Sunday, September 28, 2014


Note to reader: This is a recent idea of mine, and not an "oldie", being improperly transcribed. . .

  It's funny (to me, at least) how an idea can roll around in the head for years, and then for decades; and you just never seem to get around to saying it aloud. String, what a concept! Don't you just find the stuff to be fascinating?. . . Okey-dokey, so maybe not? Let's just say that there may be legit reasons that I've been a bit hesitant so far to wax eloquent on the theme? I shall next purport to read your mind!
  You, without doubt, just said on the inside; "So blockhead, what's so great about string anyhow?". Do I win a prize for nailing it? And I would then perform a masterful switcheroo on you, and declare that block-headedness aside for the nonce, it's much more a block-heartedness we observe here! Ain't that a doozy?
  See? Life is a big, big "knot", and what (prey tell?); are knots built-of, anyway Mister?  Are "knots", and I mean here all-knots, are knots (by definition); untie-able? C'mon, you've surely wondered that. . . haven't you? We could re-phrase if you'd like that better. Is the mysteriously backward, abstruse, and blindly contradicting "nature of things" (down here at least) solvable? I mean, is there really such a thing, as a "happily ever-after", or is that just another of our chronic, and pointless hallucinations? String baby! That's where it's at! Hey, work with me here, will ya?
  Considered as a topological set, we infer, but cannot consistently demonstrate; "Any knot that was (historically) tied, is able to be un-done". Now, the solute might well elude us, perhaps for years, and then for decades; but the basic point here remains sound. . . I think!
  I've been wondering about this basic problem, for most of my life. As a boy, I was simply delighted. . . with knots! String? The coolest stuff ever!. .  Maybe? If it would make you more comfortable here, I shall try to employ human-speak, rather than mike-speak, for clarity's sake; you see? The basic "problem" of my life might well be typified and demonstrated by "string", but the  normal way to say such, would sound much more like: "Is hope itself, humanly defined, a working thing, or just another of our bizarre fixations?". This I wondered, over and over again. For years! As viewed from "down here, on the ground", does the word "hope" even have a meaningful context, much less, a realizable reality? This, I wondered! Indeed-ie, I did.
  Even as a boy, the usual batch of "hopes and dreams" foisted-off on the young, by the old (and discontented!) looked to be some pretty thin gruel. As an adult, I've learned to flatly reject such junk. And indeed, junk it be. "Any boy can grow-up to President!", they glumly informed me. If that ostrich refused to fly, hows about, "The American dream, is alive for us all!"? Excuse me, while I pause. . . to puke in my sock! And when push comes (inevitably) to ugly, we can always resort to, "Above all, believe in yourself (and don't forget to get a college degree, while you're at it), and hold onto (!) your dream!". Never did I say, but often thought about such drivel and pablum; "Say there pal, you wouldn't happen to have a king sized dose of caffeine plus nicotine that I could bum off you? I appear to be nodding off, over here". What we assert by such mean-hearted (block-hearts we!) cynicism, is to protect the heart from further damage, to do some damage control already! We end up, not actually wanting those unattainable "hopes", because it hurts so damned much to find them to be just another of our crummy mirages. . .
  To my mind, the real "issue" wasn't exactly whether all-knots can be un-done, so much as how to not (legitimately) quit trying? As a cast-aways, after the ship went down; we (clearly) are being forced "to make-do". It, for us at least, never has been a question of "reaching the stars", the basic idea is; "Can I find a pine cone which will function as a hammer? Forget the "luxury suites" aboard the boat already, we busy are cobbling together lean-tos, out of sticks over here Mack". We need tools. . . in order to make tools! And uhm, those went down with the ship. . . might as well deal with it. And this block-heartedness of ours, to a large extent; "is me". It's all about string, I tell ya!
  From quite an early age, this type of mean-heartedness, was the norm for me. See? I preferred (thank you very much) to name such "realism", okay? It appeared to me, that the prospect of growing old, was something like: "Learn to tolerate the stupidities of others (a lot!), and then "retire" (quit dealing with pin-heads at work, finally!); and pass-on to at least one or two more generations the basic delusion, that all knots are un-do-able (however unable I personally might have proven to be at the task?)". So, the big brainwave over here; is to loaf around, and lie to little kids? Wow. . . sign me up? Who, in their right mind could possibly care? We are hearing that "hope" definitely exists, and simultaneously that there are no working examples thereof? Why is this considered "convincing"?
  The whole deal about becoming a "somebody" down here in this idiot rathole, for some odd reason, just never "appealed to me". Beats me, "Why ?"; but just incidentally, have you noticed? "Noticed what?" say you.
  Those, uhm. . . "somebodies" which you have personally encountered down here, uh, did you "like" them? I am curious here, why precisely do you enjoy being "looked down on"? Is it some personal thrill for you to be ordered about, and ignored? And the "upside" here, is that you-too can indeed "ascend"? Count me, (for one) out! Because, see? One of the basic elementals of this age, is that the wealth-power matrix. . . "bends". . . you!
  Sure, we all start out, wanting to be both a "great-one" while (somehow) remaining humble and accessible. Sure Pal, tell it to the judge. Newsflash; this just in? You can't get there from here, may as well admit it. Money/power/fame, makes you "like it-is" (butt ugly), you don't make "it like-you"! Even as a boy, I knew that, how come you didn't? And the deceit of it all, is that the old already know this, and simultaneously refuse to pass that tidbit on? So, what do I have against kids anyhow, so as to join in this conspiracy of silence anyway? This type of thing "is me", or more accurately, "was me"? Something New is entered the human equation!
  The undoing of knots, can and often does occur, but "oddly, or surprisingly so". It isn't like an accident, it's much more like a surprise party. Joe Schlemiel comes home after another day at the (dumb) grindstone, in which the rich grow richer (do we ever-ever hear, "Thanks Joe!"? Hell no.), and surprise! Friends, family, food, and zany talk, come as an unforseeable solution to life's consistent heartbreak. Such formats as; a warm two handed grasp, an eye-ball to eye-ball "We love you Joe!", and a friendly punch on the shoulder. The human aspect of breaking knots, isn't to "overlook" them exactly, it's moreso a "compensation, a better-realer second-place finish". After all, the first place prize is already claimed by a real bunghole. . . Let him enjoy it; all alone. The un-done knot, for us mere humans, is a glad relief at being "low", a warmness and friendliness among "the wrong types", and best of all, surprisingly enough, I too am included!
  Lord Christ lives here! Among the riff-raff, the "wrong kind", He too is slapped on the back, enjoying a brew, a nice cigar, and just good ol' home-talk! He's one of us by golly! As such, He is the Real Deal, on that "local boy makes good, hometown proud" gig. And, as good as it is (really good!), that solution, can never "be enough" to basically, and actually un-tie. . . my sad knot. However fine it is, it remains "compensation", and to be settled-for, never aspired unto. If that were so, then zeal itself, would needs-be wither, and my heart (for one?) shouts, "Never that!".
  The best darned novel on the planet, The Lord Of The Rings; has a lovely way of saying better, what I am alluding to here. The Hobbits are all folksy and normal, the eating and drinking type; farming folk! These woolly-footed rascals meet up "accidentally" with this rather odd guy named (mysteriously) "Strider". This cat is one heck of a one man war machine, but is also freely able to consort with the simple, glad welcome of the "mere" Hobbitry represented. And it's downright comical how well Sir Tolkien weaves the narrative. Only dimly at first, and then alarmingly so, that the friends begin to conclude that;
       The High King,
          Aragorn II, Son of Arathorn
            King Elessar Telcontar ("Elfstone Strider"). . . is indeed one and same as that spookily dangerous hired gun, plain old Strider!
  Incredible! That the very same guy who enjoyed a cold one, and could tell great stories around the fire, that dude really doing the two handed-shake (right!), is one-and-same, as the Terrible-Majestic king of the whole realm? How could we have possibly "missed" that? Well, for one thing at least, his glory was subdued for a Purpose! The thing is, "Highness" never is, nor ever was; the thing to grasp onto. And frankly, the "American Dream" is simply, and always incapable of seeing this. Not, "every kid can", moreover much-much less so, grow-up into the Presidency. . .
  And yet, and yet, hope lives! Yessiree, He do! He do indeed. . .
  Here, our sad, battered confused hearts. . . at long last find a resting place.
  The King is dead. . . Long Live The King!
  Amen on that!

Haters of Mankind #25 (date unknown)

