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The Sad, Slow Cars of the 1960’s

January 18th, 2018

Stay Away From the Old Lady in the Camry

I feel like writing about trivial things today.

First of all, today and yesterday I watched Bullitt all the way through. I record old movies on the Turner channel so I have things to watch during meals or when the birds are out of their cages, and Bullitt turned up on the program guide, so I saved it.

What do people love about Bullitt? The car chase. Two 1968 cars. The bad guys drive a Dodge Charger R/T with a 440 in it (375 HP). McQueen drives an “iconic” (tired of that word) Mustang GT fastback with a 390 (325 HP). The Charger falls apart during the chase. The bad guys run into things. They can’t get away from McQueen, and they get sloppy.

Here is the funny reality: according to the guys who made the film, the Mustangs (2) used in the chase were so much slower than the Chargers, the bad guys had to go easy on the gas. They could have pulled away from the Ford and ruined the chase for everyone. Here’s another sad fact about the overrated Ford: no positraction. I noticed that on my own. McQueen took off from a dead start, spinning ONE rear wheel. He left one long black stripe on the pavement, not two. Who in his right mind buys a fast car with one rear wheel that spins?

I think “positraction” is technically a GM term. I use it loosely. It refers to a limited-slip differential that causes both rear tires to apply force to the pavement. If you don’t have positraction, you can end up in a situation where all of your power goes to one wheel which spins without moving the car forward.

It would be ridiculous for a motorhead to buy a fast car without positraction. It’s even more ridiculous that the sharp professionals who prepared the Ford and Dodge for the chase didn’t insist on it. They knew it would look silly if the car spun its right rear wheel. I guess they had no choice.

I decided to look up the performance numbers for these “legendary” cars. Get ready to laugh. The Charger ran the quarter in 14.9 seconds, and the Ford was measured at 14.8. Is that good? Well, it’s better than the 16-second car I drove in high school, which was crippled by 1970’s greenie technology. But how fast is it today? Let me pick a car at random. I love doing this. Let’s see what a Honda Accord will do.

I have the numbers. A Honda Accord with an automatic transmission, four doors, and no cool Hurst shifter will do the quarter in 14.1 seconds. It will make it to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. This the “sporty” Accord, to be fair, but nonetheless, it’s a mom-mobile that mops the floor with a real Bullitt Mustang and a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T. Too funny.

The Accord also pulls 0.88 g on the skidpad, which is so much better than a 1970’s Corvette (the American handling champion), it’s in a different universe.

Think how hard Dodge and Ford worked to get those awful numbers. The Dodge had a 7-liter engine and God only knows how many special motorhead parts on it. The Accord has a 2-liter engine, and it probably doesn’t even have any cool stickers on the fenders.

Only the Dodge was a muscle car. The Mustang was not. A muscle car is a big grocery hauler with a huge engine inserted for compensation. A small car like a Mustang is actually made to go fast, from square one. The Mustang and Camaro were scaled down to make them fast. They were called “pony cars,” either because of their size or because of the chrome pony on the Mustang grill. Which you would see a lot, in your rear-view mirror, if you raced it in an Accord.

Another interesting fact: Ford loaned the Mustangs to the filmmakers, and they also provided two bigger cars for the bad guys. The big cars couldn’t handle the San Francisco bounces, so they had to use Dodges. Embarrassing for Ford. The cars in the film had modified suspensions, so it appears that the big Fords couldn’t cope, even with expert help.

I’m a bad person for saying it, but if they redid the movie today with four Honda Accords, the speeds would be way higher, and everyone would have Bluetooth, so they could curse at each other over their cell phones: “Not cool, bro [frowny emoticon].” And what if the bad guys drove the baddest 1968 muscle car available, and McQueen drove an Accord? It would be painful to watch.

It seems like the big difference between real muscle cars and the crummy ones they produced after 1972 was low-end acceleration. I may be wrong, but the pre-1973 0-60 times seem more impressive than the quarter-mile times. I guess when the 1973 cars lost a second and a half in the quarter, most of it came from the 0-60 part.

I read up on Steve McQueen. It turns out he pretty much was the guy he played. He was very good with cars and motorcycles. He was good enough to compete professionally. He was a black belt in some martial art or other. He grew up in reform schools. He ran away and joined a circus. He was a merchant marine. He was a non-merchant Marine. He saved five guys from tank that was about to sink through broken ice. He got in trouble in the Marines, reformed, and ended up guarding Harry Truman’s yacht. He did his own stunts.

Maybe they should have filmed his life instead of his roles.

He also treated women like dirt. Oh, well.

He visited with Billy Graham before he died from mesothelioma, and when he died, he was holding a Bible Graham gave him. Good news.

Unrelated matter: today my pipes froze. I did not expect that in northern Florida, at 25 degrees, after only a few hours. I left the water dripping from the faucets that aren’t attached to the house. I figured the faucets that go through house walls would be protected. I didn’t do anything to protect the house pump or the farm pump. Got up today and had no water at the tap. It took several hours for things to thaw out. Now I’m wondering what I should do tonight. I feel like I need to leave one faucet running indoors, to keep warm water moving through the pump and pressure tank. I don’t think things get bad enough here to crack pipes, but I may be wrong.

If I lived in Montana, I would know what to do. If I lived in Key West, I would know what to do. Here, I’m in a sort of climate twilight where you apparently have to take limited measures.

I don’t know if my citrus trees will survive. Two of them are worthless to begin with. One is a sick grapefruit tree which does not produce edible fruit, and the other is a sick ponderosa lemon. No one wants a ponderosa lemon. They don’t taste as good as real lemons. The third tree is a sick cara cara navel. It would be good to keep, as long as it was well enough to produce, but I have no way of protecting it. It may have bought the farm last night. It has citrus greening, so it’s doomed, but another year or two would have been nice.

I can replace it with a mandarin that will resist citrus greening, but I can’t find new trees, and it would be about two years before I got fruit.

I do not know how to cope with landscaping here, because I don’t know what dies in the winter and what doesn’t. My plan is to protect nothing and replace the dead stuff with things that don’t have to be babied. Perhaps rocks.

The climate control system is mystifying. In Miami, when it gets below 40, you freeze. The builders don’t prepare houses for the cold. Every time cold weather hits, the supply of space heaters gets snapped up overnight. People rely on them to heat their homes. It’s stupid. Now I live in a house that has a real heating system, but I can’t get it to work right.

This house has 2 AC units and 4 thermostats, plus a computer that connects the units. When the power goes out, the computer (which has no backup battery) loses its programming, and the smaller unit stops turning on. That’s annoying. I had to figure out how to program it in order to avoid repeated $75 service calls. Now I find that when the weather gets into the 30’s, the upstairs gets very hot on one side of the house. My bedroom goes up to 79 degrees when it’s freezing outside. I have had to open a window.

I think the heat from downstairs must be coming up a stairwell. This is my best guess. I think the heat goes upstairs, the downstairs doesn’t get hot enough to shut off the downstairs thermostat, and I lie and sweat. My answer is to turn off the upstairs heat, put a space heater near the birds downstairs, and turn the downstairs heat down to 70. Seems to work, but I suppose I’ll have to call the experts eventually to find out if there is something I don’t know.

This house has real insulation and real windows, unlike most Miami houses. When you turn on the AC in a Miami house older than 30 years, you air condition the whole neighborhood. The cold air goes out through floors, ceilings, windows, and doors. It’s wonderful to live in a house where the cold air stays in.

I am addicted to my new housecoat and houseshoes. Cold weather has its down side, but at least you get to lounge around in a cozy robe and shearling shoes.

Enough exciting news, I guess. Time to read up on faucets and frost.

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No News is Very Good News

January 17th, 2018

Rapture Yourself and Get Peace

This morning something disturbing happened. I was reading the news on the Internet, and I got so disgusted I decided to get rid of the bookmarks on my phone’s browser. I had been used to looking at Fox, CNN, and Drudge every morning, but it got to be too much.

Yesterday, the world learned that Donald Trump is in extraordinary health, just as he had claimed in the past. He proved it beyond all doubt, with an extensive medical exam. He even asked for a completely unnecessary dementia test, which he aced. He ordered his doctor to be as open about the results as possible, unlike Obama, who hid the fact that he continued smoking cigarettes in the White House. How did America respond? I’m sure a lot of people didn’t care, but as for the rest, half were happy about it, and the other half were so disappointed and angry, they lost their minds.

I looked at the comments on a Fox story about Trump. They were horrible. Leftists said all sorts of filthy things, and they made up facts. The doctor was wrong. The doctor was lying. The results were actually very bad, if you just looked at them the right way. And of course, offended conservatives said vile things in return.

Even worse, established leftist pundits were doing their best to “debunk” the exam results. CNN has a TV doctor named Sanjay Gupta, and he and Fox reject Alisyn Camerota appeared in a video under a remarkable headline that looked something like “Trump has Heart Disease.” They found one (and only one) heart test that had an unfavorable result, and they also pounced on the fact that Trump is on the fat side. This is what they harped on. Never mind the fact that they were discussing a 71-year-old man who only took two prescriptions for his health, ate whatever he wanted, never exercised, and had a strong heart and a blood pressure of 122/74.

They should have been asking what kind of miracle they were witnessing (and why their own gene pools couldn’t compare). Instead, they were gleefully looking at the results, like pagan priests poking around in bird guts, celebrating any sign that Trump might die soon.

How crazy can people get?

My dad is in very good shape, apart from dementia, and he takes eight prescribed medications per day. Eight. Used to be nine. And he’s not allowed to touch alcohol. If he quit taking blood pressure pills, his systolic pressure would probably be near 200. That’s what “good health” looks like in an elderly American. Trump is on a completely different level.

Hillary Clinton has been obese for a long time. She wears pants to hide the fat (and possibly edema) around her ankles. During the campaign, she had to be loaded into a special van after a collapse. Like a sack of flour. Her legs stopped working, and they held her up by her arms. She has some kind of foot injury that won’t heal. She wears a special boot. Her husband kept McDonald’s in business when he was in office, and he ate and smoked himself into a multiple bypass operation. We don’t hear about these things much. But give Trump an astonishing physical exam indicating freakish good health, and leftists take the day off from whatever real reporting they may still be doing, to look for a speck of morbid light at the end of the tunnel. “Maybe if we look real hard, we will find hope that President Trump will die in office.”

I saw material related to the Trump physical, and while I read, I saw a lot of other things that gave me pains in my heart. I was reading this excrement during a break in prayer. Prior to the break, I had felt pretty good. I had felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, and I was expecting good things to happen. After reading the news, I felt like I had swallowed a pint of gasoline.

I took Fox, CNN, Drudge, and Yahoo out of my browser. I am done. I may become ignorant, but at least my insides won’t be twisting like worms in a jar of lemon juice.

In 2016, I experienced a wonderful event I call “the Little Rapture.” I got fed up and deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I upset some people, but I didn’t care at all. I felt great, knowing I wasn’t going to be treading water in a sea of ignorance and carnality. People could get by without me. They weren’t listening to me anyway.

The churches I went to between 2008 and 2016 were ghetto churches. That means I know a lot of people with ghetto ideas corrupting their lives. They don’t accept responsibility for their problems. They feel like victims. Many of them really have it in for white people and Republicans. They are EXTREMELY proud and very unteachable. As Shakespeare himself noted in Twelfth Night, the poor are much more arrogant than successful people.

They have bad ideas about morality. Many of the girls and women post photos of themselves in their underwear or tiny bathing suits. Some go farther, posing naked or topless and covering up only what they have to. Pregnant wives often post photos of themselves in their underwear, with their bellies hanging out. They hire photographers to help them. You’ll see a prominent guy from church, kneeling on the beach with his older kids and his partially disrobed pregnant wife. Pastors and ushers and whatever will “like” the photos and gush over them. What? Seriously? What Bible do you read?

Many of the people I know love socialism. They want open borders. They are not loyal to the United States. They think of themselves as Puerto Ricans or Haitians or Hondurans (or whatever) first. When elections come, they get very militant about supporting candidates that love abortion, hate God, and hate Israel. You can’t tell them a damned thing. They complain about our godless country, and at the same time, they break their backs supporting the people who keep it that way. They’re responsible for gay marriage and the persecution of Christians, but they think they please Jesus by supporting forced handouts to poor people who don’t feel like working. They’re hard on minority friends and relatives who come around and see the light. They seem to think minorities own all their members, like slaves.

