We spanked God, the Prince Of Peace, which requires a change of heart. Change is an only and lonely constant for us, but God doesn't have to, and therein is our hope. Jesus is willing to replace our hearts "of stone" with "a heart of flesh". It is written in the biblical new covenant, "Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever". He can do it, if we want him to.
We know there's no place like home, because it's reliable and the same. Realistically, there's no place we can call home on this planet. Jesus said as much and lived it out, birds having nests, foxes having holes, but the Son of Man having nowhere to lay his head. Yet happily, there is one phenomenon that exists in Christ Jesus to satisfy our need for a home-place of security and less stress. And, that is friends.
And from what I heard in business meetings, if you don't like where you are, then change your five best friends. While we know "faith without works is dead", and we also know to respectfully fear God, there is a prerequisite or a previous requirement before we can have respectful fear of God. Here, look at what I found in Psalm 55:19, b, "Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God".
There, do you see the logic of first things first? Yes, we know "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (and knowledge of The Holy One understanding"). But now we know what precedes respectful fear--changes, by divine circumstance and intervention, you know general divine providence of place and time. It's a partnership with God.
Ultimately we don't change ourselves, as a matter of course. It's all too big and God's business. Our job is to want it, changes and yes, when opportunity divinely arises and appears before us in a life circumstance, we then put one foot in front of the other, or roll our wheelchair. 'We make our little decisions, God makes the big ones'.
I almost got in a chair with wheels once, after a farming accidental path-crossing with someone who was taking their turn at being an idiot. The observing orthopedic surgeon, no knife needed, said to me, "Mr. Tovar, this is the closest call I've seen in my career without being rendered quadriplegic. Have a nice day". And I walked out of there. A little shark's tooth chip in there had incapacitated my left arm for thirteen days, the hand contorted up under my chin. Then it all let loose and went back to a fuzzy near-normal. The shark swam away without my left arm, or my lacerated right arm.
So what to do? Well of course, 'don't just stand there, do something!' as it's said (by those who can stand). I saw a re-enactment on YouTube of the Scandinavian ferry that went down in the North Sea. The water was rough enough but not the cause. The hydraulic arms of one of the end-ramps let loose. It welcomed the sea water in with open arms. No that's not funny for death is sad.
But before I continue, and you continue to live your given life not knowing what I know, let me say death in Christ Jesus is not all that sad and bad. For "to live is Christ, to die is gain", our regeneration in him being a matter-transcending spiritual phenomenon. And it's the only effective one, because Jesus died and rose again, as Israel's messiah and mankind's savior, God not allowing his incarnated Son to experience corruption.
This is what Noah looked forward to, Noah, all of Earth's grandfather, through Babylon and the migration of the earth's peoples from there to here, where each of us lives today. Continuing, on the North Sea ferry, eight people, I think it was, managed into the lifeboat, resembling Noah and his family now that I think of it. The YT video re-enactment followed one family. I'll explain.
They had been downstairs and at the shrill ringing of the fire alarm got themselves out of where they were and to the bottom of some wide stairs. However with the vessel taking on water so fast, the staircase was cocked at an abnormal angle. But it was not that drastic, still definitely mountable and with a nice freestanding banister to hold on to.
A young woman started up, yes awkwardly, but goin', and after a few steps up, checked and saw her man and parents were standing and staring. I don't think they were looking at her, if they're like Peter for a minute there on Lake Galilee. Who took his eyes off Jesus to look at the wind and the waves, visible wind apparently.
She said, "C,mon!", knowing that with the boat cocking at an angle so quickly like that, time was short. They wouldn't budge, and she had to do the painful, to change her social orientation. Remember what I heard in business meetings, "If you don't like where you are, then change your five best friends". This gal had to do that to survive, and continued up the stairs.
Her family stayed while she mounted the staircase and got on deck and into a lifeboat with several others. Yes death is miserable, Jesus bawling 'ugly tears' about his dead friend Lazarus, brother of his friends Mary and Martha of Bethany. Jesus is humanity's hero, not Vishnu, not Gautama, not Confucius, not Mohammed, for Jesus was the creator of Martha and Mary and Lazarus and each of us.
No one can beat death but life, and life is a real person, the divinely incarnated Jesus Christ. Match this with what my home page said about not forcing anyone. Christians, real Christians do not force, because they know that only God can force justly. And it is written "Vengeance is mine saith The Lord, I shall repay".
Really we don't even force ourselves, rather we persuade ourselves to obey ourselves. It's a good system, perfect really, and we should thank God for it. God could force us if he wanted to, but "Today is the day of salvation", judgment later. In fact as "judgment starts with the house of God", meaning his spiritual children, their living justly now clears them from any judgment later.
If we espouse violence including patriotic war in the name of Christ Jesus, we are as deceived as Judas Iscariot. Wars are generally fought by innocent and ignorant youths, not designed by them. Judgment Day will be interesting, yet it is sure God knows where to divide the group. Social pressure and peer pressure are merely environmental influences on the deciding factor of free will. Sin is knowing to do right and not doing it. It’s wrong to kill others.
A national or tribal police as military defense exists to do what local police does. The idea or mandate is to be prepared to protect innocence from guilt. That idea means to see a marauding enemy realize those people aren't to be trifled with. If they can get back in one or two pieces to their hapless, nay hopeless homes of malcontent heartlessness, then if mentally normal they will not meddle with those strong people again.
If the marauding escalates to madness, then continue with an increased defense like the Jews did when returned from Babylon while rebuilding the city wall. And accept no one less than YHWH God as your king of kings and lord of lords, now known as Jesus YHWH Christ. “The battle is The Lord’s”, a bigger battle than we children can handle. And if they’re picking on the farm families on the outskirts, then root ‘em out homeless. God backed Israel up in these extended defense applications, until Israel debauched itself also.
About war, I'll step out here and pass on what my older Christian brother Oscar told me. About war and killing, his military time was between wars, but he did ask his boot-camp sergeant about it. His sergeant said that in Korea, he learned to kill with love. The way he did that was to always take a clean shot. He did not want to maim a man for life,
A senior security guard I worked with was also in Korea. I'll preface his story with a description of the man. He did double shifts with such consistency and composure of personality that I was very very impressed. When long into our work on the same company team and he told me his story, I silently believed him. He said that after a while on the front line of battle, he and several other guys rather fell in with each other.
You see, they were way up along the Korean borders, rough land difficult to supply with chocolate bars and picture books. The Allied Command knew when they had a naturally united group they could depend on. They supplied them with ammunition and food rations and otherwise left them up there. The more standard groups of soldiers stayed on the rest-and-relaxation schedule of being periodically relieved of their duties.
These men, no longer boys but without the option of opting out, stayed on the front line face-to-face with the opposition. The Command kept that naturally united group there like William Faulkner's Lion, the great dog brought in to do what other fine dogs could not, corner the enormous bear.
They lived on the enemy's food, because frankly the man told me, it was much better and healthier than the Command rations. They killed for food, and no other reason, knowing Command had them there to stay. Food first, then some love and honor made them absolutely lethal and indispensable to the Command for holding the line along the Zone.
You see, just like Vietnam where the opposition by-passed in the deep woods, in Korea with open land it was the rugged hills that was the enemy's preferred by-pass route. This crack scavenger group made them think twice about it. In The Revelation, Jesus told John that in heaven, "they will not learn war anymore".
And John, nine, ten months I worked outside day-labor with John. Silent, like the above double-shifter, quiet, half-Irish, half-First People, silent because he was also grieving. Friendly, cordial, polite, a nice work companion, for work, silently, and quiet lunches. Seal, Navy, trained to live in the canals of the Mekong Delta or wherever, breathing through a tube, submerged.
No gun; knife; 'guns too loud, except for a tiger once on a rice paddy partition, 'it or me', and he had to run for the canal because of the noise. Oh terribly, he got what's called 'good' at it, camouflaged stalking, making his own schedule. You could see he hated and still hated every miilisecond of it. He was slowly dying of Agent Orange-induced cancer as he quietly confided this misery to me. Death. John hated death, and loved life.
