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Fast Food, Transformed

December 4th, 2016

Let Ronald do the Work

I have decided there is such a thing as food being too good. You don’t actually need to levitate every time you have dinner. Food that’s too good will tempt you constantly. It will be hard to leave alone. You’ll eat more than you should.

That being said, I have a great tip for people who love McDonald’s breakfast food.

I saved some gravy from Thanksgiving. Today before I made my weekly trip to Mickey D’s, I heated the gravy up. When I came home, I did something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I dipped Mickey D’s biscuits in gravy while I ate.

This is probably the worst thing you can eat, short of pure nuclear waste. But it was phenomenal. I give credit where credit is due; Mickey D’s makes excellent biscuits. Add gravy, and you have something truly wonderful.

I don’t plan to do this again, because it’s way fattening, but it was a great experience.

If you don’t know how to make gravy, I can help you out.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. grease
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sage
dash of dry white wine
salt to taste

You will want a couple of tablespoons of grease from a Thanksgiving turkey or breakfast sausage or bacon. Something like that. If you use sausage, forget the sage. The white wine is optional.

Get your grease hot (about 4 out of 10 on a digital stove). Fry one level tablespoon of flour in it. You don’t need to burn it. Just get the raw taste out of it. Stir it and smoosh it with a spatula while you fry it.

Add the milk and seasonings. Keep stirring until the gravy bubbles. It will thicken. Add a small amount of wine and cook the gravy until the consistency looks good. Remove it from the pan immediately.

That’s all you need to know. If you like it thinner, use less flour.

This should be more than enough gravy for two people who aren’t trying to kill themselves.

Enjoy.

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Blow, Ill Wind

November 27th, 2016

Five Bucks Buys You Nothing

I managed to make something in my shop today. Unfortunately, I was fixing something that broke, so technically, I came out behind. I spent time and materials on something that should have been working already.

I don’t care. I succeeded at something. This is the thing to focus on.

I bought a blow gun at Home Depot. It was cheap. It seemed like a great blow gun. The body of it was sturdy, and it appeared to be made well. Then I started using it. The first time I gave it any real use, the trigger broke off.

This was disturbing, because I had just made a major adjustment: I had decided to give in and use the blow gun on my machine tools.

People who use machine tools love to say you should never use blow guns around them, but of course, they all do it, just like everyone texts while driving. They say the air will blow crud into the machines’ workings and cause problems. That may be true, but guess what you get if you don’t use air? SPLINTERS. I have resisted using air, and I get metal splinters every single time I machine anything. I was tired of it. I decided to join the hypocrites.

The truth is that you can use air. You just can’t be stupid about it. Blow stuff away from gears and screws, not toward them.

I was machining something on the mill, and I used the blow gun to clear the chips before handling the part. I didn’t get a single splinter. I was able to get swarf out of places the shop-vac wouldn’t touch. The mill looked clean for once. It was great. Then the trigger ruined it all.

I took a look at the trigger. I was stunned by the cheapness. It’s literally like a plastic toy you would find in a cereal box. You could probably chew it in half in a few minutes. It’s flimsy plastic held on by a pin.

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Yesterday I looked for a new blow gun. I hoped to find something decent locally, without driving all the way to Harbor Freight or Northern Tool, but my hopes were crushed. The only two major hardware stores in this area–Lowe’s and Home Depot–didn’t have anything I liked.

Today I decided to make a new trigger from aluminum. I had a square piece of aluminum about 4″ on a side and 1/2″ thick, and I figured I could cut a trigger out of it.

Sadly, my vertical band saw is not set up for metal. If you use a band saw for metal, you have to set special blades aside for it, because it dulls them, and after that you won’t want to use them on wood. That’s a hassle, so I don’t bother with it.

If the band saw had been available, I could have traced the outline of the trigger on the aluminum and used a 1/4″ blade to cut it out. Because I didn’t have a 1/4″ blade just for metal, I had to do the next best thing. I went around the tracing of the trigger with a big drill bit. The holes sort of approximated an outline of the part. I only did this on one side of the trigger, for reasons I now forget. Then I used a hack saw to join all the holes and free one side of the part.

To get the rest of the waste out, I mounted the part vertically in the mill and used a 1/2″ end mill to cut most of the crap out. After that, it was time for the belt grinder.

The belt grinder is a phenomenal addition to the shop, because I can shape metal freehand with it, very quickly, and I’m not limited to steel and iron. If you use a bench grinder on non-ferrous metal, you’re asking for an accident that could kill you.

I fired the belt grinder up and spent maybe an hour reducing the metal to the shape of the trigger.

When I was pretty close, I checked the thickness of the part. The opening in the gun was 0.440″ wide, and the part was 0.470″ thick. My answer was to mount the part vertically in the mill again and cut 0.025″ off the sides. I didn’t thin the entire part. Just the areas that had to swing into the gun handle.

After that, I put the old trigger on top of the new one and used a transfer punch to copy the pin hole location to the new trigger. I put a center drill in the drill press, measured the pin’s thickness, and used a #31 drill to make a hole through the new trigger. I used the center drill to deburr both ends of the hold so the pin would find its way in.

After that, it was just a matter of smoothing off the finger depressions, sanding down the marks left by the 60-grit grinder belt, and making the trigger look nice.

Now I’m done, and I have a perfectly good $5 tool that only took two hours and lots of work to fix. Somehow it seems like something there doesn’t add up, but hey, I won.

The gun still leaks air where the coupler screws in. I hope pipe dope will fix that. If not, I will have to take the blow gun outside and get medieval on it.

I have the tools for that.

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Nineteen Eighty-Four, Plus Thirty-Two

November 27th, 2016

Welcome to Wrinklevision

It’s nice to be able to write about earthly things once in a while. I still live here, after all.

This week I underwent a passage of sorts. I got a real TV. What does “real TV” mean in late 2016? I admit, I’m not completely sure, but I can list a few things.

1. Flat panel
2. High definition (1080p or better)
3. Connects to Internet
4. Allows nerds to film you naked

Number four isn’t essential, but it appears to be a reality. Many TV’s have cameras in them (God only knows why), and nerds have found ways to activate them remotely. So if you’re going to walk around the house naked, wear a mask and work out. As for shutting down the microphone, you will probably have to go in a cut a wire.

If you still have a prehistoric TV with a picture tube, you’re in for a surprise when you upgrade. You’ll have to pay someone to haul your old $2000 Toshiba to the dump. No one wants a 200-pound TV with wheels, no matter how great it was back when you used it to watch [TRIGGER ALERT TRIGGER ALERT] Buffalo Bill shoot Indians. There are a few kooks out there who have uses for them, but you won’t find one. If you take it to Goodwill, they’ll tell you they don’t want it.

I was using what I thought was a huge TV to watch Youtube and a few cable shows. It has a 42″ screen, and it’s 1080p. I moved up to 55″, and the new TV has something called “Ultra 4K,” which is even more detailed than what we currently call “high definition.” It’s so detailed, you can pretty much forget about finding any programs shot in Ultra 4K. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why they sell these TV’s.

High-definition TV is already causing problems. Have you ever tuned into the HD version of your favorite news show? It’s shocking how the female newsreaders look. Remember that perfect skin? Where did it go? Actresses over the age of 30 must be losing their minds over HD. They should call it “Wrinklevision.”

The TV has Wi-Fi built in, but it doesn’t have a webcam, so I wear whatever I want, and I slouch. Why do you want Wi-Fi? Simple. It lets you connect your TV to the Internet and download video, without playing with cables.

The new TV has two remotes. Don’t ask me why. One is a tablet. It’s actually a very nice tablet. It has no cameras, so, again, I won’t be popping up on porn websites, and it has 16MB of memory. It’s bigger than my phone. It’s so big and bright, I use it to read Kindle books.

The tablet remote can be used to locate and stream Internet video. You push a little icon, and whatever you see on the remote goes to the TV.

To be honest, this feature has not been useful to me yet. I mainly watch Youtube, and if you watch Youtube, you really want a mouse. I have a cable running from the PC to the TV, and I use the TV as a monitor when I watch Youtube. Works great. But some people rely on services like Netflix, and as I understand it, the tablet is nice for that kind of video.

The main thing that makes the TV wonderful is its combination of size and resolution.

I don’t know a whole lot about shooting video, but I have come to realize that big TV’s and amateur videographers are changing our notions of how much stuff should appear on a screen at one time. I am guessing here, but presumably, when TV cameramen and directors shoot things, they have to think about the average TV screen, and they limit themselves to scenes that won’t drive viewers nuts. For example, you would not want to watch the chariot scene from Ben Hur on a 5″ screen. They must leave a lot of things out. Amateurs appear to be unaware of the limitations of viewing screens, so they pack enormous amounts of material into scenes.

When I watch a machining video, the uploader may show a huge percentage of his shop in each scene. There may be lots of things in the shot I need to see. If I stick with a 48″ screen, I’ll need to be within 8 feet of the TV to see all the good stuff well. With a 55″ screen, I can sit across the room, on the couch, and see everything clearly.

