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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Ronin

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

This May Start to Get Old in a Few Years

It has been 2 weeks since I learned I was not welcome at the church I belonged to. It has been an interesting time.

There is now no doubt that I was not wanted. I haven’t heard a peep from any of the pastors. I still can’t see the head pastor’s Facebook page.

I got a call from a buddy who is a minister (a level or two below pastors), but I would have heard from him anyway. He was a friend before I started attending that church, and I’ll still hear from him when he’s attached to a new organization.

I tried sending the pastors an electronic message a while back. I believe that was after I quit as a volunteer but before they blocked me on Facebook. I am not sure. Anyway, I could not get it to go through.

Later on, I realized it wasn’t my job to chase them. I’m older than they are, and they were very disrespectful to me several times in public. Older people are generally not supposed to run around after younger people, trying to get their forgiveness. It sets a poor example. It may be okay to do that once or twice, but eventually you start sending a message that it’s okay to be nasty to older people.

The Bible says to go to people who have something against you, but that is not a law. The Spirit-led do not have laws to follow. It’s a general guideline which will usually line up with the Holy Spirit. I was pulled out of the church by the hand of God, and I am not supposed to screw that up by going back in a carnal way and trying to fix something that should stay broken. This was a rescue.

I have a young friend who comes by for prayer sessions, and apparently there was a shocking verbal altercation between him and the head pastor. It happened in the parking lot. Someone actually called me so I could intervene. She was concerned the police might show up. She said she became aware there was a serious problem because the pastor started screaming. He’s about 20 years older than the young man he was talking to.

He drew inappropriately close, and my friend threatened to defend himself, in no uncertain terms.

When things calmed down, there was forgiveness and love and prayer and the whole nine yards, but you can’t unring a bell. There will be consequences.

My friend says he regrets using bad language and losing his temper. He takes responsibility for that and says it was wrong.

Is this gossip? Well…can you say something was private after you chose to do it in the open air in front of a large group of people? If you go to church to speak to the public, and you’re happy when they know about the things you say that make you look good, you probably shouldn’t complain if the crazy things you say are also heard.

This friend had a great revelation the other day, and he shared it with me. Whether a bad experience is a test or a punishment depends on your attitude. If you’re proud and you refuse to learn whatever it is God is teaching you, then it’s just punishment, and it won’t do you any good.

This is a problem for a preacher who is too proud to admit fault.

The argument could be a big blessing to him. He could tell the church, “I lost my temper and behaved childishly. I have a problem with self-control and pride, and if you have the same problem, you need to work on it. We need to get God to help us fix ourselves.” That would please God and get him involved in recovery.

On the other hand, if he and his wife decide the problem is with my young friend, God won’t help them. He will fight them. Word of what happened is surely moving through the church, and while it won’t affect the sycophants, it will poison other people against the leadership. If people who have a little discernment or common sense don’t see proper steps taken, they will probably take steps of their own, through the doors of other churches.

I don’t expect them to bend. I get no indication of that from God. The little I know about their response to the situation is not encouraging.

I think this whole mess was from God. I don’t think he tells people to get in silly fights, but he definitely uses them. He did that in the Bible.

I wasn’t going to get into all of that today. What I started to say was that I was disappointed to hear that the argument was partly about me; the person the pastors don’t talk to.

I am not their problem. I’m a symptom.

If you have time to make a fool of yourself over me in a parking lot, you should have time to involve me in the matter at some point. If you have time to bother other people or send other people to talk to me, you should have time to deal with me personally. Or you should move on and let it go.

This happened at Trinity Church, too. They had secret meetings about me, and of course I was told later, because you can’t keep things quiet in a church. I will give Rich Wilkerson credit; for all his shortcomings, he did communicate with me before I left. But he should not have bothered other people about me once I was gone.

The application to my own life is that I am aware that my problems are messages from God. Whether or not he is directly causing the evil I experience, he at least consents to it. It’s not random. He limits and steers things to achieve a purpose. I can’t complain about my suffering if I cause it by refusing to listen.

You can say it’s not my fault. You can say human beings don’t know what God is saying. That’s an excuse. For almost thirty years, I’ve known I was supposed to be praying in tongues every day. That would have helped me hear his voice and fix my problems. There is no way to evade responsibility.

The curses in our lives often reflect curses we put on God. This was true in Eden, and it’s true now. Adam and Eve made God’s life difficult, so he did the same thing to them. Adam refused to submit, so God made wives rebellious. Adam made it hard for God to give birth to new children, so God made childbirth difficult. Adam gave rise to a race of rebels, so God made the earth bring forth weeds and briars.

The things I hate about my life, and which I have still not overcome, must be connected to my failings in some way.

That’s wonderful information to have. It can help me receive healing, deliverance, victory, and peace. It can help me become like God in my heart.

If I’m blessed, as the grinning TV preachers say, why do I still have problems? How can I be overweight, lazy, lustful, fearful, impulsive, disorderly and so on? Maybe I don’t have major problems in all these areas, but I am not what I should be. I’m not even remarkable by ordinary human standards. Is this really how God wants me to be?

I should have more self-control. I should be cleaner inside. It’s not much to ask of me.

It’s very bad that people I know are failing. It’s unfortunate that I have to back off because I can’t help them. But it’s very good that I can learn from their failures.

I keep finding that I have more and more authority over myself. That’s powerful, because most of our problems are self-inflicted. We can’t control ourselves, and control over yourself is where power over everything else starts.

If I am willing to continue confronting my flaws and attacking them with God’s help, I can become stronger and better inside. That will cause my outward circumstances to improve, and it will humiliate those who seek to harm me.

As for my friend, his time at the church is over. He and the pastor have forgiven each other, but you know how that works. There are some breaks you can’t fix, even with genuine forgiveness. Sometimes a person’s behavior tells you that even if you forgive that person, he is not someone you can tolerate in your inner circle.

I am enjoying the rest from church. God is showing me I need to examine pastors carefully and brutally in the future. I should ask them provocative questions and walk away if they bristle or close up. “How much is your salary?” “How much money does the church take in every week?” “Is your wife well-behaved?” “Do you pray in tongues every day?” If they’re offended, they’re too big for their britches. I don’t accept that kind of people any more.

If you would not want a pastor as a friend, do not accept him as a pastor. If he is a pain in the behind, if he is childish, if he has to be babied, if he is spoiled, if he is selfish…stay away. I don’t care if he raises the dead. He will mess you up.

I don’t know what I’ll do on Sunday. I am not worried about it. Maybe God will extend my rest another month. That would be wonderful.

Another Round for the Great Whore, Please

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Planned Parenthood has Company

If you pray in tongues, God will eventually start filling you with all sorts of smart thoughts.

You don’t have to be a naturally bright person to benefit from God’s wisdom. It generally sounds like common sense once you hear it. The main breakthrough is not an increase in intelligence; it’s a new ability to hear the obvious.

One of the things God has shown me is that you have to be careful whom you choose to lead you.

If you go to a fool’s church and then listen to, and support, foolishness, you will be an accomplice. God will eventually hold you accountable. You’re supposed to get baptized with the Holy Spirit and develop a prayer life, and when that happens, the clouds will start to part. If you don’t do this, it’s your own fault, so you pay the price.

I am very sorry I helped prosperity preachers and feel-good preachers. I am very sorry I helped preachers who were proud and stubborn, and who taught that God would bless people without correcting them.

Earlier today, I said I felt as though I had worked at abortion clinics.

Right now, Christians are upset because they just learned that Planned Parenthood executives try to profit from the sale of organs taken from murdered babies. It’s right to be upset. But the same thing happens every day in the offices of misguided preachers across America, and we treat them like gods. They eat the flesh and drink the blood of God’s children.

I felt that I should look at Habakkuk today. Here is some of what I saw:

“Write down the vision clearly on tablets,
so that even a runner can read it.

For the vision is meant for its appointed time;
it speaks of the end, and it does not lie.
It may take a while, but wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.

“Look at the proud: he is inwardly not upright;
but the righteous will attain life through trusting faithfulness.

Truly, wine is treacherous;
the arrogant will not live at peace
but keeps expanding his desires like Sh’ol;
like death, he can never be satisfied;
he keeps collecting all the nations for himself,
rallying to himself all the peoples.

Won’t all these take up taunting him
and say about him, in mocking riddles,
‘Woe to him who amasses other people’s wealth! —
how long must it go on? —
and to him who adds to himself the weight
of goods taken in pledge!

Won’t your own creditors suddenly stand,
won’t those who make you tremble wake up?
You will become their spoil.

Because you plundered many nations,
all the rest of the peoples will plunder you;
because of the bloodshed and violence done
to the land, the city and all who live there.

“‘Woe to him who seeks unjust gain for his household,
putting his nest on the heights,
in order to be safe from the reach of harm.

By scheming to destroy many peoples,
you have brought shame to your house
and forfeited your life.

For the very stones will cry out from the wall,
and a beam in the framework will answer them.

“‘Woe to him who builds a city with blood
and founds a town on injustice,

so that people toil for what will be burned up,
and nations exhaust themselves to no purpose.
Isn’t all this from Adonai-Tzva’ot?

For the earth will be as full
of the knowledge of Adonai’s glory
as water covering the sea.

“‘Woe to him who has his neighbor drink,
adds his own poison and makes him drunk,
in order to see him naked.

You are filled with shame, not glory.
You, drink too, and stagger!
The cup of Adonai’s right hand
will be turned against you;
your shame will exceed your glory.

For the violence done to the L’vanon
will overwhelm you,
and the destruction of the wild animals
will terrify you;
because of the bloodshed and violence done
to the land, the city and all who live there.’”

This message is about believers, not the unsaved.

People like Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland have taught despicable lies in order to make their neighbors drunk and strip away their protection so they can be plundered. The prosperity gospel doesn’t make us rich. In fact, it keeps us poor by giving God incentive to work against our success. The liars on TV teach it, not from a loving desire to help us, but from simple greed and, sometimes, the evil pleasure of making other people seem like fools.

Yesterday I was reminded of the story of Belshazzar. He inherited the kingdom of Babylon, and he had a drunken party at which he and his friends used the golden vessels of the temple to drink to their false gods. A hand appeared and wrote a message of condemnation on the wall, and even as Daniel was interpreting it, the city was being sacked.

Vessels are people. Vessels from the temple are people who are dedicated to God.

The pimps we see on TV drink our blood and leave us empty. They treat that which should he holy as though it were common; this is said to be the essence of blasphemy.

These people fooled me many times. I supported some truly slimy preachers. Even Robert Tilton! You can’t sink any lower than that.

As I got more discernment, I saw the problems with the preachers who were obviously idiots, but I was still fooled by people whose issues were more subtle.

Brains didn’t help me. Hell is full of intelligent people. The Holy Spirit changed my perception gradually, and one benefit of the slowness of the process is that it prevents me from thinking I did it myself. If brains could have saved me, I would never have believed any of them. I would have been quick to spot the frauds.

Who makes you most angry in this world: people who have always hated you, or people who hate you and pretend to be your friends? Who causes you more rage? A random enemy, or a traitor who once had your trust?

God is the same way. When he complains about the whore of Babylon sitting on seven hills, drinking the blood of the saints, he’s not talking about Buddhists and witches. He’s talking about Jews and the church. We were supposed to be on his side, helping his children grow. Instead, many people who were supposed to serve the Lord aborted his children and consumed their wealth.

I couldn’t see this clearly a few years ago. It gets clearer with time. God tells me things while I pray.

He also told me that before I listen to a preacher, I should look at his wife, his children, and his business. If he is a fool as a father, husband, and manager of his church, he is going to teach me to be a fool, too. It’s hard to rise higher than your master.

The men who lead the church I left in 2012 and the church I was squeezed out of recently have serious issues as men. They mismanage. There are problems with their families. There are spoiled children and wives who don’t know their place.

You can’t force your wife or children to become mature, but these men haven’t really made a good effort. You can’t force a church to succeed, but you can avoid stupid mistakes and a Mickey Mouse approach. You can have real bookkeeping. You can publish reports. You can disclose and explain. You can listen to good counsel instead of persecuting people who try to warn you.

These lessons apply to me, too. I really have no character. I do okay, but I lack self-control. I am not really responsible; I just do what I have to do in order to avoid chaos. I am not brave. I am impulsive. If I had a wife and a child right now, what would I be able to offer them?

I sat under people who were a little silly, so I am a little silly myself.

I have one thing that guarantees my success: the right direction. I’m listening to God, I have a strong prayer life, and I am being built up. That’s all anyone can ask for. If your direction is sound, regardless of where you are now, you will eventually be in a better place.

If you’re listening to Joel Osteen or Benny Hinn, turn that crap off. It’s killing you and your family. Tune T.D. Jakes out.

Look at the people you admire. Are they humble? Would you be proud to be married to their spouses or to be the parents of their children? Do you find yourself making excuses for them? If you don’t like the answers to these questions, it’s not disloyalty. It’s common sense. It’s something unbelievers have and Christians lack.

Before you give anything to anyone, ask yourself what they’ve done with what they already have. That’s what they’ll do with your gift. If you give them your heart, ask yourself how many earnest hearts they’ve crushed already. If you give them your money, ask yourself if you’re happy with the things they’ve already done with money.

Trinity Church in Miami once blew over $70,000 on flashing lights for the stage, but they have no real outreach to the poor. The church I just left is trying to open an orphanage in Haiti, but they haven’t even admitted they failed at running two new churches here in the US.

This time, orphans may be affected by their actions; children who should never be given false hope. I can’t give these people money and trust them with desperate children after the failures they’ve already experienced. I’m not going to roll the dice with that kind of suffering at stake.

I’m far from alone. No one will go up to the pastors and speak, because they expect to be scolded or ignored, but a number of people are less than enthusiastic about the orphanage. One is even less sanguine that I am; this person doesn’t even expect the orphanage to open. I figured it would open and then struggle.

I am told the church’s plan to move to a new building failed. That’s even worse than I expected.

God only invests in success. This is why he said those who had a lot would be given more, and those who had little would lose even that. Anyone can bless, and anyone can curse, but many people can’t be blessed. They destroy whatever you give them. God does not invest in those people. Neither should you.

If you don’t know what your church pays your pastor, stop giving money. If you have no idea what their other expenditures are, stop enabling them. There are only two possibilities for failing to disclose this information: irresponsibility or a desire to cover up embarrassing things. If you can’t trust me with an explanation of what you do with my money, why should I trust you with the money itself?

This is wisdom. It’s not from me (perhaps I repeat myself). It’s from God. Do not invest in failure. Look for momentum. Look for some indication that the people you invest in are moving in the right direction.

The prosperity preachers and their sheep are headed for disaster. I don’t know what form it will take, but it’s certain. Why? Because they are weak. They have no strength to react to attacks or defend themselves. They’re not praying in tongues, so they lack faith and prophetic warnings. They lack humility, so they don’t listen to people who do hear from God. When the find out they’re sinking, they will not have enough faith to make their declarations and prayers work. They will have driven off the Spirit-filled people who could have helped. They will be the tail, not the head.