'Because we could not laugh at ourselves, Jesus did it for us, and it brought him to tears'. "Jesus wept", the man upon whose chest John laid his head like a baby on his mother's breast. War is like abortion clinics; there's people who're gonna go. Pray for them and their particular misery. Be there for them and hear their story.
Because, if we all really pulled together like Jesus wants us to, then he'd no longer postpone his second coming. It's the only thing that's going on on this planet. 'There may be life on other planets, but there's death on this one, and Jesus is the answer'. I'm thinking of the Vietnam-era question, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?"
And there's angelic rescue stories during both military and civilian life that are fabulous, such as the EMT guy crouching on a man's car-hood to direct the jaws-of-life being used to cut open the driver's door that had him stuck. And afterwards thanking the crew, especially wanting to thank the one on the hood, but everyone confirming, no EMT was crouching on the hood giving instructions for the jaws.
Change for Jesus’ disciples happened more slowly for some than others or at least according to personality temperament, but they all let Jesus change them. They all knew the many true stories of God Almighty talking with individual Israelites and with Judaites, after the two were divided. And here God was, incarnated in the prophesied Christ of God, Messiah, he whom their hands handled, touched, of the Word of Life.
Imagine walking hand-in-hand watching birds with your creator. 'Evolution cannot account for created beauty', for the systems and patterns of marvelous artistry. Life does not destroy itself, so why should we? I don't mean war; no one spanks in war. I mean not following the golden rule for love and life. Life and love are so strong that the weakness of our fear is no problem for them.
That is why salvation is not a manipulation of divinity, nor of our personal relationships, rather a grateful acceptance of divine generosity. It is why God says, "Be still and know that I am God". Basic psychiatric mindfulness says similar, to step outside of our subjective selves and watch it all objectively. Therein is peace, not the absence of war but the presence of God's life and love.
Here, thinking of global religions, I think of an analogy I've long used in my mind, at least. A Christian is a spiritual American, North American as Latinos say with reason. The material bounty of the U.S.A. reminds me of the opportunity of knowing the one true God in his incarnation, Jesus Christ. Jesus is food, clothing, shelter, transportation and work spiritually, sourcing for us real spiritual contentment.
In Jesus, we're supplied with answers to our questions, justified before a legal God as righteous by Jesus' sacrificial standing in for us at Calvary, given real security against the forces of evil that want to ruin our days and freak out our nights, and access to all that life has to offer with a sound mind plus a promise of continuing in eternity.
But any American legal or not has to consider why he is here. Again I say, this country is here to print bibles and send them out with bible-explaining people. Once that mandate is accomplished, the sports game is over and the park or stadium is cleared out by security (think angels). Like a basketball spinning on a finger, it's gotta stop pretty soon. Effort of love and determination of spirit will not be forgotten if they contributed.
Let's keep in mind what God is really doing on the earth, what both good and bad angels "long to look into". The divinely coerced migration away from Babylon with the beginning of plural languages was because people had deprioritized their creator-God. God's priority of a good life for all of us was rendered impossible, for to stop thinking of God who is life begins death.
Divinely, Jesus burnt both ends of the candle in a flesh-world that parallels a spiritual world seen by us "as through a glass darkly, but then face to face". Then Jesus told John in The Revelation that he is going to make "a new heaven(s) and a new earth" where crying and tears will have ceased. Further, as much as we've all been raised in relative violence, God says he expects us to beseech him and his power to overcome it.
Anyone who chooses violence as their lifestyle and way of operating willfully removes themselves from God's system of peace. It's only common sense, for God wants forward-thinking people who reject the violence of their past and put into place in their lives God's hope of peace. This is why Jesus said to his friends "the kingdom is within you".
"My peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you, not as the world provides peace do I give to you". Only the creator of a cosmos in perfect equilibrium could offer such congenial circumstance to us. Of course, with a God who's name is "Prince of Peace", war is of men, not of God. 'Living water is not drawn from a wishing well'.
This is why evolutionary theory is inherently violent in its Godlessness. It has no focal point of peace to maturely control itself. By leaving God out of the equation it then has no equation itself. Albert's blackboard received his chalk marks, not the other way around. Check my book for a series of astronomical facts, thanks to Creation Research Institute for having a cluster of articles available to easily pick out the highlights.
Truth is fun, fun in the Son of God who is "the way, the truth, and the life". This is why we have the expression 'the life of the party', someone in particular. Fun and real, God's personality as spiritual fruits are "love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control, and faith". Shall we hit someone to show these fruits imitated in our spirits, repeated in our children?
Before we theoretically commit to striking anyone, and especially someone with no adult coping mechanisms or comprehending ability, we must, to be honest in every direction, go through a process of elimination. Sure we do. Look at it.
If even one of God's characteristic fruits of spirit can be used as a better way of guidance and nurturing, even though all the others don't apply, then we're obligated to try it. Would gentleness work better? Use it! Would patience work better? Use it! And apply this to all of our actions.
And recall the incongruous word 'child' put arbitrarily on a wicked whim into an old testament text otherwise talking completely about unruly young men. As I joked in my booklet, it is akin to asking a friend if you can borrow a wrench. He or she asks for clarification on exactly what size of wrench you need.
"Oh it doesn't matter, any size wrench is fine". Or you are almost out of diapers for your child, and you're stuck in a busy schedule. But someone you know happens to be going to the store. "Hey, would you pick me up a box of diapers?" "Sure, what size?" "Size? ‘No matter, any size!" This would be funny except for our subject.
Do you feel similarly comfortable reasoning a rod on anyone with that logic? And do you especially want to proceed with that reasoning with someone whose guardian angel beholds God's face with hands tied to your free will? 'Think before you stink', before sizing a diaper for your old age, Smarty-pants!
A Christian acquaintance, one with whom I have discussed various issues, when I mentioned taking a closer look at the actual Hebrew wording of the rod passages, scoffed at me for doing so. The same man has many times heard it done from the pulpit. Why contest the totally accepted value of such, unless he has some kind of total thing up his sleeve? ‘I may wear my heart on my sleeve, but I don’t have anything up it’.
Such is exactly what God means by "doing violence to the Word of God". 'The most beautiful flowers are found in the waste places', said with a NYC accent, like my friend as a four-year-old found in an alley. Hey what are friends for but to knock you around a bit! The exchange is secure church membership as long as you hit your children. Is this what Jesus meant by "laying" our life down for our friend?
This is how Jesus says we make the wonderful Word of God of none effect with our man-made traditions. Even the Mosaic ruling of the rod is suspect in my book. Sure, look how he disregarded God who clearly said, "I will clear out the people of the land with hornets". Old Moses decided to get a few licks in himself is my observation. King James did it; it looks to me that Moses did some mis-applied mathematics to God's Word also.
It is as neglectful as every Tom, Dick, and Harry Mennonite not knowing that their Holdeman Mennonite 'nay-boors' do not think Mary actually conceived (unless they do and they just don't care). I think repetitious church-going is a corporate example of the repetitious prayer Jesus said he detests. Jesus' command to "leave all" means everyone's favorite home country, their personal comfort zone.
By lukewarm love of Scripture, Christian congregants accept an arithmetically re-configured bible that reminds of my lack of proficiency in mathematics in school. Pulpit puppets follow the tenets of the people in the pews and vice versa. It's like the clock-tower guy who set the big one by the clocks in a shop on a nearby street. And, so did that guy.
It's not only a lack of respectful love of God. Years ago during a week of meetings around the other side of the Blue Mountains here, where my fiance' was a member, I went along that week. By Thursday driving there it occurred to me that these hard-core full-tilt-boogying Amish-Mennonites were not in the common and goodly-scriptural habit of greeting each other with the "holy kiss", gender-partial as it is now.
That evening's sermon by the week's invited preacher heard him end it with a foot-note. 'You got it; he commented what I was thinking, that he "doesn't see anyone here greeting "one another" “with a holy kiss". And if there is hospitality to someone's home for lunch, scriptural issues are not discussed. Issues is itchy things, change-requiring things, ego-challenging things.