  As humans, we tend to contrast truth with beauty, with the proviso (unspoken) that we retain rights to identify just what constitutes both. . . In brief, we flounder, just "here". Truly enough, we are (to some extent) able to identify or "find beauty-in" various things, or persons, but to people like me (at least) "truth" tends toward the "axiomatic". Blast it! It's the principle of the thing. . . I rage, as I once again am proven unable to demonstrate the truth of things.
  Truth per-se ends up sounding rather like a freshman course in formal logic, or the study of rhetoric? We introduce second graders to addition, and counting, but we are careful not to assert that such knowledge is all there is to math. Yet, over in truth-land, this type of proviso appears frequently A.W.O.L. ? Such stuff sounds to many, far too rigid, just more rules! Newsflash, this just in: "Humans are not fond of 'just more rules'. . ." Who knew? The missing ingredient might best be spoken in our tongue, as the "romance of truth". This utterly crucial vitamin, this necessary food of a romantic-true; appears in our land to be mighty scarce stuff!
  Dave M., our Sunday-school instructor; mentioned recently that the early Christian believers were called by some "The haters of Mankind". What a lovely ring to it! Hey, now; that I like! The empire  (recall) was not based upon credo nor upon locale. Nor was she united by "race", kindred or religion. . . unless we resort to the Imperial cultus, as the religion in question! One thing (precisely), built and welded that crazy international contraption together. . . that being, the "genius of Caesar"!
  Our modern and slovenly usage of the word "genius", tends to overlook the basic idea involved, i.e., that of a "genie", or more revoltingly, a "tutelary spirit". To be blunt here, we moderns might best analyze the situation then as; Caesar was (best case!) simply delusional, and no real harm done. . . but the other option is that the creep was either oppressed or possessed by (perhaps more than one?) demonic intelligence(es?). Not, I say Not; a wholesome cult-tural development, that!
  The romance of truth, the poetry of faith resides, think I, over somewheres in this region. . . Enter "Speculation-ville". Let's trace out the Lord's prayer for a moment.
1. Father (ours)  >  Thine the Power  <  I AM, the life
2. Heaven (You seated-in)  >  Thine the Kingdom  <  I AM, the truth
3. Name-Thine Holy-is-was-shall be  >  Thine the glory  <  I AM, the way
  Okay, okay; so I tossed in  John 14 too. Deal with it, and move on. My brainwave here is that we keep popping up with "threes". In this formatting, we derive; Father-Life-Power, next we find Seated-King-Heavenly-Kingdom (itself)-Truth, yielding a final triad of Name-Holy-Glorious-Way. ya dig?
  My drift here (in case I am am being obtuse) is that in this scheme, truth is "naturally" linked to to "domain". Truth, and "turf" in this view, are "cousins", perhaps? The sanely legal dominion of the High King somehow or another "connects to the true". See? I keep on thinking that "truth" is a bit like 2+2=4, so learn the pattern and save to memory. . . Here, we get instead, something like, "The actual truth of the matter is His assertion; 'I just happen to own numbers, hence all of them work by My rules, and there exists no abstract truth, true of it's own self'. . ." The Bible is saying "Truth" and "King", always, always "intersect". There is no such thing as "impersonal truth"!
  Think back with me on John 18, for instance. Good King Joshua is saying: "If My kingdom was based down here, then My folks would be rioting" (or to that effect?). Later on, He clearly says to ratface, "I came to bear witness of truth". Pilate responds; "Truth, schmooth, what's that racket all about?", or some such noise.
  Do you sense a problem here? Mr. glossy-shiny, big-shot "looks down upon" this flat-broke Hillbilly from nowheres-ville, and (in effect) is asserting: "Truth? Hey Yokel, you got none!" Ergo, truth in Pilate's estimate at least; appears to be a type of "swagga", the look, the shine and gravitas of power and influence. You know the drill here, is Josh a man of influence, does He have "important" friends, and more crucially; is He "connected"? And in  old Pie's estimation, this Hick from tiny Nazareth just ain't got the stuff of power, or of real authority, and thus, He "cannot" be a man of truth! Gee, how did I miss that gem all these years?
  The romance of truth might appear as you informing your two year old. . . "Because, young man, I Say So!". And then setting back to observe where, or how the message "takes". Does the kiddo "buy it"? We shall see, surely we shall (indeed) see! In this type of format, you are doing the little stinker a huge favor, and linking (for him) truth-to-person, and never truth-to-axiom. And as things turn out, you are correct to do so, in that Truth (Herself!) always, always links to "Person" (Himself!). Ergo, we safely infer same of the sister in question, Beauty. His Truth therefore, is not a flat nor static assessment of "is", so much as a glad song of friendship and welcome! It's an "invite" not an announcement!
  This (somewhat) established then, the message He sends the 70 out with is. . . plainly weird, unless we use this type lens to see-by, "Say to them, the Kingdom is at hand!". This, my friend, is "the truth of gospel". Do the tykes "buy it"? We shall see, we (indeed!) shall see.
  We skinny mortals keep imagining truth to be "dull". In reality, such an estimation is at best, an analysis of my dullness; and my stubborn refusal "to buy". Witness; The all-time, all-out slam-down, cage match of W.W.F.! "In this corner, the entire. . . freaking world (!) wearing the black mask, and purple trunks. . . and in this corner, the Challenger (singular?) that un-armed Hillbilly from who can recall where? Him wearing the white trunks, and that oddly ring-shaped white Stetson. .  I object! Such a fight cannot be possibly be "fair", and especially so, when we consider that against all "odds", against all expectations, hey; against even basic "decency(!)" that Dude is mopping the floor with those cats! Further, not only is He winning,. . in some faith-sense, it's already over! Wow, talk about a mismatch! Those guys never even "stood a chance" of winning.
  Truth-wise thus, we thereby infer that there can be no final dispute between science and faith. That was yet another of our dull-wit abstractions friend. The actual grudge-match has always been about our miserable, and self-contradictory "authorities" down here (and below) vainly attempting to duke it out with King Yeshua.  Such an unfair fight! He, the 'Underdog" (at alarming levels of 'under dogginess') consistently thumps them all-combined!
  We observe there-by, that Truth-enforced by King is contrasted with truths (plural) foisted-upon us by frauds, fools, and perverts. Or at minimum, it's much more like that, than 2+2, ever was. Neither Joseph Smith, nor Mohammed shall ever "equal" the least-of the "lessor prophets", flatly contrary to their demented claims. King Jesus wins. . . by going "lower" yet! Did you see that one coming?
  Or think of that hayseed, that rube, the Tishbite Elijah. Talk about "country"! Yet, in that viewing, we are forced to admit that Eli was a downright sophisticated celebrity, Mr. socialite jet-setter-pants in person, compared to the Ultimate "Nobody", the King of Jews! And to Him (?), All Dominion, in Heaven and upon the Earth, be rightfully His-Own-Ever? Beautifully, we learn to shout; "Yes Sir!".
  Penniless, naked, and battered beyond recognition (and He wasn't much to look at, to start with?), friendless, alone He dies condemned a "traitor" to the empire. This Guy, if ever in history anybody; has "Zero-Status" nailed, or perhaps it's running in negative numbers(?); His gravitas, a null set! And just "here", the poetry of faith demands that the Most-High kiss the Lowest-of-Low. Truth meets Beauty, with a big hug, and a kiss! View then, the One sane Man, fully God, fully Human, in His body, He holds together what would tear asunder the "greatest" mere creature. . . available!
  We obey because we love, not in order to gain acceptance. Or better, we love in that first, He loved! Truth said; "Jesus, (indeed!) is Lord (to the glory of the Father Almighty!). In the long haul, it don't really matter much about your opinion on the matter, whether you agree or not; because, truth said; "You certainly Shall!". . . Our truth, our faith-romance says that He has, centuries-ago taken up The Sceptre. Today, all reality, is His lawful domain. You don't "make Him" Lord, you (with Holy Aid) acknowledge it. It's not for the parent's good, it's in the kid's best interests, that; they acquire the habit of believing what they are told!
  After all, we may as well begin today, this-here is the permanent arrangement of affairs, and best we walk awake, than sleep-walking unto a rude awakening . . . yonder-when!

Note to reader: You guessed, I quit!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Creative cursing #26 (date unknown)

  Do you know when it happened? Historically speaking, and I'm clearly guessing here; we ought look at sometime after the American revolution, and prior to the war of Northern aggression? Cursing came. . . to a screeching halt!
  Now, I'm predicting over here that you're already saying; "Don't be a knuckle-head Junior, of course cursing didn't end!". Uhm, are we so awfully certain, just. . . "here"?, I'd likely respond. See, my point of contention herein is that "Victorian" ethos, yonder among the Brits, and a corresponding "School-marmish" neo-ethic prevailed. In the war of ideas, they won the day. I, Mike Labor, am hereby asserting, that socially, internationally, and really; cursing (in fact) did end.
  The "progressives" in our midst, to this day, continue to grouse about the Victorian inhibitions (usually sexual) which we to this day; "suffer under", did you notice? Together, the international drift of things, was toward a public decency, a civilized, and sophisticated outward carriage of the person, such that, certain things are just never said. They. . . won, deal with it, and move on. Heck, to this very hour, one can just tune into talk radio, to hear the many callers as "desperate" to grasp; "What "can we do" to restore decency and common sense in  the land? I am "concerned about standards" in television, (or is it?) movies, or the pop-music "industries", what can we "do" to . . . restore our former greatness?". Kinda sad, huh? I say, this Victorian/School-marmishness ethos, like all our endeavors, produced, unintended consequences, and as such is flatly unable, and unwilling to ever once note that cursing and cussing may well be brothers, but were never identical twins. Nowadays, the brothers are no longer on friendly, speaking terms. . .
  Cussing remained, cursing departed, it's about that complex. Geo. Carlin outlined for us, some-when our cult-ural seven (or so?) taboo words. And, as long as those are not said, we might safely infer that cussing did not occur. Decency, is thus preserved! Uhm, "Yeah, for 'progress'. . . or some such?". Somehow, cursing was relegated to a backwater status, that (should it actually exist at all) only witches, or perhaps voodoo queens really ever curse, as in; "the verb; 'To place under the influence of a spell, or incantation, to bewitch'. . .". Spooky thought; that! The very idea of causing by ordered speech, an "inexplicable" ruination of foes, simply disappeared off our radar? Or, did it?
  To break a foe via verbal, and/or body ritual, so to crush, to hound and frustrate said foe's life unto an "uncanny" collapse. . . whatever in heck that finally proves to be; cannot be the same as using the "f-bomb" in public! Different brother, but at the divorce, cursing "officially ended" whereas cussing stayed put, but lives on only "technically, and in private".
  Personally, I have mixed emotions on the topic of cussing. As a believer, I'm supposed to be opposed to the practice, but in fact, find it difficult to "care". For the unbeliever, his growing up years very likely included more than a tad of salty language, and so to speak, it is his "natural mother-tongue". Now, I've yet to hear of the Wycliffe translator all jazzed about translating Scripture into that particular "heart-language". . . Further, I doubt that such, a Carlin's Bible would prove so awfully popular a best seller. This particular "vulgar tongue" ain't prezackly what our friends set out to do, I'd hazard here.
  The downside of such, it seems is that if one's actual, and daily used language is perpetually off-limits, then prayer f'r instance, is going to be forced over into an awfully blasted slender topical menu. See, like maybe the Almighty ain't yet wise to that lingo, we'd best set a good example with the Chap, and only talk-nice. . . it's for His own good, you see; we wouldn't want to corrupt the Gent upstairs, now would we?; is the reality which "accidentally" falls out. So, in prayer, we don't have much we "can say"! Yet worse than that dumb misery, in the paucity of our talking-back to Him, those things we really do intend to say, are found to be "un-safe" to ever once assert? Sad, and stupid?, yep; that's us! Thanks tons, Vicky. . .
  Join me then as we observe a cult-ure devoid of cursing, officially at least, and opposed to cussing, at minimum in principle, also, I say also, is "co-incidentally" one in which prayer, by in large is gone dormant. I think it wrong headed of us to teach children to; "Tell Him your heart", but to never ever apply your real heart-language! So, I retain an ambivilence just "here". Am I wrong? Such guck of ours yields the big mystery of; "Just why are our young folk wandering from the Captain. . . what did we do wrong?" A Carlin Bible is (likely) not the cure here, but I say, the product of disenfranchising the next gens, is precisely the "Vick-stress'es actual victory". Recall, that side won. Who knew?
  Supposing then for a moment, that you unaccountably escaped this pointless trainwreck we view here, and indeed do pray, why do we believers retain the School-marmish prohibition against cursing? Why are we the ones to enforce the divorce decree? What prezackly, are we to "do" with David's  prayer; "Teach my hands to war!"? The institutions of this world those bureaucratic idiocies we love to mock, plus the plain futility of erecting "more, and new rules", the stubborn blindnesses and meanness of "the great", all this noise about us; finally tips! From sheer blockheadedness, plus pointlessly boneheaded incompetence of our public "servants", this inevitably leaks over into flatly evil deeds. Had you noticed? Those damnable TSA creeps fondling old ladies and. . . even babies? This is clearly, clearly gone beyond the usual clumsy stupid boondogglery; it's hellish.
  Uhm, does the School-marm ever "allow us". . . to note this? At what point exactly, I inquire; since when do dead foreign queens "authorize" our rightful, and bound duty. . . to (the verb) Curse?
  Recall our actual situation on the ground. The reality is; the men might well be yet be sheared off from their hellion captors, and plainly we are under orders to bless even the creepiest of creeps. So what? This discussion is not about that topic, we are discussing lawful cursing! And to those wrecks, those ex-persons which fell from above, along with their thoroughly damned-to-hell king, we are free to say; with good King David: "Yea, shatter his jaw. . .
                                          Break inwardly his knees, and make his path slippery. . .
                                      Chain him in darkness, and grind him. . .
And in that speaking, be without a single hesitation.
  Do you see my meaning? It is we, we who with and in Lord Christ, have authority to both. . . bless, and curse! Of course, we bless our (human-ONLY) enemies and say; "free that sordid TSA pervert from his dark fixation, before he goes too far, and can never come back"! But such is a moot and unrelated point in this C.P.E..
  We have mistaken (think I) nice/decent with good/holy. Moreover, we did it on purpose! The clue is covenantal. The merely "nice" person has yet to be freed to indeed Fear Him, and this contrasting with the good one who does, and is free to say so. It's about our mouths being opened, so to speak truth. Truth, by definition; excludes, deal with it already.
  Speech: "By your words, you shall be judged" means ergo, every careless thoughtless word of mine shall surely come up for review. If the high-holy sacrifice at Calvary, for any reason whatsoever "fails" to cover my guilt and shame, if it "forgets to forget" my lawful condemnation, I. . . have. . . no hope. . . period!
  Yet we do! Our Hope lives. He in Person the High Word (Himself!) to shatter-forever, to tread down, destroy, and ruin; lives at peace with the High Blessing; to feed, to call home, to heal and to raise (again) alive. It's never some bland homogenization, a little of this, and a dash of that, it's the Covenant Reality; it's a both/and type of full-tilt-bozo, glad acceleration to the victory finish! Immanuel takes the trainwreck of Holy Judgement upon Himself, taking-with-Him, His foes in that righteous disaster.
  Out of that wreckage, He-alone (and then, them hidden-in Him) is the only Survivor! But, that's enough, and far more than enough, it's a flatly supernatural victory, Covenant realized, Covenant enacted, and frankly, I'm damned glad of it!

