sentiment.
Anyway, every author is going to make some assumptions about the reader’s basic understanding of this or that idea. This set of assumptions is what defines the intended audience. The more work I am exposed to, the more I realize just how many “classic” works really ARE written to connect with someone who isn’t me, just like I suspected when I was in high school, though none of the adults responsible for my education believed me.
The wonderful thing is how many works I’m discovering, classic and contemporary, that ARE inviting me to the table. They’re just not necessarily the ones that other people hold in the highest positions of prestige and authority.
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rye-views · 2 years ago
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Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. 8/10
About Katey getting to know Tinker Grey with her friend Eve. It shows many years of her life in New York and the relationships she forms and the events that occur. Eve has dibs on Tinker, a car accident occurs, rich parties be happening, etc etc.
This gave me some Fitzgerald vibes, but in sort of a less idealized way. If I were in Katey’s position, I would have ended up with Dicky. But, all the relationships seemed to have ended in a very fitting manner in my opinion. Everything made sense overall.
i love the accuracy and knowledge when it came to making drinks, art, and music.
It’s amazing how (for the most part) the author writes in the female perspective. It’s also interesting to see that this reveals some gentlemen to be better than others and some with different lives. It gives character to what a gentleman is.
Memorable Quotes: “He looked like a man who had gained confidence through exposure to a hostile environment; like one who no longer owed anything to anyone.“ “What a wonderful wish, he said, to wish for another.“ “It is a lovely oddity of human nature that a person is more inclined to interrupt two people in conversation than one person alone with a book, even if it is a foolish romance:“ “Two more bottles of burgundy were poured with the main course. They may as well been poured over our heads. I don’t think anyone tasted the tenderloin, or the lamb, or whatever it was.“ “Balmy breezes, turquoise seas, Caribbean rum, these are well-established aphrodisiacs. But so too are proximity and necessity and the threat of despair.“ ““Uhm…. Where you headed? How about a drink? You look like you could use one.“ “I thought you said I looked great.““ “Which, as it turns out, is all it takes to secure a place in my affections.“ ““Where you headed?” “I was just thinking of going down to the Battery to throw myself off the pier.”“ ““But there are tens of thousands of butterflies: men and women like Eve with two dramatically different colorings–one which serves to attract and the other which serves to camouflage–and which can be switched at the instant with a flit of the wings.” “Uncompromising purpose and the search for eternal truth have an unquestionable sex appeal for the young and high-minded“ “One must be prepared to fight for one’s simple pleasures and to defend them against elegance and erudition and all manner of glamorous enticements.” “Like other aging, awkward academic sorts, he had come to a point when young ladies gave him anxiety.” “I looked down at the soup and gave it my best Oliver Twist.” “adding a certain self-possession to your swagger, or a swagger to your self-possession.” “I wasn’t a schoolgirl.” “But I saw a handprint on his face and it looked about your size.“ “with me it is nowhere near all or nothing. It’s quite happily some or something.“ “And I can’t wait! But the top of the world? That’s more in your line of work–And I’m counting on you getting there.“ “After meeting someone by chance and throwing off a few sparks, can there be any substance to the feeling that you’ve known each other your whole lives? After those first few hours of conversation, can you really be sure that your connection is so uncommon that it belongs outside the bounds of time and convention?“ “If we only fell in love with people who were perfect for us, he said, then there wouldn’t be so much fuss about love in the first place.“ “It was a rotten year of my own making, But even at its worst, you always gave me a glimpse of what might otherwise be.” “For however inhospitable the wind, from this vantage point Manhattan was simple so improbable, so wonderful, so obviously full of promise–that you wanted to approach it for the rest of your life without ever quite arriving.” “No one could get a table talking nonsense like Dicky Vanderwhile.“ “Its porcelain was fired in Amsterdam. Its feet were cast in Paris. They were fashioned after the paws of Marie Antoinette’s pet panther.“
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4ragon · 8 days ago
You said feel free to ask for more klapollo hcs so..... I would love to hear ur hcs for established relationship!Klapollo? Both as in dating and marriage? (Marriage wise: Do you think they would ever get married, who would propose, how etc. )
Love ur writing ! <3
aaaAAAAAAAHHHHHH thank youuu
Dating headcanons first:
It takes a liiiiitle bit of time for Klavier to understand that Apollo isn’t crazy about expensive gifts, and that he doesn’t need to “impress” Apollo to keep him interested. However, he still loves doing what he can to try to spoil Apollo just a little bit, because Apollo deserves nice things. Nothing too over the top, not all the time, and he tries to put thought into it. He’s always looking for ways to make Apollo feel as loved as Klavier feels.
Meanwhile, it takes Apollo a bit to adjust to being in a relationship in general, and what’s expected of him. He isn’t the most romantic person in the world, and a lot of that doesn’t come naturally to him, but he tries to put in the effort when it occurs to him, since he knows that kind of stuff matters to Klavier. Fortunately, Klavier appreciates all of the non-romantic gestures too, but he loves when Apollo will actually do something romantic-adjacent like buy a pretty potted plant instead of a bouquet or take him on a wonderful day-after-valentine's day date because it’ll be less crowded.
As for marriage stuff...man, I cannot decide on anything. They absolutely love each other, so I figure marriage eventually, but as to how…I can see that going so many ways. I think Klavier might want to do something crazy and romantic, though still private, neither of them would want something public. Maybe a starlit walk, or them having a candlelit dinner on the roof of Klavier’s condo, champagne and flowers and everything. But I could also see him stressing out over the perfect proposal and Apollo just sort of blurting out “Hey how about we just get married.”
Or on the flipside, Apollo stressing out over the perfect proposal and finding a ring he knows Klavier would show off to literally every person he meets and making himself ill over how to do it even though it’s Klavier and of course he’s going to say yes, and Klavier is so blown away that he cries.
Or even as simple as Klavier asking Apollo to move in with him like “If I marry you will you finally leave this horrible apartment?” or something just as spur of the moment.
Or [SoJ spoiler related] a tearful proposal at the airport after one of them needs to head back home and them promising to always come back to each other.
Man I don’t know, there are so many ways it could go and they’d all be wonderful.
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Hi :D I'm new to your blog and I love your whole aesthetic but I was curious what do all your tags mean?
Hello and welcome! :D I am very happy to have you here.
I am honoured you appreciate my aesthetic. To keep up with my tags, you can search #tags list prime on my blog. However, Tumblr is being weird with that and IDK how well it’s working right now?? Anyway, that’s just in case you ever forget and wanna check something real quick. I’m of course happy to tell you myself! :P
Here is the most up-to-date list of my tags, but if you don’t want to click a link—
#love is like a child: cute stuff
#beauty is bought by judgement of the eye: aesthetic stuff
#my bounty is as boundless as the sea: meme stuff
#hell is empty: also (reblogged) relatable things but about serious themes
#hear my soul speak: signal boosts as general messages that my followers might need to hear :)
#when Love speaks: signal boosts to spread a specific message
#speak the speech: signal boosts of important but general information
#speak less than you know: signal boosts of tips, tricks, and life hacks
#there are more things in Heaven and Earth: political stuff, discourse, etc.
#the slightest folly: posts about the blog
#a tale told by an idiot: posts about yours truly
#my thoughts remain below: posts with my commentary in the tags (essentially, this separates functional tags from the tags that are just me talking)
#to thine own self be true: replies to inbox, reblogs with my additions, anything where I interact with you lovely people (NOTE: not for discourse; this is for pleasant or at least passive interactions)
#thou canst not then be false to any man: asks and ask games
#uneasy lies the head that wears the crown: nighttime musings, information about insomnia, or just activity due to my not being able to sleep
#to write and read comes by nature: posts about writing
#chequ’d for silence: posts about music
#never tax’d for speech: posts about literature, history, theatre, or classical studies
#indu’d with intellectual sense and souls: posts about STEM themes and topics
#my guide and lantern to my feet: posts about God or my faith
#the enemy to the living: posts featuring my fangirling (recently I’ve also started using it for posts about the phenomenon of fandom in general)
#thinking makes it so: posts of and/or about fanworks or original creations I want my followers to see
#greatness thrust upon them: liveblogging while I watch/read something (block it to avoid spoilers; I’ll only use it for one fandom at a time, and I’ll put it in my bio whenever it’s active)
#we know what we are: components of my wish list
Yeahhh, there are a lot. They’re mostly for my fun TBH since I can’t imagine anyone going through my posts with a specific tag in mind. If you’re looking for content about a certain fandom, I tag those separately. For example: #the enemy to the living #agents of s.h.i.e.l.d. So you won’t have to know my fandom posts tag to find my AoS posts/reblogs, ya know?
Wait, I’m realising now that I might have misunderstood your question, dear anon. Did you mean to ask me to explain the actual quotes? Like why I chose “the enemy to the living” (All’s Well That Ends Well, I.i.53) for my fandom posts tag? If so, I first apologise and second extend an invitation for you to let me know so I can correct my mistake.
Anyyyway, I have rambled for long enough. Thank you for dropping by, nonny. I hope to be seeing you in my notifs and/or inbox again! :)
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shawnhnd2cphoto · 9 days ago
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Reflective Log - Landscape Interrupted
The last landscape brief we were given in folio 2 was landscape interrupted and this involved us to look around and notice natural landscapes that have been altered in some way by human intervention like bridges, houses, walls etc.
Examples are shown below of what this means
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For this I plan to go to an abandoned abattoir which I shot other projects at this year the reason to go visit it again for this brief is because It has a massive pile of rubble blocking a nice tree line which would be nice if it could be seen. 
For the second image I am going to dean castle as it once again has lovely landscapes throughout the park and the forestry and there's a really nice spot where the river flows through but there's a bridge in place to let people cross over but if it wasn't there it would make such a colourful image especially during the autumn and more complete in general.
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The first image turned out really well with a nice sunset on the rubble and really puts into perspective how much it is blocking the tree line and shows how much more nicer the landscape could be if the rubble was removed from the land.
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The second image came out exactly as I planned and with the sun piercing through in the background it makes the image look a lot more dynamic, looking at the image from this perspective the bridge kind of adds to the image and makes the setting look a bit more questioning almost as if the bridge is hidden by the bushes and trees but if it wasn't there I feel the image would look much more complete and more pleasant with simple tonal range.
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Overall I really enjoyed this brief it was really interesting to look at landscapes from a point of view of how humans have intervened and added their mark to these once called natural landscapes. if I was to do this again id m most likely go further than my home town and look for other places up north where there tends to be less natural landscapes with more man made structures added.
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kandiedkuroo · 12 days ago
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𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐀𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
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Tags: Fluff. No warnings that I can pinpoint!
People: Tsukishima x Reader, Lev x Reader, Oikawa x Reader, Kuroo x Reader, Nishinoya x Reader, Bokuto x Reader (All Gender Neutral!)
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↳ 𝐓𝐬𝐮𝐤𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐦𝐚 𝐊𝐞𝐢
He will tease you until his teeth fall out. At this point if he doesn’t mock you for the most basic things he’s either sick or had a terrible day. If you’re shorter than him he will most definitely use you as a shoulder rest. Call you shortie, shrimp etc. If you’re taller he will stoop to “How’s the weather up there?” If you tease him back he’ll get smug about it, but when you two have had a really long day sometimes he’ll put his head on yours and stay there for a while. He’s not a very handsy person, but he does enjoy your touch during vulnerable moments.
↳ 𝐋𝐞𝐯 𝐇𝐚𝐢𝐛𝐚
THIS MF. He’ll do the most annoying forms of physical affections. You’ll be talking to one of your friends and he’ll come up back hug you so hard your spine hits your heart. Will ring his arm around you neck and drag you with him. Take your arm and again drag you with him, but when he misses you he’ll give you really long and sweet hugs. He 100% loves clinging to you with back hugs and at this point it’s second nature.
↳ 𝐊𝐮𝐫𝐨𝐨 𝐓𝐞𝐭𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐨
he’s the type to be so smooth in the most smug way possible. Slides an arm around your waist out of nowhere and kiss your temple, but before you can react he’s flashing you a shit eating grin. Hold your hips whenever or wherever. He says it’s a “stress reliever” but it’s just because he’s like the feel. Also the type to tease you, but in a less mean (?) way than Tsukishima. “You look adorable all flustered like that.”I could go on and on about Kuroo. I love this man so much-
↳ 𝐎𝐢𝐤𝐚𝐰𝐚 𝐓𝐨𝐫𝐮
all. he. does. is. praise. you. “BABY YOURE SO PRETTY.” He wants you too feel as confident as he is. Definitely has your contact saved as pretty baby in his phone. When you asked him why he just responded “You’re my pretty baby? What other reason would there be?” Low key (high key) loves seeing get so flustered over it because not only does it fuel his already very inflated ego, it also just feels good to see you take a well deserved compliment. You two will go back and forth complementing each other and Iwaizumi will get sick of you two.
↳ 𝐍𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐲𝐚 𝐘𝐮
he will tackle you. That’s not an over exaggeration. He will pummel you to the ground if he feels like it’s been too long since he’s seen you. He goes in head first like you’re a stray volleyball. “IVE MISSED YOU SO MUCH BABY.” Even though it’s been an hour since he last saw you. He’ll give you his food too! He takes this very seriously for some reason? States that you have to a special type of human being for him to share his oh-so precious food with you. He’ll even give you the last bite of whatever he’s if you want it. Tanaka wouldn’t shut up about it the first time he witnessed it.
