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WBFFA: The Kind Of Man I Want My Daughters To Marry

Way before I started fallenpastor.com, I used to have a blog. It was called The Cornblog. I know, nice, right? Since I started this blog almost four years ago, I’ve blogged mostly about issues dealing with fallen pastors and how the culture is impacted. Well, I’ve decided to get greedy with...

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5 Songs for the Fallen Pastor: “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in fallenness, music, pastors | Posted on 29-09-2012

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I am a huge U2 fan. I’m also a big Batman fan. When I heard that U2 was putting song on the Batman Forever movie soundtrack, I went crazy. They wrote, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” for the movie. I love this song.

The song talks about how fickle the music business is and how fans tend to throw away their artists rather easily when they get too old, too outdated, etc. I love the video with the allusions to C.S. Lewis. It all happened during U2′s Achtung Baby era which is a whole other story.

I related to this song while I was pastoring. I write about high expectations in my book, “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World.” In a way, this song reflected for me a lot of those high expectations. After my fall, I realized that many churches throw away their pastor to the wayside like a “hired hand” without reaching out to him, helping him get counsel, help or restoration to Christ.

I’ve blogged lightly about this song before, but never dove into detail. Most pastors place themselves under tremendous pressure alongside the pressure they feel from their churches or church leadership. They want and strive to be perfect. They work hard to keep up an image that I really don’t think is very healthy.

They are just human beings called to do a very difficult job. For a lot of men, it becomes too much. I’ve quoted the statistic about a thousand times and I’ll do it again – 1,500 pastors a month leave the ministry due to conflict, burnout or moral failure. Something is wrong. And this song speaks to a lot of the pressure pastors may feel.

One line stands out:

They want you to be Jesus
They’ll go down on one knee
But they’ll want their money back
If you’re alive at thirty-three
And you’re turning tricks
With your crucifix
You’re a star

Enjoy the video:

My Interview on The Drew Marshall Show

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in book, radio | Posted on 28-09-2012

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I did a radio interview on The Drew Marshall Show last Saturday. It’s ready for download if you click this link. You can also go directly to the page by clicking here.

It’s about thirty minutes long and I hope I got a decent message across. Let me know what you think!

________________

Ray Carroll is author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” available at most bookstores online. It is also available for the Amazon Kindle.

 

I Didn’t Want To Write This Post. Gun Control.

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in Provoketive Magazine | Posted on 28-09-2012

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Oh hey, by the way, I wrote a post over at Provoketive Magazine called, “I Didn’t Want to Write This Post. Gun Control.

I usually keep all my fallen pastor/forgiveness type stuff over here and write other stuff over at Provoketive. I love that place.

Anyway, I came to terms with my feelings about gun ownership. It took me a while but I did it. You can read it all, nicely wrapped up in an article over there at Provoketive. I thought it was pretty fair. Please click on over and take a look, I’d appreciate it.

5 Songs for the Fallen Pastor: “Don’t Let Us Get Sick”

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in fallenness, music, pastors | Posted on 28-09-2012

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Warren Zevon is a great music talent that left this world too soon. Most of you know him from his song, “Werewolves of London.” Don’t know that song? The sad part is, most people can’t tell the intro from that song from Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long.” Yeah, Kid Rock sampled “Werewolves of London” to emulate “Sweet Home Alabama.” Go figure. At least he sampled a great artist.

Anyway, Zevon was a musical genius. He had some other great songs as well that you should familiarize yourself with including, “A Certain Girl,” “Genius,” “Mutineer,” and “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.”

His life story is a great one to follow as well and you can read it on, of course, Wikipedia.

The song I want to share with you today that impressed me during my fall is one called, “Don’t Let Us Get Sick.” It’s a ballad and can really be heard as a prayer, if you like.

I have loved this song for a long time. There was a time during my pastorate when I thought I was going to be killed. No joke. I listened to this song about thirty times the night before an incident in which I thought I might be killed because things had gotten so out of control.

As a fallen pastor, wallowing in misery, I often thought of suicide. I was ignoring God, ignoring people reaching out to me, and I thought I was hopeless.

Now, when I hear it, it is inspirational to me. It helps me remember the tough times I’ve been through. To remember the simple things in life and to concentrate on the problems of others instead of my own. Here’s a line that is significant to me:

The sky was on fire
When I walked to the mill
To take up the slack in the line
I thought of my friends
And the troubles they’ve had
To keep me from thinking of mine.

It’s a great song and I hope you’ll take time to listen to it, especially if you’re not familiar with Zevon.