Note to reader; okay I quit trying to "not-repair". Let's just be honest, and call this C.P.E., a newbie, and move on. . .

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Letter To Gilbert

  Note to reader: What follows isn't a C.P.E. at all, but rather a transcription of a letter I recently wrote on graph paper, to a local auto mechanic. I so enjoyed myself; writing it, that the idea that you also might like looking it over too(?), crossed my mind today.
  Instead of viewing it as a mere sarcasm-bomb, try imagining it as a first try at "conflict resolution". I've never really attempted to do that, when I feel wronged, I just "suck it up, and move on". . . I hear-by promise to not "repair" the original, but simply record what was written that night.

                                                                                                                         5 Sep 2014

Dear Gilbert,

  I came into your establishment seeking repairs on my '96 Toyota Tacoma. That was 6 Aug, 2014. I was billed, and paid (check #xyz1 BOA), for services rendered. The single reason I approached you, was due to my seeking advice, as to whom to (best) deal with my recent transmission issues.
  When hot, and at a stop, the beginning phase of accel was beginning to "slip". B & G Total Alignment sent me to you. That. . . was my error and believe me, I shall NOT repeat it!
  You found water in my ATF fluid. I said: "That's weird. How could water get in there anyhow?". Your response was something like: "I can't imagine! I've been doing this for 19 years, and have never seen this before!". I thought: "Uh-oh, this sounds expensive", but said instead: "What can we do?".
  Now we get to the weird part. You suggested draining . . ."what we can". . .(?) of the fluid, refilling (about) 1/2 the fluid, and refilling. . . I asked: "Why not just drain it all?". You said: "We have no way of getting it out." I said; "Well, how come Roper's Lubri-cator "can", and you "can't"?". You replied; "We do not have the equipment for that type of work". I should have ended the transaction there and then. It was my error to agree to your "suggested fix". I take responsibility.
  About one week later; the problem began manifesting again. I spoke with you on the phone, Friday evening about 5:30 p.m. (15 Aug 2014). I wish now, I had recorded the conversation! It was a gem! You informed me that Gilbert's "Transmission Service" is not open on Saturdays, and that I should (apparently, skip work?) bring it in again, Monday morning. Your keen insight on the matter ran thus: "Well, maybe it's something down in the transmission, causing the problem, we'll have to take it apart and 'see what we can find'. . .(!)". Gosh, that's a GREAT suggestion!
  As I recall, it was precisely at that moment, that I decided, "This guy is NEVER getting near my truck again!". Gadzooks! He "thinks maybe (?) something 'might be' wrong?". Uhm, aren't we already quite certain. . . just there?
  So, I did what I should have done 10 days earlier, and brought it to Roper's (oddly enough) upon a bright Saturday morning. Prior to that stop, I went to Auto Zone.
  For Free (?) they dumped the codes in my truck's computer, to see if (possibly) a solenoid fault was showing up. . . uh, does Gilbert's have that "equipment"? Nothing on the tranny showed up: Ergo, there is no "problem somewhere down inside the transmission".
  Question: How come the lady at A.Z. KNEW-so. . . and you were still guessing? What's up, with that?
  Further, I described to the lube-guy at Roper's, my problem. I asked: "Supposing I wanted to get water in my transmission for some pointless reason, how could it get in there?". He said: "It's easy, I see that problem 'all the time'...".
  Isn't that interesting? Don't you think that is a memorable quote Mr. G? "In fact, (said the man) there are 'at minimum' two (!) ways water can enter the fluid.". Two?.. And the guy with 19 years service has "never" seen this before?
  I asked; "Is it even possible to evacuate ALL of the fluid, plus-water out of there, and refill?". He said; "Well, it's gong to be expensive, but we do it all the time". "Do it", said I. One hour and nine minutes later, NOT four hours and 47 minutes, like some people. . . he wrapped it up. I was out an additional $120.87, and it is money well spent. trust me, on that.
  Upon leaving Roper's, I decided to give it several weeks in order to observe the results of their work, prior to writing you this letter, of which they shall receive a duplicate. I wanted to find out if their simple and easy fix, rather than dis-assembling the thing, in order to "look around"(!) was going to work properly. It has.
  The way I see it, you charged me 20 more bucks than they, in order to do "one half" of the job, while working at 1/4 the speed! You owe me.
  It's odd (don't you agree?) that somehow; I became a "better" transmission diagnostician in about 17 minutes of friendly conversation with a young pup, than a man with OVER 228 months(?) of experience at destroying perfectly good devices?
  I finish this essay with four points, a parting shot, a request, a suggestion to better serve your (poor pitiful) customers, and a promise!
  The parting shot goes this-a-way. Perhaps 12-14 days after(?) your "work was completed", I received a phone call from a lady at Gilbert's Trans Svc. I do not recall her name. Anyhow, she inquired: "Is this the labor union?". I replied; "Huh? Uhm, well, no it isn't, but my last name is "Labor", does that help?". She informed me that nobody at Gilbert's "could figure out" the billing information. I thought; but did not say: "Good God, What amateurs! She has (or had) my personal check (#xyz1 BOA) WITH MY name printed in BOLD in the upper let corner. . ."? I had those checks "specially ordered" in that way. . .you see? Very bizarre business plan you have there Mr. G.
  As per the recommendation; either change the signage to read; "Gilbert's Fishing Expeditions", or (God forbid!) buy some effing tools to DO. . . your JOB! For starters, I'd go hang around Auto Zone for a few minutes and ask; "Hey, where could a guy find one of those fancy, newfangled "code-reader" thingies anyhow?". Next, go to the professionals at Roper's Lube, and plead with them to show you precisely how to drain a transmission beyond the half way point, and where in honking hades a chap might buy the "equipment" to do so! Just a thought there. . . ZANY huh?
  Per the request, I'm asking you to do the right-business, professional gig, and refund my money in FULL.
  And my promise? Well, it's twofold. First I promise never ever ever to bother you for any reason, or ask any service of you. Ain't that "big" of me? But the better part of the promise please? I promise never to tell you, under any circumstance how water might possibly enter an automatic transmission!
  You see? It's a "trade secret" which, over my vast 27 minutes of training I must closely guard! My lips are sealed. . . except to tell babies, chimpanzees, and those seeking advice. My advice friend? Go to Roper's! They are the pros! They work real fast! Wow, and they are real reasonably priced too!
  Godspeed to you, and your house, my prayers are with you, and FOR you.
                                                                                                          Mike LABOR (union)

P.S. To reader: the only changes I made are to go all-cap on "key" words. Still can't figure out this font thing, so to UNDERLINE! Strangely, have not yet heard from Gil? Wonder why?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Dispute #27 (date unknown)