↳ 𝐁𝐨𝐤𝐮𝐭𝐨 𝐊𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐨
he will openly ramble about whatever is on his mind to you. It’s honestly sweet. He’s more vulnerable around you. Instead of being the bright, joyful, himbo he usually is, he’ll let go of it and talk about whatever. It can be as dumb as body hair or as personal as his insecurities. He doesn’t even need you to answer him, just let him lay his head in your lap and talk about how he kins Dory. He doesn’t feel judge when he talks to you and he wants you to know what you’re thinking to. He’s fascinated by your thoughts, as well as his.
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A/N: where all of these inspired by my maladaptive dreams? yes. and there will be many MANY more to come from them because that’s all i do.
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madamsaturn · 12 days ago
hello :3 i hope you are having a lovely day :) i have had an interest in talismans recently, and i was wondering if you had any information on them or how to make them? thank you in advance
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Witchy Acessories 101
Amulets
These are the ones that every witch should start, they are simpler and not prankish and works always as a shield, is other words protection. Any advanced warrior know that for win it most have a shield and not a sword, because if you kill 100 and die for the 101 you lose. So never belittle an amulet, is the only accessory you must have.
Made by a simply object, normally a natural one as rabbit's feet, four-leaf clover, crystals and precious stones, herbs such as rue and guinea, roses, they only word is to absorb a unwelcome energy. This is possible because they're programmed to do it and have a proper way to consecrate them.
Talisman
These are a more advanced accessory simply because they have personality. They work as swords in the magic field and can attack back the person who cursed/or did any negative activity against you. But just as I said, they have their own point of view and will work in the way they thing is better. If you name it as a luck talisman, it can give you the luck it wants, it can always take you on the less crowded path in traffic instead of the money you wanted. Furthermore, if they don't like you for any reason, don't try to use it, you don't want to use a sword that don't likes you, truste me.
They are human forged, normally a object like a ring or necklace. If you have a recipe you must follow step by step (just like any magical practice), so if is say blue crystal, is blue and not ciano. If is just for protection, they are a amulet with a cool visual.
Patuá
Brought from Africa and native of my region and family religion, Patuás is pretty like a Talisman , but is consecrate for a specific Orisha and Umbanda lines. For the Umbanda lines is used for each property of the line and need to be consecrate by an entity of that line, for example a Exu Patuá is made for areas of love, prosperity in our material plane, in addition to protection against man itself, examples of evil eyes, envy, etc. But for Orisha Patuá you must be a child of that Orisha (only one that don't follow that rule that's Oxalá and accept everyone) and must be consecrate by a entity that follow the line of that Orisha.
Normally they are made just by handmade necklace, can be the most simple material, and the person who does that must put their intention in the process, the number always goes odd, so 3 of a color, 3 of another, 5/7 and goes like this because everything we do is in odd number, herb bath for example, always a odd number of ingredients.
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mulletlinda · 13 days ago
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@about-this-girl95​ Oh I 100% agree that Too Many People is the result of Paul's frustration with the whole Break-up/Lennon Remembers situation, and i think it was meant to be barbed and hurtful (probably in ways we haven't even guessed yet, given that it was meant to be understood by John and John only).
What i mean by saying that Paul's original intent behind TMP (specifically the "I find my love awake' line) may differ from John's interpretation of it is that I personally have never been sure if Paul:
A) actually knows the depth, power, and potential nonplatonic-ness of John's feelings towards him and outwordly rejected them
or if B) John and Paul's communication skills where so dire by that point that John "Talking is the slowest form of communication anyway" Lennon simply announced his feelings to Paul via vibes and vague comments so therefore failed to actually inform Paul "the most oblivious man on the planet" McCartney of anything, then took Paul's leaving India as a rejection and acted accordingly (resentment, Yoko, breaking up the band etc.) while Paul just guessed at the motivations behind John's behaviour and was never fully aware of the romantic element on John's side of the relationship (that's not to say the romantic element was completely unrequited, i just think Paul was less aware of it than John was)
Because if the situation is the latter, Paul and John are naturally going to have very different ideas of why the break-up happened and very different interpretations of each others lyrics.
The I find my love awake line in TMP may well have been meant by Paul to mean "Well I'm happy and loving life with my wonderful new wife so you can't get me down with your public rants about me" but could easily be understood by a paranoid John as a line that rubs his nose in the fact that Paul is in love with Linda rather than him. It could also mean that Dear Boy, a song not even written to John, could be perceived as similarly mocking. Or that a semi-harmless photograph of two beetles mating on the album sleave goes from "Fuck the Beatles, its Paul and Linda time" in Paul's mind to "I bet you wish this was us, don't you?" In John's.
Overall I think Paul’s true motivation behind the lyrics to John on RAM is very difficult to know (Because he’s just not as publicly reactive as John) though I do think there is a possibility that songs that were mean and meant to convey “Piss off John” could have been interpreted by John into something far more cruel and uncaring than was intended by Paul, something that would prove to John that Paul never loved him and would understandably provoke a reaction like HDYS.
(obviously this is just my subjective guess based on the fact that they seem to be operating under two different sets of assumptions a lot of the time, with Paul seemingly genuinely shocked at how much hurt John felt i.e “People keep on saying I hurt him, but where's the examples, when did I do it? No one ever says. It's just always the same, blaming me. Could I have hurt John MORE than anyone in the world? More than the person who ran down Julia in his car?”. But y’know who’s to say?)
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thetruthaboutsubtext · 14 days ago
(jensen anon again) just wanted to say I didnt mean to accuse you of doing any of these things, I know you dont, which is why I felt comfortable ranting in your inbox I guess lol. I follow a wide variety of bibro, wincest, j2, destiel and cockles blogs (I tell myself its because I want a good overview of everything going on, but I probably am just insane) and you're one of only a handful of people that I've come across that is able to discuss things reasonably without immediately getting defensive or going off the deep end about something. I dont always agree with you on everything (I often dont in fact), but I respect the way you state and discuss your thoughts.
I do actually agree with you about misha, I dont think he's a horrible person or anything and I dont see a problem with jensen being close to him, but some of the things he does annoy me so much, like the pandering you mentioned and the attention whoring, because of what it has created. I'm also not fond of a couple of things he has said about jared and jensen, but I'm biased here because jensen and jared have done the same (or worse probably) with him.
also agree about the destiel side of the fandom being the worst, but mostly because there are so many of them and they're so loud and so fucking hypocritical. I find all the fake outrage and pearl-clutching about wincest so obnoxious and I dont even really ship wincest. it just shows such a lack of undifferentiated thinking to completely equate stuff like CSA by parents to fictional consensual sex between adult brothers and yeah, obviously a lot of people will be squicked out by the latter too, but it doesnt justify all the wincesties dni/go die etc vitriol against people who write and ship it.
and yeah, jared. I'll admit I'm mostly a jensen/dean stan, but the vitriol against jared is another symptom of them being immature fake woke hypocrites. they're all about being oh so woke and progressive and all about protection of the children and lgbt issues and mental health, but whenever jared, someone with actual mental health issues, does something that may be related to these mental health issues, all of that goes out of the window and they paint him as the devil incarnate. zero actual empathy. not to mention the constant harrassment on twitter, when they know he struggles with anxiety and has admitted multiple times he takes stuff like that to heart.
in the same vein, not a day goes by where I haven't seen jensen's sexuality and his sexual preferences get discussed and it's usually based on the most reductive stereotypical stuff from these oh so woke lgbt warriors. I'm not arguing jensen is straight, I think it's quite possible he is not, but I really dislike the way they go about it (and go on and on about it, it's bordering on fetishizing and is quite creepy).
so yeah, I find the destiel fandom awful because of most of the people associated with it, but if - purely hypothetically speaking - jensen did go down the destiel route in his reboot, I wouldnt be upset about that by itself. I think it could be interesting actually. I only dread the drama that would follow that.
conversely, if jensen doesnt involve misha at all in the reboot and cas wont even be mentioned, I wont be upset about that either (I just dont care all that much about misha or cas I guess). again, I would only dread the drama that would inevitably follow. jensen is kind of in a damned if he does and damned if he doesnt situation here.
anyway, I guess since I see so much stupidity from destiel fans, I get especially annoyed when I then switch over to the other side of the fandom and get to see even more stupidity about jensen (and misha and jared, though I rarely see jared hate on the j2 side). it feels like there is no escape from the bad takes in spn fandom nowadays. I was gone from the fandom for quite some time, but I remember it very differently, and I was shocked to discover what it has turned into when I returned.
(also agree about your point about their looks/ageing. I personally prefer jensen's and jared's looks over misha's, but I don't think he's ugly at all and all three of them look pretty damn good for guys their age.)
Well it goes without saying given the content of my blog that I think Jensen and Jared are by far the better looking ones, but that’s personal preference and also it has nothing to do with their ages, I thought they were better looking than Misha when they were younger too and I think both of them are just conventionally more attractive. I’m also an artist, so as much as I think it’s problematic to say you’re any sort of authority on what counts as beautiful or not because that’s bullshit, I can say that Jensen and Jared do have features that are unanimously associated with idealized masculinity (and even femininity, those eyelashes! those eyebrow arches! Wow!).
I don’t think anyone really has any reason to speculate about Jensen’s or Jared’s sexuality. I see the same with Jared fans because there are rumors about a guy on a gay dating app saying he had a sexual experience with Jared, and also there’s just rumors aplenty floating around from Tinhats from years ago, and speculation that when Stephen Amell made a thinly veiled comment about a closeted Texan that it was aimed at Jared. None of this is substantiated. I just don’t give any of these credence because even if any of this speculation was true, Jared and Jensen both have wives and children that they love and the details of their personal lives are actually none of our business. I also think that Tumblr is overwhelmingly female and I genuinely get the impression a lot of people don’t understand or engage much in their real lives with heterosexual men. So a lot of the behavior and humor is completely misread or lost on them honestly.
In fact, I think a lot of people on here are generally inexperienced with sex and also straight people in general hahah! I know a lot of straight girls who are openly obsessed with female beauty but they only enjoy sex with men and while they appreciate good looking women they have no desire to have sex with them and if it came down to it they would be like ewww no! I *think* Jared is one of those guys who’s a man’ man (seriously, the amount of man crushes he has inspired is laughable) in that he even really enjoys being around men in an athlete shower room kind of way (lol, I can elaborate but I think this paints enough of a picture if you know sporty men) but he is actually straight. I could be way off, I just get that impression. I think Jensen is also straight but he’s much more secretive and less of a ‘bro’ than Jared, and it naturally leads to a lot of people making shit up to fill in the blanks. The fact that they’re both total babes means that people will end up fetishizing them/ making stuff up about them for various pervy reasons.
I would be actively pissed off if they explored Destiel because not only do I not think it’s interesting at all, I also loved Dean as a character and I think it would actually be massively out of character for a whole bunch of reasons. The fact that Jensen has openly been so vocal in the past about not supporting the ship becoming canon to the point that he deliberately changed lines and said something was ‘dumb’ because it hinted that Dean was even sentimental about Cas after his death makes me both doubt it would ever happen but also I would on some level think he was a bit of a sell out if he went back on it. If he was indifferent before- that would be a different story, but he wasn’t indifferent he was actively anti. So I wouldn’t be able to get past the fan service element (and fan service to people who largely don’t fucking deserve anything but a big slap also).
Dean without Sam or Sam without Dean for me is like having one shoe when you still have two feet. The main point of Supernatural for me was their relationship because that’s what kept me coming back to the show, and it wouldn’t be the same without either of those characters- it would be fan fiction, and the loss of the other character would be a gaping hole in the entire project. It would be like X files but just Mulder or just Scully. Even if it was good and you liked that one character, you’d be like ‘ugh, it’s not the same’ and you would wish they didn’t even make it. Even if they did Supernatural with Sam raising his son and Dean wasn’t in it I would be like ‘ugh, why?’ And I’m a big Sam fan, but J2’s chemistry is credited for a good reason. It was THE reason the show was popular for so long and without it it wouldn’t be half as good.
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cassianus · 15 days ago
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"You, who desire to capture the wondrous Divine Illumination of our Savior Jesus Christ - who seek to feel the Divine Fire in your heart - who strive to sense the experience and feeling of reconciliation with God - who, in order to unearth the treasure buried in the field of your hearts and to gain possession of it, have renounced everything worldly - who desire the candles of your soul to burn brightly even now, and who, for this purpose, have renounced all the world - who wish by conscious experience to know and to receive the Kingdom of Heaven existing within you - come and I will impart to you the science of eternal heavenly life or, rather, the method leading him who practices it, without labor or sweat, into the harbor of passionlessness, freeing him from the fear of prelest or of defeat by the wiles of the devil...
Attention (watchfulness, wise sobriety, guarding the heart, wakefulness, vigilance etc.) is a sign of sincere repentance. Attention is the appeal of the soul to itself, hatred of the world and ascent towards God. Attention is renunciation of sin and acquisition of virtue. Attention is an undoubting certainty of the remission of sins. Attention is the beginning of contemplation, or rather its necessary condition: for, through attention, God comes close and reveals Himself to the mind. Attention is serenity of the mind, or rather its standing firmly planted and not wandering, through the gift of God's mercy. Attention means cutting off thoughts, it is the abode of the remembrance of God and the treasure-house of the power to endure all that may come. Therefore attention is the origin of faith, hope and love; since he who has no faith cannot bear all the afflictions coming from without, and he who does not suffer them willingly cannot say: 'He is my refuge and my fortress' (Ps. XCI. 2); and he who has not the Almighty for his refuge cannot be truly sincere in his love for Him.
