Sunday, August 23, 2015

Some Thoughts On Hell

  Lately, a kind of three legged philosophy of conduct has been recurring in my noggin. If you have any interest in that, read on!
  Our lives, our conduct, our priorities and other fine things are a source of mystification to ourselves. For instance, "personality tests" are to reveal who we actually are. Uhm, we don't already know? People go to counselors to sort out their mixed up emotion and try to work through the inner conflicts of their lives. We do things, but often don't know why?
  As an unpaid observor of humankind, I have frequently wondered what makes people tick. Often enough also (just as frequently) I have given up on the effort. We are a mystery to ourselves, and I (for one) find that very interesting indeed.
  If you are chronic reader of these C.P.E.s then I believe the basic idea for this one is examined somewhat in "The Big Whoosh". We upon encountering any given decision point, have three access routes to consider it by. Ought, want and shall are the three. Ask yourself, what is the right thing to do, what would I like to do, and what (in fact) will occur? Heaven and hell are much closer than we thought!
  Occasionally a preacher or teacher will talk some about heaven. I do not recall ever hearing a solid sermon on the topic myself, but (surely?) something along these lines must exist. After all, heaven is a pleasant subject to think over. But, as for hell, I cannot even recall the last time it was mentioned in public, church or otherwise. Who wants to think of that horror? So, as a strategy, we just don't mention it. My point here in this essay of the crazy pants kind, is to redirect our thinking somewhat, and along the lines of the aforementioned three.
  So, whatever we might expect from a minister of gospel, it is not lurid details of the hell of fire. If it is even mentioned (highly unlikely) at all, the place is usually linked to "ought". That is to say, the moral failing, the violation of law righteousness is a positive penalty incurred by the soul. Hell in this sense is a kind of prison for spiritual felons, so to speak. Better to let sleeping dogs lie!
  There is then an uneasy truce somewhere around here. As I see it, if hell is a kind of dump (on fire!) for souls, and we view those there as moral failures, those who went wrong at "ought", we get what we have, mainly silence. This is because heaven is also full of moral failures, and to insist upon  the ought as the method into that darkness "accidentally" places the concept of merit at the opposite extreme. But clearly, heaven is not the place where righteous men go, for there are none!
  Well, there is One.
  Instead, if we think along the lines of desire, of the want-to, then a different picture emerges. Hell, based upon desire, or more modernly spoken, built upon addiction, is an entirely different viewpoint. Crucial to a redirected view of hell then, is what was truly wanted. This way of seeing produces the remarkable conclusion that people go to hell because they prefer it!
  And as outlandish as that seems, if desire of the heart is known, then the heart treasures some things above others. We all make estimates of what is worth what, and of the many; which is most valuable. You cannot be a human and not do so. The heart desires . . . because, . . .  because of something we find powerful, something that carries us, something which fascinates.
  For just a moment, join me in a thought experiment, will you? What do you desire? Think of something (or someone I suppose) and then ask; "Why do I want that person or thing?". As an example; I almost immediately thought of fresh fruit in the summertime. I next thought of the muffled world of newly fallen snow at night, deep in winter. I thought of the roaring wind in my face, of solid sleep, and joyful times spent with the family. The things we desire are good. This is basic and central to our grasp of hell.
  Here is an illustration, money can be a good thing, and it can also be a horrible trap. When the man inside begins to treasure treasure above (let's say) people, or decency, or truthfulness, then what was good has become, to him a good in and of itself. If he does not turn away and rethink things prior to death, he is in a very bad position. Simply enough, beyond death you have the desire, but the thing desired has passed away! Being left with a hunger, a lust-for, left with a desire, for a thing which no longer can be fulfilled, is the place of torment. Hunger is a sign of a lack, but if the thing itself disappears, and the hunger remains, what then?