Therefore if the pagan addition of 'obey them' was replaced with God's inspired "be persuaded one of another", the non-ordained would have to minister to one another. 'Wha-? Wha-? M-M-m-minister t-to one another? Ahhhh! And the ordained would have to be oh my Lord!--ordinary?? Is this what Lucifer did in heaven, classically copped out?
Why my 'gripe' ? Because while we're screwing around with the Whore of Babylon, someone's child is being abducted right under our selfish noses. Besides the fact, we the each of us is not getting ministerially nurtured by one another. Which grieves God's heart, because he wants a mystical body made up of all of us.
God takes no pleasure in the self-destruction of the wicked. He has physiologically constructed us with free will, the best freebie there ever was, along with salvation in Jesus Christ. Some Christians don't watch movies and limit videos, rightly. My observation is they do anyway by watching each other.
'A penny for your thoughts' about people instead of God might be enriching. And Jesus said it about on what treasure hunt our thoughts lead us. An example, after the Greek oratory one Sunday evening, I chatted in the side aisle with a visiting brother. His child was in volunteering at the nursing home and he was in to visit her.
I asked the man about the Anabaptist tradition of most of the men partially shaving their beards, if you know on the upper lip. The man answered uniquely, not with the old pat answer of not wanting to look like the Prussian military. The man smilingly said, "Oh, we don't want the sisters to be so alone with their headship coverings".
That, my dear reader, is an example of private interpretation of Scripture becoming so accepted it's now a cute joke. 'Need I say it again, 'Get a life in Christ!' Anyway, to explain about head-hair coverings, chapter eleven 1-16 is not a local cultural context. "God, Christ, man, woman" is universal using the Earth as a period for this sentence.
Verses six and fifteen are pivotal and not parallel. Two different Greek concepts are used. Six contains three aspects but like Orion's Belt, two drift away from the third. The two by contrast display the specialness of the third. Verse 15 is mere backdrop as perspective. I would repeat Paul's words elsewhere by reminding of the holy women of old.
Who veiled themselves maybe a little too much in a rapacious society. But humility was the main idea they did, the Holy Spirit developing and inspiring the habit long ago. So whether married or single or pre-pubescent (pre-flower-bud stage, KJV), the veiling is an action that publicly represents in an individual way all of mankind's female stance before The Almighty Stud.
And it is all in perfect taste ethically, the same atmosphere of respect to God from mankind that should be existing between us all. Hence, violence as disrespect is contrary to God's character and his plan for us. Of hair down, long hair, trimmed for split ends, or up in a bun under a kerchief, I don't see God saying otherwise. Gender is gentle power.
The color of the holy veiling as white should be optional, because laundering facilities are a serious challenge for many. Stiff cap veils are clumsy, impractical, and ugly per unkempt neck hairs seen from behind. Cap veils were surely designed by men, including any favored reminiscence of catacomb couture.
As a child I enjoyed watching the Indonesian women doing their end-of-day toilet with loosened hair hanging around their naked babies and toddlers. The Indonesian women used a dark mesh net to enclose a hanging bun. The spiritual covering or veiling is primarily for the head area. But it's fine to have it long and flowing to match the long hair. Of Afros, do remember how John saw the resurrected Jesus with hair as lamb's wool. I did also in the picture Emma showed to me in 1976 in Ottawa.
The analogy of a hunter's safety hat is very apt here, of 360-degree visibility. You want to keep your head from being shot, and the rest of you. There's drunk hunters in the spiritual realm also. And you want to generally be seen for all good reasons. Danger is a factor, but also what God is doing with humanity. Angels are involved. So the spiritual cover or veil should be visible from any direction.
In the Song of Songs we see the woman heartbrokenly out in the street looking for the recently departed man she's interested in. And evil men on the street make fun of her, yanking her veil off. Then there's the story of the country Mennonite gal moved to the city. Because she was spiritually covered, other women asked her to run a dangerous errand. She had to deliver a message to an address in a rough neighborhood.
But she went to the wrong address and was invited in. When in, the man said to her,"You've got the wrong address". He then told her if it weren't for "that thing on your head" she never would have left on her own terms. He told her to get out of there and don't come back. The man was intelligent enough to know this was a spiritual situation bigger than he could handle.
Of beards, God likes a beard if genetically growable. I see Mephibosheth as the final word chronologically per his conversation with David. Meph said respectfully, besides the fact he was crippled in his leg or legs, that all the time Dave and the faithfilled people had been away on the run from Saul, he in honor of everyones' misery in the situation had not trimmed his beard. So we see that some trimming was done.
From that I gather God approved of the diminution of the big maximum-size beards of yesteryear. That's only my opinion, but it seems reasonable. For going farther enters the realm of humiliation, per what the enemy did to David's men. Who had delivered a non-combative good-will message and gotten humiliated for their effort.
A more extreme fact as the only precedent for shaving off the beard is the negative one of leprosy and necessary medical shaving down to the skin. My beard is unnoticeable to me for positive coziness both summer and winter. Too short stiff bristles aren't nice for loved ones, nor self actually. 'As God is the God of all comfort, so a man's beard should evidence that comfort, soft and fluffy'.
Francis, the one who ain't no sissy, has a seemingly simple explanation of change. However this man has never been able to memorize his words. Which is funny in that the challenge is solved by the very expression. I've got some heavenly homework to do. The only child of my Quebecois next-door neighbors was also a Francis. Coincidentally by age four this ain't no sissy--his dad was 6.5--delighted in imitating wildlife, geese and moose. Note, I beat his dad in arm-wrestling once; ‘got him to 1 o’clock, which surprised and distracted him, and down.
When I was in the hospital after going through a school window in 1968, the school secretary who had saved my life came to visit. I didn't need another box of chocolates and she didn't give me one. She gave me a little book that's actually one long poem, The Hound Of Heaven. I read the whole cover of that book, recently reading Francis Thompson's actual poem. 'Recommended.
'Change only comes one kick 'n scream at a time' but let's skip the tantrum. And let's face it, unless we focus on the lover of our souls any supposedly useful changes we make will be for nought. But if we think of God and all his goodness, then we'll happily experience trickle-down theonomics. God is the coolest video to watch, his handiwork in nature, plus each other's idiotsyncrasies, all in the mind of Jesus Christ. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”.
The example of Jesus keeps the 'our' in the word friend, less we become fiendish enemies. By caring enough to be accountable to each other, we then are in position to be available to each other. It's a best example of God's big control of everything systematically. In which the motion as stated above prevents any disastrous commotion.
Jesus is guiding us like a Daniel Boone or the like through a valley that can quickly get dark as the shadow of death, to quote David. Someone like Daniel Boone was so skilled he could prevent a crush. A crush was an undesired site in a forest for making camp for the night. Over which a flock of a million doves would choose to roost for the night.
You know the doves, passenger pigeons might roost on big dead tree branches until the weight of hundreds of them cracked it off the trunk to fall upon the campers. An experienced leader like Boone knew the little signs observable as he walked through the woods as prevention.
'Or a sailing ship captain experienced in the Gulf Stream-trade reading the clouds of the sky for hurricane singular, 'cause one 'll do it. Like a chess game, you've got to make your move well in advance. The spiritual adversary is unbeatable without a power clearly greater. He was the most endowed of God's angelic beings and trained in how we think. We must have God's mind in Christ Jesus against such an adversary.
My dad managed spies for the federal government, their lives on the line behind enemy lines. People like Dad were their lifeline, like a tether-cable to Earth for astronauts walking in space. If we follow Jesus' steps on his paths of righteousness, we can picnic a bit in foreign territory. He'll show us the skills as a variety of healthy lifestyle choices.
Spice, it was the catalyst of the industrial revolution from sail to steam ships. For cinnamon for our buns, butter is better with it. And the first and best butter I ever tasted was either in Sri Lanka or India as almost a five-year-old. It was ideally marvelous on ice, fresh from the farm the day before. I felt like the child Jesus weaned from Mary's breast-milk to Galilean butter and honey. ‘Honey or old-fashioned marmalade with that farm-fresh butter. James Michener in his ‘Iberia’ has a splendid account of how the original marmalade was made.