The prosperity people trust in money, which is the same as trusting in Satan. They are trusting their enemy to take care of them. He’s just fattening them up to make the slaughter more fun. It’s like raising a noose to a great height so the prisoner will splatter when the rope is cut.

Now that I think about it, that’s exactly what happened to Judas!

God showed me something interesting a day or so ago. When a leader is proud, he will be the person in the organization who knows the least about what’s really going on. Why? Because no one will tell him anything. They get tired of being yelled at, ostracized, ridiculed, and ignored. So they tell everyone but the leader. When the ice breaks, everyone will be ready except for the people who are in charge! That’s the exact opposite of how things are supposed to be.

A relative of mine got a terrible roof job a few years back. He started having leaks. I told him he needed to get it fixed. He was unreceptive, to put it nicely. Over time, his ceiling collapsed in six places. Finally, he got it fixed. He had to pay for indoor repairs as well as the roof itself. If he had been willing to listen, he could have saved thousands of dollars.

When you get to know a person like that, you learn to shut up and watch disasters occur.

This is the mindset I dealt with at my last two churches.

Last night I dreamed my dad and I were going to the same place. He started running. He was wearing a suit. I imagined I was in a car, and my feet left the ground, and I started moving. Parts of the car started materializing, and eventually, I was driving a whole car. I pulled up next to my dad to see if he wanted a ride, and he waved me off.

That dream may have had relevance to my biological father, but it wasn’t about him.

If you don’t learn to hate pride, you will always be a failure. You will never learn anything in time to profit from it. I screwed my life up pretty well by choosing not to pray. Maybe you’re younger than I am, and you can avoid my mistake.

I am getting used to stepping back and watching people fail, and God is helping me not to have misplaced pity. You’ll have to get used to it, too.

I wouldn’t worry about it. A thousand years from now, no one will be thinking about the self-inflicted disasters we are witnessing today.

A Curious Welcome

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Charismatics are Poor Hosts

I had a funny idea and went to the meme generator again.

flop on floor meme

This morning I was thinking about the way we treat God, and this is exactly what came to me. We’re supposed to be his children. Imagine how you would feel if you went to visit your kids, and they turned the stereo way up and started rolling on the carpet.

You: Hi, son! We decided to surprise you, and…

Son: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! YES DAD YES DAD YES DAD YES DAD

You: Anyway,your mom and I thought you could use some help setting up the nursery…

Son: [on floor with stereo at 9000 decibels] HELP ME DAD HELP ME DAD HELP ME DAD HELP ME DAD

You: [shouting] WE WERE THINKING ABOUT PAYING OFF YOUR MORTGAGE! CAN YOU TURN THAT CRAP OFF??

Son: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH I FEEL IT I FEEL IT I FEEL IT I FEEL IT

You: I guess we’ll see you at Christmas.

Son: OOGITY BOOGITY OOGITY BOOGITY OOOGITY BOOGITY OOGITY BOOGITY

This is really what God goes through. People are so worked up, pretending they feel his presence, that they can’t hear a thing he says. They have no idea what it’s like to hear from God, so they don’t realize excessive noise, coupled with histrionics, makes it impossible to focus on him.

God wants to talk to you. He wants to be close to you. He wants you to come to him for advice and correction. How can you do that when you’re bellowing like a pig that backed into an electric fence? Seriously, imagine trying to talk to someone and having them scream and jerk and flail their arms. That’s not a relationship. That’s superstition and fakery.

Day before yesterday I was thinking about the failed prosperity gospel, and I had this thought:

batman seed gift

Prosperity preachers go to churches where people have been tithing and giving offerings for years without seeing any financial increase, and they tell us to give “seed gifts,” and we pony up. We don’t even look at our track record!

Imagine this. A salesman comes to the door and says he’ll blacktop your driveway for a thousand dollars. He has paid you a visit every year for thirty years. Every year, you gave him the money. He never did the job. But you pay him again!

Am I the only one who sees a problem here?

And what about people who testify about getting fifty or a hundred bucks unexpectedly, after offering five hundred and being told to expect a thirtyfold return, minimum? They do this all the time.

You can believe anything if you can’t hear from the Holy Spirit. It’s nothing short of amazing. And I have been fooled many times myself, so if you want to tell me I’m not in a position to judge, I can’t argue with you.

Interesting stuff is happening at my new old church. My old church is Trinity, in Miami Gardens. I just got nudged out of a different church, so the one I just left is my new old church.

I have been told repeatedly that people are praying for me, as if they found out I had started using heroin. I may be mistaken about their opinions; maybe they think I’m on the right track. But I don’t know, because no one talks to me. I have invited people to ask me what happened, but only about four have taken me up on it.

Churches can develop a cult mentality. There may be 3,000 churches in a city, but if you leave ONE church and look for another one, the people there may think you’ve sold your soul to the devil. They may think you’ve abandoned the keepers of the One True Flame.

A lot of good stuff happened at New Dawn, but there are millions of people in my area, and I guarantee you, there are other churches that are at least as good. We’re all supposed to be on the same team, so we shouldn’t see all other churches as dens of demonic weirdness.

A number of people who were close to the inner circle have left, and while they didn’t receive a heap of abuse, when they came back for visits, somehow they were often chosen to receive a word from God, and those words tended to involve messages about how they would always be welcome and so on. Sounded like hints to me. And the pastors were clearly upset when one of the singers left. I don’t know if that was a personal thing or they were just worried about losing a performer who anchored the music team.

When a church is struggling, every departure probably scares the pastors.

Anyway, I have a feeling many of the prayers are about my apparent apostasy. People are even praying about a friend of mine, who hasn’t done a thing. People keep calling this person and grabbing them by the arm to say, “We’re praying for you,” and, “Pastor is praying for you.” This person hasn’t left the church or indicated a desire to do so. No one has provided a reason for the sudden wave of prayer. It started happening as soon as I got pushed out.

When I left Trinity, people thought I had enlisted in the devil’s army, and then thirty or forty of them followed me to the other church. Draw your own conclusion.

I got a revelation about this. God does not like to see false teachers and false prophets get credit. If you believe them, God may choose not to bless you, even though you’re trying to do the right thing. If he blesses you for giving Benny Hinn a blasphemous prosperity offering, he knows you will testify about it, and then other people will be led into sin.

Sometimes God will take you away from people who are out of line because he wants to bless you and he does not want them to take the credit.

Astonishing things are happening in my life. If I had been pulled into the inner circle at church, I might have thought their teachings brought it about. I might have testified to that effect. Then other people would have been deceived.

Instead, I know that what’s happening to me is happening in spite of them, not because of them.

When I was a physics teaching assistant, the head T.A. told me students were allowed to collaborate on lab reports, but they were separated during the final exam, because when you separate the cars, you find out who’s pulling the train.

That’s how life is. We work together in the church, but we are all judged alone!

You have to be really careful about the people you set up as your authorities. You have to pray for God to guide you to the right ones, and you have to pray for him to correct them. If they turn out to be impossible to correct, get out, because you will share in their judgment here on earth.

If that sounds unfair, think of all the chances God gave your ancestors. He may have given you a lot of chances, too. You should know a few things by now. Learning is your responsibility.

God is incapable of listening to an excuse. When you stand in front of him and you start blaming other people for your lack of knowledge, it will be worse than if you said nothing at all.

It appears that God gives us the churches we deserve, and then if we learn, we graduate, and he puts us in more advanced ones. That makes sense, since we all have to graduate from the earth eventually.

Keep praying in tongues. If you can’t pray in tongues, pray for help with that. Keep asking God for correction. Keep asking him to help you see your faults. Ask him to help you confess and repent. Ask him to remove the faults from you and to fill you with his nature and desires. This is what works. The seed gifts and holy rolling are just distractions intended to prevent you from finding the door.

Someone Come Get the School Bus

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

The Driver is Taking a Walk

It looks like I’m not welcome at my church now.

Yesterday when I started checking the web to see what the world was up to, I decided to see what my pastors were saying on Facebook. I had quietly unfollowed them weeks earlier, but I had a practice of checking on them from time to time.

I unfollowed them, which means I was still their Facebook friend but did not see their posts on my feed, because I was tired of some of the things they were posting. They kept putting up photos of their leisure time, which appeared to be copious. They were at this restaurant or that restaurant, while other people–the folks who pay their bills–were working or taking care of other responsibilities. They were at the beach. They were at the spa. And they posted stuff from a false prophet named Doug Addison. It was relentlessly, mindlessly positive stuff; he thinks God is thrilled with what Christians are doing, which is facially absurd.

When I saw these things, I felt I was seeing how ineffectual I was at the church. I was growing, but I couldn’t tell the leaders anything helpful.

Yesterday when I checked on them, I couldn’t find their page. I think you know what that means. I had been blocked. My pastors blocked me on Facebook.

What do you say about a thing like that? The church has maybe fifty adult members who attend regularly. Everyone knows each other. If you go to Steve Munsey’s gigantic church, and he blocks you on Facebook, you still go to church, because he will have no idea you’re there. It’s different when the church is small and maybe 25% of the members are relatives of the pastors.

I haven’t been told what I did to provoke this. It had nothing to do with my blog, because I don’t get any hits from Miami.

I didn’t go to church today. It would be way too awkward. I knew I was on my way out, but I had assumed I would be directed to another church before leaving this one. I got pushed out without warning.

Today I got up and had a lovely McDonald’s breakfast and watched Dennis Gage on My Classic Car, and then I turned on some Julie True music and prayed in the Spirit and with my understanding. I assume the church is receiving another sermon right now, about the necessity for loud, obnoxious worship music. I didn’t have to deal with that.

It was wonderful. I didn’t realize what a battle church had been.

Often, I’ve sat at church praying God would correct them and help them find his peace. I have been jarred by horrible bellowing as well as sudden bursts from a shofar a very loud lady brings to church. A shofar is a ram’s horn with a harsh tone. She can only play B-flat. I know that because a music team member with perfect pitch told me; the inappropriate randomly timed blasts were getting to him.

I have dealt with a lot of provocation at these times. It’s a little like being a school bus driver. I wanted to enjoy God’s peace and love, and instead I was fighting people who were ignorant and immature. I don’t know of a nice word for “ignorant.” I don’t mean it in a nasty way. They didn’t know what they were doing. That’s what I mean. And I couldn’t tell them different, because they would not listen.

Today was so different. I drifted into God’s warmth and peace. I felt like I couldn’t get up. I still feel the peace. And while I was sitting there enjoying it, I realized why it was so good. I wasn’t surrounded by people who were fighting with me. The kids weren’t there. This must be what it’s like when you’re married and you run off for a weekend with your wife.

It’s spectacular. It’s wonderful. I see what I’ve been missing. It’s so nice to put people down and let them wander off in the directions they chose. It’s so pleasant to be with God alone for a while.

God just showed me that this is what he deals with. It’s like feeding babies. It’s an honor to be blessed with a baby and to feed it, but it will spit food back at you, throw tantrums, and pee on you. Those things aren’t fun. When you can get away from the baby and have a meal with an adult, it’s a big, big deal. And it’s okay. You don’t have to carry the baby 24/7.

Am I being critical of the people at my church? Yes. Sorry; that’s how it is. I won’t pretend I’m not. They need to get it together. They need to learn to respect people who hear from God.

What would the church be like if they had services like the experience I had today? I can’t even imagine. People would be growing. They would be receiving and sharing revelation. They would be clearing their heads of the lies of the prosperity preachers and false prophets. They would live in power and victory. They would feel God’s love and peace instead of pretending. It would be so beautiful.

Can’t do it. I can’t make them receive a blessing.

Someone sent me a horrifying picture this morning. The church is raffling off a piece of jewelry to finance the orphanage one of the pastors is trying to open. It’s not a pretty piece of jewelry; I wonder if a man picked it out. Anyway, they’re having a game of chance, at a church. Crazy.

Charities use auctions all the time. I see nothing wrong with that, as long as they don’t do it during church services. But a raffle? That’s gambling, and gambling is bad. It opens supernatural doors. And here is a big difference between auctions and gambling: if you are confident that someone will pay for what you have, you won’t be afraid to have an auction. Raffles are a con job to motivate people who otherwise would not donate.

It’s not good. I was startled when I saw it, and so was the person who told me about it.

I am looking around for a new church. I will not be a deacon. I will not clean toilets. I will not be an usher. I will walk in, sit down, give whatever God tells me to give, and leave when he tells me to leave. If they do crazy things, I will be quiet about it, except outside of church. I’m not going to start dragging people again. I’ll wait for God to send me people who are willing to stand and walk.

The peace and freedom are tremendous. I will be very careful about risking losing them.

I hope this is helpful, as always. Don’t mistake an organization for your tie to God. Don’t mistake a church for the body of Christ. Don’t mistake carnal chores for your work in the kingdom. Don’t feel that you have to stick with people long after they’ve made it clear they can’t be helped.

Knowing whom to drop is more beneficial than knowing whom to pick up.

The World, as it Really Is

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

We are All Dumpster Divers

I had a remarkable night last night. For that matter, remarkable things happen to me all the time, but I don’t write about all of them.

I had a bad dream. I dreamed I was with people from my high school, at some sort of reunion.

I am not one of those individuals who wants to hang around with high school classmates. I had a good time in high school, since it was a place where I could goof off and escape my family, but my classmates were hard, worldly people. I don’t want to rekindle anything. I don’t think they have anything of value to give me. I don’t feel like justifying the strange choices I’ve made. They couldn’t possibly understand.

An aggressive girl who was less attractive than she believed was sitting next to me in a jazz bar. I don’t go to bars. This girl was a composite of people I knew. I would compare her to an Ally Sheedy character in a movie. A B-student, at best. Not chearleader material, but not singled out for being homely. Shrill. Talkative. A shrew in the making.

She was criticizing my life, telling me I wasn’t “much at fulfillment.” She was trying to convince me I had accomplished nothing. I asked her who she thought she was, telling me how to live. I asked her why she thought I owed her anything. More than the rudeness, I was taken aback by the sense of entitlement. I didn’t see why I should be harangued by a spinster I hadn’t seen since the Reagan years.

The impression I got was that she felt I was obligated to contort my life to suit her idea of what a potential husband should be like. That’s a little like practicing your ballet so you can dance into the path of a train. Who would want a hellcat like her? She was the kind of woman who drive men to mistresses.

Some other classmates were there, and we were talking about one who was missing. His name was Mark. He jumped off a bridge in 1993. I just looked up the year, but I could not find details.

The rumor is that he could not cope with the realization that he was a homosexual. I don’t know if that was what destroyed his hope, but I do know he was a miserable person.

After my sophomore year, my dad did something totally out of character and shelled out about $2000 to send me to Europe. A teacher I liked was going to be a chaperone. Miss Beame. She was about six years older and us. Attractive, to say the least. But I’m getting off the point.

She put posters up, and I started telling friends how great Europe was, and pretty soon, three of us were signed up.

Mark was one of my two best friends at that point. Not because I liked him. He liked me.

