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State of Me Address

January 21st, 2014

Because You Asked

I never know what to do with this blog. Quit altogether? Take it down?

I started blogging in 2002, on the recommendation of my friend Aaron. I thought it sounded unappealing. The word “blog” sounds like something you find in your nose after cleaning a dusty attic. But I signed up with Blogger, and off I went.

I already had a Homestead site which was not in blog format. I had to post every item in a somewhat time-consuming way. It’s amazing that anyone saw it, because then as now, blogs get more attention than random websites. Aaron told me a blog was a better way, maybe because he knew how search engines and blog links worked.

By the time I moved, I was already very excited about the Internet. I did not realize blogging was already dead. Anyone who put up a site in 1998 and wrote anything remotely interesting became popular. By the time I arrived, you had to network or have a sponsor like Instapundit or…it’s been so long I can’t remember the others. If you didn’t attract the attention of big bloggers by happenstance, and if you weren’t the type of person who sits around emailing strangers all day, pretending to like them and begging for links, you were not likely to get far.

I loved what I was doing. I was practicing law, but I was a failed writer, and I found that hard to accept. I had been published regularly in the local newspaper’s Sunday magazine. Unfortunately, their in-house humorist was Dave Barry, so they didn’t exactly see me as their savior. I had quit writing professionally in maybe 1988, partly because I had not gotten very far, and partly because I was attending church and finding myself somewhat alienated from the secular world. When, in my small way, I returned to writing, I felt like I had wings.

My traffic increased until I had something like 3,000 unique visits per day. I felt I had not succeeded. People whose work was not very good were getting ten times that much traffic. I still enjoyed it, though, and back during the Bush years, bloggers had more influence on the world, so that was a nice incentive.

I was amazed when my work led to the publication of three books. They did not do well. The first one was too long, and it was handicapped by an awful title. The second one was a throwaway I wrote just because I was asked. The third one was my dream project. I think it would have done better, but by the time came to get serious about promoting it, I was a different person. During the promotion process, I lost enthusiasm.

At one point, I got an interview with Mancow. I was thrilled. On the big day, I put on my headphones and turned on Skype. I listened to him and waited to be introduced. While I waited, he made a joke I could not believe. I don’t even like describing it, but I will say that it was about committing a sex act with God. I was horrified. That was going to be the last thing people heard before they heard my voice. I should have hung up, but I had waited for that interview for so long, and millions of people were listening. I did the interview, but I felt I had learned something. This was not God’s plan for me.

I hated to give up on writing again and take a chance on losing my agent and whatever small amount of momentum I had gathered, but I wanted my next book to be about God, and I was not willing to start it without God’s inspiration. Most Christian books are written by people who barely know God. They’re full of errors and even outright lies. They tend to be relatively useless. Many–Rick Warren’s books are examples–are actually harmful.

I wanted to write books that would lead to miracles and inner transformation. I started a project last year, but I eventually realized I was getting ahead of the Holy Spirit, so I let it go.

There were unexpected developments in my relationship with God. I think I had problems because I was thinking of him too much as a source of blessing and deliverance and not enough as someone to whom I owed the opportunity to transform me. Things went much better than they had while I was away from God, but there were speed bumps.

I joined a crooked church, and I thought they were serious about God, but eventually I realized they were parasites who stole from the people God had sent them to help (unless they had sent themselves, which seems likely). When I started serving there, I thought I had found my home, and that the problems I had endured while trying to fit into the secular world were behind me. I was wrong about that. They treated me exactly the same way the world had. They rejected me and took advantage of me.

That church was not a refuge from the world. It WAS the world. All they thought about was money and fame. That should have been a big setback, but fortunately, I did not see it as a problem in my relationship with God. I saw it, correctly, as a problem with a few carnal people who ran a church. My walk with God continued to prosper, and eventually, he showed me a better church. I took off in a hurry. I was tired of praying God to help preachers who had no interest in being helped.

Now I go to a church that amazes me. I have been delivered from corrupting and hindering spirits there. I have been welcomed into the family. The things I said which brought condemnation down on me at the old church now bring me respect and gratitude. I have never missed the other church. Not for a second. On the contrary, I thank God often for answering my prayers for a new church.

My life is bearing fruit now, in ways that I never expected. I have never been one to hang around with young people. I’ve always thought there was something little off about anyone who would want that (and often, there is). But at New Dawn, I’ve affected people’s lives in lasting ways, and a number of those people are young.

I have two goddaughters; one is eleven months old, and another is still in the pipeline. Young people have come to my garage just to pray. Talking about God at the old church was like yelling down the toilet, because no one listened, but now there are people who pay attention and run with the things I tell them. And God keeps sending us people from the old church. The pastors there think I’m an evil Svengali who uses mystical powers to “poach” his livestock, but they come on their own, because they’re worn out. If you beat a dog every day, eventually it stops coming when you call it.

I am still not used to having pastors who talk about God instead of flattering the famous preachers who occasionally let them kiss the ring. It’s very strange, to come out of a lifestyle in which having people take advantage of you is par for the course. When people treat you well, a little part of you wonders what’s wrong.

My life is full of prayer now. I get revelation from God every day. I sense his presence every day. Faith pours through me in rushes I can physically feel. He has promised me so many good things, I’ve made a list of them, and I keep it on my cell phone.

He has shown me how filthy I made myself, and how much opportunity there is for healing and restoration. He is using me to guide others to these things. That beats getting fat checks for writing humor which is largely based on pain, cruelty, and revenge. It’s a good thing I didn’t manage to turn my problems into cash cows. If I had, I would have no incentive to reject and overcome them.

I know a great deal about God and Christianity now. I know that this planet is God’s womb. He created us in order to reproduce, and in this world, we become his children or the children of Satan. I know where demons came from and what they do. I know how they influence the world. I know how to get authority and freedom. People won’t listen unless the Holy Spirit gives them ears, but from time to time, he does that, so while most people will continue going to hell, and most Christians will continue to serve Satan, many are going to be freed. That’s wonderful. What better purpose could I have?

I’m not concerned about the future. God has it covered. The things he told me are in my list of promises, and they will come to pass. I feel a little irresponsible, not running on the world’s hamster wheel, but then I am not part of this world. It may seem that I lack direction, but in reality, I’m on track, and most people are lost. They seem to be doing the smart thing; they are playing the game by the rules. But they’re playing the wrong game, and I’m playing the right one.

I thought God would have a purpose in this blog, and that he might bring people here. That hasn’t happened, to any substantial degree. Maybe that will change, or maybe this chapter of my life is over.

Anyway, life is good. I am healthy. The recession never touched me. I am succeeding at things at which I used to fail. If anyone is worried about me, they need to quit. Maybe I’ll come back and write more, or maybe I’ll take the site down. I can’t promise anything, because I don’t know the plan. But I am doing well.

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YOP!

December 19th, 2013

I am Here

A couple of people have emailed me wondering if I’m dead or what. Thought I’d put up a brief post to put people’s fears to rest. Things are going very, very well. The problem is that I tend to use social media these days instead of blogging. I guess that’s a mistake. It’s like giving the NSA the keys to your house, and you lose control of everything you write, but there it is. I have so many great friends, and they’re all on the social sites, so I’ve ended up spending way too much time there.

Maybe I’ll try to do something about it.

Anyway, I hope all my readers have a great Christmas!

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The New “Tithing”: Docking Worker’s Pay for God?

September 27th, 2013

I Thought Only Criminals Took Kickbacks

My church keeps taking in refugees from my old church, Trinity in Miami Gardens. I keep learning new things about Trinity’s leadership, and I am more disgusted than ever.