The bigger screen also increases the size of text, so if I want to go through Youtube videos and look for things I want to watch, I can read the titles. I don’t have to go to the TV and squint.

I think amateur videographers, who don’t know what they’re doing, are pushing us to bigger screens. At least those of us who watch their videos.

I said I was using the tablet to read Kindle books. Guess what? I can use the TV, too. It’s so big, I can sit on the couch with my feet up and read books comfortably. No reading glasses! I like Kindle for books I don’t care enough about to buy in paper form, and for books I can’t find anywhere else. The big screen makes reading them a pleasure. It also works for Scrib’d.

The tablet is a strange accessory, but I keep coming up with uses for it. I can check my email while I watch TV. If I see something interesting on TV, I can Google it on the tablet. Crazy.

The tablet’s Wi-Fi is much faster than the Wi-Fi on my phone and my old tablet. No idea why.

I watched a couple of high-definition movies on the TV, and while it’s considerable nicer than fuzzy low definition, it’s not overwhelming. Every once in a while, a little voice inside me says something like, “How did Ben Affleck get in my house?”, but it’s not a constant gee-whiz experience.

I haven’t tried running CAD on the big TV. I may need a new video card, because Ultra 4K sucks up a lot of processing power. I do look forward to it, though. Anything that allows me to sit a comfortable distance from my monitor is a blessing.

You’re thinking the TV cost an arm and a leg. Not really. I didn’t go for the $3000 jobs that probably have functions that would make a HAL 9000 envious. You can get Ultra 4K for way under a grand.

I’ve always thought people who had big TV’s were silly, because TV is a waste of time, but now there is finally a decent selection of worthwhile things to view, and there is a reason why a big screen makes sense, so I joined the club.

Sooner or later, as I have said for years, there won’t be phones and Internet and TV. There will just be the Internet, and it will do everything. The new TV brings me one step closer to that bizarre paradigm. In a way, it’s a disappointment, because I don’t really want cable TV premium channels, and when TV is fully integrated with the Internet, HBO and Showtime will be ubiquitous. I suppose the same will be true of the really dirty channels.

We’re all being united by a disturbing, invasive network of wires and radio waves, and privacy is a thing of the past. It’s very bad, but you can’t do anything to stop it without unplugging and basically sitting in the dark. I suppose I may want to do that eventually, but until it reaches that point, I intend to enjoy the new technology.

My TV is giving me traffic reports I didn’t ask for. Arggh. This just in: “Gloria Estefan Reacts to Castro’s Death.” Every time I pause it, it tells me things I don’t want to know, and half of it is advernews or possibly journotainment. “BREAKING NEWS: YOUR SEARCH HISTORY, CREDIT REPORT, FAMILY DOCTOR’S UNENCRYPTED FILES, CRIMINAL HISTORY, AND BANK ACCOUNT BALANCE INDICATE WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET YOU TO BUY THIS WRENCH!”

Oh well. You take the bad with the good.

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The Purpose of Tools?

November 26th, 2016

To Make More Tools

I’m having some fun in the shop today. I managed to accomplish two things.

My new belt grinder is very nice for what it cost, but it’s not a high-dollar industrial job. The people who made it are starter-uppers, and they aim at hobbyists. There are little things here and there that could have been done better. The tracking pulley is an example. It has been running about 1/8″ too far to the right, relative to the other wheels, and this seems to put stress on one side of the belt. I was thinking about making a new mechanism, but today I got it aligned with shim washers, so I guess I won’t have the fun of machining something new.

After that, I made a wrench for the tool post on my lathe.

My lathe has a big Aloris-style tool post, and the nut on top is 1-1/2″ in diameter. Naturally, the manufacturer doesn’t supply a wrench. Whenever you want to turn the post, you have to find a tool. Like a lot of people, I’ve been using a crescent wrench. It works, but it’s bulky, it has to be adjusted every time, and it’s not the right tool. Adjustable wrenches are hard on nut corners. The nut on my lathe appears to be hardened, but still. Wrong tool.

I saw this neat video by Keith Fenner, and I realized he was onto something. He had a wrench he had bent in order to reach remote fasteners, and he added a second bend to it and turned it into a tool post wrench. The video below explains.

There are a few benefits. First, it’s the right type of tool to turn a nut you don’t want to ruin. Second, it can be left on the tool post most of the time, so you don’t have to put it down where it will be in the way. Third, because he shortened it, there isn’t much leverage, and that means he’s less likely to torque it too hard and crack his compound slide.

Obviously, you can go to Northern Tool and buy a ready-made combination wrench, but where is the fun in that?

I decided to try this. I have little experience with using a torch to bend stuff, and it’s something I’ve been wanting to do more of. It’s a very useful ability. Also, with the belt grinder running correctly, I had the right tool to round off the end of the wrench after shortening it, and I wanted to try that.

It’s not that easy to find 1-1/8″ box end wrenches. Northern Tool probably has them, but it’s not a standard item at normal hardware stores. It turns out Home Depot sells a Chinese job for $10. It’s made for trailer hitches. I figured I couldn’t lose, so I bought one.

I put it in my bench vise, after cutting two pieces of aluminum to put between the wrench and the jaws. I didn’t want to mar up the wrench. I have brass jaws for this. But I didn’t want to mar up the jaws.

I know that sounds crazy.

I put aluminum foil in the vise with the wrench to deflect heat and protect the vise’s paint. Then I got out a MAPP torch and started heating the wrench.

This experience reminded me how much I need acetylene. A MAPP torch takes maybe 15 minutes to get a wrench hot enough to bend, and I still had to use a breaker bar. What a pain. But it bent. After that, I put the wrench in the vise in a different position, and I bent it again to make the second angle.

With the offset created, I put the wrench in the band saw to cut off the unwanted end, and of course, my Chinese saw threw its blade. It does that just for attention. I did get the wrench cut, though, and I put it on the belt grinder and prettied up the end.

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It’s slightly loose on the nut. Chinese wrench. I don’t care. It will be very handy, and it was a fun project. I like easy projects. I don’t screw them up as much as hard ones.

It’s going to be a conversation piece. When average people walk into a shop and see a wrench with two 90-degree bends in it, they will want to know what happened.

I thought about doing this with a smaller wrench and using it for my table router. You need an offset wrench to change the bits. I have an offset wrench made by some company or other, and it’s made from steel plate. I thought a wrench might have a smaller shaft (whatever its called), which would give me more clearance between the wrench and router table, but it turned out I was wrong, so I’ll stick with what I have. If you don’t have an offset wrench for your table router, you should get one. Makes life much easier.

The wrench I bent turned blue in places. I can’t get it off. I assume it’s some kind of metallurgical change that goes below the surface. I probably messed up the temper or something. Who cares? It’s never supposed to be pushed hard, so it doesn’t matter. It would actually be better if the wrench snapped before the compound. But I’ll never torque it that much.

It’s fun to have tools and get stuff done. It was also nice to have this idea handed to me. Keith Fenner is a blast to watch. If you can’t apprentice at a shipyard and spend 20 years learning to do things the right way, his videos will help you catch up a little.

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Progress Report

November 26th, 2016

Plus Boring Political Commentary

Today I got up and looked at the news, and I learned that Fidel Castro was dead.

This is not a huge story to me, personally. I’m not Cuban, and I’m not a political blogger. I don’t even have a significant number of Cuban friends. The closer I got to God, the less I heard from the Cubans I knew. They lost interest in me. Now I know Haitians and Puerto Ricans.

Nonetheless, it’s a major event, and here in Miami, people are blocking traffic and celebrating in the streets. It should be acknowledged.

The needless suffering this man inflicted is incalculable. He was not a freedom fighter or a friend of the oppressed. He was a mass murderer who had countless people imprisoned, tortured, and killed. Barack Obama probably thinks Castro was a great man, and there are a lot of people in the US–many of them Cuban–who share the same delusion. That’s disgraceful. It’s no better than admiring Hitler.

Miami is full of old people who were beaten, incarcerated, tortured, and deprived of their property. For their sake, I’m glad they don’t have to open the newspaper every day and read that Castro is still in charge of the island he stole from them.

All those things being said, this is not the return of Jesus. It’s probably not even a sea change. Castro won, at least from a secular perspective. He died in bed, a billionaire, at the age of 90, with his enemies still exiled, silenced, or in prison. His successors will be no better than he is. I see Ileana Ros-Lehtinen agrees with me; she is on TV, saying basically the same thing.

People shouldn’t be celebrating his death. That’s an invitation to supernatural repercussions. They should be asking why Satan was able to take over Cuba. It’s a place of demon worship and darkness. If you want real change, you have to seek the only one who sets people free. I’m watching America slip away just as Cuba did. I hate to see history repeated, and it’s sad that we don’t learn from it.

Castro is almost certainly in agony right now, regretting every time his arrogance and cruelty led him to turn away from God. I don’t think it’s smart to celebrate that. If you’re still alive, you, too, have time to fail and be destroyed.