  So, is it America the blessed, America, one nation under God", or is that somebody's haphazard construction of what once supposedly was? That construct designed, in order to alter what was to come? And, every winter, about this time of year, we collectively are to take up the debate (dispute actually) again?
  It appears to be the "patriots" versus "the dictatorship of the offended"; formatting the two sides. A type of public policy round table sets the annual fight as; "firmly, and once for all", we "must" define the role of the state, vis-a-vis the role "religion" amid it? A windy and intricate thing it is, and it all appears to rotate about whether indeed, the founders were Christian? What (indeed!) was their intent?
  In this dispute, the founders end up being sock-puppets, which most mysteriously mouth (quite well) the words of the competing puppeteers. Each side can, and does "prove" that either A. They were, or B. They were not. It's downright uncanny how very much the 18th cen. founders end up wholly agreeing with both(!) 21st cen. "modern" sides! . . . Simultaneously?
  The offended "fear" an American theocracy? That is; they "fear" a far too cozy alignment of conservative faith, with conservative political policy. The twin "establishments", political-controlling and believing-activist are seen as "dangerous", when, or if ever linked.
  So then, if the fear is of a too-large, and too-intrusive (conservative) combine, would we be safe to presume that the offended also (logically) favor small govt.? Don't be silly! That particular racket remains the stronghold of the patriots! Don't you recall their many "unfeeling" (and serial) cries for budget "cuts!"? Oddly, this is the very group (the pats); are they favoring public finance being "best be spent" setting up statues of dead Jews? But didn't we just say that they were the ones "against waste"? Thus, they infer (at minimum), that in the doing, in the statue-setting (manger-building), "we ensure a blessing" from the Almighty? Please! Now, He's the One all-agog at manger scenes? So, upon the doings of the political spending of the secular establishment we're buying Him off? Or what?
  Indeed, it's an odd discussion we have yearly, in that much, or most of it, goes unsaid? Producing an assumed, or stealth estimate of America, as being (a bit?) "like" Israel of old, a(nother) "holy land"? Says who? What a boatload of swindle there! But worse, if we really were "like" Israel, recall that He booted those rascals out! The land-blessed, can and often historically does, become the cursed-land. "The function in that reversal there, has nothing to do with neither the presence, nor absence; of publicly financed manger scenes", we'd do well, to note occasionally.
  A ship approaches a low lying island. They hear, "Come aboard, a tidal wave is coming, and you cannot survive it here.". They respond; "We're building us, our own boats, but thanks anyhow!". Across the water, the reply comes; "You have no trees". . . Such is our dispute.
  Generations of islanders later, the dispute goes always two ways. Group A, (the pats) "strongly believes" that, "We are blessed as an island, to have heard the Captain's voice. We simply must be special!". Simultaneously, group B (the offended) shout back; "Balderdash! There never came any "wave", neither in our forebears day, nor in ours. The "Captain". . . if he ever actually existed, was either a con-man, or simply deluded".
  The third view goes by-in-large unheard: "The wave is yet to come, and the Captain was right about both his assessment of our situation, and the wave. Moreover, the pats are wrong in assuming that we are "special", and the offended are wrong about who precisely is, or was; crazy. The forebears' refusal was based upon building with non-existent trees!". Clearly a gang of nuts.
  In our day, I assume that the "fear of a theocracy" is about as nuts as one could be. . . but hey, that's me. What goes more or less unsaid on this side, is their expectation that faith, never ever becomes more than a subjective case (deeply personal!) of good feelings, and mellowness. In the context of the island, it would be like asserting that the public loudspeakers' blaring of the voice heard, was never ever a "public" thing? Each of our ancestors "must have" only felt that "voice" within them. . . and so, they "heard"?
  In our annual reality, the very public appearance, and the quite public offer of aid from the unsurvivable wreckage of that true tidal wave coming, (the pure and undiluted; "public" event itself!) "contrasts" with the simply real. Some; no, Many (!) said "Yes" to His offer, in that hour. In our reality, not all of the islanders refused the assistance, nor do they today! The Voice sounds-yet, the warning, and the offer of help is yet good!
  "Private and public" are turned by the True Captain inside out, and upside down. He hides our shame-public, and there are no "secrets" in His Presence.
    It is group C which both privately feels, and enjoys her Maker, and publicly says so! Further, the gal firmly asserts that both groups fall far short of ever really enjoying things, or of speaking honestly. Group A appears to be blind, and group B masks her cruelty under a veneer of sentiment and mush. All satrapies, dukedoms, fiefdoms, tribal holdings, all the powers (ever!) that-be, including America the powerful. . . kneel. All knees bend to the Captain. Our "choice" never was whether or not to bend, but rather to choose if you'd best enjoy bending voluntarily, or having the knees shattered?  The tidal wave; . . . is real! All, render up, to Him the Sovereign Majesty. That is, you don't "make Jesus lord". Instead, with Aid, you first begin to be aware that He Was, Is, and Shall Ever Be, God, in the flesh! He is not he One who "gains" anything by virtue of you finally admitting the real. . .  to be real. Our delusional building of invisible boats, we ourselves come to (with aid) reject. It thus, "helps" us!
  Our group A thinks the land is "permanently blessed". . . in that the Captain warned it, that it was well-nigh accursed? Recall the wave? Meanwhile, that group B yonder, wishes the entire event away, much preferring to name Our grand Sailor, a spook, or phantom? Hey, what a brainwave, that trick ought keep them waves at "bay"! Eh?
  Thank then with me, God, for group C! They didn't all go away generations ago, as we'd feared. Those marvelous believers, even amid grief and loss have come to treasure Him above "the right answers", and for them, it's people (you I mean) above theory. Just the opposite of both of the other two! In chaos and darkness, their glad orderly lives are a light for us all. Prior to the calamity wave, they've thrown down their swords, and . . surrendered. . . unconditionally? "Traitors to mankind!" the other groups accuse. . . ah, but such warm, funny, and humble "treason" it be, they live. Never complaining? Well, maybe not, but even in hunger, pain, loss, and shame they never lose hope, trusting boldly in the real "Invisible Man"! They say; "Don't you see? By "seeing" Him, first and best, we've come to see-anew all else. But now, we can see it clearly for the first time! The fog is lifting, the new day is breaking", they insist.
  It's about this time every year, great good, and glad tidings we tell. The real boat-lift rescue operation, the shielding of the many in that dreadful day; is a rip-roaring success! He is pulling it off. And so, to Him be the honor, the thanks, the heartfelt praise. He found, finds, and keeps searching. He built the boat, helps us aboard, and navigates the way to safety. He possesses a marvelous sense of direction, they say. . . He secures the way home!
  With His body, by His blood, His strength and soul poured out, a passage, a door is opened. It remains unclosed, and indeed uncloseable. Well, unclosed, until He-Himself closes!

Note to reader: Clearly, these "repairs" are spinning out of control. This C.P.E. bears little resemblance at all to it's "original version". So, now we have two, with the same title? Nothing good can come of that, I'd guess.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lincoln's War #28 (date unknown)

  Well, yesterday I became an outlaw. The hither-to unknown "neo-crime", that of failure to purchase, is but one short step removed from financial terrorism. . we presume?
  It's never a good thing to view a man fold like a cheap suit. Judge John Roberts, may God have mercy upon your wretched soul.
  My best guess today is that for us neo-criminals, the I.R.S. will end up garnishing our wages, thus to prevent us from disobeying the "law". It's for our own good, don't you see? This nanny-state, this mommy knows best police state, is in my opinion; the necessary out-working of Lincoln's vision for the land.
  The past ten years or more, I've become much less a fan of saint-Abe, than I was brought up to believe. That civil religion which we were all raised up in, over at the "pubic" schools; hallows that (self) "righteous" vato as defender of the onion, emancipator of slaves. . . too! Let's face it, civil cults are never really wholesome, let's start there!
  It's an odd thing, in my estimation; that although the winner of war gets the right to write it's official history, did I just perpetually fail to notice? And what I mean is; if the North's view of that war was ostensibly all-about freeing slaves, what is thereby unspokenly inferred, is that, what we refer here to is, private slave owning. . . only. The history books consistently refuse to ever once mention public slave holding?
  We have, as moderns; a kind of superiority-complex. Such a complex means that we have been instructed at gun-point, to perpetually view slavery (the institution); with distaste and loathing. We reject it as an institution; thus taught to fondly imagine we've banished same.
  True, the federal entity did indeed ban private slave holding. Thus, we infer that today only public slavery exists in the onion? Gee, how did we all miss that? Uncle sam, in his white-house, becomes the only "lawful" slave holder! Thanks Abe-sters. . . The South stoutly declared that the war was all-about state sovereignty, as opposed to the entity we nowadays regard as 'the gubmint". The United States, used to be a plural usage, now; it is a singular. Did the government schools history geek ever mention that little fact, during class . . .  to you? Thanks Abe, thanks just tons and acres.
  Our neo-crime of failure-to purchase, is what used to be meant by the word tyranny. Simply, tyrants turn lawful men into criminals, by fiat. Please notice; the unk-ster never once assumes that a man might, of his own resources. . . pay (?) bills due? Uh, that would include medical bills too? Thanks for the vote of confidence there, unk.
  The outworking of the American covenant is a soul-ish matter. All kinds of inner contradictions, duplicities, and double meanings simply must manifest, in it's historical application. Nowadays, it's happening real fast! What took the Romans centuries to undo, we are demolishing first in decades. . . and now, in month's time.
  The cry of the "right" to return to our roots, is but another slave revolt. That type of thing, never works. No, we await the true novus ordo, from on-high. The High King is David's Son. The sign of David is two triangles. The upward hierarchy is a point-upward. The highest of the High, is He. . . and He also washes slave's feet. He thus occupies both high and low points in the star. At the center (sorry Dave), we nowadays spot Calvary! And that cross looks like a "jack" (a young girl's toy) in Mike's neo-design. That cross would prove to be three dimensional. Recall that the historical planar cross was 'pierced" from front to back. He, upon that infernal device, was indeed pierced (did we forget?), taking the blow in His body. Said blow "is" signal for us of the curse, the destruction, the fury-coming, so richly due us frauds. Yep, even for John Roberts (!), extending even so low, as to also be mine.
  Friend, we are promiscuosly spreading a treasure, not our own. The true novus ordo is plainly unstoppabe, in that our contradictions of soul are met and surpassed in Him.
  The day that Obama Inc. finished Lincoln's war for him. . . I became an outlaw. Recall that the day that Lord Christ finished Adam's war, I became a true freed-man.
  Christ-alone (you see?). . . frees. He comes down, and raises. . . us-with. We learn, one goes "up" by stooping, so to favor, so to bless, them; our foes. Before the court of His law, we have only recommendation of friendship and welcome for even such as. . . John Roberts? Yes, and amen!
  Unk-ster freely makes slaves of us all, and simply fails to mention it. Christ makes us freed-men, men of His (Almighty Good!) making. The weight of leviathan ever bears it downward. The cancer, left to itself, always metasticizes. That "growth" is now occurring at alarming rates. But, recall the men! The men might, yet still be sheared off from it, prior to it's timely demise.
  We pray. for our enemies, and for them wrongly using us, in that we've been aided to learn somewhat the fear of God, and surely, of no man. We pray "for", them, until they-too become able to pray.
  He's Coming. Our Captain of the Hosts, armed and truly, dreadfully dangerous. . . is (indeed) coming. Hey Barry, does the mere saying of it, make me there-by a terrorist/criminal to boot? At some historical-future point, the faith once delivered, "must" become "illegal". Our deeply flawed American covenant "guarantees" that much for certain!
  Join me then today, and praise the One Name, "Jesu".
  Were you aware that the Name MEANS, in translation; "I AM THAT AM...the sav-er"? He hears!. In fact, He hears a bit too well sometimes for my liking. . .