  I recall a hike in the mountains years ago. It was a hot day, and being the "tough guy" that I am, I brought no water. After about five or seven hours I was really really interested in a drink of water! Finally, along the pathway I could hear the distinct tinkle of water running, a little stream, and very nearby! I can still recall the whimpering and panting noises I was making as I descended the scree. So close, and yet so far. Next, it was in sight and I still couldn't reach it! Filled with frustration, anger and a disgust with myself for being weak, I finally got there. And let me tell you, slurping up that cold mountain water was one marvelously good drink; and that's for certain.
  Hell is like that, minus the water.
  Water is a good thing of itself, but insofar as that is true, the wet stuff is a whisper, a mild mannered hint of the Real Drink. It, along with everything else in existence is a pointer, an echo, a line drawing of the real deal. Hell is the place for those who "settle for" a reward way too soon, confusing the sign for the destination.
  Back when I was young and ignorant (I am much older now) I loved a big old motorcycle. Flying down the road, feeling the power and acceleration, wow; what a rush! But, to finally settle for that (as the best thing ever), is aiming far too low. You see? The roar of the wind, the focus ahead of you, the landscape zipping by as you continue to build speed, this too, a whisper of another (and much better!) sprint. If the desire in me for movement toward the loved exists, and also the body is no longer able, then that beloved becomes a torment. But such pain is never the fault of the loved thing. And so, for me to desire what has passed away, yields being left, ever alone; with desire ever unfilled.
  The hellishness of wanting a drink very very badly, and no water existing, the desire to see a vista in the daylight, and there is no seeing for there is no light, hell is the place of unfulfillable want. Those left alone in their desires cannot in that day any longer be rewired, they have ceased (by choice) learning. It is the permanency of having finally chosen (badly). To reject Food in favor of of food, to reject True Drink in favor of mere water, is to finally have no choice but to testify; "I chose badly".
  The hellishness of hell is that it is entirely unnecessary (not to mention foolish) to so choose, and to ever and ever be very aware of this! But recall that I am a Calvinist after all, have we just now endorsed "freewill"? Absolutely not!
  "We are saved by grace through faith, and that (the faith I mean) is the gift of God, so that no man may boast". Faith is the gift. Life is the gift. Grace is the gift. Christ (Himself) is the gift. His truth in scripture is the gift. Hope is the gift. Forgiveness and reconciliation with Him is the gift. It turns out that everything is the gift! But hear me please! This is precisely the problem of hell.
  All of these marvels of kindness and good intent toward our kind are good, no; they are really good!. . . but never and never The One True Good (Himself!).
  When discussing this with teenagers, I usually go this route. Gather all the gold, rubies, diamonds and platinum of earth. Oh heck forget that, gather all the wealth of all the worlds of all the galaxies and make a heap. All known treasure in one pile, which would you rather have, it; or this homeless hillbilly who thinks He's God? Choose one.
  In ourselves, of ourselves; and by ourselves we simply cannot pass up the treasure, and hell is built right here!
  That is hell, for truly; all is passing away! The Homeless Hillbilly is the Inventor of the stuff. By His word power, the platinum shines and exists. Of His authority, the rubies were fashioned and continue to shine. Therefore, He is "logically" of infinitely greater value. He is The Reward (in Person!), He (Himself) is the Treasure, He is our true Goal and Destination. You see? We are not trying "to get to" heaven, we are being drawn to Him, and heaven is thrown in as a door prize!
  Just here, in the prayer we say "lead us not into temptation". The temptation is to make this basic and unnecessary error of choosing the symbol over the Reality which the sign symbolizes; which (unaided) we simply must make! To ever know this, to evermore be certain of having made the final bad choice, this is hell. For those left alone in the dark, only desire remains.
  The folly of preaching is that those stirred by the announced Word, call for assistance. Their most holy of all prayers runs; "HELP!!". He hears. I testify with clear conscience today, He hears.
  What makes heaven so blasted heavenly . . . is that He is there! And furthermore, the promise and oath are that He shall ever tabernacle among us. Heaven has come down to us, and The Lord of heaven (and earth) lifts!