This greatest of all great doings can be gained by many, or even by all, mostly by being taught. A few men receive this gift from God without being taught, working from inner compulsion and the warmth of their faith. But what is rare is not the law. Therefore it is necessary to seek a teacher who is himself not in error, to follow his instructions, and so learn to distinguish, in the matter of attention, defects and excesses of right and of left, encountered through diabolical suggestion. From his own sufferings from temptation he will explain to us what is needful and will show us correctly that mental path which we can then follow with less hindrance. If there is no such teacher in view, one must search for one, sparing no efforts. But if, even after such a search, he is not to be found, then, with a contrite spirit, calling to God with tears and praying to Him assiduously and with humility, do what I shall tell you.
You know that our breathing is the inhaling and exhaling of air. The organ which serves for this is the lungs which lie round the heart, so that the air passing through them thereby envelops the heart. Thus breathing is a natural way to the heart. And so, having collected your mind within you, lead it into the channel of breathing through which air reaches the heart and, together with this inhaled air, force your mind to descend into the heart and remain there. Accustom it, brother, not to come out of the heart too soon, for at first it feels very lonely in that inner seclusion and imprisonment. But when it gets accustomed to it, it begins on the contrary to dislike its aimless circling outside, for it is no longer unpleasant and wearisome for it to be within. Just as a man who has been away from home, when he returns is beside himself with joy at seeing again his children and wife, embraces them and cannot talk to them enough, so the mind, when it unites with the heart, is filled with unspeakable joy and delight. Then a man sees that the Kingdom of Heaven is truly within us; and seeing it now in himself, he strives with pure prayer to keep it and strengthen it there, and regards everything external as not worthy of attention and wholly unattractive.
When you thus enter into the place of the heart, as I have shown you, give thanks to God and, praising his mercy, keep always to this doing, and it will teach you things which in no other way will you ever learn. Moreover you should know that when your mind becomes firmly established in the heart, it must not remain there silent and idle, but it should constantly repeat the prayer: 'Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me!' and never cease. For this practice, keeping the mind from dreams, renders it elusive and impenetrable to enemy suggestions and every day leads it more and more to love and longing for God.
If, however, in spite of all your efforts, you do not succeed in entering into the realm of the heart, as I have described, do what I shall now tell you and, with God's help, you will find what you seek. You know that in every man inner talking is in the breast. For, when our lips are silent, it is in the breast that we talk and discourse with ourselves, pray and sing psalms, and do other things. Thus, having banished every thought from this inner talking (you can do this if you want to), give it the following short prayer: 'Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me!' - and force it, instead of all other thought, to have only this one constant cry within. If you continue to do this constantly, with your whole attention, then in time this will open for you the way to the heart which I have described. There can be no doubt about this, for we have proved it ourselves by experience.
If you do this with strong desire and attention, full of sweetness, a whole host of virtues will come to you: love, joy, peace and others, through which, later, every petition of yours will be answered in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, to Whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, is glory, and power, honor and worship, now and always, and for ever and ever. Amen."
Saint Nicephorus the Solitary
A Most Profitable Discourse on Sobriety and the Guarding of the Heart
Image Source: Legacy Icons
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townquilt0 · 15 days ago
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10 Stunning Examples Of Beautiful A Lovely Night\'S Address
Learning staying conversational and friendly may help uncover love. By learning to become the one who strikes up conversations with others, can really clog not only multiply amount of of guys you get to talk to and possess a chance of something more developing, but people an individual to termed as a reaction your welcoming banter may know someone think that they're just is an optimal match that. Another channel for a person access perfect love is prayer. Prayer is communication with Oplagt. It is a perfect way of communing with God amazing love. You speak to God the particular husband also talks to you as a result. It is going into God's presence find His face for various reasons including being basked in The love. Any time you truly access God's presence you in order to enveloped together with his love, because that is Him. Will probably become so aware of His awesome love in which you and it must certainly chafe on families. What you think about, you're feeling. When you feel it, those you get connected to also feel it, no less than on a subconscious factor. Since we are all connected, its not only really surprising, is that it? The love of God will constrain you from covetousness. You will be contented with what you have knowing that walking in obedience to God's word compels His blessings nearer. Therefore, what you don't have presently impact . you can have when your requirement arises. I wasn't ready, able or mature enough for marriage. Just created a war between my husband, family we. Who was https://www.ilove-bam.com/ to help you? My parents tortured me, day in and day out. Whose house for Thanksgiving? Passover, New Months? Who to visit, who to bring presents concerning? Should I give during the the attention he wanted over my husband's needs? Did I hang by means of my father when he told me to leave my man? My parents were the thorn with my side, the blood and the brokenness to understanding romantic. love your pets, love your plants and appreciate all that nature in order to offer. Find peace and balance by spending additional time in places that are together with nature. You will notice could are commencing to love the earth more etc. In the Bible, God talks a lot about reaping and sowing. Those who reap good seeds will reap good fruits in life-time. Those who sow bad seeds will reap bad fruits in your lifetime. This is strategies about how the world and legislation of love works. A person give love to, if it is music, yourself, family, friends, a loved one, a place, also your favorite food, acquire more of the items you extend. If you tell yourself, "I love my family", you'll receive more circumstances can lead you to loving all your family. If you say to yourself, "The service here takes forever", you'll receive more circumstances with the service being impede. For every action, feeling, or thought, you receive more among the same. It isn't only which do that comes back to you, but it's also safety measure think and feel.
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yandere-dark-cupid · 17 days ago
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Yandere 2p Canada: James Mathieu Williams
Sfw:
- James is a Tame Yandere, Violent Yandere, possessive Yandere, and overall a well- aware Yandere.
- One of the main possible reasons he's fell for you is your quite nature, Love and respect towards animals, and/ or you being a pretty chill person he's not used to ( He spends a good majority of the time getting 2p America out of trouble and/ or spending time with the other Face fam members, which isn't always the most down to earth and normal thing to do half of the time )
- But once he's fallen for you, it's only a matter of time before he latches on to you.
- Another thing is it's hard to draw James attention romantically, so this gives him and even more reason to latch onto you.
- James likes to take you to secluded isolated parts of nature. He likes being alone with you and that you are the only that could interact with only him.
- Likes to gift you small yet thoughtful gifts. In the inside he's gets all mushy and flustered knowing that you liked his gifts and is using it; on the outside he sports a cute, small, noticeable blush with his usual stoic facial expression. ( Low-key loves to spoil you when he has the chance )
- You are among the very few that's allowed to call him James with out something bad happening to you. By bad I mean being wacked in the face with a incoming hockey stick. ( Call him Jamey out of no where he'll get all flustered and embarrassed, it's truly an adorable sight to see 😙💜 )
- Likes to call you maple, maple leaf, or a shorter version of your name.
- A gentle giant towards you, but a unhinged homicidal Lumberjack towards others that poses as a threat towards the both of your relationship.
- Ends his rivals in many brutal ways. But the most common is blunt trauma by his bob wired hockey stick, getting mauled by his bear Kuma and eaten by him, and him and 2p America playing a sick game of tag team and roulette with the poor rival.
- kidnapping you will take some time, but with the help of his family; it'll be less time consuming and difficult. This brings me to my next point-
- James have the help of his family ( 2p FAE ) and nature on his side; plus this man is towering, broad shoulders, and is built like a wall; That and he also has a man-hunting polar bear on his side. So....... I wish You the best of luck Angel........
- Doesn't like punishing you, it secretly hurts him too. But if he has to he will. One of the more Common punishments he use is locking you up in a cold shed for a night or two, basically solitary confinement in the wild. One of his more extreme punishments is leaving you in a freezing forest for days and letting you survive out there until he thinks you've gotten your act together. Don't worry he knows the forest very well and is constantly watching you, to make sure you don't injure your self to badly and doesn't manage to escape.
- Overall isn't a completely bad Yandere, he seems pretty neutral to me. Tho that doesn't mean he's a force to be reckoned with. Is still and could be very dangerous. So my best bets is that you don't get on his bad side......
Nsfw:
- True James maybe a gentle giant towards you. But in the bedroom is different. He is in no means gentle with you in there ( yes, he is very careful with not accidentally hurting; but he kind of likes man- handling you ).
- Could go a whopping 7-8 rounds. But to not intimidate you, he goes 2-4 rounds.
- Likes role-play from time to time. His favorites are playboy bunny and French maid.
- Usually a Dom, but there is those rare occasions were he'll bottom and let you take control. ( Like Lazy morning sex )
- Into some Food play then he likes to lead on. He likes the use cold whip cream and maple syrup, so prepare to get sticky afterwards.
- Shower sex is definitely a thing in the both of your sex life.
- Occasionally he'll be soft and gentle with you. ( Like your first time together, anniversary, etc. )
- Has a cuteness fetish. It's a guilty pleasure he likes to get off on.
- Doesn't want toys in the bedroom unless it's for Role-play. Other than that, he doesn't want toys in the bedroom. He believes he's the only thing that could please you.
- Has a slight Daddy's kink.
- Usually the both of you do it in the Bedroom or living room, but outdoor sex isn't off limits either ;)
- Remember when I said he has a slight Daddy's kink, well if you decides to be a brat or was being bad that day; James will spank you. So prepare for a ripe bottom ass after sex. This also bleeds into my other point-
- James will fucking rail you into complete an utter exhaustion. You thought Man- handling was one thing, but pissing him off to the point of drilling into you is another. So prepare having your back blown out afterwards.
- Aftercare is always looked forward to the both of you. You're tired and most likely sore and James sweats like a beast afterwards. So James gets up and runs a bath for the both of you. After the both of you are done bathing; James changes the sheets, puts some fresh clean clothes on the both you, then cuddles you until the both of you are lulled to a well needed nap.
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Well this was fun 😄. It was an random Idea of mine I had sticking around in my drafts for a while now, and I'm happy I finally got to finish it ✨. Well until next time my Little Tainted Angels, see you soon ~ 💜❤💜
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christianstevefinnell · 17 days ago
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THE DEVIL IS THE FATHER OF DECEIT  BY STEVE FINNELL
Satan was a liar from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. Satan deceived Eve and Eve convinced Adam that that deception was factually correct.  (Genesis 3:1-13.....And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done? And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me and I ate."'NKJV)
The Devil is the father of lies. He is the great deceiver. (John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil.....When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. NKJV)
Men are still being deceived by the Devil and in turn are deceiving others. It does not matter if a person is deceived and then deceives others, the results are the same for both of them.
There are some so-called Christians who claim Jesus is just one of many ways to heaven.
If you do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God you will died in your sins. (John 8:24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in yours."NKJV)
If the master of deception convinces men that immersion in water is not essential for salvation and the deceived teach others the same, then, they are both dupes of duplicity.(Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved...)
Adam and Eve were both deceived. The, I was deceived by the serpent excuse, did not save them from death.
If what men are being taught is contrary to Scriptures, then, they are being deceived. What will be the consequences of accepting doctrine contrary to the Bible?
Pride and the lack of honest prayer and dishonest Bible study leaves people subject to becoming dupes of duplicity.
Satan is the father of deceit!
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IS JESUS GOD THE FATHER? ---BY STEVE FINNELL
Jesus is God, however, He is not God the Father!
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NASB)
Yes, Jesus was and is God.
Matthew 24:35-36 Heaven and earth will pass away...36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.(NASB)
Jesus does not know the end of time date. Only the Father knows. Jesus is not God the Father.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 But now Christ has been raised from the dead....24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and authority and power.........28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. (NASB)
Jesus is God, however, He is not God the Father.    
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2016
5 Reasons Racism is Ridiculousby
Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Atheism has no rational basis upon which to call anything objectively just or unjust, including racism. If mankind is merely the result of billions of years of mindless evolution and is nothing more than animals (as atheistic evolution contends; Marchant, 2008), then man can logically make evolutionary-based racist remarks that are consistent with the godless General Theory of Evolution. In fact, Charles Darwin’s “Bulldog,” atheist Thomas Huxley, did just that in his 1865 essay, “Emancipation—Black and White.” He alleged, for example, “no rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less superior, of the white man.” In truth, if there is no God, mankind could just as easily look down upon and mistreat others (whom he deems are less evolved), as he does roaches, rats, and orangutans (
Lyons
, 2011;
Lyons and Butt
, 2009). Those who are Christians, however, logically contend that since (1) God exists, and (2) the Bible is the Word of God, racism is morally wrong—and completely ridiculous for the following five reasons.
#1—ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
Not only did God specially create Adam and Eve in His image and vastly different than all other living things on Earth (Genesis 1:26-27), since then, every human being has been made according to God’s likeness. While preaching to Gentiles in Athens thousands of years after the Creation, Paul, a Jew, did not contend that man was once the offspring of God; he said, “We are” the offspring of God (Acts 17:28-29). [The Greek word esmen in 17:28 is the first person plural of eimi (to be). This recognition of being God’s offspring served as a basis for his argument, as the next verse indicates: “Being then the offspring of God….”]James wrote: “But the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God: out of the same mouth cometh forth blessing and cursing. My brethren these things ought not so to be” (3:8-9, ASV, emp. added). [The English verb “are made” (ASV) derives from the Greek gegonotas, which is the perfect participle of the verbginomai. The perfect tense in Greek is used to describe an action brought to completion in the past, but whose effects are felt in the present (Mounce, 1993, p. 219).] The thrust of the expression, “who are made after the likeness of God” (Greek kath’ homoisosin theou gegonotas), is that humans in the past have been made according to the likeness of God, andthey are still bearers of that likeness. For this reason, praising the Creator at one moment, while hurling unkind, racist remarks at another time, is terribly inconsistent in a most unChristlike way. All human beings (of every color and ethnicity) are divine image bearers.