That’s all I have to say about Castro.

As for me, I have had an interesting week. I had a crisis of faith, and instead of hiding it, I aired it publicly. I aired my successes, so it seemed to me I should talk about my failures as well. I always hate it when someone who claims to be a Christian has a severe setback and pretends it never happened.

I feel that God is helping me understand what happened so I will realize things are okay. As he told me months ago, with regard to people who belong to him, “There is no misfortune; there are only lessons.” I’m just getting a lesson.

I thought God told me something was going to happen, and it did not happen. It wasn’t something I spent hours on my face praying for. It was unexpected. I felt what I thought was faith, rushing through me when I talked to him about it. It was the same thing I felt when I talked to him about Trump’s election chances. The things I believed about Trump were confirmed by history. Then I felt faith for something, and it didn’t come to pass. I had to look for reconciliation. Life does make sense. You shouldn’t accept cognitive dissonance.

On Monday, I broke a tooth while I was eating a Snickers bar. It was completely unexpected; my teeth are very good. I felt something funny in the back of my mouth, and I thought maybe a nut had gotten stuck in a crack, but it turned out a big piece of a molar was gone. I had no pain, but I was in need of serious dental work.

My dentist saw me the next day, and he ground down the remains of the tooth and put a temporary cap on it. He has a computerized gadget for making crowns, and it was down, so I have to return in a couple of weeks for a zirconia crown.

I see a strange relationship between this and what happened in my relationship with God.

If you look at the Bible, you will see patterns. Similar things happen over and over. Here’s an example: a person who is not aligned with God’s will will have good fortune for a long time, and he’ll be very confident that his future is secured. Then something bad will pop up and do him considerable harm, because he didn’t rely on God.

The Bible tells us we have to build our houses–ourselves–on rock, not sand. Sand represents the thoughts and ideas of human beings. It’s not stable. You can’t rely on it to support you. If you don’t listen to God, you are likely to come up with bad ideas of your own, or to adopt the bad ideas of others, and then when trouble comes, the sand will wash out from under you. The things you believed will not help you, and you will be defeated. Then you have to start over and build things correctly.

The pattern is very evident in the story of the temple. Jesus showed up in around 30 A.D., and he predicted the temple’s destruction. The temple was a disgrace. The hereditary priesthood was gone, and the temple was run by greedy political toadies who were appointed by the Romans. The reforms of Nehemiah had been undone. People were using the temple grounds as a strip mall. They had businesses set up there.

Jesus said this: “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” He said that, but when Titus razed the temple, he left many stones in place. Why? Because Jesus wasn’t referring to the foundation. He was referring to the junk man had piled on top of it.

In the Bible, teeth symbolize weapons and tools. The psalms ask for God to break the teeth or jaws of the wicked. That means the righteous have teeth, too; there is always symmetry in the supernatural. The temple itself was something like a tooth. It was built up to tear God’s enemies.

What God did to the temple is a lot like what happened to my tooth. The weak upper parts were wiped out, but the foundation remained. My tooth wasn’t destroyed, but it will have to be rebuilt properly. Oddly, the thing that will fix it is called a “crown,” which is the name for one of the rewards of the righteous. The crown my dentist will make will be made from a material usually seen in jewels, which is even weirder.

I believe I took something real and unwittingly added some embellishments of my own, and now God is showing me that the embellishments were in his way. I think the dental issue is just part of the lesson.

I have a friend named Leah, and she used to visit the church I left last year. Sometimes she shared a word with them. On one occasion, she told them not to manufacture anything. The presence of God was in the place, and he was doing things in people. It was sufficient to acknowledge it and wait for more; it wasn’t necessary to dance and scream and pretend things were happening when they weren’t. I think I’m receiving that same lesson this week.

There are some things about dealing with the Holy Spirit which you can’t explain to other people; they have to be experienced. You can’t tell people what something tastes like and expect them to taste it. That’s the best analogy I have. I experienced things while I was talking to God, and some of them were unquestionably real, but there were other things that happened, which were apparently the result of emotion. I was trying to be honest. I was trying not to be deceived by my own desires. But I think I was fooled.

Now when I pray, I don’t accept the things which appear to have been proven false. I don’t give in. I think that’s what I was supposed to learn.

Look at it like this. Imagine Moses and the burning bush. What if he had thrown kerosene on the bush to make it burn brighter? It wouldn’t have pleased God. The bush was sufficient, and to let man augment it would have taken glory from God. Think of the story of strange fire. Think of the story of Saul sacrificing when the priests were late. You can get in a lot of trouble trying to do God’s work for him.

Yesterday was a rough day. I felt disconnected from God. Fortunately for me, that always drives me to pray more. I got back in the saddle, and I continued to say that God was always right. I looked back at my experiences and asked God what was real and what was not. Things are now improving. I feel like God ground down the things that were offending him, and now we can have a fresh start.

I suppose this is hard to relate to. If you haven’t been where I have (yet), you won’t be able to understand. Every Christian has to go through the same basic process, though, so presumably what I write will be useful to someone at some point in time.

The vast majority of the things I think I heard from God are still sound. That’s a relief.

Keep praying in tongues. Keep asking for correction. Ask God to help you prepare for the Rapture. The earth will be like hell during the Tribulation. Every second spent here will be a horror. We shouldn’t take it lightly just because we will still have the ability to repent.

I might as well throw this out: a few weeks back, I was in prayer, and my eyes were closed, and I saw “Nov. 28” in front of me. I literally saw it. I don’t mean I saw it in my imagination. When your eyes are closed, you still see things. You may see lights and patterns. I saw a little white patch appear, with “Nov. 28” on it in black lettering. Then it disappeared. It was a little bit like the answers that pop in in a Magic 8-Ball. They roll up out of the darkness.

I’m not saying it means anything. I don’t know why it happened. I figured I might as well reveal it, because if something does happen, no one will believe me if I don’t mention anything until November 29. If nothing happens, well, I was honest.

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Black Friday, Indeed

November 25th, 2016

Tactical Retreat

Here’s a blog post I didn’t expect to be writing today.

I had a crisis of faith this week, and it’s still unfolding. I could do what preachers train us to do; I could pretend it didn’t happen, and I could keep grinning and staring straight ahead while using one foot to kick the fallout under the rug. I refuse to do those things. I’m going to tell the truth.

A few weeks back, I thought God told me he was bringing me a wife. I thought that was good news. Sex is not that big a deal, and having another responsibility is not exciting, but companionship (from the right person) is very helpful. Every Christian needs someone loyal to observe and assist. We all stumble. We all make mistakes. No Christian is on guard every minute of his life. It’s good to have someone close to you who can fill in the gaps and provide a second pair of eyes.

I thought God was telling me I would have Thanksgiving dinner with my wife. I had no other reason to think a woman was on the way. I didn’t have my eye on anyone. I saw no opportunities. I was making no effort whatsoever. All I had was this strange feeling that seemed to be from God.

When I prayed, I felt what I thought was faith, telling me, “Yes, this is really going to happen.” I got that over and over. I decided to go with it. I didn’t go on a diet or work out. I didn’t shop for a ring. But I decided not to reject it, and I also decided not to tell anyone or do anything at all to bring it about. If it was going to happen, it was going to have to be God’s project, not mine. I don’t want to talk about the specimens I’ve dredged up on my own. I didn’t want another one of those.

I asked God to send confirmation, and that never happened. The only confirmation I got was the faith I felt when I was in prayer.

I didn’t beg; I’m too old to be desperate or to get giddy over something like this.

During this time, I was awaiting the results of the presidential election. When I prayed about Trump and Hillary, I kept feeling faith that Trump would win. I’ve written about it. It seemed highly unlikely, but the faith kept coming. I got up on November 9 and saw the election results, and I believed it was confirmation that my faith was of God. It gave me strength to keep relying on it.

Yesterday I had Thanksgiving dinner with my dad. And no one else.

There is no way to rehabilitate the “prophetic” feeling I had. Christians have a long history of revising predictions after the fact. Some nut will say, “Jesus is coming back on Groundhog Day,” and then Groundhog Day will pass, and he’ll say, “Oops, I meant Valentine’s Day.” Then Valentine’s Day passes, and another revision issues. I am not getting onto that treadmill of denial. I’m telling you what happened.

I had a big boost on November 9, and I took a major hit on November 25. Now I have to reconcile them.

What’s happening here is like breaking a tooth, which, perhaps coincidentally, I did last Sunday. When a tooth breaks, you don’t put Mighty Putty on it and pretend it’s fine. It will fail you again, in a way that will bring you a lot more suffering. You have to have all the bad parts ground away, until you have a foundation which is completely reliable. Then you build it back up again with stronger material. I have to find the foundation. What’s true? What isn’t?

