Friday, July 31, 2015

A Confession...

 I usually don't cross blogosphere platforms, but this seems to hit-

I think the dedication needed to continue to be a writer and (hopefully author) is the exact same needed to keep trying to follow and emulate Jesus. Yes- like previously mentioned, there's probably a lot of loaded words and presumptions attached to sentiments in that last sentence. While I continue to hunt for a publisher to take me up on my long time work, Rienspel (see my other blog, I've been writing another work in the meantime. At first it was a struggle, because I was so set on telling this one single story, I couldn't very easily just jump tracks into a new one. I had to let myself not work on it. (and this is HARD!) For upwards of eight years I had constantly had this filter running in my head for gathering materials for Rienspel- working on Rienspel- researching- comparing- talking- editing- reediting- imagining... and then to just one day finish. Abruptly. Just like that. Oh, I mean, for sure I was elated and proud of my own personal accomplishment... but after a week or so that faded and I was just back to myself once more. And then I had this other work, The Grey Isle story, to start working on...

I picked up The Grey Isle Story to begin writing in earnest from a folder I have of other tales to write from my world I had dreamed up before dedicating part of my life to Rienspel. I've been researching how to keep writing after what was so important for me has concluded. The reason this post is on Archaen instead of Rienspel is because, for a long while, I was working on another story: my evangelical one. If you know anything about me, you know that I'm a cancer survivor with a religious background. Even for me, it's hard to explain, but I'm not religious any more. I may not have said anything or made it obvious... and that's probably because I don't really know how to make my old story's community understand... (because I don't really understand it myself). There is this... I don't know... assumption that unless you do something obviously expressly forbidden or taboo within Christian circles, that you're in this assumption of reality for life. It's not the following Jesus part I'm talking about, but the deep-seated culture and community which comes with it. For most still within the Church, even the notion that following Jesus while not being apart of this religious assumption is anathema. While I still preach and blog and breathe and sleep, I want you to know that I also drink, don't pray or read my Bible regularly, hang out with non-Christians without any intention to officially evangelize them and detest most Christian media. All of this- from my old community to my previous faith-cultural ties are apart of 'Rienspel'. My old book which is finished. Now, while I wait... idling like an ancient car in a driveway until the gas has all run out, I have begun a new work... 'The Grey Isle' (I'm still debating about the title, actually...). I am still a writer. I still love and follow Jesus. But what I'm writing and how I'm actively working on expressing my new tale is different now.

I am starving for community of similarly-minded people where I still paradoxically feel called to live in Hannibal, MO. And I can smell BS a million miles away. I don't want anyone to 'be concerned' for me, 'or pray for me' (at least, not out of the churchy motivation, anyway), I am not apart of your old assumption any more, except that I am a writer continuing to write. I am a person continuing to try and follow Jesus. I am disavowed - even if you never knew, I did. I am desperate for space and company and genuine validation. I don't know how to lead a church and I don't know how to move forward on my own. But I'm a writer, and I can't help but continue to write. Because it's through my expression in written word that I continue to sojourn. Thoughts and ideas are my gateway. Friends are my guides. Companions with like-hearts are my allies. Of the few existential gems I continue to treasure, the brightest of these is what George MacDonald once said, that "All Truth is God's truth". And I think if we're actually brave enough and honest enough to use this as our compass, there's no knowing where we might be swept off to- and eventually come out all the better for it in the end.


Like what you read? Join in with your own insights, stories and art- send them to Thanks and God bless -Ryan

Friday, June 26, 2015


I started writing this as a comment on social media and realized it was more of a post, so here we go:

I think people would care less about gay marriage if it wasn't one of those hot-button issues where it's either shoved in your face or anybody who doesn't go along with it is demonized... I guess I just don't like the agenda behind it... 

It also boggles my mind why people assume if the Supreme Court rules on anything, it's like it's passing some sort of universally recognized absolute moral/ethical law... The Supreme Court doesn't and never will dictate and regulate Ethics and Morality. So, on one hand, people who approve of rulings like the recognition of gay marriage shouldn't act like just because the Supreme Court ruled a certain way, this means everyone MUST be ok with it now, officially. While on the other hand, people who don't approve of the recent ruling shouldn't be too bothered by it because ultimately, the US Supreme Court isn't where they get their set of Morality and Ethics anyways...