#2—GOD ONLY MADE ONE RACE—THE HUMAN RACE
Although people come in different colors, shapes, and sizes, and although they often associate more closely with those whom they find more similar in ways to themselves, the fact is, there is only one human race. Racism is ridiculous because we are all related, not by means of naturalistic evolution, but by special Creation. No one person is inherently of more value than another person. We are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve—the specially created couple whom God made thousands of years ago in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:20). What’s more, we are also sons and daughters of Noah and his wife, through whom the Earth was repopulated after the worldwide Flood of Genesis 6-8.As the apostle Paul informed the idolatrous Athenians 2,000 years ago, God “made from oneblood every nation to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). Adam and Eve had children, who had children, who had children…who had you and me. We are all physically related. We are all of one race—the one human race. We are all (as modern science classifies us) of the same human species—Homo sapiens. We all trace our ancestry back to Noah, and then back to Adam. We may have different skin color, facial features, hair texture, etc., but we are all brothers and sisters! We are family—a part of the same human race.
#3—GOD DOESN’T PLAY FAVORITES…AND NEITHER SHOULD WE
Although God is omnipotent, He is actually color-blind. His all-loving, perfectly just nature will not allow Him to love someone more than another based upon the color of a person’s skin or the nation in which one was born. Similar to how God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), God cannot show favoritism.Moses wrote: “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). Peter said: “God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35, emp. added). According to Paul, God “does not receive a face” (Galatians 2:6, NASB literal footnote rendering); that is, “God does not judge by external appearance” (Galatians 2:6, NIV).In short, it is impossible to hold “the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, (the Lord) of glory, with respect of persons” (James 2:1, ASV). The Christian’s care and concern for his fellow brother by Creation and by Christ is to be color-blind.
#4—LOVE IS NOT RACIST
Whereas racism is fueled by earthly ignorance and hate, the Christian is filled with the fruit of Heaven’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The child of God is directed by an omniscient, omni-benevolent Father Who expects His children to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). To the Philippians Paul wrote, “And this I pray,that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (1:9-11, emp. added). In two of the more challenging sections of Scripture, Paul wrote: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6, ESV). “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another…. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…. Repay no one evil for evil…. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:9-18).No Christian can be a racist, and any racist who claims to be a Christian is, in truth, a liar. As the apostle John explained, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:20-21).“[W]hatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor [regardless of his or her color and ethnicity—EL]. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:9-10, NIV).
#5—JESUS IS EVERYONE’S SAVIOR
In one of the earliest Messianic prophecies, God promised Abraham that it would be through One of his descendants that “all the nations” and “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 22:18; 12:3, emp. added). It certainly was an honor for Abraham’s family to be chosen as the one through whom the Savior of the world would come, but Jesus did not come only to save the Jews. God did not enact a plan of salvation to save one particular color of people. He did not send Jesus to take away the sins of a particular ethnic group or nation. Jesus is the answer to the whole world’s sin problem; He is “the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, thatwhoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17, emp. added).“God…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4, emp. added). For this reason, “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:47, emp. added)—to people of all colors, in all cultures, in whatever countries.The Gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16, emp. added). And when individuals in the world “obey the Gospel” (2 Thessalonians 1:8; see
Lyons and Butt
, n.d.) and are added to the Lord’s Church by God Himself (Acts 2:47), we allbecome one in Christ Jesus. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:29).
CONCLUSION
I do not claim to be an expert on race relations, but I know that some people genuinely struggle with the sin of racism. Some struggle with being the recipients of racism, which in turn may cause them to be tempted to react in racist ways. Others struggle with cowardly silence as they tolerate the sin of racism in their homes, churches, schools, businesses, and communities. Still others seem so preoccupied with advancing their own racial agenda that they appear to hastily interpret most everything as a racial problem, when most things are not.Jesus once taught the hypocrites of His day, saying, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). May God help us to see as He sees: “for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). What a better world this would be if everyone realized the foolishness of judging a book by its cover. Racism really is ridiculous.
REFERENCES
Huxley, Thomas (1865), “Emancipation—Black and White,” http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE3/B&W.html.Lyons, Eric (2011), “The Moral Argument for the Existence of God,” Apologetics Press,
http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4101&topic=95
.Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (no date), Receiving the Gift of Salvation (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press),
http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/Receiving%20the%20Gift%20of%20Salvation.pdf
.Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2009), “Darwin, Evolution, and Racism,” Apologetics Press,
http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=2654
.Marchant, Jo (2008), “We Should Act Like the Animals We Are,” New Scientist, 200[2678]:44-45, October 18-24.Mounce, William D. (1993), Basics of Biblical Greek (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
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IS BAPTISM SIMPLY AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE?---BY STEVE FINNELL
Is baptism essential to receive forgiveness of sins or is it simply an act of obedience?
Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (NKJV)
Baptism is essential to forgiveness of sins.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them , "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)
Baptism is not simply an act of obedience it is in order to receive forgiveness from sins.
ACTS OF OBEDIENCE THAT ARE NOT FOR FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
1. Attending worship services.
2. Acts of evangelism.
3. Financial support of the Lord's church.
4. Doing good works.
5. Loving your neighbor as yourself
Simple acts of obedience are not in order to the forgiveness of sins.
ACTS OF OBEDIENCE THAT SAVE MEN.
1. Faith: John 3:16
2. Repentance: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
3. Confession: Romans 10:9-10
4. Immersion in water: Marl 16:16, Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16
BAPTISM IS NOT SIMPLY AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE. THERE IS A DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN BAPTISM AND SALVATION
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WATER BAPTISM DENIERS BY STEVE FINNELL
Water baptism deniers claim that you can ignore Mark 16:16 because some of the earliest manuscripts do not include Mark 16:9-20. The problem is there are 60+ Bible translations that include those verses. I know of no English translation of the Bible that omits Mark 16:9-20. Yes, these same deniers have Mark 16:16 in the Bible they read. That does not keep them from explaining away that truth of Mark 16:16.
Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (NKJV)
If the deniers cannot convince you that Mark 16:16 is not the inspired word of God. They will deny that "and" is a conjunction.
And Defined: A conjunction is used to grammatically coordinate words, phrases, or clauses.[Ref. Dictionary.com]
Examples
1. Mark 16:16  He who believes and is baptized will be saved..(NKJV)
2. Acts 2:38 ...Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...(NKJV)
3. You need an engine and gasoline to start your automobile. You cannot start your car by the engine alone.
4. Your doctor says you need surgery and a blood transfusion in order to live. You cannot live by surgery alone.
5. You must have a house with walls, and a roof and a heating system to keep your house warm in winter. You cannot keep warm by a house with walls alone.
Denying that the Bible includes Mark 16:16 does not prove that water baptism is not essential in order to be saved.
Denying that "and" is a conjunction does not mean that you can have your sins forgiven without being baptized in water.
It takes a skilled professional to convince men that immersion in water (that is baptism) is not essential in order to be saved from the penalty of sin.
Honestly seeking God's truth trumps the erroneous teaching of skilled professionals every time it is tried.      
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DOES PREACHING THE TRUTH PROMOTE HARMONY AND UNITY?----BY STEVE FINNELL
Does preaching the Biblical truth found in the new testament Scriptures lead to harmony, unity, and acceptance by the world and by believers in Jesus Christ? No, it does not.
Matthew 10:34-36 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man's enemies will be the members of his household.(NASB)
Anyone who has the audacity to preach or teach
the truth as found in the new testament Scriptures will not only be criticized by family members, but ostracized by fellow Christians and the world as well.
The truth in Christ promotes conflict with those who reject God's written word.
Jesus was crucified for not only preaching truth, but for being the Truth.
Eleven out of the twelve apostles were executed for preaching the truth.
Truth that causes conflict.
1. Teaching that immersion in water is essential to salvation. (Mark 16:16)
2. Proclaiming that Jesus is the only way to heaven. (John 14:6)
3. Teaching that is a sin to worship by praying to the Virgin Mary.(Matthew 4:10)
4. Teaching that Christians can lose their salvation.(1 Timothy 4:1-5)
5. Teaching that Christians should avoid those who cause division by teaching false doctrine. (Romans 16:17)
6. Teaching that men have the free-will to accept or reject the gospel. (John 3:16)
Preaching God's truth does not promote peace among those who do not love the truth.(2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.)NASB
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MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 2016
TRUST GOD OR NOT? BY STEVE FINNELL
When Christians are ask if they trust God; most would respond in the affirmative. Do Christians really believe God is trustworthy?
How do Christian respond when asked, do they believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God? For many, the trust, in God starts to wane at this point. An all too common reply, is of course the Bible is God's word, however, the Scriptures were recorded and translated into other languages my mere men. We know men make mistakes.
What is mystifying to me is how believers in Christ can proclaim that they believe God created the heavens and the earth, but do not believe God has the power to direct men to record and translate His word without error. Would that be a God you could trust?
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone , but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" (NASB)
Jesus said men should live on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. How would that be possible if the Bible is not the infallible word of God?
1 John 2:3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.(NASB)
John said we know Jesus if we keep His commandments. If the Bible is not God's incontrovertible truth, how can we know we are keeping the commandments of Jesus?
THE GOD I WORSHIP HAS THE POWER TO PRODUCE A BIBLE THAT IS INERRANT, FACTUAL, INFALLIBLE, FREE FROM ERROR, LITERAL IN HISTORICAL ACCURACY, TRANSLATED CORRECTLY, AND YES, INSPIRED BY GOD HIMSELF.
There those who agree that the Bible is the inerrant word of God but then state that you have to be a Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic scholar to understand the meaning of Scripture.
In order to understand the Bible you have to understand whatever language translation you are reading. If English is your first language then you should use an English translation, if German is your primary language then read a German translation, if you are Greek then read a Greek translation etc.
It is not ironic that they do not believe you have be a Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic scholar to under Joshua 10:13, however, in order to understand Acts 2:38 you have be not only have to be a Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic scholar, but an English professor as well.
Joshua 10:13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.
The "scholar police" accept Joshua 10:13 at face value; as well they should.
The "scholar police" believe you have to be a Greek scholar and an English professor to understand Acts 2:38.
The "scholar police" have an agenda. There goal is to convince the world that water baptism is not essential to have sins forgiven.
Acts 2:38 Peter replied "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(The Thompson Chain -Reference Bible NIV)
You do not have to be a Greek scholar or an English professor to understand what "so that your sins may be forgiven" means.
Acts 2:38 Peter told them, "you must repent  and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus , so that you may have your sins forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips)
If you have a fifth grade reading level you are capable of understand the meaning of "so that you may have your sins forgiven."
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Let each one of you repent and be immersed, in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to the remission of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (The Better Version of The New Testament by Chester Estes)
"In order to the remission of sins" means the same thing whether you are a Greek scholar, a professor in English or a novice Christian.
Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NASB)
It does not matter if you are a Greek scholar, or an English professor; "for the forgiveness or your sins" means exactly what it says.
DO NOT LET THE "SCHOLAR POLICE" CONVINCE YOU, THAT ONLY AN ELITE FEW CAN UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE.
CONTRARY TO THE "SCHOLAR POLICE" WATER BAPTISM IS ESSENTIAL TO HAVE YOUR SINS FORGIVEN!      
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SUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 2016
EVOLUTION OR CREATION?   BY STEVE FINNELL
Where did mankind come from? Evolution Or God?
Evolutionists claim man came from bacteria through monkeys.(A theory)
The Bible claims man was created by God through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 3:9....God who created all things through Jesus Christ; NKJV)
Two choices. Only one answer.
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IS INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY COMPATIBLE WITH CHRISTIANITY?  BY STEVE FINNELL
Is it possible to teach God's truth about Jesus Christ and be intellectually dishonest?
Example: Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NASB)
Would it be intellectually honest to say that baptized for the forgiveness of sins actually means you are baptized because your sins have already been forgiven?
Would it be intellectually honest to say that to repent for the forgiveness of sins actually means you have repented because your sins have already been forgiven? [Repentance is the intellectual commitment to turn from sin and to repent of unbelief and to turn toward God]
When you take an aspirin "for" a headache you are not taking an aspirin because your headache has already been cured.
To say that "for" in Acts 2:38 does not mean "in order to" is being intellectually dishonest.
Matthew 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins, (NASB)
It would be intellectually dishonest to assert that Jesus shed His blood because the sins of men had already been forgiven. Jesus shed His blood "for" [in order to] the forgiveness of sins.
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SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2016
13 Objections to Baptismby
Dave Miller, Ph.D.
S
ome churches historically have taught that water immersion is the dividing line between the lost and the saved. This means that a penitent believer remains unforgiven of sin until buried in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:4). Much of the denominational world disagrees with this analysis of Bible teaching, holding instead that one is saved at the point of “belief,” before and without water baptism. Consider some of the points that are advanced in an effort to minimize the essentiality of baptism for salvation.
OBJECTION #1: “JESUS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS BECAUSE HE WAS SINLESS; THEREFORE, PEOPLE TODAY ARE NOT BAPTIZED IN ORDER TO BE FORGIVEN. THEY MERELY IMITATE JESUS’ EXAMPLE.”