I was prone to associating with people based on the fact that they were willing to talk to me. You know how high school is. You look at the tables in the lunchroom and decide where you are entitled to sit, and that’s where you go.

He was one of the school’s “smart kids,” but I was a lot smarter. I believe that bothered him. He was very pushy. He was very critical. He treated people as though he were in charge.

I was very passive, so I didn’t think in terms of trying to dominate people, and I wasn’t very sensitive to the fact that imperious people mistreated me. It seemed normal to me. It was what I was subjected to at home.

While we were in Europe, I suddenly realized how obnoxious he was, and I cut him off. After that, he was out of my circle.

By the time he died, he was an acquaintance. In fact, that’s pretty much what he was by the end of the Europe trip. He moved to the second layer of “friends,” and then he was out. I didn’t mourn for him. It was like hearing about a stranger.

In the dream, people seemed to have a protective mindset about him. They were looking at a newspaper article about his suicide, and they said things that seemed to threaten anyone who criticized him.

No one was criticizing him, but they seemed determined to intimidate anyone who might consider it. They were protecting him because he was a homosexual.

As we were walking away from the bar, I lagged behind the others, and I said, “It’s been nice seeing you. I guess.”

After that I got away from them.

When I woke up, I felt as though the rude girl’s remarks had weight. For a few minutes, I saw myself through the eyes of hard, godless people, and I felt panicked.

In my dreams, I am not myself. Sometimes I don’t believe in God. Sometimes I do immoral things I wouldn’t even want to do in real life. I don’t understand it. I can understand having a sexual dream or a dream about hurting someone who makes me mad, but I can’t understand dreaming of something I would ordinarily have to interest in.

In real life, I would not have been with these people. I would not have been in a bar. I would have told that girl off very forcefully, or I would have gotten up and left without wasting the effort of speaking to her, and I would have left the bar instantly. But in the dream, their view of life seemed more rational, and that carried through in the three or four minutes after I awoke.

I started talking to God, and he started showing me things.

This world is controlled by hell. Human beings, including most Christians, prefer Satan to God. That’s why he is the god of this world. While we’re here, we waste our time pursuing utterly worthless things he says are important. Then we die content, thinking we’ve made a difference. In reality, we’ve done nothing of use.

Godless people think their lives have meaning if they affect society. For example, you might write a bestselling book. You might become famous and receive $20 million dollars per role, making movies. You might become president after being carried through law school and serving 143 days as an undistinguished junior senator.

People might think you’re important, and you are likely to believe it. They may hush themselves when you speak. They may pamper you and mail you fan letters. But when it’s over, you will leave the earth with nothing, and you are likely to burn in hell forever.

We can’t accumulate anything here. Nothing lasts. Even environmentalists, who think they’re saints for “preserving” the planet for future generations, are throwing their lives down the toilet. This planet is going to be destroyed. Even scientists say so. The sun will go out. If we move to another solar system, that sun will go out. Nothing here is eternal.

No one will remember the famous people of 2015 in 20015. Not the ones who didn’t serve God. No one will know what an Academy Award is. No one will know what America was or care that you were the president. All your money will be gone. Everything you created will be gone, unless it’s in a museum, in very bad shape.

What lasts, then? What is it that we are supposed to bring with us into eternity?

People. We can take people with us. Everything else stays here. Everything else is, essentially, excrement.

Jesus told us to lay up treasures in heaven, where nothing is destroyed. He was talking about people.

Does that mean all we should care about is getting people saved? No, because we do stupid, carnal things in order to get people to the altar. The things you do to get 10000 people saved today may cost the kingdom a million later on. God does not send us here to do things quickly and sloppily. He could never do that. He isn’t like that.

God wants us to help people become like him, right here. Right now. He wants us to listen to him, follow his orders, and do it his way. That means praying in tongues, destroying pride, and becoming Spirit-led.

Many preachers think they’ve pleased God because they have big churches. God is going to tell them there is no permanent reward for that. They build these monstrosities to glorify themselves, so they get their reward here on earth. The people who are rewarded will be those who reach others God’s way.

When you’re in heaven and the game is over, you’ll be with the people you reached here on earth, forever. They will be your treasures.

The world is a dirty diaper, floating in a sea of hot excrement. We huddle toward the center, avoiding the the hot spray from the waves of sewage. We waste our lives building towers of excrement. None of it survives, and many of us are destroyed along with our works.

We don’t realize how ugly and filthy the world is, because we’re used to it. We’re in denial, and denial has become our protection. Without it, we would be in despair.

Are people really happy doing things their way? While I was talking to God last night, I thought about the people I’ve known. I thought about people who were considered successful.

My grandparents had a bad marriage. Three of their daughters divorced. The other is becoming demented. Her daughter’s young husband died in a fiery plane crash. One of my dad’s business associates lost a son to a murdering rapist. The man’s ex-wife lost her mind and committed suicide. His second wife died suddenly. His daughter committed suicide.

Another of my dad’s associates will die a disbarred felon. Another is such a nasty creep no one would even talk to him if he didn’t have money. My mother died from cancer, unappreciated and mistreated.

I could sit here all day without coming up with anyone who could say, “My life worked.”

Godless people aren’t much at fulfillment.

If you concern yourself with saving human beings and helping God rebuild them, you will have a different outcome. You won’t leave a mountain of crap behind for the rain to wash away. When you die, you’ll be headed to rejoin people you love, and you’ll know you helped put them in the safe place where you’ll be together for eternity.

You will know that you showed people what true love and true purpose are. No one who is not Spirit-led can do that. They’re all chasing shadows.

The world is horrible. It’s a death camp where we are processed, harvested, and slaughtered. And it’s going to get worse. We love Satan. We really do. That’s not a joke. He is going to win.

When God comes back to restore order, it will be to a world where Satan had his way. Satan will have to be forced to leave, because humanity will want him to stay.

If you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you’ll think everything is fine, or that getting rid of Christianity and the Jews will fix everything. You’ll be blind, deaf, and stupid. You won’t resent playing with excrement. You’ll love it.

The world seems beautiful, even in its cursed state, but it’s a ball of manure. It is ruined. It is full of poison. There is no hope for it.

I guess this will sound disrespectful, but I don’t want any more Marks in my life. He was a Jewish atheist. He said that when you die, “You rot.” He had no help, but he had pride, and he made other people unhappy. He was one of those people who took the joy out of other people’s lives.

I want to be a humble person who introduces people to joy. I don’t want to spend the rest of my days trying to prove I’m right about everything, and that my way works. If people associate with me, I want it to be because they love me, not because they can get something from me or because I abuse and brainwash them into thinking the mistreatment I deal out to them is friendship.

Sooner or later, every proud, hard-hearted person jumps off a bridge. That’s a hard word, but it’s undeniable. If you’re blessed, your fall comes during this life, while you have time to change. If not, you will plunge from God’s presence in heaven.

I keep asking God to remove the proud people from my life, and he’s doing it. Sometimes when he takes someone away, it’s an obvious choice, but some of his picks surprise me. They are people I thought of highly.

The one proud person I did not expect him to remove from my life is me. I wanted my pride taken away, but when I prayed for proud people to be removed, I didn’t realize I was praying about myself.

I’ll take it. No complaints here. It’s a bonus.

The prosperity gospel is excrement. It is pus. It will never work. It never has. The unconditional approval gospel is just as bad. Love is not approval. God takes us as we are, but if we don’t change, he stops blessing us, and we displease him.

Humility is everything. A love of correction is everything. These, coupled with a strong prayer life guided by the Holy Spirit, will fix you. Then you’ll want what God wants, and he will start helping you. You will bear fruit, and it will be with you in heaven.

To the people I’ve offended, I have nothing to say except, “Grow up.” Making you happy and feeding your self-centered fantasies are not on God’s list of things he created me to do. Get over it. And if you can’t, you will be replaced. That’s the way the kingdom works.

This will be helpful, if you take it to heart. I hope some of the ground it lands on is fertile.

What’s Worse Than a Dull Saw?

Monday, July 6th, 2015

A Dull Saw Cutting in the Wrong Place

The Garage of Shalom has significance that goes beyond tools.

I turned back to God because I was suffering the consequences of my own mistakes, not because I cared about his kingdom. I wanted to change–a little–but that wasn’t the main thing that motivated me. Mainly, I felt that I was losing when I should win, and I was tired of it.

It wasn’t all that long–maybe a year–before God made me understand that human beings were ruled by iniquity, and that I needed to rid myself of mine. But I still thought a lot about money and succeeding at the things I wanted to do. I believe I saw cleaning myself up largely as a means toward that end. I didn’t see correction as the end.

I would not say I was a mercenary person. If I were, I would be practicing patent law right now. But change was not my top priority.

What I have found is that the more I focus on internal correction, the more things around me become ordered. They matter less, which may seem odd, but they fall into line anyway.

I had a bunch of tools. I had tried getting into tools in fits and stops since about 1985, and things had really taken off in about 2007. I got a big table saw that year. I got a MIG welder. Before too long I had a lathe, and I was thinking about a mill.

I couldn’t really use these tools, though. I hadn’t laid the groundwork. I didn’t have enough storage. I hadn’t spent enough on accessories and dust collection. I spent money on the relatively glamorous stuff and skimped on the boring things that made it all work.

Over the last year or so, correction itself has become the thing I want most, and suddenly, the garage is coming together.

I fixed my planer so it produces almost no dust. I made new parts for my jointer’s fence and finally connected the dust port correctly. I shimmed up my table saw extension so large parts don’t jam when they slide over it. I ordered new wheels for my drill press and band saw so the defective ones that were on the mobile bases wouldn’t cause me problems. I added a new rolling tool box. I got a proper shop press.

Things are moving right along.

Last night I sat in here watching tool Youtubes. This is probably the best use there is for a television set. The educational potential of the Internet is unlimited. It sure beats slumping on a couch with a giant bag of Cheez Doodles, watching imbeciles pretending to be vampires or superheroes.

The thing I love about this place is the peace, and you can’t have that without order. The floor is relatively clean (and I can see it). There are horizontal surfaces around me which are not completely covered with junk. Almost all of my tools are stored properly. The mess is mostly confined to one small area I call “the devil’s corner.” But that corner looks better and better with time.

It’s really something; sitting in a shop I ordered (with God’s help), having total strangers teach me for nothing. It’s so much better than being in the house, thinking about all the things I would be doing with my tools if only…

For a long time, I have been wary of becoming a person who works ON tools instead of working WITH them, but the truth is, you have to work on the tools before you put them to use. Otherwise, you end up working on them while you use them, and in the process, you waste time, damage the things you work on, and get off-mission. Learning as you go is desirable and unavoidable, but when it makes it impossible for you to do the thing you originally showed up to do, it’s too much.

If I say I am a tool, I invite sophomoric remarks, so I will say that I am an instrument. I was created for a use. I can’t do what I was created to do unless I have been aligned and sharpened and cleaned. If I go right to my mission without preparing myself, I’ll do a terrible job, and I am likely to do more harm than good.

To use tools well, I have to fix the tools before I approach the work, and to accomplish my purpose, I have to be repaired and armed to a sufficient degree before I begin. I don’t have to be perfect, but I have to be serviceable.

This is what Jesus meant when he said we had to take the logs out of our own eyes before trying to take splinters out of other people’s eyes. He wasn’t saying we should not judge people. He was saying that we needed to judge ourselves first, so we would see clearly when helping other people.

The “judge not” crowd doesn’t really care about self-righteousness or love. They have two main motivations. The first is to be excused from the conflict that arises when we stand up for what is right. People want to hang around with their ungodly friends and be accepted, so they want an excuse to chicken out; they don’t want to have to speak when someone else is making a mistake. They crave popularity. The other motivation is a desire to keep sinning. They see salvation as a license to use drugs, engage in every type of sexual sin, and generally lead ungodly lives, and they don’t want that taken away from them. They want God’s approval AND a life of sin.

Avoiding conflict, in and of itself, is not a worthy motivation. It’s cowardice. I know; I’ve done it many times. Clothing it in God’s word is even worse.

We are expected to examine ourselves continually and confess our imperfections to God. If we don’t do this, we will have problems. We will get diseases. Many of us will die. We will be defeated and dominated by ungodly people as a matter of routine. We will be like woodworkers who came to work with dull tools. Useless and weak.

Here is what Paul said:

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

The reason communion is called “communion” is that it is an opportunity to become like God; to have characteristics in common with him. To be one with him. It’s not about salvation. You can’t be one with God if you are ruled by iniquity. You can’t be free of iniquity unless you confess it and ask him to rid you of it. When you take communion, you’re supposed to judge yourself so you can be improved. If you don’t, God will do it for you, and you don’t want that.

Every one of us has a workshop inside him, and we are supposed to put it in order. We are not supposed to do this alone. God does most of the work. Most of our work is humility, honesty, and faith. You will have a hard time finding anyone in the Bible who impressed God by working hard.

The more work you do on your shop, the more you can do with it.

People who aren’t ready for money beg God for money and try to force his hand with moronic prosperity offerings. People who aren’t ready for spouses beg God for them. Women who have no business having babies beg God for children. We don’t spend much time asking God to make us ready for the good things we want. We practice the Miley Cyrus version of Christianity: give me money and power while I’m still a child, so I can destroy myself and become a notorious idiot.

Peace doesn’t come from money or achievement. It doesn’t come from marriage or raising kids. It comes from submission to God. You should put inner correction at the top of your wish list, if you want to receive the things that are on the top of it now. Otherwise, they will be curses to you.

I look forward to seeing the good things that come from accepting correction, but what I really want is the correction itself. If I have that, my other needs will be taken care of, because I will be the kind of person God can trust with good things.

If you look at scripture, you will find that this advice lines up with it, so quit sending money to TV preachers and practicing positive thinking. Those things don’t work in the long run. Do what God actually told us to do. That ought to work, shouldn’t it?

My church is about to rent a new building. I think it’s a terrible idea. A big house in Miami will have an electric bill of four to five hundred dollars a month. It costs money to mow grass and trim hedges. Everything costs money. The new church is probably as large as five big houses, and our attendance is getting smaller. I know of a big family that won’t be with us much longer. Where will the cash come from? You don’t move to a bigger building when attendance is shrinking. Someone has to pay for it.

On top of that, renting is slavery. You’re paying someone else’s mortgage. You’re buying someone else a building. You can’t leave. You can’t stop paying. You serve the landlord and his property manager.

People think mortgages are unavoidable. Is that true? Does that sound like faith? Is God unable to give us money to buy things outright? Perry Stone has a huge ministry, and he pays for things up front. Is his God better than yours?

I know an excuse when I hear one. A lease is better than nothing, but it is far from optimal, and it should be considered a sign that you’re doing something wrong.

We want the big building, but we don’t want to listen to correction. The music needs to be turned down. The services are too long. There isn’t nearly enough prayer. Very few people are praying in tongues. There is no discernment. There is no self-judgment. We have no foundation, but we think we can build a big temple.