A week or so back, I heard that someone I knew from Trinity might be visiting New Dawn. I was so glad to hear it; this was a person who worked hard at Trinity, and he was one of the unglamorous, forgotten people the leaders took for granted and ignored.

On Sunday, I was standing at my seat, and I saw a familiar face. There he was. I had expected him to take longer to decide to come. I went over to say how glad I was to see him.

During the service, our pastor called him up for prayer and a word from God. He had tears in his eyes, which was very much unlike him.

We had a powerful, Holy-Spirit-driven service. And when it was over, I saw my friend at the back, and I went over to talk to him. He was waiting for the media people to record a CD of the service for him.

He told me terrible things. He had been a Trinity employee. He said they had forced him to work extra hours without pay, as a “volunteer.” I knew all about that. Other people have told me the same thing. But he said something even more shocking. Trinity deducted ten percent from his paychecks and called it a tithe. And it was not his idea. He resented it.

I was dumbfounded. Every time I think I’ve been too hard on these…I am tempted to call them pigs…people, I find out I haven’t been harsh enough.

They have no anointing. By that I mean they do not have the authority of God. They are off on their own, trying to get rich and famous, doing whatever seems right to them. They don’t have much talent. They’re not very intelligent. They have extremely poor judgment. They are not street smart. But they don’t mind stooping to gutter tricks in order to make themselves seem successful. They’re clever enough to do that. They hire relatively desperate people, they don’t pay their unemployment insurance (so they’re afraid to quit), I am told they require them to work extra hours for nothing, and if what I’ve heard is correct, they take ten percent of their meager pay back as a kickback.

Stealing ten percent from an employee is not tithing. A tithe is voluntary, and it has to be money you give back. It can’t be money which is withheld. God wants you to have the money in your hand and decide to release it. He doesn’t want a creepy preacher with hair implants refusing to pay it to you when he owes you.

For years I’ve been saying that Trinity Church and the other prosperity whores do great damage, not just because they fail to introduce people to the Holy Spirit, but because they turn people against God. I’ve said they hurt people so badly, they turn them away from church. Well now I’ve seen it. New Dawn scoops up former Trinity members who have quit going to church! They don’t always leave Trinity for other churches. They just leave! The cruelty they experience at Trinity causes them to lose faith.

That is astounding. The Trinity people are doing the opposite of what God wants. They are anti-evangelists.

Poor sincere people want to please God. They want to know the truth. And the carnival barkers who run Trinity keep it from happening. They keep God at a distance, and they leave people so hurt they don’t want to try any more!

I have a friend who says the pastor’s son is anointed. That’s not correct. People can have gifts, and they can have anointings. As Perry Stone says, they’re not the same thing. Rich Wilkerson Jr. can preach well. On the talent scale, I would give him a B. But it’s all empty, because God is not behind it. The gift has not been taken away, but there is no anointing. These people do evil in God’s name, so there is no possibility that they have God’s authority.

By their fruit, we know them. Their fruit–hurt, discouraged people–show up at our door like stray dogs. And in our church, God rebuilds them and shows them the love they were denied at Trinity.

Today our pastors are looking at a new building. We have started churches in Honduras, Georgia, and Central Florida. We will probably have one in the Pensacola area. Our services are full of babies. We are growing. We have peace, love, and unity. That stuff doesn’t happen at Trinity. They couldn’t start a lemonade stand. God keeps snuffing out their projects. So they run to the government for grant money. They can’t get God’s blessing, so they have to go to Barack Obama. The godfather of the abortion movement.

I have restrained myself too much. God keeps telling me to be open and honest about the filth, and I don’t always listen. There are probably people who would have been free by now had I been more obedient.

I keep praying for God to depress the handle and flush the people who run Trinity. They need to go. They do so much harm. Let them try their huckster skills at car lots and appliance stores, where their kind usually works. They are not needed in the church. They are ruining people’s lives. Their undeserved jobs are not worth it.

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“I Could Swear we Forgot Something…”

September 12th, 2013

Let’s Talk About What’s Really Importantt

This is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. A friend of mine just sent it to me.

Those are my old pastors.

That video is so strange. They don’t even mention God, except in the pronoun “your.”

Am I the crazy one here? Is this not disturbing?

“Just bring us a big bunch of money. Thank you for listening.”

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What a Boring Week

September 1st, 2013

Only One News Item

Not much is going on here. I am still working on my stainless steel garlic press. I got a new adapter plate for my 8″ rotary table. Oh, and MY DAD WANTS TO VISIT MY CHURCH.

That won’t mean anything to people who don’t know the story.

My grandfather was a sheriff in Eastern Kentucky. He died in 1943, from uremia. My second cousin thinks it was caused by food poisoning. My dad was eleven years old.

Drunkenness has always been a big problem in Appalachia. The churches have always fought with it. One day not long after my grandfather died, my dad and his mother and sisters were in church, and, as it was told to me, the pastor told my dad’s oldest sister to get up and say whiskey had killed her father.

Since then, my dad has not been very fond of church.

For as long as I can remember, my dad has ridiculed Christians. He has been very hostile to churches. He has insisted that he has a more sophisticated view of spiritual things. His unwillingness to listen has gone beyond normal skepticism. There is no way to get past it with reason. My guess is that spirits have been assigned to perpetuate it, because it is not natural.

I don’t pressure him, although I do answer any questions he has, and I ask people to pray for him. I pray for my father and my sister every day, very sincerely, and I ask God to send other people, as well as spirits, to move them in the right direction. I ask God to soften their hearts and give them revelation, because it is only by revelation that anyone believes in Jesus.

God has give him all sorts of signs. I’ve written about them here. Recently, he sent him a feisty Colombian CNA to sit by his bed for five hours a day while he recovered from a back injury. She hammered him incessantly, trying to get him to give in and listen to the message of salvation.

On the day he asked about church, nothing unusual was happening. Benny Hinn hadn’t driven by and sprinkled the house with Holy Anointing Glitter. No one had talked to my dad about God. I wasn’t expecting anything. But he came to my office door and asked if I was going to church that day, and when I said it wasn’t until Sunday, he said that the next time I went, he wanted to visit.

I was so unnerved I was afraid to drive.

I am hoping his back will be well enough so he can attend on Tuesday. I am aware that the enemy is going to bust his butt trying to kill this revelation, but I am praying and working against that, and so are my friends, so the enemy is not going to get his way. God is for this, so it’s going to happen.

Keep praying in tongues every day for long periods. It will change things. It will even change the people around you. And try some soaking music. Play it in your house, especially when you pray. These things matter. Satan didn’t create rock and roll and shove it into every house in the world because it was powerless.

Learn to rest in God, and you will see things happen.

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Black Socks, Bermuda Shorts, and a Warm Ma Deuce

August 29th, 2013

The Dream is Within Reach

I had the funniest experience yesterday.

I was watching American Pickers, the show about the guys who drive around buying old stuff other people have hoarded. They resell it, usually at about a 100% markup. They burrow through barns and attics, and they meet all sorts of interesting people. Very often, they end up on big properties with one or more outbuildings, and the buildings are full of junk.

Yesterday, they took a random right turn and ended up on a dirt road which had not been selected in advance (supposedly). They went past a “KEEP OUT” sign and stopped at a building resembling a garage. They hollered and went in, and they found two weird old guys playing homemade musical instruments. They were surrounded by tools and knickknacks.

I heard myself think, “THIS IS HOW I WANT TO LIVE.”

Not so much the sitting around with another old guy, playing music on an instrument made from a plunger handle and a Chock Full of Nuts can. Not that part. The part I liked was being a good distance off the road, on a big property, with no one aggravating me. In a building with concrete walls. Surrounded by cool stuff.