The industrial revolution needs dusting off and only Jesus can do it. I once saw a TV documentary in which a woman was dusting in her house. The dignified princess had no arms and so held the duster in her toes. And, I read the storybook of a woman my age who started her personal humanitarian outreach with the United States Peace Corps.
I forget her name and the title of her life's book. I remember her story subject. It was an increasing global cultural observation of the treatment of children. And this book she wrote focused on what she had increasingly noticed. That some cultures have a more fascinated attention with their children. And they not only stare in amazement at them. They also actively interact with them.
Theirs is a realistic journey daily as the word 'jour' in French means day. Years of days are valued as a moment of eternity's tomorrow. They really enjoy their children, especially the countries whose cultures I knew to be famously active spiritually.
I only remember two of the cultural communities being Bali and Tibet. Yes, Bali is a part of a national culture, Indonesia. Of course for every culture there's a dialect and I'm getting off subject. We're still on it. Last week a customer service representative in The Philippines told me that in the many islands of that archipelago, in school the students are taught not only English but also highlights of the numerous Filipino language dialects.
The attention is of course mainly on the dialects of their country's urban areas. My tale to tell here is the fluency of communication my Filipina 'amahs' demonstrated. As said earlier they saved my life before, during and after my mom's removal for rehabilitation. My Filipina surrogate moms were professional child-care experts. They revived me from nearly sure death. Dad snapped a camera shot of Andy holding me up in the air with me doing a post-placenta-previa pirouette.
Here I want to clarify what I mentioned in two of the booklet’s one-liners about pictures of Jesus that I’ve seen, photographs, one of them in my possession, a copy. The first was a copy—both are, 35-millimeter camera snapshots—taken by a friend of the elderly Christian woman who showed it to me. The photograph was snapped through the window of a jet airplane. She must have done such before because the focus was perfect.
And it was a fine day outside over Indiana, thunderstorms having cleared the air. They had just taken off from Indianapolis, coming from Toronto and headed for Florida. The plane had leveled off and was cruising smoothly. Outside were two big cumulus clouds and she aimed the camera right between them. Like that novelty reverse woodcut of the name of Jesus, you don’t see it until you do.
I got to that point by observing that the blue sky between the two clouds wasn’t completely blue for some reason. “Even so come Lord Jesus”, there he was maybe a thousand-feet tall. He had a nice white robe on down to his ankles, bare feet. A golden, maybe woven belt was around his waist, the ends down along one side. His face was a composite of every person I’d ever seen. His hair was as lamb’s wool just as John described in The Revelation, basically a white-light Afro.
Thankfully his eyes were too far out to see “eyes of flaming fire”. His arms were at his sides and facing forward. The body language was a combined ultimate power exuding from him while drawing all men unto himself. No painting or statue I’ve ever seen comes close to demonstrating what Jesus was doing so expressively.
I saw that in 1976 and I’d show you the one I have now but for a legal hassle. It is a big problem in commercial circles called Orphan Item law or something. The hassle is copyright infringement possibilities with the extended family of the owner. I haven’t done any work on it except for discovering the problem.
Bill—Emma was the name of the older sister I was sitting next to in an audience at the Ottawa Civic Center for an Ernest Angley Christian ministry evening—had messed up. He had gone back to his old bad habit of getting drunk. Bill’s wife had left him and his church had shunned him. He had moved upstate to where I met him and got to know him at work. Bill had taken the camera shot just a year or two before.
Film developers had each told Bill the same thing. “Sir, it’s not in the negative, but when we put it through, out comes your miracle”. What had happened was, Bill was taking a solo nature walk outside of town. He had his camera hanging around his neck and had asked God, “Lord, show me a sign that you still love me”. Bill told me he had said that, either in his mind or out loud.
A summer rainstorm had just gone over the scrappy ridge there and a rainbow formed. He got it on film plus a beautiful hand and arm reaching through it towards him. The body language is clearly, “Here you go son, take my hand.” The hand is a gorgeous human hand, exhibiting both masculine strength and feminine sensitivity and vice versa. A white robe is distinctly visible starting up the wrist a bit. It is clearly the robe and style of a Middle Eastern garment.
The robe is also just visible beyond and below the rainbow, where the side of the body would be if someone was standing there. Again about the hand, it is clearly the hand of a middle-aged man who has been doing work such as working wood in a shop.
Bill showed this to me in 1992 or 3, and gave me a copy. I’d lose it for years at a time in one of my books somewhere. As I clarified in my booklet, God is careful with showing us so-called signs and wonders. He knows we spoil easily and have to concentrate on "Christ crucified". Visual signs and wonders and vain philosophy do not provide what we mainly need.
I’m thinking of a story I heard of a man down in the root cellar of his old house. The access door was part of the floor of the kitchen. His little daughter was above with her vigilant mother. The girl stood at the edge and called after her dad. She wanted to come down and help with whatever he was doing.
She could see he’d gotten the ladder out of his way and called down to him. She told him she wanted to join him, and he answered, “Just jump”. She cried out, “But, Daddy, I can’t see you”. He answered, “It’s okay, honey, I can see you.” She jumped, into blackness, trusting. I jumped out of five helicopters with an automatic line attached, and one plane freely. This ain't bragging; it's admitting less than that child did.
Of vigilance, jump number 3 was with a borrowed motorcycle helmet. I went back to a borrowed sky-diving helmet. I strangled on my right side most of the way down. The wide-necked riding helmet caught the chute straps. My right arm was near useless so soon after the window accident. And I could hardly reach with my left arm. I almost ran out of air too far up in the air.
I invite you here to jump into the dark trusting God’s decency in us to catch us. I want to clarify and also develop a social subject I realize now I only began in the booklet. I’ve thought it through in my mind and heart now. It’s the subject of clothing on our bodies. The conclusion is that nudity is the ideal, originally. Presently, aside from private sleeping and toileting or life support in a sleeping bag with anyone who’s fallen through the insufficiently frozen surface of a body of water, the public aspect I think we’ve arrived at in modern times is getting close to the ideal.
Also, along with nudity as an ideal is horseback riding. Because we’re talking the basics of life, whether we’re speaking in front of an audience and we’re scared to death or hanging on to a galloping horse with everything we’ve got. In front of an audience, especially without God’s graceful confidence in our souls, it helps enormously to picture everyone nude. It would be nice if everyone in the room deserved white robes.
The mental picture of people nude is very useful to level the playing field of human egos. Today’s unisex clothing has really helped to do that also. For our bodies are down to basics except for modesty. Like when pooping for all of us, it’s nice to have a secondary flap of clothing to conceal our bare butt. But, if we’re getting back on a horse, especially if the weather is cold, we’re going to want some pants on.
My analogy in the one-liner booklet of Julia’s vacation discovery in Mongolia is insufficiently useful I realize now. Julia had doffed her jeans and donned a dress because her hosts could see her bare bottom when peeing or pooping outside the yurt. What is incomplete is a non-existant video take of Julia maybe riding horses with her Mongolian host family. Of which an event Julia would certainly want her denim jean leggings on for the saddle paraphernalia.
Eskimo common dress is very much what I’m thinking of, everyone wearing pants covered over the butt with a parka. In the warmer climates many people live in, the material is not only lighter. But also, the parka idea is still apt, a long shirt or vest secure and stylish. Because bumby butts are bumby butts, and it’s nice to be covered if practically possible. In military and police reality, covering your partner’s butt is the greatest thing you can do for them.
My mom, especially those first years when she came out of her drunk, by Jesus, sometimes told me to "Keep your fanny warm". I never asked to find out if it was a need of mine or also of all mankind. I agreeably admit to the former and believe the latter. And, as I recall, in the old films I’ve seen of luxuriously primitive people groups, the butt is priority. Genitals will be haphazardly covered, but the crack of the ass is seldom visible. Note, check the marvelous YouTube video of a Belgian guy who makes contact with New Guinea folk that were so far back there, they didn’t know palefaces exist. He made a first trip in there the year before to get a feel of it. Oh, and notice what breaks the social ice to loosen everyone up.