Certain things are unquestionably true. I had two visits from Jesus. I saw a demon very clearly. I saw another demon less clearly while receiving a miraculous healing. I’ve had other miraculous healings. I’ve had one vision (visions happen while you’re awake) that I can recall. I pray in tongues, and it brings me faith, understanding, inner change, and peace. I have had demons cast out of me. I have had countless prayers answered. I have learned a great deal about God, straight from the Holy Spirit.

That’s the foundation, on the good side. There is also an evil side.

“The world,” as we Christians call it, is disgusting and unacceptable. It is ruled by evil. I can’t go back to it. It will never accept me. It will never do anything but try to destroy me. Even if it accepted me, it would lead to my permanent destruction.

No one is more pitiable than someone who served God and then quit. When you serve God, you provoke the daylights out of a whole bunch of very powerful spirits. The spirits do not forget. When you stop serving God, you strip your armor off, drop all your weapons, jab nails in your eyes and ears, and walk naked into a torture chamber where you will be destroyed by your gloating enemies.

That’s not for me. I may be bad, but I’m not that stupid.

I have God’s help, whatever form it may take. I have nowhere else to turn. There are no other options; none. Turning away is not even on the table. Outside of God’s path, I can expect absolutely nothing except pain, defeat, and humiliation.

During my years of prayer in tongues, I started feeling a sensation when faith moved in me. It was a physical sensation in my head. I came to associate it with God. I thought it was from him. I didn’t always like it; it was distracting, and it made prayer a little laborious. Still, I thought it was the real thing. It’s what I felt when I prayed about Trump and asked God about the Thanksgiving presentiment. Now it looks like I have to get help distinguishing it from real faith.

No human being can help me with that.

As of now, I’m not indulging that sensation. I don’t give in to it and let it happen. I still feel things inside me when I pray, but the physical part is suppressed. I’m going to see how that plays out. I’m concerned, because I had gotten used to relying on what I felt, and now that’s gone. I’m not sure what to stand on. When I find out, I’ll let you know.

Sorry I don’t have more encouraging news, but I do have the truth, and that’s something. Hanging onto deception would be disastrous. The truth is a doorway to help and relief. Always.

Hope I have some positive things to say in the coming days.

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Awesome Sauce

November 23rd, 2016

Bring Your Cranberries to Life With Two Simple Additions

I want to wish everyone who still reads this blog a happy Thanksgiving. We have more to be thankful for than we understand.

I’ve been working on dinner for myself and my dad. A friend might show up if his family lets him down, but no one else has signed on. I had the impression someone else might show up, but I won’t know until tomorrow. I’ll put it this way: nothing has been confirmed. No, it’s not a relative.

I made cranberry sauce tonight, because it’s one of those things you can make the day before. I thought I should share what I did, because the result was so good it disturbed me. I can’t figure out why I have a crazy amount of talent for doing something I have no desire to do, but as long as it holds out, I may as well help other people to benefit from it. I no longer have any interest in cooking, but I still have moments of incomprehensible success.

Cranberries are sour, but they’re also bitter. The sourness is good, but the bitterness is a flaw. I don’t understand how things can be bitter and sweet at the same time. Seems like that means you have an acid and a base in the same material, and from my two semesters of very basic chemistry, I would expect acids and bases to react. Maybe someone who took organic chemistry can tell me what’s going on. Maybe bases aren’t the only bitter chemicals.

I was making the sauce tonight, and I realized I had nearly emptied a jar of pretty decent strawberry preserves earlier, while making a PBJ. I was trying to think of a way to round out the cranberry flavor. I decided to dump about a tablespoon of the preserves into the sauce. As I often do, I also added a shot of Grand Marnier and half a teaspoon of salt.

Let me digress. Be smarter than I am. Follow the cooling directions on the Ocean Spray bag. I finally tried it tonight. In the past, I’ve always been too lazy. Put the cooked sauce in a bowl, cover it, and let it cool all the way down to room temperature. Then stir it a little. This will prevent you from getting congealed bubbles in the chilled sauce.

Back to the ingredients. I omitted a shot of water from the recipe so the Grand Marnier wouldn’t loosen things up too much. When the sauce was at room temperature, I stirred the Grand Marnier in and put the bowl in the fridge to chill. Before it went in, I tried a small amount.

This stuff is incredible. The strawberry preserves kill the bitterness completely. They make cranberries taste more like berries and less like ornamental plants people might eat by mistake or out of desperation while trapped in a bog. I couldn’t believe how good it was. And I don’t really care for cranberry sauce that much.

I actually felt a little frustrated when I realized how good the sauce was, because I don’t care about cranberry sauce. It would be great to have a major talent for the piano or electronic design, but here I am making what may be the world’s best cranberry sauce, almost unintentionally and with no idea what I’m doing.

I guess you take the hand you’re dealt.

Anyway, I know you will like it, so if you haven’t made sauce yet, and you are about as much of a cranberry sauce fan as I am, give it a shot. For God’s sake, do not eat the canned stuff. I think it’s polyurethane.

I much prefer cranberry relish, but it’s a lot of work, and I’m only doing the minimum. I boned a turkey today and brined it, and I feel like that was mighty obliging of me, so I am not swinging for the bleachers on every dish.

I know the meal will be wondrous. The worst items will be very good, and the best will be fantastic. I feel like an Orthodox Jew who has a talent for hog-calling.

I will never be a professional chef. I will never open a restaurant. I don’t plan to go back to cooking complicated things for myself or anyone else. It’s bizarre that I continue to cook this well on those occasions when serious cooking can’t be avoided.

Bowling. Wouldn’t that be a great thing to excel at? It’s not a real sport, so you don’t have to be in shape or sweat in the sun, and you can do it well when you’re 70. You’re not like an actual athlete who might have a ten-year career before giving out. If you’re among the best, you can make very good money while eating pizza and drinking beer. It would be cool to have a rare talent for bowling. Even golf wouldn’t be too bad, although I hate being out in the sun, and I think spending time playing golf is more or less equivalent to writing God a note saying, “I have no appreciation for the gift of life.”

I hope you try the sauce. Remember, it’s the plain old recipe on the bag; 1 cup water (less one shot), one cup sugar, one bag berries. Then you add half a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of the best strawberry (could be raspberry) preserves you have, and a shot of Grand Marnier. Do not add the liquor until the sauce is cool. You want to taste a little alcohol.

Enjoy, and try not to founder.

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Nuttin’ Fancy

November 20th, 2016

New Part for Woodturning Project

I finally finished the nut that holds down the woodturning tool rest I made for my metal lathe.

11-20-16-woodturning-tool-rest-nut-with-hex-up

I started out using a 1/2″ nut and a washer, but the rest wobbled. When you use a flat washer to hold something down, the nut will deform it into a bowl and cause most of the clamping force to be concentrated near the bolt. The outside of whatever you’re clamping won’t feel much restraint. For this reason, engineers and machinists make washers and other clampy things with recesses in them.

11-30-16-woodturning-tool-rest-nut-base-up

If you have a washer which is hollowed out so only the rim touches the thing you’re clamping, the force will be applied as far out as possible. This is very helpful when you’re trying to keep something from spinning. Angle grinders come with flat nuts that have recesses in them, to keep the disks from spinning relative to the shafts.

After I started working on the nut I designed, I realized I might have been able to save time by using a nut made for an angle grinder, but that boat had sailed, so I proceeded.

I used a piece of 1.5″ 304 stainless round bar for the nut. I think it’s 304. I’m pretty sure it was a nub from a piece of 304 I bought. This particular stainless is a very nice metal once machined. It has good corrosion resistance, and it’s pretty. But it acts strangely when you try to work it.

For one thing, 304 work-hardens. This means that when you cut it with a tool, the part touching the tool can get hot from friction and harden up at the surface. In a second or two, you go from a nice friendly metal that cuts easily to a hard metal that refuses to give in. That means you have to be very committed when you cut 304. You can’t cut a little, slow down, check your work, speed up, and so on. When you pause, you may harden the metal.

Another problem with 304 is that it’s chewy. It doesn’t like to break. If you turn it on a lathe, it will literally make curly chips that shoot out behind you and extend six feet across the shop. That’s bad if the lathe tries to pull them back, because they’re razor-sharp, and there you are, between them and the machine. It also leaves huge burrs on things, so you have to use sharp tools or resign yourself to a lot of deburring.

I made this part using the lathe and a rotary table. I ripped my hand open on it while it was on the mill. At least I think I did. I was trying to indicate it in the 4-jaw chuck, and I was moving my hand around it. Suddenly I notice a half-inch cut in the back of my hand. I didn’t even feel it.

I put a 1/2″-13 thread in the nut, leaving the bottom 1/4″ of the bore smooth. I didn’t want a thread an inch long, because it would be hard to cut, and I wanted the threads to be on the upper part of the nut. I figured that would give the most stability.

I put it on the lathe to deburr it, and I used the drill chuck to get the tap started. I moved the lathe chuck by hand. I used Moly-Dee for lube. The tap got stuck. I couldn’t believe it. I put the nut in the mill vise with v-blocks and cranked the tap handle. It felt like the nut was full of sand. I added pipe-threading oil, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.