I’m not exaggerating at all. The proud hypocrisy of the American poor is a stronghold like no other.

I got tired of it. Eventually, you realize you’re hanging out with people who are never going to make it, and they wear you down and make you angry, which leads to self-righteousness and a lifestyle of persistent wrath. You have to make the healthy choice. God told me to bail out, and it was wonderful.

I’m glad I wasn’t around for the kneeling business. Colin Kaepernick is a spoiled fool who hates his own country. His own words prove it. But people who stand a better chance of being aborted by their own mothers or killed by their non-white neighbors than by the cops think he’s Jesus II, and you almost never see them complaining about the sick culture that puts them in danger to begin with.

Every culture has problems. The problems of the healthier culture in which I am now immersed are bad enough. I don’t need to look for something worse to waste my time. No one is going to fix our ghettos, any more than they are going to fix the white ghettos of Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Put me among people who have some chance of being reached, any day. I abandoned my own people, and I am certainly willing to abandon other people who are just like them.

My native culture is inferior, and I happily admit it. Eastern Kentucky isn’t poor because successful yankees took all the coal and didn’t give anything back. It’s poor because the people are foolish. Put people from, say, Iowa there, and the poverty will disappear forever. Want to fix Haiti? Move the people to their own resort in Montana and turn the Japanese loose in Haiti. Successful people succeed everywhere they go. Failures fail regardless of what you do for them.

The Rapture will be God, saying, “I am fed up. You are done abusing my patience and my children. You can’t learn from love and kindness, so we are leaving, and you can learn–maybe–from unspeakable pain.” It will be God, giving the stubborn their own way. It’s bad to abandon people before the appointed time, but when God blows the whistle, you need to GO. Very often, giving up on people is not merely okay, but mandatory. It happened over and over in the Bible.

When God got me off social media, it was a rapture. I was surrounded by people who thought they knew it all and could not listen. I was attacked for telling the truth. It was tiresome and unproductive. It was like watering plastic plants. Leaving brought me relief.

I love not being on Facebook. I don’t miss the discouraging social media posts of the doggedly misguided. I love being far from Miami; I wish such places did not exist. If I can sustain a practice of avoiding reading the news, I will love that, too. I don’t know how it will work. Maybe I’ll be allowed to read little bits here and there. I hope I will get as little exposure as possible. My reading the news doesn’t help the world, and I’m not sure it’s necessary to my own welfare.

We will find out.

I don’t think the blessings of getting away from Miami and backward people are wasted on me. I am grateful from one end to the other, all the time. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the move, in spite of the considerable suffering I went through after I left. I wish the move had happened earlier. I hate Miami. I wish I had never been there; not for one second. I miss nothing, nothing, nothing, NOTHING. I wish my remaining connections were gone and had never existed. No pillar of salt here, believe me. When God decides to promote me out of Ocala to an even better place, I will hit the ground running. Thank you, God, thank you, God. Please continue what you’re doing.

In other news, I am wondering about a theological question: can you lose your salvation? We all know the answer is yes, for those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that. But what about people who accept salvation and then turn away from God and continue in sin? In other words, what about 95% of the people who attend (and pastor) Trinity Church in Miami? Trinity is a rotten church. It’s a washing machine. Sin all week, come in on Sunday, get yourself scrubbed, pretend you care about God, feel justified, and get back out there to sin some more. Or sin right there at church. Kids used to have sex there, in the stairwells.

For a long time, I’ve believed that it was hard to lose salvation. When you’re saved, God forgives your sins, and if you think about it, turning away from God is a sin, so why wouldn’t it be covered? Every Christian continues to sin at least a little. Will God put you in hell for an occasional slip that you fail to acknowledge? Will he put you in hell for common “harmless” sins like gluttony and gossip? If he won’t punish a fat Christian with hell, why would he punish one who fornicates or takes drugs?

Can eating a large pizza all by yourself put you in hell?

Arguments for permanent salvation seem to make sense, but there are a lot of testimonies out there from Christians who say they died temporarily or had visions and learned they were headed for damnation. Some say they woke up in hell.

A lady named Mary K. Baxter wrote a book about her alleged visits to hell, and she said she saw a lot of Christians there. One damned woman fell away because she murdered her husband and the lady he had an affair with. She killed them and then killed herself. Before that, the murderer had been a hard core Christian, and even in hell, she supported Christianity while she burned. Baxter also says she saw a preacher who was confined to a coffin, and that demons marched around the coffin shoving spears through holes, into his heart. He had stolen from the church and taught bad doctrine.

Rich Wilkerson knowingly teaches false prosperity doctrine at Trinity Church in order to make money. He has been informed that the Steven Munsey prosperity fables he teaches are lies. If you can go to hell for persistently stealing from Christians, what will happen to him, especially given that 95% of his audience is dirt poor?

Baxter’s stories about hell, taken in their entirety, seem very credible, but what about the theology? What if weak preachers are sending millions of people into hell?

Also, what is the standard? If I’m doing okay, but then I see a woman walking down the street with a revealing top, and I turn around to look, and a meteor hits me, do I go to hell? Can one quick sin do you in? Does a sin have to be habitual in order to get your ticket canceled? Do you have to be unrepentant?

Many people say Christians can’t visit hell and come back. They say a Bible verse proves it. It is appointed to man once to die, and then the judgment. Okay, but Elijah never died. Some disagree about Enoch, but it certainly appears that he never died. Jesus raised dead people. So did Paul. It looks like there is no 100%-airtight rule saying you have to die or that you can’t return. Maybe Elijah and Enoch will return and then be killed (possibly to be the two witnesses of the Revelation), and that would support the rule that all have to die, but what about the dead who have been raised? They died twice.

Before Jesus showed up, John taught repentance. That was his big thing. It’s clearly important. And through Peter, God killed Ananias and Sapphira (believers) for lying. Would God kill someone in anger and then welcome that person into heaven?

In the Revelation, we are told people will be killed by unbelievers for refusing to renounce God, just as they were killed by Jews in Jesus’ time and are killed by Muslims today. Why? Why would Satan bother forcing Christians to recant? Why not just kill them immediately and get them off the playing field? By keeping them around while he coerces them, he will allow them to continue to work against him, as Stephen worked against him when he was stoned by unbelieving Jews. Can it be that a Christian who recants becomes his property and goes to hell? If so, the “once saved, always saved” doctrine is wrong.

Permanent salvation is an attractive notion. All of us know dead backsliders. Is your mom in hell right now? Your child? Your husband? Can you stand to consider it? No one wants to consider such things. That reluctance, all by itself, shapes our ideas about damnation.

I remember the movie Awakenings. People who were paralyzed by Parkinson’s disease were under consideration. They sat or lay in nursing homes for decades, unable to speak or move. A scientist proclaimed they were not conscious. When asked how he knew that, he said, “because the alternative is unthinkable.” Not logical, but completely typical of the way we come to conclusions.

We make a lot of theological decisions based on our desires, not the truth. We say God doesn’t work miracles, because the alternative is to admit we are bad Christians who can’t get miracles. We say homosexuality is okay, simply because we are tired of fighting about it (especially with our rebellious wives and girlfriends). We love religious tolerance–a concept abhorrent to Jesus–because without it, we have to have backbones and stand up for something.

We are always looking for ways to make hell seem less terrifying, and we don’t care if the truth itself has to be consigned to the flames.

One thing is pretty obvious: regardless of the rules, we should live as if we could lose our salvation at any moment. Many people choose to believe in permanent salvation because they love to sin and don’t want to stop. I know how that is, because I lived that way. “I’ll do this real quick and then ask for forgiveness.” If that works, aren’t we mocking God? The Bible says God is not mocked.

We shouldn’t be wondering if it’s necessary to stay repentant. The fact that we fight about it shows that we want to sin. We should be afraid to sin, even if we don’t expect consequences, and we should be very fast to repent. If you’re doing things right, which is not that hard, the whole discussion should be unimportant to you, at least as it impacts you.

How big a percentage of humanity goes to hell to burn forever? It’s a serious question; the most serious question I can imagine. What if our churches are pumping unsuspecting newcomers into the caverns of hell all day, every day?

We can’t do much about it, even if we know the truth and teach it. That’s a hard fact. Even if you do everything perfectly, most people won’t listen to you. Look how they treated Jesus. Look how they treat the Holy Spirit and God’s ministers right now. Knowing the answer, firmly, would not change the fact that most people go to hell. It would still be a very inconvenient truth. But it would help a substantial number, in absolute terms, avoid damnation.

I am trying to get understanding from God, so I will know the answer to the salvation question. In any case, I am more determined than before to behave myself. I shouldn’t have to worry about damnation in order to behave, but there it is.

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Atonement

January 14th, 2018

Forget Bobby Flay; Eat This

Several typos made it into my cookbook, potentially crippling anyone who tried to use certain recipes. In order to make amends, I will let you know how to make the dynamite dinner I just had. This info is in the book, but it’s slightly wrong.

I made navy beans with ham hocks, plus cornbread.

I learned something interesting this week. A friend of mine works at the University of Florida, where they have something called the Meat Lab. They sell meat to the public. They sell ham hocks. I got ahold of some. They sell them shrink-wrapped, so you can pop them right in the freezer.

Until this week, I had been unaware that some ham hocks were better than others. I would grab whatever they had at the store. The hocks were very nice. But they can’t compare to UF’s hocks. The flavor is better. There is more meat. The fat is delectable. Wonderful things. If you can find top-quality hocks, it will elevate your ham hock game to a new level.

Here is what I did.

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. dried navy beans
2 big garlic cloves, sliced
2 tsp. pepper
1 very large yellow or white onion, not sweet
1 tsp. prepared mustard, like Mister Mustard or Gulden’s
salt to taste

Wash the beans and soak them overnight. You need a couple of inches of water over them. They will soak a lot of it up, and you don’t want them to go dry. In the morning, dump the water. Supposedly, a lot of the flatulence goes with it. Rinse the beans. Put them in a pot with two big hocks. Add the other ingredients, except for the salt. You may not need it.

Cover everything with water, get it boiling, and keep it on a very low boil for a few hours. The meat will tell you when it’s done. You should be able to cut the fat on a hock with a fork. The beans will be tender, and they will break down a little. Check the saltiness during the cooking process and adjust it. Some salt will leach out of the hocks and season the beans, so don’t go throwing salt in at the beginning.

Boil a few more hocks in plain water, in another pot. You will need these. You can add pepper and garlic if you want. You don’t want a whole lot of water. Cover them, but don’t use so much water you suck the flavor out of them.

When you’re done boiling them, the water will be a divine, aromatic pork broth you can probably use for something.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups self-rising white corn meal or Martha White cornbread mix
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bacon grease (you can replace half of it with butter, but I wouldn’t)
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 450. Throw your #6 cast iron cornbread skillet in there and get it hot. Meanwhile, mix everything but the bacon grease in a bowl. When the skillet is hot, add the grease and let it get hot enough to smoke. You want the skillet so hot it browns the cornbread when you pour the batter in.

Pour the hot grease into the batter and stir it in. Pour the resulting mixture into the skillet. Bake for about 22 minutes. Invert the cornbread onto a dish or something. Turn it right-side-up. Cut in wedges.

Serve this with sliced tomatoes (heirlooms are best) and vidalias. A mix of red and yellow tomatoes is good. You can have a big glass of buttermilk or iced tea with it.

If you’re really hard core, you can also make collard greens, also with ham hocks.

This is one of the best meals on earth. Butter the cornbread and dip it in the beans. You can also get sorghum syrup and put it on buttered cornbread.

I don’t have any typos this time. You can trust me.

This cornbread is not sweet. Sweet cornbread is for Yankees. Also, black people like it. If you’re determined to ruin it with sweetness, I guess you can add sugar.

Don’t stray too far from your bathroom after you eat this. Don’t make me explain.

You could also make fried apples with this. Slice up some Granny Smiths and fry them with butter, brown sugar, a little salt, and some cinnamon or nutmeg. You could cheat and add a tiny bit of vanilla. Just throw everything in a skillet and fry it. Get the apples to brown a little.

This is so great, I can’t describe it to you. And it’s very easy to make. And cheap. Also, the beans will keep getting better in the fridge, as long as they’re not rancid.

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Deplorable Sunday

January 14th, 2018

Thank God Hillary Lost

If there is one thing I love about NOT LIVING IN MIAMI, it’s being able to shoot in my yard. Today I took advantage. I took the .17 HMR Savage out and shot 35 rounds at about 100 yards. I don’t know how accurate the distance measurement was. I do not have a measuring tape that long. I paced it off, taking big steps.