Of the relative luxury of clothing style and beauty, the flip of the loose-fitting hem of a long shirt or medium dress excites the soul. It is like the mane and tail of a horse, or even long hair,. How my friend in Baguio City called it her flag, and surely continues to do with her God-given husband. The valuable phenomenon and concept of mystery is visibly actuated in the wavy hem of an even slightly loose garment. This is true for both genders. None of this applies, of course in a communal bath or beach or pool. There, cleanliness and sunny water-fun are prioritized and should temper any licentious fantasy.
A successful advertising slogan said ‘Ruffles make ridges’. That’s abstract too, and sold or sells a lot of potato chips. But, importantly here is not God’s participation in some human parade. Rather, it is what we do for the integrity of our eternal souls. And that’s where ruffles come in, as well as ridges. Ruffles on a garment obliterate nudity. And the intangible ridges represent mystery. Which I like, and I think God likes. For his biblical depiction of Heaven has the people there dressed in robes. Yet, a clause in this clears the frost off a window or our windshield. And, that clause is “angels unawares”, which implies common street dress. We have to be prepared to encounter someone who simultaneously beholds the countenance of the almighty god and happens to be dressed like one of us.
I’m remembering here a one-liner that says ‘Jesus’ decency de-sins us, ‘see?’ And this is my bigger point, that as Jesus was nakedly humiliated on the cross, then it follows we symbolically should do it as naked as he was. Although, I’ve heard some people in their mistaken under-water baptisms do it nakedly. That takes a wet t-shirt contest to a lower level. Being ashamed of our sin does not mean we have to be humiliated for it.
And understand, one of my favorite things to do when summertime swimming at a public pool is imagine the children’s angels following them all around and getting pleasantly soaked in the process. Can you just see it? An important point to add here about public bathing, just like in the old Japanese village baths, any overt snickering by the young men of their developing female counterparts was brutally and firmly dealt with.
Intangibly brutally, but the worst punishment possible, social banishment, even from the village itself, utter anathema to any Japanese. The suicide forest awaited such misery. But such was the honorable level of social intercourse the Japanese valued. It preserved a pristine environment of personal freedom and mental security. And I think all cultures do that in their own way, letting it be known to young upstarts that life on Earth is a grind which we all have to work together to maximize the pleasantness of.
This is why Moses had a rule for young men, to keep them in check and if necessary knock some sense into their bullish brains on their back. To extend this fairly primitive law and reasoning to maidens and children made no sense then and now. Spanking or hitting does seem to me a reflection of Victorian prudishness and rudeness of prejudice. King James, as born-again as he and his friends were–and they were, new and improved as research shows–still had serious social baggage they forced someone else to carry.
And God had it written, "the curve of a woman's hip is the work of a master craftsman". The same is true of the curve of the Earth, seen from an elevation. Eternity and mystery is inherent in the design, here. Swimming in a calm lake once, and when I stayed still and let the water-ripples subside, I could clearly see the curve of the Earth when looking to the other side of the lake with my nose just above the water.
And maybe here is a good place to explain what I said in the booklet about positions, that 'the missionary position is the visionary position'. Like vanilla ice cream is the most versatile of ice cream flavors, or simply sweet cream or milk without vanilla, so sex. Like a trampoline’s accentuation and provision of acceleration, deceleration, and gravity, so the so-called missionary position maximizes all. It maximizes the utility of effort so that the participants can time-travel or ‘be here now’ and points in between.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, aviation pioneer and also author of the well-loved little book The Little Prince, one day had to change or die. He was flying south along the coast of Argentina and a straight-line wind from the far-out-of-mind Andes Mountains broadsided him into remembrance of their power. Antoine was blown way out into the Atlantic Ocean at a dangerously low altitude. He had to tack back and forth into the wind, you know at alternating angles to chew his way in.
Check out Saint-Exupery’s story of almost dying of thirst after crash-landing in a desert. You know, Jesus had to change like no one in history. Sure he did, even his parents thought he was a weirdo. He was preparing his whole childhood and young-adulthood to stand in the gap for each and every one of us. Jesus was definitely a weirdo of weirdos, for he did what no one else could or would do. Which comes first, the chicken or the coward?
They both don't because Jesus was willing to come in last. How many girls looked elsewhere because they ‘couldn’t figure him out’? As God, first Jesus got rejected by Adam and Eve. Then as Immanuel, he gets rejected by everybody. God is the one good guy, if you ask me. And even if we want to, we can only theorize what it feels like to bear everyone’s sins. His friends reported seeing him perspire blood out of his forehead.
His heavenly dad had separated himself from him at that point, the only reliable friend he had. Maybe this means up until then, God had never been lonely in his eternal state. You know, he was just bookin’ along down the highway in a car he’d built himself. But he needed to fill up with gas and the station attendant said, “We don’t serve Gods here; you’ll have to go elsewhere.” Jesus got refused for gas, food, and lodging. It’s like a company owner being snorted off by an ignorant employee. We ought to pray God frees us from the willfulness of our wills, that only what he wants gets done.
"Our (if applicable) father who is in heaven (thanks to Jesus (our) older sibling who was on Earth), holy and honored is your name. May your kingdom come and your will be done on Earth just as it's done in Heaven. And give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our offenses against you like we forgive others' offenses against us ('Gulp!). And lead us away from temptation, delivering us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever"--an informal prayer-format suggestion from Jesus to his friends.
Change, for example previously reported defective altitude sensors for the Air France flight from Rio to Paris, or for astronaut-school teacher Christa McAuliffe's flight with air too cold for fuel-tank O-rings, we have to budge our big-headed brains. Psalm # 50 ends with God saying, "and to he (she) who considers their way will I show the salvation of God".
Jesus knows the best knock-knock joke, but we have to invite him in to hear it.
Is the story my mom told me funny? Neighbors just down the street, their house just visible at a slant from her front window, lived on a big angled corner. Like an arrow's feather, three streets met there, two dropping back at acute angles. And it was hilly, not level so the general effect was to separate their house physically from the general run of houses in the neighborhood. And there were occasional big trees for general distraction.
This made what happened more possible. They went on vacation and when they got back the house was empty. They asked the neighbors all about what might have happened. A 53-foot moving van had pulled up and did the possible but not probable.
I woke up thinking that God is the ultimate pin-ball player. He uses multiple balls and lets not one go down. And like Tommy he's blind; at least, I can't see him. I guess I'm the one that's blind, because he can see me. Stars, planets, moons, outer space and inner space are God’s pinball machine. God's the top cat in the eternal alley.
Wondrous Stevie's 'There's A Place In The Sun' would, like any good song, be enhanced by angels. Tennessee Ford's 'Hallelujah' is sung by angelic accompaniment, I do know. YouTube has at least his chorus on Angel Choir Singing, Parts 1&2, also the digitally improved 'Angels Singing, Cleared Up' rendition, last time I checked.
The angels come in on cue like a plane taking off. My friend and one-time landlord, Bill, who as he says 'came out of his mother wrong', physically abnormal, had a heart for flight like his dad and uncle, both career Air Force pilots. Bill said he used to ride his bike through the city of D.C. to get to Gravely Point. I drove us out there on one occasion to commemorate.
Bill was once a towel boy at the Boston Garden. He would have been working there the evening Jo-Jo White and John Havlicek and Bill Walton beat it didn't matter who. I was treated to that cosmic delight by a day-student friend and his precious parents from school at Portsmouth Priory-later-Abbey. They lived on Jamestown Island in the Narragansett Bay.
This is what I mean by coincidence as divine, a totally controlled choreography. The greatest aspect of the dance of our lives is our will of course, while God gently wields his wonders. Galileo purportedly invited his friends over for a special supper at his place.
G.G. had made a mobile of the solar system, a big one worked by a geared crank. He had it hidden behind a curtain and after supper he did a 'Ta-Daa' special for his science friends. In unison as people lost in space they cried 'Who made it?' He answered 'Nobody', sarcastically alluding to their secular evolutionary thinking.
I noticed a Norman Rockwell calendar picture today that I'd never seen (amazing, there’s always another one). This splendid work of Norman's shows a farm girl evidently come of age. Asked to be some stud's bride, she is standing in her blue overalls. Before a full-length mirror, the darling sitting-duck is holding up a lace gown for comparison. Bad grief !