They visited another guy later. He was some sort of engineer, I think. I don’t remember. Naval something or other. He had a lathe, a huge bending brake, lots of grinders, a giant vault, and God knows what else. There were old tin toys there. He had a wooden wind-tunnel model of a plane; his uncle had built it for some outfit that was trying to make supersonic aircraft.

I realized one of the major differences between my garage and his shop was character. He was doing more to keep his junk ordered. I tend to avoid the garage in the summer, because the heat is bad, and a couple of pieces of garage door insulation fell off a while back, which made things worse. The garage was a big mess.

Day before yesterday I went out and fixed the insulation and straightened up a little. After I watched the pickers show, I continued. I went back to work on my garlic press project. You can’t really clean up a shop if there are old projects lying around.

In cross-section, from the side, the press is an H. It’s a stainless tube blocked by a plate about halfway down. The plate will have holes in it, and there will be a plunger which mashes garlic through the holes. Think of a hypodermic syringe with a sieve instead of a needle at the end. Sort of like that.

I had a cylinder made, and I had bored out one end of it. I needed to bore the other end, leaving a 0.10″-thick plate in the tube, for the holes to go through. I considered doing this on the lathe, but the steel I’m using throws ungodly long chips, so I stuck it on the mill and used a 1/2″ end mill.

08 28 13 garlic press body on rotary table

It took forever, dropping down 0.025″ at a time and going through 360° of rotation, but I got it done. Now I have to radius the sharp edges and drill the holes. The plunger is already done. It fits so well, when you drop it in the press, it sinks in very slowly, because it’s hard for the air under it to escape.

That’s cool. I like to drop the plunger over and over and watch it sink.

It’s looking more and more like I’m getting out of here. God be praised. I would say that even if I were an atheist. I do NOT NOT NOT like Miami. I want to be able to go outside and walk a hundred yards before hitting a property line. I want to hear English once in a while. I want to be able to wear long pants occasionally. I want to be able to drive ten miles in less than twenty minutes.

My dad has a 46-foot boat which has been a problem. He uses it as a place to hide out, which is fine, but it’s his main motivation for staying in Miami. I can’t let his hobby ruin my life. I want him to enjoy himself, but this is too much to ask. He doesn’t want me to move 700 miles away, and I understand that, because of his age. I’m against it, too. But if I have to leave without him, I will do it, because this place is not right for me.

Today he started talking about selling the boat. Thank you, Lord. He could keep it in Pensacola (currently my preferred destination), and maybe that’s the better option, but I’m glad to see him consider unloading it. It shows God is breaking things loose.

I am not excited about practicing law, but it’s a pleasant way to earn money, and if I can do it up there and generate income without becoming a cubicle slave, you better believe I’ll do it and be grateful.

Some people need room. I guess I’m one of them. I have several worthwhile hobbies you can’t indulge in a small suburban house. I want to be able to shoot on my own land. I need a shop with an area of at least 800 square feet. I need a normal-sized kitchen. Until I get these things, I’m going to feel like I’m wearing a burlap straitjacket.

I feel bad for my dad. Rejecting God preserves your pride, but it costs you peace and satisfaction. God is ordering my path, and he would gladly order my dad’s path, too, if he would give in.

I’ve located some tempting properties in the 20-acre range. That will suffice. I’d rather have a hundred, but from this chair, I can see three houses without standing up, so 20 will seem like heaven itself.

Prayer in tongues lines things up. It makes things happen. People reject this advice. I can’t help that. I put it out there. Benefit from it or don’t. At least I can say I told you.

Hopefully by this time next year, I’ll have a shop and some tomato plants. That would sure be nice.

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Free Money

August 20th, 2013

Send me a Big Donation so I Can Buy me a Airplane

I keep learning new things about God. Actually, I guess they’re old things. But the human race threw away a lot of knowledge before I came along, so they’re new to me.

The Old Testament is loaded with symbolism. Earthly things in the Torah symbolize spiritual things in the lives of Spirit-filled Christians. One thing I’ve noticed: when the Old Testament talks about wealth, it symbolizes things like wisdom and faith.

Greedy, confused charismatic preachers go on TV and quote Malachi 3 to us, thinking it’s all about money. If you give money to ministries, God will make you rich. That’s not true. I know someone who gave until she was poor. She gave instead of paying her debts. She spent wildly, in addition to giving. The TBN preachers endorse that way of life. They’re fools. It doesn’t work. I believe we have to be generous with earthly wealth, but it’s very clear that giving to ministries, alone, will not bring you financial security.

People buy into this stuff, and they give (or their elderly, confused parents give), and fortunes are ruined. It’s a bad thing.

I do believe God blesses us for giving, but mainly, he wants us to give real wealth. Giving people money and objects is helpful, sometimes, but it’s better to give them things that transform them permanently.

The story of Samson symbolizes the history of the Spirit-filled church. God’s power rested on Samson, and while it did, he performed acts no unaided human could perform. That power was only on him while he kept his hair, which is a thing that grows with time. When the hair was taken, only the man remained, and he lost his vision and his power.

Christians who pray in the Spirit copiously grow in strength and knowledge. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven (which is inside us) was like a tree. The first Psalm confirms this. It develops over time and becomes great. It grows. Like hair. Like any tree, it has to be watered consistently. Jesus and Paul told us that the “living water” was the language the Holy Spirit put inside us. Use it to water the tree daily, and you will grow in wealth. Whether or not you accumulate money in this world, you will have supernatural, lasting wealth in the spirit realm. And a person who fails to do this will be poor and naked.

I have a close friend who accepted the message of tongues a few years back, and he made great strides, but he backslides sometimes. He has an unfortunate problem. When things go badly, he doesn’t feel like praying, so he cuts off the power he needs to recover. He knows it’s not right, but you know how life is. It’s hard to control your own behavior.

When he called me in the past, I gave him good advice which helped him. I always asked him whether he was praying in tongues daily, and he always said the same thing: he was neglecting it. And when he started up again, things started going well for him and his family.

That was good advice, but I have come to realize that there is more I can do. It’s good to correct people and tell them what to do in order to get back on track. But in view of my beliefs about tongues and power, is that really all I should do? No.

A person who is rebellious and useless is a waste of time, and you shouldn’t get caught up in their troubles, because they’ll take you away from people you can help, and you may interfere with suffering that will turn them to God. But a person who is willing to listen is another story. A certain amount of patience and help is justified, even for people whose main problem is their own character.

I have wealth. I have faith and knowledge. I am not having problems (not serious ones, anyway) forcing myself to pray. I’ve been praying in tongues consistently for years, so I’ve built up a lot of revelation and faith. These are things my friend and his family need. So while I still tell him to sit his butt down and pray, I should also make a serious daily effort to intercede for him and his family until he gets on his spiritual feet. I can’t do this for everyone I know, but the Spirit will tell me who to work on.

I have the same problems he has. I’m just handling them better at the moment. Because I’m prevailing against similar problems, I know the tools he needs. I share them with him.

The body of Christ is like an animal with many feet. When one foot is sore, the others take the weight off of it until it heals.

The Bible tells us a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. I don’t have kids. My friend does. Ordinarily, I would be praying for my own children, but since I don’t have them, I can allot that prayer to my friend’s family.

God is like a river. The Bible tells us water pours from his presence. He expects us to be like him. We are supposed to flow as he does. It’s great when God gives me something helpful, but it’s not right for it to be dammed up in me so it doesn’t help anyone else. If I can’t pass anything on to others, I might as well die right now, because I serve no purpose.

Prayer is the most important thing we do. When your prayer life is strong, everything else works. If you’re praying a lot and getting no results, you are doing something wrong. It may mean you’re doing your own thing instead of serving God, in which case he may not listen. But praying properly will create success.

I told my friend about a few things that have helped me.