  Our helplessness, and the fact that we hate His guts for no good reason, are to be serious alarm bells ringing within. They signal, that there is something dreadfully wrong in me, and that it cannot be repaired by me. The impetus then is for us to shout to Him across that vast gulf for assistance.
  We call Him by Name; "I Am . . . salvation!". The Bridgebuilder hears, I swear it true.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Everything Is Gonna Be Alright

  You know, like I know that the cultural wheels of western civilization appear to be getting awfully wobbly. Scandals and lies, murder and deceit fill the news. We cannot appear to go a single week without some new ethical or moral low being hit. It doesn't seem to be the ways things ought be. People are angered, there is frustration over the constant slide into shame. They want (very badly!) to know what can be done to arrest this decline. From here, the wind appears to be blowing the wrong direction.
  Over in You Tube land, a guy could get lost attempting to follow out all of the dire and dreadful conspiracies, predictions and doom upon the horizon. Does anyone go fishing anymore? Do families ever take walks by waterways and admire the birds these days? The shape of the narrative is one of bluster, hurry and ever new crisis.
  In my opinion, we keep on forgetting that an "emergency" is the sequence in which something or someone emerges. That which emerges is a "baby", and has a life before it, but if it lives do we? The cyber digital universe of instant access is emerging. World wide rabid Islam is emerging. A possible one world government or at minimum a world currency is busy being born. These (among others) are the babies in question. But when they grow, will we have a life? Will there be room for human exploration? Will there be any smiles looking at old photos together? Will that world allow for square dance? I am well aware that this sounds incoherent, but trust me for a moment that this is being done on purpose.
  Normally if where we live is an ugly house, we run from it as soon as possible. We find a place we like better as soon as we are able. Yet, the new and coming-ugly we are to embrace? Who says so? The hurry and paranoia, the anger and frustration of the new era which we can already taste, is but a small hint of what is coming. Yet we continue to build it? Why construct that particular monstrosity anyhow?
  They say that gamblers simply cannot help themselves and even if he is aware that the past-time is ruining the family, destroying a marriage and building an unpayable debt, still he continues! That gambler is us. We are constructing a very large and quite hideous thing which none of us individually desires, and corporately we cannot cease putting together. What is inside us is manifesting out here in real time history, and from the heart; the issues of life proceed.
  Today, there is still a beauty in rivers running, and this afternoon, the lonely cry of the hawk still thrills the soul. That fierce light down in the eyes of tigers remains a marvel. Not every single thing is futility and chaos, we know this quite well. But the future garbage dump with which we are just now consumed, which nobody individually desires; we cannot-not build!
  We are aware, deep in us; that there simply must be more to life than what we have so far known. The sad tales of addictions to just about anything we could name simply disgusts us, and yet and yet. This firey call down in us must find the home forgotten. Somewhere meaning must fit the key into the lock. Elsewise life is nothing.
  What I assert here is; as the empire of the west falters, the killing of decency, and the murder of innocence is happening precisely because we cannot imagine living without "that missing something". And (politically speaking) anything which gets in the way of finding that "missing thing" is to be overthrown. We cannot help ourselves, let that sink in!
  See, with the disaster back at Eden, we ourselves plus our world have been twisted badly out of shape. We are compelled to do "the right thing" and simultaneously unable to identify it. We love good projects, and cannot define good. The conflicts, arguments and then wars which arise are (truly enough) sinful, but the disease in us is a kind of "excessive righteousness"! We must and we must. We remain both unable and unwilling, and yet we must! We are a race of junkies looking for our next fix of "right", unable to detect the wrong mixed in to the batch.
  Now our standard stratagem for dealing with addiction is to damp down the desire, not to inflame it. We recommend stability and peace inside. Never is it even imagined to increase the roar and the rush, the excitement we crave. That is, directionally speaking, we thereby infer that our basic error regarding desire is that it is a too strong version within us. It ought (morally) be quelled. So strategy-wise, a fire burning too brightly we deprive of oxygen. My observation is that; it never occurs to us to build a fusion engine rather than a coal burner. It doesn't cross our minds to increase desire. And this seems peculiar to me.