The baptism to which Jesus submitted Himself was John’s baptism (Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:9). John’s baptism was for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). This truth is particularly evident from the fact that when Jesus presented Himself to John for baptism, John sought to deter Him, noting that, if anything, Jesus needed to baptize John (Matthew 3:14). Jesus did not correct John, as many seek to do today, by falsely arguing that baptism is not for remission of sins. Rather, Jesus, in effect, agreed with John, but made clear that His baptism was an exception to the rule.Jesus’ baptism was unique and not to be compared to anyone else’s baptism. Jesus’ baptism had the unique purpose of “fulfilling all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). In other words, it was necessary for Jesus to submit to John’s baptism (1) to show His contemporaries that no one is exempt from submitting to God’s will and (2) more specifically, Christ’s baptism was God’s appointed means of pinpointing for the world the precise identity of His Son. It was not until John saw the Spirit of God descending on Jesus and heard the voice (“This is My Son...”) that he knew that “this is the Son of God” (John 1:31-34; Matthew 3:16-17).Of course, John’s baptism is no longer valid (Acts 18:24-19:5). John’s baptism paralleled New Testament baptism in the sense that both were for the forgiveness of sins. But John’s baptism was transitional in nature, preparing Jews for their Messiah. Baptism after the cross is for all people (Matthew 28:19), in Jesus’ name (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 19:5), into His death (Romans 6:3), in order to be clothed with Him (Galatians 3:27), and added to His church (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13). We must not use Jesus’ baptism to suggest that salvation occurs prior to baptism.
OBJECTION #2: “THE THIEF ON THE CROSS WAS NOT BAPTIZED, AND HE WAS SAVED.”
When we “handle aright the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), we see that the thief was not subject to the New Testament command of immersion because this command was not given until after the thief’s death.¹ It was not until Christ was resurrected that He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). It was not until Christ’s death that the Old Testament ceased, signified by the tearing of the Temple curtain (Matthew 27:51). When Jesus died, He took away the Old Testament, “nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).The word “testament” means “covenant” or “will.” The last will and testament of Christ is the New Testament, which consists of those teachings that apply to people after the death of Christ. If we expect to receive the benefits of the New Testament (salvation, forgiveness of sin, eternal life), we must submit to the terms of the will for which Christ is mediator (Hebrews 9:15), for “where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator; for a testament is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:16-17).So prior to the Lord’s death and the sealing of the New Testament, the baptism for the forgiveness of sins that would be in effect after the crucifixion was not a requirement for those who sought to be acceptable to God. Indeed, while Jesus was on Earth in person, He exercised His authority to forgive sin (Matthew 9:6). People now, however, live during the Christian era of religious history. Prior to Christ’s death, there were no Christians (Acts 11:26). For a person to reject water baptism as a prerequisite to salvation on the basis of what the thief did or did not do, is comparable to Abraham seeking salvation by building an ark—because that’s what Noah did to please God. It would be like the rich young ruler (Matthew 19) refusing Christ’s directive to sell all his possessions—because wealthy King David did not have to sell his possessions in order to please God.The thief on the cross could not have been baptized the way the new covenant stipulates you and I must be baptized. Why? Romans 6:3-4 teaches that if we wish to acquire “newness of life,” we must be baptized into Christ’s death, be buried with Christ in baptism, and then be raised from the dead. There was no way for the thief to comply with this New Testament baptism—Christ had not died! Christ had not been buried! Christ had not been raised! In fact, none of God’s ordained teachings pertaining to salvation in Christ (2 Timothy 2:10), and in His body the Church (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22-23), had been given. The church, which Christ’s shed blood purchased (Acts 20:28), had not been established, and was not set up until weeks later (Acts 2).
2
We must not look to the thief as an example of salvation. Instead, we must obey “from the heart that form of doctrine” (Romans 6:17)—the form of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection through baptism (Romans 6:3-4). Only then can we be “made free from sin to become the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18).
OBJECTION #3: “THE BIBLE SAYS, ‘CHRIST STANDS AT THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART,’ AND ALL WE HAVE TO DO TO BE FORGIVEN OF SIN AND BECOME A CHRISTIAN IS TO INVITE HIM INTO OUR HEARTS.”
It is no doubt startling to discover that the Bible simply does not say such a thing. The phraseology is reminiscent of Revelation 3:20—the passage usually invoked to support the idea. But examine what Revelation 3:20 actually teaches. Revelation chapters 2 and 3 consist of seven specific messages directed to seven churches of Christ in Asia Minor in the first century. Thus, at the outset, we must recognize that Revelation 3:20 is addressed toChristians—not non-Christians seeking conversion to Christ.Second, Revelation 3:20 is found among Christ’s remarks to the church in Laodicea. Jesus made clear that the church had moved into a lost condition. The members were unacceptable to God since they were “lukewarm” (3:16). They had become unsaved since their spiritual condition was “wretched and miserable and poor” (3:17). Thus, in a very real sense, Jesus had abandoned them by removing His presence from their midst. Now He was on the outside looking in. He still wanted to be among them, but the decision was up to them. They had to recognize His absence, hear Him knocking for admission, and open the door—all of which is figurative language indicating their need to repent (3:19). They needed to return to the obedient lifestyle essential to sustaining God’s favor (John 14:21,23).Observe that Revelation 3:20 in no way supports the idea that non-Christians merely have to “open the door of their heart” and “invite Jesus in” with the assurance that the moment they mentally/verbally do so, Jesus comes into their heart and they are simultaneously saved from all past sin and have become Christians. The context of Revelation 3:20 shows that Jesus was seeking readmission into an apostate church.Does the Bible teach that Christ comes into a person’s heart? Yes, but not in the way the religious world suggests. For instance, Ephesians 3:17 states that Christ dwells in the heartthrough faith. Faith can be acquired only by hearing biblical truth (Romans 10:17). When Bible truth is obeyed, the individual is “saved by faith” (Hebrews 5:9; James 2:22; 1 Peter 1:22). Thus Christ enters our lives when we “draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience [i.e, repentance—DM] and our bodies washed with pure water [i.e., baptism—DM]” (Hebrews 10:22).
OBJECTION #4: “A PERSON IS SAVED THE MOMENT HE ACCEPTS CHRIST AS HIS PERSONAL SAVIOR—WHICH PRECEDES AND THEREFORE EXCLUDES WATER BAPTISM.”
To suggest that all one has to do to receive the forgiveness of God and become a Christian is to mentally accept Jesus into his heart and make a verbal statement to that effect, is to dispute the declaration of Jesus in Matthew 7:21—“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” To be sure, oral confession of Christ is one of the prerequisites to salvation (Romans 10:10). But Jesus said there is more to becoming a blood-bought follower of His than verbally “calling on his name”
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or “inwardly accepting Him as Savior.” He stated that before we can even consider ourselves as God’s children (Christians), we must show our acceptance of His gift through outward obedience—“He that does the will of My Father.” Notice the significant contrast Jesus made: the difference between mental/verbal determination to accept and follow the Lord, versus verbal confession coupled with action or obedience (cf. James 2:14,17). This is why we must do everything the Lord has indicated must be done prior to salvation. Jesus is telling us that it is possible to make the mistake of claiming we have found the Lord, when we have not done what He plainly told us to do.Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Jesus also stated: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Honestly, have you accepted Christ as your personal savior—in the way He said it must be done? He asks: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46, emp. added).
OBJECTION #5: “WE ARE CLOTHED WITH CHRIST AND BECOME HIS CHILDREN WHEN WE PLACE OUR FAITH IN HIM.”
Read Galatians 3:26-27: “You are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” The words “put on” (NKJV) are a translation of the Greek verb enduo which signifies “to enter into, get into, as into clothes, to put on.” Can we be saved prior to “putting Christ on” or “being clothed” with Christ? Of course not. But when and how does one put on Christ—according to Paul? When one is baptized in water. Those who teach we can be saved before baptism are, in reality, teaching we can be saved while spiritually naked and without Christ! Paul affirms that we “put on” Christ at the point of our baptism—not before.Paul wrote these words to people who were already saved. They had been made “sons of God by faith.” But how? At what point had they “been clothed with Christ”? When were they made “sons of God by faith”? When were they saved? Paul makes the answer to these questions very plain: they were united with Christ, had put on Christ, and were clothed with Christ—when they were baptized. Ask yourself if you have been clothed with Christ.
OBJECTION #6: “BAPTISM IS LIKE A BADGE ON A UNIFORM THAT MERELY GIVES EVIDENCE THAT THE PERSON IS ALREADY SAVED.”
The New Testament nowhere expounds the idea that baptism is merely a “badge” or “outward sign of an inward grace.” Yes, baptism can biblically be referred to as a symbolicact; but what does it symbolize? Previous forgiveness? No! Romans 6 indicates that baptism symbolizes the previous death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Thus the benefits of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (remember, Jesus’ blood, which blots out sin, was shed in the context of His death, burial, and resurrection) are realized and received by the individual when he obediently (in penitent faith) submits to a similar ordeal, i.e., the death of his own “old man” or “body of sin” (Romans 6:6), burial (immersion into a watery tomb), and resurrection (rising from the watery tomb).Denominational doctrine maintains that forgiveness of sin is received prior to baptism. If so, the “new life” of the saved individual would also begin prior to baptism. Yet Paul said the “new life” occurs after baptism. He reiterated this to the Colossians. The “putting off of the body of the flesh by Christ’s circumcision” (Colossians 2:11) is accomplished in the context of water immersion and being “risen with Him” (Colossians 2:12). Chapter 3 then draws the important observation: “If then you were raised with Christ [an undeniable reference to baptism—DM], seek those things which are above” [an undeniable reference to the new life which follows—not precedes—baptism].
OBJECTION #7: “BAPTISM IS A MERITORIOUS WORK, WHEREAS WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE, NOT WORKS.”
“Works” or “steps” of salvation do not imply that one “merits” his salvation upon obedient compliance with those actions. Rather, “steps” or “a process” signifies the biblical concept of preconditions, stipulations of faith, or acts of obedience—what James called “works” (James 2:17). James was not saying that one can earn his justification (James 2:24). Rather, he was describing the active nature of faith, showing that saving faith, faith that is alive—as opposed to dead and therefore utterly useless (2:20)—is the only kind that is acceptable to God, a faith that obeys whatever actions God has indicated must be done. The obedience of both Abraham and Rahab is set forth as illustrative of the kind of faith James says is acceptable. They manifested their trust by actively doing what God wanted done. Such obedient or active trust is the only kind that avails anything. Thus, an obedient response is essential.The actions themselves are manifestations of this trust that justifies, not the trust itself. But notice that according to James, you cannot have one without the other. Trust, or faith, isdead, until it leads one to obey the specifications God assigned. Here is the essence of salvation that separates those who adhere to biblical teaching from those who have been adversely influenced by the Protestant reformers. The reformers reacted to the unbiblical concept of stacking bad deeds against good deeds in an effort to offset the former by the latter (cf. Islam). Unfortunately, the reactionary reformers went to the equally unacceptable, opposite extreme by asserting that man need “only believe” (Luther) or man can do nothing at all (Calvin). The truth is between these two unbiblical extremes.From Genesis to Revelation, faith is the trusting, obedient reaction that humans manifest in response to what God offers. This is the kind of “justification by faith” that Paul expounded in Romans. Like red flags at the very beginning (1:5) and at the end (16:26) of his divinely inspired treatise, he defined what he meant by “faith” with the words “obedient faith” (hupakoeinpisteos), i.e., faith that obeys, obedience which springs from faith.
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This fact is precisely why God declared His willingness to fulfill the promises He made to Abraham: “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26:5). Hence, in Romans Paul could speak of the necessity of walking “in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had” (Romans 4:12). Until faith obeys, it is useless and cannot justify.The Hebrews writer made the same point in Hebrews 11. The faith we see in Old Testament “men of faith” availed only after they obeyed God-given stipulations. God rewards those who “diligently seek Him” in faith (vs. 6). Noah “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” when he “prepared an ark.” If he had not complied with divine instructions, he would have been branded as “unfaithful.” The thing that made the difference, that constituted the line of demarcation between faith and lack of faith, was obedient action—what James called “works,” and Paul called “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). In this sense, even faith is a “work” (John 6:29). Hebrews 11 repeatedly reinforces this eternal principle: (1) God offers grace (which may at any point in history consist of physical blessings, e.g., healing, salvation from enemies, land or property, etc., or spiritual blessings, e.g., justification, forgiveness, salvation from sin, being made righteous, etc.); (2) man responds in obedient trust (i.e., “faith”) by complying with the stipulated terms; and (3) God bestows the blessing.It would be wrong to think that man’s obedient response earns or merits the subsequent blessing. Such simply does not logically follow. All blessings God bestows on man are undeserved (Luke 17:10). His rich mercy and loving grace is freely offered and made available—though man never deserves such kindness (Titus 2:11). Still, a non-meritorious response is absolutely necessary if unworthy man is to receive certain blessings.
OBJECTION #8: “NOT ONLY IS BAPTISM NONESSENTIAL TO SALVATION, EVEN FAITH IS A GIFT FROM GOD TO A PERSON. MAN IS SO DEPRAVED THAT HE IS INCAPABLE OF BELIEVING.”