Oops! Dear reader forgive my meddling in a nearly "perfect C.P.E"., to do "repairs". . . willy-nilly. You gotta love "willy-nilly" in my book!

Worlds of Discourse #29 (date unknown)

  It comes to a fella (after awhile) that there are "islands of chat", or "worlds of discourse". You can find topic-experts on these private  little fields of expertise. You may drop-in and discourse-with (if you'd like), and move on. As an example, think of the Sunday newspaper. The hard news is on page 1, the editorials, back in section C. Next, you dip into sports, or dive into pets. Don't forget fashion, or arts, but best of all, satire (los funnys!).
  Switch next over to the radio. Sports-talk is going head to head; with political-talk, for market share. Religion is competing yonder with oldies, country-western, and hip-hop. Each possesses it's own community, with it's own lingo, and it's own history.
  How (ever?), did I succeed in "missing" this all these years?
  If, what is true in me, is true in you; I find that whatever "world" I happen to be-in (just now), that those others briefly cease to have "meaning". My ego-based "me-world", and the "place" I am presently "visiting" is the "only-one" there "is"(!) . . . except when I shift to it's competitor (again). Just how did I miss this factoid all these. . . decades?
  Further, each of us run our own private little "islands of chat". Those around you can (likely) predict "where" this present discussion between the two of you, is "going". Some guys "do" the gun and ammo world. Me (?), I'm pretty lousy at that one. Some guys "do" memorable sports moments, or perhaps historical battles (military), in an admirable fashion. Me (?), I run out of BBs on that front pretty quick!
  Often, women prefer to shear-off into the world of fashion, or maybe the look, and feel of things. Frankly, I stink at those "worlds", and don't presume to attempt it.
  Don't we all admire those who can dip into a multiplicity of "worlds of discourse" without a single hiccup, and get the info and lingo "down pat" on the first try? Any downside there-of might be charges of "glib", or being a "know-it-all". Call it a "necessary risk", and let's move on!
  If our image of things were to shift to "pubic" (government) schools, we might be viewing hallways and class-rooms. Those inside the class-room, are "in" worlds of discourse. Those "in" the hallways are not, but may freely inter-communicate, such that the algebra person, can hear about the home economics gig via the hallway person? Okay, so mebbe that ain't exactly the best example?
  Anyhow, this hardly matters at all (to me, at least). It's the normal human fascination with power, expertise and becoming an "insider", and what-not. Who cares? Well. . . maybe the vast-screaming majority of all humanity. . . for one? Me(?), not so much. "Isn't this guck just another form of phoney transcendentalism?", says me. I mean by that, aren't we pretending here, that we may view the world from the "outside", so to have freedom to enter-it, thus to "participate"? Y'know(?), like God (for instance) Himself?  Who precisely finds such pretension "convincing" anyhow?
  Now, if "like" God, you brought-in a larger-realer "world of discourse" (occasionally?) from the "outside", where you supposedly reside (?), that might be interesting. But, is it convincing? Hardly.
  See? His world of discourse, His island of chat, speaks of an unthinkably deep-past, in which our present-day was called-forth, or decreed. That field of expertise, posits an incomprehensible union of Almighty-with. . . man, the-creation? "There", we we "find" Him; "up" of reality, oddly(?) accessing the real, at it's "base"? That world, that "Kingdom", posits a net sweeping across history (and so, our world too!) to there-by gather in a "new-race". Thereby, "The Man" proposes, what amounts to a "one-ended rope", the True Transcendental!
  Think on that. Which world of discourse proposes anything even a bit like a one-ended extension cord? In finding that one,  we begin in this world, and "trace it up" finding no other end! How very deeply weird a cord, eh? Moreover, we are not being "glib" about such a world, we don't really do any "finding" on our own, but are being "dragged in", by that very cord!
  Over in the world of music, our (small) "life-song" is going on, day by day. In it, we begin to harmonize somewhat with the Larger, Realer "pattern-song" of life (Mr. Life to you). The tone of that discussion is already set, and we are to chime-in with hearty Yowsahs and Amens here and there? That is, we are not mastering said world of discourse . . . it's (He, actually) mastering us! View then, the difference between merely describing wave-function, compared to riding a 20 footer right through the tube! One set's you-personally as yet another mere expert, and the real one is sweeping us all in?
  The real world of discourse, is bigger-than (always!) our abilities (or not) to talk the talk. That world, among other things, teaches us to talk right!
  Our ethic then, is a glad amazement at The True-Trans One, and joy at the noticing in us, that the King of the Real would-care (at all) to come, to teach, to welcome such as us! We, the thankful, at the big switcheroo, He becomes the ugly, we the winsome, and in that finding, a new-found confidence that His promise stands! The pattern of life, is placed upon us. And so, we are  finding "in" it; a big welcome home son! A blown-kiss, a big hug, mom's dinner call. . . and more! Much much more. . .

Note: This thing was a mess, junk syntax, horrendous punctuation, etc., and a few glitches otherwise "propelled" me to repair the thing. So, I lied, when I promised not to "fix" them? Deal with it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Going Out #30 (date unknown)

  If you misquote somebody, does it still count? Young King Soloman is confronted one night: "I AM (God Almighty), ask of Me what you will". Y.K.S. says in effect: "I'm not experienced, and don't know how to come in, and go out before this great people I am to govern, grant me wisdom and insight please".
  Maybe you are the one who knows what "coming in, and going out" refers to? My guess is that there exists a private (inner) "person", and also a public (outer) "persona". Making the transition as needed between the two is part of Y.K.S.'s view of wisdom!
  Now, this going-out business, it appears, is; in our vocabulary been switched to "out-going", which bears an entirely different connotation. Formally then, the divide here runs as "How may I, with integrity of person, display a "real" outer-face (persona)?". Our puny "out-going" gig poses, at least possibly; a phoney enthusiasm, a faked "interest", as our (twisted) "norm". "Extroversion. . .itself, becomes "the good". Duh?
  So then, to begin; our "inner man" does indeed conform to our "outer man, and that's precisely the problem! All of those petty squabbles of mine, all of those "misunderstandings", the bad feelings toward others, that is in fact, a fair and unbiased rendition of the "real me"! It's just that we'd like blame such upon circumstances, or more pointedly; at "others"! Them guys are "the reason" that my shabby self isn't more dignified.
  Thus, we are in the odd position of rejecting, out of hand; both our actual outward behavior, and our inner (lame-ass) "justifications" of same! Hey, it's weird. Okay? Shifting gears to get out of this rut, let's punt!
  The kick is high! It lands squarely on the fifteen yard line, (a.k.a.) that "two lives as one" exhortation. You know the drill, the Pastor says: "Your Sunday life should not be "any different"(?) than your Monday or any-other-day. . .life". "Clearly spoken by a chap manifestly not in the business of killing rats for a living?", we infer.
  Nope-sters, that "unity" drill is but the regular flavor of the white-guy-guilt trip, masquerading as "spiritual". The question never was; "How many personas might one lawfully possess?". The thing reads instead, "Can we, (can anybody ever?) harmonize the law-loving inner man, with the law-breaking outer man? Is this even do-able? Moreover, doing so, and not corrupting the inner man in the process, so to achieve "unity"!".
  Now, forced to punt from our own end-zone, we kick again!
  It's up!...and lands at the "Make your passion, your life" school of thought. The premise here, reads more or less as; "Find what energizes you, find what you inwardly love, and then find ways to pursue similar patterns in your outer life".
  Question: Is this so very a Biblical idea?
  Answer: I'm not certain that it is actively anti-Biblical, but that is one slender endorsement indeed!
  In any case, it might be a bit like this. "Coming in," the heart passion, the one-thing I'm actually interested in. . . isn't money, influence, women (plural!), nor power. None of the usual suspects really qualify. Unlike Y.K.S., my heart cries out, "How Long oh Lord? I WANT JUSTICE!".
  Just to see! To see Him Come, and to shatter all of His opposition. To see! To see Him seated, never again to be mocked, disobeyed or denied. It's "visual" with me. To see Him. . . "in" Glory. Seated. Ya dig?
  How then does a dude like me "go-out", how does this manifest in workaday life? And, I think (think?) it just must deal with forgiveness.
  The "vertical" forgiving. Note Christ purchasing life with His blood over yonder? He, In Person "seals" the upward beam of the cross. He builds and maintains up-down peace. But, the "horizontal", the man-to-man aspects of covenant remains "blank" in this; my model.
  Here is the "secret" of (mine!) unforgiving hearts. I simply do not "care" if my enemy is crushed, or not, and "secretly" hope he is. So, if we desire our faith to grow, we MUST forgive. Recall friend, a faith working-by love. Do I really "love". . . anybody? Anybody at all, in this fashion?
  A 60's (memory lane?) bumper sticker read: "Give a damn!". It's like that. Forgiveness, is not, nor ever was; "being nice". The one-and-same Messiah who sheds life-blood to shield "us" from certain wrath to-come. . . is "potentially" (at the very minimum) shielding "them" too! And it's up to this gringo to "paint" that blood over their door-posts too? Is that it?
  The temptation is to never "relent", to "press" my lawful complaints upon "them" (who offend me). But, the only court available, in which such claims can be handled, is as John Baptist shouts; "Who warned you lousy snakes to flee?". Vengeance is an "absolute' claim, and settled "here, in this court". . . only.
  The One escape, the One exit from vengeance. . . is the Cross. Pointedly, the only solution available, applies to the horizontal beam also!
  Ergo, "going-out" is "turning the cheek". I "fail to retaliate" because, because I have been aided to view dimly the true threat! It's Him! I shall fear Him, "for you', friend; until you are strengthened, and so able to do it on your own.
  Guess what? We've returned in a big loop, back to wisdom! Repeat with me, "the three magic words" (and ladies, I ain't talking "I love you"), say "I fear god!". Amen brother Mike, Amen!