I like Savage guns because they are cheap and very accurate (supposedly), and because they have a patented trigger which is alleged to be very good for sharpshooting. I don’t recall what I paid for this rifle, but I believe it was under $250. It’s a stainless job with a bull barrel and no sights, made for shooting with a scope.

The scope cost more than the gun, probably. It’s a Burriss Fullfield II which goes to 14x. I guess it’s a little weird, on a gun that isn’t very useful over 150 yards, but I like magnification.

It would be fun to use this gun on squirrels. I should be able to pop them at 100 yards with no problems, provided I can get the rifle steady and take my time. I would have to watch the angle, because these little bullets would go right off the farm if I missed.

I would love to get some instruction in shooting rifles. I shoot okay, but not great, and I assume this is a matter of teaching.

I threw a folding table in the EZ-GO and drove to my berm. I put two 5.5 Orange Peel Targets on the steel frame I use for shooting. I put a few rounds into the first target, and then I went to look it over. The target has an inner ring maybe 2″ wide, and I did not go completely out of it, but I did not feel like I was shooting up to the potential of the gun and ammunition.

It seemed like I was shooting a little to the right, so I got out my phone and looked up information to make sure I didn’t adjust the scope the wrong way. Then I adjusted the scope and shot another target. The rounds spread out over an area 5″ wide as I tried to figure it out. I think I went the wrong way in spite of my efforts. I went back to the original setting and shot another target.

The last target should have been my best, but it was the worst. I had some fliers.

I don’t really know what I’m doing wrong, but I think one problem is the table. It’s slick, so my elbows feel unstable on it. I think I need to put a rubber mat on it. This will be a problem if I shoot a bigger gun that has recoil, because the recoil will shove my elbows across the mat and rub the skin raw, so I guess I will also need elbow pads. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use elbow pads at the range, but it seems like an obvious thing to do.

I’m not sure how accurate the equipment is. If I put the gun on a sled and held it rigid, how small would a 20-round group be? It’s impossible to know how well you’re doing until you know what the best looks like.

It’s hard to get information on the web. If you look for forum posts about a rifle’s accuracy, people will say they got x-MOA “groups.” They’re referring to isolated groups of 3 shots. I think this information is worthless. If you can shoot a rifle well, you won’t shoot a good 3-shot group and then quit and say you shoot x-MOA groups. If you can’t put 25 or 50 rounds into x MOA, then you can’t shoot x MOA. Your 3-shot group is just cherry-picking.

Today I put 4 rounds into one big hole at 100 yards, but I wouldn’t think of telling people I shoot 1/4 MOA. It would be a moronic, obvious lie. If you look at my target, you’ll see the big hole, plus a number of holes around it. If you want to judge my shooting, you should measure the longest distance from one hole to another. Maybe you should omit real fliers, because they’re not representative of my shooting, but dumping all the bad shots is just stupid.

If I were a golfer and I made a hole in one, I wouldn’t go around telling everyone it only takes me one swing to finish a hole.

I have no idea how well this rifle will shoot, so I guess I’ll have to keep plugging away and do my best to shrink my groups. And by “groups,” I mean 10 or 20 or 30 rounds, not 3 incredibly lucky rounds.

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A Book That Makes Heads Explode

January 12th, 2018

Best Way to Get Yourself Killed by a Leftist: Tell him He’s not a Victim

I bought an interesting book. The author is Bryan Melvin, the guy who claims he died from cholera and had to visit hell. Amazon lists him as B.W. Melvin. The book is called A Land Unknown. I learned about Melvin from Youtube, and his book provides more detail on his experience.

I read most of the book yesterday. Fair warning: it’s a flawed book. I’m not saying that to insult the author, who surely did his best. I just want to prepare anyone who buys it. The first 60 or so pages are devoted to background material. Where he was born. What his life was like before the trip to hell. How he interacted with Christians and his doper buddies. He tries to recreate dialogue from the past, and it doesn’t work. It could make the book sound phony to a person who never gets past page 60. Once he gets to the cholera experience, things improve.

I don’t know if what he had was actually cholera. He said he and a buddy drank from a cooler mounted on a truck, and whatever was in it was foul. The cooler’s owner then told them his kids had used it as a portable toilet.

You can get pretty sick from ingesting sewage. I know. When I was a baby, I got a disease my mother later described as cholera. She said a neighbor’s septic tank overflowed on the grass, and that’s where she thought I got it. My fever went over 106, and they put me on IV fluids. For some reason, they used pins to attach my limbs to boards, presumably to keep me from thrashing and knocking the IV out. That sounds insane, but it’s what she told me. I don’t have any giant pin scars. Anyway, my understanding is that real cholera is caused by a bacterium called vibrios comma. I don’t know if it occurs in normal sewage, but I tend to doubt it, since it causes epidemics that kill great numbers of people. If all sewage caused cholera, it would be hard to dispose of safely.

A web source says there was only 1 cholera case in the US in 2015, so I think it’s safe to say that Bryan Melvin and I did not have cholera. It must have been e. coli or something.

I don’t understand how a bacterium found in normal excrement can be so deadly. After all, every human being is exposed to excrement ever day, and we don’t die.

To get back to the point, he got sick, toughed it out, and died, and at some point he was revived.

Melvin says a demon was forced to give him a tour of hell, and a lot of what he says happened sounds plausible to me.

A long time ago, God told me hell is not full of bad people; it’s full of people who don’t listen. Melvin’s story confirms this.

When I say hell isn’t full of bad people, I mean it’s not reserved for people who were nasty and mean on earth. It’s reserved for people who don’t accept salvation through faith in Jesus. You can be a very nice Buddhist, run an orphanage, donate organs to strangers, give everything you have to the poor, and still go to hell.

You don’t avoid hell by being nice. You avoid hell by confessing, believing in Jesus, repenting, and forgiving. If you do those things, you can make it, even if you’re a child molester. If you don’t do those things, you’re trying to get into heaven based on your own righteousness. Even if you’re very good by earth standards, the Bible says your own righteousness is like used menstrual rags in God’s sight. You can’t make it unless you accept the inheritance Jesus gave up for us. Essentially, you have to be a sort of identity thief. You have to appear before God with the righteousness of Jesus as your ID.

Sometimes (often, really) you have to look at Christianity like a lawyer. When we write laws, sometimes we have to do some funny things in order to shape the behavior of the public. Lawyers call this good “public policy.” For example, if you sue a company for negligence, you may not be allowed to introduce evidence of corrective measures in court. Say you slipped on a floor covered with a very slick brand of wax. If the company changes to another wax in order to prevent injuries, you may be unable to use it as evidence that they knew the wax you slipped on was dangerous. Why? Because it’s good public policy to encourage people to make the world safer. We don’t want companies avoiding making corrective measures because they think lawyers will use those measures in court against them.

Some people call Christian salvation “cheap grace.” The idea is that it makes no sense for a truly evil person to go to heaven simply by repenting and accepting Jesus and so on, in view of that person’s bad history. But look at it from a public policy standpoint. If evil people know they can’t be saved, what will they be motivated to do? They’ll do what Satan has done. They’ll go down in a blaze of rebellion. They’ll devote their lives to selfishness and hatred. They’ll do their best to offend God and hurt his children, because they have nothing to lose. On the other hand, if the option of salvation is always open to them while they’re alive, they will be motivated to change and join the team.

The idea that you can get to heaven by being good (and only by being good) is much worse than cheap grace, because even if you accept the erroneous idea that being good by human standards is enough, most of us can’t be good. We are bound by evil habits. Our free will is gone. Which universe would you prefer to live in? One in which Jeffrey Dahmer can change and enter heaven, or one in which a teenage drug addict and street criminal has already lost every hope of avoiding hell?

The Bible says God doesn’t want anyone to perish. He is looking for excuses to give us salvation. He’s not going to reserve it for a few superhuman sages. Most people go to hell as it is. That’s bad enough, without turning the quest for salvation into a sort of Jeopardy! tournament of champions.

You have to be extremely arrogant to think you’re so good you can get into heaven on your own feet. There is no room for humility in a scheme that requires self-salvation. If I can save myself, I don’t need God at all. I have no reason to acknowledge his existence.

Melvin’s book confirms that “good” people go to hell.

In the book, Melvin encounted a number of people who had been malevolent and sadistic on earth, but he also saw people who seemed nice. While he observed the people and demons around him, a voice gave him thoughts and words, explaining things to him. It repeatedly pointed out that people were there because they hadn’t listened.

The concept of reaping and sowing was also represented, but it seems to me that it came primarily through the evil spirits in hell, not the voice of God. The demon guide kept telling him people reaped what they sowed. Demons punished people with torments that reflected the evil they did on earth. For example, a man who was stingy was imprisoned in a barrel in a tight cave. Demons had things he could use to get free, and they put them just outside his reach. The book didn’t say this was God’s idea. The impression I got was that the demons came up with it.

It’s a brilliant punishment which I would never have come up with. When you give to the needy, you help them get out of life’s tight spots. Sometimes you can save someone from the destruction of their earthly life with a few hundred bucks, which is very little to most of us. I have seen that happen.

The system represented in the book makes complete sense. The Bible says the WAGES of sin is death, but it says the saved receive an INHERITANCE, which, by definition, can’t be earned. The demons were PAYING people what they had EARNED in life. In heaven, however, people INHERIT what JESUS EARNED.

I never ask God for what I deserve. I never ask for justice. I have stopped doing that. To ask for compensation or justice is to curse yourself. If I ask for those things, I ask for defeat and torment. Instead I ask for mercy. I ask to be a pampered heir, without pride or self-esteem. Hell is full of self-made men. You can’t put yourself in heaven, but you can definitely earn a spot in hell. You already have.

Bryan also says the spirits in hell criticized God constantly. They had a BLM/Antifa attitude. They pointed to the suffering people in hell, and they asked Bryan how God could be good if he permitted such things to happen. The voice of God came to him and explained that God is not responsible for the misuse of free will. It’s the same sound argument gun store owners make. If I sell you a pistol, and you shoot your family with it, it’s on you, not me. God also told him he refused to create a race of marionettes with no free will. The destruction of free will is Satan’s game and the game of misguided people. God doesn’t do it. He will let you damn yourself.

The things the voice told Bryan line up perfectly with what God has told me. Excuses are lethal. Blaming others for your sins is lethal. These things will put you in hell. You can have the sick pleasure of criticizing God and correcting his scheme for the rest of eternity, but you will do it in a flaming pit. Your whining won’t change the nature of the universe, no matter how much you want to be your own God.

The voice discussed the question of how God could create sinless beings who then went on to develop iniquity and to sin. The voice said the fact that iniquity was found in beings didn’t mean it had been placed there.

Here’s another interesting thing about the book: God and the demons described human beings as caretakers. The demon guide called Melvin “caretaker.” That’s completely consistent with what God has shown me about the system. God created the earth, and he put us in charge of it. We, not God, brought evil into it. We made evil grow, and we made righteousness wither. Why is there evil in the world? Because the caretakers are evil. God isn’t responsible.

The beings in hell, according to the book, are full of denial. They love excuses. They never discuss their own failures. They accuse God constantly. Good luck with that. Arguing with the one who creates the rules is idiotic. Many creatures prefer the pleasure of deflecting blame to the pleasure of release from hell and entry into heaven. They are getting exactly what they chose.

Melvin said he didn’t see children in hell. People there were old enough to be held accountable. He didn’t see retarded people. God didn’t impute blame to anyone who could not understand sin.

Melvin says he used to be a crabby atheist who argued with Christians all the time. He got off on it. In hell, all of his lame arguments were shot down. The demons handed Melvin the same arguments, which shows where those arguments come from. The voice of God obliterated them.

Fascinating stuff.

The more I know, the more I realize God is fundamentally conservative. He is a complete zealot about accountability. He hates whining and excuses. He derides those who devote their lives to blaming others. If there is one area in which he is not conservative, it’s the area of self-help. God wants us to be reasonably responsible, but he hates our ridiculous, haughty belief that we can be self-reliant and self-contained. We are expected to do what we should, but we are supposed to rely primarily on prayer and our other supernatural tools.

God doesn’t want you to go on welfare and suck your neighbor dry while blaming your neighbor for your self-inflicted poverty, but he also doesn’t want you to run around telling people you caused your own success through hard work and your own amazing brilliance. You have to make a contribution to your success, but most of it comes from him, and you have to admit that.