1. I try to keep peaceful Christian music going wherever I go. It seems to work like supernatural insect repellant. It’s very helpful for changing the atmosphere of a place. Satan bombards me constantly with his garbage. Half-naked women on billboards. Raucous music. Ignorant people who run their mouths and try to upset me. It troubles my spirit. I believe the music I play troubles the evil things that want to stay around me. I hope they suffer constantly, much more than I ever have.

2. I pray in tongues at least twice a day, for at least half an hour at a shot. And I pray in tongues here and there when I get the chance. This is more important than prayer in English. If I have to choose, I neglect praying in English and make sure I pray in tongues. If you only do it once a day, you’ll grow weak before the next session, and you will start to lose.

3. I repent of my iniquities out loud, so any spirits that are involved can hear it. Let’s say the iniquity is anxiety (which opposes faith, which is considered righteousness). I’ll say I reject it and repent of it, in the name of Jesus. I’ll say I send it back where it came from. I’ll say iniquity has no authority over me; by the blood of Jesus, I have authority over it. If you do this, the results will amaze you. The little stupid voices in your mind that trouble you will go quiet. You may have six or eight things to repent of. When you get done, you’ll have peace. This is extremely helpful if you can’t sleep. You will probably have to do this every day. Don’t expect one shot to last a lifetime.

4. Sometimes God gives me phrases that have surprising power. The latest one is “It’s not important.” I’ll have a thought or a feeling or compulsion I don’t want, and I’ll feel that it’s interfering with my relationship with God. Then I’ll say or think, “It’s not important.” And it goes away. I can’t explain it. I don’t know if this particular phrase will help you, but I know God will reveal similar tools to you if you pray in tongues daily. Satan counterfeits God’s tools. These phrases remind me of the Satanic mantras heathens use in meditation. Those words are said to open the mind to demons. The words God gives me shuts the door.

Don’t worry about giving large, unaffordable amounts of money to preachers. Give what the Spirit tells you to give, and let it go. If you need money, pick an amount and ask God for it until you get it. This isn’t what you should be concerned about. Be concerned about prayer and transformation. Spend your faith. Send it back to God. You’ll get the manyfold return the Bible promises, and it will be in the form of children of the spirit. It will be other people who have been changed by what you do. They will go on and do what you do, and more, whether you continue or not.

This is the best stuff I can give you. Run with it.

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Shall we Gather at the River?

August 7th, 2013

Beats Bobbing for Apples in the Sewer

I keep praying for God to cause the Holy Spirit to take over my church’s services, and he keeps doing it. I feel like I owe an apology to the minister who has been trying to speak for the last two weeks.

Last night we got into praise and worship, and the first thing you know, a new lady who moved to New Dawn from El Rey Jesus started prophesying and praying for healing. After a while, a whole bunch of people went up to the front, and we had a prolonged outpouring of prayer, and a whole bunch of people got baptized with the Holy Spirit.

This has been happening a lot lately. It happened on Sunday, and while adults and teenagers were up at the front crying and praying, I noticed the eight-year-old daughter of my friend Alonzo, all by herself. Her name is Ayanna. I prayed for her, and then I noticed that my friend Brenda was available, so I pointed her in Ayanna’s direction, and I took this picture.

08 04 13 Ayanna receiving Holy Spirit at New Dawn with Brenda

I put it on Facebook, and Brenda left this comment:

Steve – you don’t know how this pic has impacted me – as I prayed for her I felt The Lord lead me back to my callin of workin with children which I haven’t done in almost 5 years … Breathtaking …

Of course, I didn’t know what I was doing.

Ayanna is a wonderful kid, like all of Alonzo’s children. This one–Gabriella–is my goddaughter:

07 21 13 gabriella at new dawn sitting up

I thought it was great that Ayanna went up without being pushed. We have kids do that all the time.

Alonzo and Brenda are like me. They are refugees from Trinity Church. Brenda was not accepted by the Inner Circle, even though her husband Tracey was in charge of the armorbearers. At New Dawn, Tracey and Brenda play huge roles, and they are blossoming.

Last night another refugee family blessed us. I have a friend named Eric, and he’s a former Trinity armorbearer. We got him to visit New Dawn a few times, but he was loyal to Trinity, so it took him a long time to do what he needed to do. Eventually, the starvation at Trinity got to him and his wife, and they made the move.

He has a stepdaughter named Danielle. While they were attending Trinity, she was miserable. She did not like church. She didn’t attend much. She suffered from depression and anxiety. People didn’t know it, but her life was hell. Even after they moved to New Dawn, she was not happy.

Recently, she went to the front, and our pastor prophesied over her, and one day she went up to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. These things are not unusual at our church, so we didn’t get all that excited.

Last night our pastor asked her to come up and talk about her experiences. I figured she would go up and say, “I love Jesus. Things are getting a lot better. Thank you.” Was I wrong! She started telling us what had happened to her, and she practically tore the roof off the place!

She must have preached for half an hour. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen at church. She told about the problems she had had. Suicide attempts. Insomnia. Prolonged crying sessions at home, while her family was in church. Then she told us how God had changed all that. Suddenly she understood what God could do, and how much he loved us.

08 06 13 danielle speaking at new dawn

She called us out for being lukewarm. She said there were people who raised their hands in church and then went home to porn and drugs. She said God couldn’t work in our lives if we didn’t give ourselves to him. She called up the lady who prayed for healing and started prophesying over her, telling her that her husband was going to grow and change. Her boldness was shocking. She kept saying, “This isn’t me!”

We were all completely freaked out. Everything she said was right and true. Three months ago, she wouldn’t have known what to say, but last night, she did a better job than anyone you’ve seen on TBN or Daystar. I asked her mother what she had been feeding her.

We didn’t get out until after 11:00.

Another young girl had an encounter with the Holy Spirit, but she was too overcome to speak. Even after the service, she was in a back room groaning while one of the women looked after her. This young lady comes from a very messed up family, and God has done wonderful things for them. She’s only 18, but she has been in college for quite some time, and she competes in pageants in order to support herself. Her sister raised her. Now her sister is receiving the harvest.

What’s going to happen next? God has infinite depth. He always has something better in store. How much better can it get?

I lit into Trinity last night. I wrote this:

People get mad at me when I criticize Trinity Church. They say I’m bitter or unforgiving. That’s what they WANT to think.

I’m not a totally pure soul; I can’t say I never felt any bitterness or unforgiveness over the bad treatment I received. But that’s insignificant, and it would not drive me to comment. THIS PHOTO shows why I speak up. I have friends who are still being harmed.

This young lady’s family went to Trinity. She was miserable. She did not know God. She did not like going to church. A while back, she got baptized with the Holy Spirit at New Dawn Ministries, and tonight they called her up to testify.

It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen at church. Nobody saw it coming. She tore the place up. She operated in the spiritual gifts of faith, prophecy, and the word of knowledge. She preached perfect doctrine. She called people up and spoke God’s words over them. She corrected our lukewarmness and hypocrisy. I have never seen anything like it. It changed lives.

How many of my friends at Trinity would be doing this, if someone had told them about the Holy Spirit instead of filling them with motivational garbage or Steve Munsey’s laughable lies about money? How many kids there have committed suicide, gone to prison, or sold themselves into prostitution because no one felt they were worth introducing to the Holy Spirit?

This young woman is like a bomb that went off when the Holy Spirit lit the fuse. We have no idea what a person’s potential is, until that person receives the baptism with the Holy Spirit and becomes transformed. How many bombs has Trinity Church disarmed?

NEVER tell me not to open my mouth. Never again. If there is one child over there whose spiritual life has been aborted, then I am obligated to speak up, and nobody but God himself has the right to say one word to me.