Happy Birthday! #31 (date unknown, likely winter 2011?)

There is a scene in the "Lord of The Rings", a homey nice thing. Bilbo and Frodo (and myself incidentally) share the same birthday. Contrary to our practice, they are the one's footing the bill, providing the entertainment (fireworks!), and giving the gifts. . .
  Whatever Christmas finally ends up meaning, I describe it for instance as; "A religious feast which has gotten entirely out-of-hand", the thing is (actually) a birth-day. Tolkien got a lot "right' with his mighty-good tale, but his telling of "who" gives, is indeed clever and wholesome.
  Your birthday present, received from the rather elderly (two thousand and some-odd) yet stridently vital, Captain of the hosts, is worth memory, worth thanks.
  It was about this time of year, between Christmas and New Years. . . He found me thirty four years ago. The present, the gift was that I called (to Him) and He heard! He reached into my mid-section, and moved something in there. It was an alarming and deeply, deeply strange plumbing job. My phrasing; "He monkeyed-with my guts", is not all that noble-sounding in that, indeed "I received a new heart", but the gift is "the thing", not so much the description thereof.
  So, why am I surprised to open this year's gift from our aged-young Champion? He "keeps" the feast, and as Master thereof, provides the meat and wine.
  Now, I thought (a few weeks ago) that by "peeking" I could rightly discern what this year's birthday gift might be. Perhaps (you see?) by observing the "shape" of the package, you might be able to tell what is inside? Too small for a BB gun, too many legs for a bazooka, (do they still make those?). Well, you get the drift, and I had concluded, "It's likely a covenant-based, "faith thing", to the effect that shouting at hillsides begins making sense". . . you see?
  We haven't the time here to explain that last quip; but my guess was both right and wrong. No Sir! This year's birthday present does not "build-upon" an old gift. . . it's brand new!
  The Master of the feast has given me a quite remarkable thing(!). . . for His birthday. Without bludgeoning you with goo and sentiment, waxing not mawkish nor maudlin. . . it's. . . love! This year's birthday gift might best be summed up in "the" prayer. . . (gosh, I love that rascal!). At heart, at the center of the asking is the poem-like:
                                                            Daily, our bread - grant to us,
                                                              Daily, our sin - forgive us,
                                                                 AS, we are (indeed!) forgiving. . . them!
  Quick survey here, is anyone out there "opposed" (in principle) to feeling good? With diet , exercise, and a bite of good grub, is it "allowed" to be strong, vital and healthy? Life (physical), potency, the confidence, y'know, that glad-stride, if you'd like that, what if you find that? "Give us bread". . . what if He is the "true-bread", the health-giver. . . In Person?
  Or, hows about that whole peace in the household thing? Don't you want your Mom or Dad to really say once, "I'm just so damned proud of you, my son!"? What if all the "dysfunction" really-is washed away? If forgiven indeed, don't you "want to" be glad about it, to enjoy your Dad's treasuring-of. . . you? "Forgive us (Papa) our (daily) sin!". What if it turns out that He is the Lamb of sacrifice, The Priest sprinkling us (to truly cleanse!) and what if He be the One treasuring His newly found lamb? Oh, to experience it!
  But, the "push", the "go", is "in" our (deeply) glad participation. A full tilt sprint. . . to "catch" Him! Drop. . . every. . . "concern". Drop it like a bag of sand. Focus. . . "see" Him. . . He's just ahead of us! Every grudge, every slight, EVERY stupid petty complaint, it ALL hits the ground (might as well face it), when you die; in any case. See? He invites us to die-before, we die! No other "loyalty". . . survives the grave! But, He does, and better yet, His blastedly good loving does.
  If "it's all about" righteousness, then it's all about covenantal ethic. And if it's all about The Ethic, then it's all about love. . . just precisely "where" I'm doubly damned! Me, both un-willing, and unable, to love. What if you called today to Him, "Make me have the "want-to". . . to love"? And what if He heard?
  Friend, you'd have yourself one mighty fine Christmas present (early!) there!
  Happy birhtday, King Yeshua. . . Long live the King! Son of God, receive my gratitude? Amen! Say better of Him, with me, "Son of God"? Damnstraight! Yes!, But never never forget God, The Son!
  I'm all ears over here, go Man go!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Unify #32 (date unknown)

  So, if the topic be "unity" I hear "schism". Or, if the topic "peace" or "safety" (or you name it), we get nearly it's opposite.
  Think of our leaders in Washington. They know! They know that they "must" deal with the debt issue. . . soon! So then, what happens in reality? Postponement, foot-dragging and finger pointing. We "must" act responsibly! Result? No single person ever is held accountable?
  Now, the glory of gospel is that there is a working solution to the backwardness and perversity of things. Take "unity" for example. If we intend to "build unity", we "get" factions. Our usual response is to thus is to; "try harder"! But, Christ is the "new thing" in earth. And, in pursuit of Him. . . you do get unity. . . "indirectly", or as a 'by-product". Simply then, if any-thing is "the goal" (other than He-Himself), we (always!) get "unintended consequences", or very nearly our goal's "opposite"!
  Tell a drunkard; "That stuff will kill you, if you don't stop". Result? "Let's have a drink!". Inform a smoker; "That's bad for you". Result? He smokes. . . but just not in your presence? This. . . is "progress"?
  The glory of gospel promotes King Jesus as "goal", King Jesus as "source', and said King, as "means". He mends the breach between God and man, and also that other one between man and man. Peace, as a by-product can (now) break out. . . because of Him. 
  In unity's case then, man "can" be at peace with man, in that men are now at peace with their Maker. And this portion of the Christian view is (it seems) about as far as we'd normally care to go.
  But, I'm thinking here today. . . union-unity, one-ness per se, if that is our topic; what of Moe? The founder of the "muslim" cult promotes a "one-god", a strict mono-divine, and actively rejects the Trinity. The simple idea of Islam is that "allah" (just) "might" forgive, provided you are very, very "good", and also very, very lucky! But, in the cult is no "mechanism", no "lever" by which to "influence his" decision by! That sawed-off, "almighty's" decision I mean.
  John, the apostle, teaches that "God is love". May we thus infer that the Father-loving the Son, is being spoken of? "Love" means little if it isn't love-for "Another". So, in this sense then, "Unity" as-in "Tr-unity" posits a conflict! A conflict "in" God?, a "division"in Him? High heresy!. . . and yet something "like" this, is the very foundation of our lives.
  Agenda One: Justice Shall Be Done! The revolt, the treason, the sheer madness of sin shall surely cease, in time, by main force! The warrior God Shall shatter! This, is "the" certainty.
  One minor hiccup.
  This kinda "conflicts" with His pledge to save His own to the utter-most. If justice hits, then there are n-o "survivors". If mercy "wins". . . where is justice? We got us a stand-off! What to do?
  There is precisely one solution to this problem. And that one-nesss, of itself, we construe as "outrageous!". Christ then, not "merely" the sole peace-Maker between man and God, nor "just" the peace-Maker between man and man. . . but The Peace-Maker between Father and Son?
  Just here, we begin muttering; "Now, you've gone too far!".
  Partially, we view here; the limits of language. "Somehow", full-tilt Justice is expressed. . . and "somehow" Mercy everlasting is indeed established. Both occur. . . "in" Him.
  This, precisely, is "why" Moe is so wrong! He is attempting to homogenize the two into a third, "none of the above" hybrid. He wants an "impersonal (arbitrary!) justice", combined with a mawkish (and plainly stupid) "mercy" melded into yet another crummy works-righteousness scheme, which he (Moe) personally controls? Results please? Disorder, poverty, ignorance and murder; all dressed up as "acceptable works". Keep 'em pal. . . We keep getting very nearly opposite results to what we "intend", and never (can, "of ourselves") learn.
  I, for one, say "No." Look! Even Papa Almighty pursues the Son! There, in that love affair, it is no "abstract justice" we view, rather; it becomes The Son-crushed! It is no "indifferent kindness", it is The Son raised unto glory!
  Pursue wealth, find poverty (at least of spirit?). Pursue the Son, find the true wealth! Pursue unity, find loneliness, and bitter rivalry. Pursue Him, find all else! And find with that finding, you having been "joined" into a much, much greater "One" than you could have ever humanly aimed for!
  See? We do learn! Yes, with Help, yes, with repetition, yes, by saying aloud the lessons. . . it is the only working solution.