Poverty is self-inflicted, but a blessed life comes from God, not your hard work.

The more I understand, the more repulsed I am by modern American values. We hate God more every day. We sow curse after curse in our lives. We celebrate perversion, pride, cruelty, vanity, and fornication, giving demons more and more power over us. We plant land mines in our paths all day long. We’re spitting on God while he holds back the spirits that have the power to destroy us and give us what we deserve.

America has gone completely PC, and that means we are blaming everyone in sight, except for those who cause our problems. We blame white people, men, Christians, southerners, everyone who has a job, heterosexuals, and conservatives. I’m sorry to say it, but we’re blaming the people who bring us God’s help. We’re celebrating perverts, socialists, idolaters of every type, rebels, ignorant young people with too much power, sluts, ghetto musicians with the morals of rats, and revilers. We’re destroying those who bless us and empowering those who make us rot and fail.

We now have a culture in which the word “shame” has developed a stink. Shame saves us. Shame is realism. Shame allows us to see what needs to be fixed. It opens the door to God’s help. Instead, now we love pride, which is a granite wall that blocks God’s assistance.

Even Christians promote pride. That’s amazing. Have they ever read the Bible? Show me the verses that praise pride. Good luck with that. God hates pride, and the Bible says he actively opposes the proud. What could be worse than that? How can anyone want God to be his enemy? There is no enemy in existence whose power can compare. God is the most terrifying enemy conceivable.

The more I learn about the true nature of the world, the more I wish I could move somewhere else. America is the last major island in a rising sea of feces, and when we go down, there will be nowhere else to go.

I helped create this mess, though, so how can I expect to be rescued?

Today everyone is flipping out because the president supposedly used a curse word to describe Haiti and other miserable, filthy, backward countries. He should apologize for his language, but he’s right. I have one Haitian godchild and another who is one quarter Haitian, and I know lots of Haitians. I wish them the best, but I would not hesitate to call Haiti a hellhole in front of them, and if they were honest, they would agree, because they chose the USA over Haiti and most of them want their friends and families to be allowed to leave.

Haiti is a failed nation, period, and it stands out as exceptional even among failed nations. No sane person questions it. When they want foreign aid, everyone agrees they’re in trouble. When they want to come here and bring their cultural limitations, suddenly Haiti is a wonderful place.

Haiti is definitely a horrible place. How did that happen? Is there something in the rain or the soil that makes it bad? Do the animals and fish make it bad? Was it bad before people moved there? What if I make a crazy suggestion? What if I say Haiti has been screwed up by Haitians? What other explanation is there? People ruin their own countries, and that means they have cultural problems that can be detrimental to other countries when they emigrate.

Haiti is a mess, and Trump is merely putting America first (his job) when he questions the need for more immigrants from messed-up nations. Somehow, we have gotten the idea that we are supposed to be an unlimited sanctuary for people who have proven they are likely to cause problems when they get here. Other countries, such as Canada and Japan, look for immigrants who will help them. They look for the educated and the skilled. Typical Haitians, Mexicans, Hondurans, and so on have virtually no chance of being allowed to move to most top-tier nations. We, on the other hand, bring in criminals and the unskilled. We don’t look for doctors or engineers. We look for people who are willing to do the filthiest jobs we have, and who have the least potential to improve and advance.

The kerfuffle over Trump’s language is a great example of the way PC and the supernatural inversion of our thinking has turned us into self-destroyers. We could be luring productive, successful people. Instead, we are filling ghettos. That’s the simple truth. That’s where these people go as soon as they get here.

I remember joining Trinity Church in Miami, which is 80% Haitian. A pastor told me, “The girls go to college, and the boys go to jail.” Look at other countries Trump is concerned about. Central Americans have a horrific crime rate, in their home countries and in America. They pour in, helping Democrats build their voter bases. Meanwhile, a Ph.D. from New Delhi who tries the legal route will be shoved further down the list because of all the less-desirable immigrants (and illegals) in front of him.

I heard some nut on NPR saying the alleged Haiti remark was “clearly racist.” Hmm. When did Haitian become a race? Obviously, Trump is not concerned about race. He is concerned about the way immigrants from screwed up countries drain us. I think it’s safe to bet that he would be happy to welcome immigrants from mostly black Barbados, which is considered to be the most developed nation in the Caribbean and Central America. I’m sure he would be happy to welcome black Haitians who are successful and educated.

I think if you asked most Americans to describe the purpose of allowing immigration, they would say it was to allow poor people to move here and do better. That’s insane. The correct purpose is to build America up. But if you say that, may God protect you from the PC mafia.

Anyway, America is under a supernatural delusion, and our hysteria over Trump’s alleged harsh remark shows how we love accusing those who help us. Whatever Trump’s personal failings may be, he has done a great deal for Christians and Israel, and he has been used by God to make the country stronger. We should be making allowances for his strange personality, in view of his accomplishments and what appears to be a genuine Cyrus anointing. Instead, we pounce on relatively trivial failings and work to oust him in favor of a poisonous, God-hating socialist to be named later.

I’m going to try to focus on self-criticism, repentance, and improvement. I wish everyone in America would get on board, but they’re not going to, so I’ll do what I can to save myself and whoever will accompany me.

Correction

I just found out the bacterium that causes cholera is vibrio comma, not vibrios comma. I remembered it as vibrios because that was the way a college friend of mine pronounced it.

I have finished the book, and it says the author’s doctor told him he did, indeed, have cholera. The doctor said the bug that got him was vibrio cholerae, which is another name for vibrio comma.

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The Two Lives of Bryan

January 8th, 2018

God is Consistent

I like watching Christian testimonies on Youtube. I prefer testimony to teaching. Teachers tend to anoint themselves. They decide they want to teach, and then they make things up, or they look for other misguided people who have created “institutes,” “centers,” “schools,” or “seminaries.” They may look to people who have created Christian franchises, like Calvary Chapel or Hillsong, as if God were using the McDonald’s model. The ones who learn from others usually repeat nonsense, but they justify themselves with their references and impressive-looking logos. “Joe Jones the famous evangelist who gives 90% of his salary to blind orphans and started the Hol-E-Mart church chain says THIS…”

One of the weird things a preacher may do to impress people is to call himself “ministries.” It’s just him and his laptop and GoPro, but the name is “Harvey Anderson MINISTRIES.” It’s not just one ministry. It’s “ministries.” I live in an area where a lot of farms, including farms where no actual farming is done, have signs saying “Farms” on them. “Windy Ridge Farms,” with no wind, no ridge, one property, and no farming. Same thing.

Some teachers are angry as they can be, as though they themselves were God, coming to get us for our sins (without a lot of discussion of their own failings). A certain amount of annoyance is normal and unavoidable, but when you give people the impression they sinned against you, personally, instead of God, you have a self-righteousness issue, and you probably lack love. On the other side of the coin, some teachers are aggressively warm, while still managing to be condescending. They’ve mastered the weary, all-knowing smile. “Oh, little children. What am I going to do with you? Come bask in the glow of my patience and false humility while I tell you AGAIN how to be as holy as me.”

If I want to hear from someone who is better than I am, I’ll go to God, and if I want the weight of authority, again, I’ll go to God. I won’t look to some guy who had his video-game-playing kid use Photoshop to make him a big shiny logo. Apart from hearing from God, I would like to hear from honest, knowledgeable people who know they’re not better than the rest of us.

Here’s something funny: a lot of people think they’re anointed to teach because their parents or husbands are anointed. Hello? Did Moses’ wife run a ministry? Did the apostles automatically hand their ministries over to their sons? I don’t think so. You shouldn’t give your obnoxious, spoiled kid a ministry just because you’re afraid he’ll end up working for Uber if you don’t. It’s not fair to the people who trust you. You can pass your chain of shoe stores on to your kid. Ministries are not yours to give away.

People who testify are better than teachers. Things happen to them, and they tell us what happened. If they’re truthful and what they say is scripturally sound, they’re considerably more trustworthy than teachers.

Testifiers often get in trouble because their stories don’t line up with doctrine. To me, that’s a sign that they’re right. The world is full of bad doctrine generated by teachers. No meat on Fridays! Pray to dead people and call them saints! Mary never sinned! Baptize babies who have no idea what’s happening! Don’t eat pork! Give God huge cash offerings on Jewish holidays!

The people who disturb me are the ones whose testimony lines up with Catholicism, Mormonism, and so on. Those people are just looking for attention or money.

Yesterday and today I watched a video featuring a former atheist who says he died and visited hell. His testimony is really something. He keeps verifying things that have come to me by revelation. Over the years, through prayer in tongues, I’ve learned a lot of things directly from God, and they are things no preacher ever told me (Actually, they did a great job of keeping truth away from me). In his testimony, the former atheist, Bryan Melvin, goes through a whole bunch of revealed ideas. He says they were shown to him during his visit.

This confirms what God told me a long time ago: “Authority comes from time spent in the presence of God.” This man apparently spent time in God’s presence, and he came back with authoritative knowledge of things self-anointed teachers don’t know.

Here’s one thing that shocked me: he confirmed that heaven is guarded so the flesh can’t go there and screw it up. Months or years ago, God showed me that heaven is a long way from the earth, and he made me understand two things: God wants to bring the rule of the Holy Spirit into the earth, and Satan wants to bring the kingdom of the flesh into heaven.

Down here on earth, human beings are ruled by the flesh. The flesh is a worthless animal. When I talk to God, I call it “this meat sack.” It’s about like a pig, except it’s malevolent. There is no type of filth, moral or physical, that bothers it. It is completely selfish. It is lazy. It is cruel. It can come to love any type of sexual perversion. The flesh is the receptor Satan uses to control us. He wants us to remain under its power until we die and beyond. He, himself, has the character of the flesh, even though he’s a spirit. He wants to rule heaven and earth in his filthy state, and for that reason, he had to be cast out.

There is a hierarchy of authority in the universe, and evil inverts it. Spirits are supposed to rule over the flesh, but in lost people, the flesh rules the spirit. Inversion of authority can happen on earth, but isn’t permitted to stain heaven.

Inversion of authority is a real problem. Ever know someone who is ruled by a pet dog she carries around in a purse, and who forces those around her to be inconvenienced by the dog’s desires? Know a man whose wife makes the rules? Know any parents whose kids call the shots? I’ve seen it over and over. I’ve experienced it in my own body and mind, unfortunately. My flesh has gotten me to obey countless orders. But I digress.

A fulfilled Christian, though burdened by a meat sack and subject to a certain amount of error, is primarily ruled by the Holy Spirit. He is in tune with God, just like the people and other spirits in heaven. Once the meat sack drops off, he is completely clean, and he is fit to enter heaven. He will not disrupt. He will think, feel, and act in harmony with his brothers.

Take a look at Psalm 133, as presented in the Complete Jewish Bible:

Oh, how good, how pleasant it is
for brothers to live together in harmony.

It is like fragrant oil on the head
that runs down over the beard,
over the beard of Aharon,
and flows down on the collar of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon
that settles on the mountains of Tziyon.
For it was there that Adonai ordained
the blessing of everlasting life.

That’s not about holding hands and singing Joni Mitchell songs (while eating tofurkey, spitting on combat veterans, and celebrating sodomy). It’s about beings who are united internally, through God’s power. It’s a description of the way beings live in heaven.

The psalm expressly mentions anointing, which means God’s authorization. Literally, “anointing” means “applying ointment,” or pouring oil on a person. Oil symbolizes the authorizing presence of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is with you, you will do his will and speak his ideas instead of wandering off on your own and telling people (to pick an example of bad doctrine) they can pray their relatives out of purgatory.

Authority comes from time spent in God’s presence, and so does harmony. God is not double-minded. He does not argue with himself, and people who are guided by him don’t argue. They want the same things.

Liberals and other people who don’t know God love to praise debate and argument. They say they’re healthy. Discord is not healthy at all. It’s sick. It proves something is wrong. When two people disagree, at least one of them (often both) is in disagreement with God. When both agree with God, they agree with each other. A Spirit-filled Christian argues as little as possible. It’s a last resort. Paul said he didn’t come to us with men’s wisdom, but with demonstration of the Holy Spirit and God’s power. Most of the time, in a religious context, argument doesn’t work. You can’t tear down supernatural walls with carnal tools.