Anyone who wants to be baptized with the Spirit is welcome at our services. I will personally pray for you, and we don’t care if you give us money or not.

What if this girl’s parents had stayed at Trinity? That church has a big homosexuality problem among the youth. There are kids using drugs and getting in trouble with the law. Where is their hope? Trinity gives nothing and takes as much as it can. They pour people full of lies about God the ATM Machine, and they teach useless motivational techniques which only work as long as Satan permits. They underpay people. They brainwash them into thinking God will be angry if they disagree with anything the leaders do. That place is full of death, because they sacrifice new generations in order to feed the pastor’s family.

And they’re never going to get what they’re trying to buy. They will never have a big TV ministry. They don’t have the talent or even a good gimmick. They will always be stuck in the local church, feeding off the flock. People like Joel Osteen and Steve Munsey will remain at the top of the Ponzi pyramid, and the folks from Trinity will stay on a lower level. They keep their congregants on the bottom, and the Osteens and Munseys and Crafts do the same thing to them.

Satan never gives you what he promises.

Before I left, I told them they needed to put the Holy Spirit first, instead of whoring out to fill seats. I said it would draw people to the church. They wouldn’t listen, so I left without hesitation. I told my new pastor the same thing, and he listened. Now we’re full on Tuesday nights, and we had to rearrange the seats in order to accommodate bigger crowds. God is in the process of providing a bigger building, which, unlike the one at Trinity, will not have a mortgage.

Am I saying we’re going to be a megachurch? God forbid. I’ve had enough of that idiocy. I’m just saying we’ll be able to sit down in comfort and peace.

I can’t even guess what I’ll be telling you a month from now, but I know it will be good.

Keep praying in the Spirit. Play soaking music in your home and workplace. Get away from the greedy and the stupid. God will bring you a harvest of peace and rest.

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How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

July 18th, 2013

On Second Thought, You Can Keep It

Something I wrote this morning:

Last night I dreamed of some very strange events, and this morning, I asked God if it meant anything. I think he has given me the answer, and I will try to present it here in a brief form that doesn’t take up a lot of room.

I was in the home of my late aunt, who died from lung cancer. She used to smoke unfiltered Pall Malls, and she refused to quit. She told my father it was the only thing in life that gave her pleasure.

For some reason, I went to her house to do laundry. I approached the machine with my clothes in a bag, thinking I was ready to go, but there was a mixed-race lady by the machine, and she took the bag and started sorting. I wasn’t ready at all. I had a wool jacket in the bag, and the whites and colors were mixed. She set the jacket aside, saving me the huge expense of replacing it after ruining it in a washing machine, and she put the other stuff in separate piles.

I looked in the washer, and I saw a puppy inside it. At least, I thought it was a puppy. It had black skin. It wasn’t like the brown skin of people we call “black.” It had no color at all. It was like a piece of seasoned cast iron. It was dusted with ash. It had holes where its eyes should have been, and it had a crooked, gaping mouth. Blue-white light came out of its mouth and eyes. I don’t know where it got that light. Maybe it had been stolen from God.

I thought it was cute, which is bizarre. There was nothing cute about it. While the woman was helping me with my laundry, I tried to take a photo of it and post it to Facebook, but the photos didn’t come out well, and it didn’t look cute at all.

After I woke up, I asked God if the dream meant anything, and here is what I came up with.

I believe the washing machine symbolizes my efforts to get clean; to get free of iniquities, which are the inclinations which cause me to sin. The “puppy” is a demon which is behind one of my iniquities. I thought it was cute, so it has to be an iniquity I hold onto deliberately, thinking it’s harmless or even beneficial. This iniquity doesn’t cause me a great deal of suffering, so I don’t think it matters, and I don’t fight it. As a result, this creature stays with me, and it can hold the door open for other demons, which are worse.

Jesus told us we have demons. He said that when a demon leaves a man, it walks in dry places and then returns, and when it returns, it brings seven demons worse than itself. On the other hand, if we receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, then God himself inhabits us. And the Bible says the Holy Spirit has seven parts.

I think the thing I saw may represent gluttony. I have a very negative attitude toward gluttony, but it may be that the jokes I make concerning it have made it feel welcome. Gluttony, by itself, is not going to ruin my life. But what if it holds the door open so I can’t get rid of bigger problems? What if I am inadvertently giving these things power?

There are many inquities Christians think are cute or harmless. Gluttony, gossip, laziness, denying our spouses sex, bearing false witness, verbal cruelty, and so on. Maybe they’re not so cute after all. Maybe we need to voice our opposition to them openly, because the spirits that drive these things can’t hear us when we say things in our minds.

A nail enters a board in a very small way. The tip of the nail is sharp, and it doesn’t do much damage at all. But it enables the rest of the nail to enter easily.

If we want to hear the voice of God, we have to quiet the other voices.

Gluttony killed my aunt. She was a glutton for tobacco smoke.

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The Zimmerman Crucifixion Ends

July 15th, 2013

Now the Bottom-Feeders Can File a Civil Suit

The Zimmerman mess really got to me.

Back when I heard about it, all I knew was that some guy had shot an unarmed black teenager. I had no reason to form an opinion, but it didn’t sound good.

Later on, I heard more facts. Zimmerman followed Martin (notice I don’t say “George” and “Trayvon,” the way the attorneys did). Martin was in his own father’s neighborhood. He was just walking around.

Then, after a disgracefully long time, the injuries were revealed. The press sat on them for a long time, and eventually, some outfit released a grainy video suggesting Zimmerman MIGHT have had injuries. Hmm…maybe there was more to this case than I knew.

Then the photos came out. Zimmerman was bloody. His head had lacerations on the back. His nose appeared to be broken. This was starting to look like self-defense. But by then, people had made up and closed their minds. That’s true on both sides of the issue, but it is much, much more true of the anti-Zimmerman crowd.

Zimmerman was arrested. Surely the police had found new evidence. They implied that they had. I waited for the probable cause hearing, thinking there would be some blockbuster revelation. I looked at the affidavit Angela Corey’s boys put together. It was false! It contained lies, omissions, and baseless conclusions carefully crafted to create an excuse to arrest Zimmerman. I was amazed. How could they put a slimy, scandalous document like that before the press and the court? And I’m not alone. Alan Dershowitz says Corey should be disbarred for this and other unethical actions.

I watched the hearing, and there was absolutely nothing new. Zimmerman said he was attacked and beaten. There was no evidence to the contrary. That’s self-defense. “Stand Your Ground” doesn’t even come into play. This was classic self-defense, under the common law we inherited from England in the 1500s. No ambiguity. No gray areas. Cut and dried. The case should have been dismissed right there, and the prosecutors should have been disciplined.

As time passed, I kept waiting for the state to mention new evidence that suggested Zimmerman was guilty. It never came. The man’s clothes were wet on the back, so clearly, he was on the bottom in a physical scuffle. He only shot once, although his gun held 8 rounds. There was no evidence that he did anything illegal prior to the scuffle. He was out walking around, which the 911 dispatcher didn’t like, but there was no police order requiring him to stay put, and if there had been, ignoring it would not affect his ability to claim self-defense. It was irrelevant.

Not one witness saw Zimmerman do anything illegal. They never claimed to. Yet here he was, in hiding, under an illegal bounty which the authorities chose not to investigate or punish. Spike Lee and Roseanne Barr published his parents’ address, inviting violence. They had to move. No one seemed to care.

Cell phone evidence came out (although the State’s Attorney illegally withheld much of it, and the judge kept much of it from the jury). It showed that Martin was a mean, rebellious kid. He fought. He bragged about how good he was. He was exactly the kind of kid who would attack someone for following him, and that means there was reasonable doubt (to put it mildly) that Zimmerman provoked the scuffle. And somehow, Zimmerman’s charges remained in place.