Wolf Boy in Chicken Sky #33

  Note to my readers (all three of you's guys!): since this blog format is ordered "upward" we would note that the bottom of the stack is the oldest. You with me here? It's like reading a scroll from bottom to top, with the hiccup being that only entries so format, and not the text therein. But you knew that.
  The point being; that I recently rediscovered a stash of old C.P.E.s written prior to my cyber-with-it gig of blogging. I used to write these out long hand on graph paper, and pass out a few at church on Sundays. On purpose, I did not "keep" copies of that stuff. Why bother? If nobody else would like to keep it, why should I? Cleaning out the little pick up truck recently, I found a stash! Some of them are at least 3 years old. I don't keep dates on this stuff. They are quite similar to these C.P.E.s, except more "primitive" I assess, upon re-reading. I am "torn" (like somebody cares maybe?) over whether to "repair" as I transcribe, or simply type in what is "there"? I vote for the latter. . . mostly.
  The #33 in the title is a referent. After this one, the reader reverts to Sep of 2014. Any entry with a number is indicating "old", non-numbered ones, those yet to be hatched, will have no number. #33 will be the last of the oldies, so that whenever we reach #1, there will appear at the beginning of it, this note again. Ya dig?
                Wolf Boy in Chicken Sky   (date unknown)
  Isn't there an old "cautionary tale", to the effect that one (best) ought not be spreading Cassandra-type "prophesies of doom? I'm thinking here of, "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". Wasn't the premise that; boys who do "cry wolf", might not be heard supposing an actual wolf does arrive?
  Or what of the imaginary chicken? Something about "the sky falling", wasn't it? Isn't that story told to children so that they are vaccinated-against "pessimism"? Aren't we, as a culture brain-washed, no; make that "persuaded" that a "glass-half-full", is a superior kind of viewpoint?
  A gang of murderers, thieves, perverts and liars is VERY, VERY punctilious concerning maintaining a "positive" attitude? Rebels, traitors, and frauds who don't want to "appear negative"? . . . Hmmm.
  I'm thinking here; "Okay, go ahead, call me "negative"', I say that there is more to this, than meets the eye. An entire culture (?) devoted-to not-mentioning "something" happening in the future? Is it considered "negative" to . .  notice? The big downside to being vaccinated against "pessimism", is . . . well, to be blunt, what-if the wolf does come? You've left yourself no warning system!
  Go back friend re-read Zephaniah. You tell me; is there some "threat", some "catastrophe" in the future we are "supposed" to take into account?
  "For all the earth will be devoured. . . by the fire of My zeal". . . Eh? What's that?
  "He shall make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of ALL the inhabitants of earth". . . Did you say something Sir?
  "I shall completely remove all (things) from the face of the earth", declares YAHWEH. "I will remove man and beast, I will remove birds of the sky, fish of the sea. . . I will cut off men from the face of earth". . .
  Gee, that's a "minor" prophet? I'm not certain I'd like to hear from the "majors" just now! The interpretive matrix, the key of knowledge, that "beginning of wisdom", call it what you'd like. . . even "pessimistic"is our topic! Our "problem" as humans, , , is . . . HIM! The insurmountable, the inevitable, the unmovable obstacle. . . is Him! Coming with tens, no make that hundreds of millions of "holy ones"? Uh-oh. . . Coming with the sword? Excuse me, but could we get an estimated damage report on the Un-Created One wielding a SWORD? The Almighty is, terribly. . . "Angry" here? And we instead, are afraid of "pessimism"?
  Gosh, call me "Mr. Zany", but wouldn't that tidbit be a rather largish thing to occasionally point out? Forget death, forget hell, forget judgement. . . it's Him you face!
  Old and New Testaments predict men pleading with the mountains and rocks to fall upon them, to cover them. . . rather than face Him.
  Let's us not sound "negative" here. .  but El Elyon is . . . "the problem". Further, He has given us abundant, graphic and convincing warning. . . that day is certain.
  Now, as I see it, call me "pessimistic", the gospel is ABOUT this very problem! The One shelter, that ark which "floats" in that deluge. . . IS Christ-at Calvary. There were no "survivors" except in the ark. At Sodom, fire raining from the heavens (sound familiar?), there were no "survivors", except those guided, called and compelled out!
  The Captain of the Host. . . is coming. There will be no "survivors". . . except those hidden in Christ. You'd think some part of this might find it's way into the Churches' presentation. . . once in awhile?. . . Okay one-ever? No dice gringo! Ain't gonna happen.
  From here, our cultural brainwash to only see "the positive" looks to be some shaky advice, it's the worst kind of advice. . . ignoring the real!
  It's an odd duck we view. Let us "be prepared" to accept men's ridicule and rejection-of, said gospel. But what is there in His presentation "to reject"? The centerpiece of the good news (escape from the Holy wrath to come) is never, ever, mentioned! We end up being "in favor of". . . love? Duh.
  Quite a blunder, an astounding kind of error. And, I'm one of the absolute worst on this score. Christmas, Easter; none of it makes any sense. . . without Noah. Yes, He is saving us from sin. Yes, He is saving us from sorrow, judgement, and death itself. . . but recall. He is, above all, saving us. . . from Him!
  Now, tell me about the covenant! I'm all ears!    

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Goal. . . With Eggs Please!

  "Motivational Speaking" is a fancy pants re-naming of a much older tradition, if you asked me. So, who asked? Uh, I guess I did? Imagine with me, an "industry"; in the which we view "stars", or even occasionally "super-stars". Such stellar persons as all that, are remunerated handsomely indeed, for the "tough job", (the trench digging we mean?) of... uhm talking to crowds? It's kinda like that!
  Nowadays, we are fixated with "stardom". F'r instance, we lavishly furnish small parks, financed by tax dollars, in which committees of millionaires play "grab-ass". I'm guessing here, that the real money involved is network dollars, but let us not forget the humble cottage industry, of product lines, devoted to same. So, the next time you spot a Dixon, or a Jamison emblazoned upon said "star's" number, at Albertson's;  upon an "official" NFL jersey, don't be fooled! You needn't say to yourself in that moment: "Gee, I always thought Dixon stood 6'3", and was black? Who knew he was 5'8", hispanic, and skinny? I suppose television must make them look larger?". That entire line of surmising is off-base, I'd say. . .
  That much, thus established then, we blaze onward! The industry of talking for a living, has an ancient name, i.e., "preaching". And, nowadays, that job title, just hasn't quite the social punch, the "jazz"; it may once have borne? Preaching, is nowadays a fem sport, kinda soft-squishy, ya know? The whole gig works out as a guy (we hope?) who specializes in being "safe" to be around, a type of professionally "encouraging" (minus courage we prefer) cat. They wear absurdly large crosses around, and appear only in business suits? I don't know, maybe I'm being a little tough on them here? What do you think?
  Well, cutting to the chase somewhat here, and actually discussing our topic some, we pay people to get us all excited, and maybe feel a little better for a couple of weeks. And so, let us all bow down for a moment, and give thanks to almighty Google for providing free (!) blog-a-thon-ery, such that goofs and amateurs (like some we could think of) can "vent". That is to say, I can be a "micro-star" and somebody else is footing the bill! Thus, we blaze onward!
  Motivational yakking has a tool box. At some point, it is nearly inevitable that the toothy son of a gun is going to work around to that mess in us of "goal setting". I don't know about you, but that historically, this is when I begin to study the ceiling tiles. "Goals? Don't start, just don't go there Mike", I assume you just now thought? At minimum, normally; I would have. Contractually then, as a member of the amateur mote crew, I must inquire of you, "Friend, what is your life's goal? What, in ten or twenty years is the "place" you'd very much like to be "at". Personally; I strongly dislike for some inane reason, the prefacing query of "What would it look-like if. . ." and so, I shall not say that, but you get the spin here?
  For years, no that's not it, for decades, this was a huge blind spot for me. I appeared to be fundamentally unable to "just get" the big idea in question. A bit like being a skinny 7th grader, being in the locker room, at the wrong time? The testosterone laced bully, has the the guy pinned up against a wall. "Tell me little man, what you want?". Who? Me? You're thinking of my evil twin brother! It's Frank you want! Let me go get him for you? Okay, well we wax cartoonish here, but that one is in my tool bag!
  The whole set of assertions on this front, never did "file" very well for me. What do you mean Mr. bully? How's about you quit talking smack, and speak English. . . maybe. Uh, I "desire" you to vaporize? Is that what you meant? I desire to eat a decent breakfast burrito some time this month? You get my drift.
  As a budding young Calvinist, back in my twenties, and thirties, as a matter of fact, it was "Yes, I do have all the answers. . . and if you don't believe me, just ask me a hard Bible type question!". Yes, I'm sad to say, this slender gruel was "enough" for me. For years? We, the Reformed, are basically delusional somewhere, in these here parts. Do we actually imagine that if we file in our crania enough "answers", anybody is ever going to "inquire"? Get over it already. John Calvin had the world's cheapest press agent...himself! Today, if a fellow runs out of epithets to hurl, he can always dredge up "fundy", or worse, "Bible thumper". If he is profoundly pissed, he just might drag out the heavy cannon and firmly declare you a "C-vist". Horrors. Then there are the more depressing aspects of the ghetto to visit?
  When Mr. Almighty found me, he found me with (metaphorically) the noose about my neck. Honestly, I was unable to think of one good reason to live on. The M.S. tool box mention of "life is good" I found to be just weird. Uh, what part. . . exactly? Was it sex, or something? The only thing I was really aware of, was that if I checked myself out, it would break Mom's heart, and I just couldn't! Not much of a "reason" to live; eh? But, it did give me time, and that was crucial. She was real sick anyhow, and the upside was that I'd only have to wait few more years? How cheery, how downright optimistic of me!
  The only other thing was this. Logic killed suicide! Mr. A appeared to be "saying" (no 'voices' for me please?) "So, dig this pee-wee. If indeed you are as bad as you think, and who am I to disagree after all, and you "deserve" to just quit, and get out; then listen up! If you really are "that bad" at this life thing, and such a serial failure as you seem to be saying, then (among other things) you are also. . . a bad judge!". Enough with voices already! So, my judgement is being thrown out of court upon the flimsy premise that I've said the truth? I am there-by appealing, even if I don't want to? Swell, that's just wonderful, I'm so excited? Things waxed a tad depressing after that.
  I lived on. I did not appear to actually require a ''goal" in life, I just needed some air, a bite of food now and again, beer, uhm lot's of beer? A smidge of gravity, a little sleep, and maybe an old burlap bag or something, so's I can go out in public to get groceries? But, it wasn't so very encouraging and vital as all that. Finally, the Bully had me pinned one day, when I was in my mid-thirties somewhere. Dear Sis Polly was dying of cancer, and I was mad at A. . . again? One day, Mr. beer "helped me to say" in my "daily devotional", You wanna know what I want out of life? I'll tell you! What I want out of life, is, I want-out-of-life! Show me the exit sign already! I personally thought it a devastating repartee. Frankly, I win the argument! Yeah me? And that basic "revelation" was "good 'nuf" for this loser. I say the discussion is over. Don't dredge it up again eh? But it wasn't exactly as charitable and humble as I'm making it appear here.
  Maybe the best movie I've seen is "Little Big Man". I especially enjoyed the heart-broken "contrary" in the flick. But, overall, it's just a great show, even if it does have Bob Dylan, oops, I mean Dustin Hoffman as the lead. A close second is "City Slickers". That funny little guy; Crystal was okay, the plot pretty thin, but the "star" is Palance. I hate to say a movie changed my life, and so I won't. But, it almost did?
  Sonny, you gotta find the "one thing". That's great gramps, thanks for sharing, and incidentally, what in honking hades are you talking about? Okay, that's the fast motion version over here? But, finally "me" did! I asked me, "Hey me, what by the by, is your one thing?". Maybe in my mid-forties I asked? Don't recall dates well, birthdays, anniversaries and such, are a null set in my book,but it's an okay guess maybe? Perhaps several years later was it? The "me" in question finally coughed it up! By the way, could we get a head count? How many of us are in here?
  I WANT. . . JUSTICE! Not fairness, that's fem-speak. I mean, I want the Almighty to do His damned job for a change! How's about You come down here, and either fix things, or just scrap it? What is "in it" for You anyway, to allow this nut-case rebellion to continue on down here? Do. . . Your job! There, I said it.
  So, nowadays; I want to see Jesus Christ the righteous, standing up, alive and well, all glowy and ferocious, surrounded by an glad army of holy berserkers, and Him tearing this sucker down! I don't care if I survive that wreckage personally. What difference would that make? No, it would just absolutely rock balls to live long enough, to see that day, when He "rolls up His sleeve"; and produces that king-sized war hammer, I've been so admiring. . . So now, who's the testosterone laced bully around here Mack? Kinda manic huh?
  Anyhow, back in reality-ville for the nonce, I had, in that day; for the first time in my chipper and flippant little life gig a serious goal? Ain't that sumpum?
  I tell you today, I have a goal! I wanna hang tough, eat real healthy, and listen to Mr. Spock. I now fully intend to "Live long, and prosper"! I wanna be Mr. geez-meister extraordinare, Mr. old age Inc.! Why? To see, with these eyes, the bumper sticker version of the Apocalypse of John, i.e., "God, with His big-hairy hammer one awesome knockout blow!". For the me in question, everything else in this life, is formatted as "page 2" in my book. Stupid luxuries, vacations nobody really likes, retirement, kids, wife, tons of money? You can have that stuff, I don't care. Instead, I want to see "something".
  That's all. And for me, surprisingly enough; this type of weeding of "desire" is "normal"? Did I mention some folk think Calvinists are a bit "off" yet? Okay, I can live with that.
  Of late, my "desire' is formatting off of that base, and I am ending letters with "Run to Win!". Gosh, does that make me an "official" motivational speaker these days? Alternately, I am ending with; "Peace. . .  FURIOUSLY! be unto you, and yours!". Nowadays, I've sobered up. I mean it now. The "eggs" part of the title, is spanglish humor. I mean by it,"con huevos". It was good MEN to whom the gospel was entrusted, and thus it remains. Uhm, not to put too fine a point on it, but them guys gots boy-parts. It matters, it really does! Trust me here, I intend us good.
  Life is good. Real good!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Testify Already...Gringo