One of the huge mistakes theologians make is to encourage hard study and debate. If study were the answer, a higher percentage of Jews would have accepted Jesus. They’re the best religious scholars there are, and they got it wrong. The most respected Christian scholars are long-dead Catholics whose obvious errors turned the church into a bastion of veiled paganism.

Jesus didn’t devote his life to long debates. He told people the truth, briefly, and then he moved on, making zero accommodation for their stupid opinions. The Bible lists short exchanges in which he corrected the misguided, but we have no record of him engaging in the kind of protracted disputes that have taken place since he left. “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like him.”

Bryan Melvin says we mistreat God’s integrity. That’s a funny way to say we sin in spite of our beliefs, but it’s right. God’s integrity is the most important thing there is. If he stops being completely righteous, the universe loses its compass, and the pattern of hell becomes universal. It’s completely natural that God separates himself from the earth. He has to be holy and perfect. How can he do that if he’s down here on the ceiling of hell, surrounded by vile morons guided by terrified spirits who would do anything to knock God off his throne and avoid the lake of fire?

I read a fascinating apocryphal book called The Ascension of Isaiah. Whether it’s true, I don’t know. The book describes an experience in which Isaiah is lifted up to God’s throne, through the levels of heaven. Every level is so much better than the next, the last one seems worthless.

We know the heavens have levels because it’s in the Bible. Paul says he was lifted into the third heaven. It makes sense, because ordinary human beings can see some of the levels of creation. Hell is inside the earth, which we can see. That makes two levels. We can see the first heaven, which is the air above the earth. We can see the second heaven, which is space. There is no reason to doubt Paul when he says there is a third heaven, and if Isaiah is said to have seen a seventh heaven, I have no reason to dispute it.

Anyway, the impression you get from reading the book is that God has put layers of insulation between the holy and the profane. I see the logic. If God’s integrity is as important as it seems, then you would expect to see a great effort made to insulate him from the presence of idiots. To me, when Bryan Melvin refers to God’s integrity, it makes sense.

Melvin says there are levels in hell, which is consistent with the notion of levels in heaven. There is tremendous symmetry in the supernatural.

I decided to buy his book. I want to see what else he knows.

I don’t know everything, but I can tell you this: if you don’t have a supernatural testimony, or if you do, but it stops updating and progressing, something is deeply wrong. Christianity is supernatural. It’s not just going to church and trying to obey rules. It’s not about making sure you eat as many crackers and drink as much wine as possible. You should be seeing God’s hand in action all the time, mostly in your heart and mind.

I’ll post the video I watched. Maybe you’ll get something out of it.

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The Power of Low Self-Esteem

January 4th, 2018

Admit the Truth: God Already Knows it

The more time passes, the more I learn about how I screwed my life up.

I suppose that sounds negative, but it’s not. When you don’t know a problem exists, you don’t try to fix it. Worse, you may think it’s a blessing. You may try to strengthen it. When God shows me what’s wrong with me, it can only mean one of two things: 1) there is no hope for change, so he wants to condemn me; or 2) he is showing me so I can be transformed and repaired. Because God has not given up on me, I know the answer is 2), so his criticism is a huge blessing.

God teaches us not to believe in ourselves or in other people. He teaches us we are weak and dirty. He teaches us we can’t accomplish much. This is the complete opposite of what the world (including many Christian teachers) teaches us. The world tells us self-esteem is a panacea. It tells us we can do anything as long as we believe in ourselves and never give up. It tells us not to beat ourselves up. It says, “Bad things happen to good people,” which is an obscene lie.

The world teaches us egotism and denial. Only a small percentage of people get God’s help in any degree of fullness, and because so few of us get divine help, we are taught that it doesn’t exist. We are told God helps those who help themselves. We are told to believe in ourselves and pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. In a way, it makes sense. If you can’t figure out how to work a car’s ignition, you walk everywhere. If you can’t figure out how to work power tools, you use hand tools that break down your body and get little done. You use the best tools and weapons you can find. If you can’t find God, self-esteem and hard work look pretty good. They can’t compare to God’s help, but they do produce some results.

The Bible is nothing like self-help teaching. It says, “Lean not unto thine own understanding.” It says, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.” God sentenced Moses to die outside of Israel because he used a stick to do something God wanted to do with a miracle. Anthony Robbins and Richard Simmons tell you you can. God tells you you can’t. God says you are bad, weak, and small. And God is right.

The last two churches I belonged to taught people God would fix all their problems if they had faith and gave the preachers money. That’s more or less the sum of it. Trinity Church in Miami was worse than the other church. They refused to say anything negative about any type of behavior, except briefly and without sincerity. Gay boys on the worship team? No problem. Pregnant girls singing on stage? Fine. They were so blind, they let Richie Wilkerson do a video in drag. Richie did a promotion based on the filthy movie The Hangover, which would seem to suggest that he and the other people involved went to see it. It made it seem as though they approved of it.

Trinity had two slogans, and one was, “We’re gonna win.” Not, “God will give us victory.” Just, “We’re gonna win.” They encouraged people to live however they wanted, as long as they showed up, gave money, provided free work, and refrained from saying anything negative.

People at Trinity didn’t do well. They died young. They stayed poor while their preachers lived in luxury. They went to prison. No wonder. They were walking in circles in the wilderness, and the preachers had them convinced they were in the promised land.

Trinity and New Dawn Ministries did nothing to help me confront my iniquities. God had to teach me about it directly. That’s sad. People are supposed to pass knowledge and wisdom on to each other, so each generation doesn’t have to start from scratch. If your church doesn’t teach you, who will? You better hope God speaks to you.

I discovered the false gospel of self-esteem when I was a teenager. I had very low self-esteem, which is painful, so when I felt the positive sensation of increased self-esteem, and I saw how much easier it made my life, I thought I was onto something. I pursued it. I never developed great self-esteem, but I did develop a strong pattern of denial and an inability to perceive my faults clearly.

Because I lived in denial, I was able to sink further into sin. I became jaded. Things that should have disturbed me didn’t bother me. I participated in things I should have avoided. Over time, I wrapped chains around myself, and they got too thick for me to resist in any way.

About 10 years ago, I started to realize I had messed up, but even with God’s help, things that are built up slowly may take a long time to deconstruct. I tried and tried to confess and be honest with God, but my vision wasn’t good, so even when I looked for things to confess, I didn’t do a good job.

One of my problems is that I have been surrounded by vexatious people. More generally, I have been surrounded by people who tempt me. A vexatious person tempts you to be angry and strike back, just as a slutty woman tempts you to sin sexually. It’s all temptation of one kind or another. When I started to work to improve, it was very hard for me to feel anything but anger for the people who worked against God in my life. It was like being stung by clouds of flies. without rest. This is why I’m so glad to be out of Miami. Miami is full of obnoxious people and temptation.

I found it very hard to feel any warmth for those who were against me and against God. The pain and stress they caused me made it difficult to have any positive feelings about them. It’s hard enough to love people when they’re behaving. Loving them while they’re still driving the nails in is impossible without God’s help.

I’m not completely stupid. For years, I’ve been praying for God to help me love my enemies. The change hasn’t been instaneous, and I am not strong enough on my own to force it.

Yesterday I had issues with someone who tempts me. I woke up during the night and thought about it. I tried to put myself in this person’s shoes. I realized some things.

People who live in sin as a lifestyle, without remorse, are to be pitied. They never feel God’s love. They don’t know him. They don’t have prayer. There is no one to comfort them when life defeats them. They are absolutely alone, even in crowds. When they get sick, they have to hope primitive, expensive human medicine can fix them. When they have problems, they have no reason to think they will overcome them. They live with failure, hopelessness, and desperation all the time.

Godless people live in anxiety and darkness, and then they go to hell, where they are tormented by the hateful spirits they served all their lives. Whatever my challenges are, I live in victory. God has visited me personally. He tells me things. He heals me. He puts my enemies in their places. When I die, I will live with him in peace and joy forever.

God helped me to remember that my enemies are as human as I am, and that they are much worse off than I am. He helped me feel it. Most people who are against me have never heard from God, or they are so screwed up, they can’t accept it when he communicates with them. They deny it to themselves.

I am in a position of great wealth and complete security, and I am angry with people who are in complete poverty and destined for eternal agony.

God helped me focus less on the pain they cause me, which is fleeting and trivial, and more on the horrible circumstances in which they live. Because of that, I am now better able to forgive and pray for them, without anger.

He also helped me to admit that I am just like them, but for his intervention in his life. I am not a good person. My sins would take years to list. I am not a good person subjected to the company of bad people. I am a bad person who wasn’t brave enough or strong enough to resist God when he called. I got to know God largely because I’m not as strong as people who resist him.

Every Christian should realize he’s a bad person, but getting that knowledge into your heart is a job for God. Knowing it is not the same as having it be part of you.

I encourage people to sit down every day and ask God what’s wrong with them. Admit you’re not honest. Admit you’re blind and deaf, and that you made yourself that way. Don’t waste time with excuses. They slow the process down. If you’re restless and anxious, there is a reason. There is something you need to confront, and it won’t go away until you get it out. You may never have to confess it to people, but you definitely need to tell God and get help overcoming it.

A long time ago, God told me, “Peace lies on the other side of confrontation.” Feel-good preachers keep peace away from you, because they hate confrontation. They think it drives dollars out the door, so they tell us we’re great.

I feel much better today, and I expect my blessings to increase. This stuff does work. You just have to do it the right way, not the TBN way.

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Tips for a Greasy, Pork-Heavy New Year’s Breakfast

January 1st, 2018

If You Were Drunk Last Night, Don’t Read This

Happy new year, I guess. I don’t get excited about this holiday. I hate staying up late, I don’t like noise, and I don’t get drunk any more. Also, it’s depressing to be reminded that everything we do here on earth is fleeting. I’ve been watching Turner Classic Movies, and some of the films had New Year’s scenes with people singing Auld Lang Syne (an annoying song that makes no sense). It was disturbing to realize all the people in those songs were dead. “Let’s think of all our great memories! Enjoy the moment! Get drunk and enjoy yourself, because we’re still young! Oh, wait. It’s 2017, and we’re all under the ground, rotting in wooden boxes.”

It seems like Americans have a talent for ruining the beginnings of things. We ruin weddings with bachelor parties and prostitutes. We ruin Sundays and church by getting drunk and fornicating on Saturday nights. We defile Lent with Mardi Gras. It makes sense that we would screw up every new year by starting it with a hangover. Nothing says “hope” like waking up next to someone you don’t know, wondering if you have VD, and having to vomit in a wastebasket.

But I do hope the year turns out well for everyone.

Instead of talking about the worst holiday of the year, let me give you a belated Christmas gift. I have been working on my biscuit recipe again, and today it paid off. I read up a lot to get a better idea of exactly what each ingredient does, and I came up with some new ideas.

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups biscuit flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup starch
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder (not soda)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbps. bacon grease
2 tbsp. butter

The starch is there to reduce the gluten.

I wanted to add flavor to the biscuits, so I tried a cheat that works with croissants. I burned some butter in the microwave, and then I poured it off of the burnt milk solids and chilled it in the freezer. A lot of the flavor in baked goods comes from butter which has started to burn. Store butter is generally low on flavor, so it needs help. Even the fancy European butter is disappointing compared to fresh-churned.

I put some butter in a Pyrex cup and covered it. Then I nuked it until it started to burn. I poured off 2 tablespoons of the liquid and froze it, and I added it to 2 tbsp. of chilled bacon grease from really excellent bacon.

You mix the dry ingredients (well), and then you cut the fat into them. You can use a hand pastry blender or a fork, but it seems like it works out to be less aggravation if you use your fingers. Start your sink running before you cut the fat, and then you won’t have to get fat on the faucet handle when you wash your hands afterward.

Mix the buttermilk in. You may not need all of it. You want a dough which is wet enough to roll out and so on, but you don’t want it mushy and sticky. As far as I know.

Roll the dough out so it’s a little over half an inch high, and cut out your biscuits. Bake for 14 minutes in a 425-degree oven. I put a sheet of foil on the rack below the cookie sheet to keep the bottoms of the biscuits from burning.

When they come out, brush the tops lightly with salted butter. McDonald’s does this. It’s one of the reasons their biscuits are so good.

These were great. I think part of the reason is that nuking the butter removes the water. Water takes the flakiness out of biscuits.

I used the top of a Mason jar to cut the biscuits out. I need a bigger cutter, but a jar is acceptable.