At some point during the last year, I realized this was a crucifixion, not a trial. The state didn’t bother trying to meet its obligation to protect the defendant from unfair treatment. On the contrary, they lied. They concealed. They helped the persecutors. They joined them.

I started speaking out. I’m not stupid. I’m a lawyer. I saw everything I needed to see to conclude, firmly, that the state could not prove this was not self-defense. I put stuff on Facebook. I probably wrote about it here.

I lost Facebook friends, which is amazing. They didn’t want to hear about the law. They were not interested in facts. They said silly things. They accused Zimmerman of “stalking” Martin, and they said Martin acted in self-defense. I’m sorry, but that’s idiotic. Stalking involves repeated acts that have no legal justification. Stalkers follow people over and over, AND they make credible threats. It’s impossible to stalk a person in ten minutes. Zimmerman was just walking behind this guy to keep him in sight so the cops could find him. If that’s stalking, then every cop and security guard in the US is a stalker. If you see someone in your yard, and you walk out and follow him, you’re a stalker, and if he beats you, you have to let him continue as long as he wants. If he puts an eye out or gives you brain damage, tough.

Everyone who has dropped me or said nasty things about me is black. On the other hand, I have black and Puerto Rican friends who agree with me, and they’re just as annoyed as I am. They don’t speak up much, but they realize Zimmerman was accused falsely.

I don’t know if people think I’m a racist. Maybe they just disagree and get tired of the things I say. But it’s disappointing. This case was not close. In two minutes, I can make anyone understand why the verdict was correct. But people I would like to respect can’t stand still that long. It’s easier to play the victim.

If Zimmerman had lost, it would be a big blow to potential crime victims all over Florida. We would know that every act of self-defense involving a black assailant would be suspect. As it is, there may be a chilling effect which will cause people to hesitate and lose their lives.

This case, after all, can be summarized quickly by looking at three dispositive facts.

1. There is no evidence that Zimmerman did anything to justify being beaten.

2. There is ample evidence that when he was shot, Martin was engaging in an illegal activity which put Zimmerman in reasonable fear of immediate serious bodily harm.

3. There is no evidence that Zimmerman’s use of force was excessive or unreasonable. When someone is on top of you giving you a beating, you have to shoot. You can’t take a gun out and wave it, because he may be able to take it from you, and then you’re finished.

That’s the whole case. The other stuff is utterly irrelevant.

I am not one bit ashamed of defending George Zimmerman. Someone has to speak out for the victims of the state. Someone has to contribute to their defense. Sometimes silence is aiding and abetting. I will never have to explain why I sat on my hands and bit my tongue while a man who appeared to be innocent went through years of public torment.

So that’s how I feel.

Incidentally, I learned something very useful from the trial. It’s a little sick, but it’s not my fault. It shows how laws have unintended consequences. In Florida, sentences are enhanced when crimes involve firearms. So if I’m ever attacked, instead of defending myself with a gun, I’ll have to pull out the razor-sharp knife I carry. As bad as guns are, they are extremely humane compared to knives. I’ll have to try to disembowel my attacker or sever his windpipe. That’s horrific. But if I rely on the gun as my weapon of choice, I’ll add a huge amount of time to the sentence I could potentially face. A woman in Florida got 20 years for shooting a hole in her own wall. Zimmerman would have gotten a minimum of 9 1/4 years if he had been convicted of manslaughter.

So if you live in Florida, carry a knife or a sword cane (which is legal). It’s a bad situation, and I would much rather scare someone off with a gun, but there it is.

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How Does it Feel?

June 30th, 2013

To be On Your Own

Well, my latest kidney stone just BLEW OUT. WHOO HOOOOOOO.

I’m so happy, I can’t stand it. I was thinking about things like lithotripsy and claw machines that go up the you-know-what, and now I can forget about all that crap.

I was reading about the lemon-juice-and-olive-oil cure, and I saw something interesting. Some guy said he peed REALLY HARD, and his stone popped out. That got me thinking.

Also, a Facebook friend told me his doctor prescribed beer for kidney stones, and I looked it up, and it turned out he was right. Not only does beer make you pee; it opens up the tubes so the stone has more room to move.

I put these bits of info together, and today I hogged down a couple of Sierra Nevada Pale Ales plus a sizeable quantity of weak limeade, and I went into the can and, well, let’s just say I EXERTED MYSELF. Think industrial waterjet.

I don’t want to go into more disgusting detail than I already have, but I will say that I actually heard a “clank” when it landed in the bottom of the ridiculous cup I have to pee in.

Had to. Pee in.

What a relief. I’m not going to have to pay some quack to shove earth-moving equipment up my urinary tract.

I learned a few things, which I’ll “pass” on. For other people who have calcium stones.

1. You should take potassium citrate every day, regardless of whether you currently have a stone. I ran out, and like three weeks later, I was making masonry in my ureters. This is what I get for being too lazy to buy more.

2. You should drink a glass of lemonade or some lemon juice every day. Citrate.

3. If you get a stone, make your doctor give you a prescription for Flomax. Like beer, it opens up the tubes and makes the stones move.

4. Try chanca piedra. It’s an herb that supposedly prevents stones from forming and helps new ones break up and pass. It has no side effects, so what the hell. Try it.

5. Drink a lot of water. Not Coral Gables water, which is packed with limestone dust (calcium). Normal water.

6. Do NOT drink green tea. I can’t believe I fell for those articles saying green tea prevents stones. I read one more closely, and it doesn’t really say the tea prevents stones. It says the type of oxalate found in green tea makes WEAKER stones. COME ON. How is “weaker” better than “none”? Doctors are so stupid. I’m sorry. They really are.

Man, I have to pee. Be right back.

Whew.

7. There are a lot of people out there who swear by the “cure.” Mix one ounce of lemon juice and one ounce of olive oil, and drink it. Twice a day. I doubt the olive oil does anything, but again, what the hell.

8. Some guy on the web claims antibiotics help him pass stones in a hurry. He thinks they reduce inflammation, which makes the tubes open up. He has had lots of stones, so he may be right.

I’m going back on the potassium citrate, and I’m giving up green tea. This is just too much aggravation. I don’t care if it cures cancer. It’s not worth it.

Before I got all religioius, I had the alcohol tolerance of a brontosaurus. Those days are gone. I’ve had two beers, and I’m practically hallucinating. Hey. I’ll deal with it. The stone is gone, so I can live with the trivial sacrifices I’ve been required to make.

At church today, at the leaders’ prayer, my friends hit this thing pretty hard, and God clearly listened. The glory is his.

Hope this info is helpful to other people whose bodies insist on turning iced tea into cobblestones.

4 Comments »

Stoned

June 26th, 2013

Tea is Poison

I am writing because I’m bored.

I’m bored because I don’t feel like doing anything. I managed to give myself another kidney stone, and I’m waiting for the remnants of it to make a graceful exit.

I woke up Sunday night with what seemed like stomach cramps. I had eaten a dubious Granny Smith apple, and I figured I was in for a case of the trots. Would that it were so. Eventually the pain became recognizable for what it was.

Thank God I had some painkillers in the house. I don’t care if Homeland Security reads this and they use it to put me in a penitentiary. I scrounge painkillers and hoard them. Kidney stones ALWAYS strike on a weekend, when your regular doctor is busy playing golf, so it can be tough getting relief in a timely manner, and if you don’t have a Percocet or something similar on hand, you are in for a world of pain.

I have heard some people say kidney stone pain has hit them suddenly. That has never happened to me. It has always built gradually, giving me just about enough time to choke down a Vicodin and get some relief. But if I had to go to an emergency room, I’d be waiting for hours. And that would be bad.