In summary, legality does not equal Morality/Ethics 
(seriously, there's all sorts of crazy laws on the books all over the world)

And vice-versa, Morality/Ethics does not equal legality. 

Also, not only are obvious cultural agendas aggravating and trivial, they are really annoying, too.
If you seriously believe something is beautiful, true and good- why would you even need the courts' approval anyways?

There, that's all I'm all finished (drops Mic).

Have a nice day, everyone!


PS, although, on a side-note, it is interesting that we apparently feel like the courts OUGHT to legislate cultural Ethics and Morality... food for thought...

Like what you read? Join in with your own insights, stories and art- send them to Thanks and God bless -Ryan

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Baccalaureate Talks

When I graduated from high school ... a... um... let's just say a little while ago I had this vague sort of plan for my life. I sort of knew what I was aiming for and how to generally go about it. Eventually I would end of living where i loved, doing something fulfilling. You get used to having this idea of who you are and how life is supposed to work.

It's scary after you learn life doesn't really run by a standard set of rules. If you've already learned this- than you're light-years ahead of where I was way back whenever. That's the challenge- and that's what makes life awesome, though. Life works on you. And it's going to keep coming. And whether you know it or not- you're already equipped with the real tools you need deep down inside. It's not superior education- it's not a lot of money- it's not knowing the right people or an inside track into the family business. It's about your character. It's about who you really are.

I learned the hard way that all my notions about who I think I am... like this sort of character I keep endlessly trying to play on an imagined stage every day 'till then is just made up... and thank goodness, too! How many people here are already aware of character flaws they carry with them wherever they go.

Right now you're on the edge- just about ready to take the first step to chase your own dreams for the first time. Don't be surprised if your dreams are only hints of the journey before you, instead. Life can take you places, you know.

"It's a dangerous business stepping out your door. If you don't hit your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

I'm from Albuquerque, NM... I've learned first hand what it means to set out and come back home- only to leave again. It's ok to have wanderlust. It's ok to live your own life- whatever comes. Because God gives us this freedom to live out the life he's laid out before us. Let the current take you- but don't forget to steer.

You'll find being called is an ancient theme...
The Call of Abram
Genesis 12:1-4
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.

Like Abram... people get our name wrong- especially in the early years... and maybe perhaps it's because we haven't quite figured out who we are yet anyway.

Like Abram we're being called out from our 'normal' lives into a far green country... we may have to go through an odyssey to get there... but we are promised we, one day, will.  We're being called out from what we're used to... our homes where we grew up- the street names we memorized when we were little into a way brand new... which God is showing us.

Like Abram- we're going to be made into something great, as God defines 'Great'. And He will bless us. Our secret identity, the name of who we really are which we don't even know yet, God will reveal to us- and make us Great.

He's with us. He's also with others who are with us. People will come and go in your life. The ones that stick with you are the ones you end up keeping. The ones you stick with are the ones who are kept.

Who you are- who you REALLY are, among many things, is actually a blessing to the whole world. Each person you influence, interact with- how you treat people and yourself- this is you changing the world- for good or ill. Who you really are is a powerful, beautiful blessing- if you choose to give it.

... but you have to go. You have to take that first step through your front door onto the road. And maybe take a friend or two with you. -who cares if you're young... in all these coming of age stories... along the way you learn how old or young you were doesn't matter. It's who you are- your identity - and who you're becoming through each conscience choice which matters.

This is, after all, your story. Now go live it.

In closing, because I've probably blathered on enough now... is one of my favorite life verses
Jeremiah 29:11-13:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

God bless- let's pray. 

Like what you read? Join in with your own insights, stories and art- send them to Thanks and God bless -Ryan

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule
Pastor Ryan Freeman
Payson Christian Church

When I was little- growing up in Oregon, one of the things my dad did which I really valued was be my baseball coach...

-Gloves in the Dirt
-'Show Me the Money'
-the other thing which made me really respect him was how whatever he asked the team to do, he did too. (running laps, etc)

The Golden Rule.... do unto others...