Preparing the fat is a pain. If you make biscuits a lot, I suppose you could prepare portions of burned butter and bacon grease and freeze them in foil.

I suspect that 450 is a better baking temperature than 425.

I made biscuits several times this week, because I had been having biscuit failures, and it was bothering me. Now maybe I’ll be able to forget about biscuits for a while.

On December 31, bake a bunch of these instead of getting drunk.

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My Unlikely Christmas Eve

December 25th, 2017

Eight Kids, Five Adults, Two Rib Roasts, and One Elderly Chihuahua

I hope everyone who reads this is having a great Christmas.

Yesterday I nearly killed myself and 12 other people with food. My friend Amanda showed up with her sons, and my friends and fellow Miami refugees Alonzo and Teri showed up with their 5 children. I made two standing rib roasts, a cheesecake, and brownies. I recruited Amanda to make Caesar salad from scratch, and I also made Texas trash, which is a snack made from Chex cereal and seasonings.

When I moved up here, I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. I knew I hated Miami. I knew I would get out sooner or later, but I wondered if I was taking the right path at the right time. Maybe God wanted me to suffer a bit longer. I didn’t know if I’d have friends or anything to do. Ever since I’ve been here, friends have been showing up and helping me out. I have not lacked for a social life, and the people I’ve associated with have been good for me, unlike toxic South Florida riff-raff.

We had a real Christmas Eve dinner, and the house was full of kids running around and making noise. Some presents were opened. Alonzo’s kids ran around carrying Pumpkin, their new 12-year-old Chihuahua. It was much better than what I expected: two old men, watching TV in different rooms.

Alonzo and Teri used to go to Trinity Church in Miami, and when we all got disgusted with the pastors’ greedy slavemaster mentalities, we all moved to another church. I’ve been writing about a former pastor who got jailed for child molestation. He ran the second church.

I never saw anything weird about the man, but last night I learned that he had done something strange for one of Alonzo’s daughters. The daughter is the same age as the niece he is accused of abusing. At some point, the pastor gave Alonzo’s daughter a red Christmas ornament. The story is that he told her how pretty she was and that the ornament made him think of her. How about that? Terri says that when she heard about his arrest, they grabbed the ornament and threw it out.

The ornament story was disturbing, but it makes me very happy to know that Alonzo’s daughter was spared. She’s a terrific young lady. She started talking to me yesterday about her experiences as a high school freshman and her ideas for her future. This kid is going to be all right. Other girls her age are sending disturbing texts and pictures to boys all day, or sulking and whining. This one has a college picked out, and she’s trying to decide on a career.

I tried to give her whatever helpful tips I could. You never know when something you say will make a big difference in someone’s life. I am not great with kids, and being reasonably normal, I don’t want to hang out with them for long periods, but I see the need to make an effort once in a while. Dealing with kids for 2 or 3 hours can be rewarding. After that, I need to do something else.

I hate to think about how things would have played out, had this girl become a victim. I should be more disturbed about the niece. I can’t explain why I’m not. I feel more empathy for people I’m close to. I suppose that’s a flaw.

Maybe God is showing me I should not feel as badly as I do for the pastor. I feel sympathy for him, and his punishment makes me think about the sins in my past, but my strong impression, as it has been for a couple of years, is that God does not want me to spend time praying for him. Some people just aren’t good investments. He knows who can be helped and who can’t.

The reason God does not have me praying for him is not that his sins are worse than mine. The reason is that he is too stubborn to let God or anyone else change him. If you will listen, your sins can be worked with. If not, they will pull you under.

There are people who can’t be helped, because they won’t listen. That’s important for me to keep in mind, with regard to my own walk. When I was young, people thought I was a good kid, but in some important ways, I was a useless punk. That’s to be expected, when you’re fatherless. My dad didn’t make any effort to teach me anything, and I learned to think for myself. I relied on my own disastrous conclusions. By my teens, I was a hard person to counsel. When you’re used to getting no advice or stupid advice, you try to figure things out on your own, and you may develop a reflexive hostility toward other people’s suggestions. For the most part, the kids who were here yesterday are teachable. They are better off than I was. I’m old, and I behaved stupidly for decades, so now I’m like a tree that grew in the wrong direction. Reshaping me is a huge job only God can do.

I’m very glad I’m not beyond hope. The Bible compares stubborn people, including the damned, to clay jars that have been fired so their necks are stiff. You can’t change pottery once it’s fired. In ancient Jerusalem, they took misshapen pottery and threw it in the Potter’s Field, which was part of the city dump. That’s a picture of hell. My neck got pretty stiff, but I didn’t reach the point of no return. I’m not sure how close I came, but I think it was pretty close.

I don’t know why God started visiting me and calling to me when I was in my twenties. I never heard from him before that. Why he decided to make contact after I was an adult is a mystery. I didn’t do anything to merit a sudden change. I’m sure there are a lot of people in hell who have sinned much less than I have, and there are surely people who have done more good.

The church with the scandal was very messed up. We had a false prophet who got up and yelled for long periods, predicting things that never came true, and he was never held accountable no matter how often he was wrong. The pastors loved him and honored him because he always told them they were great, they were going to be rich, and that the church was going to grow. The pastors paid no attention to people who told the truth, i.e. that the prosperity gospel is a farce and that internal change is what God wants.

The pastors were odd people. They refused to eat non-starchy vegetables. They said they took vitamins instead. But they were happy to eat rice, bread, sugar, pork fat, and salt. Their attitude toward God was just like their attitude toward food. They only wanted the things that were pleasant on the way down.

When I turned back to God, I was mainly interested in the starch and sugar. I wanted to feel better, fast. He helped me understand that I needed the broccoli and and carrots even more. I don’t have a church now, but that’s a good thing. I don’t have people shoving plates full of Twizzlers and Moon Pies in my face when I show up asking for greens. Instead of a poisonous feel-good church, God gives me private sessions in which he helps me feel bad and clear the air with him. I would rather feel bad here with God than bounce up and down and snort glitter at a church full of boneheads hooked on false prophecy and fake joy.

Christmas Eve was great, and God is helping me be honest with him, so I expect the coming year to be much better than this one. I hope God gets in touch with every one of you and teaches you a thousand times as much as he has taught me.

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Tales of the Tundra

December 22nd, 2017

Laying the Smackdown on Mother Nature

I am still not used to living here in the frigid north.

Since moving to the Ocala area, I have encountered a number of strange phenomena I didn’t have to deal with in Miami. Here’s an example: up here, leaves fall off the trees.

Yes, some trees in South Florida lose their leaves. But most don’t, and generally, the ones that do, drop their leaves in the spring. Up here, almost every tree is a live oak, and they drop their leaves continuously throughout the cool months. I think. We also have real trees such as maples, and they shed, too.

Once the leaves fall, they’re on the lawn, and then what do you do with them?

My strategy of ignoring them and figuring they would evaporate has worked out poorly. Live oak leaves are like heavy postage stamps that never rot. They glue themselves to everything around them, forming a crappy mat of death that kills grass.

The lawn is in considerably worse shape than it was when I arrived.

I looked around for answers. One dude on a forum told me to run my mower over the leaves and mulch them. I tried it. Most of the leaves ignored the mower and held onto the ground like baby poo holds onto a new couch. The rest blew out the side and landed a few feet away, where they continued killing the grass.

I found out my mower isn’t set up for mulching. As I understand it, a mulching mower doesn’t shoot leaves out. It has a plugged leaf port or whatever it’s called. The leaves and clippings are confined under the deck for as long as possible, permitting the mower to chew it up.

I didn’t know much about mulching, but I knew one thing: I was not going to rake. That was unthinkable.

I found out John Deere makes a mulching kit. For $270, they will sell you $100 worth of parts to screw onto your mower. It’s a plug for the leaf exit, plus some sheet metal to help confine things. They also throw in 3 mulching blades, which, I guess, are blades that mulch better.

I ordered the kit, and I also ordered 3 Gator mulching blades from another company. These blades have little flap sort of things cut into their trailing edges. I think they’re supposed to create more leaf-sucking turbulence.

Now I have to take the deck off the mower, turn it over, and install all this stuff. I get to roll 345 pounds of metal over, by myself. Fun.

I already know the leaves won’t come off the ground just because I have a mulching kit. That would be out of character for them. I decided I needed something else, to loosen the leaves up before mowing. I checked a bunch of options, and I bought an acreage rake. If you’ve ever seen a hay rake, you’ve seen a large version of an acreage rake. It has a bunch of pinwheel-looking things on it, and they move debris into a neat row behind your garden tractor. Presumably this will make the mulching kit happy.

I don’t know if this will work, but it’s cheaper than the next-best option, which is covering the whole yard with pine bark.

The mulching kit is here, and I’m preparing to install it. No word on the arrival of the rake yet.

I also discovered that some of my plants were not freezeproof. We had a light freeze, and my much-hated ixora bush partially withered. I also lost most of a weird flowering thing at the base of a tree. The weeds all did fine, naturally.

I asked my friend Amanda what was going on, and she said people up here–this is not something I’m making up–run out in their yards before freezes and put sheets over their delicate little snowflake plants. Seriously. Grown people, wrapping plants in sheets.

Here’s how I see it: the freeze helped me identify weak plants I need to kill. I’m not going to run around the yard wrapping things in sheets. If a plant dies, it was never intended to be here.

I think I understand what happened. The previous owners came from Virginia. They saw Ocala as a place where they might be able to grow cool tropical plants. I came from Miami. I see it as a place where I can grow cool temperate-zone plants. They probably wanted mangoes and coconuts. I never want to see those things again. I hate Miami worse than hemorrhoids. I want chestnuts, blackberries, apples, peaches, penguins, and polar bears.

Yesterday I took my neat lithium-ion hedge trimmer and ripped out about half of the frostbitten ixora. Eventually I’ll take the tractor’s front end loader and tear it out of the ground while cackling helplessly. Ixoras remind me of Miami, and besides, they’re ugly.

I plan to plant manly plants that laugh, audibly, at cold fronts.

Another new scourge: moles. They’re real. I thought they only existed in Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Seriously, there is an animal that swims in dirt.

I noticed that my yard was getting mushy, but I didn’t know why. I had a dim impression that it might be huge colonies of earthworms. Then I saw that patches of grass were dying. Moles were tunneling under the grass, cutting the roots.

I researched moles and learned that most methods of getting rid of them are totally worthless.

You can buy little spikes with solar-powered noisemakers in them. They’re supposed to annoy the moles. In reality, the moles either don’t care, or they only care for a short time. Then they come back.

You can also buy live traps. When your moles are caught, you can pick them up and pitch them into the next yard, which, hopefully, they will like better than yours. The problem here is that moles have very little fat and don’t store energy well. A mole can starve in a few hours. That means live traps are really less-humane death traps. Instead of killing your mole cleanly, you leave it to die slowly, in agony. So if you use “humane” traps, you have to run outside around the clock to check them.

Yeah. That’s totally going to happen. I wouldn’t get up every 3 hours for chemotherapy.

Why do all these worthless mole products exist? I think the answer is women. Moles are very cute, and women don’t like killing cute things. I think they get out their rolling pins when their husbands get in the car to go to Tractor Supply, and they beat them until they promise not to buy real traps.

I don’t distinguish between cute pests and ugly ones. If they were wrecking my grass, I’d set traps for baby ducks. It’s sad and all that, but life is what it is. I’m planning to kill all of my squirrels, even though they’re cute. My dad is against it. He has been throwing orange peels in the yard to feed them.

Yes, orange peels. It didn’t make any sense to me either. Don’t make me digress.

When my dad was a kid, his neighbors used to pay him to drown kittens. He has really changed, and of course, he changed when it would inconvenience me.

I got a scissor trap. It pinches moles nearly in half. Great invention, but it’s hard to use here, because you have to be able to see your mole tunnels clearly in able to set it. It’s hard to tell where my tunnels begin and end. I went for another option: carbon monoxide. You can buy an adaptor that connects and exhaust pipe to a garden hose. They probably shouldn’t sell these to depressed female college students. Anyway, you pipe gas into your mole tunnels, and the moles quietly expire and rot, out of sight. And you can tell your wife, truthfully, that Mr. and Mrs. Mole went beddy-bye and woke up in happy land.

If you really want your moles gone fast, there is a propane-based tool that blows them out of the ground. Some Youtube genius built one. This guy is amazing. He composed a tune for background music. He played all the instruments. Then he killed a tremendous number of moles on video, and he timed the explosions to match the beat. You have to see it. I’ll embed it here.