Everyone should hoard painkillers. There are lots of things that can happen, which cause severe pain in a hurry. Doctors do not care about this, and even if they did, our restrictive drug laws make it hard for them to help quickly. No one is going to put you in jail if you bring your kid to the hospital with a broken arm and he has already had a Tylenol 3. So if you get a prescription which you don’t use up, stick the pills in the fridge. You never know.

My dentist says it’s hard for anyone to get painkillers now, because of our useless drug laws. There’s a shortage. I am conservative, anti-drug, and religious, but I think it’s time to quit regulating mind-altering drugs. I know exactly what addicts are like, and I can tell you, they do not do without drugs simply because they’re illegal. Every addict you know is getting drugs for fun, but people like me have a hard time finding them, because a) we are not criminals, and b) we have not spent our lives perfecting drug-acquisition strategies. It’s like gun control. The idiots will always have whatever they want, and the rest of us will suffer. There are plenty of countries where you can walk into a store and buy codeine, and somehow, they don’t plunge into anarchy.

Generally, I don’t go to the doctor for kidney stones. It costs a lot of money, and they don’t really do anything. If the stones are small, you pee them out without help. If not, you will figure it out, and then you can get professional treatment. This time, though, I was low on drugs, and for that reason, I tried to make an appointment. My urologist could not see me until Tuesday, so off I went to my “PCP.” I just learned that that means “Primary Care Physician.” I have a guy who will treat just about anything if you let him, and he accepts patients without appointments.

I got myself a few painkillers, plus a prescription for an antibiotic, and then I went home to pee as much as possible. Naturally, whatever pain I had experienced disappeared as soon as I got to the doctor’s office, and of course, when I gave them a sample, the only pieces of stone that came out missed the cup and went into the toilet.

Yesterday they did a sonogram, and I still have some masonry to expel. I’m drinking lots of lemonade and waiting around. Sometimes I get irritation from little bits of stone that break loose, but I’m not getting the renal colic which really sends people through the ceiling.

One annoying part of kidney stone attacks is that they affect your mood. If you’re about to have renal colic (at least if you’re me), you will feel agitated long before you feel pain. You may be very anxious. You may have trouble thinking. There is something about irritation in the urinary tract that screws up your brain.

I figured this out on my own, but today I found proof on a kidney website:

Occasionally, stones take days or weeks to pass. During this time, a patient may not be able to sleep and may suffer from mood swings, lack of concentration, difficulties learning, inability to make decisions and paranoia.

How about that? So basically, I have PMS.

This is very interesting to me. I know I caused the problem myself, by drinking green tea with breakfast. And I’m sure it didn’t happen overnight. There must have been a certain amount of irritation going on for months, without urinary symptoms. So I’m thinking I may have sabotaged my own sleep, memory, and concentration by drinking tea.

Every time I get a stone, it’s because I’ve been drinking tea. I used to drink it because I liked it. Lately I’ve been drinking green tea because I thought it was good for me. And I was taking potassium citrate, which supposedly prevents stones. I ran out of potassium citrate and put off buying more, and now here I am, peeing through a strainer.

I think I’m going to have to live by a solid rule: tea no more than once a week. And I’m wondering if my concentration will improve, once the pee stalactites have been expelled.

I hope they don’t have to use lithotripsy or any other unpleasant stone-smashing methods. I will be really good from now on, if I can get this thing out.

I will continue praying. My last two stones were healed by prayer, at my old church.

Things like this make me wonder how much of mental illness is caused by simple mechanical problems in the body. If subliminal irritation from a kidney stone can screw up your concentration and make you paranoid, what else is possible?

I am still bored. I should try to write some music.

10 Comments »

Achievements of Note

June 13th, 2013

Progress!

I’ve hit a new stage in my music studies.

For several months, I’ve used Musition software to improve my timing. It throws up rhythm patterns, and I have to tap them out on a keyboard. It’s fantastic. I got to the point where I did a good job of reading syncopated rhythms and everything from 3/4 to 12/8.

I used a a piece of Android software called Interval Recognition, to train my ear. It works very fast. I can now identify any interval between unison and an octave by ear. I do 60 intervals a day, and it’s very unusual for me to get one wrong, unless I’m distracted.

I also used an old program called Note Play to improve my ability to sight-read pitches. It puts up notes, and you play them within an allotted time. If you succeed, you move to the next level, and it gives you scores.

These things were great helps, but they had limitations.

Note Play has a big (huge) jump in difficulty between some of the levels. It gives you individual notes. Then you get one-hand intervals. Then you get a left-hand chord plus right-hand notes. Then it goes to counterpoint, which means individual notes for each hand. That’s a tough jump. And the time allowed is very short, so you end up failing over and over and having to restart the game, which is annoying.

I found a program called Alfred Interactive Musician. It has an activity similar to Note Play, but it doesn’t shut me down over and over, and the increases in difficulty are more gradual. That’s very helpful.

Interval Recognition was great for ascending and descending intervals, but it’s not so great for harmonic intervals, where you hear two notes played simultaneously. The poor sound quality of my phone and tablet, even with high-end earbuds, tends to make notes indistinct. It also seems to turn major sounds into minor sounds. Don’t ask me why, but cheap electronic tones always seem to have a little bit of a minor quality. If you go into a casino, you’ll hear rows of machines playing the notes E, G, and C in various combinations, because major chords are supposed to sound cheerful. You’ll also notice that there’s a funny edge to the sound which is not cheerful. I don’t know why this happens, but it seems to be a real phenomenon.

I’m still using Interval Recognition for ascending and descending intervals, but for the others, I’m using my digital piano. The sounds are better, and I believe I get better results.

Musition has several major limitations. It does not produce ties, and you can’t read rhythms unless you master ties. It also uses a metronome sound, which keeps you under pressure. Unfortunately, it also prevents you from keeping your own time, and it causes your ear to remember the metronome instead of the sounds you’re making. On top of that, it doesn’t produce extended tones. It’s just “tap, tap, tap,” so a whole note sounds like a 32nd note.

My answer to that is to print out JPGs of Musition exercises and read them without the PC. I can sound out the notes so they sound the way they should, and I have to keep my own time. This improves my ability to hear the rhythm patterns in my mind before I utter them. I don’t really need the perfection of metronome-driven timing. No real musician grades himself on how accurate he is. That’s stupid and counterproductive. I needed the metronome at first, to get me started, but now it’s a hindrance.

I am trying to get into sight-singing, but I’ve had some technical issues to overcome. I’ll figure it out eventually. I also found a program to teach me how various chords sound, but it’s an Android program, so the tones are not very realistic. I don’t really want to sing from a printed page. That’s not the point. The point is to get the printed music to make sounds in my head, and this is a way to do it. People who comment here have suggested it.

If you don’t understand music, and you’re too lazy to master an instrument, you can improve your musical comprehension by doing the things I’m doing. You don’t need an instrument at all. It may be that after you get this stuff into your head, an instrument won’t intimidate you any more. Every kid should learn this stuff. There is no excuse not to. It’s not a lifetime commitment. A one-hour course that lasts one school year would do it.

As I’ve written before, Arthur Rubinstein used to “practice” piano works by reading the scores away from the piano. You shouldn’t underestimate the power and importance of ear training and studying written music. This stuff is more useful than playing. A monkey can be trained to repeat the same movements over and over, but he won’t understand it. That’s what happens when you play without study. You can’t write music well. You can’t read it. You won’t understand it. That’s not where you want to be.

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Jesus is a Conservative

June 1st, 2013

Invest; Don’t Steal and Destroy

The ability to receive blessings is infinitely better than the blessings themselves.