I got it tapped, but I was surprised what a nasty job it was. I guess that’s another 304 thing: jerky tapping.

I got it mounted on the lathe, and it works great. That’s good news, because it means my primitive tool rest design is a success, and I won’t have to start over. I have to go to Home Depot and get a longer bolt, but other than that, the job is mostly done. I have to put two threaded holes in it and add a threaded lever to clamp the tool bar thing (whatever) in place. That should be easy.

11-20-16-woodturning-tool-rest-nut-installed-on-lathe

The hex on top was supposed to be 7/8″, but I made some kind of error and ended up with about 0.760″, so I took it down to 3/4″, which will work fine. I figured I should have the biggest possible hex so it would be hard for wrenches to beat it up, but this will do.

If you don’t make at least one emergency re-design during a machining job, you’re a fake. There’s something wrong with you. That’s how I see it.

Later this week maybe I’ll finish this up, throw a piece of wood on the lathe, and see if I have to call the EMT’s.

Hoping for the best.

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Don’t Buy Dirty Water

November 19th, 2016

Drink from Your Well

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of hearing from God personally instead of worshiping other human beings.

We do worship other human beings. We may not get on our knees and call them God, but we give them respect and praise only God deserves. We trust them in ways in which we should only trust God. We give them a degree of obedience and service no man should receive.

One of the main reasons God was willing to come to earth and allow human beings to torture him to death was to give us the ability to connect with him directly, without the need for priests and so on. We obsess on salvation and, if we’re charismatics, wealth, but almost all Christians ignore the changes the Holy Spirit wants to make in us right here on earth.

We don’t like God’s plan. We don’t want to hear from a spirit. We always want a god we can see. It’s human nature. Human beings chose Saul, a venal and unsuccessful king, over the word of God that came to prophets and priests. We have a long history of worshiping rocks, statues, trees, the dirt, deformed children, animals…anything we can see or touch.

What happens when someone hears from God and opens his mouth? If he’s lucky, most people will reject him. If he’s very unlucky, people will exalt him and try to turn him into a god. They did this to Paul and Barnabas, calling them Mercury and Jupiter. Here, we do it by telling the Pope, “You can’t go around dressed like everyone else. Let me make you a crazy hat that makes you look seven feet tall. Let us give you bizarre robes that make you look like a comic book character. We’re going to build a mansion for you so you don’t have to be contaminated by contact with people who aren’t worthy. We’re going to give you armed guards and middlemen to protect your privacy.” We do it to televangelists by driving hundreds of miles to hear their nonsense, and by giving them our retirement money. Somehow we confuse white trash with the Lord.

Preachers love this system. If you can charm people with your words, you will never have to do anything productive as long as you live. You’ll die rich no matter how bad your advice is. You’ll have an endless stream of income, because whenever you go bust, people will blame the devil. They’ll keep giving. People will think you’re so valuable, nothing you do justifies cutting you off.

Exalted preachers don’t teach us how to do God’s will, because they have no idea what it is, and because it would interfere with their supply of free money. What they do is a business, not a calling. They’re not anointed.

Preachers are supposed to show us how to be taught by God, directly. Then they’re supposed to step out of the way and give God the primary role in your development. If you’re still sitting under a preacher after five years, listening to his every word without questioning it, you’re a failure. A year or two into it, you should be hearing from God on your own, and if the preacher screws up, you should know, because the Holy Spirit will tell you.

Preachers do screw up. None of them are reliable. When they screw up, it hurts people’s faith. People feel as if God has failed, because they conflate God and preachers.

When you develop a real prayer life, you will hear from God all day. Listening to preachers will become tiresome, because most of the time, they’ll be telling you something you already know or something you know is wrong. You end up trying to sift through the confusion, and it takes time away from you so you can’t dwell on the pure information you get from the original source.

Here’s an illustration God gave me. Imagine there is only one well. Somebody somewhere gets a bucket to bring you water from the well. He carries it a hundred feet, and then he pours the water into someone else’s bucket, and that person carries it a while.

By the time it gets to you, it has been in a hundred buckets, and every bucket had some dirt in it. You get filthy water with all sorts of adulterants in it. That’s what life is like when you depend on preachers. One hears from God, another copies him, another copies that one, and every preacher in the chain of custody adds more dirt to the message.

Eventually you end up worshiping saints or telling people they’re not allowed to eat shellfish.

The crucifixion gave you access to the well. Forget the guys with the buckets.

Preachers have no shame about copying nonsense and passing it on. I remember Richie Wilkerson at Trinity Church, talking about the ordeal of coming up with sermons. He said preachers use “microwave sermons.” You call your prosperity-gospel buddy and ask him what worked well on the marks in his church, and he emails you a Word file.

Microsoft Word, not THE word.

He thought this was a perfectly okay way to do his job, but the truth is that if you don’t have a word that came to you personally, you don’t know God. There is a kink in the hose. You need to shut up until you get it fixed.

Today God gave me a sentence. He said, “We make things up.” He wasn’t referring to himself. He was referring to human beings. We make things up. Augustine made things up (and plagiarized from people who made things up). The Pharisees made things up, and they still do. T.D. Jakes makes things up. Joel Osteen makes things up. Why are you listening to people who make things up? It breeds dissension. One person believes one liar, and another believes another liar. Then they fight. The Holy Spirit always tells people the exact same thing, so they always, always, always agree when they’re aligned with him.

It makes me nervous when someone gives me an unctuous compliment about how holy I am or how wise I am. Respectfully, who are they kidding? Where were they when I was getting a lap dance? Where were they when I was cruel to animals or when I used cocaine? I’ve said things that make Trump’s Billy Bush video sound like a Sunday school lesson. People need to watch what they say and avoid going overboard. It’s not encouragement. It’s enablement. It will kill my growth.

If I let anyone exalt me, sooner or later I will be exposed for what I really am. No thanks! I’m not having that. Better not to get up on the high horse to begin with. I am not a good person. I’m just a bad man who repeats good things someone else tells him.

John met an angel. This was an immortal being who saw God’s face every day and heard his audible voice. It wasn’t a blogger who managed to absorb some correction after a lifetime of stupidity. Look what John wrote:

And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

The angels are afraid of exaltation. They don’t just politely decline. It scares them. They knew another angel who accepted it, and he’s going to burn forever. Human beings are much less impressive than angels. It’s beyond crazy to exalt us as gods.

I used to be afraid God would try to get me to start a church. I’m so glad that never happened. Who wants to stand in front of a bunch of gullible people who depend on you and think you have no flaws? A crazy egotist, maybe. A sociopath. I don’t need that pressure in my life.

Preachers love to convince people they have special anointings, and that no one else around them is fit to teach. That’s a Satanic idea. God wants to spread power, not hoard it. Remember what happened to Moses? Men came and told him people were prophesying outside the camp, and they asked if they should put a stop to it. Can you believe that? Moses said, ““Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!”

When everyone relies on a few people, it makes Satan’s job easier. He just has to corrupt the small number of individuals who teach. It’s an information choke point. Everything has to come through a small number of openings. That’s a cinch. He invariably succeeds in corrupting churches this way. Corrupting the entire church directly would be impossible for him; he doesn’t have the resources. He blocks the Holy Spirit so we don’t hear from him, and then he convinces exalted fools to lie to us.

I’m pretty much done with church. It would be nice to have a church where I could go and sit in the back and give ten dollars a week, just so I could be around Christians, but I have never known anyone who did an acceptable job of running a church, so I do not want to get deeply involved any more. No more deacon jobs. No more armor-bearing. Forget it. I am tired of getting caught in a power struggle between God and random characters who have grown way too big for their britches.

The exalters discourage people. They convince people that only the holy and just are fit to be among Christians. They put a facade in front of the lost. If the lost buy into it, they’re discouraged from joining us. If they see through it…they’re discouraged from joining us.

There is almost no sin or pattern of sin that can make God reject you. If you’re full of filth, you are a prime recruit. You’re just like the rest of us. Do you seriously think the Pope doesn’t sin? Do you think you wouldn’t be floored if you could read the mind of T.D. Jakes or Joyce Meyer at certain times? Come on. Think of the things you’ve thought and felt. We’re all people. Whitewash doesn’t kill the smell.

A certain amount of input from preachers is useful, and we need to interact from other Christians so we have sources of correction when we get disconnected, but I’m not going to stand by the well and wait for someone to bring me water, and I’m not going to wait until Sunday to drink. I’m definitely not going to pay someone 10% of my income or spend fifteen hours a week serving him unless God tells me to. That’s just how it is.

Pray in tongues. Beg God for correction. Stop asking him to enable you by giving you everything you dream of, before you’re fit to receive it. He’s not Santa Claus. He’s your father. A father corrects and trains. You may be looking for a sugar daddy.

I know this will be useful to you if you put it to work. Work on getting to know God; don’t give your life to an organization. Listen to preachers as long as you have to, and then get yourself weaned so you don’t become a stillbirth. Like Charlie Parker said, “Learn the changes. Then forget them.”