God biblically said it, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked". But he works with us and he inspired someones to write his thoughts as accurately as humanly possible. Correct, the bible doesn't 'say' anything, that it's God saying whatever. The bible is the only book that's a one-on-one divine dialogue/conversation. Israel’s authors and scribes honored the living god with their narration and notation. Post-Messiah/Christ writing is similar, just as miraculous in a different social setting.
I think God made so many different people to prepare us to meet him. And a big challenge we have is to get our warped minds around the parameters of that fact. Are we prepared to spend ten-thousand years in tandem company with the supposedly obnoxious person we clashed with in some way today?
Or, when we're standing there in heaven singing praises to a deserving God, will we have reason to cast a furtive sidelong glance at the person next to us? Or look at it this way, will we willfully do what is autonomic impulse? I mean, will we love as dubiously well as we lust? And how much of that depends on what we do now?
'Question is, What are we in God's busy mind? That's why I got to thinking about beauty, how its systems and patterns of artistic synchrony trump evolution. And while we're on the subject, check out Mary Trump's book about the whole family. No it doesn't excuse, only explains psychologically her Uncle Donald. Mary's a trained psych. Let’s walk in someone’s shoes before we talk in their ears, or walk all over them.
'In our cars, are we a person driven?' Dale stayed on the track but drove into eternity. Andy saw his entire life pass before his eyes, to continue here. Do you see why I simplify the procedure saying nice or nasty, kind or cruel? God is complex, but he is in no way complicated.
Only God can say 'I'm time'. Much of prayer is telling God we're so glad he's God. Mom used to catch each of our individual attention now and then with the sincere and somewhat desperate words, she recently coming out of oblivion after kicking booze with Jesus, "I'm the mom and you're the boy" in a nice voice and maintaining eye contact.
I had several mothers, Mom, Step-Mom 'Mama' Pam, and Andy and Victoria and maybe some other 'amahs' in my birthplace, The Philippines. God is so coolly courteous to privatize his description of self as a mama. But he really is and we have to not accept any substitutes. His image as our likeness is explicitly male and female in each of its forms and harmonious function. My two grammas allowed me to daytime-visit anytime they were at home.
As children are and should continue to 'be in awe of their pa and their ma as unto The Ancient Of Days', so God respects us when we do the same to him as adults. Solomon said it well in his story of love. The bridegroom has to look away when she looks at him. God respects humanity, so shouldn't we respect both? Otherwise, we get dizzy; and, that's like living drunk or drugged or digitized, or monetized. God is centered, like family and home.
Have you noticed how perfect things work? 'The feathered flight of a bird with its total mastery of direction? An older brother nearby, retired, was riding his hobby cart pulled by a pony. The animal frighted, and he hasn't walked since. Then he posted a homemade Scripture sign by a tree on the road. It says "Be still and know that I am God."
So let's be still at our terminal velocity lifestyles and know that God is God. Also, let's look at each other or just listen if we're blind and know that you are you. In the book about children by the former Peace Corps volunteer, pictures she showed show people just hanging out with them. Both brand-new and older children, the observant adult takes not for granted the sacred spectacle. Marilyn Hickey wrote a Christian daily devotional called 'Time With Him'.
The thrill may be gone in adults, but they should have the smarts to respect it in the young. And by doing so they might mentally reproduce what they feel no more. It is an example of caring to share. 'If we try to go to heaven with arrogance, then we'll be told Get thee hence!'
I foolishly enraged a tractor-trailer driver once. I was fresh off the farm and got a job delivering auto parts using their quick little pick-up truck. On a suburban boulevard adjacent an industrial park, quiet traffic at mid-day, I finally saw the street I was supposed to turn into. But I was out of position and rashly crossed two lanes. The big semi wasn't in my quick little way, but I was in his careful and slow-moving way. He had to brake hard to maintain a safe distance between us. I stopped what I was doing when in my mirror I saw him leap out of his tractor. "You made me shift my load!" he yelled at me. I got out and apologized to him. No one was around to see if he had wanted to lay me out with a furious fist.
I know two families who lost their youngest, one to pond water and one to a truck. I saw a picture of one of them on a big family photo oval on the wall. The young child is typically not looking at the camera, looking up as if to heaven. I did this myself in a family photo on a long couch, the photographer obviously having given up trying to get me to look forward. I'm looking over at my mom a few people away. That pond water child, a 5-year-old, happened in front of everybody at a picnic, nobody watching.
Whitman may sing the body electric, but I prefer to sing the soul eclectic. You see, once contemplating on the narrated fact that God is a consuming fire, I connected it to what someone scientifically said about matter. Albert, I think it was said a stick thrown at the speed of light will dissolve before it gets there. We're categorical fools to try.
This is why and how God says 'No flesh shall glory in my presence.' So let's not. I remember lunching on a construction site with one of the carpenters. I asked him about his personal life and he kindly answered. He said he's married because he doesn't like to sleep alone. Then he said, "Mike you're a nice hard-working guy, but you're kind of obnoxious."
Change is. 'Sounds like a good job, not one that's boring. My child has a set of magnetized plastic pieces. And he always makes something different. 'Nice to see. Outer space looks variegated also. 'Looks like a fun place. I say eternity won't be long enough to be thrilled in the presence of God.
Acts of cruelty are never random, so what goes through the mind when striking a child? I think it's fear of man, for it's simply not fear of God as a perfect creator. This kind of thing can also be described as premeditated. Sure it is, lots and lots of thought going into just how definitely I'll conform myself to the image of people I want to impress.
"Where a man's treasure is, there his heart will be also"--Jesus. This is instead of praying, "It is only by the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed". One can not walk softly and carry a big stick. I was just channel surfing discussions on violence. One guy with a high, whiny voice decried "...and the prophet Elisha sent two bears out after 42 children who were calling him 'old baldy'". In the Hebrew, those were a gang of young teen-aged thugs. When you're hunting, make sure it's a deer and not someone's dear.
Sweating in the bathtub just now (110 degrees max.), I remembered someone else's onion recipe besides Jesus Soup. In the nice hillbilly movie Where The Lilies Bloom, both Mom and Dad dead now, and the three children using their smarts to keep the civil service from possibly separating them and sending them off to different homes, an in-house hassle arises when one of them gets sick and doesn't get better. I better not ruin it for you.
I don't know why, but today I've been thinking about when my childhood friend Michael and I tried his mom's cigarettes. Twice, at ages seven and later eleven, we lit up, the motto of the brand, 'I'd rather fight than switch'. Either way, someday we'd be fighting for our life. But, that's modern, especially American sugar-cured tobacco. Which is acidic, the old air-dried leaves having a comparatively alkaline effect on the lungs. You may look to this as a positive and sensible change if you're smoking. I read this in William Dufty's Sugar Blues.
About marijuana, I smoked for five years, the last year in Thailand, if you know the significance of that. Two months after I quit and started getting 'high' on "The High And Lofty One whose train fills the temple", I was invited to smoke by someone. I said no but then told myself, go ahead, try it but remain objective.
For a few minutes, any objectivity went up in smoke (my condolences to victims of forest fires out west). I stepped outside the house to oxygenate, but before that I got claustrophobic. Three feet of snow was around me and I thought to run for it. 'Out of Quebec, so I said a sarcastic hello to myself. And that brought me to my objective senses somewhat, going in to sleep on it. THC makes TLC a pipe dream, or rolled.
You know, those forest fires are come-around conflagrations. We've had it coming to us, preventing natural fires. The old natural fires were little ones, something the animals can run away from. The Dixie fire burned from one side of the Sierra Nevada to the other. Rick Ladeck at Global MaxLink seaweed distribution in Antelope, California told me what his uncle told him. Their family used to run cattle in the Sierra hills for the summer, and when they brought the stock down for the winter, the last person out set the grass on fire. The alpine pastures probably burned gently and steadily and naturally, fertilized the soil, harmless to the big trees, cleared some underbrush.