 Matthew 5:43-48

Teaching about Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[q] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![r] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[s] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Did you know that nearly everything in the New Testament has a connection with something back in the Old Testament- if you want an easy way to find out what's in the Bible and how they're connected, get an inter-linear Bible and just follow the dots. (Biblegateway works, too)

Leviticus 19:18New Living Translation (NLT)

18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
 19:18 love your neighbor. A “neighbor” was anyone with whom there was contact, whether Israelite (v. 17) or alien (v. 34; cf. Matt. 22:39, 40; Rom. 13:9).

Leviticus 19:34New Living Translation (NLT)

34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

Do Unto Others connects with The Greatest Commandment.

 Matthew 22:34-40

The Most Important Commandment

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[e] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[f] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Romans 13:9-10 New Living Translation (NLT)

For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.”[a] These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b]Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

God through Jesus repeats himself to us. What he says to do and be like in the Old Testament is lived out through Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus is running the laps with us. He is teaching us the mechanics and training through all the drills so we'll be the second basemen he knows we are.
I always wanted to hit a homerun. It hasent happened yet, but I know it will someday. I have had an in the park homerun, but I dont really count it... but, during a play off game, I helped win the game by doing a triple play- and that's all through learning on a team with my dad.

Like what you read? Join in with your own insights, stories and art- send them to Thanks and God bless -Ryan

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Pastor Ryan Freeman
Payson Christian Church

Feb 14th marks Valentine's Day- which traditionally is based off the legendary exploits of 
St Valentine, according to Wikipedia:

describes Saint Valentine, as the former Bishop of Terni, Narnia and Amelia, a town of Umbria, in central Italy. While under house arrest of Judge Asterius, and discussing his faith with him, Valentinus (the Latin version of his name) was discussing the validity of Jesus. The judge put Valentinus to the test and brought to him the judge's adopted blind daughter. If Valentinus succeeded in restoring the girl's sight, Asterius would do anything he asked. Valentinus laid his hands on her eyes and the child's vision was restored. Immediately humbled, the judge asked Valentinus what he should do. Valentinus replied that all of the idols around the judge's house should be broken, the judge should fast for three days, and then undergo baptism. The judge obeyed and as a result, freed all the Christian inmates under his authority. The judge, his family and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) were baptized.[20] Valentinus was later arrested again for continuing to proselytize and was sent to the prefect of Rome, to the emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II) himself. Claudius took a liking to him until Valentinus tried to convince Claudius to embrace Christianity, whereupon Claudius refused and condemned Valentinus to death, commanding that Valentinus either renounce his faith or he would be beaten with clubs, and beheaded. Valentinus refused and Claudius' command was executed outside the Flaminian Gate February 14, 269.

Valentine's day is originally about remembering someone who was Valiant. 
What does Valiant mean?




courageous, intrepid, or stout-hearted; brave
marked by bravery or courage: a valiant deed
I think Valentine is an awesome of example of a guy who lived by who he was: Valiant. And we need more people like him because Valentine was emulating Jesus. 


1 Corinthians 13 New Living Translation (NLT)

Love Is the Greatest

13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Names have power and meaning. 

Something I think is very special about our names we have been given, is that even how when we pass away and are given new, heavenly bodies- one of the very few things we carry over from this life to the next are our names. They are written in the Book of Life and describe us, who we are- our personal identity. 

So much of our own personal identity is daily displayed in how we treat each other- how we live and interact in our community. Whether it's inter family- or church- hanging out- holidays- whatever.

After I first really started investigating Christianity, one of the things I really came to rest on was who God made me as. Our identities are something special. And hidden within them are our gifts- talents abilities- who we are and how we are. And I like to think of our gifts wrapped up in our own identities as subtle foreshadowing for how God is calling us each day to follow him. 

But all of this doesn't matter if we're not kind. If we aren't loving. And I think we can be proud to say we are apart of Payson Christian Church (146 years old!) which has been built on an ongoing legacy of people who know Jesus. Who have their gifts wrapped up in their identity, playing out each day as their character is shown through their love.

Each day, simply built on another, is our chance to build something lasting for the Kingdom of Heaven- from churches to people. Do you know what your name means? What sorts of gifts are hidden away in your identity? How can you be more loving through your own strength of character? 

Like what you read? Join in with your own insights, stories and art- send them to Thanks and God bless -Ryan