I know it will work. It wasn’t my plan.

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Water Wings Don’t Work in Heaven

November 16th, 2016

Get Ready to be Weighed

I got some useful revelation last night, so here I am.

I left the church I was attending because it was run by rockheads who could not get past their pride. I got off social media because God did not want me to spend any more time trying to reason with arrogant people who would not listen. Eventually, I came to call what happened to me “the Little Rapture,” because it was like being lifted up out of a crowd of unbelievers. I was tired of scuffling and being insulted, and God took me out of it. I missed people I knew online, but the peace was worth the loss.

Three weeks ago I had a dream about the Rapture. I was sitting in my grandparents’ living room with my mother, and we began to rise. It was as if the room had instantly filled with invisible water, and everything that was buoyant ascended. We went right through the ceiling. Human strongholds mean nothing to God.

Last night, God showed me that people who are going to be raptured externally–in the worldwide event known as the Rapture–will have to be raptured internally first.

God isn’t going to come to the strip club or the casino (or the prosperity church) on that day to try to clean you up so you can go. Either you’ll have your boots on or you won’t. It will be too late to start preparing. No boarding pass, no Rapture.

Your internal condition will determine whether you sink or float. A bag of rocks will sink in water. Put ping pong balls in the same bag, and it will float. If you’re walking in willful sin, listening the the world instead of God, you’re a bag of rocks. You will be weighed down. If God finds you serving him, you will be a bag full of ping pong balls. Nothing will be able to hold you here when the water comes.

TV preachers don’t care if you make it. You’re just another sheep to butcher and eat. When all your blood has been drunk and your flesh has been eaten, they’ll find another sheep to kill. That’s how they work. They’re not teaching you how to survive the end of the world. They’re not going to survive it, themselves. A lot of them will miss the Rapture and then go to hell. If you can’t make yourself turn to God now, when things are relatively calm, think how hard it will be when the whole world belongs to Satan and you are constantly pressed to deny Christ. Most TV preachers won’t succeed. They don’t have it in them. They have no practice.

God pulled me out of a couple of failed churches because it was time to go. They had their chance to listen to me. Maybe he gave up on them. Maybe he just felt like rotating someone else in, to take the abuse and argument. In any case, it was God who removed me.

God removed me from social media. It has been wonderful.

Now I feel like God is telling me to get rid of cable TV. I rarely watch it. When I do, I am bombarded with temptation and peer pressure. Even the news is irksome. People are fighting about things that don’t matter. Conservatives and liberals keep misstating the causes of our problems, and they come up with useless secular solutions. It’s a bore. Tedious.

Jesus said the disciples were to leave cities that wouldn’t receive them and shake the dust off of their feet as a testimony. Dust is flesh. When God raptures you internally, he loosens the flesh’s hold on you. He is shaking the dust off his feet.

I suspect that many Christians know they won’t be raptured, but they think it’s okay, because they can repent afterward. Judging from the Bible, they’re wrong. They will suffer so much, they will do nothing but cry and wish they had listened. The Tribulation is not a joke. It’s not a tourist destination. It will be full of violence, rape, disease, natural catastrophes, and war. You won’t be able to sit back and watch it on TV, like the wars in Iraq. It will be in your living room every day, if you still have a living room. It will be in your body.

The Bible says, “The Lord has set him that is godly apart for himself.” How many charismatics are truly set apart? Think of the young preachers who crave approval and dream of convincing the world preachers are cool. Do you think they’re set apart? Of course they aren’t. They’re following the world, rolling on their backs and showing Satan their bellies in hopes he’ll rub them. That’s what the Wilkerson family has been doing ever since I met them. No wonder they kiss up to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. They know God won’t promote them, so they’re trying to get help from Satan’s nobility.

God isn’t cool. He never will be. God isn’t insecure. He doesn’t need your approval.

We can see pictures of the Rapture in the Bible. Noah was lifted on the ark. Peter was lifted on the Sea of Galilee. The waters parted for Moses and Joshua. The Jordan parted for Elijah and Elisha. Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus rose to heaven.

When Peter looked down, he sank. When he focused on Jesus, he floated. Jesus never sank. He wasn’t capable of sinking. There was no evil in him to weigh him down.

If you want a ticket to the Rapture, you need to know that it must happen first inside you. If you attend to that, you’ll have nothing to worry about. If not, no amount of dog-paddling will lift you up.

Wish someone had taught me this when I was six, but no one knew it, because the human race had abandoned the Holy Spirit.

I know it now, and so do you. I hope we both make use of it.

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My Dream of Trump’s Empty Skyscraper

November 15th, 2016

Psalm 127:1

I had a dream about Donald Trump last night. I asked God what it meant.

I was behaving like an investigative reporter. This is not something I would want to do for a living, but in retrospect, I think the pastors of my last two churches probably see me as a muckraker. I exposed a lot of nonsense in their churches.

I was beside a big highway, and Trump had a property next to it. Trump’s land was about 40 feet lower than the highway. His land had a perimeter road going around it.

Trump was there, and he had his youngest son with him. He was looking over the property. His son was there because he was raising him to know about business and responsibility. He cared about him and didn’t want him to flounder when he grew up.

Somehow I made it down to the property. At that point, Trump was up at the highway level. He was looking down. He knew I was poking around, and he wanted me off. He couldn’t see me.

I drove around the perimeter road. It wasn’t a great road. It was a dirt road covered with fine limestone gravel. It was wet and full of potholes. Surprising, from a man who loves opulence.

I ran into a man who lived on the property. Maybe he had bought a condo from Trump. He was affluent. He was mad because Trump’s dog, Bonehead, was running loose, barking at people. Bonehead was a big orange dog, like a cross between a golden retriever and an Irish setter. Like Trump, Bonehead was a redhead.

Bonehead was not a mean dog, but he was annoying. When the man complained about him, Trump paid no attention.

I dodged Trump by going into hallways and doorways. I went into a big skyscraper he had built on the property. The lobby was surprising. It wasn’t finished. It was just concrete and the beginnings of walls. There was torn plastic sheeting on the concrete floor. There was construction debris. There were no lights. There were no interior doors. The place smelled like fresh concrete.

Here’s what I took away from it.

Trump represented himself, his underlings, and his supporters. The building represented his administration. It’s not built yet, because we’re still in construction.

Right now, Trump is choosing subordinates. He’s picking cabinet members. If God doesn’t guide him, he will pick fools and God-haters. That will be bad for Christians and Israel.

Many of Trump’s supporters don’t hear from God. Even those who call themselves evangelicals generally don’t have the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and they try to do things in their own strength, by carnal means such as voting and blogging.

There is a big difference between “evangelical” and “charismatic,” and most charismatics don’t pray in tongues, even though they can. It’s not a good situation. No wonder the power in Trump’s building was off.

I hope you will join me in praying for a solid administration led by God, and for American Christians to be humbled and drawn closer to God while there is still time. That’s about it.

Right now, most of us are just running around barking.

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Guess What Goes Before a Fall?

November 14th, 2016

It Starts with “P”

Yesterday, I realized something about the conservative gloating we are seeing, and I think it was a revelation from God. Many of the gloaters will be sorry they posted their memes and abusive comments, because eventually, the children of darkness are going to control everything. When they do, they will use smug Youtube videos, Facebook posts, and tweets as evidence at our trials.

At some point in the future, they’re going to have the power to round us up and kill us. They’ll be able to come into our homes and do as they please, and it won’t be pretty, because they love cruelty. People will be beaten, shot, cut, and tortured. Christian women and girls will be raped. Now that I think about it, that goes for men and boys, too. They’ll be looking for individuals who made fun of the snowflakes when Hillary lost.

It sounds like hysteria, I know. We’ve heard similar things from the left, and their squawking was unfounded. For all our faults, Christians and conservatives aren’t inclined to riot or pull people out of cars so we can stomp them. Leftists do that kind of thing every day, but we behave somewhat better. The fear leftists claim to feel is baseless, but when conservatives say they expect to suffer, we’re on solid ground. Unfortunately.

For the past week, liberals have been vandalizing property, rioting, and beating people up all across the US. After six days, they’re still “protesting.” We’ve seen many death threats on Twitter, from people who can reasonably expect to be identified. They’re so confident in the righteousness of their cause, they’re not afraid of being caught. There’s a well-known video of a Hispanic lady marching in a protest, saying people on both sides are going to have to die.

She’s not kidding. It’s not hyperbole. Americans have lived in relative safety for a long time, and we have gotten so used to it, we can’t believe Nazi-style oppression can exist here. The Germans and Austrians were much more civilized than we are when they started sliding into insanity. If it could happen to them, it can happen to us.

It already happened to us once. Remember slavery? A big percentage of Americans thought buying and selling people was okay. If you had to execute or castrate an unruly slave, well, that was your business. They had to be kept in line, right? We’ve already experienced a long period in which we adopted cruelty as a way of life. There is no reason why we can’t do it again. Leftists who seem funny when they threaten us now will show up on our doorsteps with government-supplied weapons, and then they won’t seem funny at all.