Surely, God’s infinite justice would not permit Him to force man to desire God’s blessings. God’s intervention into man’s woeful condition was not in the form of causing man to desire help or miraculously generating faith within man. God intervened by giving His inspired Word, which tells how He gave His Son to make a way for man to escape eternal calamity. Faith is then generated in the individual by God’s words which the person must read and understand (Romans 10:17; Acts 8:30). The individual then demonstrates his faith in obedience.Did the walls of Jericho fall down “by faith” (Hebrews 11:30)? Absolutely. But the salient question is: “When?” Did the walls fall the moment the Israelites merely “believed” that they would fall? No! Rather, when the people obeyed the divine directives. The walls fell “by faith”after the people met God’s conditions. If the conditions had not been met, the walls would not have fallen down “by faith.” The Israelites could not claim that the walls fell by their own effort, or that they earned the collapse of the walls. The city was given to them by God as an undeserved act of His grace (Joshua 6:2). To receive the free gift of the city, the people had to obey the divinely stipulated prerequisites.Notice the capsuling nature of Hebrews 11:6. Faith or belief is not given by God. It is something that man does in order to please God. The whole chapter is predicated on the fundamental idea that man is personally responsible for mustering obedient trust. God does not “regenerate man by His call, thus enabling man to respond.” God “calls” individuals through, by means of, His written Word (2 Thessalonians 2:14). In turn, the written Word can generate faith in the individual (Romans 10:17). How unscriptural to suggest that man is so “totally depraved” that he cannot even believe, thus placing God in the position of demanding something from man (John 8:24) of which man is inherently incapable. But the God of the Bible would not be guilty of such injustice.Some people approach passages like Romans 10:17 in this fashion: (1) God chooses to save an individual; (2) God gives him the free gift of faith; and (3) God uses the Gospel to stir up the faith which He has given the person. Yet neither Romans 10:17, nor any other passage, even hints at such an idea. The text states explicitly that faith comes from hearing Christ’s Word. Notice verse 14, where the true sequence is given: (1) the preacher preaches; (2) the individual hears the preached word; and (3) believes. This sequence is a far cry from suggesting that God miraculously imparts faith to a person, and then the Holy Spirit “stirs up” the faith. Such a notion has God giving man a defective faith which then needs to be stirred up. The text makes clear that God has provided for faith to be generated (i.e., originated) by the preached Word. God does not arbitrarily intervene and impose faith upon the hearts of a select group of individuals.According to 1 Corinthians 1:21, mankind did not know God, so God transmitted His message through inspired preachers so that those who respond in faith would be saved. Paul wrote in Romans 1:16 that this gospel message is God’s power to save those who believe it. Notice that the Gospel is what Paul preached (vs. 15). Thus the preached message from God generates faith and enables people to be saved.We see the same in Acts 2:37. What pierced the hearts of the listeners? Obviously, the sermon. Acts 2:37 is a demonstration of Romans 10:17—“faith comes by hearing…the word of God.” God did not change the hearts of the people miraculously; Peter’s words did. If denominational doctrine is correct, when the Jews asked the apostles what they should do, Peter should have said: “There’s nothing you can do. You are so totally depraved, you can’t do anything. God will regenerate you; He will cause you to believe (since faith is His ‘free gift’).” Yet, quite to the contrary, Peter told them that they needed to do some things. And they were things that God could not do for them.First, they were required to “repent.” Biblical repentance is a change of mind (Matthew 21:29). A “turning” follows repentance (Acts 3:19) and consists of some specified action subsequent to the change of mind. John the Baptizer called this turning activity, which follows repentance and serves as evidence that repentance has occurred, “fruits” (Matthew 3:8). After being convicted (Acts 2:37—i.e., believing the truth of Peter’s contentions), they were told to “repent,” to change their minds about their previous course of life. What else were they to do?Peter did not tell them to “repent and believe.” Their belief was already abundantly evident in their pricked hearts and their fervent petition for instructions. What was lacking? Peter said (i.e., God said) they still lacked baptism. Remember, the only difference between dead faith and saving faith is outward action—compliance with all actions that God specifies as necessary before He will freely bestow unmerited favor in the form of forgiveness.Thus baptism marked the point at which God would count them righteous if they first believed and repented. Baptism served as the line of demarcation between the saved and the lost. Jesus’ blood could wash their sins away only at the point of baptism.
OBJECTION #9: “THE PREPOSITION ‘FOR’ IN THE PHRASE ‘FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS’ IN ACTS 2:38 MEANS ‘BECAUSE OF.’ HENCE, THEY WERE BAPTIZED BECAUSE OF SINS FOR WHICH THEY WERE FORGIVEN WHEN THEY BELIEVED.”
The English word “for” has, as one of its meanings, “because of.” However, the Greek preposition eis that underlies the English word “for” never has a causal function. It always has its primary, basic, accusative thrust: unto, into, to, toward. We must not go to the text, decide what we think it means, and assign a grammatical meaning that coincides with our preconceived understanding. We must begin with the inspired grammar and seek to understand every text in light of the normal, natural, common meaning of the grammatical and lexical construction. The same grammatical construction of Acts 2:38 is found in Matthew 26:28—“into the remission of sins” (eisaphesin hamartion). Jesus’ blood, the blood of the covenant, was undeniably shed for many “in order to acquire remission of sins.” This is the natural and normal meaning of the Greek preposition—toward, in the direction of. Had the Holy Spirit intended to say that baptism is “because of” or “on account of” past forgiveness, He would have used the Greek preposition that conveys that very idea: dia with the accusative.Similarly, in Acts 2:38, if repentance is not “because of” remission of sins, neither is baptism. Regardless of person and number considerations, Peter told his hearers to do both things. The act of baptism (connected to the act of repentance by the coordinate conjunction) cannot be extricated from the context of remission of sins by any stretch.
OBJECTION #10: “WHEN THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER ASKED WHAT TO DO TO BE SAVED, HE WAS SIMPLY TOLD TO BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
As further proof that God does not miraculously bestow faith on a person through the Holy Spirit, observe that Paul told the jailer that he (the jailer) had to believe; he did not answer the jailer’s question with: “You don’t have to do anything. God will give you faith.” On the contrary, Paul and Silas told him that he had to manifest faith in Jesus. But was this pagan jailer in a position at that moment to do so? No, he would have to be taught Who, how, and what to believe. No wonder, then, Luke records immediately: “they spoke the word of the Lord to him” (Acts 16:32). If Romans 10:17 can be trusted, the words which Paul and Silas proclaimed generated faith in the jailer. And those same words surely included the necessity of repentance and baptism, because the jailer immediately manifested the fruit of repentance (by washing their stripes), and likewise was immediately baptized (not waiting until morning or the weekend). Observe carefully Luke’s meticulous documentation, that it was only afterthe jailer believed, repented, and was baptized, that the jailer was in a position to rejoice. Only then did Luke describe the jailer as “having believed in God” (vs. 34), i.e., now standing in a state of perfected belief.
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OBJECTION #11: “SAUL WAS SAVED BEFORE AND WITHOUT BAPTISM WHILE HE WAS ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS WHEN JESUS APPEARED TO HIM.”
The actual sequence of events delineated in Acts shows that Saul was not saved while on the road to Damascus. Jesus identified Himself and then accused Saul of being a persecutor (Acts 9:5). Saul “trembled” and was “astonished” (hardly the description of a saved individual), and pleadingly asked what he should do—a clear indication that he had just been struck with his lost and undone condition.This question has the exact same force as the Pentecostians’ question (Acts 2:37) and the jailer’s question (Acts 16:30). All three passages are analogous in their characterization of individuals who had acted wrongly (i.e., the Pentecostians had crucified Jesus, Saul was persecuting Christians, and the jailer had kept innocent Christians jailed). Likewise, in each instance, the candidates for conversion are portrayed as unhappy (i.e., the Pentecostians were “cut to the heart,” Saul “trembled” and “was astonished,” and the jailer “came trembling”—i.e., he was frightened). They were scared, miserable individuals, suddenly brought face to face with their horribly unacceptable status before God. Such is hardly an apt description for saved individuals. Where is the joy, peace, and excitement that comes when one’s sins have been washed away?Saul was not forgiven on the road to Damascus—he still needed to be told what he “must do” (Acts 9:6). He still lacked “hearing the word of the Lord.” The only way for Saul to hear the Gospel was through the agency of a preacher (Romans 10:14; 1 Corinthians 1:21).  Similarly, an angel told Cornelius (Acts 10:4) that his prayers and money had gone up for a memorial before God—yet he was unsaved. He needed to contact an inspired preacher, Peter, “who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14). Likewise, before Saul could learn of God’s plan that he be the great “apostle of the Gentiles,” he first needed to hear the Gospel expounded and told how to respond to what God offered in Christ.Rather than tell him what he needed to do to be saved, Jesus told him to go into the city, where a preacher (Ananias) would expound to him the necessity of salvation. Notice: Saul waited in Damascus for three days without food and drink, and was still blind. Here’s an individual who was still miserable, unhappy, and unsaved, awaiting instructions on how to change his unfortunate status. Acts 9:18 condenses Saul’s response to the preached Word, while Acts 22 elaborates a little further on the significance of Saul’s response. Ananias said, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).Notice Ananias’ inspired connection between baptism and sins being cleansed. If Saul was saved prior to baptism, it was wrong for Ananias to say that Saul still had sins that needed to be washed away. Ananias did not congratulate Saul because his sins already were washed away, and tell him that he needed to be baptized only as a “badge” or “outward symbol” or “picture” of what had already occurred. He plainly said Saul’s sins yet needed to be washed away. That can be accomplished only by Jesus’ blood in the act of baptism. The water does not cleanse the sin-stained soul—Jesus does. And Ananias clearly stated when(not how or by Whom) that occurs. If Saul’s penitent faith would not lead him to submit to water immersion, he could not have had his sins washed away by Jesus. Instead, he would have remained in opposition to Jesus. Remember, Scripture never portrays baptism as symbolic of previous sin removal. The only symbolism ever attached to the act of baptism is its (1) likeness to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5); (2) its comparison to the removal of sin like circumcision removes skin (Colossians 2:12); and (3) its likeness to Noah’s emergence from a sinful world (1 Peter 3:20-21). God literally (not symbolically) removes sin and justifies the individual by grace, through faith, at the point of baptism.
OBJECTION #12: “IF BAPTISM IS NECESSARY TO SALVATION, JESUS WOULD HAVE SAID, ‘BUT HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE AND IS NOT BAPTIZED WILL BE CONDEMNED’ IN MARK 16:16. AND BESIDES, THE LAST TWELVE VERSES OF MARK 16 ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE OLDEST AND BEST GREEK MANUSCRIPTS.”
The omission of “and is not baptized” in Mark 16:16 is completely logical and necessary. The first phrase (“he who believes and is baptized”) describes man’s complete response necessitated by the preaching of the Gospel: Faith must precede baptism, since obviously one would not submit to baptism if he did not first believe. It is non-essential to ascribe condemnation in the second clause to the individual who is not baptized, since the individual being condemned is the one who does not initially believe. The person who refuses to believe “is condemned already” (John 3:18) and certainly would not be interested in the next item of compliance—baptism. He who does not believe would obviously not be baptized—and even if he would, his failure to first believe disqualifies him from being immersed. Only penitent believers are candidates for baptism. An exact grammatical parallel would be: “He who goes to the store and buys coffee for his father will receive $5.00. He who does not go to the store will be spanked.” Obviously, if the child refuses to go to the store, he would not be in a position to buy coffee, and it would be redundant—even grammatically and linguistically inappropriate—to include the failure to purchase the coffee in the pronouncement of an impending spanking.Are the last verses of Mark 16 uninspired? The textual evidence supporting the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 is exceptional in light of the vast sources available for establishing the original text. While it is true that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus omit the last 12 verses, it is positively misleading to assume that “the validity of these verses is weak.” In fact, the vast number of witnesses are in favor of the authenticity of verses 9-20. The rejection ofVaticanus is less weighty in light of its comparable exclusion of the Pastoral Epistles, the last part of Hebrews, and Revelation. The rejection of Sinaiticus is similarly unconvincing, since it includes some of the Apocryphal books.
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OBJECTION #13: “ROMANS 10:9-10 INDICATES THAT ALL ONE NEEDS TO DO IS BELIEVE AND CONFESS JESUS.”