  With the constant disappointment of "heroes" who are publicly displayed as deeply flawed, we quell and damp down our expectations of human nature. We simply quit believing in anyone at all (so to avoid further heartbreak). To be let down (again) by those of clay feet, is painful! But just here, why is it not on the plate to find (instead) a furiously reliable, an unshakably true champion? We move out of houses we dislike. But no, we'd rather dismiss the category, and trudge on, congratulating ourselves for "growing up".
  One of the babies just now emerging is a future national (and perhaps global!) bankruptcy. We know this, and are also quite aware that our "leaders" are lying like crazy about this debt bomb. This causes an uncertainty of the future, a dread of further change, and strangest of all a disconnect! We just quit listening to the bad news. Uhm, not to appear hypercritical here, but wouldn't it be better to transfer "funds" to He Who Is Treasure? I mean if the world really is in a death spiral, wouldn't it make sense to head toward the only life boat? Deep within us, is the hope of better days coming, and a trust that everything is going to be alright. Build here! To a dying world surely this seems unrealistic, childish even.
  Are we thereby to join them in a jaded and prematurely dark outlook? Do we align with considering such to be the "adult" option? We remain unable to shed the heart knowledge that there simply must be more than eating, drinking, working, copulating and the rest (which we require) from all of those others. The very human belief that life must, and ought; mean something just will not go away. But we cannot agree on the meaning!
  Please do not misunderstand me, I am not in favor of some pollyanna theorm. The "optimists" around me have never seemed very convincing. Reality bites, is is harsh. Things almost never go according to (our) plan. You can fight me (if you'd like) on that, but you will lose.
  No! The knowledge that things are going to be alright does not arise from our efforts, attitudes or dreams. It is very nearly the reverse of those, but in brief it is crashing in from the outside. Lewis said; "Fish do not feel wet" or to that effect. We (if 'evolved') could not know of a world which makes sense, one which is wholesome and glad, for this one never has been! The evidence in us, did not arise from us.
  Here's an example. Work with me on this okay? The enemy cannot create anything, (much less, give life) but he can build a mockery type of copy. A badly done "duplicate" is the idea. If we begin with the everything will be alright theory, he is forced to try to cobble together some horror show or another, along with demonic energies and our old nature to build it. But such is guaranteed to be yet a lower , darker and far worse version than the present state of things. The evidence that we must, and cannot; this is crucial!
  This being said, we could more or less predict that the coming man of sin will be posing as an "outsider" to our fallen world. Will this be an "intelligent machine"? Hey, how about some clown claiming to have arrived from outer space? Beats me as to the details, but build it they must! Our inner addiction to "do the right thing" demands it. And we could thereby predict that the claim of the anti-man will be along the lines of defending earth from a terrible invasion force! It is a good thing to unite, but for enemies to do so, they only agree to a truce in order to fight a worse and mutual foe. Do you see how it works? Build the good (unity) in a shabby and destructive fashion. Our desires plus the works of our hands are the prima facie evidence against us. Yet in fact, everything really will be alright!
  Unity is achieved through both compulsion (fear) and desire. It is simply not enough for the anti-christ to use fear only. The strong desire for a better world, a safe and sane world, and that there is something that we "must do" to achieve it, is (motivationally) basic here.
  The scriptures foretell that the armies of earth are gathered together to war upon the Lamb. This is certain. But, from a human standpoint, makes zero sense in that said Lamb absolutely controls both our lives and our existent being! Power-wise it is an idiotic stunt, with no hope at all of success, and build it they must!
  Our internecine squabbling, our perpetual feuding plus open warfare is all carried out in the desire for peace! Nobody self orients to build what they formally believe to be wicked. Heck; even Satanists believe that what they are doing is the "right thing"! But it is precisely here, at our "rightness" that the evidence against us is strongest!