We’ve already lost the war. We keep forgetting that. Trump gives us a little time to get it together, but we’re preparing for retreat, not a new advance. It may not be strictly true that Hillary won the popular vote, because there was a great deal of fraud, and many absentee votes will never be counted, but at worst, she came very close. Our numbers are not that great, and our enemies have renewed determination to beat us the next time around.

Trump isn’t even a real conservative. We elected the less-liberal liberal. Some victory.

We need to try to be a little less obnoxious. The Bible says we are “more than conquerors,” and I take that to mean that unlike conquerors, we hope to make brothers and sisters of the people we defeat. Cruel memes will not help. I say that as a person who used to delight in posting them.

The children of darkness are going to try to exterminate us no matter what, but we don’t have to go out of our way to provoke them and make them feel justified.

It’s astonishing how cruel they are. Today I saw a video of a little boy crying, because his Hillary-supporting single mom told him he had to leave. He had voted for Trump in a mock election. He’s probably seven years old. She packed his suitcase and put it by the front door. She made him leave her home (her mother’s home) and stand on the sidewalk with his belongings. He was screaming for mercy, and she kept cursing at him.

She was proud of what she did. She made the video herself, and she uploaded it to Facebook.

I know how that kid feels. I was raised in an abusive environment. When you’re a kid, your parents are your whole world. That boy really believed he was going to have to live on the streets.

A woman who would throw her little boy out is lower than an animal. Animals love their young.

She sounds like the perfect Hillary supporter. The news stories say she has two kids, two fathers, and no husband. They say she has an online handle that basically describes her sexual apparatus. She allegedly calls herself “So’Juicii.” What a nickname for a mother of two. How proud her sons will be when they’re old enough to understand it.

That boy is messed up already. This event will stick with him forever. It will color his opinion of women and families. God only knows what other atrocities he has experienced. Suddenly I understand why so many people want to adopt kids. The last thing I want is someone else’s kid to raise, but I don’t think I could do any worse than she has.

She’s not exceptional. That’s the point that has to be remembered. Her son isn’t the only victim. He’s part of a worldwide wave.

I’ll post the video. Don’t watch it unless you have a strong constitution.

The gloating will be worst among conservatives who aren’t religious. The fiscally conservative/socially liberal “big tent” people don’t have any understanding. They think the struggle for America is a secular fight, and that the way to win is to promote our superior ideas while giving up on God. That’s insane. No one cares what’s right or wrong. Argument won’t help. Human beings are irrational. It’s all about the supernatural realm. That’s where the conflict has its roots.

Incidentally, this spectacle has been weird for me on a personal level. I lived across the hall from George Stephanopoulos at Columbia. We were both in Obama’s class. Reince Priebus was in my law school class. I’m starting to feel like everyone I know is eligible to become a news story.

Not that I knew Obama. He was a complete nothing in college. No one remembers him.

My advice is to knock off the gloating and be grateful and humble. It’s bad to have the leftists mad at you. If you gloat, God will be against you, too.

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A Thousand and One Italian Nights

November 10th, 2016

Tapping Out

I feel like I should write about my Literature Humanities project. I am still working my way through the syllabus for Columbia University’s Literature Humanities syllabus, and I am somewhere in The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.

This book is entertaining, and I’ve enjoyed it, but I’m thinking it’s time to move on. I’m a third of the way through it, and I feel like I’m not getting much out of it now.

The book is about a group of young Italians who flee the plague. They decide to tour their country homes as a group and entertain each other telling stories. The stories make up the bulk of the book. As far as I know. I haven’t finished it.

At the beginning, I found the descriptions of plague-era Florence interesting, and the stories themselves weren’t bad. Now that I’m a couple of hundred pages in, it’s dragging. The stories all seem the same. Venal medieval nobles have problems, and they solve them in venal ways. A man’s title and wealth are taken, he and his family endure various ordeals, and then Boccaccio ties everything up with a nice resolution. Things like that happen over and over. It’s starting to be like watching Scooby-Doo. The variety of the plots is way thin.

The book is just too long for the concept.

Boccaccio lived in an age when people were short on entertainment, so I can see why he would want to prolong his book. I don’t live in that age, so I’m not desperate enough to keep clinging to this mammoth anthology.

The syllabus doesn’t call for students to read the entire book, but when I started reading and enjoying it, I felt I should finish it. I didn’t want to have to spend the rest of my life telling people I had read part of The Decameron. Now I regret that decision.

I may get back to the syllabus and stick to the assigned portions of the book. Life is too short to read six hundred pages of very similar stories about the problems of medieval Europeans.

Boccaccio has failed where Matt Groening succeeded. The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom on TV, and it’s still fresh enough to enjoy. Boccaccio got boring after two hundred pages.

Boccaccio’s characters provide a disappointing picture of medieval Catholics. They are completely lacking in grace and spirituality. They have sex whenever they get the chance. They equate money with happiness. They kill and steal without remorse or self-examination.

One story features a man whose reliance on a saint is vindicated when the saint gets God to provide a wealthy prostitute to take care of him (in every way) and become his wife. Seriously? We’re supposed to believe God rewards people with fornication? Boccaccio apparently believed it.

Boccaccio reminds me that people don’t change that much. We are much more openly rebellious to God than we were back then, but his characters, like us, sin without hesitation. It doesn’t faze them. Like us, they don’t take God seriously.

The Revelation says that when the Tribulation gets into gear, people will refuse to repent. They’ll see death and supernatural phenomena all around them, but they’ll continue sinning. Boccaccio shows us that this shouldn’t surprise us. The people of his time watched something like half of the population of Europe die, and many used it as an excuse to sin with abandon. That’s crazy. You would think people would want to hold onto salvation when they knew death could come at any time. They don’t react that way.

Human behavior has never made sense.

When I get done with this, I move on to Montaigne, who supposedly invented the essay (French essai, meaning “attempt”). I’m not sure that’s true, since people have been writing short bits of nonfiction since the dawn of literacy, but it’s on his resume.

I can’t recommend the full book to anyone, but I can see why every educated person should have a basic familiarity with it. That’s the heartiest recommendation I can summon at this time.

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Dividends

November 10th, 2016

The Election is Manure That Fertilizes my Future

Donald Trump’s victory is like a time-release pill that releases different ingredients at different times. Yesterday I was overcome by relief. Today I’m getting other benefits.

To recap, I spent months praying for Trump (after he was nominated) and cursing Hillary’s campaign. I kept feeling faith rising up in me, telling me God was going to defeat Hillary. The polls looked bad, the pundits crowed incessantly over Hillary’s impending victory and the subjugation of the Bible-thumpers and hayseeds. My trust in God waivered, and I wondered if what I had perceived as faith was actually my imagination or a deceiving spirit.

I was very concerned, because I knew that if Trump lost, I would have to give up a body of beliefs I had built up over a number of years. My beliefs were the foundation of my life, and I could not go back to secular living. I didn’t know where I would turn.

Trump won, and it turned out that what I had perceived as the faith of the Holy Spirit was, in fact, the faith of the Holy Spirit.

Yesterday, the main thing on my mind was the knowledge that I wasn’t wrong. I was not going to have to give up a huge portion of the beliefs I relied on every day to survive. If you haven’t lived by faith, you can’t imagine what that’s like. The ground beneath my feet threatened to betray me. I would have been lost.

I was very focused on relief from negative consequences, so I didn’t think that much about the positive. It wasn’t until later in the day that I began thinking intently about the positive.

Here is the positive: I’m all set. My success is locked in. Once again, even though he should never be required to defend himself, God has proven himself faithful. The beliefs and knowledge he has given me are sound. I can rest my weight on my revelation, not just for today and not just for the rest of my life, but for all eternity.

How about that?

I feel like I graduated to a new level yesterday, and it couldn’t come too soon. I am increasingly disgusted with this life. I enjoy it, but I understand how filthy it is, and I want to get away from it when my job is done. I’m tired of living in a fragile meat sack full of nerves with the potential to bring me pain. I’m tired of injuries and disease. I’m tired of vulnerability. I want to be away from filthy people and spirits who will never, ever, listen or repent. I want to be away from beings who hate me because of who I am.

Christianity is supernatural. It’s not a contest to see who can be the best good boy. It’s not a contest to see who can do the best job of obeying rules. It’s not a test of willpower and discipline, contrary to what people in the “dead” or non-charismatic churches teach. We are supposed to do most of our work by supernatural means, such as prayer, cursing, and blessing. God is teaching me to fight supernaturally. That’s why I’m winning, and that’s why I’m going to keep winning forever.

Christians hate to hear this stuff. They sneer and call it “word of faith,” as if a word of faith is a bad thing. They’ve been offended by greedy TV preachers who talk about blessings (which don’t come) while denying accountability. Supernatural Christianity is not popular among proud Christians who want to impress God with their dedication and obedience, but it was a big hit with the apostles.