If you receive something good, it helps you in the short term, but what you really need is a perpetual INCOME of blessings, and many people CANNOT BE BLESSED. Everything you give them will be turned into excrement and poison. Look at all the famous athletes and entertainers who make tens of millions of dollars and end up bankrupt. There are bums who take in enough money to live well, but year after year, they’re standing in front of stores in stinking rags, asking for more.

People can’t be blessed because they deny God, they lack faith, they refuse to forgive, they refuse to confess their sins and iniquities, or they are full of self-condemnation, which blocks the blessings God sends.

Jesus said the word of God would bring a thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or hundredfold return in people who held onto it and made use of it. I am seeing this happen in my life. I don’t have to worry about the future, because God has enabled me to receive blessings, so I know good things will keep coming. Pray in tongues daily and water the seed the sower gives you.

If all you care about is being blessed right now, you’re a destroyer and a vandal, like the Occupy Wall Street people and the socialists who back our carnal president. They make wealth disappear. They contribute nothing. If you work on developing the ability to receive blessings, you are an investor and a builder. You will leave an inheritance of wealth, knowledge, wisdom, and faith to your children’s children.

If you can receive blessings from God instead of stealing, hoarding, or usurping them, they will be Proverbs 10:22 blessings. They will not come with sorrow or regret attached.

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Responsible Gardening

May 29th, 2013

No Water, no Crop

My church has been going nuts on the message of grace. It freaks me out every time I go. The head pastor keeps preaching things which repeat thoughts I’ve had, or things I’ve said, in the preceding day or week. It’s as if he has been bugging my house.

I thought I had been writing a lot about the concept of grace here, but it looks like most of it went to Facebook, so I’ll try to capture some of it.

Every good thing comes by revelation.

That’s a good place to start.

I tend to think of revelation as facts and ideas that come to me from the Holy Spirit, but that’s not the whole picture. Faith itself is a revelation.

Jesus told us that if we believed, we would receive. He said we could command things to happen, and if we did not doubt, they would occur. We are not limited to prayer. You can point at a tree and tell it to wither, if God is with you, and it will happen. Similarly, we have the power to bless.

For millennia, we have been teaching that belief is an effort. It’s something you have to do, in your own strength, in order to please God and get him to answer your prayers.

That’s so wrong it’s insane.

If you’ve ever prayed for something and tried to believe, you know how hard it is. You can keep it up for a certain amount of time, but eventually, you’ll fail. And your faith won’t be that strong to begin with. The only way to have strong, enduring faith is to have the Holy Spirit inside you, believing through you. “Grace” means things God does for you, without requiring you to earn them. People think they need faith to receive grace, but in reality, faith comes by grace. It’s a gift. Check 1 Corinthians 12:4.

Jude told us the way to get faith was to pray in tongues. Look it up. It’s a short book. We were given the key, right there, yet historically, we have tried to believe with our own minds.

Here’s a problem: Satan has “grace,” too, and he provides “faith.” So do unbelievers and doubters.

You are constantly surrounded by beings that put faith in you. Jesus called them birds in the parable of the sower. Spirits will give you faith that God is not real. They will give you faith that God does not love you, and that your prayers will not be answered. They will give you depression, which is faith that your life is going to get worse and worse. They will give you anxiety, which is faith that bad things are going to happen to you. They will give you discouragement, which is faith that you will fail.

You will believe these things in spite of what you see and know. In other words, you will walk by faith, not by sight! Unfortunately, it’s the wrong faith.

When I was 25, Jesus visited me. I was in a car, driving home from a drunken weekend, and suddenly I knew I was going to die that day. It was not an opinion. I KNEW it. And I also knew I had no reason to believe it. I now know this is what people call an “anxiety attack.” It was completely irrational, and I knew it, but I couldn’t do anything about it.

I prayed, and Jesus got in the car. I did not see him, but he was in the middle of the front seat. Love, peace, and reassurance radiated from him. The faith that I was going to die was gone, just as darkness is gone when you turn a light on. I felt wonderful.

Today I understand what happened. Spirits gave me negative faith, and another spirit–Jesus–came and gave me positive faith, which destroyed its opposite.

This type of assault takes place in your life every day. If you’re depressed, you believe irrational garbage injected into your mind by other beings. Some may come from people, and some may come from spirits, and you will even do it to yourself, because you’ll develop the habit. That’s “iniquity.” In any case, you already have faith, but it may be the wrong faith, from the wrong source.

Satan gives you this “faith” by “grace.” In other words, he doesn’t ask you to earn it. He seeks you out, and he drops it on you, free of charge. That’s unquestionably true.

If that’s true, then why don’t we realize that God does the same thing, in reverse? God seeks us out, and he gives us true faith. He tells us he loves us. He tells us he has saved us from hell. And if we build ourselves up with tongues, he will also tell us he gives us miracles, so convincingly that Satan’s puny false faith can’t stop it.

We may not realize it, but we think Satan is stronger and more “generous” than God. That isn’t true. Satan is pushier, but he is weak.

With all that said, here’s a major problem that prevents your faith, supernatural or otherwise, from working: you condemn yourself. In your heart, you feel that you don’t deserve what you ask for, and therefore you don’t believe, so you don’t receive.

A few weeks back, I started feeling that I had to forgive myself during prayer. I resisted, because it sounded New-Agey. I am not Jesus. I can’t die for anyone’s sins. And it would be very wrong for me to deny the evil I’ve done, or to forget it. I was afraid I was having a Joel Osteen moment, denying guilt just for the sake of feeling good.

I went with it, though, and it brought me a big improvement in answered prayer. I said I forgave myself, and that I would not curse what God had blessed. I felt increased faith rushing through me. Things got better.

My church is holding a series of classes on the Holy Spirit, and they’re wonderful. Three or four weeks back, we were talking about the necessity of forgiveness, and I asked the instructor about forgiving ourselves. He was against it. I don’t think he understood what I meant. English is his second language.

After that, our pastor taught about grace on Sundays, and essentially, he said what I had said. Self-condemnation blocks grace. If you think you have to earn answers to prayer, you will not receive them, because you know perfectly well you can’t earn them. You deserve death and damnation, like everyone else. Only Jesus deserved the authority to receive answers to prayer.

The faith that rushed through me came through the same opening as the revelation I receive when I pray in tongues. That may sound weird, but if you’ve been there, you know what I mean. It’s as if there is a spring inside you, and all good things come from it. When God explains things to me, it’s revelation. But it’s also revelation when I have faith. It’s the Holy Spirit, saying, “YES.”

You should learn a few things from this. First, if you do something sinful, you are not going to hell for it, unless you’ve given up on God and his righteousness. And it will not prevent your prayers from being answered. You can kick your dog, and then a few minutes later, you can repent and pray, and God will hear you and answer. You should not think it’s okay to do bad things, but they will not keep God away from you, if you repent, forgive, and have faith.

Second: you need to pray in tongues. We are soil. The name “Adam” comes from the word for “dirt.” The word of God is seed, as Jesus said. Prayer in tongues is water, as Paul and Jesus said. If you have a seed, and you have dirt, you need water. It’s that simple. The kingdom of heaven will not grow inside you without water. You have to have revelation by grace, including faith.

Third, forgive EVERYONE when you pray, except for fallen angels and demons. Forgive yourself, expressly. And forgive out loud, so all your supernatural enemies hear it. They can’t read minds. Let them know they don’t have title to you.

This stuff has improved things greatly for me, and I know it will work for you. It’s all scriptural. It is the most hated message there is, because it’s so powerful and right. Satan still occupies this world, even though he lost the deed at Calvary, and he is enraged by tools that push him off his stolen throne. Religious people–Jews and Christians–will be furious at you for promoting this doctrine. But it still works, because it came from God.

Give it a shot. See if you can be the fertile ground that produced a hundredfold return. Water your seed every day.

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