  We do right to love the right, and do wrong in imagining we are able to even correctly identify it. But we cannot-not do so. If help does not arrive from the outside, then there is no help to be had.
  Help has arrived.
  Since then, we are pre-wired to "do right" then we must (at present) be positionally wrong. There is none who is right, except One. For us to pursue our desire is to technically attempt to rival Him. There is no rival to Him. No congregation, mob or army of all the powers of creation can even begin to rival Him. He controls their power to be, and to live. He decrees the end from the beginning. Our "competition" against Him never did make a bit of sense. It was an idiot errand from the outset. We, framed in the image do (in fact) love the Law, and wish to do right, and also we find ourselves building the very opposite of that; time and time again. But this in itself can never be an argument to lower or dampen desire, especially for the right. With His assistance, this is redirected.
  No longer an impersonal and abstract "rightness" we hunger for, but He-The-Right-One in Person who has revealed Himself. Thereby, desire is inflamed not reduced. Our philosophies, our political theories, our harsh and impersonal "goods"; we abandon them all, so to wildly embrace He-Good. It is an acceleration, a spiritual after-burner, a blast out of the starting blocks. Addiction itself was bearing testimony all along!
  We knew, we just knew! There simply had to be a "something" which would be that roar and a rush, that "thing" which would satisfy deep down. So, we tried drugs, we tried sex, we tried all kinds of things. But the best and brightest of them, indeed the entire package of them combined; were but a faint wisp. They, the dim echo of "something else" that we knew "had to be there", and we would never, ever would or could have admitted that it was the Nazarene all along which we hunger for. At least we never would have without help.
  Help has arrived, and He replaces optimism with hope. We do look forward to a better (and sane!) world. But not one of our doing. The resurrection of King Jesus has changed everything! That new world is already commenced, and we partaking of His Spirit have passed out of death. We are "already" on the other side of Judgement.  Our revived sense that everything will be alright is factual. It is hard cold reality, and it is the certainty to come! The testimony of Jesus Christ, that is the spirit of prophecy says John the Apostle.
  Everything really will be alright, and we are utterly dependant upon His promise for it. He, upon His own honor has sworn it.
  And He is no liar

Sunday, August 2, 2015

With Judgement For All

  My friend Brad asked for an essay? I can count on one finger of one hand the number of times that has happened . . .
  There was a group discussion today, and it was one of those rambling types. One thing kinda leads into another, and pretty soon you are all over the map. I love discussions like that! It would be difficult to summarize the give and take fairly, and who wants to be accused of saying that someone "said something", or to be found implying a view in them which just ain't so? Thus, we will leapfrog right over the drifty wandering aspects of the talk and cut right to the chase. . . sort of.
  Hot air balloons were designed to ascend, and race cars were built to accelerate. Though we were built to sprint; often we trudge. There is something disturbing I think in watching a balloon scuff the ground, and drift sideways with the wind. It is supposed to rise, and ride the currents aloft, not bounce and bump along; dragging the load. There is a disconcerting sense of "waste" in me when I see a car designed for 200 plus m.p.h., stumbling along at barely a tenth of that. Likewise, with us.
  When we watch a world class sprinter pull a hamstring or turn an ankle, the wobbly limping, and the hobbling along is heartbreaking to observe. There is so much more he "could have done" if-only, and if-only. The if-onlies of our lives act as an "explanation" of why we were dragging and bumping along, of why we were stuck in first gear and could not locate the gas pedal.
  As an example of this kind of thing, I didn't much care for the movie "Forrest Gump" plot-wise. But, a scene in it has been on serial playback in my brainstem for years. The Gumpster is walking along in some braces for his legs which he has worn since childhood. Some thugs are about to assault him, and his girl shouts, "Run Forrest, Run!".