For a bonus, here is a cover from the show Californication:

Here are the lyrics:

Don’t let us get sick
Don’t let us get old
Don’t let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight

The sky was on fire
When I walked to the mill
To take up the slack in the line
I thought of my friends
And the troubles they’ve had
To keep me from thinking of mine

Don’t let us get sick
Don’t let us get old
Don’t let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight

The moon has a face
And it smiles on the lake
And causes the ripples in Time
I’m lucky to be here
With someone I like
Who maketh my spirit to shine

Don’t let us get sick
Don’t let us get old
Don’t let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight

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This is part three in the series “5 Songs for the Fallen Pastor.” You can find the introduction here, part one here, and part two here.

Ray Carroll is author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World” available at most online retailers and on the Amazon Kindle.

5 Songs For The Fallen Pastor: “Afterlife”

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in fallenness, music, pastors | Posted on 26-09-2012

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Avenged Sevenfold, the band.

I remember shortly after I had fallen, I was substitute teaching and going through my divorce. I had a kid in class that had an “Avenged Sevenfold” shirt on. It had a green skull on it. I asked, “Are they any good?” He said, “They rock.” I said, “Well, give me  a song of theirs to download and I’ll give it a shot.” He said, “Afterlife.”

The band logo was something that Mom would have definitely frowned at when I was 13. But I gave it a shot anyway.

I was hooked. Like I’ve said in the previous two posts, these aren’t songs that are out to glorify the fallen pastor. They’re just here to let you know what he goes through. It’s important to understand his fall. The circumstances, the fall to the depths afterward and the climb back up.

According to Wikipedia, the world’s new Encyclopedia Britannica, The song is about a man who dies early and finds himself in heaven. Upon entering, he realizes that he has too many things to do on Earth, and to go back and make it right he has to escape from the afterlife.

It was perfect for me at the time. I felt like I had lost everything because of the actions I had taken. No friends, a distant family, and no church. I was separate from everyone. It was like an afterlife. It was a new life. The song struck a chord for me and became my new ringtone.

In the video, they leave out some of the best lyrics that are in the full version:

Loved ones back home all crying ’cause they’re already missing me
I pray by the grace of God that there’s somebody listening
Give me a chance to be that person I wanna be
(I am unbroken; I’m choking on this ecstasy)
Oh Lord I’ll try so hard but you gotta let go of me
(Unbreak me, unchain me, I need another chance to live)

I hope you’ll understand when you watch and listen and read the lyrics below. I pray you’ll never get to such a low spot. But if you do, know that there are people who can help, and I’m one of them.

Like walking into a dream, so unlike what you’ve seen
So unsure but it seems, ’cause we’ve been waiting for you
Fallen into this place, just giving you a small taste
Of your afterlife here so stay, you’ll be back here soon anyway

I see a distant light, but girl this can’t be right
Such a surreal place to see so how did this come to be
Arrived too early

And when I think of all the places I just don’t belong
I’ve come to grips with life and realize this is going too far

I don’t belong here, we gotta move on dear
Escape from this afterlife
‘Cause this time I’m right to move on and on
Far away from here

A place of hope and no pain, perfect skies with no rain
Can leave this place but refrain, ’cause we’ve been waiting for you
Fallen into this place, just giving you a small taste
Of your afterlife here so stay, you’ll be back here soon anyway

This peace on earth’s not right (with my back against the wall)
No pain or sign of time (I’m much too young to fall)
So out of place don’t wanna stay, I feel wrong and that’s my sign
I’ve made up my mind

Give me your hand but realize I just wanna say goodbye
Please understand I have to leave and carry on my own life

I don’t belong here, I gotta move on dear
Escape from this afterlife
‘Cause this time I’m right to move on and on,
Far away from here

Got nothing against you and surely I’ll miss you
This place full of peace and light, and I’d hope you might
Take me back inside when the time is right

Loved ones back home all crying ’cause they’re already missing me
I pray by the grace of God that there’s somebody listening
Give me a chance to be that person I wanna be
(I am unbroken; I’m choking on this ecstasy)
Oh Lord I’ll try so hard but you gotta let go of me
(Unbreak me, unchain me, I need another chance to live)

I don’t belong here, I gotta move on dear
Escape from this afterlife
‘Cause this time I’m right to move on and on,
Far away from here

Got nothing against you and surely I’ll miss you
This place full of peace and light, and I’d hope you might
Take me back inside when the time is right

All songs and lyrics are copyrighted by the band and their label.

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Yeah, I know these last two songs are secular. Just hear the redemption that is spaced in there. I’m getting my way around. Falling from ministry is a long process and five songs barely covers it. But stay tuned!

Ray Carroll is author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World.”

5 Songs For The Fallen Pastor: “Show Me What I’m Looking For”

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in adultery, fallenness, music, pastors | Posted on 25-09-2012

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Now before you get all excited, let me explain this series. I explained it a little in my previous post.