The use of eis in Romans 10:10 cannot mean “because of.” Verse nine explicitly says one will be saved “if” he confesses and believes in the heart. Confession and faith are therefore prerequisites to forgiveness. They are God-ordained “responses” to the preached Word (vs. 8) and must occur before salvation is imparted by God. In other words, one’s soul is purified when he obeys the truth (1 Peter 1:22). Jesus provides eternal salvation to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).But is baptism excluded from salvation since only faith and confession are mentioned in Romans 10:9-10? Notice, four chapters earlier, the order of Romans 6:17-18: (1) slaves to sin; (2) person obeys; (3) made free from sin (righteous). Item (3) cannot occur unless item (2) occurs first. The “whole” of man is to reverence God and keep His commands(Ecclesiastes 12:13). To whom does God give the Holy Spirit? To those whom He arbitrarily chooses, without any consideration of the individual’s necessitated response? No. Acts 5:32 says God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. God has always conditioned the bestowal of spiritual blessing upon prior obedient response (Jeremiah 7:23; Genesis 26:4-5). Deuteronomy 5:10 says God shows mercy to those who love Him and keep His commands.In Romans 10, Paul is not stressing the specific aspects of the conversion process. That is not the context. Rather, the context addresses whether one is acceptable to God in the Christian dispensation due to physical heritage (i.e., race/ethnicity), versus whether one is saved when one complies with God’s instruction. Paul was stressing that their nationality could not bring the Jews into God’s favor. Rather, people are saved when they render obedience to the Gospel. He quoted Joel 2:32, where the emphasis is on the word “whosoever” in contrast to “Jews only.” Verse 12 argues that God does not distinguish on the basis of race. The individual’s response to the preached Word is the deciding factor. However, Romans 10 does not reveal all of the details of that obedient response. One must be willing to search out the whole truth on such a subject.If repentance is essential to salvation, one must concede that such teaching must come from some passage other than Romans 10. Does Romans 10:10 mean that repentance is unnecessary, just because it is unmentioned in the text? No, since repentance is required in chapter 2:4. If not, then why assume baptism to be nonessential simply because it is not mentioned in this particular text? It is enjoined in chapter 6:3-4. To ascertain the significance of baptism in God’s sight, one must go to passages that discuss that subject, rather than dismiss them in deference to verses on faith. If God says, “faith saves” (Romans 5:1), let us accept that truth. If God says, “baptism saves” (1 Peter 3:21), let us accept that truth, too! Jesus Himself said: belief + baptism = salvation (Mark 16:16), not belief = salvation + baptism.Notice also, Romans 10:10,13 does not say that salvation can be acquired by mere verbal confession (e.g., “I accept Jesus into my heart as my personal Savior”). Why?(1) Nowhere is the statement, “Accept Jesus as your personal Savior,” found in Scripture.(2) Jesus forever dashed the idea of salvation by mental acceptance/verbal profession alone in Matthew 7:21 and Luke 6:46, where He showed that oral confession alone is unacceptable. In every age, there have been specified actions of obedience that God has required before He would count individuals as pleasing or acceptable. In fact, if faith is not coupled with the appropriate obedient action (like baptism), then such faith is unable to justify. Such faith is imperfect (James 2:17,20,26) and therefore cannot save!(3) The phrase “call on the name of the Lord” is an idiomatic way to say: “respond with appropriate obedient actions.” It is the figure of speech known as synecdoche (i.e., the part stands for the whole). To “call” on God’s name is equivalent to saying, “Do what He tells you to do.” Isaiah 55:6 told the Jews of Isaiah’s day to call on God. Verse 7 explains how: (1) forsake wicked ways, (2) forsake wicked thoughts, (3) return to the Lord. To obey these three stipulations constituted “calling on God.”Likewise, those in Jerusalem who “called on the Lord’s name” (Acts 9:14,21) had done so, not solely by verbal confession, but by repentance and baptism for forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Similarly, Paul himself became a Christian, that is, he “called on the name of the Lord”—not by verbally confessing Christ—but by being baptized (Acts 22:16). For Paul, “calling on the Lord’s name” was equivalent to (not precedent to) being baptized. God washed his sins away by the blood of Jesus at the point of his baptism.
CONCLUSION
Though the bulk of Christendom for centuries has veered off into Calvinism and other post-first century theological thought, the meaning and design of baptism is determined by the New Testament. The verses in the New Testament that speak about baptism are definitive. They indicate that water immersion precedes salvation—along with faith, repentance, and confession of Christ’s deity. No objection has ever overturned this divinely intended function.
ENDNOTES
1
Although the thief may well have submitted to the precursor to NT baptism, i.e., John’s baptism, it also was “for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3).
2
See also Dave Miller (2003), “The Thief on the Cross,” Apologetics Press,
http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1274&topic=86
.
3
Cf. Eric Lyons (2004), “Calling on the Name of the Lord,”
http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/597
.
4
Rudolf Bultmann (1968), “πιστεύω,” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982 reprint), 6:206; Fredrick William Danker (2000), “ὑπακοη,” A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago), third edition, p. 1028; James Denny (no date), “St. Paul’s Epistles to the Romans” in The Expositor’s Greek Testament, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 2:587; J.B. Lightfoot (1895), Notes on Epistles of St. Paul (London: Macmillan), p. 246; H.P.V. Nunn (1912), A Short Syntax of New Testament Greek (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p. 42; Geoffrey H. Parke-Taylor (1944), “A Note on ‘είς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως’ in Romans 1.5 and xvi.26,” The Expository Times, 55:305-306; A.T. Robertson (1931), Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press), 4:324; Marvin Vincent (1946), Word Studies in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 3:5; W.E. Vine (1966), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell), p. 123.
5
W.M. Ramsay (1915), The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (London: Houghton and Stoughton), p. 165.
6
For a more thorough discussion of this matter, see Dave Miller (2005), “Is Mark 16:9-20 Inspired?” Reason & Revelation, 25[12]:89-95, December,
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portraitofalarryonfire · 17 days ago
I don’t want to start anything but I thought you’d understand where I’m coming from. I left larrie after you did, you really woke me up. But leaving I loved Louis more, I saw that he had been faithful to El and claimed F even when it was hard. But I’ve liked Harry a lot less. I remember you used to describe non larrie Harry as Tristan styles, and I’m coming to terms with him actually being that. I’m disappointed by him and resent him a bit in all truth. He’s just another white f boy...
Hey, I do get where you’re coming from and I think it’s important you talk through your feelings. I mean you’re unlearning a whole belief system and it’s natural that you’re having to adjust to reality and examine how you now feel about people and events.
Something that can be really detrimental, honestly, is when you come out of larrie and you’re embraced by Harries or Louies, under the condition that you’re as devout a fan as they are. It feels like exiting one toxic group only to have to embrace a different toxicity. You’re allowed to re-examine how you feel about any of the members because you’ve only ever thought about them through a lens you now realise was faulty.
I do get what you mean. With Louis, it was nice to actually be able to see the good parts of him. As you said, it’s kind of wonderful that he was, as far as we know, super devoted to Eleanor despite being in his position. And he did step up and say ‘actually yes, I got a woman pregnant, this is my son’ instead of, when he knew it was going to come out one way or another, trying to pay people into silence etc. Louis has his faults and has done some awful things, and we need to hold him accountable. At the same time, acknowledging his reality has made me a bit softer for him in certain ways. Louis was already portrayed as a partier in 2014-15 and we all know about weedgate, so no surprises there.
With Harry, it’s been a harder re-adjustment. Because I’d literally never taken his love life seriously and I thought none of it actually happened. But now I have to realise it did happen. Which means he was indeed cited in someone’s divorce papers as the reason they broke up - ie an affair with him. Or that he was dating Camille about two seconds after her previous relationship, which implies he may have, again, inserted himself into a relationship. Or that the fandom had defended him against being a ‘womaniser’ and portrayed him as basically a saint, when he clearly very much enjoys the company of women not infrequently and some of his behaviour isn’t cute. Or that he was always portrayed as the most ‘pure’ one and like he’d never do drugs in the band, when he and Nick and Cara and Peaches Geldof, who literally died from a heroin overdose, were all part of a partying crew.
I think Harries who were never Larries don’t get how severely different the narrative around him was for anyone who was a Larrie. And to some extent it’s a narrative he has profited off of, with comments like ‘I didn’t want to be that guy doing drugs in the band’. We saw him as this guy who had been long term committed since his late teens who was being completely unfairly viewed as a ladies man, who was at home with Louis sniffing candles and loved the band and didn’t want to leave and is secretly super gay and political, and always hated LA and hates fame.
And in coming to terms with reality, you have to accept that Harry was actually the kid who said ‘think of how much pussy you’re going to get’ and has a history of inserting himself into some long term relationships, and was falling out of London nightclubs clearly munted, and from what he’s said has maybe fooled around with some men but only seems to date women, which is fine, and who seems much less informed on most topics than you thought and drives Ferrari’s to climate conferences, loves LA and seems to want to be super famous and values Hollywood types, and it’s probably, let’s be honest, playing to ambiguity a bit for the branding. He’s super into his rich friends and being a star and the rest of the band don’t speak to him much. Oh and he totally wanted to leave One Direction and did indeed suggest the end of the band and was distant with the others much of the last year.
It’s complete whiplash.
The thing is, Harry isn’t a terrible person for some of the above. He’s hardly be the first member to engage in drug use or the first famous man to be a bit of a ‘fuckboy’. Being ambitious isn’t a crime.
But a lot of it is a bit ‘disappointing’. Ultimately you kind of have to realise he’s that white guy in your University classes with the pride flag on his MacBook who talks about Foucault whilst drinking fair trade coffee very openly, and then votes centrist and crosses the picket line and goes on vacation to skii with his friends who all come from extreme money and only dates white women and reads Bukowski. He’s kind of the typical white pseudo leftist dude that adopts leftism and ambiguity as an aesthetic that he knows will disarm women and make them trust him, whilst snorting coke all weekend and thinking Israel and Palestine should ‘just get along’. And that guy...is transparent. He’s not entirely evil. He’s not the devil. He’s just boring.
I think for some ex larries there’s an adjustment re Harry. Because he was held up as different and you just have to realise he’s not. Like with Niall, I know he’s a basic ass fuck boy and I’m ok with that because I only listen to his music and reblog him how and again and fully accept he’s just as disappointing as any cis man. But fandoms around Harry kind of refuse to place him in the ‘just as disappointing as any cis man’ category and require you to see him as particularly woke etc, which he isn’t, and that requirement is exhausting.
For me, reality Harry makes music I like and I like his aesthetic. And I sense that he’s perfectly pleasant to be around. But I’d probably find him transparent and pretentious if we actually met, just as I would University white dude. He’s just a guy. And you have to realise that the fandom around him has elevated him to ‘exceptional man’ when he’s just...a guy.
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onlyhereforellick · 18 days ago
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WWR
This one’s gonna be short because reasons. (As in there was a severe lack of anything ellick and the finale is in less than SEVEN HOURS AND I’M STILL NOT RECOVERED FROM MY WEEK LONG PANIC SPIRAL)
Ok so more of like general analysis instead of a scene by scene breakdown because they had all of one (1) scene by themselves and it was in the hospital talking to Knight so that doesn’t even really count. But basically they’re so *careful* around each other this episode. They toned down the overt flirting, the lack of personal space, calling each other’s names every five seconds. Nick didn’t totally hang out around Ellie’s desk but that didn’t completely stop him from gravitating towards her- still faced her when leaning on Gibbs’ desk, standing next to each other at the funeral, etc. (I’m gonna get to the one juicy part, The Look, in a second)
I honestly think this seemingly step back could be from one of two things since we have to guess what came of The Talk™️ since these writers love to shit on us. First, it could be what that article *claims* happened- that Ellie seemed to reject Nick and so they’ve retreated slightly to themselves. I refuse to believe this until I hear it from her lips. I just don’t see her character going that direction buuuuut I guess we’ll see. What I *think* happened and is more accurate of this so-called “rejection” is they realized that they both care deeply for each other, happened at the jail cell. BUT they both are extremely unsure of where to go from there and how. How do they make it work with their baggage they both have, how do they make it work with the nature of their jobs, how do they make it work with Gibbs’ rules. So they seemingly retreat from each other in this episode to bring the heat off of them. I mean last ep literally everyone was calling them out for their ✨thing✨ and while yes they talked it out, they still don’t have an answer per se. SO they consciously cool their jets in the workplace and vow to keep talking about it outside of work to figure out what they’ll become.
Also would explain a couple things: first being The Look after Knight states they wouldn’t be crying on their couch if something happened to one of them. Because DUH. Lemme get my list of past episodes to prove this point, brb. Just them both immediately thinking of the other and the intensity with which they do, I mean oof. Think about it- they’ve both had extremely close calls, and those make you live harder right? They make you go swan and definitely not cry on the couch. They make you realize you’ve fallen in love with your partner. They make you realize you’d truly break if the other was gone. A part of you ripped out- a gaping hole where your heart was. So yeah, when it’s brought up in the middle of the bullpen and yeah you’re trying to play it cool, it doesn’t matter. Your mind immediately rushes to worst case scenario- envisioning the other blown up because that’s what happened to the REACT team and GUESS WHO’S HAD SOME BOMB THREATS RECENTLY? ANY TAKERS? OH RIGHT, Y’ALL. And you realize that shit the worst case scenario would absolutely ruin me, this is love love and fuck we need to figure out what we’re doing. If we said we could just be friends or we said we could take it slow or we said we could figure it out in time, or we said we could hide it…fuck that, it ain’t gonna work.
The other thing it explains or I feel plays into, is Ellie’s conversation with Gibbs. I know a good majority of this is Ellie missing Gibbs’- mourning that relationship she had with him at work and worried what it means for them going forward (especially if she’s going to be doing something with Odette soon 👀). But I also got a little bit of underlying worry with what I said earlier- the nature of the job, its high stakes and how that impacts any relationships one might have. Because ✨newsflash✨ this job has NOT been good for Ellie’s love life. A divorce and murdered fiancé quite literally because of the job?? Yeah, great track record she’s got there. And now she sees an entire team wiped out from one case and she can easily place her, Nick & McGee in their place. Easily. And to her- is it worth it? Is this job worth the sacrifices? And who better to ask than the man who’s had his more than unfair share of sacrifices because of the job? And just underlying anxiety in Ellie’s voice leads me to believe she’s got a double meaning for her question because this isn’t even totally factoring in the stuff with Odette since that’s still a mystery to us.
But yeah. All in all, lackluster episode followed by a sweet panic spiral inducing promo that has me like coolcoolcoolcoolcoolcoolcool I’m totally coping well let me go cry in the bathroom. Because who’s ready for this ANGST KISS AND CLIFFHANGER Y’ALL. WHO’S READY TO SEE ELLIE KISS NICK GOODBYE AND HIS FAAAAACE AFTER. I’M READY. *dies* I’M READY.
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maxthommusic · 18 days ago
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外す.
Ironically, yes, I'm posting this to Tumblr. But I'm really grateful for COVID. It brought everyone indoors and sat us down in front of the Internet. The evil, toxic, vile Internet. We watched as BLM dominated the airwaves and we saw, all at once, the great power and sludgy mess being all-connected can be. From there it got more shamey, righteous, and misinformed. As more and more people began tweeting, posting, and sharing, it just became too much negativity. With everyone feeling awful because of any number of things you could draw from a hat, there was nowhere to turn except your own life (hopefully) for reprieve from the insidiousness of social media.