Is that great, or what? The obvious downside is that the weapon does far more damage to your yard than moles. I think the real purpose has little to do with yard maintenance and everything to do with revenge.

You can also shoot flammable gas into mole tunnels with an ordinary torch and light them. It’s a molocaust. A molepocalypse. Armolegeddon.

I bought a car exhaust adaptor, and I plan to get a special short hose and get to work. No suffering for the moles, and my yard should recover in less than ten years.

I’m wondering if water would drive them out. I could fill the tunnels while standing by with a .22. But I already have the gas thing.

When I moved here, I did not realize I would have to kill almost everything I saw. I would love to get along with all the bugs and bunnies and duckies, but it looks like I’ll be spending a good deal of my time killing, killing, killing. Live oak trees. Mosquitoes. Squirrels. Moles. Wimpy shrubs. Poison ivy. If you come to visit me, you should probably wear an orange vest and carry some form of ID. I am more dangerous than Happy Fun Ball with PMS.

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Primed for Disappointment

December 21st, 2017

Free 2-Day Shipping Takes a Week

Am I the only one who has noticed that Amazon Prime is a sham?

When I first signed up, I wanted free shipping. That was the thing. I knew I would save more than the cost of Prime. But I also liked the 2-day time frame. Amazon promised they would ship stuff to me for nothing, in 2 days. Obviously, there are exceptions. They’re not going to ship you a bulldozer in 2 days, and if you order at 9 p.m. on a Monday, you’re going to wait till Thursday. But generally, 2 days.

Now that I think about it, Bezos has a lot of nerve, putting things he can’t ship quickly on the Prime list. It’s dishonest. If you can’t ship a heavy item in 2 days, it’s not Prime, now, is it?

Anyway, at first things were great. I could order an Arduino board on a Friday and receive it on Sunday. I received things on Saturdays, too. The 2-day promise was no joke.

Over the last few months, I’ve seen a big change. Order on a Monday, receive on…Friday. Extra charges for weekend delivery, too.

Yesterday I ordered 2 Prime items. That was Wednesday. Now Amazon says they will arrive in a week. Is Amazon on Mars time? Maybe on Mars, 2 days equal 1 earth week.

I got no explanation. I didn’t get an email containing an apology. Just a notification on Amazon’s site, telling me I had to wait a week.

It’s interesting. It’s not surprising. To me, it’s consistent with the way evil works.

I think the Internet is basically evil. I use it, but I think the devil is using it to do us great harm. It has spread pornography to every corner of the world. It has helped hostility increase to levels no one could have predicted 30 years ago. It’s going to destroy cash, so the government will be able to control us by freezing and confiscating our money and by using our purchases to surveil us. It’s going to destroy free will by making us unable to do anything without being observed.

The Internet is a bad thing, and one of its evils is the destruction of retail businesses. Malls are closing because no one wants to get in the car any more. We are headed toward a state in which a few big companies hold all the inventory, and you won’t be able to get the things you need unless you deal with them electronically, leaving a trail of bread crumbs for Uncle Sam, who is stupid, cruel, and unfair.

About half of Americans have Amazon Prime now. That’s an astounding statistic. It’s very powerful. And 2-day shipping was a big part of the appeal. Now that we’re hooked, the shipping guarantee is dissolving. That’s completely typical of the way evil works. No drug dealer charges you for your first line of coke. He lets you develop a taste for it, and then you pay whatever he asks.

As we become more dependent on Amazon and other online companies, they will lose their motivation to provide good service. That’s what’s happening with Prime. They have half of America. They know you won’t quit now. Maybe technological advances will make Prime a real 2-day service, and maybe Amazon will tell us to shut up and accept delays. Either way, Amazon comes out on top.

Am I saying we should boycott Internet vendors? No. They already won. There is nothing we can do. Depriving yourself won’t fix the situation.

It doesn’t matter that much to me. I went without house shoes and a housecoat for most of my life. I can wait 6 more days. But I find it interesting, and I wonder why no one seems to be talking about it.

Amazon says it will refund your membership for a month if they deliver something late. At least that’s the Internet scuttlebutt. Something to look into, if your Christmas socks haven’t arrived yet.

6 Comments »

Pssst…JESUS!

December 20th, 2017

He is God, and This is the Christmas Season

I was just reading about Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s eccentric leader. The guy Obama and Bill Clinton allowed to build nuclear weapons. I should also add Bush, since he didn’t stop it.

Like all serious leftists, he has a bee in his bonnet about God. Socialism has always been about dethroning God and replacing him with an impossible messiah in the form of a benevolent mommy state.

Kim (I assume that’s his family name) has decided to attack Christmas. He has banned all gatherings involving singing combined with alcohol. If he ruled Ireland, he could simply have banned wakes.

My first thought was that Kim would fit in really well on America’s coasts. The leftist war on Christmas is very real. Bill O’Reilly was ridiculed for acknowledging it, but he was right. These days, a store employee who says “merry Christmas” is regarded as though he had said “Heil Hitler.” A crazy judge just issued a ruling in which he made the utterly fatuous claim that Christmas has a “secular half.” Look it up. He was being generous. These days, Christmas (the mass of Christ) has a secular 95%. We see a whole lot of reindeer and snowmen, and we hear the word “holidays” a lot, but we don’t hear a whole lot about Jesus.

Once again, I am reminded how much I hate Miami. Where I am now, things are very different. I don’t live near a mainstream city. After I moved here, I noticed something incredible. You can walk into a business belonging to a national chain here and hear Christian music playing in the background, and when you leave a store, they usually wish you a merry Christmas.

The first time I noticed the music, I marveled at the courage of the store manager. I was thrilled, but I also felt like we were getting away with something. I wondered if the manager would get in trouble.

It’s very sad that we have to pretend this isn’t the Christmas season. What other major holidays are there at the end of December? Atheists don’t have holidays, unless Festivus counts. Kwanzaa is a made-up holiday created by a white-hating black supremacist, and no one pays much attention to it. Chanukkah is real, but let’s face it: we didn’t start decorating our houses because of a holiday that applies to 3% of the population. Yom Kippur is much more important than Chanukkah, and you will notice there is no Yom Kippur season. We don’t even celebrate Purim, the fun Jewish holiday where everyone gets hammered.

This is the Christmas season, plain and simple. It always has been, at least since we stole December 25 from the pagans. Without Jesus Christ, the messiah, the sole incarnation of God, the “holiday” season would not exist. Tell me I’m wrong.

I don’t know what God thinks about the Christmas season, except that I’m sure he appreciates us acknowledging Jesus. We don’t know the correct date, and we adopted a lot of pagan nonsense when we created the holiday. We are extremely materialistic at this time of year. I’m so sick of it, I give very cheap presents these days. God may not be all that happy with the way we handle things, but I’m sure he is offended at the way leftists treat the name of Jesus. We censor it like a curse word, while promoting the open use of all actual curse words.

Cover your eyes, if you’re a leftist. I am about to blaspheme your god.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Merry, merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Have a great time, celebrating the birth of the only supreme messiah; God in the form of a man. Roast a reindeer for your family and tell your kids there is no Santa Claus.

Jesus is God. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. J-E-S-U-S. If I ever said “season’s greetings,” I now repent. Jesus allowed himself to be murdered in order to save me from myself. The least I can do is say his name.

Yesterday I saws the testimony of a converted Jew from Israel. His grandfather was a very rich rabbi and a member of the Sanhedrin. When this man told his grandfather he had accepted Jesus, his grandfather threw dishes at him and opened up his forehead, leaving a scar. He ran him off. When his grandfather died, he left him a fortune worth over $40 million, on the condition that the grandson renounce Jesus. The grandson rejected it. His family told him he was dead. His mother said he was worse than a terrorist. He had to go live in a tent and wash dishes for an Arab who hated Jews. Seven famous rabbis from the Sanhedrin invaded his tent and spat on him. He never gave up on Jesus.

But we don’t have the nerve to say “Jesus” or “Christmas” at Banana Republic, in a putatively Christian nation.

We’re so brave!

We’re being conditioned to hate and deny the name Jesus. In the future, leftists will have the power to kill us for our beliefs, right here in America, and we will be asked to renounce the Lord in order to save our lives. By then, we’ll be used to being embarrassed by the mention of his name. We’ll be used to hiding our beliefs, as though we were hiding pornography addictions. If you can’t say “merry Christmas” today, you may have a hard time standing up for Jesus when a government stooge tries to get you to renounce salvation in exchange for a few more years of life.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Get over it.

Never forget that this is the Christmas season. You can call a cat a chicken if you want, but the truth is the truth.

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Pork Crisis Comes to a Sudden End

December 18th, 2017

Plus More Testimony

I got a nice surprise today. My sliced country ham arrived, and it’s much better than I expected.

I ordered it from Gatton Farms in Kentucky. I quit using them a long time ago, because they sent me a ham that wasn’t smelly enough. A few days ago, I started looking for a new ham, and I decided to try buying a Gatton Farms ham (because the price isn’t bad) and letting it sit around for a week or two before refrigerating it, to see if it improved. When the ham arrived today, I couldn’t resist frying a couple of slices. The last country ham I had was from Cracker Barrel, and it was pretty bland.

The new ham looked promising right out of the box. The slices were vacuum-sealed in clear bags, and the color was dark and nasty-looking, the way it should be. I flopped a couple into a skillet and gave them about three minutes on a side, after adding two tablespoons of bacon grease for good thermal conduction.

When I took them out, I poured off the excess grease, added a little water to the skillet, and boiled it down to make redeye gravy. Some people call cream gravy redeye gravy, but it’s much simpler. Cream gravy is bechamel sauce made from pork grease and pepper, more or less. Redeye gravy is what you get when you deglaze a skillet with water and then reduce it. People will tell you to add coffee to it, but my grandmother never did.

I’m very impressed. The ham and gravy were nicely acidic, the way they should be. The meat wasn’t too dry. It was nice and salty. I didn’t add water to cut the salt.

I don’t know if they’ve improved their curing method or if the disappointing stuff they sent in the past was just bad luck.

My half-gallon container of sorghum molasses hasn’t made it here yet. I look forward to trying it. I want to make biscuits and eat them with ham, butter, and sorghum. I hope the sorghum is thick. I’ve had sorghum so thick it made me want to chew on it.

Things are going very, very well in my prayer life. God has been helping me to spend more time praying in tongues, in several sessions every day. I can’t tell you why, but when I do this, life just flows. Problems solve themselves. Stress disappears. When I don’t do it, problems pile up.

I got a phrase during prayer the other day. It was, “I know the answer.” It just means I need to quit asking God for new answers and start applying the answer he already gave me. In 1986, he told me I needed to pray in tongues for long periods every day. For a long time, I’ve known that it works, but I haven’t applied it enough.

I always say I would be the most boring preacher alive, because I would always say the same thing: get baptized with the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues as much as you can. I keep coming back to it. It never doesn’t work.

It’s a great message. Think of all the effort it obviates. Denominations are teaching people to slave away at unpleasant methods that do not work. They tell them to make pilgrimages on their knees, give all their money to grinning monkeys on TBN, go on long fasts, pray this canned prayer, pray that canned prayer, pray to this or that false “saint,” give up good food for Lent, avoid meat on Fridays, and a whole list of other useless tasks, when what people really need is to connect themselves to God’s power and let him do the work.

Yesterday I had a funny thought. Imagine you dig ditches for a living. One day your foreman comes up to you and tells you to dig a ditch of a certain size. You give yourselves blisters and make your back sore, digging the prettiest ditch in history. Then the foreman makes you and all the other workers assemble to praise him for the great job he did. “You’re so worthy. Look at this great ditch you gave us, o foreman. We thank thee for thy ditch.”

How would you feel about that guy? You’d think he was an parasite and a colossal jerk. But somehow, we expect to do all the work to straighten out our lives…AND praise God for it.

Is God a colossal jerk? Does he want credit for the things you do? If you have to do the work, what, exactly, are you supposed to praise him for?

God wants to do the work. We know this because he wants the praise. He doesn’t want you to praise him for what you do without his help. When you pray in tongues, he does the work. He gives you the words. He answers the prayers. You’re barely involved. It only makes sense that you would praise him when you see the results, because there is no way you can take credit. You had no idea what you were saying!