When a pastor is in the midst of his adultery, he thinks a lot of things. He’s trying to justify, he’s forsaking one relationship and entering another, and he’s forging ahead whether anyone cares or not. Even sinning against God isn’t making him scared.

I’ve both said and written about it. Don’t judge the fallen pastor until you’ve tried to understand him. Yeah, he sinned. He’s going to have to face God. But there are a lot of surrounding factors that led him there. I write about that a lot too.

In the end, it’s his choice. He has no one to blame for his sin. I’m presenting five songs with a little intro that might help you understand where fallen pastors are before, during and after their sin. Music helps a lot sometimes.

And I don’t think songs need much intro. I get weary when someone says before they sing their special music at church, “let me tell you what this song means.” Listen, unless Beck wrote it, I’m pretty good.

These aren’t in any particular order. So let’s start with Carolina Liar’s “Show Me What I’m Looking For.”

When I talk to guys who have fallen or who are about to fall, thealtered almost always at a crucial point in their lives. Their marriage and ministry were on the rocks.  They were over stressed, depressed or anxious. They broke. Most of the time they didn’t know they were looking for comfort. But they found it somewhere outside their marriage.

This song puts that troubled pastor feeling well. And actually, if you played it in church, I kinda think it would be a good special music.

Five Songs For The Fallen Pastor

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in fallenness, music | Posted on 23-09-2012

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Frequently, I hear radio interviewers ask their marks, “What do you have on your iPod right now?

It’s supposed to give into the person’s psyche, their mind. Their current level of thinking, blah, blah.

So, starting Monday, I thought I’d share with you the five most important songs for me when I was in the midst of my failure. Don’t read too much into it. But don’t cast it aside easily either. You can learn alot from a person by the music they listen to. Even if you don’t care for the genre of music they are listening to, you can learn a lot about their soul. Do it. Do it for you. Do it for them.

It may give you an insight to where they are and where they may be going.

I’m not going to list them in any particular order. And each song may have meant something to me before my fall. But know this – when we begin to obsess about a certain song that we identify with, we may begin to realize problems in our life.

For instance, after visiting my hometown with a current girlfriend and seeing a former girlfriend, I kept playing Aerosmith’s “Crazy” on my CD player. Nothing had happened between me and my ex, but my girlfriend was automatically suspicious. Why? Because I had identified with that song. My soul had taken part of it.

I’m going to introduce you to five songs that meant a lot to me during my fall. You may not like it, but from what I understand, these feelings in these songs are typical of fallen pastor’s feelings. We sinned. But we connected with music. For the next few days, I’ll introduce songs that I connected with on a visceral level during my fall. Before and after. I don’t know if it will help you understand, but that’s just where I was.

For some reason, music connects to our souls like prayer. It gets to us like nothing else does. It makes us cry when we hear a song ten years later or it makes us angry when we haven’t heard it in a while. It is an amazing thing, and it was created by God. Don’t believe me? Go read the Psalms.

One more thing. For some reason, it grates on my nerves when someone sings a special music at church, and right before, they take ten minutes to tell you what the song means. Listen, just sing it and let me figure it out, okay? Well, I’m about to break my own rule. I’ll be giving a little insight to the songs I list.

I’ll be blogging soon over the five most influential songs that I was listening to before, during and after my fall.

I Love Miracle Whip. Even More Now.

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in advertising, Mayonnaise, scarlet letter | Posted on 23-09-2012

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Creative. A little over the top. But creative. I would’ve been in the commercial if they had asked.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Mayonnaise.

Reminder: I’ll Be On The Drew Marshall Show Sat/2:30 CST

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in radio | Posted on 21-09-2012

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Hey everyone. Just a quick reminder. I’m honored to be a guest on the Drew Marshall show this Thursday at 2:30 CST.

If you aren’t blessed enough to know about Drew Marshall and his show, click this link. Here’s a little stuff from his site: “Drew now hosts Canada’s Most Listened To Spiritual Talk Show – listened to by an estimated 100,000 people around Southern Ontario and online by listeners from over 100 Countries!”

It’s an honor to be on his show and I’m greatly humbled to be on it. I pray God will be glorified and that the right people will be listening – fallen pastors, hurting churches, people who need to hear truth, and anyone else I missed.

I think it might stream live, you can check the page’s main page. If not, they archive everything. Thanks again to Drew and his crew!

The Taste of Sin

Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in Provoketive Magazine, sin | Posted on 21-09-2012

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I’ve got a new article over at Provoketive Magazine called, “The Taste of Sin.”

It’s about how sin seems so appealing, yet when we taste it, we realize we’ve offended God.

Please take time to click this link and take a look at it.

As always, readers, you rock!