Yesterday we were told that we will have to give more. Actually, we don’t have to do anything. And we can’t. Most people in the church are poor, and because they accept the prosperity gospel instead of God’s keys to prosperity, many are going to stay poor. How are they going to pay a four-figure electricity bill plus rent plus salaries? We have services where about forty adults show up. Something like forty percent of the church’s most devoted volunteers tithe. Can sixteen or twenty people of low to moderate income support a big building?

We don’t have the kind of gifted speakers who can pack churches. We don’t have a music team that can keep people happy for ninety minutes. A churchgoer may not mind listening to certain speakers with rare talents talk for two hours, but we don’t have anyone like that. Our music team doesn’t rehearse much, so, to be brutally honest, they’re doing a C job, and the volume level gives people headaches and tinnitus. We don’t examine ourselves, so we keep doing things that hurt attendance. But somehow we expect people to fill a new church. They’re not filling the one we have!

Is that unbelief? No, it’s honesty and clarity. Yes, Moses and the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea when things looked impossible, but they didn’t jump in on their own initiative. They waited for God to send them. You can’t expect God to support you when you’re wandering around in a place where he never sent you.

Imagine what would have happened had Paul disobeyed the Holy Spirit and gone into Asia Minor to teach. He probably would have been tortured to death, and no one would have been converted. You can’t draft your own mission. It doesn’t work that way.

We don’t examine ourselves, so we’re walking into a trap. Maybe God will pull us out of it in spite of ourselves, but I almost hope not, because that would encourage us to continue being proud and unteachable in the future. If you want to hurt a wino, don’t drive past him with your windows up. Pull over and give him a hundred dollars. He’ll be lucky if he survives the night.

I can’t reach everyone. Maybe I can reach you. I know it will pay off for you. It’s paying off for me.

Stop Wasting Yourself on Organizations

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

The Body of Christ is Not a Church With Walls

God keeps answering my prayers.

I keep asking God to give me correction and to help me to love it and crave it, and he really comes through. This is a lot better than praying for money and big cars, because God actually wants to give me correction. Obviously, he is more likely to answer a prayer that in some way comports with his goals.

I have given up on trying to build organizations such as churches. I just don’t care. I’m not saying no one should do it. I’m just saying it’s not for me. I have a much nicer job, and I will be more successful than the organization-builders and community-builders.

The other day after prayer, I thought, “I can’t get anywhere with organizations, but I’ve had good luck with individuals.” Then it struck me that this is exactly what Jesus would say.

The church is a failure. For centuries, it was the biggest terrorist organization on earth; that ought to tell us something. People lived in fear because they knew that if they said the wrong thing, they could be tortured or burned alive.

We have cut back on the torture and murder, but things are still going badly. Many churches worship Mammon. Some of the old churches reject the Bible and slavishly follow traditions of men. Other churches promote homosexuality and even let homosexuals preach.

Generally, we are not guided by the Holy Spirit, and we are God’s enemies. It happened to the Jews before us, and it has happened to us. And like the Jews, we are convinced we’re right and our critics are wrong.

Satan loves organizations, because he almost always ends up controlling them. Rush Limbaugh has noted that organizations tend to become more leftist over time, and that’s a manifestation of the principle I’m writing about. Satan works through voting, committees, peer pressure, and groupthink, and through these tools, he generally ends up in charge.

That’s good for Satan, because he is small and weak. He does not have the personnel to enable him to work inside every human being effectively. He is not omnipresent. He has to allocate resources. He picks leaders who can influence others, and he gives them help. He gave us people like Hitler, Obama, Oprah, and many Popes. He gave us Castro. He gave us a good number of televangelists.

God does not need an organization. The Holy Spirit can inhabit and guide an infinite number of people in separate locations, even if they never communicate directly. God works through individuals.

We think we’re supposed to save our church, our communities, and our country. Idiocy! Jesus failed at those tasks. Are we smarter than he was? Most Jews rejected him. Most Gentiles have rejected him. The Temple was destroyed, with his consent. Israel was scattered for 1900 years. We’re not going to save large churches, cities, or nations. Don’t talk crazy.

At the churches where I have served, I was hindered, not helped. I was treated with remarkable disrespect. My time was wasted, and so was my money. I thought about things like bigger church buildings. Temples built with hands! What was I thinking?

Now that I have no title and no obligations, I don’t have to fool with any of that. Leave that mess to the carnal. That’s their purpose, I am sorry to say. I know that sounds mean and proud, but it’s true. If you can do spiritual things for God, he won’t want to waste you in a ministry where all you do is park cars or clean toilets. He will put you in touch with people who will listen, and you will connect with them on an intimate level and help them change.

Every church has a lot of people who are never going to get close to God. That’s the choice they make. They think carnal tools are the answer. So God lets them do the grunt work. Psalm 4 says God sets the godly apart for himself. If your interests are heavenly, you will not always be required to slave away at earthly jobs. Your time will be too precious for that.

I do not care if my church gets a new building. Let them worry about that. I will not cook for their functions. I will not try to manipulate people into supporting them financially. Not my job. From now on, I will have liberty to do things that are more useful.

This morning I was close to tears because I realized what a great gift this was.

Think about this. There are no churches in heaven. People work and suffer to build gaudy monuments to preachers’ egos. Then we die and, it is to be hoped, go to heaven. The churches stay here. The money stays here. The denominations perish forever.

No one in heaven will have to carry a pastor’s briefcase or do his laundry! No one will stand up and clap when Benny Hinn walks into a room. That nonsense will be behind us. God will honor us according to what we did for him, not our own pride or greed, and that will be that.

None of this garbage will survive the trip, thank God. But think about this: every person you reached for God will be there with you, forever, in an atmosphere of pure love.

That is what Jesus meant when he referred to “treasure in heaven.”

Many of us seem to think he was referring to big houses and other forms of wealth just like the trinkets we chase here on earth. Why would he give us those things? Why would we need them in heaven, where there is no economy and no lack? Duh.

The story of the Good Samaritan teaches this idea. The two men who passed by on their other side were on their way to Jerusalem, where the temple was located. They wanted to serve the organization, so they ignored a human being in need. This should be obvious to us.

When I think of the tasks I’ve done as a deacon and armorbearer, I feel like I have nothing at all to show for my effort. People were promoted past me. Other people got to do things I wanted to do. They taught and prayed for people. I guarded the offering and helped keep the parking lot orderly. A hired hand could have done those things.

On the other hand, what about the individuals I’ve been able to help?

I counted the people who came to the church through me or through people I had brought. The church is very small, but I can think of over 30 people right now! I can’t remember all of them. And among them, a number have actually made spiritual progress. I have been able to help them, and I have gotten close to them as individuals. Their children and grandchildren will be better off because of what God used me to do.

I’ll take that!

As part of the organization, I am a complete failure, but as a person who deals with individuals, I bore considerable fruit, and my fruit will bear fruit. And I did not do the work. I pointed things out. I steered people onto the track. That’s about it.

The building will disintegrate. The name of the church will be lost forever. The people are eternal!

This is what it’s all about. This is what God has been trying to teach me. Stop thinking about the business. Think about the person in front of you. And know whom to invest in. Don’t be swayed by guilt trips or mirages. Stay away from the tar babies and traps.

I’m going to know these people forever. A thousand years from now, I’ll be able to look at them and realize I am one of the reasons they’re with me in paradise. That’s fantastic.

If you really serve God, you will be unpopular at just about any church. My advice is to avoid serving in the ministries unless you are positive God commands you to join. Stay loose so you will be available to serve God.

If you understand how wonderful this revelation is, you will be blessed powerfully. And you don’t have to send me a “SEED GIFT.” I will not mail you an “ANOINTED HOLY LAND PRAYER CLOTH.” You will not get a “HUNDREDFOLD RETURN” on your money; in fact, I guarantee it.

Think about this when you serve God. Remember that it’s about people, and that does not mean GROUPS of people. It’s about this one and that one, as they are put in your path. Stop trying to load people into a corral like steers. Forget the ones you’re not supposed to mess with. You’re going to lose most people. That’s bad. But God is in the same boat. You’re not going to do better than he does.

I know this will change your life if you can make it part of your heart. Think about it and digest it. I hope it works out for you.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

But if You Don’t Try, You Can’t Even Get What You Need

The workshop is really taking shape, and that’s good, because outer order is a reflection of inner order.

What to talk about first?

I got a jack plane. This is supposedly the most versatile hand plane there is, and people say this is where the “jack” name comes from, as in “jack of all trades.” Don’t ask me if the story about the name is true. Google for yourself.

I found it on Ebay, because buying tools in South Florida is about as easy as hiring people who speak English. You can pretty much expect to pay $75, including shipping, for a decent old plane, so I bit the bullet and found one. It sounds bad, but a new plane of similar quality will be in the low three figures.

The plane was in great shape, but it was impossible to make it work, because the edge was not square to the side of the blade. You can move a blade around in a plane to level it, but if it’s off by more than a few degrees, it won’t help. I had to sit and shape this thing with a diamond stone, after trying to do preliminary roughing on the belt grinder.

The good news is that I’m good at hand sharpening, so it came out swell. Next time, I think I’ll get creative and use my oscillating belt/spindle sander. This is a woodworking tool, but there is no reason why you can’t use it for crude metal jobs, and it happens to be very easy to hold things parallel to the belt or spindle.

Thought of that after I was already done.

Here’s the jack plane doing its thing. I am quite pleased.

06 18 15 stanley 5 plane with corrected bevel making shavings

I also fixed my jointer/planer.

When I started trying to do woodworking, I bought a DeWalt 735 planer, which I discussed here recently. This thing is wonderful. Buy one. It doesn’t really plane wood. If you have a piece of wood with one side that has already been planed flat, you put the wood down on that side and run it through the planer, and it will give you another flat side parallel to the first. If the bottom is wavy, it will give you a wavy side parallel to it, and that’s why you can’t really say it planes things. Planing means flattening.

To plane things, you need a jointer. It will put one flat side on anything, and if you already have one flat side, it will give you another one at an angle to it. Generally, that angle is 90°, but if your planer has a fence that rotates, you can get other angles.

I was able to do surface jointing on the planer, using a homemade sled. I was able to do edge jointing on the table saw. But that was not ideal. So I invested in a new jointer. As it happened, the jointer I bought will also work as a planer, but I don’t need that function, so I don’t use it. It’s a Rikon 10″ combination machine, based on an old model made by the Inca company. It’s very small and light, but it will handle boards 10″ wide, which is incredible. Ordinarily, a 10″ jointer is a giant cast iron beast that takes up half a garage. My machine is a little over 40″ long, and it weighs 140 pounds.

I had never set the jointer up correctly, because I used the wrong manual. I am too lazy to get up and look at the actual paper manual, which may very well be correct, but the PDF manual I had was wrong or at least useless. Last week I downloaded a newer one, and I found out I had the dust collection hooked up hilariously wrong. I fixed that, and then I decided to adjust the fence. When I tried to do that, the little bracket that holds it broke. It’s pot metal. It’s also about 0.090″ thick, which means it’s about as sturdy as a saltine.

I’m a machinist! I’m not scared of broken parts! I machined a little piece to fix it. Then I tried to reattach the bracket, and the other side broke.

Okay.

I decided to make a new bracket out of 2 1/2″ aluminum pipe and some crap I had lying around. It was a fascinating ordeal. I found out how hard it is to cut pipes accurately on a milling machine. But I succeeded. Here are some photos. Mind you, it could be improved in some obvious ways, but it works perfectly as it is, and I am not eager to get back to work on it right now.

06 23 15 rikon jointer fence with aluminum pipe mocked up

06 24 15 aluminum pipe being milled in half for jointer

06 25 15 rikon jointer with new fence support installed

I fired it up, and it’s fantastic. Unlike most wood machines, it’s quiet. It works well. It’s very safe, as jointers go, which is like saying it’s like the least-crazy Kardashian sister, but still.

Now I can joint wood.

I also fixed the dust collection on the planer. Someone told me she collected the shredded wood using a simple burlap bag, so I ordered one on Ebay and tried it. I paid five bucks. I could not find a burlap bag around here without spending that much on diesel.

I attached the bag and did some planing (not really planing), and when I picked the bag up, there was a pile of dust under it.

I gave up and ordered a Powertec 3-micron dust collector bag, model 75006. It arrived a day or two ago, and it’s wonderful. I fastened it to the hose with a hose clamp, and when I ran the machine, absolutely nothing visible escaped, except for the bits that inevitably fall out of the machine itself. Those are no problem to deal with.

The Harbor Freight stand I bought is wobbly, so I Ebayed some M6 hex bolts to replace the stupid Philips screws that came with it. I replaced 16 of the 32 screws yesterday, and I will finish the rest this week. You can tighten a hex bolt more than a Philips screw, so I expect the added friction to put an end to the scissory motion of the stand’s joints.

Now the workshop was all fixed, right? WRONG, sliding table saw breath.

I miss Carnak.

I was fooling with the wood band saw, and I tried to resaw something with a 3/4″ blade. Crud came off the blade onto the wood, leaving black stripes. There was something on the blade. I looked inside the saw and noticed (I almost wrote “saw”) black goo on the tires. I tried to scrape it off, and I used various solvents, but it seemed to be very deep. Eventually I noticed that one tire had a big gap in it, so the goo was the only thing holding it on the rim.

I ordered two Grizzly tires for it (OEM parts), and when they arrived, I took the wheels out, figuring the old tires would come right off. No, sorry. They had turned into some kind of cheese which was stuck to the iron like rat paper on a particularly sticky rat. I had to scrape them off in crumb form, and then I had to rub the wheels with lacquer thinner to melt the bits that wouldn’t come off. Unbelievable.

06 26 15 cheese instead of tires on band saw wheels

When I was done and the wheels were back on the machine, some guy told me Grizzly tires were worthless, and that I could expect them to turn into sponges. Great. But for now, they work.

Today I used the tools. I am determined to make a box, just to prove I can make something. I used the jointer and the table saw, which now has new caster brackets AND a new dedicated dust hose. It was like heaven. The jointer ran perfectly, and the dust collection sort of worked. The table saw hose was much easier to deal with than the old one. Things just fell into place.

I have a bunch of little rough mahogany boards I cut from fresh wood I found in a trash pile, and I also have some leftover walnut from a guitar body. The mahogany has a lot of figuring in it, and I was trying to find a way to use it. Finally I decided to try to add visual interest by making the box from boards which were, themselves, made from strips of contrasting wood. If you joint wood nicely, you can glue strips of it side by side, and they will be as sturdy as a homogeneous board.

Here is what I have right now.

06 28 15 striped board being glued together from mahogany

I have to come up with four more sides. The bottom can be plain.

I can’t tell you how great it is to see my tools work correctly, without aggravation or explosions. I know this comes from learning to love inner correction. I was held back because I didn’t get it. If you don’t love correction, don’t expect God to give you success. You may have something that looks like success to you, but it won’t be. Not unless God has completely given up on teaching you.