God fixes people’s problems, and he even wants to do the work of changing your character. Your catastrophically disordered and disabled character is too screwed up for you to fix. You already blew it. The damage is done. If you could repair it, you wouldn’t need Jesus. The crucifixion would have been a waste of time. It’s as if you spent your life mining sin, and while you were a thousand feet down, the mine collapsed on you. You can’t move the timbers and boulders. You’re pinned. God understands that, and when you keep trying to dig yourself out, your pride tries his patience. It proves you haven’t learned anything. It drives him to stop helping you.

We are heirs, not self-made men. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We’re supposed to sit back and let God give things to us. It’s humiliating, but then it should be. Humiliation just indicates that we finally understand what we are.

Here’s something I realized the other day: when God gave his stamp of approval to Jesus, he didn’t say he was proud of him. Remember? Jesus was baptized, and when he rose from the water, the Holy Spirit alighted on him, and God said, “Behold my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Not, “of whom I am very proud.”

Sometimes when I accomplish something satisfying, I think about that. I feel like saying, “I’m proud of this,” but I know better than to do that. The correct thing to say is, “I am pleased that this is done.” We like to say we take pride in our work. That’s wrong. We should say we take pleasure in doing it well, and that we’re grateful God helped us. I think about that a lot. You don’t need pride. It’s a poison. You can be satisfied with what you have and what you do, without ruining everything by bringing pride into it.

God himself is not proud. That’s incredible. The Bible says it’s true, though. God himself, who has more reason to be proud than anyone, is humble. But somehow we, who offend God constantly and live on his mercy, think our asinine pride is a virtue.

I hope things continue to go well. I know from experience that I can always find a way to drop the ball.

I don’t care if anyone agrees with me or not. What I am doing was not my own idea, and it works. I can’t force anyone else to accept it. I wish they would. I’m not going to be disturbed if they tell me how offended they are by “cheap grace” and so on. Maybe they’re so great they can save themselves. I’m not, and clearly, I am not required to.

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In Search of Properly Rotten Ham

December 15th, 2017

Yankees Ruin Everything

I feel like writing about something trivial.

Yesterday or the day before, I decided I needed a country ham. More accurately, I needed some form of country ham. Whole or sliced. I was not sure which way to go. Country ham sellers don’t charge much for slicing and bagging ham, and it’s a big help, but I was thinking I might want to age whatever I bought, and I don’t think hams will age well in individual slices.

My grandmother used to make her own hams. They hung a couple of years, and they were wonderful. They had a fermented smell to them, as country hams should, and because they came from pre-food-hysteria hogs, they had a lot of fat. The nincompoops who run the food industry have ruined hogs. They breed them for leanness, which is obscene. Pork has to have fat in order to work. You can’t make gravy without it, and just try making sausage from lean meat. I tried to make sausage from grocery pork, and it was like rubber. I had to grind fatty bacon into it to make it work. Granny used real pork from properly overweight pigs.

I should have looked for pork belly to grind into it, but as I recall, pork belly was hard to find before the fakes and hucksters on cable TV started using it.

When you buy a ham these days, chances are, you will get an abomination which has hung for six months or less. That doesn’t work. It takes a long time for ham to ferment and get the right flavor.

If you go to Cracker Barrel, they will serve you Clifty Farms hams. Unless things have changed, these are 6-month hams. Plenty of salt, but not much flavor. If you go online and buy a ham, you are very likely to get a 6-month ham unless you make a special effort to avoid it. If you’re going to settle for that, you might as well go to the grocery store and buy their fake country ham.

A long time ago, I discovered Gatton Farms. The company has a different name now. They were in Kentucky. They sold very nice hams. Then I noticed the product had changed. The flavor was gone. They told me they were curing their hams for a relatively short time. I switched to Scott Hams, and they were much better, but they went out of business, probably due to incompetence. It was impossible to get them to answer an email, so they were probably irresponsible in all other aspects of their business.

They sold really good sorghum. They sent me a broken jar, and I was never able to get them to respond to my communications so I could get it replaced.

A cousin of mine swears by Col. Newsom’s hams. He goes to pick them up in person. They’re very pricey. They charge $107 per ham, which is about 50% more than I feel like paying. They say their current hams have been hanging about a year, though.

Yesterday, I gave up and ordered some slices from the Gatton Farms people. It will surely be better than Smithfield or Clifty Farms, and it will put something on the table while I look for alternatives.

Here’s an idea I had: why not buy a crummy young ham and hang it a while? Aging is aging. A ham won’t know whether it’s hanging in my closet or in a barn in Kentucky. I may give it a try. It would certainly make the house smell nice. I can get by with my questionable slices while my project ham grows pleasantly funky.

Because all things are made in China and sold via Amazon, I went to Amazon to see if they had hams. Sure enough, a few vendors appeared there (not really Chinese). The ratings were not helpful, though. It was a bunch of city people, whining because they didn’t like country ham per se. “One star! Very salty! WAAAAH!!!! WAAAHHHH!!! MOMMY!!! GLOBAL WARMING!!!” Hey, if you don’t like country ham, why did you buy it? It’s supposed to be salty.

Some companies are selling neutered country ham. “Our delicious hams are not salty!” Then they’re not country ham. It’s as if Guinness decided to sell dyed Budweiser.

The slices should be here in a few days. I feel like letting them sit on the counter for a week to rot. Can’t hurt.

It’s too bad Scott Hams went out of business. They had great hams, sorghum, and some other interesting stuff. Smoked jowls. Real bacon.

I get very good bacon right where I am. I may have written about it. My friend Amanda works at a university, and the university has a “meat lab,” whatever that is. It must give the hippies the cramps, just knowing it’s on campus. State universities have to support agriculture, so the transvestites, communists, and jihadists can’t do much about the meat lab. They sell “bacon steaks,” which are slices of bacon about 3/8″ thick. Really nice, with lots of smoke flavor. I close my eyes and chew and wish it were non-sustainable whale bacon (which really exists).

I’m not as interested in food as I used to be, but I’m not going to dispose of my entire heritage. Country ham is a must, just like biscuits and gravy.

To get back to sorghum, I found a decent buy on Amazon. If you spring for half a gallon, you can get it for $40. That’s not bad, considering the total lack of local availability. The brand is Oberholtzer’s. I have not tried it, but Kentucky is the best place to find good sorghum, and Oberholtzer’s is a Kentucky company.

Most molasses is blackstrap, and it’s bitter. Sorghum, as I understand it, is not really molasses, but it tastes like it, without the bitterness. No one in Kentucky will accept blackstrap.

I’m giving the ham and the molasses a shot. I will report when I have the data.

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Release the Pus

December 11th, 2017

Self-Righteousness is Cancer

I decided to take down yesterday’s blog post and start over. I have more more important things to write about than the saga of Al Franken and Roy Moore.

God has been giving me a lot of help lately. He has been helping me to see how screwed up I am, and how far I am from the person he wants me to be. It really started to hit home after my former pastor was jailed for child molestation. We all plant the seeds of our own destruction, and even if we don’t end up facing public disgrace, those seeds need to be rooted out and replaced with seeds of blessing. They do harm, even if they don’t become full-blown disasters.

During the last century or so, Americans have taught themselves to love sin and pride. As a result, we no longer fear punishment, and worse, we are no longer able to perceive our baseness. When you don’t notice your symptoms, you don’t know you have a disease, so you don’t try to get healed.

Sometimes I watch old TV shows and movies. I see grown men and women using separate twin beds. I see well-made movies about mature topics, in which the dialogue is completely G-rated. Then I see modern entertainment. Performers on broadcast TV–not just cable–joke about oral sex. Sometimes we actually see them having sex. We see them naked. We hear all kinds of filthy language. This happened within the span of one lifetime. Surely that’s unprecedented.

If you had been born in 1750, in 1825, you would have found yourself in a world that had not changed much. Prices would not be much different. Technology would only be a little better. People’s manners would be about like they had been when you were born. Consider the last century. When I was born, there was no Internet. There were no personal computers. Most Americans attended church and owned homes. Women wore slips. The only really dirty movies were illegal stag films shot in cheap motels. You could make it to college before finding out what the word “condom” meant.

Now the world is a locker room patrolled by sex-crazed, pride-crazed bullies. The filth of society commands our attention. We used to look up to people who at least pretended to have morals. Now we make the Kardashians rich. We worship illiterate rappers who tell our kids they want to kill the police. Public nudity is legal in many of our cities, and if you don’t want your kids to see it, you can just stay home.

We are completely jaded. Our consciences are seared. We have absolutely no fear of God.

We go to church, and preachers don’t tell us to repent. They tell us God is all for homosexuality, and that he creates homosexuals just as they are. We are told pride is a good thing. We are told to relax and stop feeling guilty, because Jesus (if they admit he was real) carried all that on the cross. Just enjoy yourself, scrupulously avoid criticizing sin, and give preachers your life savings instead of paying your just debts.

Preachers are cowards and pinworms. They don’t have the guts to tell people things that will save them. They only care about money and fame. They do their damnedest, perhaps literally, to avoid saying anything that might cause even one paying person to walk out the door. God will hold them accountable. They represent him to people who need him desperately, and they lie and keep them from finding him.

I feel like I know a little bit about God, but I’m like a pair of socks that has only been through the prewash cycle. The wash and rinse haven’t even started. No one around me knows enough to teach me. I have to go to the source–the Holy Spirit–because preachers are slime. The very best preachers I know of are hopelessly inadequate.

Last night, I suddenly realized I had wronged someone, and once God showed it to me, I did not understand how I could have missed something so obvious. I still don’t understand. Spiritual blindness is supernatural. It defies explanation. I talked to God about it for a long time. I know there must be other obvious sins in my life, thriving under my defective radar. How did I let this blindness happen to me? I adopted the standards of a world which is literally the ceiling of hell instead of thinking about the standards of heaven, which is my real home.

Pride is not okay. Sexual sin is not okay. Cruelty is not okay. Name a habitual sin. It’s not okay. But our culture praises sin so highly, we actually compete to see who can be best at it. We spend our lives tying weights to ourselves, to drag us down toward hell. How shocking it must be for a modern American to die and stand in God’s presence. It must be overwhelming to see how wrong we are about everything, and how beautiful life is supposed to be.

If you want to ask God for something, ask him for correction. Ask him to fix your roots, not your leaves and fruit. The apparent things will heal, once the hidden things are put in order. Forgiveness is great, but as Paul put it, it’s not an occasion to the flesh. It’s not permission to sin. Repentance and clean living are important. You need to be set apart, not just after you die, but right now.

You also need to know that God expects to do the hard work for you. You can’t fix yourself. You can’t even diagnose yourself. You have to have his help, and he allowed himself to be tortured to death so he could give it to you. Don’t be ashamed to ask for handouts. You can’t earn anything. You are too wicked and weak. Accept the fact that you’re a criminal and a charity case, and be willing to be given the things you can’t provide for yourself.

Preachers tell us fear of the Lord isn’t really fear. They say it’s reverence or awe. That’s misleading. Read an interlinear Bible. The word translated “fear” means “terror.” No one wants to admit that God is dangerous, but he is. He is the most dangerous being there is. He, not Satan, created hell, and he is the one who puts them there to burn. He allows bad things to happen to sinners who don’t repent. His love is the best thing there is, but his enmity is a horror that defies description. There is no defeating it. There is nowhere to hide. There is no shelter. No one can hold him back. We have to be afraid to do evil, instead of seeing God as someone who changes our filthy diapers once a week and then sends us home to continue sinning.

The filthier you are, the more you will suffer as God’s enemies gain power in America. The disciples were stronger than common people, and Jesus was stronger than the disciples. You can’t complain if you don’t change, and then you find that you’re the tail and not the head. That’s how things are supposed to work. It doesn’t mean something went wrong. It doesn’t mean bad things happen to good people. You will have brought it on yourself, and accusing God of letting you down will just make it worse.

Ask for the ability to see what’s wrong with you, and don’t be a wimp about facing the discomfort. You can’t fix an abscess without ripping off the scab and cleaning out the rot. We put scabs on ourselves. We put thin skins of denial over our iniquities. It’s like shoveling dirt over a seed. They continue to grow. The demons that live in us keep getting more powerful. We need to confront our faults and our denial and have our inner illegal aliens torn out and driven off.

Repentance brings new power. Denial blocks God’s power. Don’t be discouraged by the need to repent, because it will open a channel to great strength and peace. You’re not beating yourself up for nothing.

This world is really nasty. Try to snap out of your trance before it destroys you.

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