Over time I started realizing that the mean-spirited nature of the Internet wasn't the world at large. When I simply logged off, disconnected and sat with my own feelings, I couldn't help but feel Twitter was wrong. Facebook was over-exaggerated. Instagram is 100% over-glamorized. The Internet is a sham and little by little I gave it less credence.
Because we do see the opposite, right? We see success. We see Twitch Streamers getting famous. Authors finding their audiences. Musicians landing the hit single. Etc. All that great stuff pops up and it influences us to stay connected. Can't achieve anything if you're not even taking a shot. But even still I found great evidence to suggest that it's all a one in a billion chance. I say that because most people are so passively engaging with their social media that the success you do see is something in a vacuum. It's not the standard, it's the exception. And when you invest all this time into the toxic wasteland that is the Internet, you do start lose a sense of self. Sense of perception; reality. By disconnecting I feel I've found great peace. Great understanding. Dare I say it, great happiness.
I'm writing this because it hit me that I so rarely engage with my Facebook anymore. It's becoming useless because of how many people I see just ranting about everything. I get that maybe that's cathartic. But when everyone's trying to use Facebook for catharsis, it becomes a soul-sucking depression vortex.
Not everyone is. I have friends who use Instagram for great, interesting reasons. And I love celebrating the people who post something lovely and heart-warming on Facebook. But what I'm starting to value more is just checking-in. Just texting. Writing a letter. Calling. Etc. With COVID getting further and further in the rear-view, it's a great time to start re-connecting with people in ways that have true value. Facebook is cool. I've actually gotten to say hey to some people during COVID I haven't talked to in years. But those conversations drifted back into the sea where they were resting and ultimately they were inconsequential.
Being honest about the moments that matter has led me to disconnect more and more and more... and today when I read someone's saga in complaining, I just kinda shrugged it off and closed the browser. A reminder that there isn't anything there that will enrich my day. What's better is engaging in the group chat with my boys. Investing in my work so my bosses like me and I can move up in the company. Stopping to chat with my neighbor. Taking extra time to cook a new recipe. All these things are super obvious, yes, but we've become so entangled with our use of the Internet, sometimes it's good to stop and go: log off.
I know I just sound like the old man yelling at clouds, but seriously. Just remember the Internet is "for show." It's often times not much of an actual reality, but biases spit out incessantly across the web and navigating all that fake news not only gets exhausting, but it's distorting. Sometimes what matters most is the people around you. Your community. Your city. What are you doing for the people there?
Social media has made the world so small. And it's amazing we can be everywhere all at once. But maybe what's more enriching is being where we actually are.
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Text
just gonna answer these cus im a little bored and procrastinating on my job
65 Questions You Aren't Used To
1. Do you ever doubt the existence of others than you? - no, we are all very real
2. On a scale of 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you? - maybe a two. things do exist in the dark.
3. The person you would never want to meet? - trump... ill probably get sent to jail if you put me within reach of that man
4. What is your favorite word? - “as” its a beautiful structure for metaphors
5. If you were a type of tree, what would you be? - maybe ash. not very unique, not very standoffish, but one of strongest and most reliable forms of wood
6. When you looked in the mirror this morning what was the first thing you thought? - my hair got fucked up while i slept it was a little surprising
7. What shirt are you wearing? - red pullover
8. What do you label yourself as? - a demon
9. Bright room or dark room? - dark
10. What were you doing at midnight last night? - watching inkmaster
11. Favorite age you’ve been so far? - i dont have one
12. Who told you they loved you last? - my mom
13. Your worst enemy? - societal expectation
14. What is your current desktop picture? - hyyh bts
15. Do you like someone? - no
16. The last song you listened to? - butter
17. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up? - nobody? killing people isnt all that
18. Who would you really like to just punch in the face? - currently? that one mf in texas yall know who
19. If anyone could be your slave for a day, who would it be and what would they have to do? - um? what
20. What is your best physical attribute? (showing said attribute is optional) - my eyes. ive been told theyre bottomless.
21. If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do? - id be hot. not really too interested in leading a life that isnt my own. id probably look in the mirror a little bit and then just about my day?
22. Do you have a secret talent? If yes, what is it? - im sort of a all-kill when it comes to art. i can hold my own in painting, drawing, music production, singing, writing, directing and envisioning. so i guess artistic prowess? idk im a biologist so its not common in my field.
23. What is one unique thing you’re afraid of? -im not afraid of much.
24. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your disposal. -cubano
25. You just found $100! How are you going to spend it? - im depositing it in the bank
26. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, but you have to leave immediately. Where are you going to go? -id love to say some place in asia but logically since i only speak spanish and english ill be going puerto rico
27. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says. Man! What are you gonna say about that? Even if you don’t drink booze there’s something you can figure out… so what’s it gonna be? -michelob ultra. ik ik beer is gross blah blah idc i consume beer much faster than other alcohol and its refreshing so ill go with that
28. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? - mandatory therapy
29. What is your favorite expletive? - cunt (im not british)
30. Your house is on fire, holy shit! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno? - laptop
31. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be? - petition to let me erase more than one. its all or none erased, because all my experiences defined me. id need all of them or i wouldnt be me. if were erasing, get rid of it all.
32. You got kicked out of the country for being a time-traveling heathen who sleeps with celebrities and has super-powers. But check out this cool shit… you can move to anywhere else in the world! -this is not a question
33. The Celestial Gates Of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn’t think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person/etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back? - i see ghosts and i dont want them back. death happens when its necessary. dont cheat that. 
34. What was your last dream about? - i dont remember but i know it happened
35. Are you a good….[insert anything you’d like here]? - i am a good
36. Have you ever been admitted to the hospital? - yeah i broke my wrist once
37. Have you ever built a snowman? - no
38. What is the color of your socks? - not wearing ones rn but usually black
39. What type of music do you like? - anything but misogynist country
40. Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets? - sunset
41. What is your favorite milkshake flavor? - cookies and cream
42. What football team do you support? (I will answer in terms of American football as well as soccer) - real madrid
43. Do you have any scars? - many
44. What do you want to be when you graduate? - research scientist
45. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? - less migraines
46. Are you reliable? - yes
47. If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be? - you processed all that trauma yet?
48. Do you hold grudges? - depends on the offense
49. If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature, what new animal would you create? - i wouldnt
50. What is the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had? - someone asked me if id let them snort xanax out of my asshole
51. Are you a good liar? - great, actually
52. How long could you go without talking? - havent tested this but a long time
53. What has been you worst haircut/style? - bangs, not because i looked bad but because curly hair and bangs dont always mix
54. Have you ever baked your own cake? - all the time
55. Can you do any accents other than your own? - im decent at a british one
56. What do you like on your toast? - i dont eat toast
57. What is the last thing you drew a picture of? - a succulent
58. What would be you dream car? - mercedez benz 1982 300D in yellow
59. Do you sing in the shower? Or do anything unusual in the shower? Explain. - i sing and dance in the shower
60. Do you believe in aliens? -youd be dumb not to
61. Do you often read your horoscope? - not really
62. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet? - dont have one
63. Which is cooler: dinosaurs or dragons? - i dont exactly think either are cool. 
64. What do you think about babies? - hatred.
65. Freebie! Ask anything interesting you can think of. - ?
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biayahlife · 19 days ago
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NesianFest
The First Annual DFW Nesian Fest took place on 22-23 May 2021 at the Asia Time Square in Grand Prairie, Texas. It’s presented through a partnership of the Asia Times Square and Gu’d Life ENT with a mission “to unify through diversity” by raising cultural awareness, educating on various cultural backgrounds, preserve traditions, and supporting students and small businesses. Additional information can be found at their website.
From Miayah:
This is the first time I’ve ever encountered a festival dedicated to the island cultures that exist in the Pacific, and was excited to go to the event. In my family, there was some reservation about the level of representation each of the cultures would have, I think that was a valid concern. While there aren’t a lot of full on Asian cultural centers in Texas, Asia Times Square is a fairly large venue with a grocer, food court, various shops (clothing, tech, etc), and an executive business center. There is a lovely outdoor pavillion where most of the entertainment was initially to be held. Unfortunately, the mercurial nature of Texas weather has given us the rainiest year in recent memory. This forced the vendors indoors, and made for a crowded festival.
In my opinion, there was a pretty solid skew of representation of the Nesian community. It was really nice to see things I’m familiar with represented and celebrated. It was a small festival, and I hope to see it grow in the coming years. As a first venture out into public, it was very, very crowded, though quite enjoyable. Frankly, there were so many things to see and smell (the food was wonderful) that pictures absolutely didn’t make the list of things to do. We did take some pictures of the things we purchased afterwards though.
I’m excited to see this festival grow, and am keeping an eye out to see when it will happen next year. 🖤
From Becky:
This last Saturday Miayah, her boyfriend, and I drove up to Dallas and attended NesianFest. It was the grand opening of the Asia Times Square in Grand Prairie, TX and a celebration of Asian culture. The event was recommended to us by one of Miayah’s aunties back in early April and sounded like a blast. After sorting out how our vaccine schedules would work, we discovered that the festival would be days after we hit 2 weeks post second vaccine. It was perfect! The fact that we could make our first real outing in over a year happen immediately after we were fully vaccinated was very very exciting.
The drive up was less pleasant than we’d hoped. It rained the whole 3 ½ hours; we checked the weather radar online about halfway to Grand Prairie and found that we were basically chasing the storm. It made for a slow and long trip with very low visibility. I drove up and we survived with frequent stops. We arrived around 5:20p which ended up being good timing because the performances started at 6p. We were actually going to get there sooner but in the first 20 minutes of the drive Miayah’s contact ripped so we had to turn around. It was fortuitous in a way, much better than the contact ripping 3 hours in and no way to get a replacement.
We stopped at Buc-ee’s on the way up and wandered around as you do when you visit the best gas station in the country. Miayah purchased a cute tumbler and we got plenty of snacks. I ended up with 3 different kinds of kolaches and a cream cheese danish. They were delicious and quite lovely as I had not eaten breakfast before we left. If you haven’t been to Buc-ee’s before I highly recommend that you go at least once in your life. It’s a small chain of gas stations that are primarily in Texas but their facilities are HUGE. One gas station is the size of a Walmart. There are 50+ gas pumps. They have clothes, dishes, kitchen accessories, candles, soaps, keychains, their own line of candies, jerky, fudge, marinated meats, and cheesecake. Their barbeque station is incredible. They have everything under the sun in this one gas station and it’s amazing. Our god kids think of Buc-ee’s as a destination rather than a waypoint. 
When we arrived at the venue we rushed inside as it was still raining and were quickly confronted with quite the crowd. Our theory is that the performances and speeches were supposed to have been done outside but with the rain everything was forced to be inside. The stage was set up in such a way that it nearly blocked the entrance. Now keep in mind, Asia Times Square is essentially an indoor mall. They have shops lining both sides of a main thoroughfare and the performance area was set up in the middle of the lane! It was more crowded than we’d expected and the air was hazy and smelled delicious. We decided to wander through the crowd away from the main spectacle to see everything the venue offered.
As we pushed through the crowd we passed many vendors, all offering wonderful things from different places in the Eastern hemisphere. There was boba, Chamorro treats, pickled foods, trinkets of all sorts, t-shirts proclaiming nations of origin. There was a covered patio area which was filled with food vendors, all cooking street foods - delicious and very portable. The aroma of the food was intoxicating; everywhere you walked in this indoor mall was permeated with this mouth watering scent. After looking at all the food we decided to push back up to the performance area as it was nearly 6p.
We hustled over to the back of the room where all the chairs were set up, the furthest back point from the stage, eagerly awaiting the start of the show. What we didn’t realize in picking our spot is that the band that was composed completely of cymbals and one drum was directly in front of us. We had the advantage of seeing all the dancers get ready; they donned traditional 2 man  Chinese dragon costumes. Once they were in place, the drum started and the cymbals crashed in. It was mind blowingly loud and fantastic. The music rattled my bones and made thought impossible; all I could do was stand there and experience the phenomenal sound washing over us. It was amazing!
After the dancing was completed we decided to explore the rest of the venue. It turned out that there was a whole half of a mall that we didn’t see initially past the outdoor patio. There was a grocery store where we picked up some teacups and little treats. After the grocery store we decided it was time to eat as all we’d had up to this point were the snacks from Buc-ee’s. We chose a place called “The Pearl Restaurant and Lounge” where they had dim sum. I’d never had dim sum before so I was very excited to try things. We had shark fin dumplings, quail egg dumplings, soup dumplings, deep fried spring rolls, gyoza, and bbq pork dumplings. It was great and super delicious. After finishing this first order we were still hungry and debated for a minute about what to do next; we could order more dumplings or…… go eat street food!
The street food smelled too good to resist so we paid up at The Pearl and headed to the patio. We picked up Lao sausage, satay on a stick, beef on a stick, and fresh papaya salad. I also got some candied pecans, pecan tarts, and truffles from the Chamorro table. Everything was delicious and we were soon stuffed to the gills. At this point it was about 8:30p and we were completely full and overstimulated and very tired. It’s funny, staying in the house all the time for over a year makes your stamina for social situations very weak. We had so much fun yet being in that crowd with all the noise and the heat of bodies pressed together became overwhelming pretty quickly. We headed back home.
It didn’t rain on the way back so we had a very smooth, very short drive. We did stop at Buc-ee’s again and I picked up a matching tumbler to Miayah’s; hers is teal and mine is pink. We came home to dogs that were very happy to see us. Overall I’m glad we took this day trip. It was a festive and bright way to welcome back some normalcy in our lives. If Asia Times Square hosts another NesianFest next year I think it would be great to go back.
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