Two nights ago while I was trying to fall asleep, I saw a bunch of answers to my organization problems. I saw a way to hang my lathe chucks from the shop trusses, on a gadget I can turn on the lathe, from a piece of scrap I just happen to have waiting. I saw a way to build a box to mount on the lathe headstock, to hold the tools I use most often. I saw a way to build a rolling cabinet to hold my CNC lathe, the control box, and all the lathe’s tooling. All this stuff just came to me. Some of it may even work!

Determination is better than nothing, but the best success comes from being blessed. If you want to apply determination to something truly productive, apply it to prayer.

I still want a few more doodads. Maybe a router plane and a tongue and groove plane. Bench dogs; I think I have a design which would be a lot better than the ones they sell online. I can use a few more items, but I am aware that the biggest profit will come from maximizing what I already have.

If you have a Rikon joiner/planer, get rid of the fence bracket before it blows up while you’re using it. My design will work for you, and it’s fairly easy to copy from photos, but you can do just as well by clamping a piece of aluminum extrusion to the table, after cutting a cavity on one side to accommodate the cutters.

If…WHEN…I get somewhere with the box project, I will post photos.

I guess I should add that I quit my church’s volunteer team. I am not a deacon or armorbearer now. People are noticing a change in the church’s direction; I’m not the only one. Unlike me, they won’t say anything, so when the crisis comes, it will seem sudden to the people in charge. Nothing I can do. I have been withdrawn, so I am not permitted to counsel anyone, and if I did, no one would listen. Which is why I’m not allowed. God will not let me do it. He pulled me back to a peaceful place, and I am not going to mess that up by running back to the front line.

I mind my own business. I arrived after worship started today, and I left at 1:15, after two hours. I checked at 2:00, and church was still going.

The volunteers had a meeting at 7:00 a.m., so had I not quit, I would have been there for at least seven hours!

I’ve been to these meetings in the past, when church started at 10:30. We were told to come at 8:00. I would wake up at 5:30 or 6:00 in order to have time to pray, so I would have to go to bed on Saturday by 8:30 p.m. I would be at church at 8:00 a.m. Almost no one else would come until 8:30, because the volunteers had no respect for other people’s time. The meetings would start at 8:45. We would talk in circles for an hour, or the pastor would give the people a very long lecture which a lot of us didn’t need. For example, he would lecture us on responsibility, and the responsible people had to sit through it. Or he would lecture people on punctuality and attendance, when the only people who were there were the ones who didn’t need the lecture. They were there, after all. Then we would sit around and do nothing.

One thing that extended the service today was a very long appeal for money. The church is trying to start an orphanage in Haiti. They’re nagging people to buy tickets to a banquet. I think this is a dead end and a waste of time. The Mercy and Sharing Foundation has a great orphanage going already, and they spend 100% of contributions on the kids. They pay the administration costs themselves. I would rather send the money to someone who already has buildings, employees, contacts, and a track record.

The pastors brother in law showed us a video and begged us to give money. I mean begged. To me, it seemed like a guilt trip. Charity is very important to me, but I never, never respond to guilt trips, because manipulation has been a source of great pain in my life. I don’t mean to be obnoxious, but this is the same man who runs the men’s ministry, which isn’t going anywhere. He runs the church’s building drive, which isn’t going anywhere. We have an Indiegogo page and some T-shirts. When God wanted Nehemiah to build the temple, he didn’t have him sell T-shirts. He sent a man to pay for it. The way to get a new building is to show love and consideration to people who come to church, and to teach them to pray. It seems like they hope a millionaire will walk in and write them a check. That’s not how it works. They don’t need a millionaire. They need two hundred ordinary people who give steadily, and they need to manage the money correctly.

Some people in the church seem to think I’m rich because I’m not on welfare and my used pickup truck is paid for, and sometimes I sense that people want me to wave my magic checkbook and buy them what they think they need. I bought a used organ, and the head deacon asked me when I was going to give it to the church. I said, “never.” When I located it on Craigslist, they couldn’t get it together long enough to chip in and go get it, so I bought it for myself. I did the work. I paid. My organ. They had some sort of need a while back, and one of the deacons said I should handle it. I asked why, and he said, “Because you’re the man with the money.” Oh, really?

That’s how poor people think about money. They think other people get it magically, and they’re supposed to give it to everyone who has less, on demand, because that’s fair. That’s not how it works. God is fairer than I am, and he doesn’t do that. God is an investor. He doesn’t give money to people who can’t handle it, and neither will I.

The organ was never a possibility. They’re killing attendance with noise already. I don’t want to make it worse. I was going to make them another guitar amp, but I’m afraid to let them have it. They would injure everyone in the church.

At the end of the service, they honored the pastors with free dinners at Tejas de Brazil (a very expensive and mediocre restaurant) plus tickets to a spa. The people at my church love spas. They’re always giving the pastors spa tickets. I don’t get it, personally. I think it’s odd to let strangers rub grease on you and put things between your toes, and it’s boring to sit and do nothing, but they’re entitled to like what they like.

I think the presentation was a bad move. The pastors’ daughter and son in law came down recently for a week of recreation, and then the pastors went with them to their home in Buffalo. A week later, they came back, and then they took off for Chicago. Now we’re pampering them as though they had been working too hard.

The church is only open a few hours a week, and the rest of the time, we see social media posts showing that the pastors are taking it easy. No one is at church.

People are complaining that they work long hours and then see Facebook posts about the pastors taking trips, going to restaurants, shopping, and walking on beaches. We don’t see them repairing the church, evangelizing, or doing whatever it is you expect pastors to do during the week. People ask where the money for tickets and so on come from. Attendance is bad, and that’s to be expected when the pastors aren’t around.

Sorry to see it happen. I can’t save the world.

So far I have missed one Sunday service and one Tuesday prayer session. People keep coming up to me and asking where I’ve been. They think I’ve quit. I’ve been there more than the pastors have! We have a house prophet, and he’s the most honored person there except for the head pastors. Over the last year, he has probably missed a third of the services, and he routinely comes late. It’s very odd that people are so alarmed when I miss two events.

Usually there are only two of us at the Tuesday session, so of course, everyone else thinks I’m AWOL. They didn’t see me because they didn’t come.

I don’t think I’ll go on Tuesday nights any more. If only two people are going to pray, I might as well pray at home, save 36 miles of wear on the truck, and avoid an hour and fifteen minutes of unpleasant traffic.

I feel very free. I feel like I was trying to do an impossible job and my boss told me to let it go. People are worried about me, but I sleep better, I’m losing weight, and I no longer have to drag people who refuse to walk. Sometimes churches develop a cult mentality, and they think that if you disengage, your life must be screwed up, but this time, the problem is on the other end.

Today someone talked to me and said she had been praying for me. She said, “We need you.” I know she meant to be nice, but that’s a pet peeve of mine. When people left my old church, they always sent people after them to tell them how much the church needed them. They never asked the people who left what they needed. She’s a wonderful lady, but she said exactly the wrong thing. Let the organization burn. The people are what matter.

I agree; they need me. And when I was a kid, I needed vegetables and exercise. But I chose ice cream and TV.

I could be helpful to the church, but they would have to listen, and that’s not going to happen. So telling me they need me isn’t addressing the important issue. I don’t care what they need. I care about what they are willing to receive. I’m not a Gitmo guard. I don’t force-feed people. I can’t.

Things get better and better. It’s all about humility and correction. I’m thrilled that I managed to share this to a few receptive people. The rest…what can you do?

Become a Babel Fish

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Children Read; Adults Comprehend

People don’t understand the Bible because God doesn’t explain it to them. They make up explanations. This is how we ended up with the Catholic Church equating the death penalty with murder. They misunderstood the original text of the Torah, which says, “Thou shalt not murder,” not, “Thous shalt not kill.” God commanded the Jews to kill on many occasions.

A great deal of what is commonly believed is wrong, and much of it is actually the opposite of the truth. For example, Christians believe they have to work in order to get into heaven. The truth is that we can’t get in unless we admit we CAN’T work our way in.

You have to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues in order to get understanding, but you can learn a few things just as you are.

I thought it might be good to reveal some things that will help people (those who are capable of learning) to understand scripture.

1. Trees. These are people. It’s especially obvious in the first psalm. “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” Nebuchadnezzar dreamed he was a tree. The olive tree is believed to represent Jacob, who is also Israel. I would go further; it represents all people who belong to God. The Bible says the Gentiles are grafted in. The temple, which represents people, was paneled with wood from fragrant trees.

2. Pleasing fragrances represent prayer. This is why the temple was full of incense smoke. It’s why meat was burned there.

3. Sand represents human ideas or the human beings who hold to bad ideas. This is why the Bible says we shouldn’t build on sand. God told Abraham his descendands would be like stars and sand. The stars are the people who are close to God. The grains of sand are carnal people, such as the descendants of Ishmael.

4. Stars are heavenly beings. Satan was compared to the morning star. The saved will be like the stars of heaven.

5. Stone represents God’s ideas. It’s a lot like sand, but it is unified, and it’s big and stable. This is why God builds on rock, not sand, which can be moved by water. The Jews used stone to kill those who broke God’s laws. The laws were written on stone tablets.

6. Pigs are carnal people. They live staring at the ground, looking for things to satisfy their gluttony. They are dirty. They like filth. They are smart by carnal standards, but they are zeroes in the kingdom of heaven. They are generally ruled by foul spirits, as demonstrated by the herd Jesus delivered to demons.

7. Fish are people. Water is words and/or voices. The Sea of Galilee is the earth. The apostles sat above the water drawing fish out, just as evangelists draw people out from under the water of lies that surrounds the earth.

8. Olive oil is the presence of the Holy Spirit. It represents anointing, and anointing means authority. Kings had to be anointed before they could rule. If you hear the Holy Spirit, you have the authority to ignore the law, because you are guided by the one who wrote it. The lampstand in the Holy of Holies burned olive oil, and the light represents the light of the Holy Spirit.

9. Dough and bread are flesh. Yeast is pride. It makes dough look much bigger than it really is, by corrupting it with rot. Unleavened (yeast-free) bread represents the flesh of one who has never sinned and has no pride. This is why it was eaten on Passover. It represented the flesh of Jesus.

10. Bones are spirits. Like bones, spirits hold bodies up. When the spirit leaves, the body goes limp. In Psalm 34, Jesus said none of his bones were broken, referring to the spirits of those who belong to him.

11. Clean, flowing water is the flow of the Holy Spirit. It cleanses. This is why the Jews were taught to use immersion, which we call baptism, for cleansing. They could not use stagnant water. It had to be water from a moving source, which is what “living water” actually means. Water pours from God’s throne in heaven and fills heavens rivers. The things God says pass through Jesus and the Holy Spirit to us. Many Old Testament references to water foreshadow prayer in tongues.

If you keep these things in mind when you read the Bible, you may understand it better.

Rest

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Love God; Share God’s Problems

I am not at church today.

God is giving me a clearer picture of what is happening in my life, and much of it involves things I have experienced at my church. He doesn’t want me there today. I am being pulled back, and during this time I will reflect and learn from him.

A few weeks back I told the volunteer leader I was taking time off from serving. I showed up later than usual last week and the week before. My church has a group prayer session every Sunday morning before the service, and I have been skipping it, because it’s for volunteers. I have been showing up when the music starts.

Several weeks ago, I stopped going to the church’s Wednesday services. They started a Tuesday night prayer service, and I was attending faithfully, if not religiously, and going two nights in a row was just too much. Because only two to three people made it to the prayer services, most people had no idea I had been going. People assumed I wasn’t going at all during the week.

During Sunday services, two of the church’s leaders came to me expressing concern because they though I had quit!

I am not sure what to say about that. In the past I have generally arrived earlier than both of them, and my attendance has been very consistent, so I suppose that when they came to church and didn’t see me there, they assumed I had stopped going.

Staying home from Wednesday services was good, because it gave me rest, and because the services had been decreasing in value. Tuesday nights were great. Of course, given that there were only two or three of us there, I might as well have prayed at home.

I don’t know why the pastors never came. Actually, the lowest-ranking pastor made it once.

God has been showing me the reality of my status at church, and it’s not flattering. Wonderful things have been happening in a very small circle of people I know, mostly outside of church, but when it comes to church itself, I have done nearly nothing. That will not change if I continue serving. My position has been determined, firmly.

Now he is telling me to stay home.

Will he send me back? Maybe to visit, or to attend more or less regularly, without serving. But I am not going to be used to do anything big, because that is not possible. People have made a choice. I gave it the old college try for three years. I should consider myself blessed. Noah and Methuselah had to preach to unwilling people for 120 years before they were withdrawn.

Of course, they lived a lot longer than I will, so maybe that was compensation.

Things are going very, very well in my own life. My prayer life keeps improving. I am being blessed and freed. I am learning important things. My priorities are shifting. Joy is increasing. I feel so much relief. I am succeeding at things I used to fail at. I am being cleaned up, inside and out. I’m even losing weight and exercising, not that those things are important. They just reflect inner change.

But now people are going to come to me and ask me what’s wrong! With ME!

Oh, well.

I know what’s going to happen. “You have to pray for Brother Steve. He is under a spirit of bitterness.” “He has a problem with rebellion.” “he has fallen away.” They are going to think that because I am not hustling for that particular church, Satan has neutralized me.

Charismatic churches have a real pharaoh problem. The pharaohs enslaved the Jews, not to glorify God, but to glorify themselves as man-gods. The Jews were not used to build a temple to Jehovah. They were used to build treasure houses for the pharaohs themselves. Most charismatics are under the same spell. We think it’s all about the organization and the super-holy people at the top. That’s a lot of garbage.

If you’re doing things right, the vast majority of the good things God does in your life will not happen in church. The week is 168 hours long. What kind of Christian are you if your relationship with God consists of four hours of church plus five to ten minutes of daily prayer that doesn’t work? You should be in God’s presence every day, for a good long time.

Your house is your primary church. You should be having prayer sessions there every day. If you’re married, you should be doing this with your spouse. If you also find time to make it to church, that’s great. But what you do outside of church is far more important.

Many preachers will blanch and squeal if you tell them this, because they have the pharaoh bug. They’ve been dreaming of seeing the church satisfy their carnal desires. They’ve been telling themselves, “I gave up striving for money in the secular world, so now God is going to give it to me because I’m building a church.” They’re really counting on that, so if you tell people to quit worrying so much about the church, you will be goring their ox. You will be attacking their monetary income and their potential source of future fame and admiration. You can’t expect them to be happy about that.

All over the US, there are disgusting monuments to greed and the lust for admiration. We call these monuments “megachurches.” Charismatics think the men and women who run them are the nation’s religious leaders, appointed by the Lord. In reality, most of these bloated icons are screwing up our relationships with God.

They teach us that church is where you go to get rich and succeed and have all your earthly problems fixed, and of course, it doesn’t work. People stay sick and die. They stay poor. They go to prison. They get pregnant outside of marriage and have babies they can’t afford to raise. Their only benefit is denial. The church teaches them everything is okay, because those blessings are on the way, and they could be just a few days away. Just keep toeing the line; keep turning the millstone, and your windfall will come.

So we die, turning the millstone.