I want to explain to you what I know about a supposed biblical place called hell. I think the supposition is correct for two observed reasons. The Jehovah's Witnesses told me we'll just get 'cut off' and disappear, which gets said often enough in the book. But I noticed that besides the fact that getting cut off and disappearing from existence is always said expediently and in a secondary context, there's some factors much more clear.
In the next year or two after the JW's told me that back in the 70's, I kept my eye out for anything more plausible than that. And I don't only mean the big statements in the new testament part of God's bible. I wanted something different and distinct in the old testament part.
Gomer Pyle, Private-USMC verifies what I saw clearly. Do you remember, if apt, what Gomer would say to Sarge? Boldly and confidently Gomer would firmly and politely say to his commanding officer, the sergeant, 'Shame, Shame, Shame on you, Sergeant', for doing something unethical. Which Sarge always honestly and humbly admitted to before his subordinate.
The other proof of an existing hell I noticed recently. The biblical narrative tells about a place "prepared", for Satan and his fellow rebellious angels. Prepared places are real places, in this case a place of shame and regret at opportunity squandered. And God biblically says he'll people it with dishonest humans also.
Some people have degrees in theology, who also better be skilled in theeology. It is the study of you, the subjects of the two great commandments. Which encompasses all the ten, to love God and fellow, 'even the odd fellow next to us' on this planet, Earth. And this love is humorous, perfecting the sixth sense. Humor is the happiest-making sense, because it loves you as much or more as I do myself.
Saying no to inordinate habits is easier said than done. God biblically advises to "Look up from where your redemption draweth nigh." I wouldn't be writing these letters if I hadn't done so. This salvation is by God's strength, not ours. But we have to be plugged in to him, or wified. And there's nothing to be ashamed of being dependent. We're created beings.
What else is school but our innocent ignorance dependently being educated? And so, I'm minding my own business in an eighth-grade classroom and divine change comes to the door. The third-grade teacher sent a student to fetch me because she couldn't find the school custodian.
She had a window fresh-paint stuck, September. A big horizontal metal-framed window and I had never held a screwdriver or putty knife in my hand in my life. I did have practical instincts, probably why she thought of me. Not for the faint-of-heart here, this substitute custodian - -no, I'll stop at that. It was down at that end of the building and I only had to hop off the full-length radiator and skip my loo down the nearby stairwell to the principal's office.
Actually it was my big mouth that got me out of trouble this time. My savior Sara Blakey pushed away from her typing station at the end of Sister St.William's desk. She rather wandered over to me in the doorway as I sprayed the ceiling. Sara was clearly unsure how to proceed, not like her assertive personality.
So I started discussing Niagara Fall's flow rate or something and that woke her up. Sara Blakey loudly said, "Shut up Tovar!" and then slammed me against the doorjamb. I was definitely in good hands with Sara 'Allstate' Blakey. By doing that maneuver on me, Sara visually focused on my uniform tie. And she went for it as I sank to the ground.
Turkey just got slammed by the strongest earthquake since 1939; 'miserable. It is proper to say here, emergency personnel from national and international are in place. We can read in God's bible that governments are there to not only shove idiots against the wall to maintain social peace, but also to show applied compassion as disaster relief.
For example, the apostle Paul was being framed, set up for a lynching. His sister's child I think it was, an older pre-teen was hanging out where the day's action was. Well he sure was and overheard faithless men talking strategy. "Shiver me timbers" he said to himself and went and told his mom.
The men had sworn an oath to not eat again until they had destroyed Paul. Mom told her child to go straight to the Roman police. He did and explained everything he'd heard to the Chief. Who at first hearing shushed the child from saying more. The chief then gently drew the child aside where nobody else could hear. After hearing all, Chief sent the mature and courageous child, a young man now, home to reassure his mom that he'd keep Paul safe.
Is God asking too much of us to "Be (ye) perfect as I am perfect" said Jesus? No. Look how frazzled any of us get when something's not done to our certain standard. At Jacob's old well, while the disciples went into town, Jesus sat alone. She came for water at a time when other people wouldn't be there. He told her her entire personal life and all of ours.
That conversation is of the greatest, like Philip's question about the heavenly father. After laying out how she's been laying herself out, Jesus points out for me and you also that God is Spirit. And they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. God's inspired written word is truth.
For any of us who aren't impressed by God’s spoken Word, Jesus pragmatically suggested the alternative of worshiping God on the basis of his wondrous works alone. It makes sense that a God who is the Almighty would make it easy for his conscious creations to perceive him. You do know biblically that God created mankind conscious, but sin made us mentally self-conscious. That's a repeat but such an important fact.
Herein are the realms of innocence and guilt. My mom was in the habit as a child of disrobing in public. Not with the other children, only alone as she would walk home from a strenuous session of playing. The summer sun and the hot sidewalk--she'd keep her shoes on--taught little Debbie to doff her sunsuit.
Anyway it was fun to twirl it around as she walked. This or that neighbor would call ahead to inform "Mrs. McCarthy, Debbie's on her way". Of guilt in Jakarta one boring day at home, I heard Mom in the bathroom bathing. Peeking through the old fashioned key hole, I saw my mom's torso. I think God spared my mind with the limited view, halfway to hell. I understand how different cultures have different views on nudity.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death". Here's an example, our mimosa tree here. I put it there as a sprouted seedling and now it's fifteen feet high. Indeed the blossoms have a most exquisite fragrance and are so pretty. However long seed pods form afterwards and now in February the many layered and paper-thin husks are still scattering everywhere. We have a newer mimosa growing just inside the wild grass section we have down below. It's off where the light husk layers can blow where they want.
We can't pick-and-choose overriding evidence. No one should, especially without looking at one's personal motives and social parameters. Reams of clinical, albeit indirect observation show negative results with manual chastisement. Plus, incarcerated individuals frequently testify of violent upbringing. Smiling while spanking only adds insult to injury.
What if they gave a war and Mennonites came? I'll say it again, it's so preposterous. How many times have Christian preachers presented the original words of a subject of Hebrew or Greek origin for further clarification? It's as easy as pumpkin pie to do, yet it doesn't get done for the subject of hitting someone. Is this not an example of what God biblically calls "doing violence" to the Scriptures?
How about a sermon on semantics? Feel free to analyze word meanings and rude awakenings alike. I used to say 'Poor God', you know, having to watch us destroy. But I no longer do, now knowing that while he cares lots, he'll do nothing to interfere. On the contrary, we interfere with the so-called journey of a child when we teach them first-hand that violence is an option.
Me thinks I'm at the end of this essay. I think I should publish these thoughts and stories. I've had time and circumstance to think these things through, whereas many people haven't been so much in position to. The idea of a hypocritical double-spy comes to mind in relation to Christians sharing God's good news gospel. And a picture comes to mind theoretically from the eyes of a child watching their parent or guardian approach them with stick or hand menacingly.
An example of social pressure comes to mind, my own next-youngest brother mis-led by my next oldest brother. We were in the backyard, ages about 6, 9, and 10 and the younger openly asked what was deeply the cry of his heart, to join us older guys in our adventures in woods and field. The older said yes conditionally, that the younger would have to prove himself.
Across the little field was a boy his age, and he should go and do what had never been done in our house, a punch in the nose. You know, have war in someone else's land, and so he did it. The boy's mother wouldn't let any of us on their property ever again. I heard recently the Civil War was a northern mess of bureaucratic bungling plus egotism.
Starfish salvation, that's for me, intentionally random acts of kindness. We can't feel good until we make someone else feel good. It doesn't work any other way, the converse foolishness and folly. And I'll leave any kidding to baby goats. I remember my young pet goat jumped up on the hood of the Jehovah's Witnesses' car. Two women and two girls had stopped by to witness. They didn't just get out of the car, they fell out, laughing.
I plan to use my tax rebate for printing this essay. It's a ways before that yet, so I'll continue to share what I know with you. Stepping out for some fresher air, I saw Orion's Belt moving out over me. Did you know science now knows what God mentioned over two thousand years ago to Job? God asked Job if he could keep Orion from loosening his belt? Maybe science at the time knew it and forgot.