  He begins predictably enough, by gimping along a bit quicker than usual; and then he begins to speed up. The best part of the entire movie is that he soon (literally!) runs right out of his braces! He begins picking 'em up, and putting them down at a surprising (even to him!) pace, and simply outdistances the bad eggs. And in my mind we have here a great picture of judgement.
  Back in the discussion, we were talking circularly about the topic (judgement I mean), and our basic human default setting in regard to being judged. In brief, although we are forgiven, it remains quite clear that there is a judgement ahead of us. How to reconcile the two?
  If you are not Christian, most of what I am about to say might well sound like so much baloney, so bear with me. I shall attempt to decode the talk back into human-speak as we go along, okay?
  Believers are all the time talking about "holding in tension" two (seemingly) contradictory ideas. Thematically, this pops up pretty frequently. You might hear a key word in this context; which is "balance". I won't wear you out with a laundry list of all the "balances" we ought (morally?) maintain, but a few of these might include Gods' sovereign control of all which comes to pass, compared to human responsibility to do the right thing. That is, since all which comes to pass includes the topic "things I do", how can He hold me responsible for wrong-doing if it was not decreed in the first place that I would do right? Or, how about the continued role of law, versus the free mercy of gospel? If keeping the moral law does not "go away", then I deserve wrath for my lousy attitude and worse execution of the true and good. So, how can God violate His own standards to grant welcome to an admitted traitor and failure? The biggie among the balancing acts is of course faith versus works. If we are freely justified by belief, then to what purpose is the doing of good deeds? How are we to reconcile what appears to be two trains going opposite directions?
  Christian discussions often orbit somewhere right about here, and believers just cannot seem to get enough of this stuff. And in this plumbers' opinion, what we are discussing is an uneasy truce, a kind of shifty sense within our own hearts and minds. We love talking about these (and others too!) because it might be the closest we can get to verbalizing the unease in us concerning coming judgement.
  Now, nobody likes a wise guy, and know-it-alls usually end up reciting their "expertise" mainly to themselves. So, I would prefer to not go there today, thank you very much just the same. Simply said, I don't really know what the best attitude and answers here are. But, we can gather some things out of the wreckage at least.
  The sad feel in us of watching limping sprinters, the pathos of finding the bird with a broken wing, that impulse we have to shout to the balloonist; "Turn On The Burner!", this (in a sense) "is us".
  We know to some extent at least that we are "capable of so much more" than we ordinarily produce. This uneasy tension within us, of looking forward to the day when all secrets are made public, and all motives are plain to see, and every word spoken is now in print, is not exactly a heart-warming source of encouragement . . . to say the very least!
  If you are at all like me, the standard of judgement is pure truth, and absolutely right. And since that is the case, Then "if I am saved" is a far more accurate statement than "since I have been saved". What judgement (as a topic) generates in me is a queasy avoidance response, never, ever is it the motive to turn on the burner, to accelerate beyond the tachometers' red line!
  All that blather and nonsense about us using only ten percent of our brain power, plus all of that "sky is the limit" type of talk is just more evidence against me. It is but the more complete filling out of the list of things I failed at. Do we really require more of that?
  So, getting back to the Gumpster for a moment, by what type of word, through which set of  truths do we ever find the gas pedal?
  The usual ploy is to simply drop the Judge and wax eloquent about the Father. The brainwave here is to really stress that the compassion (for failures like me) of His, the repetition of His forgiveness assertions, and maximization of the "relationship" angle, somehow cancels the Judge. So, the drift develops as "being careful to not be negative". Basically, just ignore all the grisly guck we bear about in us, how's that for a strategy?
  Well, that is probably unfair, but my objection is not so much, the orthodoxy of such an approach in this C.P.E., as it is to note our failure (just here!) that the balloon is still dragging, and even worse than before the "fix"! That is, if our goal was to "unleash", if the aim was to "free-up" the saints for zealous and fiercely glad service, how come we are unable to admit that the cure is worse than the disease?