What God wants is to change us internally. That’s what the phrase “born again” means. Salvation is just conception. If you stop there, you are going to be stillborn. You’re supposed to grow and change, and in order to do that, you have to fight pride and denial.

This isn’t just where the blessings come from. It is the blessing.

This is the message Satan hates. This is why the Jews and the church kill prophets. Satan doesn’t like salvation, but what he really hates is what comes after it. If you can be like God in this world, you are getting what Satan thinks belongs to him. And he is jealous.

If you’re not rejected by churches, you can’t possibly be doing what God wants. I don’t mean that every church has to reject you, but generally, churches can’t stand people who got God’s message.

Churches have all sorts of defense mechanisms. The first is to accept you and put you in a time-wasting position. “Now you’re the Supreme Executive Commander of garbage collection. Serve God well in this, and he will promote you!” The second is to accuse you. “Why are you contradicting Dr. Hinn, PBUH PBUH? Who are you to disagree with a famous high school dropout who has millions of fans?” “Why bring division? Why be negative?” The third is to tell you to leave, and after that, I suppose the only thing left is to kill you.

We don’t teach people the basics. Respect for intelligence. Respect for age. Respect for anointing. Real love, as opposed to flattery. Charity. We don’t teach them to pray in tongues. We don’t teach them to critique themselves in prayer and look for God’s help in improving themselves.

We certainly don’t teach humility, except to people who say things that make us look at ourselves. We’re sure THOSE people are proud!

Charismatic preachers tend to be proud, immature, stubborn, greedy, and spiteful. That’s just the truth. Obviously, that’s a generalization, and there are plenty of exceptions. But as a movement, this is what we generally produce. Our leaders are babies, and if we let them teach us, what are we?

Today God told me something. I already knew most Christians don’t want meat, but I thought they at least wanted milk. That’s wrong. They want sugar water. They want to be told they’re wonderful, and that, yes, it’s fine to fornicate and smoke weed and have no prayer life, because God loves them just the way they are.

I’m sure many women feel love for their stillborn babies. They would still prefer to see them be delivered alive.

You can’t keep your greed and pride and lust and denial and still be a good Christian. You can be forgiven, but you’re not going to amount to anything in the kingdom.

This morning God showed me that Christians who won’t grow are like people who are accepted by medical schools, don’t go, and then try to treat the sick anyway.

Imagine that. Imagine receiving a letter saying you can go to Harvard’s medical school. Then imagine getting all excited and taking that letter down to your local hospital and demanding to be allowed to operate on people.

That’s not how it works. You can’t stop at insemination. You have to change.

My connection to church organizations will have to be loosened, because otherwise I will succumb to the pressure to repeat whatever pleases them. Real prophets always upset people. The fake prophet is the one who always has a good seat and gets invited to the pastor’s house every weekend.

So I am at home on Fathers’ Day. I am healing. I am resting. I don’t have to spend this particular Sunday striving with people who do not listen.

I want to belong to a church, and I hope God will make me part of one, but I am not going to fool with titles or jobs any more. That stuff is for team players, and I don’t mean people who are on God’s team. I accept what I am. I am not going to fight God’s plan for me. He knows better than I do.

It’s funny; the two people from whom I receive the best teaching are a woman in the panhandle and a young man who is struggling to get through college. They are people I was able to reach, and now I get help from them. I haven’t been getting much useful teaching from preachers and so-called prophets.

I wish I could bring everyone with me as I make progress. This has to be how Jesus feels.

I think this will be useful to you if you read it with openness and humility. I certainly hope so, because no one should spend as many years as I did, banging their head against a wall of denial.

Face Front

Monday, June 15th, 2015

No Seconds on Vomit

Lots of interesting things are happening.

First off, my Woodriver #92 shoulder plane arrived, along with an offset router wrench.

06 13 15 woodriver plane and router offset wrench

Routers connected to tables are hard to reach with wrenches because the collet nuts are below the tables’ surfaces. What you really need is a wrench with two 90° angles in it. The first angle puts the head of the wrench below the table, and the second one makes it horizontal so it engages the nut. I was going to make my own wrench some day (right), but Woodcraft has prefab offset wrenches on sale, so I got one. It’s amazing. I love it. For around ten bucks, I saved myself a day of aggravation.

As for the plane, I have already told my sad tale regarding the Stanley 92 I bought. The blade was too narrow. The only safe bet is a new plane from a reputable maker, and they are not cheap. Lie-Nielsen makes insanely expensive stuff that works perfectly. Veritas makes excellent stuff that is slightly less expensive. Woodcraft’s Woodriver brand is very good, but it’s Chinese, so it’s cheaper.

I went Chinese. What the heck.

The plane is magnificent. It’s ground from solid lumps of iron. Everything is square. The grinding is much finer than the grinding on the Stanley, which looked like I made it myself. The blade is a tiny bit wider than the body. It’s great. I love it. I’m sure spending more money would have paid off in some way or other, but this is a beautiful tool.

I’ve been thinking about workbenches. My current bench is something I threw together from plywood, two–by-fours, and four-by-fours, before I really knew what I was doing. It’s extremely sturdy, but the top isn’t flat, and it’s not optimal for woodworking.

I considered ripping the top off and putting a real woodworking top on it, complete with a woodworking vise, but I think that’s stupid. I can put holes in it to hold bench dogs for various operations, and I have a Rockwell Jawhorse to hold wood for planing and other stuff, so I don’t really have to have a perfect woodworking bench. I think.

In other news, I am now capable of hand-sharpening things.

When I was a kid, I loved playing with knives, and my parents didn’t care, so I got good at sharpening things. This weekend I had to deal with planes and chisels, and I tried to find the best way to tackle it.

A lot of people use jigs. If you Google “General plane sharpening jig,” you’ll see an example. These things hold blades at precise angles to stones, so the edges produced are straight and accurate.

Other people use bench grinders and align things by hand.

I have a grinder set up for lathe tools, with a white aluminum oxide wheel. This thing is wonderful for its purpose. I put a little homemade jig on it, and it works great. But when I tried to use it for planes and chisels, it gave me crooked results, and little bits of the edges turned blue, meaning they had gotten hot and lost their temper.

Frustrated, I got out my DMT diamond stones. I have them in fine, extra-fine, and 8000-grit. I found that if I held a blade down carefully with my bare hand, I could correct and sharpen edges pretty quickly, without buying jigs and megadollar Japanese water stones.

A long time ago, my dad borrowed a chisel. God only knows what he used it for. Maybe scraping paint off a brick. He left it out in the rain for weeks. Yesterday I decided to fix it.

I held it down on a stone and ground it until it lined up with a machinist’s square. I used WD40 to keep the stone from loading up. Surprisingly, it sharpened easily, and I got a great result. I lapped the back side, and I finished it on the 8000 stone. When I was done, it was shaving-sharp.

06 14 15 Buck Brothers chisel sharpened on DMT stone

I don’t have to buy a bunch of junk and store it. I don’t have to worry about conditioning waterstones whenever I use them. Hooray! Very nice.

I fine-tuned the Woodriver plane blade, which was already fairly sharp. I stuck some wood in the Jawhorse and started using my planes. I couldn’t stop. It was so neat, seeing wide, clear curls coming off the wood. This actually works.

I’m getting a few other things. I watched a DVD by a guy named Frank Klausz, and he made dovetails using hand tools, very quickly. That opened my eyes. Most people use a router. You can also use a bandsaw. Honestly, power tool dovetails are a big pain, and when you use power tools, you always have to worry that something is going to jump out and damage you, the work, or your other tools. If I can dovetail a drawer in half an hour using a hand saw, I’m all for it.

Klausz showed how to take a fairly cheap dovetail saw and tune it up in a few minutes. You can’t use them the way they come from the store. I thought that was neat. But then I learned about Zona tools!

Zona makes small tools for model makers. One of their tools is a tiny dovetail saw. It costs around ten bucks. You don’t have to fettle it. You take it out of the box and start cutting. How can you go wrong? I ordered one. They also make excellent coping saw blades, so I ordered a coping saw. CHEAP! We’ll see how that works out. Why spend a hundred or more bucks on a fancy saw that isn’t any better?

On the spiritual side, I had an interesting experience yesterday.

As I believe I’ve said, I quit serving at my church a while back. I got off their Facebook groups, because they kept typing things like, “PLEASE DELETE THIS POST!!!” They didn’t call or text. They didn’t come to me privately. They just typed things like that, in front of kids and people I’m supposed to lead.

Mind you, I am older than most of the church leaders. I have much more education. I never remind them of those things, but come on.

One post was about a new rule. I was guarding the office door when they counted the offering, and someone made a rule saying no one was allowed in unless I let them in. This offended people, so I went to the church’s FB page and explained it. Nicely. Really, there was nothing wrong with what I said. Trust me. But later on…”PLEASE DELETE THIS POST!!!”

When things like that happen, you realize something supernatural is going on. When you absolutely cannot please someone, a spirit is involved.

Yesterday, I came in and sat in the back. I was in God’s presence, and I was worshiping, but I realized something was bugging me. I looked around, and I realized that in front of me, in various parts of the room, at eye level, women’s rear ends were waving at me. They do that. Many of the women wave their rear ends when they worship, and some wear really tight pants. It’s a bad idea. Obvious?

You can say it’s my fault for being lustful, but that’s stupid. Being tempted is not a sin. If it is, then Jesus is in hell, because he was tempted. You decide. No heterosexual man, holy though he be, will be unaffected by a display like that.

In fact, our pastor’s wife agrees with me. A while back, she posted this: “Ladies: tights are not pants.”

Anyway, I posted this observation:

If you sit in the front row in church you look proud, but if you sit in the back you see all the women dancing in tight pants.

Now, you can decide whether that post is offensive. It’s not, but you will have an opinion. It’s obvious. It’s a problem men deal with. Paul talked about it, saying a woman should even keep her head covered in church.

A lady piped up and said this, revealing that she had no comprehension of what I had said:

I strongly believe this post is not edifying to anyone. Mature christians know how to refrain from speaking this way and instead pray n ask God to guide your own eyes. In shock

“In shock.” That’s what I get. I don’t have the authority to say women should not display their rear ends in church. I don’t have the authority to mention the office rule, so I guess this is not a surprise.

Here is what the pastor’s wife said:

Can’t believe this conversation during our worship time !! Amazing !! Pastora

You have to think about this. I quit bothering them on their page. I quit sharing testimony and revelation on Facebook, almost entirely, because God told me I was wasting it on people who didn’t care. That was great. It was relaxing to be freed. But yesterday, people came to me. Withdrawing from their area of control and showing them respect didn’t make any difference.

Someone said it was interesting that she was on Facebook, criticizing people for being on Facebook. The truth is that everyone Facebooks during services, including worship. The pastors are no exception. This is normal. So the problem wasn’t the Facebooking. It wasn’t even the content, since modesty is something she is also concerned about. The problem is me. It’s who I am. The fact that it came from Steve is the problem.

Remember the Holocaust? The Jews blamed themselves. They tried to assimilate in Germany, even before Hitler came to power. Then when things got bad, they pleaded and tried to please the Nazis. They tried to work within the system.

The restrictions and persecution got worse and worse. The smart Jews left. The rest were shot or sent to starve and burn. Why? Because they were greedy? Because they were arrogant? Because they were successful? Of course not. It was because they belonged to God.

When you become one of God’s favorites, you become a favorite of the devil, too. You may get God to cut off his favor, but you will probably never be able to get the devil to stop working on you. God pulls back from useless people, but the devil loves cruelty and death, so once he gets you down, he keeps kicking.

If people are angry at you because of your anointing, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Stop looking at yourself when you haven’t done anything wrong. It’s not your fault. You didn’t cause it, and you can’t fix it. It’s normal. It is how the rest of your life will be.

The problem isn’t the way I say things. I’m not rude, and besides, you can say things to humble people any way you want. The prophets were unbelievably blunt and harsh, and they are revered. In their time, they were murdered and beaten, but now they’re revered. The problem is the pride of the people I tried to talk to. I’ve had plenty of harsh, rude, criticism from church people–much of it wrong and misguided–and I have not responded the way they have.

Our church has a heavy-duty pride problem, so God has pulled me back. Most people there won’t understand, because, hello, they have pride.

Putting an end to my public revelations won’t help them. That’s not God’s intention. His intention is to help me. It will be harmful to me to keep casting pearls before swine, and I will be wasted on them. It will make me bitter and frustrated. Iniquity is contagious, like mold.

We’ve had a number of false prophecies, and the church is not growing. The branch churches we opened disappeared, and there has been no public admission. Things that should be explored are covered up. That’s a recipe for failure.

After three years, it’s obvious that I won’t be used there, and there are definitely people in the world who will be able to benefit from what I have to offer, so I’m not allowed to strive with the same old crowd any more.

I’m a deacon, or I used to be. Here’s what I did: every Sunday I stood outside the office door. That’s 98% of what I did. It’s not like they were getting a lot of use from me. I didn’t teach. I wasn’t one of the people who is called up to pray for folks in services. I was on the prayer line for a while, but that’s open to anyone who shows up. Whatever it is that I was put there to do, it has not happened.

I did not fight back at all on Facebook. Some of my friends were mad, and they stuck up for me, but I behaved pretty well.

My natural instinct is to start posting correction, but I was in prayer about it today, and God did not like that idea. It would be rebellious.

For weeks, I’ve been praying for God to take the proud people out of my life and bring me humble people. I was proud all my life, and I shut God out. Now I’ve finally learned to love correction, but I’m surrounded by people who are just like I used to be. I deserve it. I sowed for this. But now I want out.

I prayed for God to take proud people away from me, and look what’s happening.

I never used to think of these people as proud. It blew right by me. I did not understand what pride was. But now I see it. And a friend called me to say God had given this word in private, regarding the church: “Arrogance.” The friend was disturbed. It was not what the friend wanted to hear. The friend wanted to believe the best. But this is what God said.

If I go on social media and start yammering, I will be saying, “God, you did exactly what I asked, and now I feel like fighting you. You very graciously showed me the proud people in my life, and you came between us, and now I want to go back and work on them, because I know better than you do.”

If I do that, why should he ever do anything for me again?

When I was a kid, I knew a battered wife. I felt terrible for her. But even then, I knew that she chose what happened to her. When she got away, she went back. If you keep going back to people who have no respect for you, you are your own enemy. You are even more guilty than they are, because you, more than anyone, have an obligation to be on your own side in life.

So I said nothing that could be construed as engaging the Facebook attack.

When God generously, graciously, patiently frees you from something counterproductive, you do not go back. You do not. How many times do you think he will save you?

I don’t put much of anything on Facebook, unless it’s about tools or food or trivial stuff. It’s a complete waste of time. What I wrote yesterday was an exception to my new pattern.

I’m writing here, though. This is my domain, literally. Anyone who comes here uninvited and makes trouble is intruding on my authority. I will not be stifled here, and I will not let anyone comment stupidly.

Posting things here is like writing them on paper and hiding it in a drawer. No one from Miami reads my blog. They’re not interested in what I say in person, so they won’t come here to read it.