  I don't know about you, but for me, I'm usually not much interested in "testimonials". In our strange-pants little world down here, these tend to morph into a type of info-mercial. Okay Mack, so what are you selling me? Our, or we "Amuricans" at minimum, format our reality as a type of advertising. G.K. pretty much nailed it about a century ago. It was to the effect, at least: "You Americans are surrounded by product claim after product claim. Each trumpets itself as "the best, or brightest, and fastest. How could they all be correct? What, after all is the other option available?". And he meant (think I) thereby, "Who would bother to say; 'Frankly, our stuff is kinda third rate, but we were hoping for some sales anyhow, since we gotta pay the rent and stuff'...". It's kinda funny-sad, that such guck formats as our sad stupid American "normal".
  So then, the verb, to "testify-to", is usually formatted as a "hook" of some sort. The seller hopes that you "bite on" the claims, so to "try out" the given product. E.Z. credit,... 90 days, same as cash! Ergo, this proposes thus, a grasp of human motivation such that fishing with hook and "bait" is all the fishing there be! Ah, but what then of nets my friend?
  Over in the Christian ghetto, we too (I fear) have been all too frequently captivated by this blather. Glibly, we speak of "my testimony", to refer to the blow-by-blow story of just how it was that I "found the Lord", so to end up in the "royal barrio"? Swell. And let's just face it here, not to put too fine a point on it; most of those testimonies are some serious snoozers. There are, after all some sound reasons as to why the believer's drug of choice, is lots and lots of black coffee! Trust me on this, you'll want some "help" to sit through much of this material. So, I normally hesitate to mumble through mine, because my goal here is to cause you to have the "want to" to continue scanning my junk!
  Oh sure, every once in a Blue Moon, you might hear some cat kinda going like this: "So anyhows, I was hooked on crack by third grade, and became a regional dealer by 7th grade. Later, I was kicked out of the Marine Corps for "being overtly hostile". I joined the Mafia next, and those guys set me up, because they considered me to be "mean". So then, later on a federal super-max prison, I was formally refused membership in the Hell's Angels, because they deemed me "excessively violent, and otherwise anti-social". Okay, so maybe those those guys can be rather compelling speakers? And sure, that part about Jesus manifesting in Person, all aglow and fiery-like just as the dude was in the process of committing suicide, certainly grabbed me! Offhand, I'd say that those guys are the exception to the rule? Other than them then, unnatural doses of caffeine, plus an overdose of doughnuts; I'd recommend for your little outing, listening to Christians "witnessing".
  My testimony then? Like me in person, tends to wax (way, way) overly wordy, and smacks of a difficult to follow "logic"...just like me! It appears (I fear) to many as "convoluted, or abstruse,... downright cryptic maybe"? I'll try then, in this; to be clear. If you dislike this sort of thing, these "testimonies" I mean, then just move on, it only goes downhill from here!
  For me, this weird journey began, as far as I can tell, in the Air Force. It was the winter of '77, and very likely the abjectly worst Christmas of my life. I was nineteen, a one-striper newbie, on my first real experience outside the home. And brother, that season bit the Atomic Tamale... bad! It was awful. Fairbanks Ak. ain't exactly a garden spot (in the dead of winter), for starters. Four or five hours of daylight? A "high" for the day of minus 38? Lovely! To make a bad world worse, I promptly started in with the dopers. Reefer, is (essentially) a green "stupid pill", the fountain of which I in those days drank deeply. A guy would look at a clock after a "hard night of partying" (yawn) and it reads 5:00? Looking out the window is no help! A.M. or P.M. please? And, in just looking out the window, you can't tell! "Deeply disorienting, at minimum", I should say. And just for grins, add into the mix, a mildly psychotic supervisor who would set work schedules such as; two mids, a day off, three swings, followed by three days off, and then four day shifts? Swell, just swell. It got so bad for awhile there (that dark year-end), that I could no longer accurately predict upon awakening, whether it was morning or evening, nor whether I was on shift that day...much less; the day of the week we refer to? "Pointless stupidity", would be a charitable estimate here, I'd guess.
  But don't get me wrong, to be single, alone, and weird is bad enough. The real problem was Christmas. If you are a fundamentally anti-social person (like some we could think of), single (not too awfully interested in fems anyhow), and also cut off from family, the blasted holiday is the absolute worst! Trust me on this. "Jingle Bells" becomes charming music to blow one's brains out by...
  Did I mention the downside yet? I wanted to whack myself... pretty bad. Suicide, very much appeared to be my only "working option" in those days. I hated God's guts, despised human kind, and wasn't too damned fond of the monster I'd become either. What's the point of going on anyhow? Why bother? Best as I could tell, the "standard was perfection"? Yelling at God, "Hey Pal (Mister Pal, to you, gringo), I'll just be upfront here, I neither want, nor am able to even point myself in the 'right direction', if that "standard" actually is the case". Everything I did (or didn't!) was just more evidence against me? Swell. Just swell. My attitude was; "Hey Mr. Almighty dude, I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't; why don't You just go nag some other gringo, far from here, okay? You're looking for "righteous people" or something ...right? I tell You, You've got the wrong white man, I ain't your type. So back off already". Today, I'm glad, that in serial fashion He steadily declined my offer for Him to "bug the hell off, already!".
  I hated the church, a committee of nice guys ruled by this rather enormous Nice Guy upstairs? Thanks, but no thanks. Any "witnessing" I might have been subjected to in those days, I mocked as "shallow', as fundamentally irrelevant. Jesus loves me; say you? Uh, so what's wrong with Jesus anyhow? How come He can't recognize a loser on sight? He needs glasses? Gosh, a guy might think that the Most High would have some type of insight (or something!) on human-kind or some such? Hmm, weird. I guess I'm surrounded by lunatics? And just to spice things up a bit, He could hear me and ignore me all at once? Things were kinda like that, except not so cheery and chipper as all that...
  I never volunteered to be Christian. What a terrible idea! No sir, I was dragooned, drafted you might say, compelled! So, was He "saying then": "Go ahead shortie, kick and scream as much as you'd care to. Dig in your heels, get some traction already Bub, and fight me!"? He seemed to be good-naturedly mocking my protests, except in those days I was incapable of recognizing "good nature". I thought He was some type of Weirdo? Maybe the Guy who loves bullying skinny underweight geek types? You know the type... I thought He was one too? Well no, not precisely, let's just say, that I was profoundly hopeless about things, while remaining wildly confused, it was both. I didn't "find the Lord", I was far too busy fending Him off! Rather, He smoked me out of my nasty little hidey-hole! He found me. Deal with it. Believe me here; I kept telling Him that I was "a bad bet", "Hey Man, You got the wrong gringo!". He studiously ignored such "good sense", and today, I thank Him for it! "The Cat doesn't even know what's good for Him? How sad is that?", thought the young me. He won't listen to sense! And I wondered, how could things have ever gotten driven that far off the rails? A nitwit "amateur god", who specializes in nice-guyism, thinking I'm one of His? I tried (repeatedly) to point Him in the right direction, to go roust out some "saints" somewheres' else...
  I won't murder your patience much further here, so in brief; I'd cut myself from God (on purpose!), from the Bible (stories of a gang of dead Jews?), from man, and finally (somehow) divorced myself...from me? I killed my heart. On purpose, I murdered the bastard, in a desperate gambit, to quit feeling, to quit hurting. It was crap, but that misery was the best I could do. Honestly! He came to find me through a series of disturbing and vivid dreams which I shall proceed to kindly "forget to" rehearse for you just now. The worst of that lousy batch of nightmares, was on a night somewhen between Christmas and New Year's of late '77. I awoke terrified, calling with my mouth for HELP! For reasons best known to Him, He heard!
  It felt like a body blow. the solar plexus was center of the strike. Is there some big "valve" in there that the King (alone!) is free to grab hold of, and twist? Was that it? I tell ya, "Some Body" just now reached into my chest? "Good God, I'm losing my mind!", was my thought in that hour. But notice with me friend, the terror of that grim hour also fled with that "valve rotation".
  That's how it all began, and I've never been really "the same" as the old-me; since that horrid night? Don't get me wrong, I was still a knuckle head, and a louse, but there was some new thing mixed in now. The aroma of life, was it? Or how's about the flicker of a hope, I'm not the one generating over here, perhaps? Hey, you tell me! I didn't sign up for this believer gig, but was hauled Masterfully in, in His grand-glorious net, I tell you, He compelled me in! And before I go, just let me say; this "trust Me" gig (of His) is only just now getting really interesting! Are we talking some kind of rocket fuel over here or something? Dude, He's scary-good! Becky Pippert once said something like: "I never knew! I just never knew how real it all could be!"
  Amen Sister, amen. Rock on.