  With this type of compassion-only drive, the silk has now collapsed to the ground, and the car has completely stalled. Putting our beloved sprinter on the disabled list and rolling him around in a wheelchair is not "progress". And this in my book, (in a sense) is "who we are".
  For years, I thought of this material as a discourse on hats. I say "hats", because to American ears, "crowns" sounds so very undemocratic. I thought this way:
  "Paul the Apostle, what a champion, what a lion-heart for the faith, eh? Gosh, you gotta love that "get 'er done!" ethos, and who doesn't admire the fearless completion of the course? Me, not so much. So, in the resurrection, this Paul guy has this whopper-doodle, hat-zilla thing going on. Picture a seventeen layer wedding cake, with ornaments, and jewels, and Christmas lights festooning it. Add in buzzers, klaxons and live-streamed video flat screens! What a hat! Custom metal-flake paint job, with lots of chrome! The thing is eighteen feet tall, and he is walking around the streets of the new Jerusalem with this eye-popper on his noggin, like nobody's business; for all to see! Me? I've got this dumb beanie, with maybe a plastic propeller lazily swinging around every so often?".
  So, my "hat theology" was to the effect, that; "Yes. we are both saved, and yes we are both present with the Lamb in His glory, but there is saints, and then there is SAINTS! The hat idea was that the glory of actually doing what he was told rather than merely agreeing with it, (like some we could name) shows up! God takes notice. Hat theology was judgement as viewed by "Yours truly".
  Now, although I have never before admitted to anyone what I just now told you, this rewards concept, this big-payday theory was in the back of my mind for at least a couple of decades. And however comical and bizarre it sounds, I (still) think I was basically on the right page. True, it needed editing, and true it was gruesome even by my standards, but the beauty of Gospel, is that judgement is past-tense for those "in" Christ Jesus!
  The flooring of the pedal, the after-burner of the jet, the soaring of the hawk, and the supremely glad sprint of the bride into her Lovers' arms, this is the flavor of reality baby! And what's real is that He ain't backing down on having paid the bride-price!
  One great comment in todays' discussion was that we were built for good works, not for "perfect" works.
  When a little kid does her first drawing of her daddy with crayon, we ain't expecting a masterpiece over here. But Mom proudly displays the art work on the fridge anyhow. When Mrs. Corey, teaching first grade; put her hand on top of mine to "help form a big A" with this king sized pencil, it was my handwriting which was praised! When a dad trots behind his son as the kid wobbles down the road learning the bicycle, it is the kid who rode "all by himself!". This is the aroma of life, the perfume of sanity, and The Father Almighty is "merely" an infinitely better Dad than any other. Judgement isn't about binding, it is about loosing!
  The unease within us, that foot scraping and dodgey eyes drill, that too has been judged, and our Captain does not expect someone who has been comatose for thirty years to start doing handsprings. A flutter of the eyes, a weak hand squeeze says: "He's alive!". And for today, that is good enough! It is okay to be uneasy, it is fine to be afraid, you have never before been on this rocket-bike. But sho-nuf, you are now, and look; "He is riding all by himself"!
  Judgement is the new beginning, it is creation breaking out all over again, and we have been judged as His wildly beloved kiddos. The busting out of the starting blocks, the stomping on the gas pedal, the light springing up into the air to inaugerate flight, it is all past-tense from where we now stand!
  Sure, we are blockheads, sure we are dreadfully slow on the uptake. So what? Progress is progress, growth is growth, and life is the gift given . . . to "the ages of the ages".
  You are safe now! Your Papa Almighty today defends your life, and He (The Dreaded One!) exacts drastic retribution on those unfairly killing you. It is a new loyalty we see, a fidelity to the death, and beyond. Far, far beyond!
  And the fruit of this? I have ceased to care about my dumb beanie. I will wear it gladly. You see? He made it Himself, just for me!
 Swiftly we sprint into the arms of Him loving us with an Almighty love. We are no longer running away, and we "do it all by ourselves"! That's judgement for ya.
  And hey Brad, thanks for asking!