I hope God keeps sending me people who will benefit from what he tells me. It is not possible to bless proud people. It cannot be done, because all real blessing comes through listening. Only humble people can be blessed.

I’ve done a lot of slimy, disgusting things in my life. I am not a good person. But it is not right for younger people who are unaccomplished and have limited prayer lives to treat me like a child, especially after telling me I’m a watchman and a prophet.

I plan to keep going to my church, sitting in the back and leaving after a couple of hours so I won’t get worn out. Sooner or later I’ll end up in a new church, and I will not volunteer for anything. I will not speak in front of people. I will not accept any office.

God doesn’t really run churches. They are extensions of the world. It is pointless to try to fit in. I’m sure there is an exception out there somewhere, but I have not seen it yet.

Keep praying in tongues. If you can’t pray in tongues, keep praying for God to show you how. Keep asking for humility. Keep asking God to destroy your pride and help you to be honest. These are the things that will fix your life and heal your heart and mind. The other stuff–the money and houses and so on–will only be curses to you unless you become the kind of person who can receive a blessing.

Forget transferring your worldly ambition and work ethic to the church. Those things are for Satan’s children. Our tools are faith, honesty, love, and humility. Don’t listen to foolish blowhards who think God has chosen them simply because they’ve managed to get people to come listen to them every week.

When God removes toxic people from your life, thank him and get with the program. Do not go back to your own vomit. If you didn’t like it the first time you ate it, the second time will be even worse.

Life is good, and it will keep getting better. I can’t take everyone with me. I accept that. Jesus couldn’t do it either. I will be happy with whoever shows up and takes the right attitude.

When the Owner is Lazy, the Roof Sags

Friday, June 12th, 2015

When Hands are Idle, the House Leaks

I got an interesting revelation yesterday.

We complain a lot about the things that happen to us, especially if we don’t believe in God or we have been sucked in by the prosperity preachers. People who don’t believe in God generally think they deserve good things, and people who have been duped by the prosperity preachers think God is obligated to do things for them because they send morons money.

I don’t complain about disappointments and problems. I realize I don’t deserve good things. I’m glad my life is so pleasant. The fact that it’s as good as it is impresses me, because I know what I really am.

Yesterday morning, I realized that I had been sowing destruction and pain for myself for most of my life. That added a new dimension to my understanding of my circumstances.

If you’re not serving God, you’re serving Satan. There is no neutral ground. And going to church doesn’t make you a servant of God. You have to hear from the Holy Spirit and try to obey. You can’t just treat the advice in the New Testament (or Old Testament) as though it were law, obeying it as well as you can. A person who obeys a list of rules can’t, by definition, be Spirit-led.

If you haven’t been Spirit-led, you have been serving the devil, to one degree or another. So you’ve been sowing destruction.

I’ll tell you something personal. I have tried not to discuss this publicly for quite some time, but I will make an exception.

A relative of mine used drugs and refused to change. She refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong with her. She lived in a house for which her father paid the bulk of the purchase price, and she did virtually nothing to maintain it.

If you want to destroy a house, all you have to do is sit on the couch. If you’ve never maintained a property, you would be amazed at what inactivity can do.

There was a water leak under the floor. She paid a $300 water bill every month and didn’t fix the leak. The living room floor started to rot; even the joists and subflooring started to go. One day the hot water connection under the kitchen sink broke, and steam filled the house. When the steam went away, she thought the problem was gone. The added humidity caused black mold to cover the walls in a short period of time. Water kept pouring out under the house.

Rats came in. They wandered in and out of the kitchen cabinets, eating old bags of beans and whatever else they wanted. During the day, they were easily audible, because they got used to ruling the house. Their excrement was everywhere.

Roaches were thick. Large South Florida roaches that fly and bite. The roof gave out, so there was an additional source of water. Termites love water. They started eating the house.

By the time her father bought her out, the house was so far gone that everything except the outer concrete walls had to be replaced. After she moved her filthy belongings out, it cost him about a thousand dollars to get the remaining junk hauled to the dump. Furniture, dishes…you name it. Things that originally cost many thousands of dollars.

Why am I telling you this? Because it shows that inactivity is sowing.

If you haven’t been spending substantial time in prayer every day all your life, you have been sowing destruction to yourself. So if you get cancer, or your business fails, or your kids die, how can you say you’re surprised?

If things go well, you should be amazed, humbled, and afraid. You should reconcile with God before your bill comes due.

I sowed both actively and inactively. I was lustful, ungrateful, disrespectful, proud, gluttonous, lazy, cruel, greedy, and a bunch of other things I could rattle off if I thought about it. That was active on my part. I didn’t pray. I did virtually nothing for other people. I thought pride and confidence would fix my life, so I didn’t fight them the way I should have. I did little to correct my faults. In these ways, I was inactive.

Now things are not what I had hoped they would be when I was 18. I have never married. I have no children. I didn’t make it as a physicist. I didn’t make it as a writer. Well, what did I expect? What did I sow for? A life much worse than the one I have. I have nothing to complain about.

It sounds like the revelation I got was bad news. Of course, it’s not. A mature person doesn’t shoot messengers. When we receive bad news, we generally react as if something bad has happened, but usually, the news isn’t the problem. Very often, receiving the news is a blessing. If you know something has gone wrong, you can react and fix it. If you’re still in the dark, things will fester and get worse.

The revelation was very good news. It showed me that I have not been cheated, and that I have the power to improve my future. It made me feel relieved, because I have a few years of prayer behind me now. I have good seed in the ground. The bad seed is being eradicated before it can bear fruit. Things are getting better and better.

Other people–people who seem evil or just obnoxious–have blessings I don’t have. Does that mean life is unfair? No, it just means they’ve gotten some undeserved blessings I didn’t get. What happens to them is not really relevant to me. God has a prescription for everyone, and yours may not match your neighbor’s.

I know things some of them will never know on this earth, and I have tools and weapons most of them will never have. Is that fair? Should I want to trade places with them? Obviously not. So who got the better deal?

I can’t share this stuff with most of the people I know, because I’m simply not allowed. It would be like drunk-dialing an old girlfriend who ran off with a rich guy and vandalized my car. I would be inviting more disrespect. Once people show you what they are, you have to treat them accordingly. If you keep going back to them, you are as responsible for their bad acts as they are.

It probably sounds like I’m furious with the people I know, but that’s not it at all. They’re not malicious. They just don’t listen. Talking to people who don’t listen takes a toll. I’ve had my dose. I’m not supposed to take any more at this time.

They can’t have it, so it’s yours. If it sounds negative, you didn’t understand it, and you’re not ready for it. If you get it, it will be helpful to you.

I am not good. I still do things I’m ashamed of. But with God’s help, I am becoming good, and I am heading in the right direction. It’s not about how well you obey rules. It’s about submission, confession, repentance, and prayer. Focus on internal change, by the means Jesus prescribed, and everything else will take care of itself.

The Truth Can’t be any Planer

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Something New: Tools That Work

You’re probably wondering how to handle the chips and dust from your DeWalt DW735 portable (HA!) planer, now that DeWalt has stopped making the dust collection attachment.

I wondered, too. I bought my DeWalt years ago, and I have used it very little because it was inconvenient. It weighs over a hundred pounds. To use it, I had to pick it up off the floor and lift it onto my Workmate. After clearing seventy or eighty pounds of junk off the Workmate. Then I would turn it on and go deaf, and chips would shoot all over the place.

A responsible person does not buy tools without the required accessories and storage. I know that NOW. I needed a stand and a dust system.

I still don’t have a dust collector. I am not sold on them. Yes, obviously, it would be fantastic to have a bunch of 4″pipes running all over the garage, connecting to every tool. But that is a gigantic amount of work and expense, and it looks like it’s not necessary. The table saw does just fine with a shop-vac. So does the router. So do the bench grinder and oscillating spindle sander. The drill press is impossible to rig up for dust collection. That leaves the vertical band saw, and I’m not sure a dust collector would fix it.

I don’t think I need a full-blown dust system–feeble pun not intended–but I should make some sort of effort. And the planer needed to be on a moving platform so I would not have to risk ER visits by lifting it from the floor.

I have become convinced that bench tools are stupid. For the most part. Think about it. You buy a bench drill press to save space. Where do you put it? On the bench. Where it takes up space. Or you put it on the floor. Where it takes up the same amount of space as a floor press, but you can’t use it without getting down on your knees.

Bench tools take up just as much room as floor tools, so you might as well buy floor tools or put bases on your bench tools.

DeWalt makes a nice rolling stand for the planer, but I didn’t like it. It would cost over $150, for 12 pieces of Chinese steel, four wheels, and a slab of MDF. And it had no bottom shelf for a dust bag or whatever. If you rig it for a shelf, you have to put the pedal that unlocks the wheels out where it takes up room. I opted for the He-Man’s choice: Harbor Freight. They make a table that costs $40, plus a mobile base that costs slightly less.

Don’t do what I did. The table is wobbly, so if you want it to be rigid, you will have to add additional steel, which is a pain. The base requires four pieces of 1 1/4″ square lumber to connect the four corners, and because that’s a weird size, you will have to cut the wood yourself. Big mess. The instructions are horrible. I hope the guy who wrote them also writes documentation for China’s nuclear weapons.

The table has no top, so you have to buy plywood and make one, and that’s also a pain. The sanded plywood from Home Depot is sanded in the same sense that club soda is pre-sweetened, so you will have to go back over it, and then you will have to hit it pretty hard with Danish oil or something.

Just buy the DeWalt stand.

Anyway, after three days of work, I got the stand assembled and mounted the planer on it. It works, but I can’t get the wobbles out of it, so I know some metalworking is in my future.

I got the idea for this project a few weeks after I finally threw out the old hose from my shop-vac (I had upgraded to a nice orange hose), so I had to pay $20 for a new hose. Never throw anything out, because the minute you do, you will need it or someone will offer you a thousand dollars for it. On the other hand, grow up and throw things out, because clutter is unhealthy.

You can’t win. I know I haven’t.

If you have the same planer, you will benefit from my dust-collection efforts. I found a 2″ flexible pipe coupling at Home Depot, and I used it to connect it to the 2 1/2″ port on the DeWalt’s dust attachment. You may wonder why a 2″ connector fits on a 2 1/2″ port. I do, too.

I connected the other end of the coupling to the vacuum hose. Then I put a hose clamp over the other and of the hose. When I finally get a dust bag (still working on it), I will slip the dust bag’s collar under the hose clamp and tighten it. The planer has an incredible fan in it, so it will blow the crap through the hose, even though it’s narrow, and it will go into the bag.

One guy on the web uses a pillow case to catch the chips. Supposedly the planer doesn’t make much fine dust, so you can use a crummy filter bag. But I am trying to find something better. Might as well get rid of as much dust as possible.

I will want to put a lower shelf in the stand, to hold the bag. After that, I should be in business.

A planer is a wonderful thing. You can’t use the wood you buy at the store until you plane and joint it, and a planer performs both functions. You will need a planer sled to make it joint, but that’s no big deal. If you put a Wixey DRO on it, you can thickness (“planer” is really a misnomer) wood with great accuracy, and you won’t have to do much sanding at all. If you don’t have a planer and jointer, you will need to get very handy with hand planes, which is not a bad idea, but still.

Speaking of hand planes, as noted in an earlier post, I rehabilitated one last month, and I am adding some new ones to my collection. I seem to have the skill to get old planes going, so I might as well pick up a few.

To make a plane work well, you need an edge like a razor, so you will want water stones or, if you’re a hack like me, a super-fine diamond stone. Anyway, if you can get planes to work, you can avoid a lot of dust, expense, and noise. Machines replace skill and effort, but they come with their own problems.

For jointing, you want a #7 plane or bigger. I don’t have one, but I do look around on Ebay. It’s also nice to have a shoulder plane. It fine-tunes tenons, and you can cut slots with it. IF you can find one that works. Stanley makes one that seems okay until you try to use it. I am referring to the #92. The problem with it is that the blade is narrower than the body. That means you can’t cut all the way to the side, so you can forget cutting a slot, which has to be cut on both sides. I bought a Stanley, and the blade was 0.007″ narrower than the body, so there was no way to make it work. I sent it back, and now I’m waiting for a Woodriver medium shoulder plane. This is the cheapest new shoulder plane that actually works.

You can buy ordinary planes (smoothing, jack, jointer, and so on) used without much fear, but shoulder planes are a pain in the butt, so you might as well grit your teeth and spend for a new one.

I don’t actually know how to USE these things, but I am going to put in a little effort, now that I have learned how to obtain them and make them function.

I guess I went down a rabbit trail there. Sorry.

I got the planer set up tonight, and I am really happy about it. Having stuff is fine, but if you’re not aligned with God’s will, your stuff won’t work, or it won’t bring you pleasure. Now that I’m getting with it, things are going more smoothly, and the things that are happening in the garage are exemplary.

Correction keeps pouring into me, and I am more grateful for it every day. I know, and feel in my heart, that inner correction is the blessing we are supposed to be seeking. We clamor for money, houses, and even sex, but we reject the opportunity to become like the God we beg for favors. No wonder he doesn’t help us.

The devil was cursed for saying, “I will be like the most high,” in his own heart. The funny thing is, we are blessed for saying the same thing. Satan wanted to be like God in that he wanted to be admired. He wanted to be all-powerful. He wanted to punish. We are supposed to be like God in that we love and forgive. We are supposed to have his humility and kindness. If you want God to do things for you on earth, you have to say, in your heart, “I will be like the most high.”

The idiots on TV are trying to convince us that power and wealth will come just because we go to church, send preachers money, and recite Bible promises. If you were God, would you subsidize that garbage? Of course not. It would be like continuing to send your college-student son an allowance after he told you he had become a dope dealer.

You don’t get blessed because you’ve changed. The change IS the blessing. After that, the other things–money, houses, and so on–can’t hurt you. They can’t spoil you. So God has no reason to withhold them, and you just might get them. After all, Jesus gave us instructions for getting wealth: seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. He didn’t say anything about buying Creflo Dollar a jet.

I still can’t write about these things on social media. Today I wanted to say something. I at least wanted to warn people. I wanted to say that the reason I quit sharing things was that I was no longer allowed to, because no one listened. But I wasn’t even allowed to say that. So here I am. Saying it to twelve people.

Today God showed me that trying to warn people who have already had multiple chances is like trying to rekindle a bad relationship. If you’re out, be grateful. Don’t return to your own vomit. So I’m not pushing it.

Here’s a photo of the planer. I am determined to make something out of wood in the near future, just to see my tools do what they’re supposed to do. Maybe a box. I have a great DVD about box-making.

06 11 15 DeWalt planer on HF table with hose attached

Last night after I got done working in the garage, and after I had cleaned up, I turned around to walk out, and I felt as if I had turned too fast. Suddenly I saw the garage with new eyes. It looked new to me. I saw tools that could actually be used. I saw increased order. It was very strange.

External order comes from internal order. There is no other way to get there.