Here’s Paul, the well-known TV prosperity preacher:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Notice, it says the armor of God, not the armor of Steve. Also, “armor” doesn’t just mean protection. It means offensive weapons. It includes a sword, which is not what most of us think of when we think of armor.

Hard work is not the armor of God. It’s the armor of Adam. It’s a curse.

Adam lost the armor of God. He had to do his best without God’s help. It doesn’t work. I am not going to live like that. My enemies and my problems are much bigger than I am. To God, they are barely big enough to be called microscopic.

According to Paul, our main focus should be fighting supernaturally, and we should be directing our efforts primarily at the evil spirits that surround us. Human beings are just puppets. We attack the puppets, and the hand reaches for new ones. That doesn’t work.

I’m doing what Paul told us to do. It’s working. It’s not going to stop working. The only person who can defeat me is me. As long as I don’t turn away, I’m going to win. This is how life is supposed to work.

It doesn’t mean I’m going to live like a pimp (like a TV preacher), surrounded by opulence and bathed in admiration. It just means I’ll win. I’ll be okay. God will fix my problems, just as he improves and remodels my mind and heart.

Incidentally, my teeth are set on edge as I watch the pundits today. I rarely watch the news, but today I’m making an exception. Trump is about to stomp into the White House and tread down the snowflakes. People who think they’re experts are making up various wrong explanations for Trump’s victory. They can’t see the obvious. It was supernatural.

I asked God to give Trump the White House, but I asked him to take the glory for himself. People are glorifying Trump. They’re also crediting conservatives and Christians. Some Christians are out of control; they have a “We’re number one” attitude which is offensive. I’m hoping God will make it obvious that Trump was elected as a reprieve, not a reward. We don’t deserve the help. We deserve Obama (or worse). We deserve Hillary. We didn’t do things right. God is not giving us Trump to show the unbelieving world how great we are. He is just limiting America’s evil for the sake of the few that serve him.

For a long time, I’ve been asking God to destroy the big false ministries. The earth doesn’t have time to wait for the liars and thieves to come around. I ask him to defeat people like the Pope, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and Joel Osteen. I believe God is against the TV churches.

TV takes glory away from God. He doesn’t need it. He never did. He converted the known world to Christianity using people who traveled on foot and spoke without microphones. Christians hate hearing that. They love talking about what God “needs.” He “needs” our ridiculous, cave man technology. We need to “help” him. That’s not how it works.

I believe God has shown me that the successful church that receives the Rapture will be a grassroots church. It won’t be bloated, disgusting white trash TV pimps selling the gospel via satellite. The gospel will spread like the flu, from person to person.

That’s how Trump won. God didn’t go through the pundits and TV cameras. He went to individuals all over the US. That’s why the pundits got it wrong. Like the TV preachers, they were not part of the process. They were out of the loop.

God can promote Trump. He can certainly promote himself.

The election proves God doesn’t need conventional tools.

Look who voted for Satan’s candidate: people in cities. Why is that? It’s because Satan needs cities. Satan has limited capabilities. He only has so many spirits to work with. In order to be efficient, he needs to concentrate people, either physically or electronically. In cities, he does well. He can contact a lot of people at once; they’re all in one place. Out in the rural areas, his power is spread out. He doesn’t do as well.

Satan loves cities, and he loves electronic mass communication. He is small and weak, so he needs crutches and prosthetics. God is not like that. He doesn’t need cameras. He doesn’t need Creflo Dollar. He has unlimited resources, so he can contact people wherever they are, even when there is no electricity.

We have a grassroots president. We also have a grassroots God. We just don’t realize it.

It will be nice to see the fat, poisonous ministries discredited. They work for the devil. They keep us sick and weak. They bleed us financially and cause God to curse our ability to get wealth. I look forward to seeing them go.

Today is a good day for me. It’s very good. I never thought something this good could come from an election.

Keep going to the horse’s mouth. Stop looking for teachers on TV. God will teach you directly, just as John said.

I guess now I’ll brace myself and wait for Trump to start doing crazy things. He is not my God. Don’t come back to me and tell me I was wrong to put my trust in him, because I never did that.

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Remember When we Used to Say “Riot”?

November 9th, 2016

Trump “Protesters” Already Scaring People Off Streets

I feel like writing a little more about the election.

I am not really a political person now. I’m a Christian who sees politicians as problems, and I am against those who do God’s kingdom the most harm. That makes me a conservative. God is a conservative, and the closer I get to him, the more my opinions conform to his truth.

If you want proof God is conservative (by modern American standards), look at his positions. He is against sexual sin. He is against abortion. He calls taxes a curse. He calls secular government a curse. He believes in justice, not just forgiveness. He is fanatical about accountability.

That’s not a liberal.

Anyway, I joined a minority-dominated church eight years ago, and at first, I just assumed everyone there was conservative. The general rule with charismatic Christians is that we’re conservative. I didn’t realize my church–Trinity Church of Miami–was run by gutless hypocrites who only cared about money. They didn’t teach people to pray in tongues. The white pastors pretended to admire Barack Obama. They didn’t help people understand that abortion was wrong or that homosexuality would one day be a big threat to Christians.

It was depressing to feel isolated among people who called themselves Christians. They were walking in circles, doing unproductive things and celebrating an unproductive culture, and the church’s pastors didn’t do anything to help them. The pastors kept their snouts buried in the money trough, and as long as they got their slop, they didn’t want to rock the boat.

During this time, I talked to many people about repentance and prayer in tongues. Generally, no one respected me enough to listen. I got through to a few, though, and yesterday I heard from a couple.

One is a young Haitian lady who has a two-year old son and no husband. The other is a young man who is attending the University of Miami on a music scholarship. Both are black. Both are surrounded by friends and relatives who hate Republicans and love the government.

They listened to me about prayer in tongues, and they started doing it. Over time, the inevitable happened. They started to realize the values they saw around them were wrong, and they became politically conservative.

The young lady was upset because she was working long shifts to make money, while people she knew lied to the government in order to get welfare. They had a higher standard of living than she did, and they weren’t working. They had things she didn’t have. They went on cruises while she wiped old people’s rear ends in hospice care to make ends meet. They told her to fill out forms and lie for money, and she wouldn’t do it.

The young man was upset because he saw unsuccessful, unhappy people all around him, doing things that were obviously counterproductive. He wanted black people to do better, but he couldn’t break through the entitlement mentality. The more he prayed in tongues, the more disturbed he became.

Both of my friends voted for Trump. The young man despises Hillary Clinton, and I use the word “despise” in its correct sense: he finds her contemptible. He realizes she will perpetuate failure among black people, and that she is against Christian principles. The young lady wants to be successful and erudite. She doesn’t want to sink to the level of the unsuccessful people she knows. She wants to take accountability for her problems and get past them.

You should hear them now. They’re very hard on the people they know. They’re much harder on them than a typical white Christian conservative. They don’t pull punches.

At the same time, God has shown them that politics isn’t the answer to man’s problems. It’s just something that has to be dealt with.

Does this give me hope for segments of our society that have traditionally lived in defeat? No way. Of course not. People are what they are, and they hate correction. But it does show me that here and there, if you let God use you, you can show one or two people things that will save them.

Heaven is not a restricted community in the racial sense. It’s not limited to white people. Salvation has no regard for race. You don’t have to belong to a race; you have to belong to a family. Anyone can join.

Today I texted the young man, and I said he should let me know if he needed a place to lie low. I was kidding. He has been telling me how isolated he feels. Today he said he was concerned. He was afraid violence would break out.

That’s sad. There are plenty of white racists who support Trump for the wrong reasons, but in spite of that, the Trump crowd is not violent as a whole. The Hillary people, on the other hand, have been beating Trump supporters up all year. Right now they’re rioting, and this is something I’ve been predicting.

I’m wondering how bad it will get.

It’s strange, because many of the people who hate Trump the most are black, and Trump doesn’t engage black people. He’s not threatening to take away entitlements. He doesn’t talk about affirmative action. He got into it with Mexicans, but let’s face it: illegal immigrants from Mexico are a big problem for black people, because they displace them in the workplace. Somehow the press has convinced black people Trump hates them, and he has barely mentioned them.

If Mexicans or Muslims riot, it will make sense to me. Trump has provoked them. Black people are another story.

What about the future? My best guesses are not pleasant. Obama and Bill Clinton sowed seeds of economic disaster, and the Fed and the banks have been holding the flood back by keeping interest rates low, printing fake money, and keeping foreclosed houses off the market. I think the house of cards will collapse under Trump, and we’ll have a cataclysmic recession or depression. Trump will be blamed, and so will white people and Christians. Somehow Jews will be blamed, too. They’re always blamed.

If this happens, it will set us up for a solidification of leftist power, followed by state-sanctioned violence and other types of persecution. It will set the stage for the Rapture.

These are only guesses, but they make sense to me.

Enjoy the next four years and use them to get close to God. Don’t expect a long-term conservative revolution.

Keep watching the news, and remember, “protest” means “riot.”

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