Two of the three stars are directly moving away from the third in linear fashion. He also asked Job if he could catch the Pleiades. Astronomical science now can see them flying away from us like a handful of stones thrown out over a lake. I hope you've had a chance to read the space facts that I assembled for the booklet. They are up-to-date in the way also of dispelling gross mis-comprehension of especially distant space activity.
When the pet goat got big enough, I let her accompany me on to the mountain. It has a cliff with a great view, which was almost Yvonne's undoing. I was ready to go milk the cows and get off the mountain before nightfall. But the goat had descended into the maelstrom of the cliff-face. And she was stuck. I looked over and saw that she would have to flip 180-degrees to even start in the direction she came from.
That was just to begin retracing her gadabout steps of instinctual virtuosity. I had to get off the mountain and told Yvonne so, looking her in the eye. She didn't or couldn't budge, looking at me with the eyes of a sheepish goat. With no sentiment in my voice, only compassionate sobriety, I left Yvonne to the canine inhabitants. I was a couple-hundred feet down the wooded slope skirting around the cliffs.
Of course, I suppose I would have hacked my way in there to retrieve her body alive or dead if I probably heard her fall. I was abreast of where she would have fallen to, when she joined my side. How she did it I only want to know if and when God renews my old nerves. Yvonne came in heat, I hauled her over to the next valley and a ram, and she kidded twin females. I sold the three of them to an acquaintance who had been talking of starting a goat herd. His organic cheese was the best I've ever tasted, like an aged wine I tasted once out of my parent's cabinet.
About my old nerves, if I may speak of myself for a moment, until I got really tired and started complaining, I never told anyone about my manual handicap. The crushed disc healed well, from the diving pool. I do mean it about lifeguards, drowning victims usually quiet in the sad process.
A corrective clarification about wine from my booklet, I mentioned the correct fact from the quotation of an ancient Greek. His comment applied to Greek wine, also apt for Israeli wine. But, other lands have wine that does not need to be diluted. A real story is of two shipwreck survivors on the coast of Portugal.
They used their last strength to crest the shore cliff. Shepherds found them and nursed them back to health. They immediately offered wine out of their flasks. But the sailors refused, as they explained later. They were sure it was going to be hard liquor, too unnatural for a body on the brink of death. They finally accepted the shepherds' offer, tasting the beverage angels may have served Elijah on his chariot-train ride to heaven for a visit.
It was wine boiled down to syrup, then diluted for a day's usage. We really have to mind our own beeswax on things. Jesus wisely or sagely or Godly said, "It's not what goes into a man's mouth that defiles him, but what comes out", meaning his words. Last I heard, no-man's land shouldn't be entered. What I'm thinking about here is the extent Christians go in espousing the Whore of Babylon they otherwise preach against.
Yes I may be guilty of the same and correct me if I'm wrong, but I mean the distasteful embellishment of false doctrine, and a most reprehensible one at that, of violently striking a little child. By embellishment, I mean the descriptive sermon titles I've seen in shuddering passing. Wherein the preacher's sermon title is vaunting and flaunting in an arrogantly humorous way of the act of striking an angel’s little charge.
One YouTube testimonial of hell sticks in my mind, of modern high-tech resuscitation. A famous ‘senior pastor’ as it's uselessly called--see my earlier notes--is given a break by Jesus for his basically good and humble heart. But he's chucked into hell with a rope attached, let's call it. And he's stupidly dumbfounded that a great guy like him has been put there.
Then Jesus has it out with him, basically telling him he's an arrogant jerk. ‘What who, me?’ he wants to say but doesn't. Jesus tells him he's been running over people roughshod and hardly doing the work of a Christian under-shepherd. I've got this picture in my mind here as I think of the brother's shocked ego, when I once learned you have to be careful for your bicycle tire with a gas station air pump. I don’t know about you but I thankfully pray to a perfect God who generously accommodates my imperfection. And I appreciate God biblically telling me to be perfect just as he is perfect.
I remember a boy up the street, just older than Pete and me was a cussing young man. He was a late child in an older family and had been taught nasty talk. Pete and me got tired of hearing his useless words in our wiffleball games. And so we confronted him with what we had been taught was the consequences. And you know, he stopped such.
And then I made him understandably sad, by accident on my part. He had a marvelous model ship collection, the kind you painstakingly glue together, if you can stay ahead of the glue. He had his masterpieces on every level surface of his room. I would tinker with them when I visited, and he didn't like it.
On this visit, the fleet of ships was gone, sailed off somewhere. He had put them tightly packed way up on top of his tall chest of drawers. I could just see the hundreds of little flags he had carefully finalized his work with. I begged him if I might climb up and look at them. 'No way' was the answer, and he added 'You can't get up there anyhow'.
Being an accomplished tree climber, I steadfastly reassured him I could climb up for a nice and safe little look. 'No way, there's no way you can get up there', the dresser top well over my head. I explained compassionately, respectful of his innocent ignorance of my climbing ability--our adventure woods in the opposite direction from his house.
He had his hands behind his head and was reclining against the bed headboard. He was quite happy with the new protective arrangement. Of a sudden, I got the idea to pull the second drawer out from the bottom. It would be all I needed to take a look and I said, 'Yeah sure look, I can just pull this drawer out, stand up on it', and he saw it all.
That was Andy Granatelli who saw his life, every event of it apparently, pass by his eyes. His car had gone up in the stands at Indianapolis, injuring and killing people. Not to make decisions for other people, I do see the idea of getting to know the creator of me as my priority activity in life. The sincerity of my attitude in that is gauged by my interaction with other people.
That my parents evidently didn't want me to get to know them was no excuse not to concentrate on God. Someone great made goodness and beauty, so much so that nothing obviously done by man should get in the way. And I could see my parents working hard individually, which was a witness to their consciences at work.
And the school was sweetly merciful to me, knowing there was trouble at home. It was third-grade and I had a girlfriend now. I absolutely had to leave the house with my hair with a cool water-moistened wave up front. I would take my seat a half-hour into the first morning-class already in session and never heard a word about it.
What I'm telling that for is the innocence and sincerity of a child is also seen in ethically living adults. They may be ignorant in life skills and reacting hard to memories of their own miserable childhood. But they are determined to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, even if they've never heard of Christ Jesus. I’m thinking of the photographs in that nice woman’s book of Tibetans and Balinese respectfully observing and interacting with their children.
I'm still getting at what I'm saying that what bothers me is ransacking raiders. Often I think of people who are busting their backs eking out a living for their families, only to have robbers come in and ruin everything. Now that I'm older and more street-savvy, I know it's also raiders of the spirit, conniving artisans of spiritual craftiness.
To get myself 'inside the head' of Jesus Christ is my desire as I want to. Regardless of whether he's son to the father in heaven, he was a real person who slept and wept. I'm sixty-seven, slowing down and just beginning to focus on Jesus, having read about him for decades. I'd like Jesus to teach me mathematics. An also-thought for here, about marriage, it is biblically recommended for a woman to incline her will to her situationally ethical Christian man “as to The Lord”. That primary and overall focus on God is what each of us should do to make sense of the farts and bad breath and dirty feet of our fellow man or respective spouses.
Of mathematics, my ineptness in it is opposite to my very own child who, thanks to his mom’s contribution, thinks both numerically and linguistically. Eternity is definitely not going to be long enough to sing the praises of the almighty god. But one more story of mathematics, of geometry, 'Teacher' had me wisely in the front row to keep an eye on me. I alone remained to understand what the rest of the class understood and was ready to go on. 'Teacher' stood adjacent to me and caring and sharing asked, 'Mike, Mike, why don't you get it ?' I did have a working spatial application for footballs and baseballs on a field. Recently, I find mumbling to myself in a check-out line helps, forbidden in school.
Have you read her story of climbing down the Nevadan eastern face of the Sierra Nevada? 'And I Alone Survived' is Lauren Elder's unique exploit story. The little plane that Lauren was a back-seat passenger in didn't make the crest of the last 'hill' by fifteen feet. Climbing down was near-impossible; read Lauren's step-by-step account yourself as a real way to share in her challenge.
This ends page two of my website essay. Thank you for reading thus far.