I Can See my Floor!

Monday, June 8th, 2015

May Your Garage Prosper Even as Your Soul Prospers

Outward order is a sign of inward order.

This week I handled some really annoying problems in the Garage of Shalom. I got a new tool box, I moved some junk out, I created a mobile grinding station, and I fixed the casters on my table saw’s extension.

This stuff may not sound important, but the simple fact is, if it’s inconvenient to use your tools, you will stop using them.

First, the box.

Maybe ten years ago, I decided to get a real tool box. A friend had a Craftsman that looked okay, so I decided to try Sears. I didn’t know about Craftsman’s declining reputation.

I ordered a stainless roller cart and a chest to go on top. I still have them. They’re very nice. The steel is thick. The drawer metal measures 0.050″ in thickness, which is very good. The drawers slide well. The casters work. Great box.

Recently I realized I needed a second box. I had a Northern Tool cart for machining, but it was not a great choice. It only had two shelves. You can’t store a lot of stuff in a cart that has two shelves. It made life easier when I was using the mill and lathe, but I still had tools all over the place.

I started looking for a new box, to go in the 20″-wide space between my mill and lathe. I learned some surprising things.

1. Craftsman boxes are really bad now. Boxes have generally gotten thinner, and brands like Craftsman and Husky are awful. For all I know they have some luxury boxes that have thick steel, but I am not willing to take a chance. The boxes I have were discontinued years ago, so I can’t get new ones.

2. Harbor Freight makes pretty good boxes, dirt cheap. But they’re not as good as they used to be, and Harbor Freight is keeping quiet about the change. For $369, you can get a roller cabinet something like 41″ long, and it’s not too bad, but the metal in the drawers is under 0.040″ thick, so they wobble. Someone I know miked an older box, and the metal was 0.050″ thick. Caveat emptor. On the up side, the Harbor Freight box has lots of shallow drawers, which is nice if you have tons of wrenches and screwdrivers.

3. A company called Extreme Tools makes nice boxes for very good prices, but in order to get thick metal, you have to get a box at least 56″ wide.

4. Snap-On boxes have a great reputation, but the prices, even for used ones, are completely insane. A new box in the size I wanted would run over $2000, and a used one in acceptable condition would be well over $1000.

5. Vidmar and Lista make boxes that are much better than Snap-On, but they are very expensive, and they are oddly shaped. You won’t see used ones on the market very often.

I was about to buy a Harbor Freight box, but I changed my mind after I took a dial caliper to the store and checked the drawer metal. The box was just too flimsy and wobbly.

What’s the alternative? Believe it or not, it’s Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee company just came out with a $400 48″ box. It has 6-gauge metal in the undercarriage. The drawers all hold either 100 or 200 pounds each (much more than Harbor Freight). Most of the drawers are over 0.050″ thick. The box has thick powder coating, and it even has a power strip built in. You can put a Milwaukee chest on top of it.

The only negatives are the need for a wood or MDF top to stiffen the work surface, and the lack of shallow drawers. Most of the drawers are fairly deep. Great if you have bulky stuff to store. Not great if you have 2000 wrenches.

I got the box and shoved a bunch of stuff in it. I’m going to make a plywood top. So far, it’s fantastic. I could not come close to it for under $2000.

06 03 15 Milwaukee tool box assembled in garage

Moving loose stuff into the box opened up a lot of table and shelf space, so I was able to move a lot of junk around and open the garage up. It’s fantastic.

A responsible person does not buy tools he can’t store. When you spend $800 on a guitar, you should spend $1500 on an amp. When you spend $800 on a rifle, you should spend $300 or more on a scope. Tools work the same way. If you can’t afford the accessories and so on, you can’t afford the tools.

Lesson learned.

I was going to sell the utility cart, but I changed my mind. I set the belt grinder on it temporarily while I was straightening up, and I saw that the rubber feet on the base were spaced perfectly so they lined up with the inside of the cart tray. I was able to drop the grinder onto the cart, and it fit perfectly. That got me thinking.

I took a piece of the same plywood I used for the grinder base, and I made a base for my bench grinder. The bases are sized so the two of them fit in the cart with no room for wobbling. I use the space under them to store belts and wheels. I put some heavy chucks on the lower shelf, and I plan to add a Bucket Head vacuum for the bench grinder, plus a power strip. It’s excellent.

Now I have a wonderful, convenient grinder station I can wheel around and use whenever I want.

06-06-15 rockwell grinder and bench grinder on utility cart

While I was moving stuff off the table saw, I decided it was time to fix the extension casters. I built the extension myself. I think it was in 2007. I used an old melamine desk for the top. I intended it to be temporary, but it’s sturdy as it can be, so I left it alone. But I did an extremely poor job of attaching the casters, and they were coming loose, making me reluctant to move the saw so I could use it.

I had an old mobile base I had made for the band saw. I was made from 2″ angle iron. I got the plasma cutter put together (should have used the angle grinder) and cut it in pieces, and I made two brackets to hold the casters.

I used a Rockwell Jawhorse to hold the base while I cut it. This tool is wonderful, and right now Amazon is selling it for $99, delivered. That’s crazy cheap.

After cutting the steel, I had two rough pieces to use for brackets. I took them to the belt grinder to deburr them. It works like a dream. They’re beautiful. The grinder won’t hog steel the way a 2″ x 72″ will, but it’s great for finer work.

I drilled the brackets using the drill press, and then I got ready to attach them to the extension. Problem: the bottom of the extension was uneven at the bottom where the pieces of wood were joined. Luckily, I had a Fein Multimaster with flush-cutting blades. In a few minutes, I was able to slice the unwanted wood off. Amazing.

Here you see the result, with the brackets attached to the saw.

06 07 15 table saw extension caster brackets fabricated

Now I don’t have to worry about the casters falling off.

My next project is a cart for the DeWalt planer. I never use it because it’s heavy and dusty. I found out DeWalt makes a rolling base, but there is no way I’m paying $150 for it. I’m going to make one from wood, and I’ll include a lower shelf for dust collection.

I found out that the DeWalt’s dust is coarse, so you don’t need a fancy 0.0001-micron collector. You can actually use a pillow case. DeWalt used to sell a bag similar to the ones used for leaf collection. The planer has an incredible built-in blower, so all I need to do is add a hose and bag. Home Depot has a wide selection of leaf bags, so this will be easy. As with so many of God’s blessings, it’s hard to believe I didn’t see this sooner.

After that, I hope to arrange for dust collection on the vertical band saw, and then I plan to use my tools.

This is wonderful. I have so much more room now, and sometimes I actually do things with my tools instead of staring at them.

This is a reflection of what’s going on inside me. I have realized that mainstream charismatics are wrong, wrong, wrong. They worship money and success, but they should be clamoring for correction and maturity. That’s where the progress, power, peace, and success are.

I can’t really share this stuff with my church. They are on another path. God has shown me that I am not allowed to go on Facebook or show up at services and try to share. I’ve been doing that for three years, and all of the people who are going to listen have listened. It would be a waste of my time–a waste of ME–to keep striving.

I am no longer serving as a volunteer. What a difference it makes. Yesterday I was able to go to church at eleven instead of ten. I was able to leave at 1:15 instead of 1:45 or 2:30. I didn’t have to testify or try to persuade people of anything. The music was too loud, so I showed up 15 minutes into it and wore ear plugs. The service was too long, so I took off early. I wasn’t tired. I still had energy. I didn’t have the familiar feeling of frustration.

They’re nice people. I don’t want to be dismissive or insulting. I still go to church twice a week. But I don’t have to wrestle any more. If they are going to be persuaded, it will not be by me. I did my part, and I have been released so I can heal.

I don’t have to work in the ministries and offer suggestions no one will take. I don’t have to show up for every event and work and spend money. I don’t have to buy every promotional T-shirt. I like it. It would be better if we were unified, so I could work toward worthwhile goals with them, but at least I’m getting some rest.

Things are going really well in my own walk. My friend Travis comes down once or twice a week for prayer, and he’s really taking off. The wise things that come out of him now amaze me. I have other friends whose lives are changing dramatically because they listen. And instead of going to the church’s Wednesday night services, I go to the quiet prayer services on Tuesday. No loud drums. No yelling. Just two or three men, praying quietly. No one else shows up. If the service attracted a lot of people, it would turn into a noisy rally.

I’ve asked God to take proud people away from me and to put me among people who listen. This is almost like asking to be lonely, because there are so few people who fit that description. But it’s worth it. As the psalm says, “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.”

When your heart aligns with God, he will take notice, set you aside, and see to it that things start to work. Donating money is a waste of time (and money). Working as a volunteer won’t get you over the hump, either. What matters is loving and receiving correction. After all, why should God help people who don’t pursue his goals? It’s common sense.

The Garage of Shalom really IS a garage of shalom. It comes from God, not effort.

I wish I could keep sharing the revelation I get, in the usual ways, but I am not permitted. So I blog. Maybe someone will read it and catch on.

I’m glad I got that out. Hope it helps someone.

White is the New Black

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Up is the New Down

I keep asking God to show me my faults, and–I am tempted to say “unfortunately”–he is coming through. When he does, I feel like I’m on the down slope of a very high roller coaster. I’m thrilled that he heard me, and I’m excited to receive the knowledge. I find myself looking forward eagerly to the improvement that will come of it. But at the same time, the things I see are surprisingly nasty.

I wish there was one thing I could be proud of. I wish my history did not exist. I wish that a thousand years from now, in my purified form, I could look back and not see the disgusting acts and thoughts of my time on earth. But I’m very glad to have pride and denial taken out of me, because there is no way my biased self-image can be permitted to continue to exist.

I don’t receive the knowledge continuously. Every once in a while, I get a burst of it. I don’t think God expects to clean out the Augean Stables of my heart in one session. It’s too big a job, and he isn’t going to subject me to an arduous cold turkey ordeal.

Last night while I was praying, it hit me again. I thought of all the sick things I had done and felt in my life. How can such a person be loved by anyone, let alone a God who has never done anything but good? It’s hard to accept.

It’s true; I’ve done some good. That doesn’t matter much. Would you come to my house for Thanksgiving dinner if you knew there was half a teaspoon of cat manure hidden somewhere in a 25-pound turkey? Of course not. If you’re mostly good and partly bad–and I’m not saying I’m mostly good–there is a word to describe you: “bad.”

We live in a tee ball society now, where everyone gets a prize even if they miss. People can’t be good. They can’t succeed. The solution? Pretend they’re good! Pretend they succeeded!

We judge ourselves against a standard of total failure instead of God’s perfection. So we feel a lot better about ourselves than we should, and we think we deserve things to which we are not entitled.

You can’t grow if you can’t acknowledge fault. You are a product, and products must be subject to quality control. If every product passes, quality drops to an unacceptable level. It’s that simple.

Pride is poison. We try to raise kids to be proud, because pride and confidence provide motivation, but it’s a mistake. It’s a substitute for the power of God.

If you think you’re a pretty good person, you will feel entitled to things. When your neighbor does better than you do, you will feel cheated. A lot of life’s unhappiness comes from the sense that we’ve been cheated, especially in America, where our unrealistic expectations are so entrenched we have collected them in a package and named it “the American Dream.” The truth is that we are only entitled to hell. Every second that we spend here on hell’s doorstep is a great blessing and a reprieve, and we should never complain about anything.

I don’t mean that we should not criticize. God forbid we stop criticizing. I mean we should not take the attitude that we have been deprived of good things we deserve. That simply does not happen on earth. We receive good things we do not deserve, but after we reach the age of accountability, we never receive evil that we haven’t earned.

The modern charismatic church is poisoning people as though they were weeds, spraying them with self-approval which stunts their growth. They always talk about God’s love and lack of judgment. Yes, he loves us. That doesn’t mean he thinks we don’t need to change. And as for judgment, he piled it on us, with great brutality. We don’t feel it because Jesus stepped in the way. It still exists, however. God’s wrath is real, and it had to be satisfied. The bill was not discarded. It was paid.

If you accept salvation and then quit examining yourself, the improvement you experience while you live on the earth will be very limited, as will your power and peace. Correction is not a punishment. It is an opportunity to avoid punishment. If only we could learn to love it and embrace it.

America just witnessed an event which serves to illustrate my points. A male senior citizen just posed for a photo in women’s underwear, the photo was published on the cover of a major magazine, and many Americans responded by declaring him a hero. That shows how the culture of mindless approval has poisoned us.

Of course, I’m referring to Caitlyn Jenner. I respect his right to change his name, even if the gender change is a sad delusion.

He lived a life of sexual confusion, and he did not have a corrective connection to the Holy Spirit, so he never received a solution to his problem. The result? Surrender and intellectual perversion. He lost, so he and his cohorts declared victory and decided to call an evil result good.

If he had really known God, he would have received knowledge and discernment. The man he could have been would be horrified by the man he has become.

Very few Americans have a corrective connection to the Holy Spirit, so we are surrendering, too. We have decided that the strange inclinations we can’t change are normal and healthy. We call evil good and good evil, largely because we see no alternative. The church wandered off into a swamp of effort, pride, and greed centuries ago, so it has failed to connect us to the help we need. Now we drift without anchors or compasses, and there is no limit to our deviations from God’s healthy course.

We have reached a point where all correction is called “judgment” and “hate,” unless it’s the judgment and hate of people who dislike God’s ways. If you call a Christian or an Orthodox Jew a bigot, few people will criticize your obvious hate, but if you say an old man with chemically induced breasts has problems, even if you say it with empathy, you can expect to be excoriated as though you had endorsed child molestation.

The enemy has done a wonderful job of sealing out correction and targeting those who are bold and caring enough to provide it. It’s as though he had convinced people that water was poisonous. Amazing. He even has the people he has misled, continuing his work for him. He destroyed them, and they reward him with fervent service.

They remind me of the Jews who worked in the death camps, stripping the dead and shoving them into ovens. The difference is that the hearts of the Jews were not in their work.

If you can understand your own guilt, you can be rid of pride. If you can be rid of pride, God will stop fighting you. The Bible clearly states that he fights the proud and helps the humble. If you deny guilt and hold onto pride, you are poisoning yourself and your children. It’s pointless for a proud person with a sense of entitlement to complain about his enemies, because they are only doing that which is just. We need to look at ourselves in order to uncover the gaps that let our enemies in.

America will let Jesus sit in the doorway and beg, because we like to pretend we respect him as a really nice person, but it hates the Holy Spirit. It hates truth. We have reached a point where people who listen to God will not be tolerated in mainstream society. Christians love to say we need to stand up for God and make ourselves heard, but that boat has sailed. We need to pray and repent, as individuals. It’s very unlikely that this country will turn from its course of hatred and persecution. Things will almost surely get worse. Like the Jews in Europe, we will be seen as necessary sacrifices, to be burned in the oven of the common good. The country will not help us, and if we stay proud, God will not help us, either.

I encourage you to pray in the Spirit and think about pride and denial. Stop being satisfied with what you are. Stop listening to the positive opinions of people who don’t really know you. Help is available, but it only comes to people who admit they need it.